August is upon us! The penultimate full month of the MLB season has arrived. Is your fantasy team like the Orioles, shocking the league and destroying everyone’s expectations? Is it like the A’s or Royals, just a few futile games– maybe less than a full week!– away from locking in that losing season with their 82nd loss?

Either way, you know what you have at this point. If your league allows trades at all, the trade deadline is probably just a couple weeks away– if you have a playoff structure, it may have already passed. While I’m not writing a player acquisition column, you should still be able to use my humble scribblings to scour your waiver wire. No, no one from The Top Shelf is just going to be sitting there, unless your league is at least half-dead at this point. But there are always gems in The Well. You just have to know where to dig.

This week’s Point of Reference is Spencer Strider, who finds himself about halfway down The Top Shelf, between Framer Valdez and Jack Flaherty, with his one start against the Angels this week. The point of pointing this out is that it means anyone in the table above Strider is indeed a better play than any 1-start pitcher this week.

So, why don’t you and I dive right in?


Pitchers’ projected starts for the next week are sourced from Rudy Gamble’s Streamonator as of the update at 12:20pm Eastern.

The bold pitchers below are the most extreme version of each section. The best of the Top Shelf, the safest of the Well, the worst of the Bar Mat.

The Top Shelf

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Tyler Glasnow, TB @NYY(MO) @DET(SU)
Corbin Burnes, MIL @WSH(MO) PIT(SA)
George Kirby, SEA BOS(MO) @LAA(SA)
Pablo Lopez, MIN @STL(TU) ARI(SU)
Freddy Peralta, MIL @WSH(TU) PIT(SU)
Carlos Rodon, NYY TB(TU) HOU(SU)
Alex Cobb, SF ARI(MO) @OAK(SU)
Zac Gallen, ARI @SF(TU) @MIN (SU)
Jack Flaherty, STL MIN(TU) COL(SU)
Spencer Strider, ATL LAA(TU) Point of Reference
Framber Valdez, HOU CLE(TU) @NYY(SU)
Charlie Morton, ATL LAA(MO) @CHC(SU)
Sandy Alcantara, MIA PHI(TU) @TEX(SU)
Andrew Abbott, CIN @CHC(MO) WSH(SA)
Julio Urias, LAD OAK(TU) @SD(SU)


  • Milwaukee’s top two get to feast on the losing-record-holding Nats and Bucs this week, so both Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes are excellent plays (not that you needed me to tell you that).
  • I think this is one of the highest spots Alex Cobb has enjoyed this year… the home matchup against the one-game-back D’backs is a crucial series for the Giants, so Cobb will enjoy the relative vacation he’ll experience heading across the Bay to the cavernous Coliseum to play the A’s.


The Well

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Bryce Miller, SEA BOS(TU) @LAA(SU)
Griffin Canning, LAA @ATL(MO) SEA(SU)
Edward Cabrera, MIA PHI(MO) @TEX(SA)
Taijuan Walker, PHI @MIA(MO) KC(SA)
Justin Steele, CHC CIN(TU) ATL(SU)
Domingo German, NYY TB(MO) HOU(SA)
Ranger Suarez, PHI @MIA(TU) KC(SU)
Brayan Bello, BOS @SEA(MO) TOR(SA)
Chris Bassitt, TOR BAL(MO) @BOS(SU)
Kyle Bradish, BAL @TOR(TU) NYM(SU)


  • A lot of dart throws here this week. Normally in a situation like this, I’d suggest leaning toward the home-and-home starters, but both Justin Steele and Domingo German have a very rough pair of opponents this week. Caveat emptor, as per usual.


The Bar Mat

Pitcher First Start Second Start
Marcus Stroman, CHC CIN(MO) ATL(SA)
Seth Lugo, SD @COL(MO) LAD(SU)
J.P. France, HOU CLE(MO) @NYY(SA)
Kyle Gibson, BAL @TOR(MO) NYM(SA)
Ben Lively, CIN @CHC(TU) WSH(SU)
Jose Quintana, NYM @KC(TU) @BAL(SU)
Jake Irvin, WSH MIL(MO) @CIN(SU)
Zack Greinke, KC NYM(TU) @PHI (SU)
Ryne Nelson, ARI @SF(MO) @MIN (SA)
Noah Syndergaard, CLE @HOU(MO) CHW(SU)
Osvaldo Bido, PIT DET(TU) @MIL(SU)
Tanner Banks, CHW @TEX(TU) @CLE(SU)
Austin Gomber, COL SD(MO) @STL(SU)


  • Austin Gomber, come on down! I need to go back at some point after the season and see how many times the very last pitcher in The Bar Mat was a Rox hurler. I’m guessing >50%.