The first scoring period back from the All-Star break is a source of disagreement throughout the Fantasy Baseball world. It begins on a Monday rather than a Friday, which forces commissioners into an awkward choice between a scoring period that's much too short and one that's much too long.
The CBS default is the former. Why prolong the awkwardness when you can knock it out in one weekend and start fresh Monday? There are downsides, though, and one is that not every starting pitcher gets a turn in a three-day scoring period. It makes a list such as this one all the more useful. Chances are you'll need some help filling out your starting lineup.
On the other hand, not every team is so forthright with its rotation plans coming out of the break, leaving us to guess in some cases which pitchers will be starting on those three days. Naturally, probable pitchers are never more than probable, but they're something less than probable this week, with the break affording every team a chance to reset its rotation as it sees fit.
Of course, the further out we have to speculate, the less accurate that speculation will be, so relying on streamer recommendations for the longer 10-day scoring period is even more fraught. I'll offer some regardless, but what you have to recognize with an extended scoring period is that most pitchers line up for two starts, which means there's even less incentive to stream than usual.
I'll begin with some recommendations for the CBS default of a three-game scoring period. As usual, my choices are limited to those rostered in less than 80 percent of leagues.
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Martin Perez SP
TEX Texas • #54 • Age: 32
Perez's overall ERA remains high, but when he's good, he's very good indeed, allowing two earned runs or fewer over six innings or more in six of his past nine starts. We can hope that version shows up against a pitiful Guardians offense.
Kyle Gibson SP
BAL Baltimore • #48 • Age: 36
Gibson is nearly as duplicitous as this week's top choice, Martin Perez, but he has the advantage of coming off his best start of the season, one in which he struck out 11 over seven two-run innings. His matchup against the Marlins is solid enough.
STL St. Louis • #39 • Age: 35
Though Mikolas has been getting hit harder this year than last, he's still enough of a strike-thrower to work deep into games when he's able to limit the damage on contact. His opponent this week, the Nationals, ranks in the bottom five in runs scored.
Dean Kremer SP
BAL Baltimore • #64 • Age: 27
The theme for this week is apparently boom-or-bust pitchers because Kremer also fits the bill as one who just followed up a seven-run outing with a 10-strikeout outing. Facing the Marlins in his home park, the hope is he keeps the ball in play and allows his supporting cast to propel him to his 10th win.
Josiah Gray SP
WAS Washington • #40 • Age: 25
The unlikely All-Star still has a frighteningly high WHIP, but it has yet to cave in on him, which makes Gray a reasonable bet for a quality start with a middling matchup at the Cardinals.
You can't ask for a much worse matchup than Civale's at Texas this week, but we're having to stretch to get to 10 sleeper pitchers in a three-day scoring period. The plain truth is that he has a 2.48 ERA in seven starts back from a strained oblique, going six-plus innings in his past four, and not all of those matchups have been cakewalks.
JP Sears SP
OAK Oakland • #38 • Age: 27
Sears pitches for the worst team in baseball, and so his next win will be his second. But if you can overlook that rather significant obstacle, he has a 2.89 ERA in his past 11 starts and is facing a Twins lineup that ranks dead last in OPS against left-handers.
BAL Baltimore • #15 • Age: 28
Starting Flaherty is playing with fire, but he's coming off back-to-back quality starts and, believe it or not, has a 2.87 ERA in his past nine. He's also facing a Nationals lineup that ranks in the bottom five in runs scored.
Ben Lively SP
CIN Cincinnati • #59 • Age: 31
Lively seems like he's gotten by on smoke and mirrors so far, but it continued even after some time away tending to a strained pectoral. Fresh off the IL, he allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings at Milwaukee last time out and will face that same Brewers lineup this week.
PHI Philadelphia • #22 • Age: 31
Another unlikely All-Star, Lorenzen has come back down to earth in recent starts, but he did throw five shutout innings last time, albeit against the Athletics. With a middling matchup at Seattle this week, he makes for a reasonable hold-your-breath play.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • Age: 31
German allowed a combined one hit in two of his past three starts and nine hits in the other, so there's obvious volatility here. He's done a nice job missing bats overall, though, and only needs to hold his own against the Angels before then facing the Royals.
Bryan Woo SP
SEA Seattle • #33 • Age: 23
Woo has middling matchups this week against the Twins and Blue Jays, but other than his disastrous debut back on June 3, it really hasn't mattered who he's facing.
Seth Lugo SP
SD San Diego • #67 • Age: 34
Lugo is coming off consecutive strong outings against two top offenses (Reds and Angels). His matchups at Philadelphia and Detroit this week aren't so daunting.
If Civale can hold it together at the Rangers to open the week, he'll get to feast on a plum matchup at Pittsburgh later on.
Reese Olson SP
DET Detroit • #45 • Age: 24
The Mariners lineup is suspect, and the Padres lineup isn't as ferocious as it was expected to be. Olson's impressive ratios make him worth considering with those matchups, but he has only once lasted six innings.