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).
I’m listing them in order of interest.
Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.67) v. DET | 46%: Bassitt might still be out on Paternity Leave, but I’m seeing he’s slated to start after getting pushed from Thursday, so I stuck with writing him up. He’s had a really strong season and been particularly good since the break with a 2.75 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 52.3 IP. His ERA could be two runs higher and I’d still recommend him against the Tigers. Go pick him up before even finishing this article!
Aaron Civale (3-3, 1.94) at MIN | 45%: While I can’t imagine many of you have him available in your league, he is just 45% at Yahoo! & ESPN so I’m including him. The 24-year old righty has a 1.94 ERA in his seven MLB starts and I’m rolling him out in any matchup, including this tough one in Minnesota. Check your wire just to make sure.
Danny Duffy (5-6, 4.89) at MIA | 7%: Duffy returned from the IL with a quality start because only three of his four runs were earned against Baltimore in 6.3 innings of work. He only fanned three but at least he walked just one and didn’t allow a homer. Miami has been 25th in wOBA against lefties since the break at .316 and their 26% K rate is the highest in the league. Duffy can meltdown on you, but you don’t find matchups much better than this on the waiver wire so you gotta give him a shot here.
Tony Gonsolin (2-1, 2.89) v. SF | 39%: Like Civale, I’m not sure he’s going to be available in the most competitive leagues, but don’t assume and at least check your wire. The right-hander allowed six runs (four earned) in his MLB debut, but he’s allowed just five runs in 24 innings since then. His strikeouts vacillate a bit: 3, 7, 2, 2, and 5, but give me the strong ratio upside on a great team against a mediocre offense.
Jordan Zimmermann (1-9, 6.03 ERA) at OAK | 4%: Have you noticed that Zimm has a capable 3.24 ERA/0.90 WHIP over his last six starts? He’s only given up more than 2 ER just once in those outings (4 ER at TEX). The slate he’s done this against is particularly impressive: at LAA, at TEX, at TB, at HOU, v. CLE, and v. MIN. I miiiight give him a go here, particularly in points leagues.
Alex Young (6-3, 3.84) at CIN | 18%: Young hasn’t been too bad in his 11 starts and 1 relief appearance, posting a 3.84 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 58.7 innings. Using the shorthand of Game Score, he has five good starts (55+), three solid outings (46-54), and three duds (<46). Cincinnati has been middle of the pack against lefties since the All-Star break, sitting 15th in wOBA with a .331 mark. He’s not without risk, but he’s a viable pickup in most formats.
Steven Brault (4-3, 3.88) v. STL | 5%: Brault garnered some attention with a gem in Coors his last time out (6.3 IP/1 ER) which brought his second half ERA down to 3.41 in 34.3 innings. His 19% K rate doesn’t stand out as he’s fanned more than five just three times in 15 starts this year. His lone dud in the second half has come against these Cardinals (4.7 IP/4 ER) in St. Louis. Brault is markedly better at home this year with a 3.63 ERA/1.23 WHIP combo in 44.7 IP. High risk, decent reward.
Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 4.14) v. CHC | 10%: Gonzalez has only thrown 67.3 innings this year, but 19.3 of them have come against the Cubs and he’s posted a 1.40 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with 18 strikeouts.
Adam Wainwright (10-9, 4.30) at PIT | 20%: Waino is coming off an excellent outing with seven shutout innings against the Giants, but that only brought his second half ERA down to 4.28 because while he’s had some gems, his lows have been rough (outings of 5 and 7 ER). Despite a gem against these Pirates (6 IP/1 ER on Aug. 10th), I’m a little nervous about this because the Pirates have quietly been solid against righties in the second half. They are 11th in wOBA at .328 and their 17% K rate is best in the league. Desperation only for this one.
Drew Smyly (2-1, 4.57) at NYM | 3%: Smyly came off the IL with 13 innings of 1-run ball and generated some interest. Since then, he’s got a 6.23 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 30.3 innings. He does have 33 strikeouts in that time, but are they worth it? Probably not.
Anthony Kay (0-0, 0.00) at TB | 0%: Kay is expected to make his MLB debut on Saturday, perhaps following an opener. The prospect lefty was acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman and definitely has some upside, but I’d be careful picking him up for this debut since we just don’t know how what to expect or how long he’ll go. If he does follow an opener, he might be worth a pickup for H2H leaguers with start limits since you could get 3-4 innings without it counting against your limit.
Yusei Kikuchi (6-9, 5.36) at HOU | 40%: The matchup is enough to say no, but even in a good matchup the volatility would be nerve-wracking. Kikuchi’s earned runs in his last eight: 7, 2, 6, 1, 5, 0, 5, and 3. Pass.
Tyler Beede (3-9, 5.61) at LAD | 5%: While he did do well in his lone start against the Dodgers (6 IP/1 ER/7 K), it came with five walks. That start spurred an interesting little run during which he posted a 2.68 ERA in 37 IP, but it proved to be a full on mirage as he has a 7.05 ERA in the 37 IP since along with an eye-popping 1.84 WHIP.
Aaron Brooks (4-7, 5.81) v. TEX | 4%: No.
Dylan Covey (1-7, 6.88) v. LAA | 0%: I’d rather start Brooks on the last day of my World Series than Covey ever.
Jeff Hoffman (1-5, 7.35) at SD | 0%: Being on the road doesn’t help him: 7.36 ERA/1.69 WHIP outside of Coors.