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
Dinelson Lamet vs CHC (24%): While he’s facing the Darvish-led Cubs, the matchup doesn’t scare me one bit. Lamet has a 11.7 K/9 and an under 4.00 with ERA estimators to match. Maybe the next two pitchers listed here might have a better chance for a win but Lamet has the best overall package.
Joe Musgrove at SF (44%): I’m fine using Musgrove here. He’s struggled with ERA in the second half (4.15 vs 5.60) but it all home run based (0.9 HR/9 to 2.0 HR/9). His fastball velocity is up 2 mph and it can be seen with his K/9 going from 7.5 to 8.7.
Tyler Mahle at SEA (4%): I’m going to be starting him with my fingers crossed hoping he can get his strikeouts (9.1 K/9 on the season) while the long ball will be limited in Seattle.
Partial Category Contribution
Alex Young vs NYM (23%): It could be worse. He’s not an elite strikeout pitcher but he’s keeping the ball on the ground and not walking batters.
Kyle Gibson vs WAS (43%): I’d be more enthusiastic if he wasn’t facing Washington. His strikeouts were at 8.8 K/9 before going on the IL.
Kolby Allard vs TB (12%): I wish the game wasn’t at Texas, but he has put up decent results (3.78 ERA, 4 Wins) this season. He’s one of the toughest to evaluate.
Homer Bailey at HOU (26%): He was the hardest to place. I had him first in ‘Hell No’, but liked him better than everyone above him even though he’s facing Houston. He might kill a team’s ratios.
Rich Hill at BAL (49%): It’s a ratios-only start. He won’t go long enough for the Win or get many strikeouts.
Single Category Contribution
Gio Gonzalez at MIA (10%): A nice streaming option for a Win. Nothing more.
Drew Smyly vs ATL (2%): Strikeout option (9.2 K/9) and has shown some improvement since joining the Phillies (3.93 ERA).
Jhoulys Chacín/Bullpen Game at TOR (10%): Maybe play the second starter for a Win but this situation is a mess. Pass if it remains jumbled.
Brendan McKay at TEX (0%): He was tough to rank since he’ll be throwing a limited number of pitches but his 11.0 K/9 is intriguing. He’s not a good option but everyone else is so much worse.
Jorge López at CWS (1%): Pure desperation Win play.
Spencer Turnbull vs NYY (8%): He has a decent two-start next week, but this one is ugly.
Clay Buchholz vs BOS (3%): Buchholz is still in the league?
Dylan Bundy vs LAD (18%): At Camden against the Dodgers. It’s going to get ugly.
Tim Melville vs STL (2%): 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.