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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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Double Dose of the Dutch Oven

Starting Pitcher streamer options owned in 25% or less per FantasyPros Yahoo/ESPN ownership rates from August 20th – August 26th. Michael Kopech gets the call on Tuesday against the Twins this week for the White Sox. I don’t usually pick up a starter for his MLB debut (cough Sean Reid-Foley cough) mostly because of adrenaline, nervousness, etc. However, his upside for strikeouts is so high, he might be worth a shot. I would stay away for the first start but absolutely grab him and hold him if available. GRAB HIM NOW!

Derek Holland (SF) – 24%, Away vs NYM on Monday 8/20 AND Home vs TEX in Saturday 8/25
The Dutch Oven graces the streamer list for the second time in three weeks. The stream against the Mets seems obvious even though they did blow up for 24 runs against the Phillies this past week. However, offensively the Mets rank 29th out of 30 against left-handed pitching and have s 25.5% K rate as a team against those lefties. Holland has come back down to earth a little but he’s still getting strikeouts and has only allowed 4 ER or more once in his last 11 starts. STREAM.
Now for the Rangers. They have been on fire recently but that’s because Arlington is a launching pad all Summer. On the road though, the Rangers have a .300 wOBA and a 26% K rate. Not to mention, there’s no DH in this one. I think you can roll with Holland twice this week. STREAM x 2

Jake Junis (KC) 19% Away vs TB, Wednesday, 8/22
Junis has not had a very good Sophomore campaign. However, his last three starts have been good where he’s only given up four earned runs to go along with 21 strikeouts.  There’s two reasons for that, first he’s throwing his slider nearly 50% of the time and second, his fastball/sinker is not the homer-prone pitch it was earlier this year. Tampa Bay is a middle of the road team offensively but I think Junis can keep them at bay especially with his increased slider usage. I like Junis and his ability to get a K per innings with a quality start in this one. STREAM

Matt Boyd (DET), 24% at Home vs CHW, Thursday, 8/23
Over the last 30 days, the White Sox have a near 28% strikeout rate as a team, that’s the worst in the league by more than 3%. What’s more, they are in the bottom 10 in walk rate as well. Now, looking at Boyd, his slider has fueled his increased strikeout rate as he’s increased his slider usage from 10% to 30% this year. The pitch value on his slider is 14.4 per FanGraphs this year which ranks sixth in MLB for the pitch. Boyd’s fly ball tendencies posses a bit of a risk but his recent low walk rate combined with the White Sox elevated K rate makes this a solid STREAM.

Tyler Glasnow (TB), 24% at Home vs KC, Thursday, 8/23
Ok, I know Glasnow just got blown up in his last start, but it was against Red Sox in Fenway. More importantly, he went a season-high 6.2 innings and faced 25 batters. Including that start, Glasnow has a 3.38 ERA, 0.80 WHIP with 24 K in 18.2 IP as a starter. The Royals are bad, we know this. They have been a little better of late (20th wOBA last 30 days), but are bottom four offensively for the entire season. Outside of Whit Merrifeld, no one worries me at all. There’s no other streaming option that has 9 to 10 strikeout upside. Plus, we know he can go up to 100 pitches, so a quality start is still in play. STREAM

Reynaldo Lopez (CHW). 16% Away vs DET, Friday 8/24
I just pulled the trigger on Lopez for his two-start week annnnnnnnnnd it did not go well. He gave up four ER in seven innings against the Tigers on Monday and is currently getting beat up in the 2nd inning against the aforementioned Royals. Ugh, Lopez, you really let me down! If Lopez can’t get it done against those opponents, I can’t trust him here. I promise, I won’t be recommending Lopez the rest of the year. He’s a potential deep sleeper for next season, but I need to see more consistency. STAY AWAY


Weekly Rundown – Young Guns Edition: Acuna and the Master Bader

So many of the top hitting performers from this past week are available is shallow mixed leagues and some can still be scooped up in deeper leagues. I could talk about Jose Ramirez, Freddie Freeman, or Paul Goldschmidt, who are all having great weeks, but we all know how great they are. The first player I’ll kick off with is universally owned, but he has earned a spot a top this list even after taking a 97 mph fastball off his elbow.

Hot Hitters
Ronald Acuna Jr. has been a man possessed this past week hitting over .444 with 6 home runs and 2 steals to go with 11 runs and 12 RBI! Let’s see, Acuna is in the top 10 for Barrels per plate appearance and in the top 10 for sprint speed. That’s what we in the industry call Tooled Up! (sorry nobody says we in the industry). Anyways, Acuna is a special talent. I’m excited to see what he does the rest of this year. Even in redrafts, he could end up being a top 25 pick next year at this rate. Acuna is my number 1 Starboy.

Amed Rosario has joined the youth movement! He’s hitting .323 with 2 homers and 3 steals with 9 runs and 6 RBI this past week. I love that category juice, especially from a guy who was next to useless before the All-Star break. But, you know what I like about Rosario? He’s got great speed (16th fastest sprint speed), cut down on his strikeouts and improved on his walk rate, oh AND, he’s only 22 years old. I like him as a sleeper already for next year, but he needs to take another step forward to really be a solid 15 HR -25 SB type player.

Harrison “The Master” Bader has really been ballin’ out lately. Bader is hitting .429 with 3 homers and 7 RBI this past week. He doesn’t have a steal but has managed 12 over 282 plate appearances. Do you know how fast this Bader is? He’s tied for the 5th fastest sprint speed in MLB per BaseballSavant. His speed combined with his 27% line drive rate make his .378 BABIP a little more believable. Although a near 21% IFFB rate leaves a bad taste in my mouth…… Anyways, I like Bader, he should continue to get playing time but a high strikeout rate could lead to some slumps, so be aware of that going forward.

Michael Conforto has mashed 3 homers and driven in 7 while scoring 8 runs this week thanks to his fantastic walk rate. Wow, 2 Mets on this list! Conforto’s shoulder is finally healthy. How do I know? Check out my Tweet from yesterday. He’s absolutely crushing the ball and able to pull the ball at a higher rate meaning his bat speed has improved. Conforto does have a little bit of an elevated strikeout rate, but that’s largely due to his patience. As long as his shoulder is healthy and he’s being selective, he will produce. I’m selfishly hoping conforto stays under 25 HR this year so I can draft him at a bigger bargain next year, tehe.

My boy Marcus Semien has finally joined the party hitting .400 with 3 home runs, 8 runs and a steal in the last seven days. The steals are there, but the power has fallen short. He does have 27 doubles, so maybe it’s the de-juiced balls? I love that he’s making more contact, so that should help his batting average but unless he gets out of Oakland, he may just be a 15-15 guy.

Miguel Andujar is hitting over .300 this week with 3 home runs and 7 RBI. Miguel has been a solid source of average and power this year. Hitting at Yankee Stadium in that lineup doesn’t hurt. I know there’s even more power in his bat but his batted ball profile needs a bit of face lift (get it? Lift). He reminds me Marcell Ozuna, big power, too much ground and pound. I’ll keep an eye on him and look for an approach change for next year.

Freddy Galvis has been quiet this year but he’s provided value this past week. He’s hitting .280 with 3 HR and 2 SB with 7 RBI. Galvis literally plays everyday and his overall season statistics are pretty terrible considering. A .237 average with 10 homers and 6 steals in 124 games…. Sorry, I just fell asleep. Anyways, there’s not much to see here, he’s not worth a pickup except in 16 team  or NL-Only leagues.

Hot Pitchers
Who to lead with? Hmmmm, how about Blake Snell? Sure, Snell has only gone 10 IP in his last 2 starts since the Ray are easing him back into action. However, he’s earned 2 wins, with 12 strikeouts, 0 earned runs and a 0.30 WHIP! Is Snell in the top 10 for Starting Pitchers next year? He does have several plus pitches and the strikeout rate to go with it. However, his walk rate sits just below 10% and he’s getting by with an elevated strand rate. I love Snell, but I think he needs just a little refinement before he’s a top 10 SP.

Kevin Gausman everyone! He loves Atlanta getting 2 wins with a 1.93 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP in his last 2 starts. Remember, Gausman has a really nice second half last year as well. It’s only been three starts with ATL, so we will have to wait and see. I don’t like that his strikeout rate has dropped and a 90% zone contact is not great. I’m in wait and see mode, but if you’re in a league where you need pitching, he’s not a bad guy to grab.

Carlos Rodon has been on fire. He’s gone an incredible 16 IP in his last two starts with a 1.69 ERA and 0.75 WHIP, sure the 11 Ks aren’t great but who’s complaining? I like Rodon’s future, but a 10.9% K-BB% is just not very good. He’s getting by with a .210 BABIP, I mean, I know Adam “Superman” Engel is roaming the outfield, but still. I’d ride this hot streak out, his schedule is set up with a very nice two start week against the Twins and Tigers. I’d grab him there but then he gets the Red Sox, no thank you.

Clay Buchholz is getting it done with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in his last two starts. Again, the strikeouts aren’t great but is Clay a guy we should be rolling out there during the stretch run? There are some numbers I don’t love under the hood with Clay, but (holz LOL) he’s limiting walks and isn’t giving up a ton of homers. Three of his five pitches has a pitch value of over 4 per FanGraphs in only 73 innings. I think he’s worth holding on to on this run because of how he’s been able ti utilize his repertoire. 

I was going to write about Wheeler, but it’s well documented how much I like (love) him. So let’s chat about Julio Teheran who has 13 strikeouts with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in his last two starts. His strikeouts are up which is nice but his walk rate sits at a career high. He’s also giving up 1.55 HR/9 with a very lucky .221 BABIP. You need to run and hide from Teheran, cuz he’s about to get blown up. His fastball velocity is even down 1.5 mph. This run will not last.

I was going to throw in Scherzer and Carrasco, but you know they are on a roll. Cole Hamels has been nothing short of a Godsend for the Cubs since coming over from Texas. He’s got 4 Wins, 49 Ks with a 1.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in the last 30 days. That’s what I call Return of thee Mac. I’m not really sure how he’s doing this because his cutter has been his best pitch and his fastball has been his worst but he’s throwing the fastball a bit more. Then there’s his change up. In his starts with the Cubs where he threw his change up more, his strikeout rate was well over 9.0, in the other two starts, his K rates have been way down. He’s obviously a hold but I’d keep an eye on his pitch mix going forward.

Freezing Cold Hitters
Carlos Correa has not found his groove since coming off the DL. He’s hitting a miserable .111 with no homers or steals this past week. Damn Carlos, what’s up Bro? I can’t tell if I want to buy low on Correa for next year or not. On the one hand, he’s only 23 years old with a pretty incredible start to his career, on the other hand, he’s only played one full season out of three. The last two being the shortened seasons. He’s also just about eliminated running. I think I talked myself out of CC unless he drops in drafts for 2019.

Eugenio Suarez has gone cold for literally the first time this year. He’s hitting .174 with 3 runs, 0 RBI and no homers the last 7 days. I’m not concerned, although Votto to the DL could hurt his run production. I’m ok with that so he can be a little bit discounted in next years’ drafts. Over at TheSprotsDegens, I wrote a breakdown of how Suarez has morphed into an elite hitter. I know he cold right now, but you have to ride it out, he’ll bounce right back.

Starling Marte has only 4 hits this week with no steals and no homers. Marte has already surpassed the power numbers I thought he’d have this year and his plate approach and contact look just fine. It’s his .310 BABIP that’s hurting him. For his career his BABIP sits at .348. The culprit is his low line drive rate, but that can happen if you sell out a bit for power. But is .270 20 HR with 35 SB bad? No, that’s great, so move along.

The Gleyber Torres hype has really quieted down recently with Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna going nuts. It’s not all his fault, but he’s 3 for his last 23 with a run, RBI, but no HR, or steals. Torres has had a hell of a rookie season and is showing more power than anticipated, but I think he needs some work with his approach. He’s a little bit too aggressive and needs to make more contact. Let’s remember he’s only 21 years old, not every prospect is Juan Soto or Ronald Acuna.

Albert Pujols, I know he’s not even owned in over 50% of leagues, but he’s hitting only .217 without a home run this past week. I think (know) his time has passed. Ohtani has already proven he’s a better hitter than Pujols at this point and should be DHing nearly every day. Yes, Pujols was a fantasy GOD for the better part of a decade but his value is negative both in terms of fantasy and real life baseball. He still makes a lot of contact and his K rate is low, but he just isn’t a feared hitter anymore. Can we just marvel at his previous fantasy gold season such as back in 2009? Here’s his 5×5 line: .327-124-47-135-16!

Javier Baez is on the weekly rundown more than almost anyone thanks to his extremely streaky nature. He’s hitting under .174 with no HR or SB and 9 strikeouts. The King of O-Swing is at it again. His O-Swing (chase rate) is 49.2%, think about that. On nearly half of the pitches he sees outside the zone, he swings. It’s very difficult to be successful at making contact outside the zone unless your name rhymes with Glad Cherrero. However he’s doing it, I don’t really care how. Without him, the Cubs aren’t in first place and that’s a fact.

Freezing Cold Pitchers
Dylan Bundy woof! In his last 2 starts, Bundy has giving up a whopping 19 hits, 14 ER, and 4 walks with 3 homers. It was nice knowing ya DB, but that’s what your fantasy owners are calling you after these outings (get it)? Let me just take a look at Bundy’s profile and OMG!!!!!! Sorry, I just saw that’s he’s given up 30 homers in just over 130 IP! That’s 2.05 HR/9. His fastball has been bad, his change is bad, and his curveball is even worse. Remind me to forget about Bundy until he leaves the AL East.

Ervin Santana needs to be shut down for the rest of the year. He’s given up 12 ER in his last 10 IP with 5 homers! I wrote about him last week, his velocity is gone. His velocity went up to 89 mph in his last start but is still 3 mph lower than last year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Twins shut him down, I mean, they have been out f the playoff picture for a while. If they keep him in the rotation, please DO NOT STREAM HIM….. unless I’m playing against you.

Masahiro Tanaka has given up 8 ER in his last 11 IP with 3 homers, we are going to have to dig a little deeper on Mr. Tanaka. It’s starting to look like Tanaka is the better version of Bundy. Oh cool, so just kind of terrible. It’s now been two seasons in a row with a HR/9 over 1.7, that is just not good. He relies on an elite split finger and a good slider. The problem is the split finger can be inconsistent because it’s difficult to always have a good fell for the pitch. When it’s not working, he gets smoked, plain and simple. I’m sorry Tanaka, unless you have another plus pitch, I can’t recommend you.

Sean Newcomb has really fallen back down to earth. He’s got a 11.57 ERA with a 2.79 WHIP in his last to starts. His walk rate has always been an issue and this year is no exception. He’s also struggling to get many swings and misses evidenced by his 9.5% swinging strike rate. I think newcomb can develop into a low-end fantasy #2 or #3, but he’s due more regression this year. I’ll keep an eye on him for next year, but he has some work to do.

Jon Lester has a 7.45 ERA with a 1.66 WHIP in his last two starts but he actually pitched really well against Pittsburgh the other night. In the last month though, his ERA is a grotesque 8.16 with a 1.81 WHIP. Regression to the mean maybe? Earlier, I called Lester the luckiest pitcher in the first half of 2018. That was bomb from Matt Carpenter (can’t blame him for that, Salsa man was en fuego). I’m sorry Lester, great pitch tunneling or not, when your K-BB% is down for the fourth straight year, things are bound to go south, Here are his K-BB% since 2015: 19.3%, 18.2%, 15.7%, 10.3%. Oh, and his ground ball is down 9%, all of a sudden, he’s homer prone. In shallow 10 teamers, he can be left on waivers, in deep leagues, pick your match-ups wisely.

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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Tommy Tutone Milone NOT feat. Santana

Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) 13% on the Road vs DET, Monday 8/13 and at Home vs KC, Sunday, 8/19
Rey-Lo has been a very high risk-reward Pitcher this year and I’ve stayed away for the better part of the last two months. However, Lopez’s last two starts have been solid, one against the Royals and the other an impressive one run outing against the Yankees. He’s been getting more swings and misses and most importantly, not walking many batters. It’s too early to tell if Rey-Lo has turned the corner yet but he gets the Royals again and the Tigers. In the last month, the Tigers have been the worst offense in the league with a .246 wOBA and .197 batting average! Wow, that’s awful. The Royals have been better but are still bottom five in the league in that last 30 days. Match-ups don’t get much better than this for a two start streamer, so I’m taking the plunge. STREAM

Jaime Barria (LAA) 10% on the road vs SD, Tuesday 8/14
Another young pitcher facing another terrible offense. Who gets the upper hand? Well the Padres have a .296 wOBA at home this season and are likely without Wil Myers until the weekend series. That’s good, but what about Barria? Barria hasn’t gotten a ton of strikeouts this year but his 11% swinging strike rate tells me that his strikeout numbers should be better. He’s coming off a great start against the Tigers and has given up more than 3 ER just once in his last 8 starts. Then there’s his slider. Opponents are hitting .173 off the slider with a sub-65% contact rate. His change up has been decent but the fastball is terrible. I don’t trust him beyond this start, but I’ll roll the dice on his great slider. STREAM

Ervin Santana (MIN) 22%, Home vs DET, Thursday 8/16
Finally, a crusty old veteran. Santana missed more than half the season and has not been good upon his return. How bad you ask? How about a 6.53 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP with only 14 strikeouts in 20.1 IP. The good: 20% soft contact… that’s it. The bad: his velocity is down 4 mph from last year, he’s allowed a crazy 98% zone contact, and has a sub-5% SwStr rate. Yikes. Until the velocity returns, I can’t recommend Santana. He’s far too hittable right now and I don’t think he’s completely right. STAY AWAY

Matt Boyd (DET) 18%, on the Road vs MIN, Friday 8/17
Matt is my Boy-d. How is he not over 25% owned? My guess is that over 40% of leagues are dead. I’ve discussed Boyd’s improved slider, it’s pitch value is up near Patrick Corbin’s this year and he’s kept the walks in check. I’m not really concerned about the Dozier-less, Escobar-less Twins. I think the only way he has trouble here is the home run ball. Over the last 30 days the Twins have only hit 18 home runs, tied for the second least in MLB. They also have a 94 wRC+ in that span. I like Boyd to get a QS with at least 5 strikeouts and solid ratios. STREAM

Joey Lucchesi (SD) 18%, Home vs ARI, Friday 8/17
The Diamondbacks have been middle of the road offensively this past month but much of it has been buoyed by a .323 BABIP. They have only managed 23 home runs in that time frame and it doesn’t hurt that this game is being played in Petco.  However, Lucchesi has been worse at home with an ERA well over 4.00 with and ERA in the mid-2s on the road. It’s a small sample, so I won’t completely trust it. Lucchesi is still getting strikeouts but not a ton of swings and misses and has an ERA over 5.00 in the second half. I think the league has figured him out a bit which was to be expected with his two-pitch arsenal. I think the D-Backs make this a short outing for Loey L. Stay Away

Tommy Milone (WAS) 3%, at Home vs MIA, Saturday 8/18
Milone got pummeled last week giving up 7 runs against the Braves. At this point, Milone is not scheduled a guaranteed start, so keep an eye on this one early in the week to see how the Nationals set up the rotation. Milone got stung by the long ball in that last start but he’s been able to punch out 19 batters in 18 innings and has yet to allow a walk! It’s not that he’s been in the zone too much either, he’s getting ahead of hitters with a 71% first pitch strike rate, combine that with a 13.2% SwStr rate and it looks like we may have something here. The Marlins are bad, there’s no doubt, and they just traded away their best power hitter in Justin Bour. This seems like an easy win for Milone with a decent strikeout total. I’m rolling with this one if he goes. STREAM

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Weekly Rundown – The Salsa Man and Wheeler and Dealin’

Well, Trout has hit the DL and that makes me sad. I think he still has a shot at the MVP if he misses only the minimum 10 days. Although, it is a wrist injury and that can have it’s negative impacts on power upon his return. The race is likely going to be between Mookie Betts and Jose Ramirez with J.D. Martinez and Francisco Lindor along with the aforementioned Mike Trout as the long-shots. My money is on Mookie but there’s no telling what Jo-Ram has in store for the next month and a half. Should be a great race to watch!

Hot Hitters
Shohei Ohtani is hitting .423 with three home runs, three steals and 7 RBI in the past 8 days. I was skeptical of Ohtani’s offensive skills coming into the season due to the high strikeout rate in Japan.  However, he’s been nothing short of incredible in his first taste of the big leagues at age 23 (just turned 24) and having to focus on both pitching and hitting. While his K rate is elevated, it’s below 30% and he’s hitting the ball with authority at a 42% hard hit rate. He’s pitched just 9 games and hit in 71 games, altogether, he’s been worth 2.6 WAR. Not too shabby for the rookie.

Matt Carpenter aka “The Salsa Man” aka Tha Hammer” (come on, his last name is Carpenter) continues his onslaught hitting five more long balls in the last 7 games. Unfortunately, four of them have been solo shots. I don’t think owners are complaining about a guy who was largely drafted outside the top 100 and now has a career high 32 homers in 110 games. If you trusted what the batted ball data and xStats were telling you in May, congratulations on winning your league! Just kidding, one player doesn’t make team, right guys? I’m confident he can hit 40 this year, nothing in his profile is showing signs of decline. I like my salsa HOT!

Franmil Reyes is hitting .500 with 3 home runs in limited playing time this past week. Franmil has some Joey Gallo in him in that he’s 6 foot 5 240 pounds, can hit the ball a mile but strikes out at an alarming rate. Reyes makes a little more contact than Gallo but he also hits the ball on ground too much. I’d ride this hot streak out, then drop him as soon as he turns cold because many 0-fers are going to follow in bunches. 

Speaking of my large hulking friend Joey Gallo, he’s blasted four dingers to go along with 10 RBI this past week. It’s come at only a .292 average which is OK, but that’s great for Joey. Everything looks about the same this year as it did last year except that his BABIP has somehow gone DOWN to .233 from .250 in 2017. Ugh, his batting average is sitting right near .200 for the season, BUUUUUT in the second half last year, he really picked it up! He hit .246 (yes, that’s picking it up for Gallo) and hit 11 home runs in August! He’s on pace for better numbers than that this month, and I’m all over it.

Mallex Smith continues to remain mixed league viable thanks to a solid batting average and those steals baby! He’s got five swipes this past week along with a .444 batting average and six runs. MMMMM-Alex Smith (no not the quarterback) has cut his K rate by about 4% which has allowed him to use those legs a bit more. His .375 BABIP is a bit high, but 25 stolen bases in this era cannot be ignored. He should have no problem reaching 30 while keeping a good average.

Miguel Andujar has hit 3 homers with 5 RBI and a steal this past week. What, you thought I was going to talk about Stanton? They basically have had the same production except Andjuar has a steal in that time frame. I discussed this on Reddit, the Yankees have been feasting off some bad pitching (the White Sox and the Rangers). Overall, I don’t love Andujar’s approach, but he has power, doesn’t strike out a ton, and is making contact in the zone more than 91% of the time. The ceiling isn’t crazy high, but he does look like a .280 hitter with 25-30 homer power given 600+ plate appearances.

Hot Pitchers
Patrick “Top 20 SP” Corbin has 17 strikeouts with a 2.03 ERA and 0.83 WHIP to go along with a couple wins this past week. Don’t judge the rest of my bold predictions, but at least this one is looking good. He’s actually outpacing my projections I had for him, thanks to an elite strikeout rate. Now that his slider is one of the best in the game, his fastball is more or less location based and not velocity based. His fastball is now successful because players have to be ready for the devastating slider he throws 40% of time. When a 91 mph fastball is up and in right after an 80 mph slider was buried low and away, it appears much faster and more difficult to hit. #Success

Corey Kluber didn’t exactly have an ace-type outing the other night but 3 of 4 earned runs were thanks to a 3-run homer off the bat of Jorge Polanco in the 6th. Even still, his 2.25 ERA and 0.69 WHIP with 14 Ks in his last two starts earns him a spot here. It’s good to see Klub-bot getting out of his mid-season funk, but where are the strikeouts? He’s only got 21 Ks in 27.1 IP so I’m a little concerned. His 11.5% swinging strike rate in that time says his strikeouts should go up but he’s also giving up 90% zone contact. I’ll be in wait-and-see mode with Kluber, but at this point he’s a borderline top 10 starting pitcher.

Yonny Chirinos hasn’t started a game this past week but somehow has a Win and 10 strikeouts with a 0.90 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. Now that’s getting it done! I like Chirinos, I think he he should in the rotation but the Rays rotation is set…. HAHA there’s Blake Snell and …. come on Rays, give Chirinos a shot to go 6+ IP. He’s got great control and probably 8.5-9.0 K/9 type stuff. Good ratios, decent Ks, he’d be a solid back-end of the rotation guy for fantasy if they just STARTED HIM!

German Marquez deserves a spot on his list. His 19 strikeouts over the last week ties him with Jacob deGrom for the league lead with 19. Yes, he has given up 5 earned runs in 13 innings but for a Rockies pitchers, that’s basically a shutout! His strikeouts have been great and I’d own him but bench him in tough starts at home. It’s too bad, because he looks like a top 20 starter right now. Unfortunately, I would never rank a Rockies starter in the top 20 unless your last name rhymed with Kale, Berzer, or LeProm. If Marquez is available in your league, I’d give him a shot but play the match-ups. 

Zack Wheeler is on a roll friends. Check out my thoughts on Wheeler in depth at TheSportsDegens from a couple weeks ago. You gotta skip through the Wil Myers section, cuz he always gets hurt. Z-Dub on the other hand has grabbed 2 wins (and that while pitching for the Mets), 17 strikeouts with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.64 WHIP in his last two starts. It’s not just a hot week for the Wheel-man, he’s got 5 wins, 34 Ks with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in the last 30 days. Yup, I like Wheeler a lot, he throws extremely hard, limits hard contact and homers and his strikeouts have bumped up.

Freezing Cold Hitters
Yoan Moncada is on another extended slump hitting .091 this past week with no homers or steals. He’s also only hitting .169 in the last 30 days. Strikeouts, strikeouts, and more strikeouts. That’s the root of Moncada’s issues. His near 35% K rate isn’t going to cut it. As I look at his profile, he’s patient and doesn’t expand the zone with a 23% O-swing (great). He hits the ball hard and doesn’t hit a ton of popups. If he would cut his K rate to 25-28%, he could put up Trevor Story-type numbers with more steals. I’m not buying this year but I’m intrigued for next season.

Yasmani Grandal is hitting .118 with one homer this past week. It’s not surprising that Grandal is slowing down, most catchers do in August and September. His .252 average with 20 homers ranks second in value among qualified catchers. Ugh, what a rough position to roster. The Dodgers have a capable backup in Austin Barnes. I could see an even split in playing time decreasing Grandals value a bit down the stretch.

J.T. Realmuto, another catcher, I know. See what said above for Grandal. Realmuto is hitting .053 with no homers this past week and .159 in the last two weeks. I think he bounces back, he’s the same player he was last year without the stolen bases. He is hitting the ball harder and his HR/FB rate is up a bit as a result. I’m confident that Realmuto holds of Grandal as the #1 catcher at season’s end.

Greg “the only” Bird “that can’t fly” is really struggling. Oh, I forgot about Penguins. Anyways, he has 1 hit in his last 22 at-bats. That’s good for a .045 average with no homers or RBI. Supporters will point to his .246 BABIP and this there’s positive regression coming. I’d argue against that. His 50% flyball rate and 11% IFFB rate combined with slow foot speed points to a low-BABIP profile. Just ask Joey Gallo. Gallo is more athletic and hits the ball harder than Bird but still has a lower BABIP with a similar fly ball rate. My money is on Bird’s BABIP staying around .250 which means he’s a .220 hitter with 25-30 homer power. Combine that with his poor health and I’d rather leave it on the wire.

Rhys Hoskins’ roller coaster season continues. He’s 0 for his last 20 with no RBI or steals but hey, he’s got 2 runs thanks to his ability to walk! He came out of the break smoking hot with 8 homers with less than 3 weeks. Since July 31st though, he’s hitting just .167 with one homer. Check this out, his K% is only 13.2% and his BB% is 21.1%! Yup, that’s a .167 BABIP, so that’s coming way up. Keep the faith, he’s hitting the ball as hard as ever and his 17.7% O-Swing combined with a 91.7% Z-contact tells me he’s about to bust out in a big way. Look for a hot couple of weeks from Hoskins going forward.

Freezing Cold Pitchers
Justin Verlander’s awful 6 ER, 2 IP outing Thursday night earns him a spot here. I understand that he has 16 strikeouts and a win in the last 8 days, but that was a ratio killer Justin! He’s striking out so many batters, I’m not all that concerned except for the fly balls. He’s at a 53% flyball rate which would be a career high and you know what? His 1.25 HR/9 would also be a career high. His teammate Gerrit Cole, ran into home run issues earlier this season and now it’s JV’s turn. Hopefully he can suppress them a little bit more because he’s having another CY Young-type season.

Marco Gonzales may have hit a wall as he’s given up a whopping 11 earned runs in his last 12 innings. He’s given 19 hits and 4 home runs as well but hey, at least he’s not walking anyone. Marco is known for his injuries and prior to this year, his career high in IP was 120.1, which was in 2017. This year, he’s just under 140. Let’s check his velocity in his last several ga….. And there it is. After averaging close to 91 mph in May, here are his last 4 starts: 90.1, 89.6, 89.9, 89.4. Yup, that’s the wall. Try to flip him in redrafts if you can otherwise, if this trend continues, you can cut bait.

Andrew Suarez has a 9.90 ERA with a near 2.00 WHIP in his last two starts. So, that run wasn’t going to last. His 7% swinging strike rate tells me that his sub-8 K/9 might drop even further. He’s giving up a lot more home runs which along with great control was a skill he possessed in the minors. Now, his HR/9 is 1.34, nearly double what his rate was in the minors. Outside of weak opponents at home, I wouldn’t even look to stream him.

Lance McCullers Jr. is injured, I know, duh. Guess what though? He made it 126 innings this year, a new career high! Yes, there’s a chance he comes back before the playoffs, but he’s likely relegated to the bullpen or a short 4-5 inning starter upon his return. His numbers on the year are 10 wins, a 3.96 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 138 strikeouts. Which is fine, but definitely not top 30. This is the reason I ranked him outside the top 40 for SPs in my preseason rankings. Just don’t look at where I had Bauer. I won’t be trusting McCullers going forward and in 2019.

Dylan Bundy was back at it again getting bombed on following two solid starts. It was the Red Sox, so I guess he can get a pass and you likely didn’t start him there. Oh, you did? Well, why did you do that? Anyways, the Sawk put up 19 runs and 7 of them were charged to Bundy. Do I like Bundy long term? Yes, if he gets his ass out of Baltimore and goes to the NL. I can’t trust his this year. He needs to follow his buddy Gausman and get out.

Just when I start believing in Masahiro Tanaka, he serves up 3 bombs and 6 ER in 5 innings against the Rangers. To be fair, the Rangers have been white-hit recently. How hot you ask? Well, in the last 30 days, they rank #1 overall in wOBA at .361 and lead the league with 43 home runs in that time frame. Arlington heats up in the Summer fam. I’m using this as a buying opportunity. His K-BB% is over 20% in the second half. I still believe.

Top Starting Pitchers – Last 30 Days

Below is a table of the top starting pitchers in terms of fantasy for the last 30 days. I’ll highlight a few of them below to see if we can expect success or regression moving forward. (The columns can be sorted).

Zack WheelerMets4261.950.90
Max ScherzerNationals4392.120.91
Carlos CarrascoIndians4431.931.10
Jameson TaillonPirates4262.381.21
Zack GreinkeDiamondbacks3351.260.70
Tanner RoarkNationals3252.000.93
Vince VelasquezPhillies3241.841.02
Jake ArrietaPhillies3222.011.05
Patrick CorbinDiamondbacks3433.441.12
Rich HillDodgers3352.231.18
Trevor BauerIndians3501.881.23
Jon GrayRockies2251.520.71
Dereck RodriguezGiants2271.230.72
Carlos RodonWhite Sox2251.260.84
Sean NewcombBraves2212.050.91
David PriceRed Sox2232.001.00
Justin VerlanderAstros2502.351.01
Masahiro TanakaYankees2361.781.02
Zack GodleyDiamondbacks2362.901.03
Jack FlahertyCardinals2362.731.06
Clayton KershawDodgers2292.511.11
Lance Lynn- - -2292.601.16
Jacob deGromMets1411.700.89
Trevor RichardsMarlins1321.530.92
Gerrit ColeAstros1333.041.10
Charlie MortonAstros1262.701.24
Derek HollandGiants0302.130.83

Let’s talk Tanaka. This is what he looks like when he’s not serving up dingers, only 0.89 HR/9 in the last 30 days. Tanaka is rocking a 24.2% K-BB% and a .288 BABIP. For his career Tanaka has a .276 BABIP, so I don’t see much regression at all unless the home run issues come back. I’m fully on board here, his ground ball rate is up and he has three pitches working for him the last month.

I’m also loving Patrick Corbin! Despite another great start from PC, he’s been unlucky with a .351 BABIP and a low 65.9% strand rate. He’s at an elite K-BB% just ahead of Tanaka at 24.5% and leads the league in the last month with a 1.38 FIP! I don’t care that he only throws 90 mph, his slider is devastating. In the last 30 days, Corbin has a 55% ground ball rate, a 39.5% O-swing, and a 16.1% SwStr rate! I’m buying him as a top 10 SP.

A few others I think can maintain a high level of performance this year include Carlos Carrasco (29.5% K-BB% last 30 & 16.8% SwStr), Justin Verlander (38% K-BB%! .337 BABIP to regress), Gerrit Cole (.328 BABIP, 70.4% Strand rate), and Jacob deGrom (29% soft contact, 38.3% O-Swing). Yes, I know they are all aces, but this is what makes them aces. If you want to acquire them, act now and be ready to pay for them.

Sean Newcomb highlights (lowlights) the list of pitchers I think will regress. His K-BB% is 11% in the last 30 days. He’s managed to get by with just a .167 BABIP and an over 90% strand rate. Combine that with a sub 8% swinging strike rate and a low chase rate means he’s in for some major regression. With all the contact he’s giving up, plus the BABIP and strand rate which will normalize will leave you tied to the WHIPping-Post.

Carlos Rodon is about to come crashing down. He’s keeping the ball in yeard with a 0.31 HR/9, but that simply won’t last. His 13.0% K-BB% tells me that his WHIP is coming way up. Combine that with a .181 BABIP and an 85.4% strand rate. Similar to Newcomb, there are a few blowups coming with Rodon in the home stretch.

Some other regression candidates include Jon Gray (16.7% K-BB%, .162 BABIP), Jack Flaherty (11.3% BB rate, .235 BABIP, 90.6% strand rate), Dereck Rodriguez (.181 BABIP, 88% strand rate, 7.4% SwStr rate),  and Trevor Richards (.232 BABIP, 91.3% strand rate).

Starting Pitchers to Stream – Get T-Rich or Die Tryin’

Trevor Richards (MIA), 12% at Home vs STL, Tuesday, August 7th
I wrote about Trevor Richards in my Weekly Rundown yesterday and came away more impressed than I thought. I think the Cardinals pose a relatively difficult task, but the team is kind of a mess. In the last 30 days, the Cardinals are ranked 17th in terms of wOBA and that’s basically thanks to Matt Carpenter. Remove him and the offense has been terrible. Richards is on a roll with a 1.02 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in his last three starts with 21 strikeouts. He’s faced the Rays, the Nationals, and the Phillies, so it’s not like he’s facing all cupcakes. There’s always the chance to get tied to the WHIP-ing Post with rookie pitchers, but I’ll ride the hot hand. STREAM

John Gant (STL), 4% on the Road vs MIA, Wednesday, August 8th
I guess I’ll just stick with this matchup because, well, it’s the Marlins. Over the last 30 days, the Marlins rank in the bottom five in both wOBA and home runs hit. I mean, who are you afraid of, Justin Bour and Starlin Castro? They have been even worse at home with only 40 HR hit as a team this year, only the Mets have less. Now, let’s talk Gant. He’s been fortunate with his BABIP but his LOB% has been low. His change up and fastball have been good and he’s getting a lot of swings and misses with a sub-75% contact rate. I think his K rate jumps up while his walk rate goes down, he also has been limiting homers, something I expect to continue against the Marlins. I’m STREAMing Gant in this one.

Jordan Zimmerman (DET), 14% at Home vs MIN, Friday, August 10th
Zimmerman burned me last time but I’ve cooled off since then. Zimmerman gets the Twins at home who are middle of the road in terms of offensive production. The trade of Dozier and Escobar leaves the team with Rosario and….. that’s about it. Even Rosario has been ice cold since the start of July. Zimmerman has a great K%-BB% and a solid soft contact rate against. His only issue is the home runs and his high fly ball rate. With two of the three top HR hitters out of the picture, I expect Zimmerman to limit the damage in this one on his way to a QS with solid ratios. STREAM

Austin Gomber (STL), 8% in the Road vs KC, Friday, August 10th
What, another Cardinal? Well, Kansas City is terrible and only the Mets have been worse offensively. Gomber has had issues with walks this year and has only started two games for the Cardinals. However, the aggressive nature of the Royals should limited any control issues Gomber may have in this one. The Royals are also striking out nearly 25% of the time in the last month. My only concern if how deep Gomber will go. He went 6.1 innings in his first start and only 4 innings in his second. I don’t expect more than 6 IP but 5-6 innings with a K per inning sounds about right. STREAM

Derek Holland (SF), 15% at Home vs PIT, Saturday, August 11th
The Dutch Oven! Holland has been good this year to my surprise. He’s been even better since July 1st with a 2.89 ERA and a 11.25 K/9! However, I’m a bit torn on this once because the Pirates rank third to the Red Sox and Nationals in wOBA since early July. This is a bit of a gut call, but in Holland’s last two starts, he’s skated by on a very lucky .167 BABIP and an 85.4% strand rate. At some point, Holland is going to come back down to earth. I’m staying away here.

Brian Johnson (BOS), 9%, on the Road vs BAL, Saturday, August 11th
Since the Orioles traded Machado, they rank 11th in offensive performance. It’s probably just a coincidence, but the fact remains, they’ve been hitting. Johnson has only seven starts on the year and each of his last three have lasted at least five innings. I don’t think an innings limit will be an issue and since the Red Sox have used him as a starter, he’s rocking a 2.79 ERA with a 9.31 K/9 including 11 strikeouts against the Yankees. The Orioles enjoy swinging the bat and I think Johnson will get his fair share of strikeouts and last at least six innings. It should be enough to earn a win with the run support of the Red Sox. STREAM