The number of bottom tier arms is precisely equal to the pitchers that make up the top two tiers, although one or two of those in the lower group could be employed for one of their two starts so that tempers the situation somewhat. As we head into the final weeks of the season and the division races start to sort out, it is no time for the fantasy owners to slack off. Chose your rotations wisely as you compete for the crown in your league(s).

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
Shohei Ohtanivs. TEX @ SD 
 LAAA.J. AlexyYu Darvish
 Mon, 9/6, 9:07 PM Wed, 9/8, 8:10 PM 
Max Scherzer@ STL vs. SD 
 LADMiles MikolasRyan Weathers
 Mon, 9/6, 4:15 PM Sat, 9/11, 9:10 PM 
Brandon Woodruffvs. PHI @ CLE 
 MILMatt MooreTriston McKenzie
 Mon, 9/6, 2:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:10 PM 
Gerrit Colevs. TOR @ NYM 
 NYYSteven MatzCarlos Carrasco
 Tue, 9/7, 7:05 PM Sun, 9/12, 8:08 PM 
Aaron Nola@ MIL vs. COL 
 PHITBDChi Chi Gonzalez
 Tue, 9/7, 7:40 PMSun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Kevin Gausman@ COL @ CHC 
 SFKyle FreelandJustin Steele
 Mon, 9/6, 4:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:20 PM 
Chris Salevs. TB @ CHW 
 BOSRyan YarbroughLucas Giolito
 Mon, 9/6, 1:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:10 PM 
Lance McCullersvs. SEA vs. LAA 
 HOUYusei KikuchiShohei Ohtani
 Mon, 9/6, 7:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:10 PM 
Max Friedvs. WAS vs. MIA 
 ATLPaolo EspinoEdward Cabrera
 Tue, 9/7, 7:20 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:20 PM 

A full nine arms that you should consider inserting into your rotation and forgetting about them for the next seven days. None of these hurlers should grace your bench; remain vigilant as the season works its way to the inexorable conclusion for fantasy purposes. 

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Triston McKenzievs. MIN vs. MIL 
 CLEJohn GantBrandon Woodruff
 Tue, 9/7, 6:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:10 PM 
Bailey Ober@ CLE vs. KC 
 MINLogan AllenCarlos Hernandez
 Mon, 9/6, 6:10 PM Sat, 9/11, 7:10 PM 
Alek Manoah@ NYY @ BAL 
 TORNestor CortesJohn Means
 Wed, 9/8, 7:05 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Steven Matz@ NYY @ BAL 
 TORGerrit ColeSpenser Watkins
 Tue, 9/7, 7:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 4:35 PM 
Carlos Hernandez@ BAL @ MIN 
 KCSpenser WatkinsBailey Ober
 Mon, 9/6, 1:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 7:10 PM 
Mike Minor@ BAL @ MIN 
 KCMatt HarveyJohn Gant
 Tue, 9/7, 7:05 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:10 PM 
Kyle Freelandvs. SF @ PHI 
 COLKevin GausmanMatt Moore
 Mon, 9/6, 4:10 PM Sat, 9/11, 6:05 PM 
Paolo Espino@ ATL @ PIT 
 WASMax FriedMax Kranick
 Tue, 9/7, 7:20 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Tarik Skubal@ PIT vs. TB 
 DETMax KranickLuis Patino
 Mon, 9/6, 1:35 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:10 PM 
Carlos Carrasco@ MIA vs. NYY 
 NYMEdward CabreraGerrit Cole
 Tue, 9/7, 6:40 PM Sun, 9/12, 8:08 PM 

The Cleveland youngster, McKenzie, is working on a five-game consecutive quality start (QS) streak, and he has held opposing offenses to just a single earned run over his last two outings. He has amassed an excellent set of ratio stats during this five-game run: 1.85 ERA and 0.50 WHIP, to go with a helpful 9.0 K/9 over those 34.0 IP. Both his Week 24 starts are at home, as well.

Ober, the 26-year-old righthanded rookie hurler for the Twins, has not allowed more than three earned tallies in any of his last eight outings, during which time he has also racked up an impressive 40:6 K/BB ratio. He has a couple of division matchups on the schedule, and as he is pitching slightly better on the road than at home, having the tougher contest away from Target Field plays in his favor this week. 

Manoah is demonstrating some rookie inconsistency, having allowed six earned runs twice in his last four starts, but only gave up three earned tallies in the other two games during this recent stretch. He has a couple of trips to the hill scheduled to take place on the road, but the second is at Baltimore, as favorable an away venue as can be asked for this season. His strikeout production and control are inconsistent, so the second start looks to be his better start for his fantasy owners to plug him into their lineups this coming week.

Matz has been superb over his last six starts, posting a stunning 1.65 ERA over the 32.2 IP during that stretch of games, and a serviceable 1.22 WHIP. He is on the road for these two starts in Week 24, but has been better while in foreign ballparks this season, and despite not whiffing a lot of normally free-swinging Tigers, should rack up some Ks in these pending contests.

Hernandez notched a victory in a QS against the visiting White Sox last time he toed the rubber, and has put up four QS out of his last seven starts. His ERA has been dropping to its current attractive 3.57 figure. Although he has two away contests on the schedule, he is another SP that is pitching better on the road than when he can enjoy home cooking. He also racks up nearly a K per inning pitched on the season.

Minor is the second Royal SP gracing the middle tier this week, and he is definitely the second option to consider this scoring period. He has pitched acceptably since All-Star break, not great, not terrible. The matchups are as good for him as his teammate profiled above, and his control helps him limit the offensive damage generally.

As was said of Minor above, Freeland is neither good nor awful, either at home or on the road, and he has one of each type of game this week coming up. He has a decent K potential (8.0 K/9) with good control (2.5 BB/9 through 91.2 IP in 2021), which keeps him viable as a SP option in his two start weeks. 

Espino, the 34-year-old righthanded veteran, would be a better option had he not lined up for two road starts in Week 24. He offers average K potential, relying more on his control to be effective. He does not pitch deep enough into games to help in QS counting leagues, and pitching for the Nats means wins are not exactly falling from the skies into his lap, but his ratios are useful: 4.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP (thanks to that good control mentioned above).

Skubal continues to rack up the Ks, collecting 29 over his most recent 22.1 IP. His second matchup against the Rays looks promising for continue K production, and it is helpful to get the AL East leaders at home is better than heading to Florida for the tilt. The first game in Week 24 against the Pittsburgh squad is certainly his best potential to seek a victory and/or QS, though.

Carrasco struggled once he arrived with the Mets, but has been settling down over his last three starts. His ERA is still an unappealing 6.59, but he has posted a 16:2 K/BB ratio over those 17.1 IP. He is not a top option this week, despite the two starts, but the first outing against Miami in their pitcher friendly park is not a bad opening to the scoring period.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
John Meansvs. KC vs. TOR 
 BALTBDAlek Manoah
 Wed, 9/8, 7:05 PMSun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Hyun-Jin Ryu@ NYY @ BAL 
 TORJameson TaillonSpenser Watkins
 Mon, 9/6, 1:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 4:35 PM 
Wade Miley@ CHC @ STL 
 CINJustin SteeleJ.A. Happ
 Mon, 9/6, 2:20 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:15 PM 
Jameson Taillonvs. TOR @ NYM 
 NYYHyun-Jin RyuTaijuan Walker
 Mon, 9/6, 1:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 7:40 PM 
J.A. Happvs. LAD vs. CIN 
 STLTBDWade Miley
 Tue, 9/7, 7:45 PMSun, 9/12, 2:15 PM 
Edward Cabreravs. NYM @ ATL 
 MIACarlos CarrascoMax Fried
 Tue, 9/7, 6:40 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:20 PM 
Miles Mikolasvs. LAD vs. CIN 
 STLMax ScherzerLuis Castillo
 Mon, 9/6, 4:15 PM Sat, 9/11, 7:15 PM 
Justin Steelevs. CIN vs. SF 
 CHCWade MileyKevin Gausman
 Mon, 9/6, 2:20 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:20 PM 
Matt Moore@ MIL vs. COL 
 PHIBrandon WoodruffKyle Freeland
 Mon, 9/6, 2:10 PM Sat, 9/11, 6:05 PM 
Matt Harveyvs. KC vs. TOR 
 BALMike MinorHyun-Jin Ryu
 Tue, 9/7, 7:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 4:35 PM 
John Gant@ CLE vs. KC 
 MINTriston McKenzieMike Minor
 Tue, 9/7, 6:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 2:10 PM 
James Kaprielianvs. CHW vs. TEX 
 Tue, 9/7, 9:40 PM Sun, 9/12, 4:07 PM 
Logan Allenvs. MIN vs. MIL 
 CLEBailey OberCorbin Burnes
 Mon, 9/6, 6:10 PM Sat, 9/11, 6:10 PM 
A.J. Alexy@ LAA @ OAK 
 TEXShohei OhtaniJames Kaprielian
 Mon, 9/6, 9:07 PM Sun, 9/12, 4:07 PM 
Spenser Watkinsvs. KC vs. TOR 
 BALCarlos HernandezHyun-Jin Ryu
 Mon, 9/6, 1:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 4:35 PM 
Max Kranickvs. DET vs. WAS 
 PITTarik SkubalPaolo Espino
 Mon, 9/6, 1:35 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Chi Chi Gonzalezvs. SF @ PHI 
 COLLogan WebbAaron Nola
 Tue, 9/7, 8:40 PM Sun, 9/12, 1:05 PM 
Patrick Corbinvs. NYM @ PIT 
 WASTrevor WilliamsWil Crowe
 Mon, 9/6, 1:05 PM Sat, 9/11, 6:35 PM 
Yusei Kikuchi@ HOU vs. ARI 
 SEALance McCullersTyler Gilbert
 Mon, 9/6, 7:10 PM Sun, 9/12, 4:10 PM

A true boatload of dual start options that for the most part should not grace your lineups this scoring period. Means atop the bottom tier would be the best of the lot, although his home/road splits indicate against using him in Camden Yards despite some attractive ratio stats on the season, and the K/BB rate. Alas and alack, if he were on the road he would have been in the middle tier. The rest of these SPs are not worthy of your consideration, unless you are truly desperate for some IP due to your league requirements.

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:

Monday, September 6, 2021

Trevor Williams NYM @ WAS Patrick Corbin

Williams has been effective whether used as a spot starter or out of the bullpen since arriving in New York, posting a 0.69 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through his four appearances (13.0 IP). He is not a huge K producer in that stretch, but has been striking out nearly a batter per inning this season (8.8 K/9). 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Drew Rasmussen TB @ BOS Eduardo Rodriguez

Rasmussen sports an attractive set of ratio stats, with a 3.38 ERA and 1.20 WHIP accumulated over his 56.0 IP to date. He is also striking out better than a batter per inning (63 Ks, 10.1 K/9). The main downside to using him is that he has lasted five innings only once this season, so victories and QS are not a probable result when he climbs the hill.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Mitch Keller PIT vs DET Matt Manning

Keller is coming off a fine effort against the Cubs, where he held them scoreless over six innings on six hits, while fanning eight and not handing out a free pass. He has not been consistently prolific on the bump, admittedly, but does provide Ks at a good rate (8.8 K/9) and gets the Tigers at home, a team that has struggled on the road.

Luke Weaver ARI vs TEX Glenn Otto

Glenn Otto TEX @ ARI Luke Weaver

The first of three head-to-head matchups featured here this week, both these arms have limited recent action to judge them by, Weaver due to coming back from injury, Otto due to a recent promotion to the big leagues from Triple-A. Both are good sources of strikeouts, Otto seemingly more so if his minor league numbers continue to play out at the MLB level. These two SPs have demonstrated recent success in extremely small sample sizes, so buyer beware.

Nestor Cortes NYY vs TOR Alex Manoah

Cortes does not have an easy matchup here, but it is difficult to discount his stat line: 2.67 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 71 Ks in 67.1 IP. He does get to face the Jays at home here, where he has enjoyed huge success to date.

Tyler Anderson SEA @ HOU Jose Urquidy

Anderson has twirled three QS out of his last four starts, and the fourth outing was a 5.1 IP no-decision where he allowed just two earned tallies to the host Astros. He gets to face the Astros again in this contest, and will rely on his control and average K production to seek yet another QS, or better.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Daniel Lynch KC @ BAL Chris Ellis

It has been a truth again this season that SPs taking on the Orioles are a good bet to stream. The rookie southpaw has been strong over his recent three starts, as well, racking up a superb 1.62 ERA. The major concern is his control, having yielded nine walks over those 16.2 IP, resulting in an inflated 1.56 WHIP.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Reynaldo Lopez CHW vs BOS Tanner Houck 

Lopez should see this start, as the White Sox deal with injuries to their starting rotation late in the year. He carries a superb 1.54 ERA and 0.69 WHIP on the season, and is good for a K per inning.

Tyler Alexander DET vs TB Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha @ DET Tyler Alexander

The second of the head-to-head matchup games featured this week, both these hurlers have good control to back their performance on the hill. Wacha is the better source of Ks, although Alexander has been more effective at keeping runners from crossing the plate on a consistent basis in recent history.

Brady Singer KC @ MIN Griffin Jax

Singer has been turning things around for himself, having tossed a pair of QS among his last three starts. His recent uptick in production has been operating to push down his inflated ratios, and he gets to face the last place Twins in this outing, which coupled with his success on the road this season, makes him a good streaming option.

Paul Blackburn OAK vs TEX Kolby Allard

In three starts since rejoining the Oakland rotation, he has been superb with a sub-3 ERA (2.81) and useful 1.19 WHIP through 16.0 IP. Here, he gets a 47-win last place team at home, a great matchup.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Chris Archer TB @ DET Matthew Boyd

Matthew Boyd Det vs Chris Archer TB

The final head-to-head matchup this round of streaming options, Boyd gets the home start, and he has been strong when toeing the rubber in Comerica Park this season. Archer is coming off his longest outing in 2021, a five-inning victory where he was not exactly looking like a former All-Star. Boyd is probably the better bet in this game, all things considered, although Archer is backed by the stronger offense.

Taylor Hearn TEX @ OAK Cole Irvin

Hearn is a decent streaming option, based on his recent starting efforts, including his most recent QS against the Astros where he held the visiting opponent to two earned runs through 6.2 IP, collecting half a dozen Ks and not giving up a free pass. Couple that with Irvin’s recent lack of success on the hill, and Hearn is looking like a worthy rotation option.

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.