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.
Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove / USA Today