Championship week in most head-to-head leagues begins with an abbreviated seven-game slate. In leagues with daily moves, it's paramount to fill in all your roster spots, even if it means releasing a good player since you aren't going to use them past this week anyway. Hopefully, everyone holding David Price and Noah Syndergaard has dropped them if their league allows, since both will be relegated to pitching out of the bullpen for the final two weeks.
Good luck to everyone competing in the finals, as well as those grinding out the points in rotisserie formats.
Pitchers to stream
Dan Straily (R), 42 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets: As has been the case in recent seasons, Straily has pitched very well at home. The revamped Mets lineup has been averaging a respectable 5.3 runs a game in September, so there's some risk, but I'll trust Straily's history at home.
Doug Fister (R), 38 percent, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles: After a series of gems, Fister had a comeuppance of sorts in his last outing. Keep in mind there was some heat between these clubs earlier in the season, so even though Boston is trying to reduce their magic number while Baltimore is playing out the string, expect a competitive game. That said, the edge goes to the team with more to play for, so if you're looking for an early jump in wins, Fister is in play.
Jharel Cotton (R), 4 percent, Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers: Issues with control and homers have resulted in Cotton taking a step back when some expected him to break out. The Tigers have been one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league since the rosters expanded, giving Cotton a chance to end the season on a high note.
Brent Suter (L), 3 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates: I don't like the fact Suter may not be stretched out, but I like the strikeout potential in a pitchers' park, against an offense averaging fewer than three runs a game since rosters expanded.
The Marlins haven't had a save since Sept. 2, but with Straily on the Marlins Park hill, speculating on one Monday is viable. The problem is who will get the chance? Brad Ziegler has been hurt, not working since Sept. 7. Kyle Barraclough blew a save last week and has allowed a run in four of his past five appearances, including three straight. Still, I expect Barraclough to get the next chance.
Projected game scores
GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. A "*" means the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.
Bruce Maxwell (L), 1 percent, Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers (RHP Buck Farmer): Maxwell sat on Sunday, virtually assuring he'll be in the lineup with a righty on the hill. Farmer racks up whiffs, but he also allows a plethora of baserunners. Joining Maxwell with the platoon edge on what could be a productive day for Oakland are Matt Joyce, Boog Powell and Matt Olson.
Justin Bour (L), 30 percent, Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets (RHP Matt Harvey): Harvey has shown nothing positive since returning, fanning only six with five walks in three games, spanning 10 1/3 innings. Bour is still looking for his first homer since coming off the disabled list. He's in a good spot to get it.
Chase Utley (L), 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Nick Pivetta): Utley wasn't supposed to play this much, but injuries have forced him into the lineup against almost all right-handers. He's generally hitting low in the order, but the Dodgers have rebounded from their slide and are scoring runs again.
Jeimer Candelario (B), 2 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Jharel Cotton): Candelario continues to audition for next season, playing nearly every day at the hot corner. He's acquitted himself nicely, though will have to develop more power to be a long-term option. Cotton has allowed a homer in seven straight games. Alex Presley and Tyler Collins are also lefty-swinging threats.
Eduardo Escobar (B), 26 percent, Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees (LHP Jaime Garcia): Escobar isn't a prototypical cleanup hitter, but that's where he sits versus southpaws. This could be a preview of the American League wild-card game.
Dominic Smith (L), 6 percent, New York Mets at Miami Marlins (RHP Dan Straily): Smith's power has been on display this week with three homers and a pair of doubles.
Brock Holt (L), less than 1 percent, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy): Holt isn't assured of playing, as the Red Sox are giving Dustin Pedroia frequent days off to rest his balky knee. Pedroia was the designated hitter Sunday, keeping his bat in the lineup without subjecting his knee to the turf on defense. With Eduardo Nunez still out, Holt is the next man up.
David Peralta (L), 37 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres (RHP Luis Perdomo): Peralta is a frequent visitor in this space, for good reason. He continues to do the job from the leadoff spot with a righty on the hill. Perdomo may have tossed four straight quality starts, but he's allowed 36 men on base in those 24 innings, striking out only 15.
Hernan Perez (R), 8 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Jameson Taillon): Perez is a great player to have on your roster during championship week, as the Brewers play every day and he's eligible all over the diamond, so you can handle emergency scenarios that many emanate as the week progresses.
Jabari Blash (R), less than 1 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Patrick Corbin): Corbin has done a good job keeping the ball in the yard, but if you're desperate for some homers, Blash has the power to oblige.
Hitter matchup ratings
Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth, as well as the past 21 days) and ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively. Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. So, for example, a 10 is a must-start rating, whereas a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.