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Pitchers to Stream – Minor Option Major Result

It’s playoff time, no more messing around! I’m covering a bunch of pitchers in this week’s article who are owned in under 25% of leagues per FantasyPros Yahoo/ESPN ownerships. Most of them I like, but there’s a couple I’m a little wary of. I’ll stop wasting your time with a pointless intro and get right into the pitchers.

Joey Lucchesi (SD) LHP, 23% @SEA, Tuesday 9/11
Of course, I would prefer this game to be played in San Diego but I’d also prefer to be Justin Verlander but it’s just not in the cards. The last time these two faced off Lucchesi rolled with 9 Ks and 1 ER in 6.2 IP.  That’s fantastic but it also was at home. I’ve mentioned this before but Lucchesi only has two pitches and he struggles to get through the order three times. Here are his numbers the third time through the order: 6.00 ERA with a .338 average against in 15 innings. The Mariners just saw him last week and I think will have more success against him this time around. I can see a short 5 inning outing with a limited shot at a win or a QS. I’m Staying Away here but he does have some strikeout upside. I’d be more interested if this start was later in the week.

Framber Valdez (HOU) LHP, 13% @DET, Tuesday 9/11
The Astros against the Tigers is a huge mismatch, the probability of a win is very high for Valdez. So that’s great! I hate to break this to you, but Valdez is not a 1.37 ERA pitcher. I know, shocking! However, how much damage can really be done with a 70% ground ball rate and a 30% soft contact rate? Not much, fam. He gets the Tigers who are 24th in the league in wOBA at home this year. I don’t see much strikeout upside here, but a win, QS, and decent ratios are in order. STREAM

Steven Matz (NYM) LHP, 23% Home vs MIA, Wednesday 9/12
Matz spun another solid outing on Friday against the Phillies where he struck out 8 batters in 5 IP. That makes a swinging strike rate over 10% in four of his last five games and his 4th straight game with at least a strikeout per inning. We can thank the increased slider usage which I mentioned in the last streamer article for that. Combine that with the Marlins poor performance against left-handed pitching. The Marlins have a .289 wOBA against lefties which ranks 27th in MLB. I’m a big fan of the changes Matz has made, his main weakness is the home run ball but I’m not concerned about that. Why? Because theMarlins have hit a total of 25 homers off lefties this year which ranks last in MLB. Easy STREAM here. My #2 stream of the week.

Jorge Lopez (KC) RHP, 2% Home vs MIN, Thursday 9/13
Who is this guy? Lopez is a former Brewers farmhand who was traded to the Royals in the Moustakas trade. In his last two starts, Lopez has given up only 2 earned runs in 15 innings pitched. He throws four pitches and all have registered positive pitch values per FanGraphs. I don’t think he has elite or high-end strikeout stuff, but he gets the ice cold Twins who have a .296 wOBA the last 14 days. Oh, and did I mention that one of those last two outings was against the Twins? No, well it was. Lopez also goes up against Gonsalves who has been atrocious this year, so he should get run support. Maybe the Twins pick up on something this time around or maybe they will stay cold. I’m rolling the dice. STREAM

Tyler Anderson (COL) LHP, 21% @SF, Friday 9/14
Anderson has really struggled in the second half after showing some signs of a breakout in the first half. Something has gone wrong in the second half but his poor HR/9 and BABIP likely won’t stick. He’s still getting a ton of swings and misses with a swinging strike rate of 13.4% with a 73.2% contact rate since July 30th. Since this start is in AT&T Park, I think the home run rate and BABIP will be in his favor for this game. If I haven’t convinced you, maybe this will. In the last 14 days, the Giants have a .250 wOBA with an unbelievable 31.5% strikeout rate. That’s last place in MLB for both, and it’s not close. The last 30 days haven’t been much better either. I’m thinking Anderson turns his best start of the second half in this one. STREAM

Jaime Barria (LAA) RHP 17% Home vs SEA, Saturday 9/15
Barria is a guy with a great slider and not much else. He’s been successful this year, there’s no doubt but he’s limited home runs and benefited with some BABIP and strand rate luck. What’s interesting is that Barria has already faced the Mariners three times. In all three starts, he’s given up 2 earned runs each time but has only struck out 5 batters in 16.1 IP. He also was very fortunate with his strand rates in those games. Some people might say he’s set for another two earned run outing to follow the trend. I say he’s due for a blow-up. Clearly, Barria isn’t fooling the Mariners hitters to get swings and misses. I just don’t see enough upside in this start. I’m STAY AWAY

Mike Minor (TEX) LHP, 23% @SD, Sunday 9/16
Minor should have two starts this week with the second coming Sunday against the Padres in San Diego. The Padres have a 24.3% strikeout rate against left-handed pitchers and are ranked 22nd offensively against southpaws. If you’re wondering, Minor has been great in the second half with five wins and a 2.88 ERA. He’s increased his usage of his changeup to 25% up from 15%. That’s great because it’s his best pitch. Not only is he getting more swings and misses, but he’s gotten over 26% soft contact since the break. I’m hoping Minor gets this second start because it’s my lock of the week. STREAM

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



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

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

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



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

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

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



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