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2018 Starting Pitcher Streaming Results

Well, here we are.  The 2018 fantasy baseball season has come to an end. I’m sure we are all feeling that deep void now that we don’t have regular season baseball games every day. No?? Is it just me? Anyways, I wrote a steaming article every week (with the exception to the short 3-day week after the All-Start Break) for the entirety of the 2018 season. The threshold I used for the streamers was 25% owned and under using FantasyPros combined Yahoo/ESPN ownership rates. What that means is that the pitchers I selected were widely available in all 10 and 12 team leagues but were likely gone in 15-team and AL/NL Only leagues. However, most people play in 12-team leagues, so the 25% ownership rate makes sense for the masses.




The results of every single pitcher I choose to stream is listed and totaled. There were three pitchers that started a game and left due to injury, not performance. I still included them in the overall numbers but maybe I could have eeked out another win or two had they continued, but I digress. Either way, here is the link to the spreadsheet.

FreezeStats Starting Pitcher Streaming Results

Here are the results of all 120 pitchers I chose to stream this year.

IP ERA WHIP K W
Season Totals 665.96 3.57 1.15 615 41

Overall, not bad! The win total may be a bit low, but we are talking about pitchers who are probably either somewhat volatile or on a bad team. We all know the win is a poor statistic to analyze a pitcher’s performance, take Jacob deGrom’s 10-win season in 2018 with an ERA that finished at an insane 1.70! Yes, it’s a fantasy category, so we want the best opportunity to receive wins. However, many of those pitchers who receive run support are likely scooped up. Check out the ERA and WHIP though! I sorted all starting pitchers with a minimum of 130 innings pitched this year and the 3.57 ERA from our streamers would rank 31st overall, one spot ahead of David Price. In terms of WHIP, using the same criteria, we are tied for 29th overall with Kyle Hendricks.

I’m not a genius, but those are definitely fantasy relevant numbers, especially in a 12-team league. If we assume our “streamers” were actual starting pitchers, let’s assume our fictional SP averaged 165 innings for the season which would rank between 50-60 overall in MLB in terms of innings pitched. Again, that’s just a reasonable assumption. Based on that assumption, our “Streamer” would have averaged:

10.25 Wins, 3.57 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 152.4 Strikeouts in 165 IP

Based on the ESPN’s Player Rater, our most similar pitchers by 5×5 results are James, Paxton, Sean Manaea, Jhoulys Chacin, Jack Flaherty, Kyle Gibson, and Jose Berrios. Kind of a mixed bag but the highest ranked SP in that group is Chacin at 28 and the lowest is Kyle Gibson at 46. Even the 46th rank SP is rostered in all 10 and 12 teams leagues.  Our streamer is a bit better than that as he would fall in around the 40th SP overall. Essentially, if you steamed all of the streamers I choose this year, you would have a solid #4 starting pitcher. In other words, you should have drafted 3 SPs and streamed the rest. If you had hit on your top 3 SPs, you would have definitely benefited from this strategy.  Maybe this can be a strategy going forward?

Unfortunately, every single one of these pitchers is unlikely to be available when I suggested to stream them, so it’s not quite a slam dunk.  At least I can feel pretty good about my streaming efforts and I hope to improve on these numbers next year. If you took my advice, I hope it helped you win matchup or better! Thanks for reading.

Follow me on Twitter @FreezeStats


Starting Pitchers to Stream: 9/24 – 9/30

I know I said last week was the final streamer article but I lied. For the few H2H leagues that play to the end or tight Roto leagues needing an edge in pitching here are my picks this week. I’m using a color-coding scale to determine how I feel about the pitchers because, at the end of the season, I’m not confident in anyone.  Pitchers could be pulled after one inning, it’s such a crapshoot. Green is as confident as I can be given the last week of the season. Green-Yellow is a decent streaming option. Yellow means caution but stream if you need it, and red means just stay away.


Nathan Eovaldi (BOS – RHP) – 23% owned Home vs BAL, Monday 9/24
Eovaldi has struggled a bit in the second half but just shut down the Yankees in the house that Jeter built.  A date with the ice cold Orioles should help keep things rolling for the right-handed fire-baller. The Orioles have 44 wins and 110 loses this year. I like the chances for Eovaldi to come away with a win here except he’s been turning in a bunch of short outings recently. It’s the final week and risks have to be taken. Eovaldi is throwing 3 pitches with confidence right now and while this could be another short outing, I’m Streaming here. I have a feeling this could be a 6 inning 9 K gem for Eovaldi.

Robbie Erlin (SD – LHP) – 2% owned @ SF, Tuesday 9/25
Yes, the Giants are still terrible offensively ranked in the bottom three in K%, BB%, and wOBA over the last 14 days. Ok great start, but who the hell is Robbie Erlin? Well, he’s 27 (almost 28) with a 20.2% strikeout rate. Not impressed? Me either, except he has an almost non-existent 2.9% walk rate and a very unlucky 62% strand rate. He doesn’t throw hard but mixes a four-seamer, sinker, curve, and change, all of which has produced positive results. Erlin induces swings outside the zone at an above average clip which helps induce weak contact. Don’t expect many strikeouts but a QS with good ratios is in order. STREAM

Touki Toussaint (ATL – RHP) – 5% owned @NYM, Wednesday 9/26
The Mets have been pretty good lately, they even managed to give deGrom four runs of support on Friday night. The Braves clinched the NL East in Saturday, so we could see a Triple-A lineup behind him which doesn’t guarantee run support. There’s a ton of small sample stuff going on with Touki’s numbers but his walk rate is simply too high. It’s too bad because he’s given 28% soft contact and a 50% groundball rate which are both fantastic. The Mets have never seen Touki and with an average walk rate as a team, this one seems to be a toss-up. I usually don’t trust rookie pitchers in a start where a blow up kills your ratios. I’ll be passing on this start because it’s a mid-week start.


Zach Davies (MIL – RHP) – 12% owned Home vs DET, Friday 9.27
The Tigers sport a .279 wOBA over the last 14 days. That’s not very good and the Tigers don’t get to use their DH, so theoretically they should be even worse offensively in this game. Davies is pitching better of late and I like his groundball tendencies. Depending on how the week goes, the Brewers may need this win to have a shot at the division or get the home game in the Wildcard matchup. That means the lineup should be stacked against Tigers starter Jordan Zimmerman. At this point in the season, there’s no such thing as a sure-fire quality start and Davies could get the hook early with Hader and Co. coming out of the bullpen. The limited strikeout upside is going to keep me from streaming Davies is all formats. If you need solid ratios and a possible W, give him a go. I’m giving him the yellow caution.

Joey Lucchesi (SD – LHP) – 24% Owned Home vs ARI, Saturday 9/28
Lucchesi has pitched well in four of his last five outings with 32 strikeouts in that span of 25 innings. The plate discipline numbers back that up with a near-14% swinging strike rate and a 71% contact rate. While I don’t expect Lucchesi to go much more than 5 innings, the DBacks have a .272 wOBA the last 14 days. Oh and are striking out over 27% of the time. Joey L could put together 7-8 Ks in this one. STREAM

Anthony DeSclafani (CIN – RHP) – 11% owned, Home vs PIT, Saturday 9/28
I recommended Tony Disco last week against the Marlins mainly because I’ve seen some more swing and miss in his game thanks to an increased slider usage. He was cruising but had one tough inning and had to work around an error. He did manage 10 strikeouts which is fantastic. He’s gotten double-digit swinging strike rates in 5 of the last 7 games. Giving up the long ball is clearly an issue but the Pirates gave only hit 8 in the last two weeks. If the BABIP and LOB% goes his way, we could see a QS with 7-8 strikeouts but Tony Disco could spin you right round baby right round, so he’s the gross green-yellow color. STREAM

Thanks for checking out my article, follow me on Twitter @FreezeStats. I’ll be writing this offseason as well doing player profile analysis for players I’ll be high and low on for 2019. Stay tuned!



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Starting Pitchers to Stream 9/21 – 9/23: This is the End

Erick Fedde (WAS – RHP) 3%, Home vs NYM, Friday 9/21
After checking the last 14 days, the Mets jumped out at me with a .338 wOBA and 22 homers hit. The wOBA in that time-frame ranks 5th and the 22 homers in number one in the league! The other thing that concerns me is the fact that the Mets play better on the road than at home at only 2 games under .500 opposed to 9 games under at home. They’re tied for 3rd in OBP on the road and Fedde goes up against deGrom. All jokes aside about run support about deGrom, he’s likely not giving up more than 2ER in this one. A win is a long-shot for Fedde. Without even discussing Fedde, I’ve basically talked myself out of using him. It’s too bad because I like the BABIP and HR/FB to regress and love his 50% ground ball rate. What I don’t like is the number of left-handed hitters the Mets can throw his way. I’m Staying Away here.



Jose Urena (MIA – RHP) 20%, Home vs CIN, Saturday 9/22
Miami is one of the worst places to hit and Urena has been on a roll recently with a 3.86 ERA in the second half and a 1.47 ERA in September. The main reasons for his improved second half are his ability to limit hard contact (down 8% from the first half) and his 53% ground ball up 10% from the first half. In addition, his strikeout rate in nearly 5% higher at home, go figure. Urena features a nice 97 mph fastball with a wipe-out slider. The Reds have a 28.2% K rate and a 7.1% walk rate in their last 14 games. Plus, they are a slightly below average offense on the road with a very poor 28-46 record as opposed to a top-8 offense at home in Great American Ballpark. I’m Streaming here but Urena did leave his last start for precautionary reasons, so check in before you make this move.

Anthony DeSclafani (CIN – RHP), @MIA, Saturday 9/22
Tough start in Miller Park last night, but this is not the Brewers and it’s not in Miller Park. I just bashed the Reds offense on the road, so am I really going to recommend DeSclafani away from GAB? I understand that a pitcher’s win is always fickle, but get this, the Marlins are the worst offensive team in the league the last 14 days. The Marlins sport a .259 wOBA, a 28.4% K rate, and a 6.2% BB rate. DeSclafani has gotten more comfortable in the second half and it’s helped him get more swings outside the zone. His strikeout rate has been up near a K per 9 in the second half and as I mentioned, the Marlins like to swing and miss. I like the strikeout upside here and I’m calling for 6 to 7 for Tony Disco, I’m Streaming.


Brad Keller (KC – RHP), @DET, Sunday 9/23
The rookie Keller has really put together a nice campaign which is not typical in Major League Baseball. Rookies usually take their lumps. The strikeout numbers are not strong but his ability to induce ground balls and limit hard contact is a skill I can believe in. What really caught my eye is his 16.9 pitch value per FanGraphs on his fastball which includes his sinker that gets a 67% ground ball rate. Keller gets the Tigers who have a 26.4% strikeout rate and a .302 wOBA in the last 14 days. They also have only managed a .302 wOBA at home this year which ranks 24th in MLB. The poor hitting Tigers have hit the third-fewest homers at home this year, 59 in 74 games. I definitely like Keller in this one to provide a quality start with good ratios and a W with the way the Royals offense has been rolling. Keller’s a safe floor pick and may provide a handful of strikeouts. I’m Streaming.

Follow me on Twitter @Freezestats


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Pitching Streamers 9/17 – 9/19 – Right Near Da Beach Boyyyyyyyyyd!

This is only Part 1 of my 2 Part streamer article for next week. I’ll cover Thursday 9/20 through Sunday 9/23 in the next part. I’m trying to cover as many options owned in 25% of leagues or less for the Championship or Semi-Finals. If pitchers like Jake Odorizzi or Derek Holland are available, I’d grab them to stream as well, but they are over 25% owned, so I don’t cover them here. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Joe Musgrove (PIT – RHP), 24% Home vs KC, Monday 9/17
Musgrove is one of many options that’s available near my 25% and just under my threshold. That means you need to grab him now! Wait, let me vet him first. In the last 14 days, the Royals are ranked 6th in wOBA at .331 and are running wild thanks to Merrifield and Mondesi. If you’re wondering, they’ve actually been steady offensively for the last month. The good news is, Musgrove doesn’t give out many free passes. Also, since 8/1 Musgrove has registered about a K per inning but his 13+% swinging strike rate and a 39% O-Swing suggests more strikeouts are coming. I like Musgrove’s upside but the hot-hitting Royals could wreak havoc on Musgrove’s ratios. Take a look at your opponent, if you think you need strikeouts, grab Musgrove. On Monday, it’s too early to take huge risks, this is a moderate pass for me. with upside.

Jordan Zimmerman (DET – RHP), 10% Home vs MIN, Monday 9/17
I’ve been hot and cold with Zimmerman this year. He’s really keeping the walks down but his HR rate is crazy-high at 1.85/9. He’s given up 6 homers in the last three games and his BABIP is under .150 in that span! That’s a recipe for disaster. Since the All-Star break, Zim has served up 16 HR in only 10 starts. You better believe he’s giving up at least two dingers in this one. Even against the Twins who aren’t great offensively, but I don’t want to trust my ratios with Zimmerman in the playoffs. STAY AWAY

Andrew Suarez (SF – LHP), 7% @SD, Monday 9/17
Wow, starting off 0 for 2, that’s not good. The third pitcher I’ll cover for Monday is Andrew Suarez who gets the Padres. The Padres have been better of late thanks to Franmil Reyes and Francisco Mejia, but they have been bad against left-handed pitching with a .302 wOBA. Working in Suarez’s favor is the ground ball tendencies which is at 53%. Suarez is not going to strike many batters out but he does have a good defense behind him to help limit the damage. The Padres have faced Suarez twice earlier this year and failed to do much of anything and he limited them to 2ER or less in both starts. Unfortunately, the Giants likely won’t offer much run support. Suarez does offer a good chance at a QS and good ratios. I think he can manage 4-5 Ks in 6-7 IP, so he is worth a stream in deeper leagues.

Joey Lucchesi (SD – LHP), 24% Home vs SF, Tuesday 9/18
Ok, here we go, my lock of the week. I know I told you to stay away from Joey L. last week and I was mostly right as he struggled a bit vs Seattle. This week, I don’t necessarily care that the Giants have seen Lucchesi before because that was back in April and the Giants are just straight terrible. How bad you ask? The Giants are hitting .204 as a team the last two weeks with a wOBA of .249 and a 31.7% K rate! That’s like facing an entire team of Chris Davis’, Davisi? Actually, Chris Davis has a higher walk rate than the Giant’s 5.7% posted by Giants hitters. OK, enough about how bad the Giants are. Lucchesi has a K/9 over 9.0 and a 3.67 ERA on the season. This should be a 6 inning, 7 K outing for Lucchesi with golden ratios. STREAM

Joe Ross (WAS – RHP), 4% @MIA, Tuesday 9/18
Zero strikeouts, really Joe?!? I know that Ross held the Cubs scoreless in five innings, but how could you not manage one strikeout? Believe it or not, the Cubs have been bad offensively ranking 6th from the bottom in wOBA in the last two weeks and the last month. Do you know who has been worse? The Marlins. In the last two weeks, the Marlins are hitting .211 with a .267 wOBA and a 25% K rate as a team. Good for Ross! One change I noticed in Ross’ repertoire is he’s cut his sinker usage in half compared to last year. That pitch killed him last year. Sure, it’s only one start, but it’s clear to me that he’s moving away from the pitch. Ross has never been an elite swing and miss pitcher but he should provide at least a few Ks in this one. I’m STREAMING Ross here but only for ratios and a W.

Matt Boyd (DET – LHP), 24% Home vs MIN, Wednesday 9/19
Another option that’s right near 25%, but I think Boyd is worth it. The Twins have only been hitting .241 with a .295 wOBA in the last two weeks. Shifting to Boyd, I’ve discussed his elite level slider that ranks in the top 10 per FanGraphs Pitch Value for all sliders thrown. Boyd has also improved his fastball velocity in the second half from about 89 mph to 92-93 mph in recent starts. Not coincidentally, Boyd’s second-half ERA us 3.06 with a strikeout per inning. His fastball has registered positive results in that time frame opposed to slightly below average results in the first half. There’s no reason to think Boyd can’t provide a QS with at least 6 Ks and solid ratios. STREAM

Matt Shoemaker (LAA – RHP), 18% @OAK, Thursday 9/20
Surely a start like this against the red-hot Oakland Athletics isn’t a great idea, right? Well, here’s the thing, Oakland is in the bottom 10 offensively when playing at home. On, the road, they are the best offense in baseball. It’s odd, but it’s true, plus Oakland is a great pitcher’s park. Shoemaker is going up against Edwin Jackson and it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe drops ;).  Shoemaker has only three starts off the DL (fourth coming this weekend), and his strikeout rate is low. However, his contact rate is below 75% with a solid swinging strike rate as well. Oakland can certainly swing and miss quite a bit and I think Shoemaker has more upside in this game than it would appear on paper. In a mid-week battle, Shoemaker is a good option who should be available given the matchup. STREAM

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Pitchers to Stream – Minor Option Major Result

It’s playoff time, no more messing around! I’m covering a bunch of pitchers in this week’s article who are owned in under 25% of leagues per FantasyPros Yahoo/ESPN ownerships. Most of them I like, but there’s a couple I’m a little wary of. I’ll stop wasting your time with a pointless intro and get right into the pitchers.

Joey Lucchesi (SD) LHP, 23% @SEA, Tuesday 9/11
Of course, I would prefer this game to be played in San Diego but I’d also prefer to be Justin Verlander but it’s just not in the cards. The last time these two faced off Lucchesi rolled with 9 Ks and 1 ER in 6.2 IP.  That’s fantastic but it also was at home. I’ve mentioned this before but Lucchesi only has two pitches and he struggles to get through the order three times. Here are his numbers the third time through the order: 6.00 ERA with a .338 average against in 15 innings. The Mariners just saw him last week and I think will have more success against him this time around. I can see a short 5 inning outing with a limited shot at a win or a QS. I’m Staying Away here but he does have some strikeout upside. I’d be more interested if this start was later in the week.

Framber Valdez (HOU) LHP, 13% @DET, Tuesday 9/11
The Astros against the Tigers is a huge mismatch, the probability of a win is very high for Valdez. So that’s great! I hate to break this to you, but Valdez is not a 1.37 ERA pitcher. I know, shocking! However, how much damage can really be done with a 70% ground ball rate and a 30% soft contact rate? Not much, fam. He gets the Tigers who are 24th in the league in wOBA at home this year. I don’t see much strikeout upside here, but a win, QS, and decent ratios are in order. STREAM

Steven Matz (NYM) LHP, 23% Home vs MIA, Wednesday 9/12
Matz spun another solid outing on Friday against the Phillies where he struck out 8 batters in 5 IP. That makes a swinging strike rate over 10% in four of his last five games and his 4th straight game with at least a strikeout per inning. We can thank the increased slider usage which I mentioned in the last streamer article for that. Combine that with the Marlins poor performance against left-handed pitching. The Marlins have a .289 wOBA against lefties which ranks 27th in MLB. I’m a big fan of the changes Matz has made, his main weakness is the home run ball but I’m not concerned about that. Why? Because theMarlins have hit a total of 25 homers off lefties this year which ranks last in MLB. Easy STREAM here. My #2 stream of the week.

Jorge Lopez (KC) RHP, 2% Home vs MIN, Thursday 9/13
Who is this guy? Lopez is a former Brewers farmhand who was traded to the Royals in the Moustakas trade. In his last two starts, Lopez has given up only 2 earned runs in 15 innings pitched. He throws four pitches and all have registered positive pitch values per FanGraphs. I don’t think he has elite or high-end strikeout stuff, but he gets the ice cold Twins who have a .296 wOBA the last 14 days. Oh, and did I mention that one of those last two outings was against the Twins? No, well it was. Lopez also goes up against Gonsalves who has been atrocious this year, so he should get run support. Maybe the Twins pick up on something this time around or maybe they will stay cold. I’m rolling the dice. STREAM

Tyler Anderson (COL) LHP, 21% @SF, Friday 9/14
Anderson has really struggled in the second half after showing some signs of a breakout in the first half. Something has gone wrong in the second half but his poor HR/9 and BABIP likely won’t stick. He’s still getting a ton of swings and misses with a swinging strike rate of 13.4% with a 73.2% contact rate since July 30th. Since this start is in AT&T Park, I think the home run rate and BABIP will be in his favor for this game. If I haven’t convinced you, maybe this will. In the last 14 days, the Giants have a .250 wOBA with an unbelievable 31.5% strikeout rate. That’s last place in MLB for both, and it’s not close. The last 30 days haven’t been much better either. I’m thinking Anderson turns his best start of the second half in this one. STREAM

Jaime Barria (LAA) RHP 17% Home vs SEA, Saturday 9/15
Barria is a guy with a great slider and not much else. He’s been successful this year, there’s no doubt but he’s limited home runs and benefited with some BABIP and strand rate luck. What’s interesting is that Barria has already faced the Mariners three times. In all three starts, he’s given up 2 earned runs each time but has only struck out 5 batters in 16.1 IP. He also was very fortunate with his strand rates in those games. Some people might say he’s set for another two earned run outing to follow the trend. I say he’s due for a blow-up. Clearly, Barria isn’t fooling the Mariners hitters to get swings and misses. I just don’t see enough upside in this start. I’m STAY AWAY

Mike Minor (TEX) LHP, 23% @SD, Sunday 9/16
Minor should have two starts this week with the second coming Sunday against the Padres in San Diego. The Padres have a 24.3% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers and are ranked 22nd offensively against southpaws. If you’re wondering, Minor has been great in the second half with five wins and a 2.88 ERA. He’s increased his usage of his changeup to 25% up from 15%. That’s great because it’s his best pitch. Not only is he getting more swings and misses, but he’s gotten over 26% soft contact since the break. I’m hoping Minor gets this second start because it’s my lock of the week. STREAM

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Starting Pitchers to Stream: Giolito-bit of Matz-uration

Last week went really well and if you were able to grab the streamers I laid out last week, you may have just won your week. I received some comments about posting my previous week’s results, and I was doing that but I’ve just fallen behind. I’ll try to get them posted from here on out. I’ll also post all my streamer’s results for the entire season to see where we stand at the end of this month. Anyways, here was last week’s picks.

Name Date Opponent IP H BB ER K W
Joey Lucchesi 8/29 SEA 6.67 6 2 1 9 1
Matt Boyd 8/28 @KC 6 7 3 5 4 0
John Gant 8/30 PIT 5.67 3 3 0 6 1
Austin Gomber 8/31 CIN 7 10 0 2 3 1
Andrew Suarez 8/31 NYM 7 2 0 0 5 1
Steven Matz 9/1 @SF 7 3 1 1 11 0
TOTALS 39.34 31 9 9 38 4

If it weren’t for Boyd, it may have been the perfect week. Even still, we posted a 2.06 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP with 4 wins (out of 6 starts) and nearly a strikeout per inning. Gonna be tough to top that but there are a shit-ton of streaming options this seek under 25% owned and I don’t even discuss Lucchesi and Gomber who just missed the cut.

Adam Plutko (CLE) 3% owned, home vs KC, Monday, 9/3
Plutko isn’t a great pitcher but he does get to face the Royals at home. The Royals are terrible, right? Well, actually they are 10th in terms of wOBA in the last 30 days at .315 and they 5th in the league in combined HR + SB in that span. Plutko is an extreme flyball pitcher at 56% and has limited strikeout upside. A win is certainly possible with the elite offense of the Indians but Plutko has limited upside with strikeouts and ratios. I’m passing, STAY AWAY

Lucas Giolito (CHW) 22% owned, home vs DET, Tuesday, 9/4
Don’t laugh you guys!. Giolito has got it going on recently. His fastball velocity is up and his location is better. His changeup is probably his best pitch, so he’s subscribing to the fastballs up, offspeed down approach and finally having success. He gets the Tigers at home who are 28th in MLB in wOBA as .291 in the last 30 days. In that time, the Tigers are hitting .237 as a team with a 22.1% K rate and a below-average 7% walk rate. I’m a Giolito-bit excited about this one. Go ahead and STREAM

Dan Straily (MIA) 5% Home vs PHI, Wednesday 9/5
I thought long and hard about Glasnow but he’s got the Blue Jays in Toronto who rank in the top 5 offensively this past month. If you need strikeout upside and can sacrifice ratios, you can try Glasnow. Straily, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same upside as Glasnow but he gets the Phillies who are really struggling offensively with a 23% K rate and a .302 wOBA in August. Straily is known to give up the gopher ball but he hasn’t given one up in his last two starts and only 2 HR given up in his last five starts total. Straily, not surprising is also better at home and has been able to get more strikeouts in Miami. I expect Straily to continue on this mini-roll at least for one more start. STREAM

Steven Matz (NYM), 14% owned at Home vs PHI, Friday 9/7
Matz’ ownership should skyrocket after last night’s gem against the Giants where, as you can see above, dominated them with 11 Ks and only 1 ER. The Giants are terrible, but the Phillies aren’t that much better ranked 23rd in wOBA in the last 30 days with a 23% K rate that falls in the bottom six in MLB. What has changed with Matz? In his last 3 starts, he’s thrown his slider about 10% more and his change 5% more. Those are his two pitches and he’s getting a ton more swings and misses because of it. I think he keeps it going against the Phils. STREAM

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) 6% owned Away vs PIT, Friday, 9/7
You guys, how is Chen only 6% owned? This confirms that over 50% of leagues are dead. Can we talk about how good he’s been in the last month? Here it is, 3 wins, 1.44 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 30 strikeouts in 31.1 IP. Yup. Of course, I’d prefer this game at home but PNC isn’t much of a hitter’s upgrade over Marlins Park. Oh, and the Pirates are bad. They are 26th in wOBA in the last month and only the Giants and Rays have hit fewer home runs in that span. The walks are up for Chen on the season but it’s down to a more Chen-like 6.8% walk rate in his last 8 starts. I’m all in STREAM

Matt Harvey (CIN) 17% owned @DET, Saturday 9/8
Matt Harvey has had a pretty eventful year and he gets the Tigers outside of Great American Ballpark. Then again, it’s Matt Harvey. However, since 7/28 Harvey has posted a  22.1% K rate and a 5.2% BB rate which is solid even if his ERA and WHIP don’t show it. An elevated BABIP has skewed the ratios a bit. In that timeframe, he’s also inducing 24% soft contact. I discussed how bad the Tigers have been in my Giolito blurb so I won’t do it again. There’s some risk here because Harvey typically goes only 5 or 6 innings but I’m rolling with Harvey in 14-team and deeper leagues. STREAM

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Starting Pitchers to Stream – The St. Louis G-Men

I apologize for the late submission and missing the first couple days, of the week. The important time to stream at the end of the week anyways when matchups have taken shape Am I right or am I, right? Ok, here’s the list, I’ve added a few extra so your pleasure.

Joey Lucchesi (SD), 18% at Home vs SEA, Wednesday 8/29
Seattle in an NL park means no Nelson Cruz (at least as a starter). The Mariners without Nelson Cruz are an average at best offensive team. San Diego’s park, while not the hitter’s nightmare it’s been in years past, is still a poor hitter’s park. Lucchesi has not been great in the second half but much of that is due to poor starts against the Diamondbacks who he’s seen a number of times and the second time he faced the Mets. Lucchesi’s funky delivery and churve (change-curve) has given teams fits in the initial matchups. While a win will be hard to come by, a 6 IP QS, with around 6 strikeouts is in the cards. STREAM

If he’s available, go with Matt Boyd (28% owned). I know his ownership shot up to 30%, especially with his recent performance, plus he’s facing a very weak Kansas City team in Kauffman Stadium.

John Gant (STL), 8% at Home vs PIT, Thursday, 8/30
What do we make of John Gant? He’s got a pretty good fastball with a decent changeup, but his curveball has not been successful. The last time Gant faced the Pirates, they made him walk the plank. That’s in PNC Park though, Gant seems to like his home cookin’ where the jean shorts and tank tops are a-plenty. I was impressed by Gant’s last start in Colorado where he managed a 15.5% swinging strike rate and a 56% ground ball rate. I like the momentum and the Pirates have an awful .296 wOBA in the last 30 days. STREAM.

Austin Gomber (STL), 19% at Home vs CIN, Friday 8/31
Gomber has been nothing short of fantastic for the surging Cardinals in the second half. He’s given up a total of 3 earned runs (4 runs total) in his last 4 starts. That’s impressive especially when you consider his starts were in Colorado, in LAD, and at home against the Nationals. Gomber isn’t a guy who will pile up the strikeouts but he appears to have gotten sprinkled with a little of that Cardinals’ Devil Magic. I like Gomber at home where he’s more than 1.00 ERA better and the Reds on the road are not all that intimidating. STREAM

Andrew Suarez (SF), 7% at Home vs NYM, Friday, 8/31
Suarez is my backup option to Gomber and at only 7% owned, he’s available in most deep leagues. The Mets are pretty horrible offensively even though they just got back Jay Bruce (LOL) and Brandon Nimmo (who is actually good). I don’t love Suarez overall profile, but this is a travel day for the Mets who must travel across country with a three hour time change. Can you say jet lag? I like Suare at home in deep leagues. STREAM 14-team and deeper

Steven Matz (NYM), 13% on the road vs SF, Saturday, 9/1
The Giants are without Buster Posey for the rest of the season. Who is the Giants best hitter now? Brandon Crawford? Matz has not been good, I’m not arguing otherwise. This is kind of a weakness vs weakness. The Giants as a team have a .271 wOBA in the last 30 days, good (bad) for second to last in MLB. Their 24% K rate in that time frame is 5th highest. Matz is set up for a success in this start. Matz just handled the Giants at home a week ago and has two good starts in a row. I’m rolling the dice here, it’s risky but you don’t win by avoiding taking risks. STREAM

Anthony DeSclafani (CIN), 21% on the road vs STL, Sunday 9/2
DeSclafani gets the Cardinals on the road and prior to the game against the Cubs had strung together 3 straights starts with 1 earned run or less. On one hand, DeSclafani has a .267 BABIP, on the other hand, he’s not walking anyone, and on the third hand (that would be weird), he’s giving up 1.9 HR/9. There appears to be too much hard contact and not enough weak contact with Tony Disco. Plus the Cardinals have his number compiling 15 hits and 8 earned runs in only 8.1 IP this year. STAY AWAY

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Weekly Rundown – You Spell Khrush with a K

Player’s Weekend is upon us and I think my favorite nickname is Rich Hill who has been dubbed, “Dick Mountain.” You really can’t top that. I read somewhere that Brock Holt coined that nickname for Rich back in his Red Sox days. Turns out Brock Holt is useful! The next best nickname is Brad Boxberger’s in which the back of his jersey simply displays an emoji of a cardboard box and a cheeseburger. Clever. Ok, let’s dive in!

Hot Hitters
Kendrys Morales has woken up in the month August and is hitting a blistering .500 with 6 homers with 9 RBI as he’s your Flavor of the Week. Over at BaseballSavant, he’s the hitter who has underperformed based on xwOBA-wOBA more than any other hitter in the league. While I don’t fully trust MLB’s expected numbers, Morales is clearly starting to catch up to his career numbers. I understand that’s cliche, but look at Morales’ last four seasons, he’s a .260 hitter with mid-20s pop at this point in his career.  

Khris “The New Krush” Davis is at it again against the Rangers, well, all teams really. This beast has an MLB leading 39 homers thanks to 5 homers this past week. He also has 10 RBI in that span with 103 on the season. Davis has cut his K rate by nearly 5%, upped his hard-hit rate by 5% (although everyone has), and increased his fly ball rate by 6%. He’s likely going to slow down (well obviously), he has 18 homers in 32 games since the break! I think he’s a lock to go in the second round next year as he finally gets some well-deserved respeKeD.

David Peralta is hitting nearly .500 with 3 homers and 6 RBI this past week. Peralta has always been a guy who has shown moderate power with a little bit of speed and good contact skills. He’s a guy that always seems to be available on shallow league waiver wires. Until this year, of course. Is this for real? The answer, kind of. He’s only increased his fly ball rate slightly from the high-20s to 30%. Meh, but his hard contact is WAY up to 47% and has doubled his HR/FB from last year. He’s also hit fewer infield flys, so do I think he’s a .300, 30 HR hitter next year? Not quite, but a.290 with 22-25 HR hitter, yes sir.

Xander Bogaerts has been an RBI machine with 10 RBI in the last 7 days with 2 homers and a .357 average. Bogaerts was sick of his soft contact ways of 2017 where he barreled 1.3% of his batted balls in 2017 (brutal) and is up to 10.5% this year. I was down on Bogaerts coming into the year because his fly ball rate was low, his hard contact was bad, and his IFFB% was way up. This year, he’s improved in all three aspects. At 25, Bogaerts looks like a .300-25-10 guy for the foreseeable future.

Whit Merrifeld and Jose Peraza both have two homers and two steals apiece with .400 averages. I lump them together not only because their stat lines are so similar this past week but are they really that different? Sure Merrifield has shown more power in the past with 19 home runs last year so he’s not quite a White Rabbit. Merrifield has 9 homers and 28 steals in 548 plate appearances this year. Peraza has 8 homers and 20 steals in 540 plate appearances. Sure, I prefer Merrifield, but Peraza is a nice consolation prize going into 2019 and he’s five years younger.

Justin Turner just hit his third home run in the last seven days to go along with 9 RBI and even threw in a stolen base! Is Turner the Red Rocket or is Kole Calhoun? I think Turner’s nickname is just Red. Anyways, Turner is Red-Hot! Ok, I’m done. Seriously though, it took Turner a little while upon his return to get his power back, but since the All-Star break, Turner is .390 with 5 homers, 8 doubles, and a triple in only 89 plate appearances, good for an ISO of .325! If you waited it out with Turner, you have been handsomely rewarded.

Hot Pitchers
David Price has given up only 2 earned runs with a 0.67 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in his last two starts. He’s starting to look like the top 25 pitcher I envisioned in my preseason rankings. Since Price’s July 1st 8-run blow up, he’s essentially been an ace. His fastball and cutter have combined for a 12.0 pitch value in only 8 starts! That’s insane. Unfortunately, he has no other good pitches. I don’t think Price is an ace anymore but he’s a smart veteran pitcher who can be your #2.



Now, this is an ace! Aaron Nola is Str8 Ballin’ and making his case for NL Cy Young with a 0.60 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in his last two starts. Nola does so many things well, but the best skill he has is home run suppression with his 0.46 HR/9. He’s rocking a 50% ground ball rate and an elevated IFFB rate which is how he can limit those dingers. In addition, Nola has boosted his swinging strike rate by nearly 2% but his K rate remains slightly lower than 2017. You know what this means? I’m expecting a strikeout bump next year, and Nola will be in my top 5 SPs going into 2019.

Walker Buehler really has lived up to the hype as he’s gone 20 innings giving up just 1 earned run with a 0.85 WHIP and 23 strikeouts in the last two weeks. Yes, that’s cheating, but his last two starts have been dominant as well, I just wanted to point out how great he’s been. Buehler threw just about 100 innings last year and is currently at 103 IP this year. We are dealing with the Dodgers, so we have to be careful with Buehler and an innings limit which I think will be about 130-140. If the Dodgers believe Buehler will be part of their Postseason rotation, he could be skipped a couple of times before the regular season is done. Owners, be aware.

Cole Hamels continues his dominance with the Cubs who desperately needed pitching help. He’s rocking a 0.56 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP in his last two starts. He’s not getting the strikeouts, but that’s fine, he’s basically the Cubs ace right now. It’s odd because Hamel’s four-seam fastball has not been good this year but he’s finding a way to be successful with it since joining the Cubs and is actually throwing it more! Maybe, it’s location, when he’s up in the zone with the pitch, it’s yielded some positive results. Let’s hope it continues because velocity is not his game anymore.

CC Sabathia is 38 years old, has dealt with issues with alcohol, went to rehab and is still killing it in the mound. Yes, he qualifies as a Return of the Mac. In his last two starts, CC has 15 Ks, a 1.50 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 12 IP.  Sabathia now has 2,960 strikeouts in his career which is 17th all time just behind John Smoltz. He’s also 6 wins short of 250 which I think are milestones that get him into the Hall of Fame. Congrats on a great career CC and being fantasy relevant at almost 40.

Freezing Cold Hitters
Mookie Betts is ice cold everyone. I know, it’s sad, but he’s hitting just .172 with no homers or steals this past week. He’s even got eight strikeouts to only one walk, this isn’t the Mookie-VP we know and love. Other than a few extra strikeouts, I’m not seeing anything in Mookie’s profile that concerns me. This is just a mini-slump got Mookie before he makes his MVP-push in September.



Ozzie Albies is 3 for his last 26 with no homers and no steals. This is not just one cold week for Albies, it’s been the better part of two months now. Albies is a player I’m worried about because his overall season numbers look solid (especially for a 21-year-old), but remember he was the hottest hitter to start the season in April. Since the All-Star Break, Albies is hitting .237 with 1 HR and 3 steals. His hard contact is down and he’s expanding the zone too much. He’s still making enough contact, but I think he’s being too aggressive. He might be over-drafted next year and should set up for a discount in 2020, I know I’m thinking way too far ahead.

Jose Ramirez is hitting just .160 without a home or an RBI this past week but has chipped in with a steal thanks to a healthy walk rate. Remember when Ramirez was hitting like .160 in April thanks to an extremely low BABIP? Yeah, this is the same situation. Since August 4th, he’s got a .222 BABIP but he’s still walking more than striking out and is making MORE contact. His quality of contact is down a bit, but that’s the only issue. Jo-Ram is just fine, he’s already given you 140% of his projected stats, be happy.

Rhys Hoskins is hitting just .192 with no HRs, no RBI, 2 runs, and a steal in the last 7 days. It’s essentially been a month-long slump for Hoskins as his .196 BABIP is the culprit. His hard contact is down and his line drive rate is at 15%. Hoskins hits a lot of fly balls and doesn’t run well, so unless he can maintain a 20+% HR/FB, he’s a .250-.260 hitter. Combine that with 30 homers and 90-100 RBI and you have a poor man’s E5. That’s a top 100 pick but not much higher. OBP leagues, he’s still borderline top 50 though.

Kole Calhoun, the red rocket, has fallen back on hard times after a blistering month and a half. Kole is hitting .182 with no homers or steals and carries a 43.5% K rate in the last 7 days.

I had to include a graph of Calhoun’s 15-game rolling averages because I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a wOBA fluctuation from 0.089 to 0.525 in the same season. Fear not, the hard contact continues to trend upwards. I’m not telling you to buy him, but continue to hold unless the strikeout rate gets out of control.

Starling Marte again! Yes, he’s hitting .160 with zeros across the board. Oh, he did have stolen base last night though, so that’s good. His K rate is up and he’s expanding the zone with a nearly 40% O-Swing (swings outside the zone) in August. You know what helps in these “Dog Days” of summer? PEDs! Ouch, low blow bro! I’m sorry, but Marte was a guy who struggled to stay healthy for 162 and we all know how healthy Ryan Braun has been since getting busted. I’m going to be out on Marte next year, he turns 30 and he’s not getting faster. He’ll be over-drafted thanks to around 20 HR and 35 steals this year.

Freezing Cold Pitchers
Lance Lynn’s success with the Yankees has halted quickly where he’s been punished by the Blue Jays and Marlins of all teams. He’s given up 10 earned runs 19 baserunners in his last two starts. It was starting to look like Lynn was the saving grace after the horrific run by Sonny Gray. I can’t judge (All Rise) Lynn’s performances with the Yankees yet because his getting 11.6 K.9 with a 49% groundball rate but also has a .375 BABIP and a 66.4% LOB. His SwStr% is nowhere near matching his elevated K rate either. I’m chalking this up to small samples and using him as a streamer against weaker opponents.

My boy (he’s not my boy) Big Game James Shields is back to getting roughed up after a mini-resurgence with a 6.59 ERA, 19 baserunners and 3 homers in his last 13.2 IP. I admit I did recommend him once as a streamer this year. The start was OK, it didn’t kill your ratios or your week. The reason I was optimistic was his home run rate has been down (for him) and he’s getting more swings and misses but with a lower K rate. I think my (slim) optimism is gone. Good-Bye Big Game James, it’s been real, it’s been nice, but it hasn’t been real nice.

Zack Godley’s stretch of good starts is long gone as he’s given up 11 earned runs and 19 baserunners in his last two starts that spans 10 innings. The lone bright spot is his 14 strikeouts. Why is Godley bad this year? Well, his walks are up, his BABIP is 50 points higher, and he’s stranding fewer runners. His home run suppression remains intact but he really only has one plus pitch this year, the curve. Last year, his cutter was utilized much better, currently, it’s received a pitch value of -8.6 compared to 7.3 PV last year. I don’t trust him anymore.

Andrew Heaney has struggled in his last two starts posting an 8.74 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP in that timeframe. His last month has actually been relatively poor. He currently has thrown 146 innings this year coming off only about 50 innings last year and 6 IP the prior year. I just think Heaney is out of gas. He’s got a good changeup and breaking ball, so I think Heaney will be on my sleeper list for next year. At this point, he will probably throw a couple more starts then be shut down for the rest of the year. I like him to reach 175+ next year with solid ratios.

Clayton Richard’s nightmare season continues. In his last 8.2 IP, Richards is sporting an 11.42 ERA with a 2.31 WHIP with only six strikeouts. I understand Richard isn’t all that fantasy relevant but last year against lefty-heavy lineups, he was a solid streamer. Then there’s the home/road splits, his 3.94 ERA and 1.22 WHIP at home is playable but the 6.67 ERA with a 1.42 WHIP on the road is just brutal. Am I really recommending Richard as a streaming option at home against lefty-heavy lineups? I guess so, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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