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).
Anibal Sanchez (9-8, 3.86) at MIA |32%
This is the best you’re gonna do when it comes to Friday’s streaming options. Good ballpark, good team, good match up and a pitcher that can go deep enough into the game to get you the quality start or win. Sanchez won’t pile up the strikeouts, so keep this in mind if you’re in a position where every K matters.
Merrill Kelly (11-14, 4.49) at SD |22%
Kelly has been a solid back-of-the-rotation starter this season and he gets to face the Padres, who rank 25th with a team wRC+ of 88 since the all-star break. Kelly is capable of pitching deep into games and has posted a 1.35 ERA in his last three starts. His upside (limited K potential) isn’t huge, but he is one of the more reliable options available for Friday.
Give Them A Look
Chase Anderson (6-4, 4.50) v. PIT |15%
Anderson would look better as a potential streamer if not for the Brewers’ handling of their starting rotation. The Brewers turn to their bullpen early and often, meaning that Milwaukee starters have rarely pitched deep enough into games to qualify for wins and quality starts. Anderson himself has only pitched six innings twice this season. He has a good match up against the Pirates and isn’t a zero when it comes to strikeouts, you just have to be careful if you’re desperate for wins or quality starts.
Devin Smeltzer (1-2, 3.77) v. KC |3%
Smeltzer won’t help you with strikeouts, but a matchup against a poor Royals offense means there’s some potential for a win here.
Felix Hernandez (1-6, 6.31) at BAL |5%
Hernandez was solid last time out against the White Sox, pitching seven innings of one run ball. And if you’re pitching against the Orioles, almost anyone has got a shot. Hernandez has been the victim of some bad home run and left on base luck this season, and his worst starts seem to come against baseball’s better teams. There’s some upside for King Felix here.
Michael Wacha (6-7, 4.76) at CHC |15%
Wacha has posted a 3.43 ERA (4.78 FIP) since the all-star break. Throw out one bad start against the Dodgers in early August and his numbers would look even better. The Cubs hit righties well (104 wRC+) and Wacha doesn’t go deep into games. There’s some potential here depending on your league format and what stats you need.
Drew Smyly (4-6, 6.22) at CLE |2%
Smyly is one of the better strikeout pitchers that are widely available, but he comes with a fair amount of risk. His 45.5 hard contact percentage is well above the major league average of 38.0% and he’s walked 52 batters in 105.2 innings this season. Cleveland is an average offense against left-handed pitching but there’s still plenty of volatility here.
Dylan Cease (3-7, 6.18) at DET |10%
The rookie has strikeout potential and a good match up against the Tigers, but his control and home run issues have limited his effectiveness since his call up. He’s still a Hail Mary at this point.
Asher Wojciechowski (3-8, 5.38) v. SEA | 6%
Wojciechowski’s win last week against Detroit was his first since the beginning of August. Since a 10-strikeout performance against Boston in July, hasn’t done anything particularly memorable in the K department, either. Seattle isn’t the worst match up but there’s not a ton to get excited about here.
Robert Dugger (0-2, 3.95) vs. WAS | 5%
Dugger has fared decently in his first five major league starts, but his lack of strikeouts and inability to limit walks suggests he can’t keep his ERA under 4 for much longer. The Nationals have been one of baseball’s best offenses in the second half. He might be able to trick some hitters in his first go-around the league, but he’s definitely a risky play.
Tyler Beede (5-9, 5.02) at ATL |3%
Beede is coming off strong starts against the Marlins and Dodgers, and his strikeout upside remains high. That said, the Braves are one of baseball’s better offenses and the Giants aren’t going to give him much help in terms of win potential.
Jordan Zimmerman (1-11, 6.32) vs. CWS |4%
The White Sox haven’t hit right-handers well this season, which is the only good thing I can say about Zimmerman on Friday night.
Peter Lambert (3-6, 6.98) at LAD |2%
Lambert might have some future promise but he hasn’t shown enough to trust him against the Dodgers.
Steven Brault (4-5, 4.98) at MIL |4%
Brault has surrendered 15 earned runs in his last two starts and even without Christian Yelich, the Brewers are still a solid offense at home (.331 wOBA). Pitching for the Pirates means his win potential isn’t particularly high, either. He’s best left alone this weekend.
Eric Lauer (8-9, 4.60) v. AZ |13%
The D-Backs mash against lefties. They have the third highest wOBA in baseball against southpaws (.354) and fourth best wRC+ (117). Lauer also owns one of the worst swinging strike percentages (7.8) among starting pitchers this season.
Eric Skoglund (0-1, 8.36) at MIN | 16%
Not against Minnesota. Never against Minnesota.
Jaime Barria (4-9, 5.95) at HOU | 2%
Houston’s team wOBA is .351 against right-handed pitchers, best in the majors.
Jacob Waguespack (4-5, 4.70) at NYY |10%
Waguespack didn’t make it through the fourth inning in his last start against the Yankees and there’s not enough upside to risk starting him against the juggernaut New York offense again this week.
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.