These are interesting times when it comes to evaluating pitching with the mid-season implementation of the foreign substance rules by MLB, but even so, we have a baker’s dozen of top tier aces to use for two starts this scoring period. Not so many middle tier options with just eight arms to consider, although the lower group is chock full of hurlers to avoid.

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
Trevor Bauervs. SF @ WAS 
 LADAnthony DeSclafaniJoe Ross
 Mon, 6/28, 10:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 11:05 AM 
Lucas Giolitovs. MIN @ DET 
 CHWBailey OberWily Peralta
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:10 PM 
Brandon Woodruffvs. CHC @ PIT 
 MILZach DaviesChad Kuhl
 Tue, 6/29, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:05 PM 
Jose Berrios@ CHW @ KC 
 MINDylan CeaseBrad Keller
 Tue, 6/29, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 2:10 PM 
Zack Greinkevs. BAL @ CLE 
 HOUTom EshelmanJean-Carlos Mejia
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:10 PM 
Kyle Hendricks@ MIL @ CIN 
 CHCFreddy PeraltaTony Santillan
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:10 PM 
Freddy Peraltavs. CHC @ PIT 
 MILKyle HendricksChase De Jong
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:05 PM 
Trevor Rogers@ PHI @ ATL 
 MIATBDKyle Wright
 Tue, 6/29, 7:05 PMSun, 7/4, 1:20 PM 
Anthony DeSclafani@ LAD @ ARI 
 SFTrevor BauerTBD
 Mon, 6/28, 10:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 9:10 PM
Robbie Rayvs. SEA vs. TB 
 TORChris FlexenRyan Yarbrough
 Tue, 6/29, 7:07 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:07 PM 
Dylan Ceasevs. MIN @ DET 
 CHWJose BerriosTarik Skubal
 Tue, 6/29, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:10 PM 
James Kaprielianvs. TEX vs. BOS 
 OAKMike FoltynewiczNick Pivetta
 Tue, 6/29, 9:40 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:07 PM 
Wade Mileyvs. PHI vs. CHC 
 CINVince VelasquezAdbert Alzolay
 Mon, 6/28, 6:40 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:10 PM 

This collection of arms are those you insert into your lineups, no matter who they are opposing or where they are stepping onto the hill to take the ball. Ray makes this group based on his two home starts, actually, so there is that qualifier to consider. Kaprielian, the Oakland rookie right-hander, also benefits from a pair of home starts this week, but his production has been superb to date.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Chris Flexen@ TOR vs. TEX 
 SEARobbie RayMike Foltynewicz
 Tue, 6/29, 7:07 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:10 PM 
Joe Rossvs. TB vs. LAD 
 WASRich HillTrevor Bauer
 Tue, 6/29, 7:05 PM Sun, 7/4, 11:05 AM 
German Marquezvs. PIT vs. STL 
 COLChad KuhlCarlos Martinez
 Tue, 6/29, 8:40 PM Sun, 7/4, 3:10 PM 
Nick Pivettavs. KC @ OAK 
 BOSBrad KellerJames Kaprielian
 Tue, 6/29, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:07 PM 
Caleb Smith@ STL vs. SF 
 ARIJohn GantSam Long
 Mon, 6/28, 8:15 PM Sat, 7/3, 10:10 PM 
Bailey Ober@ CHW @ KC 
 MINLucas GiolitoDanny Duffy
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:10 PM 
Tony Santillanvs. SD vs. CHC 
 CINBlake SnellKyle Hendricks
 Tue, 6/29, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:10 PM 
Jerad Eickhoff@ WAS @ NYY 
 NYMErick FeddeMichael King
 Mon, 6/28, 7:05 PM Sat, 7/3, 1:05 PM 

Flexen is working on a three-game quality start (QS) streak, and has a pair of good to great matchups this coming week in store, especially facing the lackluster Rangers at home. Although his 6.1 K/9 ratio over this season is not attractive, he has been more effective at missing bats lately, with 14 Ks over his past 14.2 IP. He also continues to demonstrate great control, limiting the free passes each time on the bump.

Ross has pitched four games where he has blanked the opponents over his last six outings. Of course, those where he was not so masterful, he gave up 9 earned runs. He is averaging nearly a K per inning (8.8 K/9 through 74.1 IP this season, and when he is on, he is well worth employing in your rotation. The risk is that he suffers one of the occasional blowup games, and thus, he populates the middle tier.

Marquez has collected four consecutive QS while also striking out 27 opposing hitters over those 26.0 IP. Although both his upcoming starts are at Coors Field, where he has struggled previously, he has been better at home than on the road this season. He has a pair of good NL Central matchups on tap, especially the first contest against the Pirates.

Pivetta was lifted from his no-hit effort due to his pitch count being reached. His ability to rack up Ks and also his below-average control (10.4 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 through his 81.0 IP) contributed to his departure as the team exercises caution with his workload. The best time to use him this week would be in his first outing at home against the Royals.

Smith has thrown a couple of QS in his past two times toeing the rubber for the Diamondbacks, and sports an attractive 3.03 ERA this year. He is striking out a boatload of batters, too, with a 10.2 K/9 ratio, but his command leaves a great deal to be desired with an inflated 4.6 BB/9 ratio through 59.1 IP. The opposing SPs in both his starts grace the bottom tier this scoring period.

Ober has been extraordinarily effective on the road in a small sample size this season, with a miniscule 1.13 ERA away from Target Field. The 25-year-old rookie righthander features a 5.75 K/BB ratio in 2021. He is facing a pair of division rivals this coming week, which may be some inspiration to step up his game, too.

Santillan twirled a QS for his first MLB victory, fanning eight Braves at home. He has two more home starts coming up in Week 14. The 10.5 K/9 rate over a small sample size is intriguing, but he needs to work on his control and keeping the ball in the yard, especially with his home park in Cincy

Eickhoff’s first start in the majors went well, holding the Braves scoreless on three hits and three walks over 4.0 IP. Until Carlos Carrasco is ready to return from the IL he is likely to stick in the Met rotation as the fifth starter, which gives him value going forward in the short term, at a minimum.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Jameson Taillonvs. LAA vs. NYM 
 NYYAndrew HeaneyTBD
 Tue, 6/29, 7:05 PM Sun, 7/4, 7:00 PM
Dylan Bundy@ NYY vs. BAL 
 LAAMichael KingTom Eshelman
 Mon, 6/28, 7:05 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:07 PM 
Blake Snell@ CIN @ PHI 
 SDTony SantillanSpencer Howard
 Tue, 6/29, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:05 PM 
Danny Duffy@ BOS vs. MIN 
 KCGarrett RichardsBailey Ober
 Mon, 6/28, 7:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:10 PM 
Erick Feddevs. NYM vs. LAD 
 WASJerad EickhoffClayton Kershaw
 Mon, 6/28, 7:05 PM Sat, 7/3, 7:15 PM 
Brad Keller@ BOS vs. MIN 
 KCNick PivettaJose Berrios
 Tue, 6/29, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 2:10 PM 
Garrett Richardsvs. KC @ OAK 
 BOSDanny DuffyCole Irvin
 Mon, 6/28, 7:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 7:15 PM 
John Gantvs. ARI @ COL 
 STLCaleb SmithKyle Freeland
 Mon, 6/28, 8:15 PM Sat, 7/3, 9:10 PM 
Vince Velasquez@ CIN vs. SD 
 PHIWade MileyYu Darvish
 Mon, 6/28, 6:40 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:05 PM 
Mike Foltynewicz@ OAK @ SEA 
 TEXJames KaprielianChris Flexen
 Tue, 6/29, 9:40 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:10 PM 
Michael Kingvs. LAA vs. NYM 
 NYYDylan BundyJerad Eickhoff
 Mon, 6/28, 7:05 PM Sat, 7/3, 1:05 PM 
Chase De Jong@ COL vs. MIL 
 PITKyle FreelandFreddy Peralta
 Mon, 6/28, 5:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 4:05 PM 
Tom Eshelman@ HOU @ LAA 
 BALZack GreinkeDylan Bundy
 Mon, 6/28, 8:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 4:07 PM 
Kyle Wrightvs. NYM vs. MIA 
 ATLTBDTrevor Rogers
 Tue, 6/29, 7:20 PMSun, 7/4, 1:20 PM 
Jean-Carlos Mejiavs. DET vs. HOU 
 CLEJose UrenaZack Greinke
 Tue, 6/29, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:10 PM 
Chad Kuhl@ COL vs. MIL 
 PITGerman MarquezBrandon Woodruff
 Tue, 6/29, 8:40 PM Sun, 7/4, 1:05 PM 
Carlos Martinezvs. ARI @ COL 
 STLTBDGerman Marquez
 Tue, 6/29, 8:15 PMSun, 7/4, 3:10 PM 
Kyle Freelandvs. PIT vs. STL 
 COLChase De JongJohn Gant
 Mon, 6/28, 5:10 PM Sat, 7/3, 9:10 PM

Of all the SP’s in this tier, Taillon has the most appeal. He has a pair of home games, but his performance is too erratic to be fully trustworthy, despite a couple of decent outings, at Yankee Stadium, against the A’s and Royals. If you feel that his most recent performance is indicative of what he can contribute in fantasy terms. Other than the Yankee righthander, though, you are best served avoiding all the rest of the denizens in this group if you value your counting and ratio stats.

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:

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Zach Davies CHC @ MIL Freddie Peralta

Despite handing out five walks over 6.0 IP, Davies managed to hold the Dodgers hitless and scoreless in his most recent trip to the hill. He has been effective in keeping the ball in the park, which will be useful at the Brewer’s home field. Do not expect many Ks, despite Milwaukee’s free swinging propensities.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Vladimir Gutierrez CIN vs SD Joe Musgrove

Despite crafting a QS against the Braves, he was saddled with the loss in his last outing. He has twirled three QS among his six starts, and has yet to fail to notch 5.0 IP in an appearance this season. Facing the Padres while at home is a positive here, too.

Kolby Allard TEX @ OAK Chris Bassitt

The Texas 23-year-old southpaw was roughed up by Oakland in his last start, but had been effective overall in the prior four starts, allowing two or zero earned tallies in each game. Here he gets a chance to exact revenge against the A’s, albeit in the Oakland home park, although his home/road splits are not terrible.

Kwang Hyun Kim STL vs ARI TBD

 Kim has not been exceptional, merely decent as a SP option, with the burden on not being able to pitch deep into contests on a regular basis. He was also banged around in his last trip to the mound, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and a walk to the Pirates. He still possesses a useful 3.98 ERA although the 1.36 WHIP is not quite so useful for fantasy purposes. He does have the Diamondbacks at home, who are terrible outside of Arizona.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Griffin Canning LAA @ NYY Jordan Montgomery

Canning has managed to again drive his ERA below 5.00 by holding opponents to just five earned runs over his past three contests. He strikes out better than a batter per inning (9.3 K/9 over 60.0 IP), which should play well against the Yankees, even on the road.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Zach Thompson MIA @ ATL Charlie Morton

The Miami rookie righty offers a stellar set of ratio stats, with a 1.50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Granted, a small sample size of just three starts is not necessarily a true representation of his future production, and he is on the road in a less pitcher friendly park in Atlanta, so some tempering of expectations is suggested. 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Sam Long SF @ ARI Caleb Smith

Long has been effective in two of his three starts, and he is facing the team that handed him his worst outing to date when he heads to the Diamondback’s home park for this contest. He does have both good control and dominance on the hill, and has a propensity to keep the ball within the yard, and thus becomes the top streaming option for the day.

Patrick Sandoval LAA vs BAL Jorge Lopez

The Angel southpaw is also a good source of Ks, but is more generous with the free passes and long ball than the Giant SP profiled directly above. He does have an excellent matchup, facing the Orioles at home, so even as the second best streaming option on Saturday, he has potential to pump up your late week pitching stats.

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.