After a measly four games on Thursday, MLB is back with a vengeance on Friday night — and the break in the schedule has given seemingly every team in the league a chance to reset their rotations and lineup their aces to start the weekend. There are a ton of top-tier names on the mound tonight — Freddy Peralta vs. Zack Wheeler, Max Scherzer vs. Joe Ryan, Carlos Rodon vs. Justin Verlander, Julio Urias vs. Max Fried — but just as importantly, there are a ton of under-the-radar options who could come through nicely for your fantasy baseball squads. As always, we’ve got the full breakdown, with recommendations on who to start, who to sit and who to stream off the waiver wire.
Starting pitcher rankings for Friday, September 1st
Pitchers to stream
JP Sears, Oakland Athletics — Sears had a rough August, with an 8.25 ERA over five starts after giving up six runs in six innings against the White Sox last time out. The strikeout stuff remains, though — the lefty has punched out 29 batters in 24 innings over that timespan — and he gets a dream matchup on Friday at pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum against an Angels team that was the worst offense in baseball last month and just jettisoned Hunter Renfroe. L.A. is a mess, and Sears had a perfectly respectable 4.09 ERA and 1.05 WHIP prior to this rough patch — he offers strikeout upside and the ability to go six solid innings.
Jordan Wicks, Chicago Cubs — Wicks showed out in his MLB debut, striking out nine while allowing just one run against the Pirates. The task gets a bit tougher tonight, but while Great American Ball Park is never easy, the Reds enter this game in the midst of a dreadful offensive slump. The floor here is a bit lower than you’d like, but if Wicks rocks the same changeup we saw last weekend, he could come through.
Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals — Hudson came crashing back to Earth a bit last time out, giving up five runs on six hits and five walks while striking out just one batter in a loss to the Phillies. I’m backing on a bounce-back on Friday, though: Philly’s lineup is hammering just about everyone right now, for starters, and Hudson should have a much easier time at home against the Pirates. Pittsburgh’s offense is middling at best, Busch Stadium is a very friendly place to pitch and Hudson’s new slider-heavy approach had been paying real dividends last month prior to that slip-up (3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in his first four August starts).
And now, without further ado, here are your full starting pitcher rankings for fantasy baseball on Friday, September 1.