As we move into Week 23 of this long baseball season, Fantasy managers that need to stream starting pitching should have a goal to find fresh arms who can provide your Fantasy team with a quality start. You’re never going to sit pitchers like Max Scherzer or King Felix, but even they have shown signs that they may be feeling the effects of the grind of a six month regular season. Familiarize yourself with the new names on your favorite team’s rosters because these might be the guys, whether they’re pitchers or position players, who can help you win a Fantasy championship down the stretch. If you are looking for pitchers that you can stream, for one last time this season, I’ve identified another seven starters that are owned in 59 percent or less of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy leagues, who have favorable matchups between September 9 and September 15. As usual I warn you, some of these selections may not be suitable for the faint of heart…I wish you the best on your road to a Fantasy Baseball championship!!
All quoted stats are accurate as of the morning of September 8
Josh Tomlin (R), Indians, 21 percent owned, vs. White Sox
Venue: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, IL
After undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery in April, Josh Tomlin has battled just to get himself healthy enough to get back on the mound for the Indians this season. Tomlin has pitched well in his five starts since mid-August. His complete game, one run victory against the Tigers on Friday night shows just how far Tomlin has come. Overall he has four wins, a 2.55 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP so far this season. His 69.2 first strike rate is well above the league average and has helped him to set up batters who have struck out 32 times in 35.1 innings pitched. Opposing hitters have just a .246 wOBA against him. Tomlin faces a disappointing Chicago White Sox team that has scored the fifth fewest runs in baseball and has an overall punchless .382 slugging average.
Derek Holland, (L), Rangers, 49 percent owned, vs. Mariners
Venue: Safeco Field, Seattle, WA
Derek Holland faces a Mariners team that he has dominated across his career. He has a 10-2 won/loss record with a 2.94 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in his 15 career starts against them. This is the second year in a row that Holland has had to endure long stints on the DL, only to come on in the final month of the season and remind the Rangers of what he could have contributed to their cause, had he been healthy. In his five starts, Holland has won three games and has an ERA of 2.37 and a WHIP of 0.86. His opponent, the Mariners, are another team that has struggled to score runs this season. They have scored the seventh fewest in baseball with just 549.
Jimmy Nelson, (R), Brewers, 42 percent owned, vs. Pirates
Venue: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
Jimmy Nelson has won four of his five career starts against the Pirates, pitching to a 1.72 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. Nelson has been a much better pitcher since the All-Star break, having posted a 5-2 won/loss record and 3.23 ERA as opposed to his 6-9 won/loss record, 4.21 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in the first half of the season. Not only does Nelson usually pitch much better at home as compared to his road starts, but in a small sample size of 11 innings pitched at PNC Park, he has struck out 10 with a 1.64 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The Pirates are a good home team, but Nelson will have the benefit of pitching for a hot Brewers squad that has won eight of their last ten games, and are batting .336 with a .524 slugging percentage over the past week.
Steven Matz, (L), Mets 52 percent owned vs. Braves
Venue: Turner Field, Atlanta, GA
The pitching rich Mets just seem to get richer. If Matt Harvey’s innings pitched will be limited the rest of the way, the Mets can do a lot worse than having Steven Matz go out there every fifth day. We obviously can’t go too crazy over Matz since he’s only started three major league games but it’s hard not to get excited about a kid with electric stuff who in four minor league seasons, compiled a 2.25 ERA and struck out 393 batters in 380.2 innings pitched. Opposing batters have a .169 BAA vs. Matz, and have been perplexed by his mix of a fastball and sinker that regularly hit the mid 90’s on the radar gun, along with a curve in the upper 70MPH range, and a change that regularly reaches the plate at about 85MPH. His next opponent, the Braves, continue to have one of the weakest baseball offenses on the planet. Over the past week, they have a .199 batting average and a .270 slugging percentage.
Raisel Iglesias, (R) Reds, 51 percent owned, vs. Cardinals
Venue: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH
Predicting that a starting pitcher will have a successful outing against the St. Louis Cardinals is never easy, but if you’re going to do it, the “Red Birds” better be playing on the road. Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias has been on a roll as of late. He has a 2.79 ERA and has given up three runs or less in eight of his last nine starts. Overall, Iglesias has a 3.81 ERA but his xFIP, FIP and SIERA all suggest that he is pitching much better than that. It drops to 2.87 when he pitches at home. He has struck out 97 batters in 87.1 innings and has shown good control, having issued just 26 walks while registering a 1.10 WHIP. It’s difficult to find many negatives when examining the 2015 Cardinals, but I am sure that Iglesias would be comforted in knowing that their team batting average does drop 11 points when they play on the road.
Kevin Gausman, (R), Orioles, 12 percent owned vs. Red Sox
Venue: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD
Kevin Gausman is performs much better when he is pitching at Camden Yards. For his career Gausman has a 3.54 ERA and 1.20 WHIP when he pitches at home, as compared to his 5.12 ERA and 1.40 WHIP when he pitches on the road. In addition, in 23.2 innings pitched against the Red Sox, Gausman has struck out 24 batters and registered a 2.66 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Although the Red Sox have been playing better as of late, they still have their issues winning on the road. The Orioles and Red Sox are polar opposites when it comes to their home and away records. The Orioles are 11 games over .500 at home while the Red Sox are 11 games under .500 when they play on the road.
Luis Severino, (R), Yankees, 59 percent owned vs. Rays
Venue: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
In Luis Severino’s last start against the Rays, he gave up just one run across 6.1 innings and recorded the win. This week, Severino again gets to face the weak hitting Rays, who have scored the third fewest runs in baseball. He exudes confidence, and although opposing batters are hitting just .215 against him, he is still developing his craft. Severino has got great tools which includes a fastball that has been clocked in the upper 90s, a hard slider that has great movement, and a change that although effective, is obviously still a work in progress. His overall numbers are excellent. In a limited sample size he has struck out 34 batters in 35.1 innings and pitched to a 2.04 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Look for Severino to post another quality start against the Rays on Tuesday.