The List 9/14 – Analyzing Every Starting Pitcher’s Expected ROS Schedule

Nick's massive guide to the final two weeks of the season

After putting this out last week, it’s time for me to update it once again.

For the sake of making sure everyone is on the same page, I’m leaving the same words I wrote last week as it’s a good primer for what we’re doing here. I’ve updated my blurbs for each team, as well as every expected rotation table. Enjoy:

 

We’re already past labor day with just two weeks to go in the season, and as tradition, I move away from the standard Top 100 SP List in favor of showcasing expected schedules the rest of the year, then highlighting which pitchers should be considered, streamed, and ignored. There are a few reasons to do so:

  • Trade deadlines have passed meaning the value between the different Top 20/30 SP is meaningless. Start them or not is all that matters
  • Schedules now have the largest influence in performance as matchups are more important than general ability in a very small sample
  • This is the best way to help fantasy managers – highlight the best schedules and most likely to perform well vs. me grading a pitcher’s general performance in a neutral setting.
  • It’s tradition.

What I’ve done are a few things. First, I livestreamed earlier this afternoon and worked out which offenses belonged in one of the five tiers:

  • Red = Elite Offense Tier
  • Yellow = Solid Offense Tier
  • Gray = Netural Tier
  • Blue = below Average Tier
  • Green =Please-Start-Against-Me Tier

From here, with the help of the great Colin Charles, we looked at the expected rotations and schedules for each team, creating tables using the color code to highlight their expected schedule.

I’ve written notes under each rotation’s table outlining who to start, stream, and what kind of gambles you can take.

There is a lot of nuances, though. Should you roster a pitcher for a start against the Diamondbacks this week or maybe stash for their final two starts against the Nationals and Marlins? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and I’ll get to all your questions tonight to help you make sense of it all.

Lastly, I have to note: These expected rotations will change. I did my best trying to work it all out, but more doubleheaders are likely to abound, which potential postponements, injuries, and surprise call-ups. I’ll update this again next week and hopefully it’ll be a lot of the same.

Alright, enough introduction, let’s get to the offense table:

 

Offense Strength

 

A few changes from last week. As always, adjust accordingly if you feel I’m slightly off with these tiers:

  • Moved Yankees to neutral as they are waking up and could have Judge/Stanton back this weekend
  • Lowered Brewers to the bottom tier. They can’t hit right now
  • Moved Twins to the top tier. They’re scary.

Let’s move on to team rotations now:

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks Expected Rotation

Zac GallenYou’re starting Gallen always *(#GallenGals4Ever), even with his last two starts not going to plan. Stay with him.

Luke Weaver He isn’t of consideration until he gets his cutter back, which means a date with Rockie Road isn’t a pristine one.

Taylor Clarke Clarke and the random pitcher for the September 25th doubleheader aren’t worth your spins of the wheel.

Madison BumgarnerI’m sure some will be attracted to Bumgarneragainst the Rangers and if you’re dire for a Quality Start, he could grind his way through six frames. His ceiling is capped with his diminished velocity and few whiffs, though.

Caleb Smith He isn’t fully stretched out yet, but he may be of streaming consideration for that start against the Rangers. It’s too soon against the Angels.

 

 

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves Expected Rotation

Ian Anderson – Yes with a side order of ABSOLUTELY.

Tommy Milone – Only has consideration against his former team and even that is a bit rough.

Robbie Erlin / Josh Tomlin – Definitely not, even against the Marlins.

Kyle Wright – There’s a chance he’s worth it for the September 24th start against the Marlins, but that’s a huge if. I wouldn’t dive unless desperate.

 

 

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles Expected Rotation

Jorge Lopez – Nope.

Alex Cobb – He’s not in tune with “The Thing” and the rest of repertoire enough for any of these.

Keegan Akin – It’s only the Jays start and that’s a dire, last hope option for the final day of the season.

Dean Kremer – There’s a possibility he pulls it off against the Rays or Red Sox, but there’s a floor that hasn’t properly shown itself yet and it will likely emerge in at least one of these two games.

John Means – His command has improved with diminished fastball velocity and he’s my favorite of this rotation, but I’m not taking the leap.

Team Notes: I don’t know who is going on September 17th’s doubleheader (Asher Wojciechowski?), but it really doesn’t matter.

 

 

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Expected Rotation

Tanner Houck / Chris Mazz / Mike Kickham – Please don’t.

Nathan Eovaldi – He’s not stretch out enough to take advantage of a start vs. Miami.

Martin Perez – He won the King Cole yesterday, but gets an improved Yankee lineup + the hot braves. No thanks.

 

Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs Expected Rotation

Yu Darvish – Hey, beautiful person.

Adbert Alzolay – Way too raw and likely to blow up multiple times, even with PIT on the horizon.

Jon Lester – I can understand starting him against the Pirates, but definitely not the Twins.

Kyle Hendricks – Yep, you’re going to do this for both.

Alec Mills Coming off a no-hitter, he gets the Twins and White Sox. That’s a drop *gasp*.

 

 

Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox Expected Rotation

Dylan Cease – He’s holding a 16% strikeout rate at the moment. Can you really trust he takes advantage of the Reds & Indians?

Dane Dunning – I’d consider him against the Reds and if he’s locked in, then a possible stream against the Cubs.

Lucas Giolito – Aces gonna accccccce.

Reynaldo Lopez – I’m not loving his diminished velocity and his secondary stuff is notoriously volatile. No thanks for any of these.

Jonathan Stiever – Does he stick through to the end? Even if he gets both of these, I wasn’t impressed enough with his debut to take a chance in either. Not enough in that repertoire.

 

 

Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds Expected Rotation

Trevor Bauer – Guide me to the promised land.

Luis Castillo – You too, those matchups are amazing.

Anthony DeSclafani – I’m terrified of his current state and obviously benching against the White Sox and Twins. The Pirates today? Yeah, I’m not playing with fire.

Michael Lorenzen – Was supposed to be Sonny Grayand he could be replaced by Tejay Antone as the rotation slightly changes, possibly later in the week and everyone gets pushed one start back.

Tyler Mahle – I’d avoid against the White Sox, but if he does get Milwaukee, I could take a shot there if I needed a high strikeout play.

Team Notes: Keep in mind, Wade Miley could return soon and mess things up massively. I wouldn’t start him if he does.

 

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians Expected Rotation

Team Notes: Start them all against all of them. Yes, even McKenzie against the White Sox.

 

 

Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies Expected Rotation

German MarquezI think I’m benching hosting Oakland, starting in San Francisco, and starting against Arizona. I could understand starting for all of them, but you may want to limit the risk.

The Rest: The only real considerable option is Antonio Senzatela in Arizona. I’m okay with that, and against every other start, including the random arms for the 25th and 27th.

 

 

Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers Expected Rotation

Matthew Boyd – We were all set to roll with Boyd through the end and he blew up last week. I get a feeling that you should still trust him against the Royals, but if you want to play it safe for one start and monitor him for the two starts after, I get it. It’s a high risk/reward play and plan accordingly.

Tarik Skubal – I think he needs more development and it may show itself a bit more by the 27th, but I’m out for the start on the 16th.

Casey Mize – Mize isn’t in a place that demands your attention for the Indians and certainly not the Twins.

Michael Fulmer – Dreams can be made a reality if you want it enough…

Spencer Turnbull – He’s still throwing too many sinkers and I’m out for the most part. Maybe the Royals, but questionable there.

 

Houston Astros

Houston Astros Expected Rotation

Start them all. That schedule is simply unfair. There’s a chance Justin Verlander slides in at some point – I’m guessing it’s Cristian Javier‘s spot.

Lance McCullers – Fine, I should mention that McCullers could be on a low pitch count on the 16th as he returns from the IL. I think he’s still worth the innings.

 

 

Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals Expected Rotation

Danny Duffy – I’d be sitting for the Cardinals and all for the Tigers both times.

Brady Singer – After his polish against the Indians, his fastball/slider combo can work in all three starts, though there is considerably more risk against the Cardinals.

Kris Bubic – Give me the Brewers, but not the Cardinals. High changeups are working!

Carlos Hernandez – Is this actually going to be Carlos? I wouldn’t go with it despite the weak lineups.

Brad Keller – He’s super volatile and reliant on BABIP, so it’s a gamble even with a CGSHO on Sunday evening. Probably worth it, especially in QS leagues as he’ll get the pitches.

 

 

Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels Expected Rotation

Julio Teheran – I don’t care, I’m not doing this.

Dylan Bundy – Yes please. I think the Dodgers too, but don’t do that if you don’t need to.

Griffin Canning – I can get starting him against Arizona if you need a hail-mary play, but this floor is huge with a good ceiling and super low floor.

Jaime Barria – Nah, no thanks.

Andrew Heaney – Absolutely for the Rangers, but I’m out against the Dodgers.

 

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers Expected Rotation

Clayton Kershaw – He’s TATIAGA after all, let it ride.

Tony Gonsolin – I think I’m out for all but the Angels. I get it people want to chance it against the Padres.

Dustin May – Same goes for May against San Diego, but I’m back in for the A’s and Angels.

Julio Urias – bench for Coors, start for the Athletics.

Brusdat Graterol – This would be a bullpen game, but it could actually just be Alex WoodWhatever the case, ignore it.

 

 

Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins Expected Rotation

Pablo Lopez – I’m jumping back in for PabLo for Philly and Washington, but out in that final game against the Nats.

Sandy Alcantara – I could see myself starting him for all three as the velocity has returned and his pitch count is where we want it to be. Maybe a later bench against the Yankees.

Trevor Rogers – I’m not a major fan of what he’s doing and this schedule is too harsh.

Jose Urena – Yeah, no.

Sixto Sanchez – All for the Nationals and likely the Braves too, but there’s a decent amount of risk of a blowup. Not an auto-start there.

Team Notes: There are also a pair of doubleheaders, but I wouldn’t risk streaming someone in either of those Nationals starts.

 

 

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers Expected Rotation

Josh Lindblom – There’s consideration against the Royals, but that’s it. His lowered velocity is making it tough to achieve his ceiling.

Corbin Burnes – Go go go.

Brandon Woodruff – You gots this.

Brent Suter – No thanks, he likely doesn’t even last long enough.

Adrian Houser – He’s not in a good place and even with these matchups, I’d avoid.

Team Notes: There are three doubleheaders against the Cardinals and this can get messy. It’s really only Burnes and Woodruff to consider for the rest of the way.

 

 

Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins Expected Rotation

Jose Berrios – I expected him to avoid this start as the Twins set up their playoff rotation, but I guess not. I’d still start him for all three.

Kenta Maeda – Obviously.

Randy Dobnak – No for the White Sox and a meh for the Cubs, and be careful against the Reds – he may be with a worse offense if the Twins bench their bats for the playoffs.

Rich Hill – Easy, sit vs. the White Sox who destroy lefties and return for the Tigers.

Michael Pineda He’s a Cherry Bomb and will be one for both of these starts. Proceed with caution.

 

 

New York Mets

New York Mets Expected Rotation

Rick Porcello – If you’re in dire need of QS, don’t ignore Porcello for the Phils & Nationals. It’s a super low floor, though.

Jacob deGrom – Hey, it’s Mr. #1.

Seth Lugo – I think I’m good for all three.

David Peterson – I’m out for that Nationals start in all likelihood. If he’s dramatically better against the Braves, I can get it, though.

Team Notes: Whoever gets those other two starts are not worth your time.

 

 

New York Yankees

New York Yankees Expected Rotation

Deivi Garcia – I think you start Deivi for all three here.

Gerrit Cole – Duh.

Masahiro Tanaka – He’s a super safe arm these days. Go for it.

Jordan Montgomery – He finally flexed a great curveball in his last start, it’s a bit risky against the Red Sox, but recognize the ceiling if you need it. If it’s gone vs. Boston, sit vs. Toronto.

JA Happ – Even with his 2.45 ERA in his last five starts, I’d sit against Boston and possibly against the Jays after unless I needed to chase a Win.

 

 

Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics Expected Rotation

Jesus Luzardo – I want all of it.

Mike Minor – I’m cool with Minor in the two Seattle starts only.

Sean Maeana / Mike Fiers – Look at that schedule. It’s been a fun 2020, ya’ll. Enjoy the wire.

Chris Bassitt – I can understand chasing a QS against the Giants, but it’s a bit too mediocre for me. Definitely in for Seattle, though.

Frankie Montas – Too risky against the Giants as his splitter is still gone. Down for Seattle.

Team Notes: They could do some weird stuff with a six-man rotation and a doubleheader today and on the 26th. Monitor this.

 

Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies Expected Rotation

Vince Velasquez – Too volatile for me for any of these.

Jake Arrieta – His ceiling is too low to consider at all.

Aaron Nola – Absolutely.

Zack Wheeler – Let’s hope he does return for the 17th start and gets at least two more starts this year. I’m down for both, though it may be a little limited in his first outing with his nail injury.

Ramon Russo – Is he actually going to get this start? If so, I’m not interested.

Zach Eflin – I’m dumb and somehow left Eflin off of this originally. I think he’s not worth it for Toronto or Washington, but he does have some upside if you need to take the risk.

Team Notes: They have a pair of doubleheaders and things could shake up a bit. We’re only starting Wheeler and Nola at this point.

 

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates Expected Rotation

Mitch Keller Hey, he’s coming back! I imagine it’ll be in a limited capacity, so I’m out here.

Joe Musgrove – The same goes for Musgrove, but he could be fully stretched out by the Cardinals. I think I’d only really consider him for the Cleveland start and if he’s rolling, I’m in.

JT Brubaker – He’s a deep stream for the Reds and Indians. Not Cardinals.

Steven Bault / Trevor Williams – No thanks.

Team Notes: With two doubleheaders, I’d imagine Cody Ponce and Chad Kuhl each get a start.

 

San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres Expected Rotation

Dinelson LametStart him in all of these, though he may not get that third start as the Padres set up their playoff rotation.

Mike Clevinger – Start him for both.

Garrett Richards – I’d consider him as a Cherry Bomb for the Mariners, but a bench for the Giants

Zach Davies – I know he’s cruising, but that’s a bench against the Dodgers. I’m back for the Angels if the Changeup was still there previously.

Chris Paddack – He’s a sit against the Dodgers, but a start vs. LAA.

 

 

San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants Expected Rotation

Johnny Cueto – I’m in for Rockie Road but not for the Athletics.

Trevor Cahill / Logan Webb – No thanks

Drew Smyly – This may be a sneaky stream for both the Mariners and Rockie Road – I’d play it safe for Seattle but monitor for the Rockies

Tyler Anderson – That’s a deep stream for both, but be careful – the floor is awfully low.

 

 

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Expected Rotation

Marco Gonzales – He’s in a groove and I get starting for the Athletics, but definitely not Houston.

Team Notes: Everyone else is a bench as those matchups are too rough. Maybe Justus Sheffield or Yusei Kikuchi against the Athletics. Depends on your needs.

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals Expected Rotation

Team Notes: I’m starting everyone in the rotation except the mystery pitchers during doubleheaders. Those matchups are just too good.

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays Expected Rotation

Blake Snell / Tyler Glasnow – Well, duh.

Charlie Morton – He’s stretched out now, but his velocity is diminished and curveball command isn’t back to normal. I’m okay starting him, but this could get ugly.

John Curtiss / Josh Fleming / Mystery Starter – No thanks. Too risky and not enough upside.

 

 

Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers Expected Rotation

Lance Lynn – Always.

Everyone else – Absolutely not.

 

 

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays Expected Rotation

Robbie Ray – He looked better last time out, but it’s still hard to buy that he’s a strong start for the Phils next –> the Yankees will be stronger by the 23rd. Be careful.

Hyun Jin Ryu – Let him ride.

Tanner Roark – Let him sit.

Taijuan Walker – I may be in for the Phils and Orioles, but I think I’m out for the Yankees. Risky starts.

Ross Stripling – We haven’t seen him get locked in yet and I’d sit this out.

Chase Anderson – No thanks.

 

 

 

Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals Expected Rotation

Anibal Sanchez – He’s not the Toby of the past.

Patrick Corbin – He found his groove against the Braves and a must-start the rest of the way.

Max Scherzer – Even with his recent troubles, you should be starting him.

Austin Voth / Erick Fedde – Way too risky for your attention.

Team Notes: There are three doubleheaders that will interrupt things, but start Corbin/Scherzer and bench the rest.

 

Conclusion

 

Are you debating between a pair of arms for your playoff run? Leave them in the comments and I’ll follow up later tonight/tomorrow. I sadly ran out of time and couldn’t craft a list of pitchers to avoid/grab due to their schedules, but I imagine a look through here will highlight many for you.

Good luck!

 

Graphic by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Branden says:

    Want to pick up someone starting two games this week. Ks are big points, so the Urquidy’s of the world arent worth picking up.

    Was thinking Musgrove or Gonsolin but Smyly is also intriguing with his Ks this year

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Why not Urquidy?

      I know it didn’t work last time, but there’s a chance he goes a strikeout per inning, if not more.

      Musgrove is the one I’d go with there.

      • Avatar Branden says:

        Purely just for Ks I was worried about urquidy. For example Musgrove’s last start of 4 innings, 5 Ks was 13.5 points and Urquidys 6 innings, 1 K was 6.25

        • Avatar Shabs says:

          Urquidy has an unrealistic BA on his FB rn, but with two 30% whiff pitches to go with it. Hes only had two starts back, and limited damage in both, incl a 5 inning no hit bid.

  • Avatar AJ says:

    Who do you prefer between the two royals pitchers with one roster spot: Duffy or Singer?

  • Avatar Mike says:

    Pablo Lopez or Dakota ROS for a playoff run. And is it close enough to hold on over the other in a 12 team, keep 15 forever league (ie top 180 of dynasty).

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Hudson is safer and gives you more volume as you’ll get three starts vs. two (you’ll like sit PabLo for the Braves).

      PabLo if you need more overall upside, especially in the strikeout department.

      PabLo is the better 2021+ add, too.

  • Avatar Derek says:

    So incredibly helpful, Nick!
    I’m looking for a high floor in a points league that rewards both W and QS highly. Do you like Gonsolin @SD, Brubaker @Cin, or Duffy @Det for me? Gonsolin is definitely the best pitcher of the three, but I’m worried about him getting pulled early and/or smacked around.

  • Avatar David Fletcher Enthusiast says:

    B. Singer or L McCullers Jr. for Wednesday?

  • Avatar Matt says:

    Hey Nick, great read as always. Manaea has had back to back good starts, is there anything in his profile that has suggested a change? I saw his velo was up a touch but not significantly. Obviously his schedule is rough but would you give any consideration to him in deeper leagues?

  • Avatar Tim says:

    Dunning or Musgrove Tuesday?

  • Avatar Matthew says:

    For the Braves – Milone is on IL10 (Touki getting his start on today) and Erlin was let go. Cole Hammels is slated to come back and start on Wednesday and Max Fried on Friday, with Anderson and Wright getting pushed back a day. Not sure if Tomlin will make another start and it’s unclear who will start Tuesday’s game. Thanks for the list as always!

  • Avatar dubjay says:

    Hey Nick,
    What are we thinking about Gausman? I love how he was pitching and was looking forward to a potential 2 start week for him until they announced the double header sunday. Then they announced that he had an elbow issue. 2 potential starts against SEA and COL make him worth holding but the elbow issue has me debating whether its worth it. Can drop him outright for Pineda, Richards, Canning, Eovaldi or Hamels.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I think he’s going to miss the rest of the year and I’d drop to stream with those options available (likely Pineda or Richards for me).

  • Avatar Happy Darvish Owner says:

    Thanks for all your awesome work this weird year. With Sonny Gray and Walker Buehler on the IL I’m forced to depend on Musgrove to hold it together (come on baby hold together).

  • Avatar CJ says:

    Hey Nick great as always. I’m trying to chase wins and ks in my AL only roto and am last in ERA so free rolling the last week. can you rank the 2 start guys in Akin, Skubal, Fleming, Roarke, Gibson? Thanks

    Btw are the Astros planning to use L.Garcia as a piggy back to McCullers?

  • Avatar David says:

    Thanks for posting all of this Nick. Very helpful.

    I have to start two of the following this week in a roto league: Gonsolin, Peterson, Walker, Canning. I’m leaning Gonsolin’s two starts and Peterson. Would you roll the dice and start Walker instead of one of them? Do you trust Canning vs Arizona?

  • Avatar Leo says:

    Great work this season Nick, as always. Low on moves in a Roto, looking to add an arm for the last two weeks with Sonny Gray hitting the IL. Need a win or two while keeping my ERA and WHIP low after Rogers blowing up last night, a few K’s would be decent.

    Looking at Tanaka or Wainwright, which do you prefer?

  • Avatar Eric says:

    How would you rank these guys for rest of season? ERA is most important to me at this point. Thanks!
    -Pablo Lopez
    -Keller
    -Bubic
    -Carlos Martinez
    -Adam Wainwright

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