For those of you still in your respective playoff hunts we will do our absolute best to give you the best suggestions to help you win your league. Last week was roughly a “break even” kind of week. There were solid picks and then some suggestions that got blown up. Next week is pretty rough for streamers, but the good news is that most of your league is probably out of the competition so you have your pick of the litter for pitchers this coming week. So. Here. We. Go!
10-12 Team Leagues
Jake Junis (KC): Over his last five appearances as a starter, Junis has looked very solid. In 28 innings of work he has 26 strikeouts and just three walks. His 2.57 ERA is justified by the 2.66 FIP and this guy (Happy 25th birthday BTW Jake!) came very close to disrupting the Cleveland Indians winning streak. So next week he draws the Blue Jays in Toronto. Junis’s home/road splits suggest he’s slightly better off at home. Makes sense, right? Everybody pitches better in Kauffman Stadium. Luckily over the last ten games the Blue Jays offense has struggled to produce runs and on the year they’re slashing just .247/.317/.421 all of which rank in the bottom ten in the majors.
Josh Tomlin (CLE): Why not go back to the well, right? Unfortunately Mike Clevinger doesn’t qualify as a streamer this week. Obviously if he’s available in your league you can stream him. But it’s not worth mentioning a guy who is over 50% owned as a streamer, but Tomlin is under 40% owned so he still qualifies. Since the All-Star Break he’s been nothing short of consistent. In the 33.2 innings of work since the ASB he has given up 26 hits and just three walks. He also has 25 strikeouts, which isn’t an amazing K% but he’s still putting up decent performances. Unfortunately he hasn’t logged a quality start since July because he missed all of August, but he’s still quite reliable. He gets a road start against the Angels next week. It’s tough considering the Angels are back in the playoff hunt, but Tomlin should be considered for next week.
Kyle Gibson (MIN): Why not give him another shot? He has four wins in his last five starts. He’s pitching incredibly well and he gets a VERY favorable matchup on the 22nd against Detroit. Since August 22nd he has a 1.38 ERA (2.33 FIP) with 26 strikeouts and three walks. He’s keeping the ball in the ballpark and has a strand rate of 89.3%. Considering the overhaul the Tigers experienced with their lineup why not pick up Gibson for this matchup? Since the start of the month the Tigers have scored five or more runs just three times. Gibson is a lock as a streamer for the upcoming week.
Lucas Giolito (CHW): So this is a bit of a risky play. Giolito gets two starts next week, the first on the road against Houston, and the second comes at home against Kansas City. The latter start is clearly much more appealing. The Astros are one of the best teams in baseball with a very good offense so there’s too much risk with that matchup. If you find yourself playing from behind you can grab Giolito as this start comes on Sunday the 24th. Currently the Royals are averaging just three runs per game over their last five games though they did end the Indians historic 22-game winning streak on Friday night. To be honest, Giolito has really only had one good start since being called up, but you can make the argument for two. Over his last four starts he has a 1.75 ERA with a 4.48 FIP. Considering he’s due to get blown up at some point hopefully it’s against the Astros and he bounces back against KC. That would be the ideal scenario. His last start did go pretty well and it happened to be against Kansas City. Just keep an eye on how well he does against Houston and use that to determine whether you want to start him next Sunday.
Garrett Richards (LAA): This is pretty close to actually being a desperation play because Richards is still coming back from an injury and he’s also facing the Astros on the road next week. It’s a pretty horrible spot to be in. But in his last start at home (also against Houston) Richards threw five innings surrendering four hits, no walks, and one earned run. He also struck out four in the process. His fastball hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down as it’s still sitting in the mid-90’s which is amazing considering he hasn’t pitched in almost five months. So far he’s looked great since coming back. Aside from the matchup it remains to be seen whether the Halos will allow him to pitch deeper into games.
Desperation Play of the Week… Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS): Boy is this quite the gamble. Rodriguez, since August 4th, has a 3.46 FIP and a 9.84 K/9. The downside is that he’s given up at least four earned runs in three of his last six starts. The walk rate isn’t great and he is prone to giving up the long ball. He gets a road start next weekend against the Reds. The Reds offense can put up some numbers, but the team is also in last place in the NL Central. If you’re absolutely desperate give Rodriguez a look.
Jhoulys Chacin Watch: Well he gets a home start next Saturday (the 23rd), but it’s against Colorado so it’s a bit risky. This might be avoidable.
Deeper League Options
Dinelson Lamet (SD): This was tricky because I looked at the ownership’s from a few sites and Lamet’s ranged from 24-40%. So I’ll slot him in this section in the hopes people see his matchup next week against Arizona and it’ll scare them into dropping him. Some serious wishful thinking, I know. And Lamet’s burned streamers before with horrible outings. But since July 23rd Lamet has accumulated a 2.44 ERA (3.21 FIP) and he’s given up just three home runs in 59 innings of work. Now over this span he’s used his changeup just 1.9% of the time. In his first nine starts on the year he accumulated a 6.40 ERA with a 4.98 FIP while giving up 11 home runs in 45 innings of work while throwing his changeup 10% of the time. So since he dropped the usage of the changeup he’s really turned his season around. The walks are still a concern, but he’s limiting the damage while still being a source for strikeouts.
Ben Lively (PHI): You have to really like what you’ve seen from Lively over his last three starts. He’s really come alive-ly! Horrible joke, it sounded better in my head. Over his last three starts (21 innings of work) he’s racked up 16 strikeouts to just five walks and surrendered just one home run. What’s even more impressive is that all these starts have come on the road and his next start against Atlanta will be no different. The Braves offense has also come to life over the past few days. They’ve won seven of their last nine games averaging 5.44 runs per game over that span. Alas, if Lively was playing the Rockies, D-Backs, Nationals, Red Sox, Yankees, etc. on the road there would be more concern. But given his recent success he’s worthy of streaming in this spot.
Tyler Chatwood (COL): Chatwood on the road is back baby! Since moving back into the starting rotation he has a 0.66 ERA, but it does come with a 3.82 FIP so some regression could be coming. It’s doubtful it comes in his next start on the road in San Diego. The Padres still rank in the bottom two in each of the three main slashing categories with a line of .231/.303/.386 and they’ve also scored just four runs in their last four games so they’re sliding right now. Like Lamet, Chatwood’s success may not be just luck, but rather changing his approach to pitching. Throughout the year he threw his curveball, cutter, and change up 12.1%, 20.8%, and 4.9% of the time respectively, while throwing his fastball just 62.3% of the time. Since moving back into the rotation he’s abandoned his changeup altogether and used his curveball and cutter 5.7% of the time and 19.1% of the time while relying mostly on locating his mid-90’s fastball on 75.2% of his pitches. It’s a little risky to be so reliant on one pitch, but it’s worked for him so far and he’s in line for a strong outing against one of the worst offenses in baseball next week.
Carson Fulmer (CHW): Fulmer is under 20% owned on almost every site. His sample size for starts is pretty small. His last two starts have come against Detroit and San Francisco, but he’s thrown 12 innings collecting 14 K’s to just four walks while surrendering one earned run in each start. Now here comes the bad news… He draws the Astros on the road as his only start next week. As mentioned above in the Giolito write up it’s a risky play. But in deeper leagues the options are pretty slim and this might be a matchup you have to bite the bullet, say your prayers, and roll with it.
Desperation Play of the Week… Dillon Peters (MIL): If you thought the Fulmer start was risky, then you haven’t seen Peters matchup yet. The rookie’s lone start next week comes next Saturday (the 23rd) on the road against the Diamondbacks. Huge red flag, I know! In his three starts on the year Peters has a 2.50 ERA with a 9.00 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9. Peters is pretty good at keeping the ball in the park as he’s only surrendered one so far in his young career. If there’s anything to hang your hat on with this matchup it’s that the D-Backs slash .238/.311/.405 against LHP’s this year. They’re still deadly, but this could be a sneaky good matchup for the young southpaw.