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11 Pitching Streamers to Target in Week 26

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re about to make the finals in your fantasy baseball league. So first: congratulations! You’re so close! You just need one more win to become a champion. With all that hard work in such a long season, I really hope it goes your way. That being said, could you use some extra pitching to put you over the top? If so, you’ve clicked the right link. In this final edition of weekly pitching streamers, there are plenty of favorable matchups, lots of two-start difference makers (spoiler: grab Michael King right now if he’s still available!), a bunch of high-floor veterans, and a couple of widely-available rookies with strikeout upside.

So good luck, stream responsibly and start scrolling. As always, this list is in roster-percentage order.

More great fantasy baseball advice and analysis: Waiver Wire & FAAB Recommendations | Daily MLB Injury Report | MLB DFS Picks | Line-up Analysis | Dynasty Rankings and Strategy | MLB Bullpen Updates | MLB Player Props | Prospect Rankings & Analysis | Fantasy Baseball Risers and Fallers

11 Pitching Streamers to Target in Week 26

Pitching Streamers Available in Some Leagues (About 50% to 65% Rostered)

Ryan Pepiot SP Dodgers

Last appearance: Tuesday, September 19 vs. Tigers – 6IP 1ER 5H 1BB 4K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 26 @ Rockies + Sunday, October 1 @ Giants (tentative)

Though he didn’t technically start on Tuesday, Ryan Pepiot logged six excellent innings against the Tigers. He allowed just one run and induced a solid 12 swinging strikes on 97 pitches. The bulk relief outing improved his ERA to 1.91 and his WHIP now stands at a startling 0.70 through six Major League appearances. Even more startling: just three walks in 33 innings. For a guy with a 4.4 BB/9 rate last season, it shows some serious growth. The rookie even lines up for two starts in the last week of the season. Coors Field is no easy place to pitch, but the Rockies rank 25th in WOBA during the last 30 days and are averaging just 3.8 runs per game at home during that time. The Giants are ranked 20th in WOBA, 21st in runs per game, and have won just seven of their last 19. Seems like a no-brainer in points leagues, and still a pretty decent option in all the others.

Seth Lugo SP/RP Padres

Last start: Wednesday, September 20 vs. Rockies – 6IP 2ER 7H 2BB 7K
1 start next week: Tuesday, September 26 @ Giants

You might find pitching streamers with more upside, but are there any as reliable as Seth Lugo? The veteran was solid again on Wednesday, earning a win and limiting the Rockies to two runs in six innings. He got credit for a quality start too, his sixth in the last seven tries. On the season, he’s put up a very respectable 3.79 ERA/1.23 WHIP. Most importantly, the righty will draw a favorable start to finish out the season. The Giants are ranked 20th in WOBA, 21st in runs per game, and have won just seven of their last 19. Would the Padres consider a four-man rotation next week if they’re still in the hunt? In that unlikely occurrence, Lugo could possibly see some action on Sunday too. Keep that in mind in daily-transaction leagues. Either way, he’s the best high-floor stream on the market.

Michael King SP/RP Yankees

Last start: Wednesday, September 20 vs. Blue Jays – 7IP L 1ER 5H 0BB 13K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 26 @ Blue Jays + Sunday, October 1 @ Royals

Since being converted to a starting pitcher, Michael King just keeps getting better. He dominated on Wednesday, holding the Blue Jays to just a run over seven innings and striking out a career-high 13 batters. He’s now made seven starts and possesses a 1.78 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and has struck out 45 over those 30.1 innings. The best part: the Yankees let him throw 101 pitches (also a career high) which should allow him to go deep into his remaining games. He should still have two left and they’ll both be next week. He’ll get a rematch with the Blue Jays before traveling to oppose the Royals. They’re ranked 26th in WOBA and runs per game. But honestly, His Majesty seems like a good bet right now no matter what the matchup. Take the two starts for points leagues, but also be confident he’ll offer good ratios in categories.

Kenta Maeda SP Twins

Last start: Tuesday, September 19 @ Reds – 5IP W 0ER 1H 1BB 8K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 26 vs. A’s + Sunday, October 1 @ Rockies

After a four-start stretch of yielding 15 runs in just 18 innings, it appears that Kenta Maeda’s rough patch might be over. He blanked the Reds for five innings on Wednesday, striking out eight, inducing 10 swinging strikes, and earning his third straight win. Over those three starts he’s allowed just four runs in 17.1 innings, walked only three, and struck out 18. Is this enough to trust the veteran righty with your season on the line? That probably depends how badly you need a two-start pitcher. His first start against the A’s (ranked last in WOBA) is highly favorable. His second in Coors Field is tougher, but the Rockies rank 25th in WOBA during the last 30 days and are averaging just 3.8 runs per game at home during that time. Seems like an ideal points-league pick, or for daily-roster leagues where you can make a game-time decision on Sunday’s start.

Pitching Streamers Available in Most Leagues (About 30% to 50% Rostered)

Ranger Suarez SP Phillies

Last start: Thursday, September 21 vs. Mets – 6.2IP W 4ER 5H 2BB 6K
1 start next week: Wednesday, September 27 vs. Pirates

Prior to his mediocre start against the Mets on Thursday, Ranger Suarez had limited his opponents to three runs or fewer in six straight starts. Five of the six were two runs or fewer. That also included four quality starts. And he wasn’t that bad against the Mets either. He still earned a win, struck out six, and surrendered just seven combined hits/walks. So he didn’t destroy your ratios in what was a very important week. If you’re reading this, then next week is probably even more important. The lefty will draw a more favorable matchup against the Pirates. They rank 24th in WOBA, 25th in runs per game, and have just a .696 OPS against lefties. Seems like another high-floor sort of pick, perfect if you’re looking for safe innings. If Seth Lugo is snatched up, grab the 28 year old as a backup.

Sawyer Gipson-Long SP Tigers

Last start: Friday, September 22 @ A’s – 5IP 1ER 4H 3BB 4K
1 start next week: Thursday, September 28 vs. Royals

Though not a highly-rated prospect (19th in the Tigers organization according to MLB Pipeline), Sawyer Gipson-Long has sure flashed upside in his first three career starts. He was particularly dominant in his start last week against the Angels. The rookie struck out 11 over five innings and induced an eye-popping 23 swinging strikes on just 82 pitches. He should draw one more start this season and it will be against the Royals. They rank 26th in WOBA and runs per game, and are even less potent on the road (.657 OPS vs. .741 at home). Do you want to hang your championship dreams on a guy with 15 innings at the highest level? Not ideally. Can he put you over the top if you’re desperate for strikeouts in a categories league? He sure can.

Javier Assad SP/RP Cubs

Last start: Tuesday, September 19 vs. Pirates – 5IP W 1ER 5H 1BB 8K
Next start: Sunday, September 24 vs. Rockies
1 start next week: Saturday, September 30 @ Brewers

If it were earlier in the season, Javier Assad might not be the best recommendation. His expected stats (xERA 4.91/xFIP 4.47) would suggest there is regression coming (3.04 ERA). But the 26-year-old was very effective his last time out against the Pirates (one run in five innings with a career-high eight strikeouts) and has been great since moving into the starting rotation (2.68 ERA/1.15 WHIP over 47 innings). Most importantly, he’s also in line to draw two favorable matchups to finish the season, so the regression will probably have to wait until next year. He’ll face the Rockies away from Coors tomorrow (ranked 25th in WOBA over the last 30 days and just a .651 OPS on the road). And then oppose the Brewers on the road next week. They rank 23rd in WOBA and have just a .692 OPS against righties. He’s among the more risky pitching streamers on this list, but if you really need the extra start, you can do worse.

Bailey Ober SP Twins

Last start: Wednesday, September 20 @ Reds – 5IP 2ER 3H 3BB 3K
1 start next week: Wednesday, September 27 vs. A’s

It’s been a while since Bailey Ober made the list of pitching streamers. Early in the season, he was so good that he became too rostered. Then he hit a rough patch. Then the Twins started nursing his pitch count because he’s in uncharted-innings territory. And though they’re still being cautious, they will need the righty in the playoffs. So he’s back to throwing close to 100 pitches and the results have been decent the last two times out (10 IP 4ER 9K). His overall numbers are still pretty solid (3.66 ERA/1.13 WHIP). And backed up by his xERA (3.89) and a fantastic BB/9 rate (1.97). Will the Twins treat his last start as a tuneup rather than an all-systems-go? That sure is the risk. But with a juicy matchup against the A’s (last in WOBA, runs per game, yada yada…), and it coming mid-week with plenty of time to recover for the playoffs, it’s a worthwhile one. Seems ideal for categories leagues where a short start with good ratios still carries plenty of value.

Edward Cabrera SP Marlins

Last start: Monday, September 18 vs. Mets – 5.1IP 1ER 4H 1BB 4K
Next start: Sunday, September 24 vs. Brewers
1 start next week: Saturday, September 30 @ Pirates

Since returning from the minor leagues, Edward Cabrera has been very effective as a bulk reliever. On Monday, though, he was given his first starting opportunity. He made it count, allowing just a run over 5.1 innings, striking out four, and inducing an impressive 12 swinging strikes on just 77 pitches. More importantly, the 25-year-old walked just one, his lowest total since returning. That is most encouraging given his 6.03 BB/9 this season. Though we can’t assume he won’t return to a bulk-relief situation, he should get enough innings to make the stream worth it. Doubly so given his final two matchups. He’s in line to face the Brewers this weekend (23rd in overall WOBA) and then should face the Pirates (24th in WOBA) on the road for his finale. If you’re nervous about the righty killing your ratios, that makes sense. But in a deep league, or in times of desperation, you can certainly do worse.

Pitching Streamers Widely Available (About 30% Rostered or Fewer)

Reese Olson SP Tigers

Last start: Wednesday, September 20 @ Dodgers – 6IP W 1ER 2H 2BB 5K
2 starts next week: Tuesday, September 26 vs. Royals + Sunday, October 1 vs. Guardians

If the other dynamic two-start rookies on this list aren’t available, don’t panic. Hopefully, you still have Reese Olson. He marched into L.A. on Wednesday and held the mighty Dodgers to just one run over six innings, earning a win. It was nothing new for the 24-year-old, who has won three of his last four, logged four quality starts in a row, and has a 1.50 ERA/0.80 WHIP over his last five. If that’s not enough, take a look at the two opponents. The Royals are 26th in WOBA and runs per game and are even less potent on the road (.657 OPS vs. .741 at home). And the Guardians are ranked 27th in WOBA and runs per game. Add it all up, this seems like another no-brainer for points leagues, deep leagues, daily-transaction leagues, and given the matchups maybe even standard-sized categories if you’re a little short at SP.

Connor Phillips SP Reds

Last start: Monday, September 18 vs. Twins – 7IP W 2ER 3H 1BB 7K
Next start: Saturday, September 23 vs. Pirates
1 start next week: Friday, September 29 @ Cardinals

If you’ve made it this far down the list, chances are you’re in a deep league. Luckily for you, there’s one more rookie looking to make a name for himself this season. It’s Connor Phillips. After mostly struggling in his first two starts, he sure looked sharp this week against the Twins. He yielded just two runs over seven innings, earned a win, struck out seven, and allowed only four runners to reach base. Is the 22-year-old tapping into the upside that saw him strike out 111 in 64.2 AA innings this season? That would sure be cool in a playoff week. He has the right matchups for it. The Pirates, this weekend’s opponent, are ranked 24th in WOBA and 25th in runs per game. While the Cardinals (next week) have been struggling mightily. They rank 29th in WOBA over the last 30 days. Though this seems ideal for a deep league, there’s plenty of upside for a standard daily-transaction categories league where you’re in serious need of strikeouts.

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