SEPT. 26 MARQUEE STREAM: Zach McAllister (CLE) @ MIN
McAllister (11.6 percent ESPN ownership) has dominated the hapless Twins, notching a 2.03 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 12 K in 13 1/3 innings (two starts) this year, and the Indians are busy demonstrating why they deserve to be in the playoffs. I’d take just about anyone against a gutted Minnesota lineup, and McAllister’s ownership of the Twins is more than encouraging.
Go ahead and deploy the Baltimore Orioles’ Miguel Gonzalez (10.1 percent) at home versus Toronto, too. The Orioles are eliminated from playoff contention, but the Blue Jays are helpless at this point. Gonzalez has a 2.96 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 18 K against the Jays in four starts and, at this stage in the season, there’s no reason to believe the trend will reverse.
SEPT. 27 MARQUEE STREAM: Corey Kluber (CLE) @ MIN
Is it a coincidence I picked Indians in back-to-back spot starts? Does the pope wear a funny hat? I’m a huge fan of Kluber (12.1 percent), maybe a bit irrationally, but I don’t care. He has given up four earned runs only once in his last 10 starts coupled with 8.2 strikeouts per nine. Full disclosure: he hasn’t reached the sixth inning in his last four starts. Full disclosure: I don’t care — it’s the Twins!
Also take a gander at the San Diego Padres’ Burch Smith (1.7 percent). He has been solid in his first three starts — 2.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and a very impressive 23 K in 18 innings — but he walks a lot of batters. That said, 1) he’s limiting the hits, 2) nobody on the Giants but Hunter Pence cares to hit, and 3) when’s the last time Ryan Vogelsong looked sharp? Exactly. Anyway, the kid’s good.