Congratulations on playing meaningful (fake) baseball this late into the season! At this point, your nerves, eyes, and pitching staff are shot, and you’re plugging leaks with sieves. Or maybe I’m just projecting.
Either way, maybe you’ll find this guide to the rest of the week’s streamers useful. If you’re in a redraft roto, I suggest using up your innings by Friday. The best prospect pitchers probably don’t have the innings to step in and pitch five or six on the weekend, the veterans will get some rest, and you’ll be left with some unsavory matchups, in large part, if you wait for Saturday and Sunday to blow out the rest of your innings.
Seth Lugo (47% owned) vs MIA
Trying to dig through the psychology of a team is folly, especially one that’s just experienced a tragedy. So just look at this on the face of it, and Lugo in Miami is a good start. Sure, there’s Trevor Bauer (60% owned) at home against Detroit, but between Detroit and Miami, the Tigers are the ones that will field the team closes to their most competitive. The Tigers may need to win out to be in the postseason while the Marlins are about a game from being eliminated. There’s a chance that Lugo is developing a home run problem — he has six allowed in his last five starts — but at least Miami is a decent place for him to pitch his next time out. And yeah, I’ll take both of these over Sonny Gray (60% owned), even if he gets the Angels. Which Sonny Gray?
James Paxton (37% owned) @HOU
Paxton owned Minnesota last time out, and he’s really cut the walks since he changed his arm slot, so this is a believable breakout in general. Houston has seen him a ton, and recently, but how comfortable can you get against a lefty throwing in the high 90s with good secondary stuff? I also like Blake Snell (24% owned) on the road against the White Sox, but Snell’s command means that has more risk than a New Paxton start. Tyler Chatwood (36% owned) gets the Giants in AT&T, and that’s a good matchup with a high-floor pitcher. He just doesn’t have the ceiling of Paxton or even Snell.
Luis Perdomo (3% owned) vsLAD
I do like Mike Foltynewicz (10% owned) at home against Philadelphia, but a) he’s a little bit too owned for the deep league version, and b) he’s prone to bigger blowups, since his natural command and control are minus tools. He’s combatted bad control by throwing to the middle of the zone, but the bad command means that he’ll still serve up (high velocity) dickshots and get in trouble from time to time. Perdomo, on the other hand, is a predictable dude with a nasty sinker. If 3% is too owned for you, I’m sorry. But Rylan Edwards points out that Jason Vargas is living, breathing, and pitching, and his pop-up inducing stuff gets the Twins.
Robbie Ray (36% owned) @WAS
You could consider Ray’s opponent, Joe Ross (48% owned), but Ross still hasn’t thrown more than three innings since his return from should troubles. Ray’s been up and down, and five strikeouts against four walks in 3.2 innings is a pretty down outing to be coming off of. He’s a bit like Jon Gray was before the curve — tons of Ks, not a ton of walks, and some hard-hit balls in play — so maybe a piece is missing. But the Nationals are in get-healthy-and-ready mode, and this could be a good matchup for the power lefty in Arizona. Alex Reyes (55% owned) is the shallow-league option, as he gets the Reds at home and is the best arm on this list.
Daniel Norris (23% owned) vsCLE
In the second half, Norris has walked fewer batters than league average, which is about the best development that could have come for his value. His bendy change and slider have always been above-average (plus for the change) so some command of that rising fastball is bringing it all together. It won’t be a hangover lineup for Cleveland, but it might not be their very best, and it will be led by boom-or-bust Cody Anderson. Kendall Graveman (19% owned) is at Seattle, and that’s a decent fall back. Ever since Graveman went to the sinker almost exclusively, he’s been better (3.63 ERA, 54% ground balls, 4.2 K/9) if not amazing.
Brett Anderson (1% owned) @SD
It’s been over a month since Rob Zastryzny has pitched even three innings, so even though he’s got a good team behind him, it’s not likely that he’ll get to the threshold for a win. That could be a problem for Cody Anderson (1% owned), too, and he gets a Detroit team that’s decidedly still trying to win. The over-the-top axe-throwing Josh Collmenter (1% owned) provides another interesting pitcher, and one that actually has the innings to get the win. The Phillies haven’t seen his delivery since June, and he could baffle them at least the first and second time through the lineup. Anderson, though, is the cream of the crop. If he can stay in one piece — and that’s even asking something when it comes to one start, given his history — he’s taking the better team into a good park and a great matchup and should find paydirt.
Robert Gsellman (30% owned) @PHI
I don’t love Andrew Cashner (25% owned) because he’s at Washington and against A.J. Cole, which probably makes him the underdog, and he’s not the kind of underdog that will at least get you great ratios and Ks. I do love Brandon Finnegan (34% owned) some, especially since his better play recently has coincided with increased use of the changeup. Since he started throwing it one out of every five pitches in mid-August, he’s been amazing, with 47 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37.1 innings of 1.93 ERA ball. But he’s at home against a firecracker offense, and 37.1 innings is still only 37.1 innings. We only have a few more for Gsellman, but at least we know that the Phillies offense is one of the worst in the league. And that he’s coming with a good sinker, curve, and Warthen Slider combo. (Taijuan Walker, at 64% owned in Seattle, is the clear shallow league guy.)
Matt Boyd (19% owned) @ATL
Here in the soft middle, there are a bunch of decent options for streaming. It’s a decent day to consider blowing out your remaining innings. Tyler Glasnow (21% owned) goes to St. Louis, but you’d have to hope that he’ll throw more than three innings. A.J. Cole (10% owned) is home against Miami, and that should be a decent matchup for him, since the Marlins are a bottom-third team against his best weapon, the slider. Speaking of slide-pieces, Brad Peacock (12% owned) is throwing a new-ish slider (by movement) more often than he ever has before, and it’s suddenly his best pitch. He’s maybe the second best starter on the day and he’s owned less than most. But Matt Boyd, against a National League lineup? I’ll take that start first. He’s like a Norris light, in that he has a great chagne, a good slider, and a rising fastball. Where he has less velo than Norris, he also has more pitches, as he’ll throw in a cutter and change, too.
Jhoulys Chacin (2% owned) vsHOU
This is it. I’m not taking Edwin Jackson (1% owned) in Arizona, and his opponent Braden Shipley (6% owned) is more owned and just as volatile. Raul Alcantara (1% owned) could get a hangover lineup (the bad kind) in Seattle, but other than decent velocity, there’s little to recommend his stuff. I don’t see much I like in the arsenals of Alec Asher (9% owned) and Matt Wisler (7% owned), at least not in sum. They have an okay pitch each. Wait! This blurb is about Jhoulys Chacin, who has thrown his curve more this year (out of Coors), which has given him three average weapons to go with his average sinker. The slider is above-average, even, and a recent decision to throw it more often, despite his return to the rotation, has done him well. An average starting pitcher, on this list, stands out.
Good luck hunting!
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.