Starting Pitchers to Stream for Week 17 (7/22-7/28)

Welcome back to the FreezeStats weekly streamers article! You know the drill, I look at next week’s landscape and discuss the starting pitchers available in at least 75% of Yahoo/ESPN consensus leagues. I’ll tell you why the starting pitchers I discuss below have the best chance to provide positive values for your fantasy team. Let’s not forget where STREAM comves from, Starters Rule Everything Around Me

Chase Anderson (SP – MIL), 11% owned, home vs CIN, Monday, 7/22
Suggesting a streamer who gives up fly balls at a 43% clip in Miller Park seems like a risky proposition. However, Anderson has been pretty solid this year and I like the changes to his pitch mix. He’s throwing his cutter more often and has added some velocity to his fastball. Would you believe me if I told you he has three plus-pitchers via FanGraphs Pitch Values? His fastball, cutter, and changeup have been good which has generated a career-best swinging strike rate (SwStr%) of 11.6%. He’s only allowed more than three earned runs just twice over his 14 starts this season. He draws the Reds who have some thump in their lineup but have also struck out 23.1% of the time on the road this year. In addition, their 79 wRC+ away from GABP is tied for sixth lowest in MLB. Anderson is a fine deeper league stream.

Merill Kelly (SP – ARI), 25% owned, home vs BAL, Tuesday, 7/23
Kelly has quietly put together a solid first season back in States with a 3.77 ERA. All of his pitches have registered positive results per Pitch Values and while he doesn’t have any standout pitch, his repertoire is four pitches deep. He’s not likely to pile up strikeouts but averages about six innings per start which means he should qualify for a win and/or quality start. He draws the Orioles in Chase Field, so no DH for an already poor Baltimore lineup. The Orioles have managed just a 77 wRC+ away from Camden Yards with a 25.2% strikeout rate which is well above league average. I’m rolling with Kelly next week who also will carry his 2.83 home ERA into this start against the Orioles. STREAM

Zac Gallen (SP – MIA), 20% owned @CHW, Wednesday, 7/24
We’ve already seen some exciting flashes but also some struggles from the young rookie. However, he does have 26 strikeouts in just 22.1 innings pitched. Control seems to be the issue with Gallen as he’s already walked 14 batters which isn’t great. But, he clearly has great stuff given the high percentage of soft contact (22%) combined with the solid strikeout rate. I think his walks will come down as well based on his 60% first-pitch strike rate and 41% zone rate. Those are just a touch below league average but don’t warrant 5.64 walks per nine innings. He’ll get to face the White Sox who have been a below-average offense over the last month with a 25.6% strikeout rate. I’ll take my chances with the talented rookie next week and STREAM.

Reynaldo Lopez (SP – CHW), 9% owned home vs MIA, Wednesday, 7/24
After an extended multi-month break, Lopez and I may be back in speaking terms. Do yourself a favor and don’t look at his season-long numbers. Streaming is about what have you done for me lately. Lopez is coming off back-to-back quality starts with 15 strikeouts across 13 innings. More importantly, his fastball averaged 97 MPH in these two starts which is up two MPH on his season average. It’s helped boost his CSW% over 32% in those starts. Next week he gets the Marlins at home. I’d prefer this game be played in Miami for obvious park factor reasons but the Marlins are still a well below-average offensive club. They have struck out nearly 26% of the time as a team the last 30 days. If Rey-Lo has his stuff, he could reach 8 or 9 Ks. I’m streaming for upside here.

Griffin Canning (SP – LAA), 22% owned, home vs BAL, Friday 7/26
Griffindor Canning draws a weak Orioles lineup next week at home. I’m not sure how Canning is owned in fewer than 25% of leagues, but he is. I already discussed Baltimore’s poor 77 wRC+ and 25+% strikeout rate away from home earlier, so let’s talk Canning. He’s gone through a rough stretch but we have to keep in mind that the Angels are still grieving after losing Tyler Skaggs. It’s possible, that could be affecting his performance. Anyways, he got lit up against the Astros and the Rangers in Texas. Otherwise, he’s been very good. His slider is nasty with a 23.4% SwStr rate and a 56% groundball rate. He also has a good curve when he has the feel for it. Coming off a really nice start in Seattle, I’m betting on Canning to pitch well against a weaker opponent next week. STREAM

Felix Pena (SP – LAA), 7% Owned home vs BAL, Sunday, 7/28.
Last weekend Pena combined for a no-hitter against the Mariners where he went seven scoreless innings to close out the game. That’s the second time in five outings where Pena went at least six innings. That’s significant because he usually is used as a long man following the opener. Going deeper will give Pena a shot at a quality start. I don’t fully trust Pena’s 4.92 ERA, I tend to think his 1.19 WHIP and 17.3% K-BB rate is closer to his true talent. As discussed in Mr. Canning’s blurb, the Orioles are bad, especially away from home. I think Pena can pile up the strikeouts. Let’s take a look at his slider which he throws 39% of the time. He’s got a 40.7% K rate, 42.3% O-Swing, and a 23.1% SwStr rate, which has led to a .226 wOBA. I understand he was just taken for a ride against the Astros but the Orioles are not the Astros. I’ll be streaming Pena in 14-team and deep 12-teamers. 

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Starting Pitchers to Stream – YEAH BOOOOOOYD!

After a week off due to the All-Star break, I’m back to continue with streaming options for the upcoming week, 7/23 – 7/29. I’m planning on putting together a waiver wire article next week in this site and also one over at TheSportsDegens.

Also, check out my most recent deep dive article up later today on There’s some great stuff on this site, give it a click.

Felix Pena (LAA) Home vs CHW, Tuesday, July 24th
The 28-year-old rookie has looked sharp for the Angels who have once again been decimated with injuries to their pitch by staff. Pena is an interesting option, he started throwing a sinker which has generated a lot of ground balls and that’s something previously he was unable to do. The problem is, it’s not a good pitch and has a high HR/FB rate against it. His slider on the other hand, is almost unhittable. He’s getting swings outside the zone over 40% and swing and misses about 25% of the time. That’s helped him get a 28% K-rate on the season. If he throws the slider around 40%, it means he’s getting ahead of hitters and against the White Sox, he might get 8-10 strikeouts. If he’s not throwing it much, it’s probably a bad sign. I’m rolling the dice here. STREAM

Ryan Borucki (TOR) – 4%, Home vs MIN, Tuesday July 24th
Oh hey look, another rookie pitcher! Borucki has not yet been confirmed to start Tuesday, so keep an eye out. Borucki doesn’t have overpowering stuff, his fastball sits around 92-93 mph and he throws it over 60% of the time. I’m actually more concerned that this start would be at home and I think the Twins can take advantage of hitting in a better park. The Twins are right in the middle of the pack in terms of wOBA over the past month and are 10th overall in K%-BB%.  I’m not sure I love the heavy fastball approach, something I believe the Twins will exploit. I’m Staying Away here.

Matt Boyd (DET) – 7%, Away vs KC Wednesday, July 25th
Boyd finally turned a great start on Friday night against the Red Sox of all teams. I think he can carry that confidence into Kauffman Stadium against Royals who have the worst strikeout rate in the league since June 15th. They have also hit only 18 home runs in that span. Boyd has been better than his numbers indicate and his slider has been fantastic. The increased usage of his slider has induced more whiffs and upped his K rate. Boyd should handle the Royals for 6 or 7 good innings with a K per inning. STREAM

Nick Kingham (PIT) – 14%, Home vs NYM, Thursday, July 26th
Kingham is a guy I’d grab right now and not just stream, but hold. Kingham’s elevated ERA is due to a high home run rate which should drop quite a bit. His walks are low and his K rate is solid. He gets Mets at home which should be a pretty easy quality start with 6+ Ks and a good shot at a win. The Mets are in the bottom six in wOBA the past month and are striking out over 23% of the time team. STREAM

Nick Tropeano (LAA) – 2%, Home vs CHW, Thursday, July 26th
The White Sox are bad, we all know this. Apparently, their approach as a team is to swing at everything because they are striking out at a 25% clip and walking less than 6% of the time in the past month. Tropeano looked OK in his first start off the DL but he’s been prone to some short outings due to his poor control. He’s also been giving up a ton of contact in the air and as a result has allowed 9 HR in only 59 IP. I’m a little bit worried that Trop (yeah I called his Trop) goes less than 5 IP which makes his start almost useless, especially if he gives up a home run or two. The risk is just too high with Trop until I see a little bit more. I’m Staying Away.

Clay Buchholz (ARI) – 17%, Away vs SD, Sunday, July 29th
This will be Buchholz’s second start off the disabled list, the first of which will come against the Cubs. In no way am I starting him there but he should be widely available for his second start on Sunday against the Padres. In the last 30 days, the Padres have had a wOBA of only .294. The Padres strikeout nearly 25% of the time and are also bottom five in terms of run production at home. Buchholz has been fortunate with a low BABIP and I don’t expect him to keep a sub-3.00 ERA this season. That being said, Buchholz throws five pitches, each thrown over 15% of the time and should keep the Padres off balance three times through the order. I see a decent start from Buchholz with a cheap win. STREAM

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