The top tier is graced by some SP's that are earning their passage to the upper reaches of dual start desirability. The middle tier is also filled with hurlers that you may wish to pursue if they reside in your free agent/waiver wire pool this week. As ever, unfortunately, there are some pitchers you should avoid if you value your pitching stats, and the bottom tier is again chock full of those options that are not even worthy of streaming consideration. Choose wisely as we head into the final days of August.

Please realize that these articles feature most recent rotation information available when the article is written, but that circumstances do change due to weather conditions, injuries and general craziness with managers. If a pitcher listed here as having two starts ends up with one (or perhaps none) in the upcoming week, apologies but this article is meant to provide analysis, it is up to the manager to set the lineups or rotations.

Without further ado, here are this week’s two start pitchers:

 Start 'em If You Own 'em 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Lance Lynn@ TOR vs. CHC 
 CHWAlek ManoahAlec Mills
 Mon, 8/23, 7:07 PM Sat, 8/28, 7:10 PM 
Zack Greinkevs. KC @ TEX 
 HOUDaniel LynchMike Foltynewicz
 Mon, 8/23, 8:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 2:35 PM 
José Berríosvs. CHW @ DET 
 TORDylan CeaseWily Peralta
 Tue, 8/24, 7:07 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Tyler Mahle@ MIL @ MIA 
 CINTBDJesús Luzardo
 Tue, 8/24, 8:10 PMSun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Jack Flahertyvs. DET @ PIT 
 STLCasey MizeJ.T. Brubaker
 Tue, 8/24, 7:45 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM 
Kyle Hendricksvs. COL @ CHW 
 CHCAntonio SenzatelaDylan Cease
 Mon, 8/23, 8:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 2:10 PM 
Dylan Cease@ TOR vs. CHC 
 CHWJosé BerríosKyle Hendricks
 Tue, 8/24, 7:07 PM Sun, 8/29, 2:10 PM 
Shane McClanahan@ PHI @ BAL 
 TBRanger SuárezSpenser Watkins
 Tue, 8/24, 7:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM 
Alek Manoahvs. CHW @ DET 
 TORLance LynnTyler Alexander
 Mon, 8/23, 7:07 PM Sat, 8/28, 6:10 PM 
Madison Bumgarner@ PIT @ PHI 
 ARIJ.T. BrubakerRanger Suárez
 Tue, 8/24, 7:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM 

There are some unfamiliar names gracing the upper tier this week, in the form of Mahle, McClanahan and Manoah. It is difficult to argue with their recent success on the bump, however, and they occupy this rarefied territory based upon their demonstrated skill set of late. Use all these arms to their full capacity this week, and the results will be rewarding for your fantasy efforts. Even if there are some dips in the fantasy starting pitching highway, rest assured that these arms are the best options for dual starts this scoring period. Although there are also some lesser lights in the tier below for you to consider, as well.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Marco Gonzales@ OAK vs. KC 
 SEATBDDaniel Lynch
 Mon, 8/23, 9:40 PMSun, 8/29, 4:10 PM 
Ranger Suárezvs. TB vs. ARI 
 PHIShane McClanahanMadison Bumgarner
 Tue, 8/24, 7:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM 
Tylor Megillvs. SF vs. WAS 
 NYMAnthony DeSclafaniErick Fedde
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Daniel Lynch@ HOU @ SEA 
 KCZack GreinkeMarco Gonzales
 Mon, 8/23, 8:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 4:10 PM 
Cole Irvinvs. SEA vs. NYY 
 OAKChris FlexenAndrew Heaney
 Tue, 8/24, 3:37 PM Sun, 8/29, 7:08 PM 
Bailey Ober@ BOS vs. MIL 
 MINNick PivettaTBD
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 2:10 PM
Elijah Morganvs. TEX vs. BOS 
 CLEMike FoltynewiczNick Pivetta
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Mike Foltynewicz@ CLE vs. HOU 
 TEXElijah MorganZack Greinke
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 2:35 PM 
Anthony DeSclafani@ NYM @ ATL 
 SFTylor MegillTouki Toussaint
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:20 PM 

Gonzales has dominated the Rangers, having faced them in three of his last four starts, and holding them to just two earned runs over those 20.1 IP. Alas, he does not face Texas this week, instead heading on the road, to face the A’s then taking on the visiting Royals back in Seattle. He has been more effective away from home the last couple of years, so the away game is not a major concern, and facing the last place Royals is also promising. He is an average strikeout producer who has the potential to provide victories and/or quality starts (QS) for his owners.

Saurez is putting up excellent ratio stats that would be attractive on their own (1.47 ERA and 1.02 WHIP) but he also is putting up good K numbers (8.7 K/9 over 55.0 IP, four starts) making him well worth using in this two-start week. He has two home starts on the slate in Week 22, although the second is against the Diamondbacks who just roughed him up for his first loss in about a month, and the week opens against the first place Rays.

Megill recently tossed a QS against the host Giants, dropping his already attractive ratios to 3.21 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. His 4.0 K/BB ratio is valuable as well, demonstrating his strikeout ability and control on the hill. As with Suarez above, he has a pair of home games on tap, although his home/road splits are better suited to ride with him as a two-start option this week, even against the first-place Giants.

Lynch has been alternating between allowing three and one earned tallies his last four games, and is coming off a one run effort against the Astros. He gets to take on the same Houston team, albeit on the road for his next start, and his second start in Week 22 is also on the road, against the Mariners. In his last five starts, he has posted a 2.35 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, although only a pedestrian 7.0 K/9 rate. 

Since June 27th, Irwin has tossed six QS out of nine starts, and collected a victory in his last outing, where he allowed three earned runs over 6.0 IP. Irwin relies on his control to be effective, as generating whiffs is not his forte (6.2 K/9 over 141.1 IP). Although his home/road splits are about even, he does have a pair of home tilts on the calendar this coming week.

Ober had been scheduled for two starts last week, but gets the honor this week, instead. He offers both control and strikeout production, but until his last start, had not lasted long enough to be eligible for a QS, which he did have against the visiting Cleveland team. He does not have the greatest matchups, heading to Boston and then facing the Brewers at home, thus his lower ranking in the middle tier.

Morgan, in a limited sample size of just 54.1 IP, has been a better pitcher at home than on the road, so two road starts is not entirely favorable this week. The game against the last place Rangers would be the better time to use him, as the Red Sox are more difficult to defeat at home.

Foltynewicz, the 29-year-old righty, is working on a three consecutive QS streak. He does get to take on the division leading Astros at home, which is a positive for the Ranger hurler. If not for his recent success, he would be residing in the bottom tier. Keep that in mind when deciding on whether or not to use him in your rotation(s).

DeSclafani wraps up the middle tier, and is coming off an aborted start due to ankle discomfort against the Mets, who he gets to face in Week 22 again. He is a better road warrior, so two road games in the coming scoring period is a positive for him and his owners. He offers good K production and good control (8.3 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in 2021), and if not for the ankle concern, would not be winding up the middle group.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Antonio Senzatela@ CHC @ LAD 
 COLKyle HendricksTBD
 Mon, 8/23, 8:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 4:10 PM
Nick Pivettavs. MIN @ CLE 
 BOSBailey OberElijah Morgan
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Erick Fedde@ MIA @ NYM 
 WASJesús LuzardoTylor Megill
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
Wil Crowevs. ARI vs. STL 
 PITTBDAdam Wainwright
 Mon, 8/23, 7:05 PMSat, 8/28, 7:05 PM 
Spenser Watkinsvs. LAA vs. TB 
 BALDylan BundyShane McClanahan
 Tue, 8/24, 7:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM 
Jesús Luzardovs. WAS vs. CIN 
 MIAErick FeddeTyler Mahle
 Tue, 8/24, 7:10 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:10 PM 
J.T. Brubakervs. ARI vs. STL 
 PITMadison BumgarnerJack Flaherty
 Tue, 8/24, 7:05 PM Sun, 8/29, 1:05 PM

There are just seven denizens of the lowest tier this scoring period. Senzatela does get to pitch away from Coors Field for both his starts this week, but that is not a strong point for him based on his 2021 home/road splits. Pivetta has been inconsistent during recent history, so even with a decent home start to open the week, he is not a great arm to trust until his consistency improves. The balance are the sorts of arms that you would do well to avoid inserting into your rotations if you value your fantasy stat lines.

Potential Streaming Options for Week 

There is no promise that each game day will provide a streaming option. First of all, the pitcher must be available in at least 50% of leagues to be a viable candidate to snag off the wire. Then, the pitchers discussed above are not included as they have a different sort of value, even though some might be available as free agents in your league. Plus, some days the matchups and/or venues just do not figure as positive enough factors to favor plugging the arm into your rotation, even for one start. That all being said, here are this week’s best streaming candidates:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Miles Mikolas STL @ PIT Dillon Peters

The veteran righthander looked good in his return to action after sitting out since May, allowing two runs (both unearned). Here he gets to face the same team he took on at home (and lost to, despite pitching well overall), although at PNC Park this time. Facing the Pirates has been a fine thing for many SPs this season, and Mikolas is likely to be freed of any restrictive pitch counts in this contest and going forward. 

Nestor Cortes NYY @ OAK James Kaprielian

The 26 year-old southpaw has racked up a pair of QS in his most recent two starts, and now heads out to the West Coast to attempt to continue that enviable trend. He offers both strikeout numbers (9.6 K/9) and control (2.6 BB/9) that are useful but the long ball propensity is of concern, especially with him pitching away from Yankee Stadium in this outing.

Friday, August 27, 2021

J.A. Happ STL @ PIT Steven Brault

Steven Brault PIT vs J.A. Happ STL

This is the first of two games where both sides of the starting pitcher lineup is useful for streaming purposes. Certainly, a Pirate SP has less cache, due to the less powerful offense backing him, but Brault has been sharp in his three trips to toe the rubber since being activated from the IL, and just held the Dodgers scoreless over 5.2 IP. Happ came within an out of completing his second consecutive QS in holding the host Royals scoreless on five hits.  

Eric Lauer MIL @ MIN Kenta Maeda

Lauer had a short four inning start in his first time back on the hill after hitting the COVID list, holding the Pirates to just a single tally. He has another road start, this time in Minnesota. He has a good chance to rack up some Ks at Target Field, although the opponent is just a mid-level option for K production.

Reynaldo López CHW vs CHC Justin Steele

The White Sox have been allowing Lopez to build up his pitch count, and he is coming off a 5.0 IP effort where he held the visiting A’s scoreless on just a single safety and two free passes. Here, he gets a home start against a weak opponent on the road in the Cubs. Because of the inning limit, he will be limited in providing a ton of Ks, but the 9.4 K/9 rate does promise some whiffs, especially against the free-swinging Cubs.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Griffin Jax MIN vs MIL Corbin Burnes

Jax has been working to reduce his inflated ERA, which now sits at a still unattractive 5.11 on the season, but that is a far sight better than the 8.66 ERA he was saddled with on July 3rd. He is working on a two game QS streak, as well. This is not the greatest matchup, to be certain, but the stat trend plays in the rookie’s favor as a streaming option.

Carlos Hernández KC @ SEA Tyler Anderson

Tyler Anderson SEA vs KC Carlos Hernández

This is the second set of SP’s that face one another in a contest this week that are being suggested as streaming options, and both have their pluses and negatives. The Mariner southpaw Anderson demonstrates better control among the two SPs (1.9 BB/9 opposed to Hernandez’s inflated 4.3 BB/9), but Hernandez misses more bats (9.0 K/9 vs 7.3 for Anderson). Anderson is also pitching at home, where he has been much better this season to date.

Alec Mills CHC @ CHW Lance Lynn

Mills was charged with the loss in his last outing, but pitched well, holding the host Marlins to just a pair of earned runs through 5.2 IP. He has not allowed more than three earner runs in any of his last 11 appearances. On the negative side, his K rate has been decreasing over recent history, so do not expect many counting stats although the ratio numbers should be presentable.

Kolby Allard TEX vs HOU Framber Valdez

Allard had been on quite a losing streak, dropping eight of nine contests before picking up the victory in a QS against the visiting A’s where he allowed three earned runs on seven hits, while picking up two Ks. He does get to face a tough opponent at home, which evens the odds a tad.

Tyler Alexander DET vs TOR Alek Manoah

The first of two Tiger hurlers to wrap up the streaming options, Alexander is coming off his first QS of the season, a game where he allowed just one earned run (on a dinger to Vladimir Guerrero as one of four hits allowed) to the host Blue Jays. The Jays are not known as free swingers but he did collect six Ks on the road, and now gets to take on the same squad at home.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Wily Peralta DET vs TOR José Berríos

The streaming options wind up with another Detroit arm, the veteran righthander who stepped into the Tiger rotation mid-June, and has provide useful ratio stats: 3.70 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. It is a home start for the 32-year-old pitcher, and his home/road splits indicate that to be highly favorable.

Feel free also to send any starting pitching or other fantasy baseball questions to for a private response to your specific issue. The more detail you can provide about your team and league, including settings (H2H vs roto, points or categories, weekly or daily moves, roster size, league size, etc.) the better the response will be suited to your individual situation. As ever, good luck and Godspeed in all your fantasy endeavors.