Fantasy Forecaster updated Monday, Aug. 3, at 11:04 a.m. ET.
On tap: With the (non-waiver) trade deadline in the rear-view mirror, rotations should settle into a bit of normalcy -- well, now that the starters who changed teams have had their first assignments for their new squads announced. The original edition of the Forecaster was published on Friday afternoon, shortly after the 4 p.m. ET deadline, when only some rotation announcements had yet be made. Since then, in subsequent updates, we've learned when David Price, Alex Wood and Mike Fiers will pitch, so the grids below more accurately reflect the week's rotations.
The Toronto Blue Jays, who bulked up during the past week with the acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and Price, will open the week taking aim at the second-wild-card-leading Minnesota Twins (four games, Monday-Thursday, at Rogers Center), then will set their sights higher as they conclude the week visiting the American League East-leading New York Yankees (three games, Friday-Sunday, at Yankee Stadium). Price will pitch during both series for the Blue Jays, while Tulowitzki will be making only his second career trip to Yankee Stadium (he homered once in three games there, in 2011).
Among the individual player storylines: After 324 career starts, six All-Star appearances (two of them starts) and a Cy Young, Felix Hernandez will make his first career appearance at Colorado's Coors Field on Monday. Jimmy Rollins, the Philadelphia Phillies' all-time franchise hits leader who is now the shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers, on Tuesday will return to Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park for the first time since his Dec. 19 trade. And Rick Porcello, on Sunday, will return to pitch at Detroit's Comerica Park for the first time since the Detroit Tigers traded him last Dec. 11.
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Week 17 has an earlier start than usual due to Simcoe Day in Toronto; the Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays contest on Monday has a 1:07 p.m. ET start time. Fantasy owners in leagues with weekly transactions need set their lineups earlier as a result.
Remember that game times have tremendous influence upon DFS planning, so be aware of every day's first scheduled pitch. This week, they are: Monday, 1:07 p.m. ET (Twins at Blue Jays, the day's only day game); Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET (four games begin at that time); Wednesday, 2:10 p.m. ET (Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox, one of four day games); Thursday, 12:35 p.m. ET (St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds, one of five day games); Friday, 4:05 p.m. ET (San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs, the day's only day game); Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET (Blue Jays at New York Yankees, one of five day games); and Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET (Blue Jays at Yankees, one of 14 day games).
This week's interleague series:
New York Mets at Tampa Bay Rays (Friday-Sunday)
Mariners' traditional DH: Nelson Cruz, but DH and right field typically are rotated between Cruz and Mark Trumbo. The two have combined for 79 of the team's 96 total starts -- Cruz 25 at DH and 24 in right field, Trumbo 16 at DH and 15 in right field -- between those positions since Trumbo's June 3 acquisition. Cruz played right field with Trumbo on the bench for all four Mariners games in National League parks during that time span, all of them against right-handed starters; that might be the same arrangement in Colorado. As Trumbo does have seven starts at first base for the Mariners, however, he might pick up a start Wednesday against left-handed Rockies starter Chris Rusin. That'd be enough to keep him on the AL-only radar.
Mets' probable DH(s): It should be Daniel Murphy, the team's worst defensive player, especially now that the Mets have Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to handle second and third base (not that Johnson is considerably better with the glove at second base). Whatever the arrangement, the extra lineup spot will probably impact Johnson and Uribe the most, as they have three and two starts respectively in five Mets games since their acquisition.
The chart below lists each of the 30 MLB teams' schedules and projected starting pitchers, and provides a projected Bill James Game Score for each day's starter.
Projected starting pitchers, Aug. 3-9 P: The starting pitcher's projected Bill James Game Score, accounting for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A "50" is typically deemed a "quality start" by this measure, while a "70" is considered a dominant start.
The Baltimore Orioles pushed Chris Tillman (ankle) back in their rotation until Friday, and will grant Tyler Wilson a Monday spot start in Tillman's place. That also pushed Wei-Yin Chen back by a game into a weaker matchup (@LAA, rather than @OAK) and resulted in no two-start pitcher for the team in Wee 17.
The Detroit Tigers will use Monday's off day to push Alfredo Simon (groin) back in their rotation to Saturday.
Mike Fiers will make his Houston Astros debut on Tuesday, and for the short term most likely replaces Scott Feldman. The team has hinted it might use some form of a six-man rotation, however, so Feldman could yet make a start this week, especially since the team wants to limit Lance McCullers' seasonal workload. In the event Feldman factors into this week's rotation, Fiers would lose his second start.
Jered Weaver (DL, hip) will make another rehabilitation start for Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday, and could be ready to rejoin the Los Angeles Angels' rotation shortly thereafter. Thanks to Thursday's off day, the Angels don't have to rush Weaver back during Week 17, though he could be a candidate to step in as soon as Sunday, in which case Matt Shoemaker would lose his second start.
The Tampa Bay Rays shuffled their rotation, optioning Matt Moore to Triple-A Durham on Aug. 2 and pushing Nathan Karns back to Monday of Week 17. With Moore in the minors and an off day Thursday, the Rays will use only four starters for Week 17.
David Price will make his Toronto Blue Jays debut on Monday.
Chase Anderson (DL, triceps) made a rehabilitation start for the Arizona Diamondbacks' rookie-ball affiliate on Aug. 2, and he could join the big-league rotation after that, probably bumping Zack Godley to the bullpen. Anderson could slide into Godley's spot on Saturday, or he could pitch Friday, with Robbie Ray pitching on Saturday.
Dan Haren will make his Chicago Cubs debut on Wednesday, pushing Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks back by a day apiece. Clayton Richard will make a spot start on Aug. 2, but it's expected to be a one-and-done.
With Mike Leake traded, the Cincinnati Reds gave Keyvius Sampson a spot start on Aug. 2. The rotation above projects everyone forward on turn, but the Reds have many candidates to step in on a temporary or permanent basis, including Tony Cingrani, Brandon Finnegan and Robert Stephenson.
Alex Wood will make his Los Angeles Dodgers debut on Tuesday, lining him up for a two-start week.
J.A. Happ will slide directly into A.J. Burnett's (DL, elbow) spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation, beginning on Tuesday.
Stephen Strasburg (DL, oblique) will make a second rehabilitation start for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday, and he could rejoin the Washington Nationals' rotaton on either Saturday or Sunday. In that event, he could push Doug Fister and Max Scherzer back in the rotation, costing either his second start of the week (Scherzer could pitch Sunday even if Strasburg starts Saturday). Joe Ross is the most likely candidate to be bumped upon Strasburg's return, though Ross will make a Thursday start this week.
These rankings include the entire slate of projected starters, in order to provide a more organized approach to favorable matchups, #DFS tidbits and the "Streamer's Delight" picks. Notes for relevant pitchers are included below.
Max Scherzer (WSH) -- Tue-ARI (Corbin), Sun-COL (Butler)
Clayton Kershaw (LAD) -- Fri-@PIT (Cole)
Chris Sale (CWS) -- Tue-TB (Archer)
Jose Fernandez (MIA) -- Fri-@ATL (Teheran)
Corey Kluber (CLE) -- Mon-@LAA (Richards), Sun-MIN (Hughes)
Jacob deGrom (NYM) -- Fri-@TB (Odorizzi)
Jake Arrieta (CHC) -- Tue-@PIT (Happ), Sun-SF (Peavy)
Felix Hernandez (SEA) -- Mon-@COL (Butler), Sun-TEX (Lewis)
Francisco Liriano (PIT) -- Mon-CHC (Lester), Sun-LAD (Wood)
Madison Bumgarner (SF) -- Wed-@ATL (Perez)
Zack Greinke (LAD) -- Thu-@PHI (Buchanan)
David Price (TOR) -- Mon-MIN (Santana), Sat-@NYY (Nova): He is 8-for-13 in quality starts with six wins, a 3.52 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in his career at Yankee Stadium.
Jon Lester (CHC) -- Mon-@PIT (Liriano), Sat-SF (Cain)
Chris Archer (TB) -- Tue-@CWS (Sale), Sun-NYM (Colon)
Carlos Carrasco (CLE) -- Tue-@LAA (Shoemaker)
Johnny Cueto (KC) -- Wed-@DET (Farmer)
Tyson Ross (SD) -- Mon-@MIL (Peralta), Sat-PHI (Morgan)
Sonny Gray (OAK) -- Fri-HOU (McHugh)
Cole Hamels (TEX) -- Fri-@SEA (Montgomery)
Gerrit Cole (PIT) -- Fri-LAD (Kershaw)
Garrett Richards (LAA) -- Mon-CLE (Kluber), Sat-BAL (Gausman)
Matt Harvey (NYM) -- Wed-@MIA (Phelps)
Noah Syndergaard (NYM) -- Sat-@TB (Karns)
Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) -- Tue-BOS (Owens), Sun-TOR (Estrada)
Dallas Keuchel (HOU) -- Thu-@OAK (Brooks)
Jose Quintana (CWS) -- Mon-TB (Karns), Sun-@KC (Duffy)
Carlos Martinez (STL) -- Wed-@CIN (Holmberg)
Alex Wood (LAD) -- Tue-@PHI (Williams), Sun-@PIT (Liriano)
Michael Wacha (STL) -- Thu-@CIN (Lorenzen)
Mike Fiers (HOU) -- Tue-@TEX (Gallardo), Sun-@OAK (Bassitt): The second matchup isn't necessarily assured, which is the risk here, but bear in mind that neither of these two teams have ever faced Fiers. We'll see whether the Astros really go with six starters, as Fiers would drop by a good 12-15 spots if he loses the second turn.
Danny Salazar (CLE) -- Wed-@LAA (Santiago)
Matt Shoemaker (LAA) -- Tue-CLE (Carrasco), Sun-BAL (Jimenez)
Jesse Chavez (OAK) -- Mon-BAL (Wilson), Sat-HOU (McCullers)
Scott Kazmir (HOU) -- Wed-@TEX (Martinez)
Lance Lynn (STL) -- Fri-@MIL (Lohse)
Andrew Heaney (LAA) -- Fri-BAL (Tillman): He's riding a streak of six consecutive quality starts, and it's a home game. No reason to worry over an Orioles matchup.
Brett Anderson (LAD) -- Wed-@PHI (Harang)
Shelby Miller (ATL) -- Tue-SF (Peavy), Sun-MIA (Hand)
Jake Odorizzi (TB) -- Fri-NYM (deGrom)
Andrew Cashner (SD) -- Tue-@MIL (Nelson), Sun-PHI (Williams)
Taylor Jungmann (MIL) -- Wed-SD (Kennedy)
Nathan Karns (TB) -- Mon-@CWS (Quintana), Sat-NYM (Syndergaard)
Jeff Samardzija (CWS) -- Sat-@KC (Guthrie)
Patrick Corbin (ARI) -- Tue-@WSH (Scherzer), Sun-CIN (DeSclafani)
John Lackey (STL) -- Tue-@CIN (DeSclafani), Sun-@MIL (Nelson): Lackey is second only to Clayton Kershaw in terms of his consecutive quality start streak of 9 (Kershaw has 11). No worries here despite the two assignments at more hitting-friendly environments than Busch Stadium.
Collin McHugh (HOU) -- Fri-@OAK (Gray)
Lance McCullers (HOU) -- Mon-@TEX (Lewis), Sat-@OAK (Chavez): The additions of Scott Kazmir and Mike Fiers had as much to do with easing McCullers' workload as they did with upgrading the team's talent within its rotation. I'll sweat McCullers losing his second turn in every projected two-start week the remainder of the year, as the Astros are sure to rest him wherever they feel they can, but if I had the promise of two, I'd likely have him 8-10 spots higher.
Jimmy Nelson (MIL) -- Tue-SD (Cashner), Sun-STL (Lackey)
Julio Teheran (ATL) -- Fri-MIA (Fernandez)
Carlos Rodon (CWS) -- Wed-TB (Ramirez)
Matt Cain (SF) -- Mon-@ATL (Foltynewicz), Sat-@CHC (Lester)
Kyle Hendricks (CHC) -- Fri-SF (Leake)
Mat Latos (LAD) -- Sat-@PIT (Morton)
Trevor Bauer (CLE) -- Sat-MIN (Santana)
Marco Estrada (TOR) -- Tue-MIN (Hughes), Sun-@NYY (Tanaka)
Jordan Zimmermann (WSH) -- Fri-COL (De La Rosa)
Aaron Nola (PHI) -- Fri-@SD (Shields)
Jaime Garcia (STL) -- Sat-@MIL (Peralta)
Joe Ross (WSH) -- Thu-ARI (Hellickson)
Chris Heston (SF) -- Thu-@CHC (Hammel)
Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA) -- Sat-TEX (Perez)
Anibal Sanchez (DET) -- Thu-KC (Ventura)
Taijuan Walker (SEA) -- Wed-@COL (Rusin): His 36.1 percent fly-ball rate is 16th-highest out of 94 qualified starters, and this is a Coors Field outing.
Gio Gonzalez (WSH) -- Wed-ARI (De La Rosa)
Jason Hammel (CHC) -- Thu-SF (Heston)
Hector Santiago (LAA) -- Wed-CLE (Salazar)
Ervin Santana (MIN) -- Mon-@TOR (Price), Sat-@CLE (Bauer): He's the first two-start pitcher who has one matchup -- the Rogers Centre one -- gives me pause. See his July 10 and 29 outings for my concern regarding his downside.
Justin Verlander (DET) -- Tue-KC (Duffy), Sun-BOS (Owens): The Red Sox matchup is more favorable than the Royals one; this is one where I'd prefer to use him in a daily than weekly format.
Jonathon Niese (NYM) -- Tue-@MIA (Hand)
Chris Bassitt (OAK) -- Tue-BAL (Gonzalez), Sun-HOU (Fiers)
Kevin Gausman (BAL) -- Sat-@LAA (Richards)
Luis Severino (NYY) -- Wed-BOS (Wright)
Bartolo Colon (NYM) -- Mon-@MIA (Koehler), Sun-@TB (Archer)
Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL) -- Sun-@LAA (Shoemaker)
Jake Peavy (SF) -- Tue-@ATL (Miller), Sun-@CHC (Arrieta)
Danny Duffy (KC) -- Tue-@DET (Verlander), Sun-CWS (Quintana)
Wily Peralta (MIL) -- Mon-SD (Ross), Sat-STL (Garcia)
Mike Foltynewicz (ATL) -- Mon-SF (Cain), Sat-MIA (Koehler)
Matt Wisler (ATL) -- Thu-MIA (Urena)
Tom Koehler (MIA) -- Mon-NYM (Colon), Sat-@ATL (Foltynewicz)
James Shields (SD) -- Fri-PHI (Nola)
Eduardo Rodriguez (BOS) -- Thu-@NYY (Sabathia)
Yovani Gallardo (TEX) -- Tue-HOU (Fiers)
CC Sabathia (NYY) -- Thu-BOS (Rodriguez)
Steven Wright (BOS) -- Wed-@NYY (Severino)
Phil Hughes (MIN) -- Tue-@TOR (Estrada), Sun-@CLE (Kluber): A fly-baller? In the Rogers Center? We've arrived in the "no thank yous" range of two-start pitchers.
Henry Owens (BOS) -- Tue-@NYY (Tanaka), Sun-@DET (Verlander)
Doug Fister (WSH) -- Mon-ARI (Godley), Sat-COL (Flande)
Dan Haren (CHC) -- Wed-@PIT (Locke)
Cody Anderson (CLE) -- Fri-MIN (Pelfrey)
Robbie Ray (ARI) -- Fri-CIN (Iglesias)
Colby Lewis (TEX) -- Mon-HOU (McCullers), Sun-@SEA (Hernandez)
Mike Montgomery (SEA) -- Fri-TEX (Hamels)
Zack Godley (ARI) -- Mon-@WSH (Fister)
Ian Kennedy (SD) -- Wed-@MIL (Jungmann)
Drew Hutchison (TOR) -- Wed-MIN (Duffey)
Wade Miley (BOS) -- Sat-@DET (Simon)
Matt Garza (MIL) -- Thu-SD (Despaigne)
Edinson Volquez (KC) -- Fri-CWS (Danks)
Adam Morgan (PHI) -- Sat-@SD (Ross)
Jeff Locke (PIT) -- Wed-CHC (Haren)
Mike Leake (SF) -- Fri-@CHC (Hendricks)
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) -- Fri-@WSH (Zimmermann)
Erasmo Ramirez (TB) -- Wed-@CWS (Rodon)
Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) -- Tue-STL (Lackey), Sun-@ARI (Corbin)
Raisel Iglesias (CIN) -- Fri-@ARI (Ray)
R.A. Dickey (TOR) -- Fri-@NYY (Eovaldi)
Yordano Ventura (KC) -- Thu-@DET (Sanchez)
Charlie Morton (PIT) -- Sat-LAD (Latos)
David Phelps (MIA) -- Wed-NYM (Harvey)
Jon Gray (COL) -- Tue-SEA (Nuno)
Keyvius Sampson (CIN) -- Sat-@ARI (Anderson)
Jose Urena (MIA) -- Thu-@ATL (Wisler)
Yohan Flande (COL) -- Sat-@WSH (Fister)
Odrisamer Despaigne (SD) -- Thu-@MIL (Garza)
J.A. Happ (PIT) -- Tue-CHC (Arrieta)
Wei-Yin Chen (BAL) -- Wed-@OAK (Graveman)
Kyle Lohse (MIL) -- Fri-STL (Lynn)
Rubby De La Rosa (ARI) -- Wed-@WSH (Gonzalez)
Jerome Williams (PHI) -- Tue-LAD (Wood), Sun-@SD (Cashner)
Tyler Duffey (MIN) -- Wed-@TOR (Hutchison)
Jeremy Hellickson (ARI) -- Thu-@WSH (Ross)
Chris Tillman (BAL) -- Fri-@LAA (Heaney)
Kendall Graveman (OAK) -- Wed-BAL (Chen)
Williams Perez (ATL) -- Wed-SF (Bumgarner)
Tyler Wilson (BAL) -- Mon-@OAK (Chavez)
Martin Perez (TEX) -- Sat-@SEA (Iwakuma)
Brad Hand (MIA) -- Tue-NYM (Niese), Sun-@ATL (Miller)
Chris Rusin (COL) -- Wed-SEA (Walker)
Aaron Harang (PHI) -- Wed-LAD (Anderson)
Ivan Nova (NYY) -- Sat-TOR (Price)
Kyle Gibson (MIN) -- Thu-@TOR (Buehrle)
Chase Anderson (ARI) -- Sat-CIN (Sampson)
Buck Farmer (DET) -- Wed-KC (Cueto)
David Holmberg (CIN) -- Wed-STL (Martinez)
Aaron Brooks (OAK) -- Thu-HOU (Keuchel)
Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) -- Fri-TOR (Dickey)
Brian Johnson (BOS) -- Fri-@DET (Norris)
Miguel Gonzalez (BAL) -- Tue-@OAK (Bassitt)
Jeremy Guthrie (KC) -- Sat-CWS (Samardzija)
Mark Buehrle (TOR) -- Thu-MIN (Gibson)
Alfredo Simon (DET) -- Sat-BOS (Miley)
Vidal Nuno (SEA) -- Tue-@COL (Gray)
Mike Pelfrey (MIN) -- Fri-@CLE (Anderson)
Michael Lorenzen (CIN) -- Thu-STL (Wacha)
Daniel Norris (DET) -- Fri-BOS (Johnson)
John Danks (CWS) -- Fri-@KC (Volquez)
David Buchanan (PHI) -- Thu-LAD (Greinke)
Eddie Butler (COL) -- Mon-SEA (Hernandez), Sun-@WSH (Scherzer)
Nick Martinez (TEX) -- Wed-HOU (Kazmir)
The chart below lists each of the 30 teams' total number of scheduled games, home games and games versus right- and left-handed pitchers, and provides a matchup rating for the week's games in terms of overall offense, offense for left- and right-handed hitters and base stealing. Matchup ratings for each individual game are listed under the corresponding date.
Hitting matchup chart, Aug. 3-9 H: Hitters' matchup rating, which accounts for the opposing starting pitcher's past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days) as well as ballpark factors. L: Hitters' matchup rating accounting only for left-handed hitters. R: Hitters' matchup rating accounting for only right-handed hitters. S: Base stealing matchup rating, which accounts for the opponent's catchers' ability to gun down opposing base stealers. Ratings range from 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst.
Here are this week's "volume plays," defined as the teams that play the most home games, or games against right- or left-handed starters:
Total games: Toronto Blue Jays 7, Minnesota Twins 7, Houston Astros 7, Oakland Athletics 7, Atlanta Braves 7, Miami Marlins 7, Washington Nationas 7, Chicago Cubs 7, Milwaukee Brewers 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 7, San Diego Padres 7, San Francisco Giants 7.
Home games: Athletics 7, Braves 7, Nationals 7, Brewers 7, New York Yankees 6, Detroit Tigers 6, Los Angeles Angels 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 6.
Versus RH: Blue Jays 7, Astros 7, Angels 6, Marlins 6, Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 6, Padres 6, Giants 6. Ten teams face five right-handed starters.
Versus LH: Detroit Tigers 4, Yankees 3, Tampa Bay Rays 3, Seattle Mariners 3, Nationals 3, Cubs 3, Pirates 3. Eight teams face two left-handed starters.
Anytime the St. Louis Cardinals face a week heavy in opposing right-handed starters, it's a good one for their offense. After all, they have the fifth-widest team wOBA split experiencing greater success against righties (+19 points, .319 compared to .300 against lefties). When such a week comes against Cincinnati Reds and Brewers rotations that are in flux -- they rank 17th (4.03) and 26th (4.47) in starters' ERA for the season, incidentally -- it's all the better for the Cardinals. Matt Carpenter (.374), Kolten Wong (.363) and Jason Heyward (.332) all have wOBAs greater than .330 against right-handers this season, and Randall Grichuk, a right-hander, has a team-best .385 wOBA against righties, and nine starts in the Cardinals' past 11 games against a righty.
But then there's the rebound candidate: Newly acquired Brandon Moss, a .136/.219/.242 hitter against righties in the month of July, who might be helped both by the soft set of matchups as well as the fresh surroundings. It's a dice roll in mixed leagues, for sure, but the matchups say it's a wise one to make, being that Moss is likely to start all five games against righty starters.
Though their overall team numbers don't indicate it and the loss of the DH for the three games in Coors represents a playing-time disadvantage, there are some matchups opportunities for right-handed Mariners bats. Nelson Cruz is an obviously elite play with Coors games and three games against lefty starters, as he's a 376/.454/.694 hitter against lefties this season. But dig deeper, and this pertains to finding viable plug-ins for AL-only or deep mixed leagues: Franklin Gutierrez has a .348 wOBA against lefties and often sneaks in starts in left field; Jesus Montero is a lifetime .317/.373/.452 hitter against lefties; and Austin Jackson has a 44-point wOBA swing, hitting lefties (.330) better than righties (.296). And then there's prospect Ketel Marte, a switch-hitter who had .314/.379/.430 rates against lefties in the minor leagues this season and is a speedy enough base runner to capitalize upon those outstanding matchups against the Rockies' pair of weak-armed catchers.