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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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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)


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


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Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 16 – 7/15-7/21

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly stating pitcher streaming article! I hope you enjoyed the All-Star break but now is not the time to relax, even if you have a strong lead in your league. We skipped week 15 because it was abbreviated with just the weekend series. You know the drill. I choose starting pitchers that are available in at least 75% of FantasyPros consensus leagues to help you win your matchup each week. The talent seems to be falling off a bit which means the fantasy community is really on their game. I’ve been able to uncover a nice blend of high ceiling and high floor streamers and of course will be picking on the Giants, Marlins, and Tigers next week.

Adam Plutko (SP – CLE), 3% owned home vs DET, Monday, 7/15
I’m not the biggest Plutko fan but he’s walking just under one batter per nine innings (0.99 BB/9). He’s not striking many batters out and has given up far to many dingers. I would never think about streaming Putko unless he was going up against one of the weakest offensives in the Majors. Will you look a this. The Tigers are tied for the lowest wRC+ in the league with the Marlins and only the Marlins have hit fewer home runs than Detroit. The Tigers are also prone to strikeouts which they do at a 26% clip. Given Plutko’s fly ball tendencies and low walk rate, there won’t be many runners on base. Fly ball pitchers typically suppress BABIP, so as long as he keeps the ball in the yard, I feel comfortable streaming. If Zach Plesac gets the call for Tuesday’s start against the Tigers, I’d also stream him and actually prefer him to Plutko. However, he’s still in the Minors and as of this writing, the Indians haven’t named a starter for Tuesday. Either way, STREAM

Dylan Cease (SP – CHW), 24% owned @KC, Tuesday, 7/16
Cease was impressive after the first inning of his debut before the break striking out six Tigers in five innings. His command of his fourseam wasn’t great so there’s no doubt risk in streaming him. He draws the Royals in Kauffman Stadium next week. Kauffman suppresses home runs more than any other park other than Oracle Park in San Francisco. In addition, theRoyals have just an 86 wRC+ as a team at home (100 is league-average) with a walk rate of just 7.5%. That’s the 25th lowest walk rate among all teams in the league. The aggressive nature of the Royals combined with the cavernous confines of Kauffman Stadium makes Cease a high-risk, high-reward streaming option. I’m streaming him looking for strikeouts and the high probability of a win.

Jason Vargas (SP – NYM), 10% owned, @SF, Thursday, 7/18
Jason Vargas had a rough start coming off the All-Star break in Miami of all places. That does not provide a whole lot of confidence going into his start next week. But wait! The Giants (74 wRC+) are even worse offensively than the Marlins (79 wRC+) and the last time he faced the Giants, he pitched a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts. Like many pitchers this year, Vargas has struggled with the long ball giving up six homers in his last five outings. Pitching in Oracle Park should limit the probability of the long ball. In addition, Vargas has utilized his changeup over 35% of the time this year. The changeup suppresses wOBA more than any other pitch, so I think Vargas has a good shot at a W/QS and plus ratios. STREAM

Dinleson Lamet (SP – SD), 14% owned, @MIA, Thursday, 7/18
Lamet is a risky option despite the favorable matchup in Miami. Following such a prolonged absence, control is the last thing that comes back for a pitcher. Lamet could go six shutout innings with nine strikeouts or give up five earned runs in two innings. The good news is Lamet still possess elite swing and miss stuff evidenced by the 14 punch outs in 10 innings pitched. I don’t trust his 6+ ERA as he’s only allowed 12 base runners in those 10 innings. He’s also averaging over 95 MPH on his fastball. Unfortunately, he’s only a two-pitch pitcher which isn’t great long term but for this start against a weak Miami offense, I’m going Streaming.

Daniel Ponce de Leon (SP – STL), 14% Owned, home vs PIT, Wednesday, 7/17
My favorite explorer is rocking a 1.99 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP in just over 31 innings. OK, so a .175 BABIP and a 93.5% strand rate is not sustainable but Ponce is effectively pitching up in the zone inducing whiffs and popups at a high clip. His fourseam has a swinging strike rate of 13.2% which is nearly five percent above the League average for fourseamers. It’s helped him get strikeouts over 35% of the time with his heater. The Pirates have been better than advertised but have been carried by Josh Bell and Starling Marte. I think Ponce can neutralize them and I’m rolling the dice. STREAM

Anthony DeSclafani (SP – CIN), 16% Owned, home vs STL, Sunday, 7/21
Would I prefer this start if it was in St Louis? Well, of course, but Tony Disco is known for his hot stretches. His 24.1% strikeout rate would be the highest of his career along with his K-BB%. Some of those improvements are due to a career-best fastball velocity of 95.0 mph. Other than a six-run shellacking in Milwaukee in June, Disco has given up just five earned runs in his previous five outings. It cannot be overstated how bad the Cardinals offense has been. Over the last 30 days, they have a 79 wRC+ which would be the lowest in the Majors over that time if not for the Tigers. I think DeSclafani can go at least six innings and strike out six to seven batters. The Reds should provide enough run support to give him a good chance at a win. STREAM

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


Photo Credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knghts

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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 6 (5/6-5/12)

Every week I cover starting pitcher streaming options who are owned in 25% or fewer of leagues based on FantasyPros Consensus ownerships rates. Let’s take a look at the options for week 6 (5/6-5/12).

Martin Perez (SP – MIN) 6% owned, @TOR, Monday, 5/6  and Saturday, 5/11 Home vs DET
I stayed away from Perez last week because he faced off against the Astros. He proceeded to twirl eight brilliant shutout innings with seven strikeouts. I’m definitely on board with both starts next week. Perez has only given one earned run over his last two outings. It’s amazing what throwing 95+ MPH will do for a starter like Perez. I prefer the start at home against the Tigers and you’ll see, I’m picking on them next week. As a team, the Tigers have only hit 21 home runs all season and strike out about 27% of the time. I like Perez to pile up a K per inning and a quality start with a good chance for a win. Believe it or not, the Blue Jays haven’t been much better offensively. Despite the call-up of Vlad Jr., the Blue Jays have been in a rut losing their last four games. The Blue Jays also strikeout at a well-above-average clip, so while this road start is a little risky, I’m still rolling with Perez twice next week. STREAM

Tyler Mahle (SP – CIN) 5% owned, @OAK, Tuesday, 5/7
Mahle is becoming a favorite streamer of mine. Sure, he’s got a 4.09 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP but it comes with a cool 9.0 K/9 and sub-2.0 BB/9. He is susceptible to the long ball but is also carrying an unlucky .344 BABIP. While his home park is the most favorable for homers, Oakland’s ballpark is ranked 22nd in terms of home run park factors using Barrels. Add in the fact that the Athletics are ranked 24th in wOBA at home and we’ve got a winning matchup here. I don’t think his arsenal is built to last longterm, but he’s coming off his best start of the season in New York, so I’m back in. STREAM

Griffin Canning (SP – LA) 23% owned, @DET Tuesday 5/7
Here we go, picking on the Tigers again. Canning flashed impressive stuff in his debut even if the numbers didn’t back it up. He touches 95 MPH on his fastball with a plus slider and was able to strike out six Blue Jays in just over four innings. He managed to get called strikes plus swinging strikes on 34% of his pitches, a very solid rate. I think the Angels let him go a little deeper but reaching 6+ innings might be a stretch. So, he’s a little less valuable in QS leagues. The Tigers are not good as I already mentioned but they are even worse at home with just an 87 wRC+ (100 is average) and have hit just seven, yes 7 home runs at home all year, LOL. STREAM

Jeff Samardijza (SP – SF) 17% owned, Home vs CIN Friday, 5/10
Daddy Shark do do dododo. He’s back! He’s pitching today (Sunday) against the Reds but it’s in Great American Smallpark. Remember the home run park factors link above, here it is again. I don’t care what happens in the Sunday start, it’s like going from pitching on the moon to pitching in Antarctica. The Reds are the worst team offensively on the road this year hitting just .252. Scratch that, that’s their OBP, they are batting .197 with a .252 wOBA on the road. Yup, that’s bad. As far as Shark, he’s not great but he’s traded his heavy sinker usage for a cutter. That’s good because the career batting average against his sinker is over .300. Meanwhile, the cutter has allowed just two hits on 110 thrown this year. Another STREAM here.

Jake Odorizzi (SP – MIN) 17% owned, Home vs DET Friday 5/10
Jake is probably my second favorite option next week (Perez is my favorite). And, here we are again picking on the Tigers. I won’t go into them at all. Odorizzi’s just been straight nasty recently. He hasn’t given up a run in his last two starts while striking out 15. In all honesty, he’s had just one poor start out of his first seven outings. He’s been very good rocking a 2.78 ERA. His 12.6% swinging strike rate (SwStr%) backs up his near-10K/9. I’d run to the wire and grab him now before he gets scooped up. STREAM

Pablo Lopez (SP – MIA) 6% Owned, @ NYM Friday 5/10
P-Lo is my boy. Do you trust his current 4.78 ERA or his 2.99 FIP? I tend to lean towards his FIP. Maybe not that good but Lopez is more of a mid-3s ERA pitcher. He’s maintained his increased velocity and it’s improved the results against the fastball. An increase of 4% on his K rate and 2.6% on his swinging strike rate on the fastball has made his secondaries more valuable. Especially the changeup that has generated a disgusting 27.2% SwStr%. The Mets are a tough team and this matchup is not in pitcher-friendly Miami. But wait, they’ve managed just a .284 wOBA in the past 14 days with a near-26% strikeout rate. I think Lopez can manage more than a K per inning with good ratios. I’ll recommend a STREAM but only in 14-team & deeper leagues.

Anthony DeSclafani (SP – CIN), 19% Owned @ SF Saturday 5/11
Talk about picking on weak opponents this week! Tony Disco gets to pitch in the confines of Oracle Park where fly balls go to die. He’s been an extreme fly ball pitcher this year which has hurt him at home but should be just fine away from the GAB. The Giants have hit just .207 with eight home runs at home this year. You read that right, Christian Yelich has more HR at home than the Giants! Meanwhile, DeSclafani is striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings and should easily be able to net a quality start in this one. STREAM.

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



Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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

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



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

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


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

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Streaming Options 7/2 – 7/7: Hell-Boy & Estrada Blast from the Past

Since I got this up a bit later than normal, I won’t waste your time with worthless rambling. Let’s see what streaming options we have over the Independence Day Holiday. I don’t love the streaming options this week with limited strikeout upside, but the ratios should be solid. Make sure you grab your streamers early in case you plan on tying one on during the holiday week.

Nathan Eovaldi (TB) 9% Away vs MIA, Monday July 2nd
This one seems like an easy call. Except that the Marlins are actually middle of the road offensively the last 30 days. That’s ok, because the Marlins have been worse at home with a sub-.295 wOBA. Eovaldi averages nearly 98 mph on his fastball and it’s been very effective at getting weak contact. On the season, he’s nearly given up 25% soft contact which would be top 10% if he qualified. Unfortunately, Eovaldi doesn’t have the secondary offerings to get swings and misses, but he’s also always around the zone and not walking batters. This is a low-risk, low-reward option. But I’m rolling with it, STREAM


Anthony DeSclafani (CIN) 10% Home vs CWS, Tuesday July 3rd
Great American Ballpark is not a great place to pitch in the summer. But get this, in the last 30 days, the White Sox have the highest strikeout rate and the lowest walk rate in MLB. They are also rocking a .282 wOBA as a team in that time. DeSclafani has not been great but his velocity is good and his slider has registered positive results. I believe he turns a solid outing against the struggling White Sox. STREAM

Marco Estrada (TOR) 19% Home vs NYM, Tuesday July 3rd
Let’s be clear, it’s been a rough year for Estrada, the strikeouts are down, he’s giving up more fly balls and it’s led to a 4.52 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. However, in June he has a 2.35 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP and even the strikeouts have rebounded. Estrada is walking less batters this year compared to 2017, down to 6.4% on the season. Home runs are a concern but the Mets are bad. In the month of June the Mets are hitting .210 as a team! They are only averaging one HR/game last month, so I think Estrada is good for about 7 IP with a couple ER and 5-6 Ks. STREAM

Jeremy Hellickson (WAS) 22% Home vs MIA, Thursday July 5th
Oh look, another low strikeout option. NHe’s not exciting either, but Hellickson has been useful this year and can keep hitters off balance. He only throws 90 mph but his arsenal has five pitches all of which he throw more than 10% of the time. I like Hellickson at home where he sports a 1.65 ERA, yes in limited sample (16.1 IP), but I believe Hell-boy can get through a weak Miami lineup three times on his way to a easy victory. The Nationals bats are too talented to continue this offensive slump. Let’s STREAM

Steven Matz (NYM) 20% Home vs TB, Saturday July 7th
Maybe Matz is our strikeout upside option this week? Matz just handled the Marlins on Sunday with 6 Ks in 5.2 IP on his way to a win. A home start against the Rays look awfully tasty. I understand that the Rays are better with the bats than anticipated but over the past month they have a nearly 26% K rate and a .285 wOBA. Combine that with a .118 ISO as a team and I could see a dominate outing from Matz. I just hope he can get some run support. Either way, I’m in, STREAM.