If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve either won a fantasy baseball playoff matchup or earned a bye week. So first: congratulations! You just need two more wins (or one if your league doesn’t count the last week) to become a champion. With all that hard work in such a long season, I hope it goes your way.
That being said, could you use some extra pitching to get you over the top? If so, you’ve clicked the right link. In this playoff edition of weekly pitching streamers, there are plenty of favorable matchups, two-start difference makers, a bunch of high-floor veterans (spoiler: check out Seth Lugo’s matchup next week), and two rookies with lots of strikeout upside.
Also, for the playoffs, I’ve included a look ahead to each pitcher’s final-week matchup. Hopefully, that will give you a good idea of who is worth keeping around for the most important week of the season.
So good luck, stream responsibly and start scrolling. As always, this list is in roster-percentage order.
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11 Pitching Streamers to Target in Week 25
Pitching Streamers Available in Some Leagues (About 50% to 65% Rostered)
Ryan Pepiot SP Dodgers
Last start: Wednesday, September 13 vs. Padres – 6IP L 4ER 6H 0BB 5K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 19 vs. Tigers + Sunday, September 24 vs. Giants
Looking ahead: @ Giants (Friday, September 29)
Though not as dominant this week (4ER in 6IP), Ryan Pepiot was still pretty effective against the Padres on Wednesday. His 14 swinging strikes were encouraging, along with yet another start with zero walks. Given that control was always the big issue (4.4 BB/9 last season), his amazing 0.67 BB/9 over his first five appearances in 2023 could mean the final piece of the puzzle is in place. If so, he could be the final piece of the puzzle for your fantasy team for the rest of the playoffs. He’s in line for two favorable starts next week. The Tigers are ranked 28th in WOBA and the Giants are ranked 20th (24th since August). And if the schedule holds up, he should draw the Giants again for the final week. Is it dangerous depending on a rookie to win you a championship? Yes. Does this particular rookie have the highest upside of all the pitching streamers left? Also yes.
Dean Kremer SP Orioles
Last start: Monday, September 11 vs. Cardinals – 4.1 IP 5ER 7H 4BB 2K
Next start: Sunday, September 17 vs. Rays
1 start next week: Saturday, September 23 @ Guardians
This time of year is really all about who can help you now. Dean Kremer has never been awe-inspiring, but he has at least been adequate this season (4.25 ERA and 12 wins). And before a lackluster start against the Cardinals on Monday, he was even better than adequate in his last three starts (one run over 16.2 innings). So in a week where he’ll face the Guardians, ranked last in WOBA over the last 30 days and 27th overall, the 27 year old righty seems among the most stable pitching streamers of the week. Given his propensity to eat innings (159 so far), this seems like a particularly good points-league play. But hopefully the ratios will also hold up. As far as his start this weekend against the Rays (ranked 4th on WOBA), I’d leave that matchup for someone else.
Seth Lugo SP/RP Padres
Last start: Friday, September 15 @ A’s – 6IP W 3ER 5H 1BB 7K
1 start next week: Wednesday, September 20 vs. Rockies
Looking ahead: @ Giants (Tuesday, September 26)
If you’re in a shallow league and looking for one reliable arm to get you to the next round of the playoffs, look no further than Seth Lugo. In addition to being solid all season (3.83 ERA/1.22 WHIP), he lines up for a very favorable matchup against the Rockies away from Coors Field. They rank 22nd in WOBA overall, have just a .651 OPS on the road (vs. .769 at home), and strike out third most in the entire league. There are pitching streamers with more upside, but if you’re playing it safe in a categories league with your season on the line, this might be the highest-floor play of the week. Also worth noting: the veteran should be a good bet again during the final week of the season when he travels to San Francisco (19th in WOBA and 6th most strikeouts). So try not to drop him next week in a daily transaction league.
Braxton Garrett SP Marlins
Last start: Wednesday, September 13 vs. Brewers – 6IP W 0ER 4H 2BB 7K
1 start next week: Tuesday, September 19 vs. Mets
Looking ahead: @ Mets (Wednesday, September 27)
If you’re looking for a high-floor pitcher (three runs or fewer in nine straight) who’s been consistent most of the year (3.67/1.16 ERA/WHIP), Braxton Garrett might be your man. He looked particularly good on Wednesday, shutting out the Brewers for six innings, striking out seven, and earning a win. His six innings also notched a quality start, his sixth out of nine tries. Next week he’ll draw the Mets. They rank 18th overall in WOBA, and have averaged just 3.94 runs per game over the last three weeks (compared to 4.36 for the season). All together, this seems like a decent standard-sized categories option. Also, there’s a possibility that the Marlins will go back to a five-man rotation this weekend. That would allow Garrett to get two starts (vs. Mets/vs. Brewers), making him a solid points-league option, too. Stay tuned.
Pitching Streamers Available in Most Leagues (About 30% to 50% Rostered)
Kyle Hendricks SP Cubs
Last start: Sunday, September 10 vs. DBacks – 5.2IP 2ER 7H 1BB 4K
Next start: Saturday, September 16 @ DBacks
1 start next week: Friday, September 22 vs. Rockies
Looking ahead: @ Braves (Thursday, September 28)
After last week’s first shaky performance in a while (four earned runs against the Giants), Kyle Hendricks rebounded very nicely on Sunday against the DBacks. In addition to yielding just two runs over 5.2 innings, he continued to limit hard contact (just four hard-hit balls). And like usual, he kept the walks in check (1). These are the kinds of things that made the veteran a viable standard-league option for many years. Now among the pitching streamers ranks, the 33 year old should provide a high floor in the fantasy playoffs. He’ll draw the DBacks again this weekend (just 4.17 runs per game in September) before facing the Rockies at home next week. Outside of Coors, they have just a .651 OPS (vs. .769 at home). They also rank 22nd in WOBA overall. One more note: as of now his last start will be at Atlanta, a situation that could render him unusable outside of deep leagues.
Mike Clevinger SP White Sox
Last start: Wednesday, September 13 vs. Royals – 6IP L 2ER 6H 0BB 7K
1 start next week: Tuesday, September 19 @ Nationals
Looking ahead: vs. DBacks (Tuesday, September 26)
The good starts have really piled up for Mike Clevinger. Though stuck with a loss against the Royals on Wednesday, the veteran allowed just two runs over six innings. It’s his fifth quality start out of his last seven. And he’s now compiled 26 strikeouts in his last 24 innings. Though prone to the occasional blow-up (eight earned runs three starts ago), the 32-year-old feels like a decent bet next week when he’ll draw a road matchup against the Nationals. In the last 30 days, they rank last in WOBA. And they struggle a bit against righties (.698 OPS vs. .738 against lefties). Also worth noting: it’s possible the White Sox will go with a standard five-man rotation going forward. That would mean Clevinger would start on Monday and draw two starts next week (second start would be at Red Sox). If that happens, it’s a nice little bonus. Kind of. The Red Sox are ranked 9th in WOBA over the last 30 days.
Javier Assad SP/RP Cubs
Last start: Tuesday, September 12 @ Rockies – 3.1IP 4ER 5H 4BB 4K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 19 vs. Pirates + Sunday, September 24 vs. Rockies
Looking ahead: @ Brewers (Saturday, September 30)
OK, Javier Assad is likely not as good as his results have been so far. His 3.10 ERA is not backed up by the expected stats at all (xERA 5.04, xFIP 4.59). And he wasn’t very good his last time out either, yielding four runs and walking four against the Rockies. But as a universal rule, we usually don’t penalize pitchers for Coors Field performances. And also, the right-hander has done a good job at limiting hard contact (73rd percentile hard-hit rate) and keeping batted balls on the ground (47.7 GB rate). But really, it’s the righty’s very favorable schedule that makes him among the best pitching streamers this week. He’ll get two starts, which makes him a very solid points league option. The first start will be against the Pirates. They’re ranked 23rd in WOBA and 24th in runs per game. Start two will be against the Rockies away from Coors Field. They rank 22nd in WOBA overall and have just a .651 OPS on the road (vs. .769 at home). Can you trust him in a categories league given the matchups? That honestly depends on how risk-averse you are.
Bryan Woo SP Mariners
Last start: Tuesday, September 12 vs. Angels – 5.2IP W 0ER 4H 0BB 8K
2 starts next week: Monday, September 18 @ A’s + Sunday, September 24 @ Rangers
Looking ahead: vs. Rangers (Friday, September 29)
It was a nice bounce-back performance for Bryan Woo on Tuesday. He shut out the Angels for 5.1 innings, earned a win, and induced an impressive 20 swinging strikes. OK, it was against a struggling Angels lineup (24th in WOBA in the last 30 days), but overall the rookie has fared really well with a 4.16 ERA/1.15 WHIP, and an even better 3.37 xERA. But for this time of year, the important thing is his upcoming two-start week. He’ll draw the A’s first, a team that ranks last in WOBA, runs per game, and is even less potent at home (.656 OPS vs. 694 on the road). Will the juicy matchup be offset by a trip to Texas? Though the Rangers are ranked 3rd in WOBA overall, they have been middle-of-the-road lately, ranking 12th in the last 30 days and averaging just 4.33 runs per game during their recent nine-game home stand (compared to 5.51 all season). Seems like a no-brainer for points and daily line-up leagues. For weekly categories, you can do far worse.
Pitching Streamers Widely Available (About 30% Rostered or Fewer)
Cristopher Sanchez SP/RP Phillies
Last start: Wednesday, September 13 vs. Braves – 7.1IP L 4ER 8H 1BB 10K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 19 @ Braves + Sunday, September 24 vs. Mets
It’s rare these days to see a pitcher set career-highs against the Braves, but Cristopher Sanchez had a personal best 10 strikeouts and went 7.1 innings on Wednesday. He did surrender four runs and was stuck with a loss. But against the Braves, it’s all about small victories. Perhaps most impressive was the 21 swinging strikes, aided by a big increased usage of the changeup. It complemented his usual pinpoint control and elite ground-ball rate (2nd in the league). Can he do it again in next week’s rematch? This will be on the road, a place he’s pitched much better (1.29 ERA vs. 4.07 at home). So maybe? The good news, though: he’ll get a second start against the Mets to wrap up the week. They rank 18th in WOBA and have been less potent against lefties (.709 OPS vs. .733 against righties). Add it all up, this seems like a solid points-league option (RP eligible, too). And certainly a good deep-league play. Standard-sized categories? Only if you’re a gambler.
Josiah Gray SP Nationals
Last start: Thursday, September 14 @ Pirates – 6.1IP L 2ER 5H 0BB 10K
1 start next week: Wednesday, September 20 vs. White Sox
Looking ahead: @ Orioles (Wednesday, September 27)
After taking a little break in between starts (11 days), Josiah Gray returned very strong against the Pirates on Thursday. He limited them to just two runs over 6.1 innings, but impressively struck out 10 and walked none. That last stat is particularly important as it’s been a sore spot all season (4.56 BB/9). Will his new pitch mix and tweaked delivery continue to be effective over the 25-year-old’s last two starts? If you’re in a deep league and deep into the playoffs, that sure is the hope. The good news is he’ll draw the White Sox in next week’s start. They’ve been pretty bad all season (ranked last in WOBA), and also bad lately (25th in WOBA over the last 30 days and a 3-9 record this month). This is certainly not a safe pick, but if you need one more arm and your waiver wire has been scoured, it will have to do.
Tanner Houck SP/RP Red Sox
Last start: Thursday, September 14 vs. Yankees – 6IP W 0ER 4H 3BB 7K
1 start next week: Tuesday, September 19 @ Rangers
Looking ahead: vs. Rays (Tuesday, September 26), @ Orioles (Sunday, October 1)
If you find yourself in a very deep league and all the other players on this list are rostered, Tanner Houck is likely the best of what’s left on your waiver wire. He’s flashed upside this season and might very well have been standard-league-relevant if not for the facial fracture that kept him out for over two months. His most recent start was his best since returning from the IL. He shut the Yankees down for six innings and earned both a win and a quality start. Also, he had seven strikeouts and 19 swinging strikes, mostly due to an increased usage of his slider. He does NOT have a favorable matchup, though. He’ll oppose the Rangers on the road. For what it’s worth, they’re only ranked 12th in WOBA (as opposed to 3rd overall) during the last 30 days. And Houck has been historically a bit better on the road (a full earned run better this season). But make no mistake, this is a last-resort sort of pick.