With the regular season ending in just two weeks, today’s edition of The List is wildly different. Instead of ranking all Starting Pitchers top to bottom, we’re instead going to look at the remaining matchups for each player and assess whether they are a good stream or not. The aim is to help those down the stretch who need to figure out which pitchers to throw, and who to stash for the final starts of the year. It’s championship season, and moves like these can be the difference that takes home the cup.
I’ve created a table that features every SP in the majors and their remaining schedule, paired with a general “Yes/No/Maybe/Ace” assessment. Those with “Maybe” are either decent Hail Mary streamers that could be used when needing an upside play in desperation or they could have a great matchup paired with a poor matchup. Additionally, those given the “Ace” title are so wildly owned and dominating that they aren’t in the streaming conversation. There are a few aces that aren’t listed as such since they are still highly owned despite creating some worry for owners. For these pitches I have labeled “Yes/Maybe/No” appropriately.
The schedule is not 100% firm, as there are situations where teams could change their rotation to set their playoff schedule, a prospect could be given an extra start, or players could be moved due to injuries. Then of course there’s the Mets who have made predicting their forseeable rotation a complete disaster, but the pickups are pretty clear nonetheless.
As with every edition of The List, I have notes paired with the giant table below. This week, I’ll discuss my favorite streamers to pick up for both 3-start pitchers and 2-start pitchers.
[expand title=”SP Remaining Schedule (Click to expand table)” swaptitle=”SP Remaining Schedule” startwrap=”%(%h2%)%” endwrap=”%(%/h2%)%” trigclass=”noarrow”][table id=521][/expand]
10 Pitchers to Stream with 3 starts
1. Chris Heston (@San Diego, @Oakland, vs. Colorado) – This trio of matchups for Heston is the best of any 3 start pitcher who has the ability to strikeout a handful of guys while not killing your rate stats. Don’t take this the wrong way, this is far from a lock given his 5.12 ERA since August 1st, but now that he’s facing easier opponents he could return to his 1st half numbers.
2. Lance McCullers (vs. Los Angeles Angels, @Seattle, @Arizona) – He’s owned in just half of ESPN leagues and gets some solid matchups as the Astros fight to stay alive in the playoff picture.
3. Jake Peavy (@San Diego, vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, vs. Colorado) – I didn’t expect to put Peavy on here, but given the Giants’ easy schedule down the stretch it was hard not to. Facing Colorado outside of Coors is a big plus, with the biggest question mark coming from the hot/cold Dodgers.
4. Eduardo Rodriguez (vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Baltimore, @New York Yankees) – Those final two opponents may give a little worry, but Erod has looked a bit more mature as of late, and could hint at his top 25 SP upside in the final weeks.
5. Drew Smyly (@Boston, vs. Miami, vs. Toronto) – I completely understand if you don’t want to start Smyly against Toronto, which would turn him into a 2 start guy, but his first pair of options are shaping up to look like good times for owners.
6. Ervin Santana (vs. Cleveland, @Cleveland, vs. Kansas City) – Did you know that Ervin has only allowed 5 ER in his last four outings? He also brings solid K upside that could be a difference maker when you need it.
7. A.J. Burnett (@Colorado, @Chicago Cubs, vs. Cincinnati) – We’re entering “Maybe”ville now as Burnett could struggle against both the Rockies and Cubs, but he brings strikeout potential that few of these pitchers have, while ending the year on a solid note against the Reds in front of his home crowd. There is the possibility he gets shifted a little due to setting up the playoff rotation, so keep an eye as the season comes to a close.
8. Jason Hammel (vs. Milwaukee, vs. Pittsburgh, @Milwaukee) – So he’s still wildly owned, but could have been dropped by a dissatisfied owner, or you may be wondering if you can trust him yourself. He’s not my favorite play, but you have to imagine the odds are in your favor against a struggling Milwaukee offense.
9. Kyle Hendricks (vs. Milwaukee, @Cincinnati, @Milwaukee) – Clearly Chicago starters are fortunate for playing two series against the Brew Crew and while Hendricks’ second half has left much to be desired, it could be a major swing for Hendricks as he gets one of the easiest schedules for 3 start pitchers.
10. Henry Owens (vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Baltimore, @Cleveland) – Owens isn’t a very attractive option, but he’s a finesse pitcher who could churn out decent starts against average opponents.
10 Pitchers to Stream with 2 Starts
1. Aaron Nola (@Washington, vs. Miami) – Sure that Nationals start may scare you, but Nola against Miami gets me salivating enough to take the small risk in Washington.
2. Mike Fiers (vs. Los Angeles Angels, @Seattle) – He’s owned in a bout 60% of ESPN leagues meaning some of you are able to jump on as Fiers exhibits his K upside against two teams that have floundered offensively.
3. Josh Tomlin (@Kansas City, vs. Minnesota) – You’d be hard pressed not to jump on board with Tomlin here on out, and while his soft contact rate is definitely concerning, I’m willing to put that aside and ride him for just two more outings.
4. Tom Koehler (vs. Philadelphia, @Tampa Bay) – Koehler wouldn’t normally be on a list of guys I endorse, but when you face two weak teams like the Phils and Rays, you just can’t say no.
5. Logan Verrett (vs. Atlanta, @Philadelphia) – Determining the remaining schedule for the Mets rotation is more difficult than looking through steel, but what we do know is that if Verrett gets his starts where he’s lined up to be, he can provide some serious value facing two of the worst offenses in the majors. He’s all set for his matchup against Atlanta and we can only cross our fingers about Philly.
6. Bartolo Colon (vs. Atlanta, @Philadelphia) – Colon is in nearly the same situation as Verrett, who both have an outside chance getting a third start this year if the Mets are trying to plan their playoff rotation early. He has less K upside than Verrett though, and in a pinch I’d favor Logan over The Big Apple.
7. Kris Medlen (vs. Cleveland, @Chicago White Sox) – Medlen is referred to around here as a Toby, a guy who is never exciting and no one really goes out of their way to talk to, but when he’s in the office, he gets the job done. Medlen brings a high floor into a pair of matchups against average offenses.
8. Ryan Weber (@Miami, vs. Washington) – There’s a bit of risk against the Nationals, but Weber’s ability to induce soft contact should help make a somewhat stable stream for his two starts.
9. Tyler Duffey (@Detroit, vs. Kansas City) – Duffey has been killing it, and despite a pair of good offenses, his K ability can still provide value across both outings.
10. Carlos Rodon (@New York Yankees, vs. Kansas City) – Here’s your desperation option if it you need Ks to make a dent in the K column. Rodon has managed to limit his free passes in his past two starts, and has a sparkling 1.66 ERA across his last seven starts. While his 3.59 xFIP may suggest some regression is due, it’s possible he can hold on tight through just two more performances.