As we push on past the trade deadline, many teams have taken on an entirely new look. I’ve broken down every MLB team’s starting rotation and forecasted them with each team’s upcoming schedule if you’ve missed some things. You may ask, why would you do this? The most straightforward answer is finding the best upcoming matchups for the lesser-known starting pitchers.
This way, we can maximize the end of our rosters and try to squeeze every last ounce of value that might be available on a waiver wire. Or, perhaps, drop a fringe-worthy pitcher early due to horrendous matchups. Churning your roster at the correct times is key to in-season management. Think about it this way: do you really need to hold onto that pitcher if you’re not going to start him for several weeks?
Indeed, we are ranking these matchups based on the opponent’s offense, and here are my offensive tiers to do so. Also, stop back in from time to time since there will be updates.
The usual suspects are here, plus a new addition: the San Diego Padres. Bringing in Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury to a deep lineup will put them in the top-tier company. And just wait, Fernando Tatis Jr. started his rehab assignment.
Also, while the Rockies may not be the most electric offense; Coors Field is still playing as it typically does, and the run environment continues to flourish. Deadened balls? Humidors? It doesn’t matter, it’s a hitter’s haven.
Boston made an abundance of interesting moves at the deadline. While they’re awaiting Trevor Story to recover, the team added Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer. Indeed, they’ve got plenty of talent but can’t find ways to win games.
Atlanta is knocking on the door of being a top-tier. They just need to get Ronald Acuña Jr. right and Ozzie Albies back.
There is plenty of potential here. Milwaukee is returning to full health, and Philly needs Bryce Harper to rejoin the club. San Francisco continues to platoon its way into the middle, as last year may have been a mirage. St. Louis continues to get plenty of help from its veteran presence at the corners, but not enough to eke into the upper echelon.
BAL, ARI, and CLE have all been slightly better than bad. Furthermore, at times, they’ve shown stretches of solid offensive production. Still, they need more seasoning. Thanks to the small dimensions at Great American Ball Park, @CIN remains in the meh tier.
So many teams fall into this tier now that the trade deadline has passed, yet streaming is never easy.
Note: (Off) means the team has an off-day before they play that team. For example, SEA (OFF) means they are off the previous day. (DH) indicates a doubleheader that day.
Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly aren’t available in most leagues, and Madison Bumgarner doesn’t get the matchups we are looking for. There are plenty of better options worth acquiring, so read on, please.
The addition of Odorizzi helps bolster the five-man rotation. And boom, he’ll quickly benefit from an extremely favorable schedule. My advice, scoop him up early and stream him for the following three starts (@PIT, COL, and @OAK).
Lastly, we could see Ian Anderson pop back in the rotation to limit the innings of Spencer Strider and company for a playoff push. Indeed, it would shift some of the matchups, should that be the case.
While many of these arms are likely on your waiver wire, none of them are incredibly trustworthy. Furthermore, outside of Jordan Lyles, none of them have a particularly easy run of starts in the next two weeks. For the 15-teamers and deeper league managers, add Lyles to your watch list and move on.
Surely, Nathan Eovaldi is likely rostered in your league. But, after Nick Pivetta’s recent struggles, his roster% on Yahoo is only 39%. So, he could potentially be available in any 12-team format. One of the glaring issues to Pivetta’s poor outing was the loss of fastball velocity. Luckily, he’s been able to regain a few ticks.
Rich Hill didn’t fare well in his recent start; however, it was after a month-long stint on the IL. He’s not a terrific source of strikeouts and doesn’t deep into games. Stream him at your own expense in deeper leagues.
Kutter Crawford has shown glimpses of greatness since joining the rotation. Still, there is no way you’ll trust him against TOR or MIN.
The Cubs rotation is an interesting bunch. None of them really strike batters out at a high enough rate to make them must-adds, but outside of Justin Steele (10.2% BB rate), non of them walk a ton of batters either.
The matchups aren’t awful enough to completely ignore the staff, but I wouldn’t make any of these a priority for the next two weeks.
These SPs are rostered in most leagues, with the exception of Johnny Cueto. And even he’s rostered in a little more than 50% of leagues.
We might ask ourselves, how is Cueto getting the job done? He’s only striking out 16% of batters. However, he’s done a superb job of limiting hard contact (36%) and rarely offering a free pass. Altogether, it’s adding up to a sub-3.00 ERA. If he’s not available at this moment, perhaps he’ll get dropped for the upcoming matchup against HOU. Either way, he’s got a three-start stretch against three very winnable matchups.
Cleveland is well-known for developing pitchers. We’ve seen several take a leap, and this year it was Triston McKenzie. His K-rate has spiked to nearly 25% while maintaining a 3.16 ERA. Sadly, it’s too late, and he’s rostered in over 85% of leagues.
But you could scoop up Aaron Civale, who returns from the IL and has a decent matchup against DET. After showing us what he’s got in the tank, then you can decide if he’s worth starting against CHW or SEA.
The other noteworthy arm to acquire is Cal Quantrill. His downside is the lack of strikeouts, but if you’re chasing ratios; he’s got skills to offer.
Much like the starters in Cincy, you can’t start this rotation at home. So, you’re only focused on road matchups. Sadly, the only easier matchup on the road is @CIN.
In the last month, Germán Márquez has been decent (31.1 IP, 21 K, 3.31 ERA, and 1.07 WHIP). Furthermore, three of his next four starts are on the road. However, @STL, @NYM, and @CIN aren’t great spots for streaming a pitcher that can be prone to a meltdown. Don’t be tempted by his recent success, pass!
Point blank, this rotation is really bad. There are some favorable matchups in their future, so they should draw some attention. However, the offense isn’t helping put up runs, and none of these pitchers strike out a batter per inning. Unless you’re in the deepest of leagues or completely overcome by injuries, look elsewhere.
Will the Astros go to a six-man rotation? I think so. Lance McCullers Jr. is rehabbing his way back to the MLB squad, but it’s already filled so much that they needed to trade away Jake Odorizzi. For now, I’m sticking McCullers in the rotation but assuming he gets handled with kiddie gloves. If he’s on your wire and you’ve got space, stash him in your IL.
Recently, we’ve seen Brady Singer and Daniel Lynch take steps forward. Both pitchers are striking out batters over a 22% clip. Unfortunately, Lynch draws a string of matchups that’ll severely limit his potential. So, we turn our attention to Singer, who is available in 46% of Yahoo leagues. Singer has been more than streamable, he’s been a welcome addition to any fantasy roster. In 90.2 innings pitched, he’s touting a 3.67 ERA with 94 Ks. Make it a priority to pick him up as soon as you can.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Reid Detmers has found success with his slider-heavy approach. In the last 30 days, Detmers has provided fantasy managers with 31 Ks, a 1.44 ERA, and 1.04 WHIP over 25 innings. While the Angels aren’t a very good team, and he might not get a win, strikeouts and decent help in the ratios make him your target. He’s still available in nearly 50% of leagues.
With Clayton Kershaw on the IL and Mitch White traded to Toronto, Andre Jackson steps into the rotation. The big question is, for how long? My guess is not very long. In his 16 minor league starts, Jackson had a 59:48 K/BB ratio with 32 earned runs in 55.1 innings of work. That’s not great, Bob! For now, pass on Jackson and see what else comes available.
Trevor Rogers comes back and should enter back into the rotation; giving Miami a six-man rotation. Likely, they’ll want to limit the innings of some of these arms.
Hopefully, you can find a streamer for some of these arms because they’ve got a lot of tougher matchups ahead. Sandy Alcantara and Pablo López are on cruise control, but the rest should retreat to your bench.
Only Aaron Ashby (29%) and Eric Lauer (68%) could potentially be on your waiver wire. For Ashby, his performances have been up and down, but he deserves to be on your watch lists. If you’ve got the space, scoop him up early and start him for the later matchups (PIT and @ARI). Should he toss a gem against LAD, you might miss your window to acquire.
Like Ashby, Lauer shouldn’t get the nod for starts against LAD, but CHC and @ARI are very winnable spots. After a few early season scuffles, he’s made adjustments and is touting a 2.86 ERA in his last 28.1 innings of work.
The Twins traded for yet another former-Reds starting pitcher, Tyler Mahle. The move was definitely needed because Dylan Bundy has an ERA over five and Chris Archer continues to struggle with walks and doesn’t go more than twice through the batting order.
Bundy and Archer would be available in your leagues, but neither has a matchup to start them against. Pass!
Unless you’re in a 10-team league, nearly all these SPs are already rostered.
After Walker’s last outing, someone may have rage-dropped him. Furthermore, he’s been pretty lousy in the last month (25.2 IP, 5.26 ERA with 1.32 WHIP). Another meltdown against ATL could push him off more rosters; so for now, it’s wait-and-see. Should he become available, grab him because matchups at home against COL and WSN would be solid stream options.
Domingo Germán is the only widely available piece of this rotation. Since his return, he’s been OK. However, the strikeouts aren’t there quite yet. You would need to stash-and-sit him against TOR and NYM but start for @LAA and @TBR. The Yankees have let him go five innings in his previous two starts. So, there is definite potential for wins in his third and fourth start.
Oakland’s starters aren’t going to be a good source for wins. Additionally, none of them have K-rate over 20% either. What’s this mean? You should only consider them targets in deeper leagues, like 15-teams or AL-only.
After looking at the schedules, only Cole Irvin should garner your attention. Furthermore, he’s been pitching deep into games, with his last eight outings going more than six innings. Lastly, if you’re in a quality starts league? Irvin already has 12 and gets a significant bump.
Nola and Wheeler are on someone else’s roster. But you could scoop Kyle Gibson up for the upcoming few starts and sit him @NYM. He’s only rostered in 39% of Yahoo leagues. Additionally, he’s looking great with four quality starts in his previous five appearances.
Noah Syndergaard has struggled with the long ball at times in his career, and that gives me pause for his first start (@CIN). Following that is a matchup against the Mets. No thanks! While the punchouts haven’t reappeared this season (85 IP, 66 Ks), he’s been good enough to stream against matchups like CIN and @ARI.
Falling like a rock in roster%, Ranger Suárez might be available in ten and 12-team (maybe) leagues. He was riding a hot stretch, and boom, disaster against the Nationals. Would I burn a #1 waiver claim to get Suárez? Indeed, his peak can be tremendous and his next three matchups are winnable.
The Pirates rotation has very few options worth our attention in fantasy. Furthermore, none of them have a string of matchups to make them interesting. Pass on this one!
The only question is, how much worse can Sean Manaea get? He’s been a mess and sorta gets a pass for blowups against LAD, MIN, and SEA. However, if he can’t right the ship against @MIA, WSH, and @KCR, then it might be time to cut bait.
Yikes! That’s a sea of red. Surely, Carlos Rodón and Logan Webb aren’t available. Look elsewhere, for now.
Acquiring Luis Castillo added much-needed depth to the staff. Ray, Gilbert, and Castillo is a serious 1-2-3 punch during a series. Unfortunately, even though they’ve got great matchups, we can’t pick them up.
Chris Flexen, George Kirby, and Marco Gonzales are a different story, though. The matchups alone put all three on our watch list, but which one should we go after first? Well, Flexen and Gonzales are somewhat similar because they don’t strike many out. The one you want to focus on is George Kirby, who has a tiny 3.3% walk rate and rings batters up at a 24% clip. All three are available in over half of Yahoo leagues.
With a doubleheader during the second start, the Cardinals will need to spot-start someone. At the moment, we don’t know who that is.
José Quintana is enjoying a resurgence this year and touts a 3.39 ERA with 96 Ks over 109 IP. Furthermore, he’s really been dealing over his last 30 days (28 IP, 22 K, 3.54 ERA with 1.07 WHIP). No doubt, this is why St Louis acquired him. He’s got a better defense behind him, a better offense for run support, and favorable upcoming matchups. Additionally, he’s only rostered in 37% of Yahoo leagues. Correct this, and make him a priority pickup.
Rarely do we see this much green for upcoming schedules. If you can grab a piece of the Cardinal rotation, do it for the next few weeks.
Injuries have plagued the Rays rotation all season. For now, this is the five-man rotation, but it feels like, at any moment, Luis Patiño or Tommy Romero could jump into a spot start.
The hot commodity to pickup might be Ryan Yarbrough since he’s only pitched 53 innings this season. Additionally, three bright green matchups could lead to a few wins, and he’s always been a great source of ratio help. However, strikeouts are what Yarbs lacks.
Indeed, I see Drew Rasmussen’s stretch, but I am a little worried the Rays will limit his innings and pull him early. Call it nitpicking, if you will. He’ll get you ratio help, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be on the mound long enough to pick up wins, and he’s not striking out batters at a high enough rate.
It might be regression time for Martín Pérez. I would recommend trading him as soon as possible because these next few starts are brutal!
Even with some solid green matchups, passing on Glen Otto and Cole Ragans would be the smart play. Ragans has a walk problem that he was able to escape during his MLB debut.
The lone arm to potentially pickup is Dane Dunning. Since returning from the IL, Dunning has pitched past the fifth inning in all three games (including a pair of quality starts in the previous two). Starts against OAK and DET could provide much-needed wins.
Mitch White is available in over 90% of Yahoo leagues and on a team that can provide more than enough run support. In his 60.2 innings pitched, he hasn’t provided fantasy managers with much in-the-way strikeouts but managed to keep the ERA in check. The last time on the mound, he got rocked by MIN, and that could scare plenty away. Still, three of his next four starts look very promising for wins; so add him to your watch list.
There is very little to get excited about in Washington. Josiah Gray is the only arm worth having a look at. Decent matchups against CHC and CIN give us hope, but he’s been getting hit very hard lately. However, if you’re already behind in ERA and WHIP, there is always a high upside of strikeouts.
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