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).
Note: The starters are listed in order of value
Adrian Houser vs CHC (21%): A strikeout rate over 9 K/9. A walk rate near 3.0. A groundball rate at 54%. A 3.45 ERA. ERA estimators at or under 4.00. What else is fantasy owner hoping for?
Anthony DeSclafani vs ARI (28%): I wish the start was on the road since he’s a little more home run prone at home (1.8 HR/9 vs 1.6 HR/9). Considering the suspect talents under 50% owned, he’s a fine option.
Partial Category Contribution
Mike Montgomery at MIA (17%): A Win is in play when facing Miami. His 8.0 K/9 is acceptable since going the Royals. His groundball nature (52%) means he’ll get hit around (.351 BABIP) and have a higher than normal WHIP (1.40). Useable.
Julio Urías vs SF (19%): Straight ratios play. He’s on a limited number of pitches, probably 60, so there is a small chance for a Win and double-digit strikeouts.
Sean Manaea vs DET (36%): Dice roll beyond the Win against the Tiggers. His 0.00 ERA and 5.23 xFIP show how the results and underlying stats don’t mesh. I’m not a fan of throwing 71% fastballs but he was decent in AAA with his ERA and ERA estimators in the 3.00 to 4.00 range.
Randy Dobnak vs CLE (0%): A complete mystery but he rarely walked anyone in the minors so the WHIP should be decent. There are no scouting reports on him. He throws a 93 mph fastball along with a change and slider. The following pitchers are not good. I not sure yet with Dobnak.
Vince Velasquez at NYM (11%): Unlike the Wojciechowski clan in the next tier, Velasquez has a chance at a Win.
Eric Lauer vs COL (13%): Not as many strikeouts as Velasquez but has a better chance for a Win than those ranked below him.
Single Category Contribution
Asher Wojciechowski vs Texas (4%): He continues to get strikeouts (9.1 K/9) but the home runs (2.2 HR/9) are out of hand. He could destroy a team’s ERA.
Dylan Cease vs LAA (8%): See Asher Wojciechowski
Jaime Barria at CWS (1%): He’s like Cease, but with few strikeouts.
Sandy Alcantara vs KC (14%): A win-only play since he’s facing KC. His 6.8 K/9, 4.2 BB/9, and 4.26 ERA are all below average.
Mike Leake at CIN (18%): It could be worse. It could be better.
Jacob Waguespack at TB (13%): See Mike Leake. Boring profile.
Daniel Norris at OAK (2%): See Mike Leake. Nothing positive in his profile.
Félix Hernández at HOU (5%): I’d like to like the start but I can’t at all. He’s lost 1.1 mph on his fastball over his last three games. Just done.
Dereck Rodríguez at LAD (4%): The Dodgers have this start penciled in as batting practice.
James Marvel vs STL (0%): Fake player.
Peter Lambert at SD (2%): Let me repeat myself, “Hell No.”
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.