Welcome to the Pitching Planner for Week 23. The beginning of the final month of Fantasy Baseball is upon us. More importantly, though, the first of September is when baseball teams call up their prospects for an evaluation at the Major League level. This is going to mean different things to different teams and it’s important for Fantasy owners to know how these prospects are going to be used by each team. For example, the Mets have placed a number of their players on the disabled list for the rest of the season and made room for several pitching and hitting prospects to see what they can do in preparation for next season. In other words, these prospects are going to play.
Teams like the Dodgers and Nationals have also called up some prospects. Those teams will play their prospects as well, however, they will likely be rotated around the usual starters to allow them some rest and prepare them for the post-season. Put differently, prospects on these teams will only play a few times per week. So make sure before you head to the waiver wire to pick up some of the September call ups that you have some idea of how often they will play. The vast majority of these prospects won’t be worth a roster spot.
Pitching prospects are the most dangerous to Fantasy owners, especially if you’re protecting your ratio stats. I try to make it a practice to avoid pitching prospects in September because most of them are approaching their innings pitched limit anyway. Most of the pitchers only get to make a few starts before they are shut down for the season. As far as hitting prospects, you probably won’t find too many power hitters coming up in September. Most of the prospects with good power profiles either broke spring training with the team or were called up after their Super Two date passed.
I’ve found that the best use for September prospects is for their speed. The vast majority of teams like to bring up the base stealing prospects now. If you’re trying to make up ground in the stolen base category, this is a perfect time to nab a few speedy prospects for your Fantasy team.
The table below will be published each week showing the expected pitching rotation matchups, whether the game is at home or on the road, and it will include the pitcher’s win/loss record as of the date the planner is written. Finally, you will note that each matchup is assigned a ranking numbered #1-5. This number refers to my recommendation as far as starting that pitcher in Fantasy play and the rankings break down as follows:
1 – Must-Start – These pitchers are aces and are virtually matchup proof.
2 – Favorable Start – These pitchers may or may not be aces but the matchup is favorable.
3 – Streaming Option – These pitchers are in a favorable matchup, so they can be started if needed.
4 – Risky Start – The matchup is prohibitively risky. Owners are advised to avoid this pitcher.
5 – Bench – Do not start this pitcher in this matchup.
PITCHER RANKINGS FOR WEEK 23[table “2163” not found /]
TWO-START PITCHERS FOR WEEK 23[table “2164” not found /]