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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 7 (5/13-5/19)

Let’s get this out of the way. PaBLOW Lopez really killed us last week. That will happen every once and a while and we have to pick ourselves up and trust the process. I’m not giving up on Lopez for just one awful start but I’m fading him next week at least. Luckily, we had seven other starters last week who, by in large, performed well. Despite the 10 runs beat down on Lopez, here are the streaming numbers to date through the first six weeks of the season:

IP ERA WHIP K W QS
Season Totals 165.65 3.42 1.07 171 16 17

Not bad right? Those are much better than league-average and look like a #2 starter on most fantasy teams. Forget about the Lopez start, trust the process, and let’s keep rolling. Here’s what we have next week. Note: All pitchers are owned in 25% of leagues per FantasyPros Consensus Ownership

Wade Miley (SP – HOU) 18% owned, @DET, Tuesday 5/14
Miley is a boring pick here but he’s been successful of late and gets Detroit in Comerica Park. Not only are the Tigers struggling offensively but it’s backed by a .258 wOBA and a 28% strikeout rate in the last 14 days. Comerica Park is the third worst stadium for home runs in the Majors. The Tigers don’t hit many homers but their park doesn’t help them out as they have hit just six in the last two weeks. Miley isn’t going to give you many strikeouts but keeps the ball down and has one of the best defenses behind him. I expect plenty of run support and hopefully six clean innings from Miley who will let his defense do the work for him. STREAM

Trent Thornton (SP – TOR) 4% owned, @SF, Tuesday 5/14
Anytime I have the opportunity to stream a pitcher in San Francisco, I do it. My home run park factors article linked above has Oracle Park 2.5 standard deviations below the average ballpark in terms of home runs. As of Saturday, the Giants have hit just nine home runs at home this season with just a .268 OBP as a team. I’m not the biggest fan of Thornton but his main issue has been home runs. As I just discussed, home runs will be hard to come by, especially from left-handed bats who the Giants should stack against the righty. As with any young pitcher, control and walks can pop up but ballons when a pitcher loses control combined with the long balls. I’m hesitant here but would stream Thornton in 14-team and deeper leagues for the upside.

Derek Holland (SP – SF), 5% owned, Tyler Beede, 1% owned TOR, Tuesday, 5/14
Wait, but I’m streaming Thornton who is going up against the Giants and Holland! Yup, so here’s the thing, we all know that Oracle Park is a pitcher’s dream, no need to go over that again. Note: Holland has been moved to the bullpen and Tyler Beede will be recalled from Triple-A to start in his place. What I really like is that the Blue Jays fourth from the bottom against left-handed pitchers with a .275 wOBA against this year. They have also struck out against lefties over 25% of the time and Holland is rocking a 27% K rate with the metrics to back it up. In addition, the Giants are ranked eighth in team defense thanks to the addition of Kevin Pillar in centerfield. I like Holland to pile up strikeouts can keep the ratios in check. The Blue Jays have almost as bad against right-handed pitchers compared to lefties and have a higher strikeout rate versus RHP. Beede throws 95 MPH with a plus changeup he but he has struggled with control. In the minors, he regularly was near 4 BB/9 and in his brief Major League career has walked 13 batters in 12 innings. Maybe there’s a chance he pulls it together but I believe his upside in this one is no more than five innings with six strikeouts and sub-par ratios. I wouldn’t count on it though. I’m passing on this start for Beede.

Merrill Kelly (SP – ARI), 9% owned, SF, Friday, 5/17
Kelly hasn’t been great overall since coming back to the states but I expect his walk rate to come way down. Eno Sarris recently wrote a piece at The Athletic discussing pitchers with good command+ but have elevated walk rates. Kelly was near the top of the list and as we saw last night against the Braves, he didn’t walk a single batter in seven innings. He gets a cushier matchup next week against the Giants at home. He’s also pitched much better in Chase Field (thank you humidor) with a 3.20 ERA/1.10 WHIP than on the road this year. We’ve covered how poor the Giants offense has been this season, so no need to rehash. Kelly won’t have a ton of strikeout upside but has the ability to go deep into games, so gets a boost in QS leagues. STREAM

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA), 22% owned, KC, Saturday 5/18
I’m not sure why Canning isn’t owned in over 25% of leagues, but hey, our gain right? Canning has impressed in his first two starts in the big leagues striking out 13 with a 1.03 WHIP through 9.2 IP. Hitters can’t seem to make much contact evidenced by the 20% swinging strike rate and 54.6% contact rate. It’s an extremely small sample but those numbers would lead the league. His fastball has been good, his slider is unhittable, and the curve is a plus pitch. The only thing that worries me is his sub-30% zone rate. Patient teams could make him pay but Kansas City is walking 8.5% of the time the last 14 days (9% is league average). The Royals are league-average offensively so they aren’t a pushover. I suspect Canning could go six innings with this being his fourth start in the bigs. I like his upside here, STREAM

Wilmer Font (SP – NYM), 0% owned, @MIA, Sunday 5/19
Font has been filling in for the injured Jason Vargas and now that Steven Matz hit the IL, Font may grab two starts next week. I don’t recommend him in his Monday start in Washington, but this matchup seems just right. Cover one eye when looking at his 5.50 ERA but his 4.01 FIP and 3.59 SIERA show that better days may be ahead. His metrics are backed by a 13% swinging strike rate largely due to the increase in the usage of his breaking balls. He’s throwing his slider and curve 43% of the time and both can get whiffs. The Marlins have managed just a .264 wOBA this season (.258 last 14 days) which is 16 points below the next worst team in the Majors. This will be Font’s third start, so he should have a chance to reach six innings in this one and grab a QS and win. STREAM

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Photo Courtesy of Prospects Live

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Starting Pitchers to Stream 4/15-4/21 (Fantasy Baseball)

Last week did not start well but I was salvaged by Trevor Richards and Jeff Samardzija. Here are the results from last week.

Week 2
4/8-4/14 Name IP H ER BB K W QS
2 Jordan Zimmermann 4.33 4 4 2 4 0 0
2 Freddy Peralta 3.33 8 7 1 5 0 0
2 Trevor Richards 6 1 0 5 7 0 1
2 Frankie Montas 6 3 3 1 3 1 1
2 Jeff Samardzija 7 3 0 1 7 1 1
2 Michael Pineda 6 8 3 0 5 1 1
32.66 27 17 10 31 3 4
4.68 ERA 1.13 WHIP

The ERA isn’t good, there’s no way around that but when you consider the league-wide ERA is 4.40, it’s not quite a killer. Besides, the quality start and win totals are solid and the 1.13 WHIP is fantastic. The average WHIP in MLB is currently 1.32, so that’s something! Overall, it was a mixed bag but Freddy Peralta did us in. I’ll try to avoid that blow-up, but that’s part of the game. Here are the streaming options for week 3 4/15-4/21.


Trevor Richards (SP – MIA) – 24% Owned; 4/15 Home vs CHC
Why not role with Richards in a second straight week? Yes, the Cubs are hitting well but Miami is not a great place to hit. Richards really has one great pitch and it’s his changeup. It’s amazing though. Since the start of 2018, the results against the change are .154/.215/.260 with a crazy-low .122 wOBA! It nets a ton of strikeouts and he’s throwing it nearly 40% of the time. Now, his fastball has gained some movement and is getting more swings and misses but he’s also struggling to throw it for strikes, so his walk rate is up. This is a toss-up but I’m leaning in favor of Richards given the fact that he’s pitched better at home in his career. STREAM (but tread lightly)

Jake Odorizzi (SP – MIN) – 12% owned; 4/15 Home vs TOR
The Blue Jays are striking out 28% of the time, good (bad) for second most in the Majors. They are also batting just .202 with a putrid .273 wOBA. There are some rumblings about Vlad Jr, getting the call soon but I think we are still about a week away from that happening. Odorizzi has some serious strikeout upside in this matchup. His walk rate is very high but it’s not an issue with his zone rate and first pitch strike percentage; those are near league-average. Hitters aren’t chasing his pitches outside the zone but they also can’t hit them in the zone either. I’ll risk taking advantage of the Blue Jays aggressiveness and Stream.

Jordan Lyles (SP – PIT), 3% Owned @DET 4/16
The Tigers are ranked 27th in wOBA and currently carry a 27% strikeout rate as a team. You know that when I start with how bad the team is, it means the streamer isn’t very good. Well, obviously, Lyles is just three percent owned! This is a flier. The Pirates starters have been great thus far and Lyles is showing some swing and miss in his game. His overall contact and strikeout rates are both better than league average. There’s regression coming of course, but I like that Lyles has two swings and misses pitches in his curve and changeup. Miggy doesn’t scare me anymore and Niko Goodrum is batting cleanup. Stream

Caleb Smith (SP – MIA) 10% owned Home vs WAS 4/19
Here’s the deal. Caleb Smith might be the best Marlins starting pitcher this year. He utilizes a good slider, a solid changeup and his fastball is more than serviceable. I don’t love this matchup but Smith might be good enough to overcome a deep Nationals lineup at home.  His
swinging strike rate sits at 16.2% which ranks seventh among starters with over 10 innings pitched this season. Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto are among the most difficult outs in baseball and Smith is going against Scherzer in this matchup. Let’s put this option under the stream but don’t expect a win or quality start here. I’m expecting 5+IP with a couple of earned runs and a 1.25ish WHIP with 6 strikeouts. If that will help you mid-week, go ahead and stream.

Anibal Sanchez (SP – WAS) 16% owned @MIA 4/19
It has not been a great start to the season for Sanchez but the cutter/changeup combination is back! His pitch mix is nearly identical to last season with nearly 50% CT/CH. He was extremely successful last year and I think he will be a fine backend starter or streamer this year. The Marlins in Miami is a dream matchup. Are they the worst team offensively in the league? No, but they are tied for 26th, so don’t overthink this one. Stream

Derek Holland (SP – SF) 16% Owned @PIT 4/20
Holland had a rough couple of starts but really got on track against the Padres at home this week giving up one ER with nine strikeouts. He relies heavily on his breaking balls to put away hitters via the strikeout. The Pirates have produced just an 86 wRC+ thus far in 2019. I would prefer this game be played in Oracle Park but PNC Park plays well for pitchers. Holland goes up against Chris Archer in this one, so a win may be difficult but I like Holland’s chances to reach a quality start with solid ratios and 5+ strikeouts. Stream.

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Photo Source: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitchers to Stream – Double Dose of the Dutch Oven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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