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).
Dinelson Lamet (2-3, 4.24 ERA) v. COL | 23% roster rate: Lamet is doing a lot of the things that made him an exciting young breakout candidate before Tommy John surgery held him out for all of 2018 and into 2019. He’s striking batters out (31.7 K%, 14.0 SwStr%) and walking a few too many (10 BB%). At home against the second-worst road offense in baseball, he’s your best bet for a Friday stream.
Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.33 ERA) at NYM | 29%: Eflin was excellent in his last start against the Mets on Sunday, throwing seven innings of one run ball. His ERA is 2.96 since the beginning of August, but his strikeout rate is down to 14% over that span. The Mets’ offense has been better in the second half but he still looks to be one of the better streaming options for Friday.
Homer Bailey (12-8, 4.96 ERA) v. DET | 18%: Good park, good match up, ok pitcher. Bailey has been serviceable (4.14 FIP and xFIP, 8.52 K/9) since joining the Oakland rotation. Of the pitchers under 20% owned, this might be your best bet for Friday. He held the Yankees to two runs and four hits in 5.2 innings last weekend and he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since getting torched by the Cubs on August 7th at Wrigley.
Tyler Mahle (2-10, 4.72 ERA) v. AZ | 3%: Mahle will be making his second major league start since recovering from a hamstring strain he suffered in July. The D-Backs aren’t the scariest offense in the world and Mahle can miss more bats and limit walks better than most streamers on Friday’s slate.
Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.55 ERA) v. SEA | 5%: The Mariners are a top-10 offense against left-handed pitchers this season and Valdez hasn’t done a lot quell the control issues that have plagued him throughout his major league career. He appears to be surrendering more home runs than ever before, one thing that suggests he could be better than he has to date.
Zach Davies (8-7, 3.76 ERA) v. CHC | 29%: While Davies has out-pitched his peripherals two of the last three seasons, its still tough to buy in to a pitcher who strikes out less than six batters per nine innings. Even if you’re inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, he’s been just ok against the Cubs this season (4.21 ERA and 5.91 xFIP in 25 innings) and only gone five innings once since coming off the injured list in August. He’s not the worst play, but likely shouldn’t be your first choice, either.
Spencer Turnbull (3-14, 4.45 ERA) at OAK | 8%: Turnbull has been hit around since returning to the Tigers rotation in early August (7.53 ERA in six starts) and the A’s own the seventh best wRC+ against right-handed pitching this season. In a season that started out so promising, Turnbull appears to be limping to the finish line.
Dillon Peters (3-2, 4.13 ERA) v. CHW | 3%: The White Sox transform from one of the worst offenses in baseball against right-handed pitching (84 wRC+) to a respectable one against left-handers (100 wRC+). Peters has been home-prone during his time in the big leagues, and pitching at Guaranteed Rate Field is not going to help with that.
Adam Plutko (6-4, 4.53 ERA) at MIN | 14%: He might not be at the bottom of the list in terms of roster percentage, but he’s definitely a dangerous streaming option on Friday. Plutko has produced most of his solid performances against the weaker competition of the AL Central. Pitching against Minnesota at home is not said weak competition.
Brock Burke (0-1, 1.50 ERA) at BAL | 28%: You gotta consider anyone against Baltimore. There’s some decent strikeout potential here (26.8 K% in 45 innings at double-A) and Burke has a minor league track record of suppressing homers, which could come in handy when pitching at Camden Yards.
Jorge Lopez (2-7, 6.61 ERA) at MIA | 1%: His 5.79 ERA as a reliever is actually an improvement on the 7.12 ERA Lopez has posted in 60 innings as a starter this season. The Marlins lineup and spacious park might help him eek out a decent start but he is still very risky.
Clay Buchholz (1-3 5.45 ERA) v. TB | 3%: Making his third start since returning from the DL, there’s not much here to get excited about here.
Tommy Milone (3-8, 4.90 ERA) at HOU | 2%: Houston destroys lefties. *Paul Sporer doing a Randy Jackson voice* “yeah, that’s gonna be a no from me dawg.”
Tim Melville (1-1, 3.86 ERA) at SD | 2%: The 29-year-old journeyman minor leaguer has made three starts with Colorado since being called up. Two of them bad, and one of them good. He doesn’t strike enough batters out or do anything to limit hard contact. San Diego is a good matchup, but you still want to avoid him.
SPOT STARTER RANKINGS FOR FRIDAY
- Dinelson Lamet
- Zach Eflin
- Homer Bailey
- Tyler Mahle
- Zach Davies
- Brock Burke
- Framber Valdez
- Spencer Turnbull
- Adam Plutko
- Dillon Peters
- Jorge Lopez
- Tim Melville
- Clay Buchholz
- Tommy Milone
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.