The fantasy baseball season winds up with a full set of top-tier SPs to plug into your final rosters of 2023. Not a huge selection of middle tier arms, once again, and a steady but limited collection of streaming choices for you to consider for single starts in the final scoring period of the fantasy season. Stick around the site for additional fantasy advice concerning your other leagues, including football which is now in full swing, even though baseball, fantasy-wise, is wrapping up for yet another season. See ya here again come early 2024. 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
Luis Castillovs. HOU vs. TEX 
 SEAHunter BrownJon Gray
 Mon, 9/25, 9:40 PM Sat, 9/30, 7:15 PM 
Justin Verlander@ SEA @ ARI 
 HOULuis CastilloMerrill Kelly
 Mon, 9/25, 9:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Kevin Gausmanvs. NYY vs. TB 
 TORMichael KingTaj Bradley
 Tue, 9/26, 7:07 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:07 PM 
Merrill Kelly@ CHW vs. HOU 
 ARIJose UrenaJustin Verlander
 Mon, 9/25, 7:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Justin Steele@ ATL @ MIL 
 CHCBryce ElderAdrian Houser
 Tue, 9/26, 7:20 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Blake Snell@ SF @ CHW 
 SDLogan WebbJose Urena
 Mon, 9/25, 9:45 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Logan Webbvs. SD vs. LAD 
 SFBlake SnellClayton Kershaw
 Mon, 9/25, 9:45 PM Sat, 9/30, 9:05 PM 
Aaron Nolavs. PIT @ NYM 
 PHIMitch KellerJose Butto
 Tue, 9/26, 6:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Kyle Bradishvs. WAS vs. BOS 
 BALJosiah GrayTanner Houck
 Tue, 9/26, 6:35 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 
Lucas Giolitovs. CIN @ DET 
 CLEJustin VerlanderReese Olson
 Tue, 9/26, 6:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Braxton Garrett@ NYM @ PIT 
 MIAJoey LucchesiMitch Keller
 Tue, 9/26, 7:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 
Hunter Greene@ CLE @ STL 
 CINLucas GiolitoZack Thompson
 Tue, 9/26, 6:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:15 PM 
Kenta Maedavs. OAK @ COL 
 MINTBDRyan Feltner
 Tue, 9/26, 7:40 PMSun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 

Closing out the fantasy season with yet another baker’s dozen of ace arms to populate your rotations with as you compete for the league title (hopefully). These are the hurlers you want to make sure you get full value from, so start them in both their scheduled trips to toe the rubber as we await the playoff matchups to be set. 

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Reese Olsonvs. KC vs. CLE 
 DETZack GreinkeLucas Giolito
 Tue, 9/26, 6:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Michael King@ TOR @ KC 
 NYYKevin GausmanZack Greinke
 Tue, 9/26, 7:07 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Reid Detmersvs. TEX vs. OAK 
 LAAJon GrayPaul Blackburn
 Mon, 9/25, 9:38 PM Sat, 9/30, 9:07 PM 
Bobby Miller@ COL @ SF 
 LADRyan FeltnerKyle Harrison
 Tue, 9/26, 3:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 
George Kirbyvs. HOU vs. TEX 
 SEACristian JavierTBD
 Tue, 9/26, 10:05 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM

Reese Olson has made four starts in the month of September, and all four have been quality starts (QS). He has allowed just four earned tallies over those 25.2 IP, for a stellar 1.40 ERA and 0.66 WHIP. His main issue is the below-average K rate of during that stretch (6.3 K/9) but on the season he is averaging nearly a K per frame. His peripheral metrics indicate that his success on the hill is not merely due to luck, but rather a skill set the rookie brings with his game. Two home matchups against division foes are on the schedule for the 24-year-old righthander to wrap up the season.

Michael King went 7.0 IP in a loss to the visiting Blue Jays, a game where he racked up a career-best 13 Ks. The strikeout production builds on his recent success in missing bats, as he now has collected 30 Ks over his last 16.2 IP. He is on the road for his two starts in the final week of the regular season, but he has been a road warrior this season and thus that plays to his strength when he is toeing the rubber for the Yankees, who are likely penciling the 28-year-old righty into the 2024 starting rotation.

Reid Detmers has racked up seven Ks in each of his last two starts, and is scheduled to take the ball twice at home in Week 26. The second contest against the A’s looks the friendliest, although he did shut out the Rangers over 7.1 IP in mid-August for a victory. His peripheral metrics indicate he could be just a tad unlucky, and with some breaks he could find the victory circle again as the season winds to a close.

Bobby Miller has been pitching deep into the contests he starts, going six or more innings in all but one of his last eight appearances on the hill. Over those eight starts he has posted a useful 3.60 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with a 44:14 K/BB ratio. His work on the road this season indicates that two road starts are not a major concern for the rookie righthander, as he has been at his best away from Dodger Stadium.

George Kirby has two home games on the schedule in the season’s final week, but the matchups are not great, plus his tendencies are to pitch better when away from his home park over the past few seasons. Seattle is fighting for a division title; the pressure is on the southpaw to keep his game in top gear. He has the dominance, command and control to finish the season strong and help the Mariners participate in the post-season fun.

 Not On My Roster 
Starting Pitcher1st Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Bryce Eldervs. CHC vs. WAS 
 ATLJustin SteeleJackson Rutledge
 Tue, 9/26, 7:20 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:00 PM 
Jon Gray@ LAA @ SEA 
 TEXReid DetmersLuis Castillo
 Mon, 9/25, 9:38 PM Sat, 9/30, 7:15 PM 
Patrick Sandovalvs. TEX vs. OAK 
 Tue, 9/26, 9:38 PMSun, 10/1, 3:07 PM
Kyle Harrisonvs. SD vs. LAD 
 SFSeth LugoBobby Miller
 Tue, 9/26, 9:45 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 
Adrian Houservs. STL vs. CHC 
 MILZack ThompsonJustin Steele
 Tue, 9/26, 7:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Tanner Houckvs. TB @ BAL 
 BOSAaron CivaleKyle Bradish
 Tue, 9/26, 7:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 
Zack Thompson@ MIL vs. CIN 
 STLAdrian HouserHunter Greene
 Tue, 9/26, 7:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:15 PM 
Zack Greinke@ DET vs. NYY 
 KCReese OlsonMichael King
 Tue, 9/26, 6:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Jose Urenavs. ARI vs. SD 
 CHWMerrill KellyBlake Snell
 Mon, 9/25, 7:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Ryan Feltnervs. LAD vs. MIN 
 COLRyan PepiotKenta Maeda
 Tue, 9/26, 3:10 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:10 PM 
Mitch Keller@ PHI vs. MIA 
 PITAaron NolaBraxton Garrett
 Tue, 9/26, 6:40 PM Sun, 10/1, 3:05 PM 

We are now at the end of the fantasy baseball season. None of these pitchers are likely to severely damage your stat line, but then again, none are likely to improve it, either. There are some counting stats to be had with two starts, and as ever, if you need to collect some innings for your league requirements, pick wisely with regard to opponent and venue.

Potential Streaming Options for Week 26

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:

Joey Lucchesi, New York Mets vs Miami Marlins

The 30-year-old southpaw came within one additional out of putting together a pair of QS over his two September trips to the bump. He handled this team on the road for a no-decision, and now gets a chance to seek a victory to wind up his 2023 season. 

Griffin Canning, Los Angeles Angels vs Texas Rangers

The 27-year-old righthander does not have a win to show for his overall superb efforts on the hill in the five starts he has tossed since the end of August, but has been pitching effectively nonetheless: 3.68 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 33:7 K/BB over those 29.1 IP. He gets to take on the Rangers away from their home park, which is a positive, despite his home/road splits on the season.

Sawyer Gipson-Long, Detroit Tigers vs Kansas City Royals

Small sample size of three MLB starts, but the strikeout production is impressive, as the rookie collected 20 Ks over his first 15.0 IP. The control he has demonstrated over his minor league career has disappeared over his last two starts, which is concerning. He has a good matchup here, taking on the Royals at home, although be aware of the small sample size and keep expectations in line.

Jameson Taillon, Chicago Cubs @ Atlanta Braves

The veteran righty has been mostly effective in recent days, tossing a pair of QS and allowing just four earned runs in three of his last four times on the hill. The other appearance was a five earned tally effort in Cincy where three dingers were hit by the Reds offense. He heads to Atlanta to face the offense with the most home runs in the majors, so that is a downside, but his K production could be the saving grace if you need some counting stats to wind up your fantasy season. 

Cal Quantrill, Cleveland Guardians @ Detroit Tigers

Since September began, the veteran righty has been parsimonious in regard to allowing runners to cross the plate while he is toeing the rubber, allowing just five earned tallies over those 23.2 IP. He came within an out of picking up a fourth consecutive QS against the host Royals, and here gets to test himself against the Tigers who are currently 11 games under .500 at home. Do not expect to gather a bunch of whiffs from the Guardian SP, as his 5.1 K/9 rate is significantly below average.

Nick Martinez, San Diego Padres @ Chicago White Sox

The righthander is nominally the starting pitcher for the Padres, but has been appearing in an opener role, going two or three innings before turning things over to another arm. He does have significant swing and miss skills, inducing Ks at a 8.4 K/9 rate on the season.

Cristopher Sanchez, Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets

Before facing the Braves in his last two starts, he had been pitching with success in the prior five starts: 2.93 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 25:4 K/BB ratio. Fortunately for streaming opportunities, he faces the Mets here, on the road, where he has been much more dominant this season. 

Zack Littell, Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays

The righthander has been effective his past three outings, putting up nice ratios with a 2.29 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. Despite the efficient pitching, he has been saddled with a pair of losses and a no decision over those 19.2 IP. He continues to demonstrate superior control while on the bump, and contributes average K efforts. He takes on this same opponent at home before again facing them in their home park, so there is cause to see how the home start goes before relying on him for the late streaming start.

Jose Butto, New York Mets vs Philadelphia Phillies

The rookie righthander has been extremely effective while toeing the rubber for the Mets in three September starts, posting a superb 2.08 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 17.1 IP, while collecting 19 Ks over that span of frames against five walks. His home results have been mediocre, but the Phillies are only a couple of games to the positive on the road this year.