It’s the final week of the season and the best thing I can provide for readers is a massive Sit/Start table for all remaining Starting Pitcher Matchups with notes on starts for each day.
Huge props to Max Freeze for his excellent Sit/Start articles through the year and allowing me to take the reigns for the final two weeks.
Before we begin, remember, these matchups are subject to change. Make sure to monitor playoff teams specifically, like the Nationals, Indians, Astros, and Cardinals who could switch things around the final weekend on a dime.
The massive table ahead of you has been color-coded:
- Green = Just start this guy
- Blue = Worthwhile, though the conservative owners could hold off
- Amber = Not the worst option for desperate plays – target what you need here (ratios, Win, QS, Ks)
- Red = Please don’t. This is unlikely to go well.
Alright, let’s get to it. Here’s the huge Sit / Start Starting Pitcher table for the final week of the regular season:
Monday, September 23th
- Only a few games are being played on Monday, don’t take a risk you don’t have to take early in the week.
- Blake Snell should be limited innings-wise, but overall helpful. If you’re in a league that counts starts, possibly reconsider this one.
- It’s a close call between Adam Wainwright, Alex Young, and Caleb Smith. If you feel you need the upside play, start Caleb, while Young is the safest, and Wainwright is the most balanced.
- Zach Eflin could work, but the Nationals offense is well capable of taking advantage of Eflin’s strike-throwing ways
- It looks like Dylan Bundy is starting on Tuesday instead, with Chandler Shepherd getting the nod today and possibly Sunday as well. He’s not worth your time.
Tuesday, September 24th
- The Phillies and Nationals are playing a double-header and unlikely to burn one of their regular starters for the game. Ignore it.
- There are just two Tier 2 arms in this one – Mitch Keller and Julio Teheran, with the upside edge going to Keller, floor for Teheran. A bit shocking, but I wanted to raise Homer Bailey into Tier 1 as a strong play, Aaron Nola is still a great arm that shouldn’t be sat despite the Nationals, and I don’t trust Sandy Alcantara to get his command back for the Mets enough to raise him a full Tier.
- The Yankees have set their rotation up for the playoffs, pushing Masahiro Tanaka’s next start all the way to the weekend with a pair of mystery bullpen games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Plan accordingly.
- Rich Hill is starting, which means there will be random pitchers filling in through the game. You want none of this.
- Despite his promising start last time out, Spencer Turnbull isn’t worth the risk against the strong Twins offense.
- Don’t overlook the desperate play of Jeff Hoffman inside Oracle Park. There could be some value to be had there.
- I expect Tommy Milone once again to follow Justin Dunn out of the pen to little fanfare as he gets a matchup for the Astros. If Dunn is confirmed to go longer, it doesn’t make a difference. Ignore this.
Wednesday, September 25th
- As mentioned in Tuesday, the Yankees have set their rotation up for the playoffs, pushing Masahiro Tanaka’s next start all the way to the weekend with a pair of mystery bullpen games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Plan accordingly.
- The Rockies could be starting Peter Lambert in Oracle Park or Tim Melville as a possibility. Like Hoffman on Tuesday, there’s a desperate play to be had here as either one could thrive in the matchup. Not something to consider in 12-teamers save for those in dire straits.
- Akin to Hill yesterday, Dodgeritis is in full effect as Ross Stripling may start and Tony Gonsolin could follow. Neither will get the volume you want so let’s move on.
- The Jordan Lyles vs. Tyler Mahle is an interesting one as both teeter between the 2nd and 3rd tiers. I gave them each the elevated rank as both should be considered for the start.
- Andrew Heaney may sit on many people’s benches despite the Tier 2 designation and I understand it. His upside alone does warrant heightened consideration, though. The same goes for Dinelson Lamet as he faces the Dodgers. If you need the strikeout upside, he’s still a start.
Thursday, September 26th
- The Red Sox haven’t found a proper replacement for David Price yet (yes, this includes Jhoulys Chacin who is the fourth starter), leading to another bullpen game.
- The Twins haven’t named a starter, though it could be Robert Dobnak who started last week. I wouldn’t pursue him.
- It looks like the Cubs are once again pushing Jose Quintana back a start, leaving another opening for Alec Mills to get a start. That shouldn’t’ excite you, even if he performed surprisingly well against the Cardinals last week.
- I debated with Mike Minor’s tier a bit here and I’m willing to wager that his woes in two games against the A’s are behind him and it’s less of a trend than we’re giving it. If I own him, I’m starting him, just like I would if this was at the end of June with Minor’s 2019 track record. I don’t blame you for sitting him against the Sawx, though.
- I don’t love Tyler Beede’s skill set at the moment, but a matchup hosting the Rockies in Oracle Park is worth a spot in the third tier.
Friday, September 27th
- So much yellow. There are a lot of arms that I normally consider streamers, but they are either coming in not at their best (Ivan Nova, Pablo Lopez, Jose Quintana, Dakota Hudson, Luke Weaver), or have a tough matchup in front of them (Austin Voth, Zach Plesac, Justus Sheffield, Marcus Stroman, Johnny Cueto). Take your pick, it’s awfully close across the board here.
- I’m sure many would hate to go with Nathan Eovaldi, but he just looked much better against the Rays and gets the Orioles. That’s a small step above the other options in Tier 3.
- Jose Urquidy is a great option to consider against the lowly Angels. There’s sneaky value to be had there.
- Yes, Matt Boyd is a Tier 2 option. I know, don’t start him if you can’t deal with it. Can we at least acknowledge that his floor is the same as those in yellow and his ceiling is higher against the White Sox? That’s the reason he’s separated. Both the floor and ceiling are slightly higher than Reynaldo Lopez’s who couldn’t handle the Tigers on Sunday.
- Speaking of that matchup, the White Sox and Tigers have a double-header on Friday, but should have available regular starters to go.
Saturday, September 28th
- Despite Logan Webb impressing mightily against the Braves on Sunday, I don’t trust him in the slightest to repeat his success against the Dodgers.
- As much as I like Brandon Woodruff, the fact that he’ll likely be limited to just four innings caps his ceiling, while pitching Coors lowers his floor. It’s just not worth it.
- It’s unclear who starts for the Tigers facing the repercussions of Friday’s double-header. It doesn’t matter, honestly. It could just be a bullpen game in the end.
- Of all the starts in Yellow, I’d be most cautious of Adam Plutko’s against the Nationals. He’s only in Tier 3 for the outside chance of a quality start, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s a
- Justin Verlander could make this start and be in line for his Friday start of Game #1 of the ALDS…or get skipped. It’s unclear at the moment.
- The Pirates could go six-man and give James Marvel another start on the 28th, bumping Trevor Williams to tomorrow and ending Mitch Keller’s season on the 24th. That would be sad.
Sunday, September 29th
- It’s possible the Orioles end Dylan Bundy’s season and go with Chandler Shepherd once again, so don’t bank on Bundy for your final start until it’s fully confirmed.
- Like Tuesday, Rich Hill is starting, which means there will be random pitchers filling in through the game.
- Pay attention to playoff teams as they may be skipping ace starts as they shape their rotation for the playoffs.
- The Twins could give Jake Odorizzi a rest to reshape rotation if wild card is already locked, he’d be their likely starter for Friday’s ALDS Game #1.
- Gerrit Cole could still make this start and be in line for Game #2 of ALDS on Saturday – or they could give him the rest.
- Max Scherzer is lined up here, but if the Nationals have the Wild Card spot locked, expected him to get bumped for a bullpen game or a random starter. Scherzer should start the WC game.
- Lastly, the Indians are in contention for the AL Central and Wild Card. With Mike Clevinger slated for Sunday, the game may be meaningless. If so, expect Clev to be skipped for the WC game or Game #1 of the ALDS.
- I don’t like Garrett Richards against the Diamondbacks, but he’s still a tier above options like Adrian Houser surviving Coors (and Counsel’s early hooks) and Dillon Peters pulling magic out of nowhere against the Astros.
- With Frankie Montas‘ suspension coming to a close, there’s a chance Homer Bailey doesn’t make this final start – if the A’s are in a must-win scenario, they’ll go with bailey over the risk of a rusty Montas. Take note, though, and monitor the situation closely this week.