Down the stretch, we’ll be covering the probable starters and highlighting our favorites to stream as you chase down your fantasy titles. The pitcher in question must be available in 50% or more of leagues according to FantasyPros.com which combines ESPN and Yahoo! roster rates (sometimes exceptions just over 50% will be mentioned if they are really good and should have a much higher roster rate).
Sandy Alcantara (5-12, 4.04) at SF | 17%
Alcantara has pitched well over the past two months – posting a 2.77 ERA and 3.52 FIP since the beginning of August. While he won’t help you pile up the strikeouts (131 Ks in 171.2 innings), a matchup against the Giants at Oracle Park means he’s got a pretty decent shot at the W and on a tough Friday slate, he’s one of your better options.
Adrian Houser (6-5, 3.59 ERA) at STL | 21%
Everything looks solid with the Brewers’ righty. Despite a pretty pedestrian swinging strike rate (9.8%), Houser has been able to post a 9.35 K/9 this season. Combine that with a ground ball rate of 53.8% and the Cardinals middle of the pack performance against right-handed pitching and he makes for a solid play on Friday. Just keep in mind he doesn’t often go deep into games if you play in a quality start league.
Chris Bassitt (10-5, 3.64) at TEX | 47%
Bassitt has been solid all season and has posted a 3.06 ERA (4.03 FIP) since the beginning of August. The Rangers are a below average offense against right-handed pitching (89 wRC+) and have the worst wRC+ in the second half of the season. Pitching in Texas is a bit of a risk, but given the other factors working in his direction, he’s one of the stronger stream options for Friday.
Adam Wainwright (11-9, 4.16) v. MIL | 23%
The Brewers were 15th in baseball with a wRC+ of 96, and that was before Christian Yelich was lost for the season. If you’re looking for length, Wainwright is also capable of going deeper into games than many streamers on the list, increasing his potential for wins or quality starts.
Mike Leake (11-10, 4.64) v. CIN | 19%
Surprisingly, Leake has struggled since moving to pitcher-friendly Chase Field, posting a 5.88 ERA in 41 innings with the D-Backs. It’s pretty much the same story as it always is with Leake – he won’t strike anyone out, but there’s a chance he could give you a quality start. Cincinnati isn’t great against right-handers (.314 wOBA), but they have been better in the second half of the season, despite trading away Yasiel Puig at the deadline. Leake’s ceiling isn’t particularly high in either case. An ok ERA with a chance at a win is your best bet.
Aaron Civale (3-3, 1.93) v. MIN | 44%
The elite control that got Civale to the major leagues has disappeared in recent outings, as he walked six batters in ten innings over his last two starts. While Civale was able to hold the Twins to one earned run in his last outing, you’re always going to be playing with fire starting someone against the Twins right now, especially someone with the pedestrian bat missing ability of Civale (9.2 SwStr%,. 7.33 K/9).
Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.24 ERA) v. CWS | 39%
Kikuchi has not lived up to expectations in his rookie season, with some of his struggles due to home run issues. Kikuchi has a 2.05 HR/9 rate that has shot up to 2.55 since the beginning of August. The White Sox fair decently against lefties (102 wRC+) but with a weak slate of streamers, he may still be worth thinking about.
Brock Burke (0-1, 3.52 ERA) v. OAK | 26%
Burke was lit up for six runs in five innings on Friday night in Baltimore. That makes one bad and three good starts for the 23-year-old. He’s posted solid strikeout and walk numbers in the high minors, but pitching in Texas against Oakland, one of the better home run hitting teams in baseball means he’s not without risk.
Tyler Beede (4-9, 5.33 ERA) v. MIA |5%
Beede has a solid swinging strike rate (11.0%) and the Marlins strikeout more than most teams (24.5 K%) so there is strikeout potential here. His control issues usually prevent him from going deep into games – he’s only pitched into the 6th inning four times in nineteen starts – be extra careful if you’re looking for a quality start.
Jordan Zimmerman (1-10, 6.27) v. BAL | 4%
His peripherals suggest he’s been pretty unlucky this season (4.75 xFIP), but the lack of strikeouts and win potential mean he’s a long shot to help. That said, someone’s gotta win when the Tigers play the Orioles.
Steven Brault (4-4, 4.13) at CHC |5%
Brault is capable of going deeper into games than many streamers; and the Cubs’ offense isn’t as formidable as it has been in recent years. Brault hasn’t done a lot to suggest he can sustain a low-4’s ERA and he was hit hard his last time out against St. Louis.
Anthony Kay (0-0, 3.18) v. NYY |2%
Kay was great his first major league start last week against Tampa, but he hasn’t shown a lot in triple-A to indicate that we should expect that kind of success moving forward. Considering he’s dealing with the Yankees lineup, he’s likely a pass.
Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.71) v. HOU | 9%
As a team, the Astros have an .874 OPS against left-handed pitching. Duffy’s velocity has been down this season and the Royals offense doesn’t leave much hope in the win department, either.
Jeff Hoffman (1-6, 7.06) v. SD | 0%
Hoffman has flashed some strikeout upside but he’s been hit hard all season. He’s been slightly better in his last two starts but he isn’t anything more than a flyer at this point in time.
Dylan Covey (1-8, 7.69) at SEA |0%
Nothing Covey has shown since his mid season call-up suggests that he will be able to put things together this season. The young righty still has a bright future in the major leagues, but until he’s able to show any of the promise that made him a top prospect, he won’t be a great streaming option down the stretch.
Nick thinks running a Major League or fantasy baseball team is incredibly easy. Until he is handed one of those coveted GM positions, his writing at RotoGraphs will illustrate how to do it properly. Fantasy baseball trade consultations and anything else can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeted to @nickdika.