It is slowly but surely coming down to the wire in our fantasy baseball leagues. In some H2H leagues, this is the last Max Scherzer Detroit Tigerscouple of weeks before playoffs start. Time to grab those starts from top pitchers before your opponent makes his or her move. That being said, let's take a look at the two start options available for Week 20 of the season.

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Start 'em If You Own 'em

PitcherOpponent 1Opponent 2
Max Scherzer DET8/20/20148/24/2014
 @ TB@ MIN
 Jake Odorizzi TBKyle Gibson MIN
Chris Sale CHW8/18/20148/24/2014
 vs. BAL@ NYY
 Bud Norris BALMichael Pineda NYY
Stephen Strasburg WAS8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. ARIvs. SF
 Chase Anderson ARIRyan Vogelsong SF
Hisashi Iwakuma SEA8/18/20148/24/2014
 Jerome Williams PHIAllen Webster BOS
Jordan Zimmermann WAS8/18/20148/23/2014
 vs. ARIvs. SF
 Vidal Nuno ARITim Lincecum SF
Ervin Santana ATL8/18/20148/23/2014
 Vance Worley PITMike Leake CIN
Chris Archer TB8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. DET@ TOR
 TBADrew Hutchison TOR

It is prolly getting to sound tired for those of you who come back week after week, but I would suggest you insert these pitchers in your lineup and let them go, no matter the venue or the opposition in the dugout across the diamond. Nice to see both Strasburg and Zimmermann going strong as the season winds down toward the post-season. And Scherzer, who admitted that he made a slight adjustment to his mechanics, seems unstoppable right now.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

PitcherOpponent 1Opponent 2
Chase Anderson ARI8/19/20148/24/2014
 @ WASvs. SD
 Stephen Strasburg WASIan Kennedy SD
Tsuyoshi Wada CHC8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. SFvs. BAL
 Ryan Vogelsong SFBud Norris BAL
Kyle Hendricks CHC8/18/20148/23/2014
 @ NYMvs. BAL
 Bartolo Colon NYMKevin Gausman BAL
Michael Pineda NYY8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. HOUvs. CHW
 Brett Oberholtzer HOUChris Sale CHW
Brett Oberholtzer HOU8/19/20148/24/2014
 Michael Pineda NYYTrevor Bauer CLE
Ian Kennedy SD8/19/20148/24/2014
 TBAChase Anderson ARI
Ryan Vogelsong SF8/19/20148/24/2014
 Tsuyoshi Wada CHCStephen Strasburg WAS
Aaron Harang ATL8/19/20148/24/2014
 Francisco Liriano PITAlfredo Simon CIN
Vance Worley PIT8/18/20148/24/2014
 vs. ATL@ MIL
 Ervin Santana ATLWily Peralta MIL
Bartolo Colon NYM8/18/20148/24/2014
 vs. CHC@ LAD
 Kyle Hendricks CHCTBA
Jason Vargas KC8/18/20148/24/2014
 Trevor May MINNick Tepesch TEX
Jered Weaver LAA8/19/20148/24/2014
 Allen Webster BOSJon Lester OAK
Mike Leake CIN8/18/20148/23/2014
 @ STLvs. ATL
 Justin Masterson STLErvin Santana ATL
Trevor Bauer CLE8/19/20148/24/2014
 @ MINvs. HOU
 Kyle Gibson MINBrett Oberholtzer HOU
Bud Norris BAL8/18/20148/24/2014
 Chris Sale CHWTsuyoshi Wada CHC
Vidal Nuno ARI8/18/20148/23/2014
 @ WASvs. SD
 Jordan Zimmermann WASOdrisamer Deaigne SD

Chase Anderson Arizona DiamondbacksNot so many options in the middle tier this week as we normally find, but still some fine choices at the top of the tier. Not exactly chopped liver in the middle sub-tiers, either. Our first sub-tier starts with Anderson and runs down through Kennedy. Anderson is a shining light in the desert, and that is a shame for his fantasy status, as pitching in Arizona is not exactly a great opportunity to rack up wins. He is throwing his sinker for tons of strikeouts, though, and demonstrating great control, so if you need peripheral assistance in the stat department, he's a great pick up. Wada has been pitching as though he is auditioning for a rotation slot in 2015. With three QS in his last four outings, and a 23:5 K/BB ratio over those 25.1 innings, I like his chances. Another Cub SP, Hendricks has strung together five consecutive QS, although the strikeout numbers aren't as impressive as with Wada. He has success by limiting base runners, having allowed only one walk in each of his last three starts, and also holding opposing teams to less than a hit per inning. Pineda is pitching like the sleeper many of us drafted this season, So long as he can effectively throw his slider and fastball and miss bats, he will be successful, even though the shoulder injuries have sapped some of his fastball's velocity. Oberholtzer is severely under owned (11%) for a pitcher coming off six QS in a row. Granted, he is not much of a strikeout source, but there is a place for a SP that doesn't allow earned runs, pitches into the seventh inning and shows great control. The move to San Diego didn't exactly help Kennedy compile a strong W/L record, but it did help him to get his ERA and WHIP back on track. His shaky control worries me, as well as the fact that both his starts this upcoming scoring period are on the road, especially his second start at Arizona, but he is still pitching worthy of be included in your rotation this week if you have him available.

Sub-tier number two opens with Vogelsong and wraps up with Vargas. Vogelson has pitched three consecutive QS, including a complete game beauty against the Metsto start the streak. He has lowered his ERA to 3.71 now with a 1.25 WHIP, and is certainly worth using against the Cubs, although I am reluctant to employ his services in his second start in Washington. Harang has been roughed up by the Dodgers twice in his last four starts, but has been effective otherwise since the beginning of July. He puts too many runners on base to have a usable WHIP, as it currently sits at 1.41, although his ERA is a decent 3.51. He also hasn't been racking up many Ks of late. On the road for two starts this week, I am hesitant to use him, although his record against his old team, the Reds, is much better than that against the Pirates, so consider that if you decide to run him out there. Worley suffered some damage against the Tigers in his last outing, but his curve is still a weapon, and he uses it effectively to miss bats on a regular basis. Not great in terms of match ups, but his team is playing well behind him. Even so, I would err on the side of caution this week. Colon keeps pitching steadily, but has the occasional blow up game. He also pitches for a team that is out of the pennant race, and it shows in their execution on the field. If I had to choose, I would opt for his start at home against the Cubs as opposed to using him on the road at the end of the scoring period against the Dodgers. Vargas rounds out the middle sub-tier, and has been getting the job done since early June, with only a couplc of missteps along the way. Middling strikeout potential, but you have to like the way his team is coming on, as wel as his control. He sports an ERA of 3.27 and a 1.20 WHIP presently, and he has two winnable match ups this coming week, facing the Twins and Rangers. Just be wary of another misstep.

Ryan Vogelsong San Francisco GiantsThe final sub-tier consists of pitchers that may be worth consideration, but only if you are feeling desperate for starts this week. We kick off with Weaver and finalize the middle tier with Nuno. Weaver had made it back to the upper tier, but he is out of my good graces again. He has decent peripherals, but I don't like his K rate, nor his recent trend of only lasting six innigns. Let's face it, he will never be one of my favorites, and with two poor performances in his past four outings, he is at the top of the bottom sub-tier for a reason. Leake, before his last rough start against the Red Sox, had tossed three QS. He worries me that he is back to his ways of allowing four earned runs in his starts, as he did in mid-July. His lack of predictablity makes me shy away. Bauer was superb in his last appearance, striking out nine Diamondback hitters over eight innings, and limiting the opposition to two earned runs on only four hits and two walks. Do I think he turned the corner? Not by a long shot. He will give you the occasional brillant start, then much things up for another two or three games. Not for me, thank you very much. Norris is steadier than Bauer, but is also prone to allowing a bunch of runs in any appearance. At least the strikeouts are increasing, so he has that working for him recently. Nuno hasn't pitched poorly since moving to the Diamondbacks, he just hasn't been overwhelming. He offers a decent number of strikeouts, and generally keeps his team in the game, but with his team, that is not any guarantee of success on the mound. As a last ditch option, maybe I would use him. Certainly the start at the end of the week against the Padres has potential. On the road against the Nationals, not likely.

Not on Your Roster

PitcherOpponent 1Opponent 2
Allen Webster BOS8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. LAAvs. SEA
 Jered Weaver LAAHisashi Iwakuma SEA
Brandon Workman BOS8/18/20148/23/2014
 vs. LAAvs. SEA
 C.J. Wilson LAAChris Young SEA
Justin Masterson STL8/18/20148/24/2014
 vs. CIN@ PHI
 Mike Leake CINJerome Williams PHI
Kyle Gibson MIN8/19/20148/24/2014
 vs. CLEvs. DET
 Trevor Bauer CLEMax Scherzer DET
Trevor May MIN8/18/20148/23/2014
 vs. KCvs. DET
 Jason Vargas KCRobbie Ray DET
C.J. Wilson LAA8/18/20148/23/2014
 Brandon Workman BOSSonny Gray OAK
Jerome Williams PHI8/18/20148/24/2014
 vs. SEAvs. STL
 Hisashi Iwakuma SEAJustin Masterson STL
Alfredo Simon CIN8/19/20148/24/2014
 @ STLvs. ATL
 John Lackey STLAaron Harang ATL

I cannot in good conscience tell you to start any of these pitchers this week. Of the group, I trust Wilson the most, and I C.J. Wilson Los Angeles Angels of Anaheimdon't feel that he is back to normal at all. Masterson's excellent last start doesn't fool me...yet. String together a few good starts and then let's talk. The rest are either wildly inconsistent or consistently poor options. Avoid these SPs if at all possible.

Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at to continue the discussion.