With the season winding down (especially for those in H2H leagues) streaming the right matchups are more important than ever. Fortunately, we have more data now than at any point in the season to help us choose wisely. Be Indiana Jones. Choose the right chalice.

Tier 1 is a trio of aces you don’t need me to tell you to start, but Tier 2 has some interesting names in Zack Wheeler and Stephen Strasburg. Wheeler has been incredible since the start of June, with a 2.82 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The Giants are susceptible to righties, which is enough to get me to start him everywhere. Tier 3 has some great options as well, like a matchup-based Tanaka, a surging Rodon (which sounds like a euphemism but I swear it’s not), and a, um, foodstuff exporting Holland? Listen, it’s late in the season. Give me a break. Tier 4 is honestly pretty gross, with the likes of Chase Anderson, Shane Bieber, and Mike Fiers that are guys that you really can’t rely on to not destroy your week. Tier 5 makes you cringe, like usual, although Brett Anderson is at least coming off a strong start. There is a decent enough chance he strikes out zero batters though, which you might say limits his upside.

Tier 1
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Corey Kluber @BOS 1st 18.7 @KC 27th 20
Gerrit Cole @SEA 14th 19.9 @LAA 4th 20.3
Blake Snell (L) KC 26th 22.9 BOS 9th 22.8
  • Blake Snell (TB) – Not too much to say on these guys. Snell is perhaps the diciest of the bunch since he has yet to pitch beyond five innings since his return from the disabled list. However, he’s also only allowed a single run over those 14 innings (3 GS) with a 15:3 K:BB ratio. He has also handled Boston really well this year, yielding just two runs over 19 innings (3 GS). Do not fret this week, Mr. Snell Owner.

Tier 2
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Rick Porcello CLE 3rd 19.4 @TB 20th 22.1
Jose Berrios CHW 24th 25.8 OAK 7th 21.8
Stephen Strasburg PHI 21st 25.5 @NYM 19th 21.3
Zach Wheeler SF 26th 23.5 WSH 10th 20.1
Alex Wood (L) STL 7th 20.8 SD 21st 24
  • Stephen Strasburg (WSH) – If the Titanic had his a Strasburg instead of an iceberg, we could have saved so many lives. The boat would have won. Of course, then we wouldn’t have got to watch an old lady toss jewelry into the ocean. RIP Bill Paxton (and probably that old lady too, I assume). On the bright side, Stras is back baby!! Well…probably. This is one to monitor heading into lineup lock on Monday, but as of now he’s scheduled to return from the DL Tuesday and pile up two starts against manageable offenses. If you’re in good shape in the standings and are worried about yet another disaster start, frankly, I understand. It’s a bit dangerous, but most Stras owners could probably use the help. If the injuries are truly behind him, he should easily justify this Tier 2 rank.

Tier 3
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Masahiro Tanaka @MIA 28th 22.5 @BAL 23rd 23.7
Carlos Rodon (L) MIN 25th 23.6 @DET 18th 20.6
Chris Archer ATL 12th 20.5 @MIL 15th 25.3
Kevin Gausman @PIT 17th 19.7 @MIA 28th 22.5
Kyle Hendricks @DET 30th 22.2 CIN 13th 21.4
Vince Velasquez @WSH 10th 20.1 @TOR 8th 22.7
Nathan Eovaldi CLE 3rd 19.4 @TB 20th 22.1
Derek Holland (L) @NYM 29th 25.5 TEX 11th 23.4
  • Masahiro Tanaka – It’s hard to find a week with better matchups than this. While the Orioles have been far more productive over the second half, they’re still a team I’m not shying away from in the streaming game. Same goes for the Marlins, except for that bit about being better over the second half. The real downside here is that Tanaka is maddeningly inconsistent. Rostering Masahiro Tanaka is actually what drove H.P. Lovecraft to write every single one of his stories. He’ll string together a few good games and then give up three taters in a single start and make you wish you had eaten that extra helping of noodles instead of stopping after one bowl and remembering to put him in your lineup. You could have had carbs, instead you got taters. Except taters are carbs, so…huh.

Tier 4
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Lucas Giolito @MIN 16th 21.5 @DET 30th 22.2
Tyler Anderson (L) SD 21st 24 STL 7th 20.8
Shane Bieber @BOS 1st 18.7 @KC 27th 20
Mike Fiers TEX 9th 25.1 @MIN 16th 21.5
Chase Anderson CIN 13th 21.4 PIT 17th 19.7
Julio Teheran @PIT 17th 19.7 @MIA 28th 22.5
Trevor Richards NYY 5th 22.5 ATL 12th 20.5
Austin Gomber (L) @LAD 23rd 22.6 @COL 4th 21.5
  • Chase Anderson (MIL) – By all accounts, Anderson has been one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball this season. With a 3.97 ERA but a 5.26 FIP, his ERA-FIP is -1.30. That mark is the largest in the majors. What has he done to achieve that .235 BABIP you ask? Allow 36% hard contact? No, that’s not it. Strike out a pedestrian 7.24 batters per nine? No, that’s not right either. Maybe his 3.48 BB/9 is tricking batters into thinking they’re getting a free pass, only to watch him sneak a strike in for a punchout and they turn tail and shuffle back to the dugout!! Seems unlikely, but I don’t have any statistics to wave that one away. Basically, I don’t like Chase Anderson, but he gets two not-horrible matchups this week, which is all it takes to sneak into an ugly Week 21 Tier 4.

Tier 5
Player Opp #1 Rank vs L/R Opp K% Opp #2 Rank vs L/R Opp K%
Brett Anderson (L) TEX 11th 23.4 @MIN 25th 23.6
Marco Estrada BAL 23rd 23.7 PHI 21st 25.5
Dylan Bundy @TOR 8th 22.7 NYY 5th 22.5
Andrew Cashner @TOR 8th 22.7 NYY 5th 22.5
Jorge Lopez @TB 20th 22.1 CLE 3rd 19.4
Glenn Sparkman @TB 20th 22.1 CLE 3rd 19.4
Robbie Erlin (L) @COL 4th 21.5 @LAD 23rd 22.6
Steven Matz SF 26th 23.5 WSH 10th 20.1
Jordan Zimmermann CHC 6th 20.8 CHW 24th 25.8
Homer Bailey @MIL 15th 25.3 @CHC 6th 20.8
Ervin Santana @CHW 24th 25.8 OAK 7th 21.8
  • Dylan Bundy (BAL) – Holy mother of the banana boat float, what has happened to Dylan Bundy?! Since the start of July, Bundy owners (who have kept starting him) have endured an 8.33 ERA with a 1.71 WHIP. This isn’t just bad luck, as his FIP is also an atrocious 7.17. His breaking balls have lost some drop, most notably his curveball, which (wisely) is sparingly used. His slider has gotten worse as well though, and basically everything he’s throwing is getting tattooed. I’m not sure there’s a quick fix here, and with a pair of matchups in homer-friendly parks, Bundy descends to the murky depths of Tier 5 this week.

*All pitchers are scheduled for two starts as of Friday evening.



You can find Dokken on Twiter @NathanDokken

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3 years ago

Stras pushed back to Wednesday now, so only 1 start this week, FYI

3 years ago

Not too scared of that Velasquez @ Wash game?

I don’t see how its any different than Bieber’s 1 good 1 bad matchup that can kill ratios. What do you see out of VV?

3 years ago

Always insightful and helpful. Would you play Derek Holland or Andrew desclafani next week . Disco is up against the Cubs. I like Holland but Andrew is looking intriguing now healthy. Hate the Cubs matchup. Thanks

Reply to  johnnyhobbes
3 years ago

@johnnyhobbes: Peralta is also going against the reds, any live for that?

Josh Freeman
Josh Freeman
Reply to  johnnyhobbes
3 years ago

@johnnyhobbes: Holland. Reds still have 6-man rotation in play.

Reply to  Dokken
3 years ago

@Dokken: thanks for the advice!