The period after the MLB All-Star break wreaks havoc on the fantasy manager’s ability to set their pitching rotations while adjusting to the resumption of regular season play. This week, there are plenty of top of the rotation arms to plug in to your starting lineups for the first full week following the break, but the middle tier is decidedly light on options to employ. The bottom group of dual start hurlers is also not as full as usual, a situation that will undoubtedly change as things return to normal. There are a number of useful streaming potentials for most of the week, too, to help make up for the dearth of middle tier two-start pitchers. But you can always seek help on the Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire and I advise you take a look at the latest MLB Streaks & Trends article as well. Without further ado, here are this week’s two start pitchers.

 Start 'em If You Own 'em 
Starting PitcherFirst Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Logan Gilbertvs. MIN vs. TOR 
 SEASonny GrayYusei Kikuchi
 Mon, 7/17, 9:40 PM Sat, 7/22, 4:10 PM
Aaron Nolavs. MIL @ CLE 
 PHITBDShane Bieber
 Tue, 7/18, 6:40 PMSun, 7/23, 1:40 PM 
Shane Bieber@ PIT vs. PHI 
 CLEMitch KellerAaron Nola
 Mon, 7/17, 7:05 PM Sun, 7/23, 1:40 PM 
Lucas Giolito@ NYM @ MIN 
 CHWCarlos CarrascoBailey Ober
 Tue, 7/18, 7:10 PM Sun, 7/23, 2:10 PM 
Mitch Kellervs. CLE @ LAA 
 PITShane BieberTBD
 Mon, 7/17, 7:05 PM Sun, 7/23, 4:07 PM
Joe Musgrove@ TOR @ DET 
 SDChris BassittTBD
 Tue, 7/18, 7:07 PMSun, 7/23, 12:05 PM
Bryce Eldervs. ARI @ MIL 
 Tue, 7/18, 7:20 PMSun, 7/23, 2:10 PM
Sonny Gray@ SEA vs. CHW 
 MINLogan GilbertDylan Cease
 Mon, 7/17, 9:40 PM Sat, 7/22, 7:15 PM 
Tyler Wellsvs. LAD @ TB 
 Tue, 7/18, 7:05 PMSun, 7/23, 1:40 PM
Bailey Ober@ SEA vs. CHW 
 MINBryan WooLucas Giolito
 Tue, 7/18, 9:40 PM Sun, 7/23, 2:10 PM 
Domingo German@ LAA @ LAA 
 NYYTBDShohei Ohtani
 Mon, 7/17, 9:38 PMWed, 7/19, 7:07 PM 
Bryan Woovs. MIN vs. TOR 
 SEABailey OberChris Bassitt
 Tue, 7/18, 9:40 PM Sun, 7/23, 4:10 PM

There is no shortage of starting pitchers with dual start status to select employ following the mid-season three-day break in action that counts for fantasy scoring purposes. Plug any of these arms into your rotation for both their scheduled trips to the middle of the diamond and do not concern yourself about where they are tossing the pill or against whom. Be happy if you have one or more of these aces to bolster your Week 16 stat lines.

 Maybe Yes, Maybe No 
Starting PitcherFirst Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
Dane Dunningvs. TB vs. LAD 
 Mon, 7/17, 8:05 PMSun, 7/23, 2:35 PM
Chris Bassittvs. SD@ SEA
TORJoe MusgroveBryan Woo
 Tue, 7/18, 7:07 PMSun, 7/23, 4:10 PM
Hunter Brown@ COL @ OAK 
 HOUTBDLuis Medina
 Tue, 7/18, 8:40 PMSun, 7/23, 4:07 PM 

Dane Dunning offer enticing ratio stats, with a sub-3.00 ERA (2.84) and an attractive 1.13 WHIP. His downside is the inability to miss bats consistently, as witnessed by his below average 5.8 K/9 rate over his 92.0 IP in 2023. He has a pair of home starts on tap, which is good considering his matchups are among the toughest in baseball this season.

Chris Bassitt opens Week 16’s action on the hill at home against the visiting Padres, but then has a road game in Seattle. He has pitched much better at home over the past two and a half seasons, so the first game is where you should feel most comfortable employing his talents for your fantasy squad(s). His bugaboo is an inability to limit the long ball, and both the upcoming opponents while not the most dangerous in terms of power numbers, are middle of the pack so that could come into play this week. He does offer decent strikeout potential for the benefit of your counting stats (8.4 K/9 over his 19 starts).

Hunter Brown winds up the middle tier offerings this scoring period, and despite having both his starts take place on the road, he has been a far better hurler when pitching away from his home park. He offers excellent strikeout potential with a 10.6 K/9 rate over 94.0 IP. His control is an issue, with an inflated 3.2 BB/9 rate accumulated over his 19 starts, and this is reflected in an unattractive 1.33 WHIP. 

 Not On My Roster 
Starting PitcherFirst Start/Opponent/Date2nd Start/Opponent/Date
MacKenzie Gore@ CHC vs. SF 
 Mon, 7/17, 8:05 PMSun, 7/23, 1:35 PM
Cole Irvinvs. LAD @ TB 
 Mon, 7/17, 7:05 PMSat, 7/22, 4:10 PM
Brandon Williamsonvs. SF vs. ARI 
 CINTBDTommy Henry
 Mon, 7/17, 7:10 PMSat, 7/22, 4:10 PM 
Luke Weavervs. SF vs. ARI 
 Tue, 7/18, 7:10 PMSun, 7/23, 1:40 PM
Carlos Carrascovs. CHW @ BOS 
 NYMLucas GiolitoTBD
 Tue, 7/18, 7:10 PM Sat, 7/22, 4:10 PM 
Luis Medinavs. BOS vs. HOU 
 OAKTBDHunter Brown
 Tue, 7/18, 9:40 PMSun, 7/23, 4:07 PM 
Paul Blackburnvs. BOS vs. HOU 
 OAKTBDCristian Javier
 Mon, 7/17, 9:40 PMSat, 7/22, 9:07 PM 

None of these starting pitchers are worthy of being used in any of their two scheduled trips to the bump, let alone for both of those appearances. Do yourself a favor and let these guys sit on the bench, the wire or as free agents. Even if you are tempted by a single recent good start (Carrasco, say, for example), do not allow that aberration in their season performance to bamboozle you and damage your pitching stats.

Potential Streaming Options for Week 16

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:

Cristopher Sanchez, Philadelphia Phillies vs Milwaukee Brewers

Sanchez had been exceptional for a pair of quality starts (QS) pre-All Star game break, but was roughed up a tad in his last outing against the visiting Padres, handing out three earned tallies over 5.0 IP on three hits and a walk. He is an average K producer on the mound, and limits the free passes, which has played well over his limited six starts on the season.

Steven Matz, St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs

The veteran southpaw gets another call to climb the hill to start the contest based on his recent success against the host White Sox. Here he is scheduled to take the ball on the road, although he has a start against the Nationals at home before this contest, so the results from that game may have an impact on whether this start sticks with Matz or some other Cardinal pitcher. Matz is collecting close to a strikeout per frame, but is too free with the walks to be an arm that provides attractive ratio stats.

Michael Lorenzen, Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City

The All-Star from the Tigers was coming off a win over the A’s at home before showing the national audience what he had been doing to lead to his being named to the AL squad. He is effective in limiting traffic on the basepaths, with a strong 2.1 BB/9 and allowing just 79 hits over his 87.0 IP before the ASG. He does not produce beaucoup Ks as evidenced by his pedestrian 6.8 K/9 rate through15 starts, but that 1.14 WHIP is a nice ratio stat for fantasy purposes. He is on the road for this contest, but it is against the Royals who are not intimidating at home or away this season.

JP Sears, Oakland Athletics vs Houston Astros

The second-year southpaw has developed into one of the aces for the A’s, a difficult position for any SP with the relative lack of success the team is having on the field. He provides good K numbers (8.4 K9 through 99.2 IP) to go with his good control (2.1 BB/9). His main issue is a tendency to allow hitters to take his offering out of the park, as witnessed by an inflated 1.7 HR/9 ratio in 2023. Fortunately for him, he pitches in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in baseball out in Oakland, which also bodes well in this contest against a potent offense in the form of the Astros.

Ben Lively, Cincinnati Reds vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Lively’s three most recent outings have seen him deal from the slab, rolling up a fine 2.97 ERA, although the rest of the stat line is blemished, due to handing out four walks over 4.0 IP to the Rockies and 10 safeties to the host Royals in the game before that. Not exactly showing dominance over a pair of lesser offenses. He gets a home start, but this time against a more productive offense.

Bryce Miller, Seattle Mariners vs Toronto Blue Jays

The Mariner rookie gets to pitch at home for this matchup, and he has demonstrated a strong preference for climbing the hill at T-Mobile Park as opposed to being on the road in 2023. Not that the opponent seems to mind playing on the road, but with good control and a pitcher’s park to work in, he is poised for a stream-worthy start here.

Austin Gomber, Colorado Rockies @ Miami Marlins

Pitching while away from Coors Field is a positive for the Rockies’ 29-year-old southpaw. He heads to a pitcher’s park to face a team that is not exactly an offensive blockbuster. He is coming off a pair of pre-All-Star Break QSs. 

Clarke Schmidt, New York Yankees vs Kansas City Royals

The 27-year-old righty has been on a nice streak heading into the All-Star break, racking up an impressive 2.49 ERA and 1.11 WHIP over 21.2 IP (four starts), with the last of those starts being a QS. The strikeouts and walks are good but not great: 18:5 K/BB. Taking on the Royals at home is a fine streaming opportunity.

Tommy Henry, Arizona Diamondbacks @ Cincinnati Reds

Henry, a second-year left-hander, has tossed three QS over his last four starts, and came within one out of making that four game QS streak. His WHIP is still inflated (1.32) but his recent success on the hill has pushed his ERA below 4 (3.75, quite useful). His strikeout rate has increased, while he has been limiting the free passes of late, and he may soon be off the streaming list if the QS and near QS performances continue.


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