10 Available Starters With Favorable Upcoming Schedules

It’s the final month of the season and every pitching matchup holds extra weight. Maybe one of your regular arms is slated pitch in Coors and in Arlington or you’re in need of an extra few starts from now through September 14th. Over at my site Pitcher List, I helped tackle this question by outlining the Top 100 Starters for the rest of the season according to their ROS schedules, providing estimations for each starter’s schedule from now until the end of the year. Instead of focusing on the entire month of September, here we’re going to take a look at ten lesser owned arms that could help you later this week or find themselves in good matchups for the next round:

Note: Owned rates are according to ESPN Leagues.

Good Matchups

Kyle Gibson (@KCR, SDP) – 8.7% owned

You may be surprised to see Gibson here. I’m surprised to see Gibson here. His career 6.17 K/9, 3.20 BB/9, and 4.73 ERA have secured him a comfortable spot on the third page of your waiver wire for ages, but in his last three starts, Gibson has been a new man, sporting a 1.37 ERA, 9.15 K/9, and 0.92 BB/9. His whiff rates have jumped to 13.9% in those starts after a near 9.0% prior and given he’s facing the paltry lineups of the Royals and Padres next, he’s worth a look for your squad.

Lucas Giolito (SFG, @KCR) – 33.4% owned

It’s possible you missed the boat on Giolito and this is a moot point. For those that still see him on the wire and are wondering if you should take the dive, allow two dates with the Giants and Royals to change your mind. Additionally, I wrote an article discussing Giolito’s poor mechanics in his 2017 debut, specifically noting his lack of drive from his backfoot. In his last two starts – especially his 1 ER and 10 strikeout performance on Sunday – this mechanical flaw has been much improved and I’m on board.

Robert Stephenson (@NYM, PIT) – 10% owned

Right off the bat, there’s a great chance for some easy points here as Stephenson is slated to face both the Mets and Pirates – two teams well recognized at the bottom of offensive prowess in the majors. It doesn’t come with its share of warts, however, as Stephenson is boasting a horrific 14.5% walk rate as a starter, with a 1.56 WHIP and averaging just 5.3 innings per start. Still, those that are searching for strikeout upside will love Stephenson’s 18 strikeouts across his last two outings, and he could carry his hot streak through to the end of next week.

Edwin Jackson (PHI, LAD) – 22.8% owned

You know it’s a weird season when Edwin Jackson is a considerable option for your staff deep in September, but here we are. The Phillies need no introduction as an ideal team to stream against, though seeing the Dodgers here may be a bit startling. However, with Corey Seager on the sidelines, the Dodgers have been reeling offensively over the last two weeks – 23rd in wOBA and 4th in strikeouts – and Jackson could take advantage. Since entering the Nationals’ rotation, he’s held an impressive 3.29 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP. Yes this is risky (5.17 FIP! .241 BABIP! 6.59 K/9!), but playing for the Nationals means a there’s an elevated chance at sneaking a Win or two from a pair of starts in the short term.

Adam Conley (@ATL, @PHI) – 8.7% owned

I wouldn’t call myself a Conley fan as the pitcher is as inconsistent as they come. Despite tossing an eleven strikeout game on August 20th, Conley has earned just nine strikeouts combined in his three starts since. With his excellent Slider, there’s upside for his strikeout ability to pop up on any given day and with starts scheduled against the Braves and Phils, it might be the type of gamble that you need to take. Save for Slegers, he’s my least favorite name featured here, but one to keep in mind if you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Doug Fister (TOR, OAK) – 20.7% owned

Like Jackson and Gibson, it’s shocking to find myself endorsing Fister, but there’s little denying the recent success he’s had. Fister’s last three starts have tallied a 1.57 ERA (2.92 FIP) and 7.04 K/9 with his signature low 6.0% walk rate, coming against respectable offenses of the Indians, Orioles, and Yankees. Now slated to face bottom-end lineups of Toronto and Oakland, it may be time for you to jump on board.

Two-Starts Next Week

Reynaldo Lopez (CLE, @KCR, @DET) – 7.4% owned

While you may not want to start Lopez for his start against a solid Cleveland offense, a pair of matchups against the Royals and Tigers is a beautiful gift. Lopez features legitimate strikeout upside with his mid-to-upper 90s Fastball and Slider/Changeup combination that can miss bats. Don’t let his 6 ER start in Texas deter you from trusting the 23-year-old and grab him regardless of his start in Cleveland.

Garrett Richards (HOU, TEX) – 17.8% owned

Yes, Richards is facing the Astros next week and he might still be on a short leash as he’s going to be on a 50-pitch count for tonight’s game against Oakland. However, with his talent, Richards could be beneficial against an Astros team that may be giving a rest to some of their starters as they gear up for the playoffs. Throw in a Rangers team that is simply atrocious on the road, and you have a pitcher that has been forgotten about across fantasy leagues that could provide a stable two-start week.

Kyle Freeland (SFG, @LAD, SDP) – 21.8% owned

Freeland has been a mediocre option following a hot April, and his early September may call for another surge with three great matchups ahead. Even calling Coors his home, the Giants and Padres are still in Freeland’s favor, while the aforementioned Dodgers have been struggling mightily as of late. Meanwhile, Freeland has shown a bit more strikeout upside in the second half, holding an 8.53 K/9 in his last eight starts. This isn’t the safest play nor is it the sexiest, but two Wins could come your way with the Colorado offense behind him.

Aaron Slegers (@TBR, SDP, TOR) – 0.0% owned

This is a longshot. A “I’m-going-to-lose-if-I-do-nothing-but-there’s-nothing-available” longshot. Slegers is slated to start Wednesday night in his MLB debut and we don’t really know what’s going to happen after. In the hypothetical situation that he does well, there’s a chance he takes another turn or two in the rotation, leading to a pair of great matchups for a two-start week against the Padres and Jays. But will he do well? Slegers has had a respectable 7.22 K/9 and low 1.76 BB/9 in Triple-A this season, en route to a 3.40 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. That doesn’t scream massive upside, but it does hint at a finesse pitcher that could find his way into outs and innings for your squad. His low 90s Fastball could be amplified by his massive 6’10” frame, and you may not get a chance to snag him if you wait-and-see.

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Nick Pollack is the founder of PitcherList.com and has written for Washington Post, Fantasy Pros, and CBS Sports. He can be found making an excessive amount of GIFs on twitter at @PitcherList.

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Great stuff nick and love pitcherlist. One of the few sites I visit everyday for fantasy info