A minor injury and a rotation shakeup have given us the same starting pitching pickup for the second Sunday in a row. If you’re fantasy baseball league finishes their scoring period on Sunday (like most), you may be looking for a streaming starter or a spot starter to serve as a closer for your week of fantasy baseball domination. If you are, check out my top options as a good place to start your search.
Any day you have to hit the wire looking for starting pitching, you can find a good place to start with my daily starting pitching pickups (archive here). Here are the basic ground rules: recent results are on the final slide of this post, and my choices are always available in at least half of ESPN leagues (each player’s ownership percentage is included in parentheses after their team name). I also include a risk and reward ranking for each pick on a scale of 1-5 with five being the most risk and the most reward.
Here are my top choices for Sunday:
Henderson Alvarez-Miami Marlins (22.0%)
Alvarez had a minor hip issue that caused his start to be pushed back to Sunday, but all signs point to him being on the hill as the Fish host the Pirates in their series finale.
Alvarez has allowed just a single earned run in his last four starts going 26.1 innings even though he had to depart last week after just 5.1 innings. His ERA on the year is still an impressive 2.56 ERA and he’s thrown an MLB-high three complete game shutouts. He’s been especially effective at home where he comes into this start 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA.
The only risk with Alvarez is related to his injury or the rust from a longer layoff, but he’s still the top widely available option for this Sunday against a Pirates lineup that has struggled at times this season although they have been hitting better lately with some reinforcements from the Minors making an impact.