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Fantasy Baseball – 2019 Starting Pitcher Streamer Results

Every week this year (with a couple of exceptions) I wrote an article on Sunday that went over starting pitchers to stream for the week ahead. The parameters were based on ownership rates per FantasyPros consensus ownership rates. FantasyPros combines Yahoo! and ESPN ownership rates. To be eligible, pitchers had to be available in at least 75% of leagues or owned in 25% or fewer in fantasy leagues. The article was geared towards 12-team leagues because many of the options are owned in deeper formats. I chose anywhere from four to eight starter-qualified pitchers each week and kept track of their statistics from those outings.

This is the second year I kept track of every start but it’s difficult to compare the two years because of the juiced ball. So, to do so I’m going to look at the league-wide statistics for all starting pitchers in 2018 and 2019.


SP Statistics Year to Year

SeasonW/GS (%)IP/GSERAWHIPK/9
201831.2%5.364.191.298.25
201929.8%5.184.541.328.58

As you can see, ERA took the biggest hit from 2018 to 2019 thanks in large part to the record-breaking number of home runs this season. In addition, the percentage of starts that resulted in a win for the starter also dwindled this year. There are a couple of obvious reasons for this. First, the opener became more prevalent in 2019. Openers only pitched one-to-two innings and therefore, did not qualify for a win. We also saw a dip in the average number of innings per start, again partially related to the opener but also some managers (*cough* Craig Counsel *cough*) pulled their starters before facing a lineup for the third time. So, yearly context is important here. A telling statistic not shown in the table above is the home run rate by starting pitchers. In 2018, it was 1.21 HR/9 and ballooned to 1.44 HR/9 in 2019. We used to look at a pitcher with a home run rate at 1.5 per nine innings and say he’s dealing with a homer problem, now it’s essentially league-average!

Below are my final statistics from both 2018 and 2019 for all the streamers I included in my articles. Also, here is the complete GoogleSheet with all of my streamers and results complete with the link to each article.

2019 Starting Pitcher Streamers - FreezeStats

IPERAWHIPKWQS
653.993.911.226435251
StartsIP/StartK/StartK/9W/StartQS/Start
1225.365.278.8542.62%41.80%




I apologize for the format of the table, I wanted to include all of the information but tried to make sure it wasn’t 12 columns wide. Given the context of pitching in 2019, I’m content with these results. Ultimately, I put together some poor weeks overall but also finished strong with two fantastic weeks to close 2019. Of course, my ratios took a hit compared to 2018 but when you consider the increases in ratios from 2018 to 2019, the results are more than passable. Overall, I totaled 654 innings pitched across 122 starts. The results of the ERA (3.91) are better than the following starters: Zack Wheeler, Yu Darvish, Michael Pineda, Max Fried, Noah Syndergaard, and Chris Sale among others. The WHIP (1.22) is better than Noah Syndergaard, Mike Minor, Trevor Bauer, Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, and James Paxton among others. That’s all pretty solid but let’s see what this starter would look like if I broke down these results into a typical, healthy, starter for all of 2019. A healthy starter should compile 32 to 33 starts across a full season, so let’s see what our imaginary streaming SP looks like.

Since my streamers averaged 5.36 innings per start, that puts us around 172 innings pitched+/-. That means that with an 8.85 K/9, our theoretical SP would have 169 strikeouts. Then, with a win percentage of 42.62%, that gives our guy 13.6 wins with 32 starts or 14 wins with 33 starts. Finally, the ratios are easy, our streaming SP would have a 3.91 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Now, let’s comb through the player pool to see what type of pitcher we have here. Most of the pitchers with 14 wins this year have better ratios and/or strikeout rates, so I’m going to focus on ERA, WHIP, and K/9 for comparison sake.

Here are the names I’ve come up with: Anthony DeSclafani, Chris Bassist, Zack Wheeler, and Michael Pineda. Bassitt and Pineda only threw 140-ish innings, so they aren’t perfect comps. DeSclafani threw 166.2 innings but only managed nine wins, so his overall value will be a little lower than our theoretical SP even though they have a similar strikeout total and ratios. Zack Wheeler might end up being the better comp for value purposes. He only earned 11 wins, had a 3.96 ERA, and 1.26 WHIP. Our SP bested him on all three categories, BUT Wheeler struck out 195 batters which are 26 more than our SP. Per the Razzball Player Rater, the value of 26 strikeouts is about $2. The difference between three wins is also about $2. 


Since I mentioned the Razzball Player Rater, Zack Wheeler was ranked as the 39th starting pitcher in 2019 with a dollar value of $7.1. For reference sake, Anthony DeSclafani (who had a fine year mind you) earned $5.3 and ranked as the 48th SP. So, instead of paying up for Wheeler, a popular hype pick coming into 2019, you could have streamed all of my recommended pitchers and gotten the value of 3.5-Zack Wheeler’s without spending the draft cash on him. I would bet that Wheeler probably went for around $16-$18 in standard 12-team auction drafts.

This was a fun exercise but obviously, you will never be able to stream all of my recommended starters because of your league and team context. The point of the supersize is it goes to show that you can add value to your team if you stream and stream properly. To close out, I want to highlight some of my most-streamed pitchers from 2019. Pablo Lopez (7 times), Dinelson Lamet (6 times), Griffin Canning (6 times), Tyler Mahle (6 times), Merrill Kelly (5 times), Trevor Richards (5 times), and a bunch of guys three or four times. I somehow was able to stream Mike Soroka twice in week five because his ownership was still below 25%. I also was able to stream Lance Lynn in week 9! He had a hell of a season, I am very surprised to find him there owned in 25% or fewer of leagues.

I hope you enjoyed this weekly article series and if it helped you out, even once, then I’ll take it! Thanks for reading!

Follow me @FreezeStats. Check out my work at FantasyPros and Pitcher List.


Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove / USA Today



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Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 26 (9/23 – 9/29)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly streaming article. Each week I cover anywhere from five to six starters who are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN leagues per FantasyPros. This is it! The final week of the Major League Baseball season. With fantasy Championships on the line next week, it’s now or never. No more wasting time, let’s get to the top streaming options to help win you your league!

Top options under 50% Owned 

Obviously, if these guys are available, grab them immediately and start them next week.

Jeff Samardzija (SP – SFG) 43% home vs COL

Homer Bailey (SP – OAK) 30% owned, @LAA Wednesday, 9/25


Anthony DeSclafani (SP – CIN) 41% Owned @PIT

Top options under 25% Owned 

Dylan Bundy (SP – BAL) RHP 18% Owned, @TOR, Monday 9/23
Some positives for Bundy include an increased ground ball rate and a decrease in his home run rate. Those, of course, are related. This year, his HR/FB% is two percent lower away from Camden Yards. That’s the good. Now, the not so good. The Baby Jays have been better of late but are still near the top of the league in terms of strikeouts. With Bo Bichette banged up, the Jays aren’t all that scary. This matchup will come down to home runs. If Bundy can limit them, I believe he’ll be an asset to your team, otherwise, he’s going to tie you to the WHIPping Post. Either way, he’ll pile up the strikeouts. I’m streaming here for strikeouts and upside in 12-team and deeper leagues.

Dinelson Lamet (SP – SDP) RHP 20% Owned, home vs LAD, Tuesday 9/24
Speaking of strikeouts and upside. Lamet is definitely a higher ceiling option than Bundy. His floor is about the same given the strength of his opponent. But wait! The Dodgers have struggled of late since they have clinched the division with just an 81 wRC+ in the last two weeks. Lamet has been a strikeout machine since his return from the IL. His 12.57 K/9 would rank third among qualified starters behind just Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer. So yeah, he’s been pretty damn good. He struck out 14 Brewers in his last outing and hasn’t allowed more than four earned runs in any of his 13 starts. The Dodgers are dangerous, no doubt, but I’ll take the hot hand in Lamet. STREAM  For Ss& Gs, I like Lamet in his final scheduled outing in Arizona on Sunday as well. There’s a high likelihood that the Padres cut his final start short or worse, skip him altogether but he’s worth a stream there as well if it happens. The Diamondbacks have been the worst team offensively for the last 14 days with a paltry 57 wRC+.


Anthony Kay (SP – TOR) LHP 3% Owned, home vs BAL, Tuesday 9/24
The Orioles have been decent lately but still slight below-average in terms of wRC+. However, on the road, they are in the bottom five in the league with a sub-80 wRC+ and a near-25% strikeout rate. Kay has a good fastball and a decent curveball which should be enough to limit the damage from Baltimore hitters. In limited MLB action, Kay has induced groundballs over 50% of the time and an impressive sot contact rate of 25%. He’s yet to allow a home run and based on his low strand rate and elevated BABIP, he’s due some positive luck. I don’t necessarily expect his homerless streak to continue but I think he’ll limit baserunners against a team that doesn’t walk much. Ultimately, I’d expect about five innings with two earned runs are fewer with a handful of strikeouts. It’s slim pickings next week and this will have to do. I’ll STREAM here.

Tyler Beede (SP – SFG) RHP, 5% Owned, home vs COL, Thursday 9/26
Beede just got torched by the Braves this week. Prior to the outing, he was coming off of two scoreless starts against the Marlins and the Dodgers in LA. He draws the Road Rockies which is very different than the team he faced in Colorado back in early-August when he gave up five earned runs. Only the Marlins have been worse than the Rockies away from home this season. With a 73 wRC+ and 26.6% strikeout rate as a team away from the thin air, Beede has a nice setup. Combine that with the fact that Beede has a solid (if unspectacular) 4.02 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP at home in Oracle Park. Beede has a good 95 mph fastball that has performed much better in the second half. He’s managed double-digit swinging strike rates in each of his last three starts. I like Beede to close out the season on a high note. STREAM

Reynaldo Lopez (SP – CHW) RHP, 19% Owned, home vs DET, Friday 9/27
Here’s the ultimate gamble. Do you want to leave your fantasy championship in the hands of Reynaldo Lopez? The first thing I want to look at is how he’s performed against the Tigers this year.  He has two good and one bad start against Detroit this year. It adds up to this: 

1 W  17.1 IP  4.15 ERA 1.21 WHIP  25 K 30.6% K-BB

The last two numbers jump out at me. He’s clearly been able to miss bats and has limited walks. That’s kind of the Tigers M.O. this year. They are young, aggressive, and just flat out bad. Lopez’s success has been tied to his velocity. He’s much better when he averages 97 mph on his fastball. In his last game, he averaged under 97 mph but five of the previous six outings, he averaged over 97 mph. This is a gamble, there’s no doubt. But, and this is a big Kardashian sized butt, he has the potential to throw a championship-winning gem. If he’s averaging 97+ mph with command, he’s going to strike out 10 batters. Of course, the floor is low, but if you’re looking for an edge, STREAM Rey-Lo.


Zach Eflin (SP – PHI) RHP, 25% Owned, home vs MIA
Well, look who’s back. My preseason sleeper has not had the best season but at the end of the day looks like a decent value for a pitcher taken well after pick 300. Over the last month, since he earned his rotation spot back, he’s smokin’ with a 1.57 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. The key to his success is a 57% ground ball rate. He’s throwing his sinker more often and it’s actually been successful. It doesn’t get strikeouts but generates worm burners almost 64% of the time. I like Eflin against a weak Marlins club who have only hit 10 homers over the last two weeks. I think Eflin is the perfect play at the end of your week who should provide solid ratios and a 50+% chance for a win. After rolling with Bundy, and Lopez, I need a safer option. STREAM

Here’s the link to my googlesheet covering the entire list of streamers for the 2019 season. I’ll have a recap in the next few weeks to figure out where I can improve for next year.

Follow me @FreezeStats. Check out my work at FantasyPros and Pitcher List.


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Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 25 (9/16 – 9/22)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly streaming article. Each week I cover anywhere from five to six starters who are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN leagues per FantasyPros. With playoffs and fantasy Championships on the line next week, it’s now or never. No more wasting time, let’s get to the top streaming options to help win you your league!

Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) RHP, 8% owned, home vs SEA, Tuesday 9/17
Keller is a pitcher that has been extremely unlucky in his short time in the big leagues. His 8.29 ERA and 1.87 WHIP are fueled by an inflated .477 BABIP and a low 53.5% strand rate. Here’s the weirdest stat of all, hitters somehow have managed a .569 BABIP against Keller’s fastball. Umm, that won’t last. Check this out though, he has an impressive 3.61 FIP and a 21.6% K-BB rate! Both would rank in the top 20 for qualified starting pitchers. His fastball averaged 95.5 mph and his slider has a crazy-high 27.3% swinging-strike rate (SwStr%). Both his slider and curve net strikeout rates north of 30%. He draws the Mariners at home who have struck out 28.5% of the time over the last two weeks, the league’s second highest rate over that span. They’ll be without the DH, so I’d expect their offense to struggle even more than their 88 wRC+ indicates. I’m STREAMING Keller next week.


Homer Bailey (SP – OAK) RHP, 22% owned, home vs KC, Wednesday 9/18
We are all familiar with Homer Bailey. He was a first-round pick way back in 2004 by the Cincinnati Reds. After a few successful seasons in the early-2010s, he’s been essentially useless in terms of fantasy. But, this year, his strikeout rate is up over 20% for the first time since 2016. That’s largely due to an increase in his splitter usage. Typically, the unpredictability of a splitter will wreak havoc on walk rates but he’s still sitting at a solid eight percent which is just below league average. He also hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in any of his last six starts that includes two outings against the Yankees and one versus the Astros. He’ll be facing off against the Royals at home, so the degree of difficulty is relatively low. On the road, the Royals have a 83 wRC+ which is the fifth-lowest among all teams away from their home park. Bailey is always a risk to blow up in your face but given his recent success, I’m inclined to ride out this stretch, because we are, after all in mid-September. STREAM

Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA) RHP, 25% owned, @ARI, Wednesday 9/18
Alcantara should be owned in more than 50% of leagues, but fortunately, he’s right at the maximum threshold for next week. His season-long numbers are not all that impressive but he’s been nearly lights out since the start of August. Over that stretch, he’s managed a 2.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and a 22% strikeout rate. Finally, he’s actually striking batters out! He’s increased his fastball/sinker velocity over the last month, not by much but 0.5-1.0 mph is quite a bit when you consider he was already averaging over 95 mph. In addition, he’s throwing his sinker more often which not only generates more groundballs but also more whiffs which is rare for a sinker. His secondaries aren’t great but his changeup is useful, so he’s still throwing a plus-pitch nearly 75% of the time. That should be enough to handle the Diamondbacks who have slipped after making a playoff push. They have a 77 wRC+ over the last two weeks and their hopes of sneaking into the wild card are just about gone. I’m STREAMING here.

Mike Leake (SP – ARI) RHP, 21% owned, home vs MIA, Wednesday 9/18

Leake is not the sexiest option but he’s a guy that can go deep into games. He’s averaging 6.14 innings per start in a season where very few starters can even make it to the sixth inning. He has three quality starts in his last four outings and draws a weak Marlins offense at home. Over the last two weeks, the Marlins have an 82 wRC+ which ranks 22nd in MLB. They have been even worse on the road. In fact, they are last in the league with a 68 wRC+ away from Marlins Park. That’s 32% below league-average. Leake’s not going to pile up strikeouts but he is utilizing his cutter and slider more often recently. He has two straight starts with double-digit swinging strike rates. Yes, he is going up against Sandy Alcantara who I just highlighted, so a win might not be as easy as it seems. I do think he can provide solid ratios and a quality start. If you’re looking for a win and strikeouts, he’s probably not your guy. In QS leagues, I’m STREAMING



Merril Kelly (SP – ARI) RHP, 22% owned, @SDP, Friday 9/20
I preached about Kelly’s increased fastball velocity last week and he draws an easier opponent next week in the Padres. The Padres have hit just 11 home runs over the last two weeks and typically struggle to score runs at home. Only the Tigers and Giants have fewer runs scored at home this season. They also struggle to make contact with a strikeout rate north of 24%. Kelly dominated the Padres a couple of weeks ago striking out nine batters across seven shutout innings. After averaging 91.6 mph on his fastball this season, he’s up to 93.2 mph over his last four starts. His strikeout rate has gone from pedestrian 18.9% prior to August 28th and is way up at 24.5% since. That’s huge because he still possesses a solid curveball which is his best secondary offering that generates a K-BB rate of 32%. I’m riding the hot hand and hoping he maintains his increased velocity because he’s more of an SP4 than a streamer when he’s throwing 93.5+. STREAM

Dylan Cease (SP – CHW) RHP, 10% owned, @DET, Friday 9/20
Any way you slice it, the Tigers offense (and entire team, really)is awful. At home, they rank dead-last offensively with a 75 wRC+ and have the third-highest K:BB ratio over the last two weeks. That’s not good. Cease is wild though. He’s a rookie with great stuff but hasn’t been able to command all his pitches, especially his fastball. However, he hasn’t given up much hard contact, just 29.7% per FanGraphs. The Tigers are the perfect team for Cease to square up against. A patient team could really give him fits but the Tigers are young, inexperienced, and aggressive. Cease, while struggling to find the zone has induced swings outside the zone over 35% of the time in two of his last three starts. He’s also generated swinging strike rate over 11% in his last five outings. There’s risk that he could hurt your ratios but he’s struck out nine or more batters twice in his brief stint in the Majors thus far. The upside is six innings with 10 strikeouts and decent ratios. Will you roll the dice? I will, especially if I need a boost in strikeouts. STREAM


Ivan Nova (SP – CHW) RHP, 17% owned, @DET, Saturday 9/21
If Cease and Keller are the upside plays next week, Nova is a floor option similar to Leake. The difference between the two is the probability of a win. Nova has a much better chance for a win as he is scheduled to go up against Edwin Jackson. You know, the guy with a 9.76 ERA on the season. I’ve already harped on how bad the Tigers are offensively, it’s like they are fielding a Triple-A team. The last time Nova faced the Tigers was August 7th. He went eight shutout innings giving up just five hits. Since the All-Star break, Nova has eight outings where he’s given up three runs or less and in seven of those he gave up two earned runs of less. He won’t stike out more than 4-5 batters but should help with your ratios at the end of the week. In his last two starts, his veloicty has been up over 93 mph, something he’s only done a handful of times this year. I like the chances for Nova to reach six or seven innings giving up two or fewer runs in this one. STREAM

Follow me @FreezeStats. Check out my work at FantasyPros and Pitcher List.


Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic

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Fantasy Baseball: Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 24 (9/9 – 9/15)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly streaming article. Each week I cover anywhere from five to six starters who are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN leagues per FantasyPros. With playoffs and fantasy Championships on the line next week, I’ve stepped it up a notch. I’m covering seven pitchers, six of them I recommend as streaming options for you next week. There’s also a bonus option for those in shallow leagues at the bottom. The options are plentiful but also carry some very nice upside. Let’s get to it!


Trevor Williams (SP – PIT) 21% owned @SFG, Monday 9/9
Williams has not taken kindly to the new “happy fun ball” this year with a 5.16 ERA and a home run rate that has doubled since last year. He’s managed games much better with three straight quality starts, a 2.37 ERA, and an even 1.00 WHIP in those three outings. He’s been limiting walks and hard contact which is the key to his success. He’s allowed just a 24.8% hard contact rate and just one home run in his last three starts. He’s not likely to compile a ton of strikeouts but given his efficiency, he could throw seven innings netting him 5-6 strikeouts. He’s on the road in Oracle Park which is a fantastic pitcher’s park. The Giants as a team have a 77 wRC+ (100 is league-average) and have hit just 54 home runs at home this season. That’s fewer than one per game. Williams isn’t the sexiest option, but he’s a great option in quality starts leagues and should help with WHIP. STREAM

Reynaldo Lopez (SP – CHW) 18% owned home vs KCR, Wednesday 9/11
Reynaldo Lopez just threw a one-hit gem against the Indians this past week with 11 strikeouts! He’s also one of the most volatile pitchers in the league right now. He often follows up his extremely great outings with one or two poor ones. I won’t analyze a whole lot with this matchup. It’s obviously favorable against a weak Royals club and at home. The weather in the month of September isn’t all that hot, so the balls shouldn’t be flying out like they were in July and August. Too many of Lopez’s gems are followed by clunkers so obviously, the risk is huge here. I’m only streaming Lopez if you need strikeouts and you’re behind in pitching categories. He’s one of the few streamers who can put together a week-winning start but can also blow your ratios. In deep leagues, take that chance but just know the risk.


Gio Gonzalez (SP – MIL) 10% owned @MIA, Thursday 9/12
The Marlins have a 27.9% strikeout rate and a 74 wRC+ over the last two weeks. If you’re wondering, those rank 30th and 29th respectively over that timeframe. Yup, the Marlins are terrible offensively. Gonzalez has been decent this year with a 4.14 ERA, which given the current environment, isn’t too bad. He’s actually sporting the best chase rate and SwStr% of his career in 2019! But, he’s struggling with throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters. Here’s the deal. The Brewers aren’t trusting him to go more than five innings which he’s done just once in the last nine starts. He’s also walked four batters each of the last four outings. I’m worried that he can’t find the zone anymore, or he’s scared to attack hitters. Since the All-Star break, his first-pitch strike rate is only 44.4% (61% is league AVG) and his zone rate is an astonishingly low 26.5% (league AVG 41.9%). I don’t think he’ll get hit all that hard against the Marlins but I think the walks will bury him. He likely will only go 4-5 innings and tie owners to the WHIP-ping Post. I’m Staying Away from Gio next week.

Sandy Alcantara (SP – MIA) 14% Owned @SFG, Friday 9/13
Let’s not forget that Alcantara just turned 24 years old (yesterday in fact) and his fastball has been graded out as a 65 out of 80 per FanGraphs. He pumps 95-96 mph on his fastball and his 10.6% swinging-strike rate (SwStr%) indicates he should have a strikeout rate closer to 21-22% rather than 17.7%. Things are changing though. Over his last three starts, he has a 3.60 ERA and a 27.9% strikeout rate! That’s exciting. How’s he doing it? Well, he’s throwing his sinker, yes, his sinker, more often instead of his fourseasm fastball. His sinker generates swinging strikes 11.5% of the time compared to just 6.6% on his fourseam. He combines his sinker with two decent secondaries in his slider and changeup turning him into a pretty solid starter with three good pitches. This is more of an endorsement for next season but as I said, he’s been much better lately and draws the Giants. As a team, the Giants have just a 73 wRC+ over the last two weeks which is 29th in MLB. I’m STREAMING Alcantara next week.

Asher Wojciechowski (SP – BAL) 4% owned @DET, Saturday 9/14
If you’ve been reading my previous articles, you know I love to stream against the Tigers. Only the Marlins have been worse offensively this season and no team has a higher strikeout rate than the Tigers 26.5%. To be fair, they have been a little better over the last two weeks but are still firmly in the bottom third of the league. They have a scant 3.1% walk rate over the last 14 days! That’s crazy-low. Now, over the Woj. His numbers are terrible on the season, no doubt but he’s been stung with 10 homers in just 33 innings at home this year (6 on the road in 32 IP). Camden Yards is a tough place to pitch, but Comerica Park in Detroit has an extremely deep centerfield and deep power alleys. Woj also has a very solid 12% SwStr rate backed by a 34% chase rate which is four percent better than league average. Checking his game log, his opponents have been brutal. He’s faced the Red Sox, Nationals and Rays twice and Houston and the Yankees once each. That’s 10 of his 12 starts fam. The Tigers are going to be a cakewalk for Woj. I’m predicting 6-7 IP 2 ER 6 Ks and a good shot at a win. STREAM 


Logan Webb (SP – SF) 9% owned, home vs MIA, Sunday 9/15
Webb is actually slated for two starts next week and both are at home. I debated using him for both starts but realized that the Pirates are number one in MLB with a 138 wRC+ over the last 14 days. Over that span they have the lowest strikeout rate at just 16.9%. Yes, they had a series in Coors Field during that timeframe, but given the limited strikeout upside combined with hot hitters such as Josh Bell, Kevin Newman, Starling Marte, and Adam Fraizer, I’m passing. However, his start at home against the Marlins has stream written all over it. I covered the ineptitude of Miami’s offense in Gio’s blurb, so let’s dive into Webb. He has an inflated 6.50 ERA in 18 innings thanks to a .404 BABIP and 62.5% strand rate. He’s a groundball pitcher in a friendly park. Home runs should not be an issue. In my opinion, he has two good pitches in his curveball and changeup. Both can generate whiffs and get ground balls. His fastball/sinker is bad. If he can limit its usage to below 50%, he should be just fine. I’m taking my chances here and streaming.

If you’re looking for one more option, I’d lean towards Dinelson Lamet who is right at 25% owned but may be long gone in your leagues. I’ve been touting him for a month now and his matchup is tough. He gets the Cubs but is at home, so there’s a bonus and Jack Baez is out for the rest of the regular season. If you’re looking for strikeouts, he’s your guy. He could pile them up in bunches.

Follow me @FreezeStats. Check out my work at FantasyPros and Pitcher List.


Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI


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Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 23 (9/2 – 9/8)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly streaming article. Each week I cover anywhere from five to six starters who are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN leagues per FantasyPros. With playoffs and fantasy Championships on the horizon, I’ve stepped it up a notch. I’m covering seven streaming options for you next week. The options are plentiful but also carry some very nice upside. Let’s get to it!

Mike Montgomery (SP – KC) 14% Owned home vs DET, Tuesday 9/3
The Tigers have been running out a Triple-A club over the last couple of weeks. As a team, they are striking out over 30% of the time with just a scant 4.2% walk rate! That’s insane. They are making every pitcher look like Jacob deGrom. Mongomery’s ratios on the season are not pretty but he’s been bounced in and out of the Cubs rotation and has since been moved to the Royals. He’s been a little more comfortable in the AL Central and he’s increased the usage of his cutter. That’s good because his cutter may be his best pitch with an 89 wRC+ with above-average chase and swinging strike rates. He’s also been very good in Kauffman Stadium giving up just six earned runs in four starts there since coming over to the AL. Oh, and he demolished the Tigers last time out punching out 14 batters. Montgomery is not currently lined up for two starts next week if the Royals go forward with a six-man rotation but if he does, he would also draw the Marlins in Miami. I’d love that two-step and would start him for both if that’s how the Royals play it. STREAM.


Mitch Keller (SP – PIT), 7% Owned home vs MIA, Tuesday 9/3
Yes, Keller was blown up for eight earned runs in Philly earlier this week. No, I’m not all that concerned that it will carry into next week’s start. Forget about his inflated ERA, Keller’s FIP is a solid 3.92. He’s dealing with an extremely unlucky .479 BABIP and a 53.6% strand rate. Both are not sustainable. His 19% K-BB rate and 12% swinging strike rate mirror an SP3, not a streamer. Keller averages almost 96 mph on his fastball and his slider has been crazy in terms of whiffs. It has a 28.3% SwStr% and a 43% chase rate. He draws the Marlins next week, a far inferior offensive club to the Phillies and will be at home in PNC Park. They have a 26.6% strikeout rate and an 88 wRC+ over the last two weeks. As a team, the Marlins are rank last in the league in terms of production against right-handed pitchers with a 75 wRC+. You bet I’m STREAMING Keller next week.

Trevor Williams (SP – PIT), 14% Owned home vs MIA, Wednesday 9/4
Am I picking on the Marlins? You bet I am. I know they have been better of late but as I mentioned above, they strike out a ton and don’t draw many free passes. Williams has had a rough season but appears to be back on track. He’s only given up three earned runs in his last two outings and they were all allowed in Coors. This year of the home run has not been kind to Williams but he is showing some ability to generate more whiffs. His chase rate and SwStr% are up this year while contact against has gone down. I think Williams can limit damage and net a quality start with a high probability of a win. He may even find his way to manage a strikeout per inning given the swing happy Marlins who have a 28.3% K rate over the last two weeks. I’m STREAMing.

Jakob Junis (SP – KC), 17% Owned home vs DET, Wednesday 9/4
Have you noticed the theme of this streaming article? Yup, I am certainly targeting the worst offensive clubs. I’ve already gone over how bad the Tigers have been recently, so let’s see how Junis stacks up. His slider is the key to his success and he’s throwing it 44% of the time, an increase of almost five percent from last year. The results have been good with a 13.1 Pitch Value and a 61 wRC+ against his slider. He’s been able to throw it for strikes occasionally with a 43% zone rate. Unfortunately, his fastball and sinker are not good at all. He’s like a really, really poor-man’s Patrick Corbin. Normally, I wouldn’t love streaming him but given the lack of talent on the Tigers roster, I’m feeling some significant strikeout upside here. He’s handled the Tigers well this season with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He has a great chance at striking out more than a batter per inning and a QS. Getting through the sixth innings has not been a problem as he’s gone at least six innings in nine of his last 10 starts. STREAM.


Pablo Lopez (SP – MIA), 8% Owned home vs KC, Friday 9/6
The Nationals just pasted Lopez for six earned runs in just three innings but the Nationals are scorching hot right now. Besides, it was only Pablo’s second start after a lengthy IL stint. He’ll be back in Miami against the DH-less Royals next week. Over the last two weeks, the Royals are ranked 28th with a 68 wRC+ as a team (100 is league-average). Now, over Lopez. You may not be all that familiar with him but I’ve been a big fan all season. He has a plus changeup, a plus fastball and mixes in a curveball. I love his change, it’s nasty with a 47.6% chase rate and a 60% ground ball rate. Hitters struggle to do any damage against it if they are swinging at it outside of the zone and either whiff or put it on the ground. The Royals are getting Adalberto Mondesi back, so that’s a concern but the lineup isn’t deep, especially without a DH. I’ll stream here.

Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD), 25% Owned home vs COL, Friday 9/6
Why is Dinelson Lamet is available in 75% of leagues? You guys, he has a 31.7% strikeout rate. He’s striking out almost 1/3rd of the batters he faces. That’s good fam. Despite facing the Red Sox and the Phillies in Philadelphia, he’s compiled 40 strikeouts across 28.1 innings in his last five starts with a respectable 3.54 ERA. That’s largely thanks to one of the best sliders in the game with a 50% strikeout rate against it this year. He draws the road Rockies and as we know, the Rockies are a completely different team away from Coors. They are 29th in MLB with a 72 wRC+ away from Coors Field and have a 26.6% strikeout rate as a team. Lamet is lined up to have a field day against them and I could see double-digit strikeouts for him next week. At a minimum, he should provide 6-7 strikeouts with nice ratios and a chance at a win. STREAM.

Dustin May (SP – LAD), 21% Owned home vs SF, Sunday 9/8
The Rookie has been fairly impressive in the second half for the Dodgers. Ross Stripling is scheduled to return, so it’s not a guarantee that May will make this start. That being said, the Dodgers are running away with the division, so some of their studs (Ryu, Buehler, and Kershaw) could see extended rest or even have one of their starts skipped opening up opportunities for the likes of May and others. The Giants are not the pushover they were through the first half of the season but are still in the bottom 10 in terms of wRC+ over the last two weeks. They have been aggressive as a team in the second half, so walks shouldn’t be an issue for May. He’s limited walks in his small sample, so hopefully, he can push six innings for the first time in his big-league career. He hasn’t flashed big strikeout upside but he throws hard (95-96 mph) and has a very good cutter. I like him more in standard leagues and I wouldn’t bank on a quality start but given the Dodgers’ offensive upside, he has a great chance to snag a win. I’ll STREAM in deeper leagues but since he’s scheduled for Sunday, only use him if you need a win.


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Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove / USA Today

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Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 22 – 8/26-9/1

Welcome back to the FreezeStats starting pitcher streaming article. You know the rules. All of the options I discuss below are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN consensus ownership rates per FantasyPros. Our options are plentiful next week, so let’s attack the weak offensive clubs. There’s a nice mix of high ceiling options with high-floor guys mixed in.

Alex Young (SP – ARI), 19% owned @SFG, Monday, 8/26
The 25-year-old has been serviceable but unspectacular with a 4.04 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 6.8 K/9 this year. That strikeout rate is embarrassing in today’s game but there’s a silver lining. His chase rate and swinging-strike rate are both above league-average so he’s due some positive regression there. In addition, his curveball is borderline elite with a 44% K rate and a 20.3% SwStr rate. He draws the Giants in Oracle Park who have a 75 wRC+ and just 48 home runs at home this season. That’s fewer than one home run per game for those of you scoring at home. Young has already faced the Giants twice that resulted in one good and one bad outing. The good one came in San Francisco. I like Young next week against the Giants, but he doesn’t have massive upside. I’ll still STREAM.


Adam Plutko (SP – CLE), 6% owned, @DET, Tuesday, 8/27
Speaking of teams who have struggled offensively at home, I give you the Tigers. They are tied with the Giants for the lowest wRC+ at home and have a 25.5% strikeout rate as a team. They’ve whiffed even more frequently since the trade of Nick Castellanos and, of course, are worse offensively. If you thought Young was boring, Plutko might put you to sleep immediately. He’s striking out fewer than 6.0 per nine innings but sports a scant 3.8% walk rate. He does induce whiff outside the zone at a high clip but doesn’t generate as many whiffs as Young overall. Plutko lacks a putaway pitch. My concern with Plutko is fly balls and home runs. His fly-ball rate is 48% and he’s given up 2.2 homers per nine innings. The Tigers tagged him for three longballs the last time they faced, so given the limited upside, I’m STAYING AWAY here.

Anthony DeSclafani (SP – CIN), 19% owned, @MIA, Wednesday, 8/28
Here we go again, back on the dance floor with Tony Disco. Finally! A guy with a strikeout rate better than one batter per inning. He’s added one mph to his fastball and has the best swinging-strike rate of his career. He’s struggling with home runs this year (who hasn’t) but he gets to face the Marlins in Miami. He’s given up 13 homers in the road but five of them were in two outings at Wrigley. The Marlins are not nearly as good as the Cubs offensively and Marlins Park is much more forgiving for pitchers. The Marlins are in the bottom five in terms of wRC+ and strikeout rate this year. DeSclafani is coming off two straight one-run outings, so I like his chances in this one. I’m STREAMing.


Dinelson Lamet (SP – SDP), 25% owned, @SFG, Thursday, 8/29
I’ll tell you right up front that Dinelson Lamet is my top streaming option next week. He’s right at 25% ownership mark, so in deep leagues, he’s probably gone. In 10 and some 12-team leagues, he should be available and plucked up quickly. Lamet has a robust 12.07 K/9. Yes, you read that right. He has an insane 14.4% SwStr% and a 68.9% contact rate. For reference, that would rank seventh and fourth respectively among qualified starters. There’s absolutely no reason a pitcher with that type of swing and miss skill should be available. His one downfall is his control as his walk rate is a smidge below 10%. But don;t worry, he’s going up against one of the worst offensive teams in the Giants in the most favorable park for pitchers. STREAM STREAM STREAM

Dylan Bundy (SP – BAL), 16% owned, @KCR, Saturday, 8/31
I’ve always had a soft spot for Dylan Bundy because he has a really good slider and solid changeup. His K-BB rate is typically in the mid-to-upper teens, combine that with two plus pitches and I just feel like he should be better. The AL East is a nightmare for pitchers and his home park doesn’t do him any favors. He’s away from Baltimore next week against the Royals who are third from the bottom with an 82 wRC+ as a team. Bundy decreased his obscene home run rate from a year ago and while it’s still above league-average, he’s not giving up as many fly balls. That’s in part due to an increase in his changeup usage that generates grounder over 55% of the time. He just dominated the Royals on 8/20, and I’m back in next week. STREAM

Eric Lauer (SP – SDP), 8% owned, @SFG, Saturday, 8/31
The last three options all have the ability to pile up strikeouts, Lauer on the other hand, not so much. However, he’s been solid at limiting home runs this year at 1.14 HR/9 which, believe it or not, is better than league-average. He throws a ton of strikes, so he’s not likely to be hurt by free passes. Pitching in Oracle Park for this start is ideal for Lauer’s skill set. I discussed how poor the Giants are in Young’s blurb, especially at home. I tweeted this earlier in the week showing how the Giants lack an offensive star. If Kevin Pillar, Evan Longoria, and Mike Yastrzemski are the batters Lauer has to worry about, I’ll take my chances. Buster Posey is a shell of himself and is 16% below-league average offensively. Lauer has a good chance at a quality start and win. I’m Streaming here.


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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 21 (8/19-8/25)

The stretch run is upon us and those who are still in contention need to do whatever it takes to win. I know I’ve been a little spotty with my streaming posts recently, but I want to finish the year strong. I hope this article helps you win your week/league. You know the drill. I choose the best starting pitchers to stream that are available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN Consensus leagues. I discuss seven options next week but only recommend six of them, let’s get to it!

Michael Pineda (SP – MIN), 25% owned home vs CWS, Tuesday 8/20 
Fresh off the IL, Pineda was respectable going five innings giving up three runs (two earned), with six strikeouts, and one walk in that one. That’s prototypical Pineda, giving up some loud contact but limiting free passes. His velocity was just under 93 mph which is actually an improvement from where it was prior to his IL stint. That start was in Texas against the Rangers and he draws the White Sox at home next week. That’s encouraging. He’s handled the White Sox this season giving up just three earned runs over two starts (13 IP). The White Sox strike out a ton (26% on the year) and have hit just 64 home runs away from Guaranteed Rate Field this year. That’s 28th in MLB. The Twins will give plenty of run support and Pineda has a great chance at a win and a QS. STREAM (#2 option)



Adrian Houser (MIL – SP), 6% owned @STL, Wednesday 8/21 
Doogie’s cousin draws the Cardinals in St. Louis next week coming off two great performances against the Rangers and Nationals. He went a season-high seven innings in his most recent start against the Nationals. His fastball has been graded out as a 60 out of 80 and it sits 94-95 mph. It’s been a great pitch for him with a K% of 31.7% and a swinging strike rate (SwStr%) of an impressive 12.1% to back it up. Typically, fourseasm fastballs generate a SwStr% between 7-8%, so yeah, Houser can blow it by hitters. Unfortunately, his secondaries are not good at all. The good news is the Cardinals are ranked 26th in terms of home runs hit at home this year and are a below-average offensive club. I could see Houser struggling the third time through the order but am willing to roll the dice since the Cardinals haven’t seen him since his debut in April. Stream (#4 option)

Aaron Sanchez (HOU – SP), 25% owned, home vs DET, Wednesday 8/21
OK, so maybe we need to lower our expectations on Sanchez since his no-hit debut with the Astros but he’s getting the Tigers at home next week. Houston will provide a ton of run support, so we just need Sanchez to make through the fifth to qualify for a win. The Athletics lit Sanchez up this week but the Astros have made a change to Sanchez’s pitch mix. He’s throwing his curveball more often at the expense of his sinker. That makes sense because his sinker is his worst pitch and his curveball has generated strikeouts at a near-40% clip. That’s great. Now for his opponent, the Tigers. Over the last 30 days, only the White Sox have struck out more frequently and the Tigers are 20% below-league-average offensively as a team over the last month. There’s always a risk because Sanchez is known for his free passes, but this is a pretty sweet set up for Sanchez. I’m STREAMing. (#1 option)

Vince Velasquez (SP – PHI), 14% owned, @MIA, Friday, 8/23
First, the bad. Velasquez has given up two home runs per nine innings pitched (HR/9) and combines it with a nine percent walk rate. That’s a bad combination, no doubt. The good news is his strikeout rate remains strong over 25% and he’s inducing swings outside the zone at a career-high 31.1%. He’s basically become a two-pitch pitcher throwing his fastball and slider over 90% of the time. I don’t love that combination of his ability to go three times through the order, so a quality start is likely out of the question. In fact, he’s started 16 games and has only one quality start this year. He does have a solid 3.21 ERA over his last five starts though. His metrics on his fastball are actually similar to those of Houser who we discussed earlier. VV draws the Marlins in favorable Marlins Park, so he’s a moderate-risk, moderate reward option. Guess what, the Marlins are the worst team over the last 30 days in terms of wRC+ at just 77. STREAM. (#3 option, but lower in QS leagues)



Anthony DeSclafani (SP – CIN), 18% owned, @PIT, Friday, 8/23
Tony Disco is taking us on a hell of a roller coaster ride this year. It’s been tough to pinpoint the successful starts and avoid his blow-ups but he’s sporting the best strikeout rate of his career along with the best velocity of his career. There’s a correlation there. However, the Pirates seem to have his number tagging him for nine earned runs in two games against him. The Pirates also make a ton of contact and have the second-lowest strikeout rate (18.9%) over the last month. Combining DeSclafani’s elevated home run rate with the Pirates high contact approach spells potential disaster. I’m passing on this start, STAY AWAY

Jason Vargas (SP – PHI), 18% Owned @MIA, Sunday 8/25 
I’ve already discussed how bad the Marlins have been at this year in VV’s blurb but let’s dig a little deeper. They also have the second-lowest walk rate (5.6%) and the third-highest strikeout rate (25.5%) over that stretch. Vargas has found success with a suppressed BABIP thanks to a near-20% infield fly ball rate (IFFB%). That and his 78 mph changeup. The Marlins are familiar with Vargas for his time with the Mets. He hasn’t fared well against them but he receives a defensive upgrade with the Phillies. Don’t expect a ton of strikeouts but he’s a good play for a win and decent ratios. I’d STREAM him if you want to keep your ratios in check and need a W at the end of the week. (#6 option)

BONUS STREAM

Dinelson Lamet (SP – SD), 24% Owned, home vs BOS, Friday 8/23 
It sounds like a terrible matchup as the Red Sox are one of the best offensive teams in the league. Even still, they’ve taken a step back compared to their 2018 Championship Team. They still have a 106 wRC+ on the road but guess what? They are on the road in an NL park, so that means no DH. They drop to just a 73 wRC+ in NL Parks this season. Lamet has been on fire since coming off the IL with a 31% strikeout rate. All of his metrics point to an ERA below 4.00 (he’s at 3.95) so given the current environment, that’s pretty fantastic. His fastball averages 96 mph but it’s been hit around a bit. His slider has been the dominant pitch and he’s throwing it 45% of the time. It has a strikeout rate of 52%, backed by a 24.2% SwStr rate. Walks could be an issue but I’m going to give the edge to Lamet since the Red Sox are not familiar with his stuff. I’m STREAMING but understand the blow-up potential here. (#5 option)


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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 19 (8/5-8/11)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly article where I cover starting pitcher streaming options for the week ahead. I apologize for missing last week, I was out of town and didn’t have a chance to get out a quality product. You know the rules here. The pitchers I cover are available in at least 75% of FantasyPros Yahoo/ESPN Consensus leagues. I’m doing things a little differently this time. I am covering seven pitchers but only suggesting five of them. I discuss why I’m passing on the other two next week despite the favorable matchup. Let’s dig in!

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA), 19% owned, @CIN, Monday 8/5
Normally I try to shy away from pitchers going in Great American Ballpark given the way the balls fly out at alarming rates. For reference, the Reds have home run per fly ball rate (HR/FB%) of 16.5% at home this year which is about 1.5% higher than league-average. But, they have just a 95 wRC+ in Cincy and just lost one of their best hitters in Yasiel Puig. This is a below-average offensive club and Canning carries a 1.20 WHIP, 25.1% strikeout rate, and 7.7% walk rate. All of those metrics are quite a bit better league-average. Canning has been very good at inducing swings and misses in his rookie campaign and coming off a scoreless outing against the Tigers. More importantly, he’s only walked three batters in his three starts. Add in the fact that he won’t have to face a DH and I think he’ll be good for more than a strikeout per inning and a good chance at a win. STREAM


Note: Canning just hit the IL & will miss this start. Let’s find a replacement.

Vince Velasquez (SP – PHI), 9% Owned, @SF, Saturday 8/10
VV has been a bit of a roll lately and is even making assists from left field. While he hasn’t gone six innings in any of his recent starts, he’s struck out seven, nine, and six batters in his last three outings. He’s relying heavily on his fastball which is good and bad. His velocity is up a tick from last year and his 12.7% swinging strike rate on the pitch is among the best in the league. The issue is home runs. With a 24% HR/FB rate, it’s earned a negative pitch value. So this is a very boom or bust play. Since I’m a gambling man (not really) but this start is in Pitcher friendly Oracle Park, so I’ll take my chances. If his control is bad, this could go sideways but he could also throw 5-6 shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Let’s STREAM.


Dylan Cease (SP – CHW), 10% owned, @DET, Tuesday 8/6
Cease faced the Tigers in his Major League debut last month where he gave up three earned runs over five innings with six punchouts. That game was at home in hitter-friendly Guaranteed Rate Field. Next week, he’ll be in Comerica Park which suppresses home runs. In addition, the Tigers lost one of their best hitters in Nick Castellanos. Even with Nicky C, the Tigers have a wOBA of just .276 at home with a strikeout rate of 25.8%. They also walk about 2% below the league-average rate which should offset Cease‘s control. Cease averages over 96 MPH on his fastball and has registered positive Pitch Values per FanGraphs on all three secondary offerings. Cease needs to command his fastball better but I feel like he can dominate the Tigers and grab his second career win. STREAM

Danny Duffy (SP – KC), 11% owned, @DET, Thursday 8/8
I’ve already bashed the Tigers who will probably end up being the number one team I will stream against going forward, so I’ll keep the negative comments to a minimum. Some other interesting statistics regarding the Tigers at home include a .229 batting average and 34 home runs hit in 49 games in Comerica Park. That’s simply not good. Let’s turn out focus to Duffy. He’s had mixed results versus the Tigers this year but has yet to give up a long ball against them and has 10 strikeouts across nine innings. Duffy has backed off his slider recently and his strikeout rate has dipped as a result. I think he needs to bring it back but there’s no guarantee he will be utilizing it. Maybe he’s lost the feel for it, I don’t know. I’m not all that interested to find out if he can get the feel back. Besides, despite how poor the Tigers have been the last couple seasons, Duffy has still struggled against them. I’m passing here and Staying away.

Cal Quantrill (SP – SD), 11% owned, Home vs COL, Friday, 8/9
It will be interesting to see if the Padres start this game with an opener as they did against the Cubs a couple of weeks ago. Quantrill flourished in that start but also has gone at least 5.1 IP in his last four outings. So at a minimum, he should qualify for a win in this one. Over those last three outings, prior to yesterday’s start against the Dodgers, he’s killing it with a 0.53 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP. He’s also throwing his slider more frequently, which has been his most successful pitch. I don’t think he’s going to pile up the strikeouts but the Rockies have been absolutely brutal on the road this year, so I think his ratios will be fine. How bad have the Rockies been away from Coors this year? They are ranked 29th in both wOBA and wRC+ and rank dead last in strikeout rate at 27.6%. It’s almost like facing the Tigers. I’m Streaming here.


Drew Smyly (SP – PHI), 4% owned, @SF, Friday, 8/9
Did Philidelphia figure something out with Smyly or is his success related to the weak opponents in the Giants and Pirates? Well, let’s check his pitch mix. Here’s something, his cutter usage has jumped from just over 10% to nearly 30% in his two outings with the Phillies. He’s also throwing a few more curveballs and his fastball is way down to 38%.  The problem for Smyly is that his cutter has been crushed this year. What’s happened in his last couple starts, he’s inducing more swings out of the zone on the pitch and getting a ton of ground balls. I don’t actually think the cutter is any better, but he’s faced some poor opponents as I mentioned earlier. Now, the lack of familiarity may have helped in Smyly’s success but this will be the second time the Giants have seen him. I’m not buying into Smyly’s recent success given the poor performance of his cutter. The Giants have been much better since the break with a .322 wOBA good for 15th in Major League Baseball. I’m sitting this one out.

Jakob Junis (SP – KC), 14% owned, @DET, Sunday, 8/11
Unlike his teammate Duffy, Junis has been successful against the Tigers over the last couple seasons. He has a career 2.62 ERA against Detriot which is just about where his ERA is since the start of 2018. The Tigers have managed just a .258 wOBA against him and it’s mostly due to his devastating slider. Junis is essentially a two-pitch pitcher but the slider has basically been thrown 50% of the time. I doubt he gets through the lineup three times but should be just fine in leagues that don’t count quality starts. Expect something like 5+ innings with six strikeouts with two runs or fewer. That’s playable in deeper formats, so let’s STREAM

Chris Bassitt (SP – OAK), 23% owned, @CHW, Sunday, 8/11
I’m a little bit perplexed to find that Bassitt is only owned in 23% of Yahoo/ESPN leagues. His ERA is 3.84 on a year when the average ERA for a starting pitcher is 4.50! That’s insane. That’s nearly 0.25 over last season which means, his adjusted ERA (compared to 2018) is about 3.60. In addition, his WHIP is just 1.17 compared to league-average 1.30. Maybe his strikeout rate is extremely low? Nope, 8.58 K/9 which is a hair above league-average. I’m not really finding an issue here. His BABIP is low but he also induces infield flys (IFFB%) at 15%, so a lower BABIP is partially justified. He draws the White Sox and while it’s not at home (unfortunately), the White Sox are weak offensively and just lost Yoan Moncada. Even within their hitter-friendly environment in Chicago, they have a 90 wRC+ and strikeout over 25% of the time. I’m definitely streaming Bassitt.

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Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knghts