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Pitching Planner for Week 26

Tim McCullough Managing Editor September 26, 2017 3:54AM EST
Welcome to the Pitching Planner for Week 26.  I’ve already received emails from several subscribers whose leagues have finished up already. Many of the head to head leagues finished up with Week 25, although some you will have your championship this week. Meanwhile, the Roto-style owners are still grinding it out right up to the final game of the regular season next Sunday.

I’m one of those owners still working towards a potential win in a few Roto leagues. In some of the leagues I’m in, we won’t crown a winner until late next Sunday night in all likelihood. The competition has been fierce and I’ll need every single counting stat I can get my hands on to finish in the money, so to speak. I always try to make sure every hitter on my roster is playing daily. I will replace them if it’s practical to do so. The same goes for my pitching staff. I am in several leagues with innings pitched limits. I always try to nudge my team right up to the maximum number of innings as the final day of games approaches. Then I load up every pitching slot with someone who is active on the last day of the season. This way I can squeeze a few extra innings out of my pitchers.

pitching planner

Chris Sale enters the season’s final week with a shot at the Cy Young Award. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

For example, one league I play in has a limit of 1500 innings. I carefully watch the matchups until my total approaches somewhere between 1495 and 1499 innings. Then, before the next day’s games, I’ll drop every pitcher on my staff who isn’t pitching the next day and replace them with a starter who will definitely start. Last season, I ended up with 1530 innings using this approach, and it’s all quite legal under my league’s rules.

What kind of rule-bending do you do to win your leagues? Drop me a line or two to tell me about it. While you’re at it, I’d love to get some feedback from you about what kind of baseball articles you’d like to see during the offseason. Is there a particular aspect of the game you’d like covered? Would you be interested in some in-depth player analysis? How about Fantasy Baseball strategy? Whatever it is you’d like to read about while we await Spring Training 2018, please make sure to let me know, and I will do everything I can to make it happen. In the meantime, I wish you all a great offseason and I look forward to seeing you back here in February. We have some exciting plans for our Fantasy Baseball coverage next year, including a few big surprises that I know will make some of you quite happy.

1 – Must-Start – These pitchers are aces and are virtually matchup proof.

2 – Favorable Start – These pitchers may or may not be aces but the matchup is favorable.

3 – Streaming Option – These pitchers are in a favorable matchup, so they can be started if needed.

4 – Risky Start – The matchup is prohibitively risky. Owners are advised to avoid this pitcher.

5 – Bench – Do not start this pitcher in this matchup.

MATCHUP RANKINGS FOR WEEK 26

TEAM9-259-269-279-289-299-3010-01
ARZZack Godley (R) SP3
vs. SF
Johnny Cueto (R)
Robbie Ray (L) SP2
vs. SF
Matt Moore (L)
Zack Greinke (R) SP1
vs. SF
Jeff Samardzija (R)
Taijuan Walker (R) SP3
at. KC
Ian Kennedy (R)
Patrick Corbin (L) SP4
at. KC
Jake Junis (R)
Zack Godley (R) SP3
at. KC
Jason Vargas (L)
ATLLucas Sims (R) SP5
at. NYM
Chris Flexen (R)
Max Fried (L)
at. NYM
Seth Lugo ()
R.A. Dickey (R) SP5
at. NYM
Rafael Montero (R)
Sean Newcomb (L) SP4
at. NYM
Robert Gsellman (R)
Julio Teheran (R) SP2
at. MIA
Dillon Peters (L)
Luiz Gohara (L) SP3
at. MIA
Dan Straily (R)
Lucas Sims (R) SP5
at. MIA
Odrisamer Despaigne (R)
R.A. Dickey (R) SP5
at. MIA
Jose Urena (R)
CHCJon Lester (L) SP2
at. STL
Luke Weaver (R)
Jake Arrieta (R) SP1
at. STL
Carlos Martinez (R)
John Lackey (R) SP2
at. STL
Michael Wacha (R)
Kyle Hendricks (R) SP2
at. STL
Lance Lynn (R)
Jose Quintana (L) SP2
vs. CIN
Robert Stephenson (R)
Jon Lester (L) SP2
vs. CIN
Jackson Stephens (R)
Jake Arrieta (R) SP1
vs. CIN
Deck McGuire (R)
CINDeck McGuire (R) SP5
at. MLW
Zach Davies (R)
Homer Bailey (R) SP5
at. MLW
Brandon Woodruff (R)
Sal Romano (R) SP5
at. MLW
Brent Suter (L)
Robert Stephenson (R) SP5
at. CHC
Jose Quintana (L)
Jackson Stephens (R) SP5
at. CHC
Jon Lester (L)
Deck McGuire (R) SP5
at. CHC
Jake Arrieta (R)
COLTyler Chatwood (R) SP5
vs. MIA
Odrisamer Despaigne (R)
Tyler Anderson (L) SP5
vs. MIA
Jose Urena (R)
Jon Gray (R) SP4
vs. MIA
Adam Conley (L)
Chad Bettis (R) SP5
vs. LAD
Clayton Kershaw (L)
German Marquez (R) SP5
vs. LAD
Hyun-Jin Ryu (L)
Tyler Chatwood (R) SP5
vs. LAD
Yu Darvish (R)
LADYu Darvish (R) SP2
vs. SD
Travis Wood (L)
Alex Wood (L) SP2
vs. SD
Dinelson Lamet (R)
Rich Hill (L) SP2
vs. SD
Clayton Richard (L)
Clayton Kershaw (L) SP4
at. COL
Chad Bettis (R)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (L) SP5
at. COL
German Marquez (R)
Yu Darvish (R) SP4
at. COL
Tyler Chatwood (R)
MIAOdrisamer Despaigne (R) SP5
at. COL
Tyler Chatwood (R)
Jose Urena (R) SP5
at. COL
Tyler Anderson (L)
Adam Conley (L) SP5
at. COL
Jon Gray (R)
Dillon Peters (L) SP5
vs. ATL
Julio Teheran (R)
Dan Straily (R) SP5
vs. ATL
Luiz Gohara (L)
Odrisamer Despaigne (R) SP5
vs. ATL
Lucas Sims (R)
Jose Urena (R) SP5
vs. ATL
R.A. Dickey (R)
MLWZach Davies (R)
SP4SP2
vs. CIN
Deck McGuire (R)
Brandon Woodruff (R) SP5
vs. CIN
Homer Bailey (R)
Brent Suter (L) SP4
vs. CIN
Sal Romano (R)
Chase Anderson (R) SP2
at. STL
John Gant (R)
Aaron Wilkerson (R) SP5
at. STL
Luke Weaver (R)
Zach Davies (R) SP2
at. STL
Carlos Martinez (R)
NYMChris Flexen (R) SP5
vs. ATL
Lucas Sims (R)
Seth Lugo ()
vs. ATL
Max Fried (L)
Rafael Montero (R) SP5
vs. ATL
R.A. Dickey (R)
Robert Gsellman (R) SP5
vs. ATL
Sean Newcomb (L)
Noah Syndergaard (R) SP4
at. PHI
Ben Lively (R)
Jacob deGrom (R) SP2
at. PHI
Henderson Alvarez (R)
Seth Lugo (R) SP5
at. PHI
Nick Pivetta (R)
PHIAaron Nola (R) SP2
vs. WAS
A.J. Cole (R)
Jake Thompson (R) SP5
vs. WAS
Gio Gonzalez (L)
Mark Leiter-Jr. (R) SP5
vs. WAS
Tanner Roark (R)
Ben Lively (R) SP5
vs. NYM
Noah Syndergaard (R)
Henderson Alvarez (R) SP5
vs. NYM
Jacob deGrom (R)
Nick Pivetta (R) SP5
vs. NYM
Seth Lugo (R)
PITTrevor Williams (R) SP5
vs. BAL
Kevin Gausman (R)
Chad Kuhl (R) SP5
vs. BAL
Gabriel Ynoa (R)
Steven Brault (L) SP5
at. WAS
Edwin Jackson (R)
Ivan Nova (R) SP5
at. WAS
Stephen Strasburg (R)
Gerrit Cole (R) SP4
at. WAS
Max Scherzer (R)
Jameson Taillon (R) SP4
at. WAS
A.J. Cole (R)
SDTravis Wood (L) SP5
at. LAD
Yu Darvish (R)
Dinelson Lamet (R) SP5
at. LAD
Alex Wood (L)
Clayton Richard (L) SP5
at. LAD
Rich Hill (L)
Jordan Lyles (R) SP4
at. SF
Madison Bumgarner (L)
Jhoulys Chacin (R) SP4
at. SF
Chris Stratton (R)
Luis Perdomo (R) SP4
at. SF
Johnny Cueto (R)
SFJohnny Cueto (R) SP4
at. ARZ
Zack Godley (R)
Matt Moore (L) SP5
at. ARZ
Robbie Ray (L)
Jeff Samardzija (R) SP3
at. ARZ
Zack Greinke (R)
Madison Bumgarner (L) SP1
vs. SD
Jordan Lyles (R)
Chris Stratton (R) SP3
vs. SD
Jhoulys Chacin (R)
Johnny Cueto (R) SP3
vs. SD
Luis Perdomo (R)
STLLuke Weaver (R) SP3
vs. CHC
Jon Lester (L)
Carlos Martinez (R) SP2
vs. CHC
Jake Arrieta (R)
Michael Wacha (R) SP3
vs. CHC
John Lackey (R)
Lance Lynn (R) SP4
vs. CHC
Kyle Hendricks (R)
John Gant (R) SP5
vs. MLW
Chase Anderson (R)
Luke Weaver (R) SP3
vs. MLW
Aaron Wilkerson (R)
Carlos Martinez (R) SP2
vs. MLW
Zach Davies (R)
WASA.J. Cole (R) SP3
at. PHI
Aaron Nola (R)
Gio Gonzalez (L) SP3
at. PHI
Jake Thompson (R)
Tanner Roark (R) SP2
at PHI
Mark Leiter-Jr. (R)
Edwin Jackson (R) SP5
vs. PIT
Steven Brault (L)
Stephen Strasburg (R) SP1
vs. PIT
Ivan Nova (R)
Max Scherzer (R) SP1
vs. PIT
Gerrit Cole (R)
A.J. Cole (R) SP3
vs. PIT
Jameson Taillon (R)
BALKevin Gausman (R) SP2
at. PIT
Trevor Williams (R)
XGabriel Ynoa (R) SP3
at. PIT
Chad Kuhl (R)
Wade Miley (L) SP4
at. TB
Jake Odorizzi (R)
Ubaldo Jimenez (R) SP4
at. TB
Chris Archer (R)
Jeremy Hellickson (R) SP5
at. TB
Blake Snell (L)
BOSDrew Pomeranz (L) SP2
vs. TOR
Brett Anderson (L)
Chris Sale (L) SP1
vs. TOR
J.A. Happ (L)
Rick Porcello (R) SP2
vs. TOR
Marco Estrada (R)
Eduardo Rodriguez (L) SP4
vs. HOU
Brad Peacock (R)
Doug Fister (R) SP3
vs. HOU
Charlie Morton (R)
Drew Pomeranz (L)
vs. HOU
Lance McCullers (R)
Chris Sale (L)
vs. HOU
Collin McHugh (R)
CWSJames Shields (R) SP4
vs. LAA
Ricky Nolasco (R)
Carson Fulmer (R) SP 3
vs. LAAParker Bridwell (R)
Reynaldo Lopez (R) SP3
vs. LAA
Garrett Richards (R)
Dylan Covey (R) SP4
vs. LAA
Bud Norris (R)
Lucas Giolito (R) SP2
at. CLE
Trevor Bauer (R)
James Shields (R) SP4
at. CLE
Corey Kluber (R)
Carson Fulmer (R) SP3
at. CLE
Josh Tomlin (R)
CLEJosh Tomlin (R). SP5
vs. MIN
Bartolo Colon (R)
Danny Salazar (R) SP5
vs. MIN
Adalberto Mejia (L)
Carlos Carrasco (R) SP 5
vs. MIN
Ervin Santana (R)
Trevor Bauer (R) SP4
vs. CWS
Lucas Giolito (R)
Corey Kluber (R) SP2
vs. CWS
James Shields (R)x
Josh Tomlin (R)
vs. CWS
Carson Fulmer (R)
DETAnibal Sanchez (R) SP5
at. KC
Jason Vargas (L)
Jordan Zimmermann (R) SP4
at. KC
Jason Hammel (R)
Daniel Norris (L) SP 3
at. KC
Danny Duffy (L)
Matt Boyd (L) SP5
at. MIN
Kyle Gibson (R)
Buck Farmer (R) SP5
at. MIN
Jose Berrios (R)
Anibal Sanchez (R) SP5
at. MIN
Bartolo Colon (R)
HOUCollin McHugh (R) SP4
at. TEX
Andrew Cashner (R)
Dallas Keuchel (L) SP2
at. TEX
Cole Hamels (L)
Justin Verlander (R). SP2
at. TEX
Nick Martinez (R)
Brad Peacock (R) SP2
at. BOS
Eduardo Rodriguez (L)
Charlie Morton (R) SP3
at. BOS
Doug Fister (R)
Lance McCullers (R) SP2
at. BOS
Drew Pomeranz (L)
Collin McHugh (R) SP2
at. BOS
Chris Sale (L)
KCJake Junis (R) SP 4
at. NYY
CC Sabathia (L)
Jason Vargas (L) SP5
vs. DET
Anibal Sanchez (R)
Jason Hammel (R)
vs. DET SP3
Jordan Zimmermann (R)
Danny Duffy (L) SP2
vs. DET
Daniel Norris (L)
Ian Kennedy (R) SP4
vs. ARZ
Taijuan Walker (R)
Jake Junis (R) SP5
vs. ARZ
Xatrick Corbin (L)
Jason Vargas (L) SP2
vs. ARZ
Zack Godley (R)
LAARicky Nolasco (R) SP4
at. CWS
James Shields (R)
Parker Bridwell (R)SP5
at. CWS
Carson Fulmer (R)
Garrett Richards (R) SP3
at. CWS
Reynaldo Lopez (R)
Bud Norris (R) SP5
at. CWS
Dylan Covey (R)
Tyler Skaggs (L) SP4
vs. SEA
Andrew Moore (R)
Ricky Nolasco (R) SP5
vs. SEA
Mike Leake (R)
Parker Bridwell (R) SP5
vs. SEA
Felix Hernandez (R)
MINBartolo Colon (R) SP5
at. CLE
Josh Tomlin (R)
Adalberto Mejia (L) SP5
at. CLE
Danny Salazar (R)
Ervin Santana (R) SP2
at. CLE
Carlos Carrasco (R)
Kyle Gibson (R) SP3
vs. DET
Matt Boyd (L)
Jose Berrios (R) SP3
vs. DET
Buck Farmer (R)
Bartolo Colon (R) SP5
vs. DET
Anibal Sanchez (R)
NYYCC Sabathia (L) SP3
vs. KC
Jake Junis (R)
Jordan Montgomery (L) SP3
vs. TB
Blake Snell (L)
Luis Severino (R) SP5
vs. TB
Matt Andriese (R)
Sonny Gray (R) SP2
vs. TB
Alex Cobb (R)
Jaime Garcia (L) SP2
vs. TOR
Joe Biagini (R)
CC Sabathia (L)
vs. TOR SP4
Marcus Stroman (R)
Luis Severino (R) SP2
vs. TOR
Brett Anderson (L)
OAKDaniel Gossett (R) SP4
vs. SEA
Felix Hernandez (R)
Daniel Mengden (R) SP5 L
vs. SEA
James Paxton (L)
Kendall Graveman (R) SP5
vs. SEA
Erasmo Ramirez (R)
Sean Manaea (L)
at. TEX SP4
Miguel Gonzalez (R)
Jharel Cotton (R) SP4
at. TEX
Martin Perez (L)
Daniel Gossett (R) SP4
at. TEX
Andrew Cashner (R)
Daniel Mengden SP5 (R)
at. TEX
Cole Hamels (L)
SEAFelix Hernandez (R) SP2
at. OAK
Daniel Gossett (R)
James Paxton (L) SP2
at. OAK
Daniel Mengden (R)
Erasmo Ramirez (R) SP3
at. OAK
Kendall Graveman (R)
Andrew Moore (R) SP5
at. LAA
Tyler Skaggs (L)
Mike Leake (R) SP3
at. LAA
Ricky Nolasco (R)
Felix Hernandez (R) SP4
at. LAA
Parker Bridwell (R)
TBBlake Snell (L) SP2
at. NYY
Jordan Montgomery (L)
Matt Andriese (R) SP4
at. NYY
Luis Severino (R)
Alex Cobb (R) SP4
at. NYY
Sonny Gray (R)
Jake Odorizzi (R) SP2
vs. BAL
Wade Miley (L)
Chris Archer (R) SP2
vs. BAL
Ubaldo Jimenez (R)
Blake Snell (L) SP4
vs. BAL
Jeremy Hellickson (R)
TEXAndrew Cashner SP3(R)
vs. HOU
Collin McHugh (R)
Cole Hamels (L) SP2
vs. HOU
Dallas Keuchel (L)
Nick Martinez (R) SP4
vs. HOU
Justin Verlander (R)
Miguel Gonzalez (R) SP4
vs. OAK
Sean Manaea (L)
Martin Perez (L) SP4
vs. OAK
Jharel Cotton (R)
Andrew Cashner (R) SP4
vs. OAK
Daniel Gossett (R)
Cole Hamels (L) SP1
vs. OAK
Daniel Mengden (R)
TORBrett Anderson (L) SP4
at. BOS
Drew Pomeranz (L)
J.A. Happ (L) SP5
at. BOS
Chris Sale (L)
Marco Estrada (R) SPS SP
at. BOS
Rick Porcello (R)
Joe Biagini (R) SP5
at. NYY
Jaime Garcia (L)
Marcus Stroman (R) SP4
at. NYY
CC Sabathia (L)
Brett Anderson (L) SP5
at. NYY
Luis Severino (R)

TWO-START PITCHERS FOR WEEK 26

NameTeamGame 1 DateGame 1 OpponentGame 2 DateGame 2 Opponent
CC Sabathia NYYMonday, 9/25 1:05 PMKC vs. Jake JunisSaturday, 9/30 1:05 PMTOR vs. Marcus Stroman
Jake JunisKCMonday, 9/25 1:05 PM@NYY vs. CC Sabathia Saturday, 9/30 7:15 PMARZ vs. Patrick Corbin (
Lucas SimsATLMonday, 9/25 4:10 PM@NYM vs. Chris FlexenSaturday, 9/30 7:10 PM@MIA vs. Odrisamer Despaigne
A.J. Cole WASMonday, 9/25 7:05 PM@PHI vs. Aaron Nola Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PMPIT vs. Jameson Taillon
Drew Pomeranz BOSMonday, 9/25 7:10 PMTOR vs. Brett Anderson Saturday, 9/30 1:05 PMHOU vs. Lance McCullers
Brett Anderson TORMonday, 9/25 7:10 PM@BOS vs. Drew Pomeranz Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PM@NYY vs. Luis Severino
Seth LugoNYMMonday, 9/25 7:45 PMATL vs. Max FriedSunday, 10/1 3:05 PM@PHI vs. Nick Pivetta
Andrew Cashner TEXMonday, 9/25 8:05 PMHOU vs. Collin McHughSaturday, 9/30 8:05 PMOAK vs. Daniel Gossett
Collin McHughHOUMonday, 9/25 8:05 PM@TEX vs. Andrew Cashner Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PM@BOS vs. Chris Sale
James Shields CWSMonday, 9/25 8:10 PMLAA vs. Ricky Nolasco Saturday, 9/30 7:10 PM@CLE vs. Corey Kluber
Ricky Nolasco LAAMonday, 9/25 8:10 PM@CWS vs. James Shields Saturday, 9/30 9:07 PMSEA vs. Mike Leake
Luke Weaver STLMonday, 9/25 8:15 PMCHC vs. Jon Lester Saturday, 9/30 4:15 PMMLW vs. Aaron Wilkerson
Jon Lester CHCMonday, 9/25 8:15 PM@STL vs. Luke Weaver Saturday, 9/30 4:05 PMCIN vs. Jackson Stephens
Tyler Chatwood COLMonday, 9/25 8:40 PMMIA vs. Odrisamer DespaigneSunday, 10/1 3:10 PMLAD vs. Yu Darvish
Odrisamer Despaigne MIAMonday, 9/25 8:40 PM@COL vs. Tyler Chatwood Saturday, 9/30 7:10 PMATL vs. Lucas Sims
Zack Godley ARZMonday, 9/25 9:40 PMSF vs. Johnny CuetoSunday, 10/1 3:15 PM@KC vs. Jason Vargas
Johnny Cueto SFMonday, 9/25 9:40 PM@ARZ vs. Zack Godley Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PMSD vs. Luis Perdomo
Daniel GossettOAKMonday, 9/25 10:05 PMSEA vs. Felix Hernandez Saturday, 9/30 8:05 PM@TEX vs. Andrew Cashner
Felix Hernandez SEAMonday, 9/25 10:05 PM@OAK vs. Daniel GossettSunday, 10/1 3:07 PM@LAA vs. Parker Bridwell
Yu Darvish LADMonday, 9/25 10:10 PMSD vs. Travis Wood Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PM@COL vs. Tyler Chatwood
Blake SnellTBTuesday, 9/26 7:05 PM@NYY vs. Jordan Montgomery Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PMBAL vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Chris Sale BOSTuesday, 9/26 7:10 PMTOR vs. J.A. Happ Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PMHOU vs. Collin McHugh
Josh TomlinCLETuesday, 9/26 7:10 PMMIN vs. Bartolo ColonSunday, 10/1 3:10 PMCWS vs. Carson Fulmer
Bartolo Colon MINTuesday, 9/26 7:10 PM@CLE vs. Josh Tomlin Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PMDET vs. Anibal Sanchez
R.A. DickeyATLTuesday, 9/26 7:10 PM@NYM vs. Rafael Montero Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PM@MIA vs. Jose Urena
Zach Davies MLWTuesday, 9/26 7:40 PMCIN vs. Deck McGuireSunday, 10/1 3:15 PM@STL vs. Carlos Martinez
Deck McGuireCINTuesday, 9/26 7:40 PM@MLW vs. Zach DaviesSunday, 10/1 3:20 PM@CHC vs. Jake Arrieta
Cole Hamels TEXTuesday, 9/26 8:05 PMHOU vs. Dallas Keuchel Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PMOAK vs. Daniel Mengden
Carson Fulmer CWSTuesday, 9/26 8:10 PMLAA vs. Parker Bridwell Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PM@CLE vs. Josh Tomlin
Parker Bridwell LAATuesday, 9/26 8:10 PM@CWS vs. Carson Fulmer Sunday, 10/1 3:07 PMSEA vs. Felix Hernandez
Jason Vargas KCTuesday, 9/26 8:15 PMDET vs. Anibal Sanchez Sunday, 10/1 3:15 PMARZ vs. Zack Godley
Anibal Sanchez DETTuesday, 9/26 8:15 PM@KC vs. Jason Vargas Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PM@MIN vs. Bartolo Colon
Carlos Martinez STLTuesday, 9/26 8:15 PMCHC vs. Jake Arrieta Sunday, 10/1 3:15 PMMLW vs. Zach Davies
Jake ArrietaCHCTuesday, 9/26 8:15 PM@STL vs. Carlos Martinez Sunday, 10/1 3:20 PMCIN vs. Deck McGuire
Jose Urena MIATuesday, 9/26 8:40 PM@COL vs. Tyler Anderson Sunday, 10/1 3:10 PMATL vs. R.A. Dickey
Daniel MengdenOAKTuesday, 9/26 10:05 PMSEA vs. James Paxton Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PM@TEX vs. Cole Hamels
Luis Severino NYYWednesday, 9/27 7:05 PMTB vs. Matt Andriese Sunday, 10/1 3:05 PMTOR vs. Brett Anderson

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