Looking to upgrade your fantasy starting rotation? Or maybe you just need to gain ground in wins and strikeouts? Then consider these pitchers, who are each slated to make two starts in Week 26.
12-team mixed leagues
Marcus Stroman (@BAL, @TB)
By now, Stroman needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues, regardless of size. Coming off Wednesday night's dominant outing, in which he tossed seven scoreless innings against the Yankees, the 24-year-old heads into this two-start week with a 3-0 record, a 1.89 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP through three starts since his season debut earlier this month. A road meeting with the Orioles is not an ideal matchup, but Stroman is the kind of talent that should be trusted even in the tougher games. Softening next week's schedule is the second start, on the road against a Rays club that has scored the fewest runs of any team in the American League.
Marco Estrada (@BAL, @TB)
Although Estrada doesn't carry the long-term upside of Stroman, he's been nearly as effective as his rotation mate this month, going 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in five starts. As mentioned above, the Rays have struggled to score runs all season. And though the Orioles' lineup is formidable, Estrada has handled them well this year, registering a 3.32 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in five games (three starts). Backed by the top offense in the Majors, Estrada is an especially appealing two-start option if you're chasing wins.
Jake Peavy (vs. LAD, vs. COL)
Peavy's days as a fantasy ace are long gone, but the veteran righty is still a viable mixed-league option in favorable matchups. He's been especially impressive of late, going 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP over his last four starts, and next week's matchups are promising. Peavy has fared far better at home than on the road this year, posting a 5-2 record to go along with a 3.40 ERA in eight home starts, this compared to a 2-4 record and a 4.24 ERA in nine starts away from AT&T Park. As for his opponents next week, the Dodgers rank 13th in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break while the Rockies rank last in the Majors in runs and OPS on the road this season.
Deeper mixed leagues
Colby Lewis (vs. DET, vs. LAA)
Is Lewis the most consistent pitcher? No. But he deserves credit for quietly piecing together a quality season that includes 17 wins, enough to place him in a tie for third in the AL. Don't be surprised if Lewis, who has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last three outings, adds to that win total next week, as the Tigers and Angels rank next to last and last, respectively, in the AL in runs scored since the All-Star break. Also in Lewis' favor is that he blanked the Tigers over seven innings in his one start against Detroit this season. That said, his 8.31 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in four starts vs. the Angels is enough of a reason for owners in 12-team mixed leagues to shy away from him next week.
Since lasting just 4 1/3 innings in a start against the Brewers back on Aug. 26, Anderson has gone 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP across four outings. Perhaps the biggest concern for next week is that his home ERA (4.35) is close to two full runs higher than his road mark (2.58). But despite ranking third and second, respectively, in the AL in runs scored at home, the Twins and Red Sox rank 13th and 14th, respectively, in runs scored on the road.
Wade Miley (@NYY, @CLE)
Miley's first season in Boston has been one of ups and downs, but through his first four starts in September, the 28-year-old lefty boasts a 3.41 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. Despite still ranking second in the Majors in runs scored this season, the Yankees' offense has cooled off considerably in September, ranking 15th in runs and 28th in OPS. Meanwhile, the Indians are 23rd in the Majors in runs this month. Considering Miley's inconsistent performance this season, there's a good chance that he is on your league's waiver wire, even in deeper mixed formats.
Zach Steinhorn is a fantasy writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.