Most teams are traveling ahead their respective weekend series on Thursday, leaving us with just six total games on the docket around MLB — and a real dearth of quality pitching options for your fantasy baseball squads. There are some big names on the schedule, though (George Kirby, Chris Sale, Zac Gallen, Corbin Burnes), and more importantly, some under-the-radar names who could return nice value. So let’s break it all down, with a full ranking of all 12 of today’s pitchers and recommendations on who to start, who to sit and who to stream off the waiver wire.
Starting pitcher rankings for Thursday, August 17th
Pitchers to stream
Tarik Skubal, Detroit Tigers — Skubal has alternated starts where he looks like a budding ace with clunkers of late, but the lefty’s overwhelming four-seam fastball — the pitch carries an xBA of .197 and a 27.2% whiff rate, as he commands it expertly at the top of the strike zone — is simply too good to give up on. Especially when he’ll get a matchup against a weak Guardians lineup on Wednesday night, a team that isn’t very likely to punish his mistakes with Josh Naylor on the shelf. Skubal carries more strikeout upside than anyone else you might find on your waiver wire.
Jose Quintana, New York Mets — The rest of the Mets’ post-deadline rotation is a dumpster fire, but that’s now four consecutive quality starts for the lefty — including holding the Braves to one run over six innings last week. His command is back to its peak 2022 levels, and while the Cardinals remain a fairly potent offense, Quintana has earned the benefit of the doubt based on his recent run of play (and Busch Stadium is a fairly forgiving ballpark). Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts, but he’s as good a bet for a quality start as you can find on the wire.
Xzavion Curry, Cleveland Guardians — Curry threw 70 pitches his last time out, so he should be stretched out enough to make five or six innings an easily attainable goal in this one. He also gets the Tigers’ mediocre offense, and the righty held his own against the Rays before two sixth-inning runs spoiled his line last time out. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts, but Curry’s effective slider could be enough to carry him through on a day without a ton of other compelling options.
And now, without further ado, here are your full starting pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball on Thursday, August 17.