Editor’s Note: This piece is being written Friday afternoon/night to be scheduled early Saturday morning. So my apologies for not highlighting stats from Friday. For example, it’s noted below how the Giants have lost 11 straight games heading into Friday night. By the time you read this they may have won a game or dropped another. Best of luck to you all in your fantasy playoff matchups!


Ten-Team Leagues

Sean Newcomb (ATL) – I know people will have their reservations about Newcomb. He’s allowed five earned runs or more in three of his last six starts and he has just two quality starts over that span. But next week he faces off against the Phillies at home. The good news for Newcomb is that the Phillies do not hit lefties that well. With just two weeks to go they’re slashing just .230/.313/.354 against southpaws. The Phillies also don’t hit the ball too well on the road, ranking in the bottom ten out of all teams with a .699 road OPS. Add in the fact that Philadelphia has lost nine of their last 11 games to fall even further behind the Braves in the NL East and this is turning into a pretty tasty matchup for Newcomb.

Dereck Rodriguez (SF) – In his last nine starts Rodriguez has a 1.91 ERA, a 2.54 BB/9, and a .048 HR/9. Few can explain how in all 16 starts he’s had this year he only has one start where he’s allowed four or more earned runs. His ERA on the year is 2.35 while his FIP sits at 3.39 and his xFIP is 4.30 so it’s hard to comprehend. But he’s kept it up. We’re way past the point in the season where we say “this isn’t sustainable and he’ll regress.” There are only two weeks left, let’s just accept what he’s doing and worry about regression next year. He won’t strike many batters out, but his arsenal caters to AT&T Park because he’s given up six home runs all year. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, his lone start next week comes on the road in St. Louis. But in his last start against the Cardinals he lasted 6.2 innings giving up just two earned runs so he has some appeal next week.

CC Sabathia (NYY) – I was initially worried that Sabathia would draw the Red Sox early next week, but fear not fellow streamers! The big guy gets the Orioles next Friday night at home so grab him while you can! Since July 28th, in 39.2 innings of work, Sabathia has an 11.57 K/9 and a 0.45 HR/9. The walks are still an issue, but he’s been pitching better than his 3.63 ERA would suggest considering he has a 2.75 FIP. Next Friday’s matchup against Baltimore is just too good to pass up. The Orioles are just horrendous offensively and they’re easily the worst team in the league. They suck against lefties and they suck on the road. I love Sabathia next week to aid your playoff team.


12-Team Leagues

Jakob Junis (KC) – Junis has been one of the best pitchers in baseball as of late. Since August 6th, in 46 innings of work spanning seven starts he has a 2.15 ERA, 46% ground ball rate, and a 0.98 BB/9. Speaking of the walks, he hasn’t allowed a walk in over 30 straight innings! So if you play in a categories league that incorporates BB/9, WHIP, or K:BB this is a guy you should look to stream. He’s also not a terrible source of strikeouts either. He faces the Twins at home on Sunday to finish the week out so if you are desperate for a last minute streaming option, this could be your guy. Next week he’ll toe the rubber against the Tigers on the road.

Steven Matz (NYM) – Matz, like Sean Newcomb listed above, is a left-handed pitcher. Also like Newcomb, Matz faces the Philadelphia Phillies next week. And as we’ve previously noted the Phillies are awful against left-handed pitching. There’s plenty of reason to like Matz, but at the same time there are quite a few concerns as well. For starters, he’s generated 37 strikeouts in his last 32.1 innings of work while inducting a respectable 12.1% swinging strike rate. However, over that same span he’s given up seven home runs, three of which have been to the Phillies. In 12 innings of work against Philadelphia this year he’s given up four home runs, seven earned runs while allowing seven walks. Have the Phillies had Matz’s number? Sure, but they’re also slumping right now and Matz does as well as anybody can despite giving up home runs at an undesirable rate.

Matthew Boyd (MIN) – There’s some risk with Boyd as of late because he’s allowed four home runs in his last three starts and eight in his last seven. However, since July 20th he’s averaging an 8.90 K/9, 1.61 BB/9, and a 3.06 ERA (3.50 FIP). That’s really good for a guy who is roughly 29% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Boyd’s next two starts come against the Twins, and if you’ve noticed a re-occurring theme with this week’s piece it’s that Boyd (a lefty) has a matchup against a team that struggles against left-handed pitching. Minnesota is slashing .242/.310/.364 against southpaws on the season.


Deeper League Options

Jorge Lopez (KC) – It hasn’t been all sunshine and daisies for Lopez since he was acquired by the Royals. In five starts with Kansas City he has three starts where he’s surrendered one earned run or less, but in the other two outings he gave up five or more earned runs. He’s not the best strikeout pitcher as evidenced by his 6.91 K/9 since joining the Royals rotation, but his 3.57 FIP compared to his 4.40 ERA suggests that maybe he’s just been a victim of bad luck. In his last two starts he’s worked 15 innings, striking out 12 batters, and giving up just one walk. Oddly enough his last outing came against the Twins who he’ll take the mound against next week. This time he’ll be performing in Kaufmann Stadium so he gets the benefit of the ballpark upgrade.

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) – Since August, Chen has been a fairly reliable starting pitcher. Over his last six starts he has a 2.04 ERA, a 9.17 K/9, and a 2.04 BB/9. That’s pretty damn good for a good who is under 20% owned. The issue is that he plays for the Marlins and has just six wins on the year. Sure, he’s also dealt with some injuries that have limited him to 118.1 innings in 2018 as of Friday. But lately he’s been pretty good. Next Thursday he’ll be hosting the Reds in Miami so there’s the added benefit of pitching at home that’ll suppress some offense. Check out Chen’s home/road splits on the year and stream with confidence:























Brad Keller (KC) – Junis and Lopez’s teammate, Brad Keller , cracks the streamers list as well. Unlike the other two, Keller has two starts next week on the road in Pittsburgh and Detroit. Neither offense is particularly over powering so this could be a good time to take advantage of Keller who has been quite hot on the mound lately. Since August 13th he has a 1.85 ERA, but a 3.62 FIP. Again, I’m not going to predict regression this late in the season, but he has gotten a bit lucky. He does tend to pitch better at home than on the road, so if you’re a little nervous about Keller, then go with Chen instead. Keller warrants consideration because he does have two starts.