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
Aaron Civale (43%) vs DET: I don’t believe in the 1.93 ERA with a 4.56 xFIP and 4.65 SIERA but the home matchup (vs Zimmermann) is great.
Tony Gonsolin (0%) vs TB: Golsolin is a similar talent to Civale but Gonsolin’s matchup versus the Rays is tougher.
Dinelson Lamet (20%) at MIL: He’s a must-start even though he’s on the road in Milwaukee.
Zach Eflin (28%) at ATL: This might be the most boring pickup but he has been consistently OK over the course of this season. I just wish he was facing someone besides Atlanta.
Partial Category Contribution
Homer Bailey (24%) vs KC: I expect a decent start against a sad Royals lineup for a Win. Besides the Win, his walk rate is just 2.1 BB/9 since joining the Athletics.
Adam Wainwright (30%) vs WAS: A balanced contributor but no easy path to a Win and a 3.5 BB/9 is tough to get too excited about.
Adrian Houser (16%) vs SD: I have hope Houser can be better but his 9.4 K/9 as a starter and a matchup against the Padres makes him a tempting option. At some point he has to admit his curve isn’t working (5% Swstr%, 43% GB%) and quit throwing it.
CC Sabathia (9%) vs LAA: It’s tough to go with CC since he’s likely followed by Domingo German. If German is the follower, too bad because he’s likely owned.
Mike Leake (20%) vs MIA: Leake’s start gives an owner a good chance for a Win while maintaining a decent WHIP.
Dylan Bundy (18%) vs TOR: He’s a strikeout play (8.9 K/9) with a puncher’s chance for a Win (vs. Buchholz). The ratios will end up through the roof but it gets worse.
Single Category Contribution
Tyler Mahle (3%) at CHC: His one contribution will be strikeouts (9.3 K/9) but he’s likely to get rocked by the Cubs.
Danny Duffy (8%) at OAK: He’s a tough pitcher to rank. I put him in this category for the strikeouts (7.9 K/9) but they aren’t great. Nothing is great but he’s not completely useless like those in the “Hell No” group.
Jeff Samardzija (45%) at BOS: Normally, he has a decent WHIP (1.12) because he never walks anyone.
Jhoulys Chacín (10%)/Second reliever vs SF: Some pitcher will be inline for a Win here but not Chacin. He’s only thrown 2.2 innings max with Boston so try to find the bulk reliever and start him.
Dario Agrazal (1%) vs SEA: He’s facing a weak Seattle squad for a possible Win.
Clay Buchholz (3%) at BAL: Another Win-only move.
Kolby Allard (9%) at HOU: Worst possible matchup.
Brendan McKay (0%) at LAD: He might have the highest K/IP of the pitchers but he’s not going long and teams have been hitting him around.
Sandy Alcantara (27%) at ARI: Another tough player to rank but he’s not going to give his owner much to work with. It’s a huge gap between him and the rest of the pitchers in this group.
Dillon Peters (2%) at NYY: With the right matchup, I could see myself starting him but not at the Yankees.
Jeff Hoffman (0%) vs NYM: Not even a Win chance since he’s facing Syndergaard.
Dylan Covey (0%) at MIN: A well earned career 6.54 ERA over 250 IP.
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.