Starting Pitchers to Stream Week 4 (4/22-4/28)

What a week of baseball! Christian Yelich can’t stop hitting bombs and every stud pitcher is getting blown up expect my beloved Trevor Bauer and last year’s heartthrob Luis Castillo. Link. deGrom and Snell went down with injuries this week, Scherzer, Cole, Sale, Nola, get blown up; it’s crazy! This is why streaming pitchers like Jordan Lyles and Caleb Smith are so important. In some instances, they are outperforming the aces. Let’s look at some solid options for Week 4.

Luke Weaver (SP – ARI) 17% owned @PIT Tuesday 4/23
I’m not really sure why Luke Weaver is owned in only 17% of leagues. I have a feeling his ownership jumps over 25% by the end of next week. He totaled 17 strikeouts in his last two outings and was touching 97 MPH in his last start. His K-BB% is 21.6% which is tied for 20th among qualified starters. This matchup is nice as the Pirates who just lost Starling Marte in a scary collision on Friday night. He has since been placed on the IL, the lineup is essentially a Triple-A lineup with Josh Bell as the team’s best hitter. As a team, the Pirates are ranked 23rd in the league in wOBA (.290) and have hit just 13 homers on the young season, good (bad) for second-lowest total in the bigs. Easy Stream here.

Pablo Lopez (SP – MIA), 4% owned @CLE, Tuesday 4/23
Lopez is a well-kept secret but the word is about to get out. His 5.85 ERA is a mirage thanks to a .386 BABIP and a 61.1% strand rate. His 23% K-BB% is actually better than our boy Weaver above and his velocity is up over one MPH this year. He gets Cleveland who receives a much-needed boost with the return on Lindor but doesn’t move the needle enough for me given the current 27% strikeout rate the Indians have as a team. My only concern is how deep he will go. He’s only averaging five innings per start, so a quality start might be tough to get. I still think he’s in for more than a strikeout per inning and solid ratios. Stream

Jordan Lyles (SP – PIT), 25% owned Home vs ARI, Wednesday 4/24
Lyles is right on the cusp of going over my 25% ownership cap. Why? Well, he’s rocking a 0.83 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP in 17 innings. Look, he’s not this good, not even close but a PNC is great pitchers park. However, the Diamondbacks have been better than advertised offensively and Lyles is due for some regression. The DBacks have already hit 32 homers and have a .339 wOBA as a team. Lyles struggles against lefties and the DBacks have some solid lefty bats (Peralta, Marte, Escobar) along with hot-hitting righty Christian Walker to handle Lyles. I’m going to pass on this start for Lyles, besides, he hurt his hand in his last outing, so I think this is where regression sets in. Stay Away.

Martin Perez (SP – MIN), 1% owned at home vs BAL, Friday 4/26
A home start against the Orioles at home is a nearly ideal situation for Perez. He’s essentially a new pitcher because he no longer is a soft-tosser averaging near 95 MPH which has skyrocketed his swinging strike rate and K%. In his start on Saturday, he wasn’t great but got the win thanks to an offensive explosion. The Orioles are deploying Chris Davis almost every day, which should tell you how poor their lineup is. Perez should be good for at least five to six strikeouts in this one (maybe 3 from C Davis) and a good chance at a win. Stream

Jered Eickhoff (SP – PHI), 2% Owned at home vs MIA, Friday 4/26
Eickhoff has been called up with the move to send Pivetta down to the Minors and he gets the Marlins at home next week. Look, Eickoff missed most of 2018 with injuries and hasn’t been good since 2016 but he seems to have a better pitch mix. His fastball is not good and he’s throwing it a lot less than in 2017. Getting the Marlins at home should help keep his ratios in check. The Phillies offense should put up plenty of run support against Jose Urena. I’d look to stream Eickhoff in 14-team leagues and deeper. Stream lightly here

Jake Odorizzi (SP – MIN), 10% owned Home vs BAL, Sunday 4/28

I already bashed the Orioles in the Perez blurb but can what else can we say about them? We know they strike out a lot. Would you believe me if I told you Odorizzi has a 14.3% swinging strike rate and has allowed just a 66.4% contact rate? That’s over 10% lower than the league average! We have to keep in mind that Odorizzi is a junkballer and can struggle to find the plate. There’s risk here but I like that this start is at home. Stream

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(Photo: Rob Schumacher/The Republic)


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 6/18 – 6/24 Covey Don’t Lyles

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there! Let’s get rolling, last week was a mixed bag, a couple good pick and a couple not so good picks. We still have great numbers on the season, but we can’t let multiple weeks get away from us. Without further ado, here are my sleeper picks for this upcoming week.

Freddy Peralta (MIL) 6% Away vs PIT on Tuesday 6/19
I’ve got nothing for you on Monday for pitchers under 25% owned, I’m not trusting Bartolo Coon and Dylan Covey going against the Indians is too damn scary. Peralta is being called back up to start against the Pirates on Tuesday. You remember his dominant 13 K performance IN Colorado but then he blew up against the Twins in Minnesota. Strikeouts, walks, and deception is the name of the game with Peralta. The Pirates have struggled offensively with a wRC+ of only 92 in the past month with only an 8% BB rate. Certainly this is a huge risk and but also has probably the best upside of any streamer option this week. I’m not calling for a 13 K performance, but I think Peralta goes 5-6 IP with 7+K, the walks are anyone’s guess. I’m rolling with this one. STREAM

Tyler Mahle (CIN) 9% Home vs DET on Wednesday 6/20
I think this will be there 3rd straight week he’s made the streamers list. He’s was successful last week despite netting one K. He gets to face the Miggy-less Tigers. Again, I don’t love Mahle, he doesn’t have overwhelming stuff but he won’t only strikeout one batter again, especially against the Tigers. The Tigers have hit an MLB low 21 HR this past month and have a wOBA of only .294 in that span. It’s Nick Castellanos and … um…. Jose Igleseas or Leonys Martin as their best hitters. Yikes. STREAM

Chris Stratton (SF) 18% Home vs SD, Friday 6/22
Stratton isn’t very good you guys, but he hasn’t given up more than 3 ER in his last five starts. He’s only faced the Padres once this year, in that start he went 7 scoreless back in April. The Padres are bottom five in terms of walk rate this past month and have managed only a .294 wOBA in that time-frame. Stratton has not been good at home but he’s only allowed 3 HR at home this year in 33 IP. His BABIP has been extremely unlucky at home which is odd because his defense behind him is very good. I’m betting his luck turns around in this one and I think Stratton goes deep into this one with a decent shot at a W. STREAM

Jordan Lyles (SD) 10% Away vs SF, Friday 6/22
But wait, didn’t I just pick Stratton against Lyle’s Padres? Yes I did, and the Giants have been pretty damn good offensively this past month despite being without Belt and now lost Longoria for an extended period of time. McCutchen has heated up but I’m not concerned about the rest of this lineup. That being said, Lyles turned a positive outing this week for the first time in five starts. He hasn’t started against the Giants this year but has 4.2 scoreless innings in relief against them. Lyle’s ground ball rate looks fantastic recently, his main issue is the home runs. I think he holds the Giants down at home in this one. He’s been getting ahead of hitters nearly 70% of the time with his first pitch strike percentage. I’m in on this one, STREAM

Dylan Covey (CHW) 16% Home vs OAK, Saturday 6/23
So, I didn’t want to roll with Covey for his first start this week because, well, he’s facing the Indians. How about against the Athletics? Oakland does have some mashers, Khris Davis is hot right now, but other than KD, they are really struggling. In the past month, the Athletics have a .291 wOBA, a 22.5% K rate, and only a 7.2% walk rate as a team. I love Covey’s 61% ground ball rate, that should limit the long flys in this one. Covey isn;t a big swing a miss guy, but he also hasn’t been getting hurt with walking batters either. Covey is a good bet to go 6-7 IP with 2 ER and good ratios. STREAM

Starting Pitchers to Stream 6/4 – 6/10

I was going to make the title something stupid like “Lyles on my Buchholz” but I’m a mature adult; or at least that’s what my wife tells me. Last week was another great week to stream pitchers. I’m almost ready to ditch my bottom 3 SPs and just stream every week in my leagues! That’s kind of a joke, but maybe it isn’t? Most of the streaming options last week are long gone now in terms of ownership, so we just have to do more digging for this week. First, let’s look back at how last week’s streamers did.

Marco GonzalesMay 28, 2018TEX6.6744041
Marco GonzalesJune 3, 2018TB6.6752161
Caleb SmithMay 28, 2018@SD741141
Daniel MengdenMay 31, 2018TB862351
Jordan LylesMay 31, 2018MIA761271
Trevor CahillJune 1, 2018KC4.6772460

Not bad, huh? The final line last week looks like this: 6 Starts – 5 W, 2.47 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 32 Ks in 40 IP.  We nearly doubled our win total on the season. The only weakness we have had this season is the K/9 which sits just over 8.0/9. However, our ERA at 3.02 and WHIP at 1.05 with 15 wins and 224 Ks basically means we have put up 220 IP of Zack Greinke-type quality from our streaming options this year!  Let’s keep rolling with it this week.

Jordan Lyles (SD) 12% Home vs ATL on Tuesday 6/5
Since Acuña has gone down, the Braves don’t seem as dangerous. Albies has finally hit a snag in his incredibly hot start to the season. This start is at home away from Freddie Freeman’s strength when at home. Lyles may be getting a little lucky but he’s increased his curveball and decrease the use of his sinker. Both his curve and fastball are now plus pitches and he’s improved on his swinging strike rate. Getting a W may be tough but, I think he’ll get you solid ratios and around 6 Ks. STREAM

Tyler Mahle (CIN) 10% Home vs COL on Wednesday 6/6
The Rockies on the road are not all that scary, they have a .654 OPS on the road and a 23.4% K rate as a team. However, GAB is also a launching pad. As a prospect, Mahle had great command, so far in the Majors he’s near a 10% BB rate. However, his K rate has improved to 22%. Those still aren’t great numbers and the Rockies have DJ LeMahieu back. The top of the Rockies order concerns me and I doubt Mahle can get through three times without giving up a few runs. I think I just talked myself out of this one so if you’re desperate, give him a shot. But I’m STAYING AWAY

Clay Buchholz (ARI) 13% Away vs SF on Wednesday 6/6
I get it, it’s Clay Buchholz and he’s been extremely lucky in his small sample of 3 starts. But the Giants have a 24.9% K rate and a wOBA of .315 as a team. However, much of that production is tied to Brandon Belt who hit the DL with an emergency appendectomy. Buchholz has actually been missing a decent number of bats and his change up and cutter have registered positive results. I’m not recommending Buchholz long term, but I thought no he can keep the Giants in check in that huge ballpark. The DBacks have picked it up if late offensively, so a cheap win is a good possibility as well. STREAM

Tyler Anderson (COL) 8% vs CIN on Thurs 6/7 or Jason Hammel (KC) 3% vs OAK
I’m going to be honest, I really wanted to find another mid-week streamer but these two are was too volatile. Both pitchers are very homer prone and the teams they are facing can mash. You’re more likely to end up with 6 ER in 4 innings and tie you to the WHIP-ing Post as I like to say than 6 IP of 2 ER ball. STAY AWAY from both

Clayton Richard (SD) 6% Away vs MIA on Sunday 6/10
I bet you didn’t realize that Clayton Richard had a 56.5% ground ball rate and a 20.6% soft contact rate. I also bet you didn’t realize his his SIERA is sub-4.00 and he’s averaging over 6+ inning per start. Clayton has his slider working for him this year and is posting a career low 77.8% contact rate. All these numbers are borderline 12-team owneable. However, you can pick him up for free off waivers against the 28th worst offensive club against lefties. Richard may not pile up the strikeouts, but I think he can go 6-7 IP with 2 ER and a WHIP near 1.00 and a great shot at a W That’s something I can Quality Control. STREAM

Shot in the dark: Jose Urena against the aforementioned San Diego Padres. Urena is better than his number indicate and the Padres are weak. I’m envisioning a pitcher’s duel with Richard in Miami’s pitcher friendly stadium and not a whole lot of hitters to be concerned of. If you’re desperate next Sunday, grab both, you’re sure to get a win and decent ratios.

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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 9

Back for another edition of streamers with candidates in Yahoo/ESPN leagues owned in 25% and under per Now that we are 1/3 of the way through the season, small ample sizes start to go out the window. Last week I had a tough time choosing streamers as the options were limited so I ended up with three pitchers last week: Trevor Cahill, Ross Stripling, and Daniel Mengden. I don’t usually brag but I was more than impressed with the results from these three pitchers. I hope you stuck with me after a tough week 7, but here were the results:

2 Wins, 0.79 ERA, 0.62 WHIP and 18 Ks in 22.3 IP

No, those are not typos, Stripling and Mengden were ridiculous and Cahill fared well above average. I’ve got more options this week, unfortunately Stripling’s ownership has tripled and he’s over 25% owned in most leagues.

Marco Gonzales (SEA) 7% vs TEX at home Monday 5/28 & Home v TB Sunday 6/3
Two starts from Gonzales this week against below average opponents at home. Gonzales had some incredibly unlucky numbers early in the season but he’s started to turn things around in recent weeks. His BABIP is still at .352 so there’s still some regression there. He probably won’t get you a ton of strikeouts but he limits walks and gets a bunch of ground balls. The Rangers offensively ranks 22nd against lefties and has a 26% K rate as a team. The Rays aren’t as inept against lefties but since it’s a home start, I’m rolling with both starts. STREAM x 2.

Caleb Smith (MIA) 25% Away vs SD, Monday 5/28
Another lefty! Smith has seemingly come out of nowhere to become fantasy relevant. His strikeout rate is great, but his walk rate is terrible. I’ve seen him compared to Robbie Ray, so that can be good and bad. The Padres offense ranks 24th against lefties with a near 26% K rate. The Padres have a ton of young, free swingers so I believe Smith will limit walks and pile up the strikeouts. STREAM

Dan Straily (MIA) 6% Away v SD, Tuesday 5/29
Straily somehow has managed a 3.12 ERA to date with a 17% K rate and a 15.8% BB rate. His FIP is an unsightly 6.22 and he’s carrying a .200 BABIP and a 90% LOB. The match-up is good but Straily isn’t missing enough bats and did I mention his 49% hard contact against? No? Well, that’s terrible. This one is too risky, Straily is a ticking time bomb.  I could see Straily giving up 2-3 HR in this one. STAY AWAY.

Daniel Mengden (OAK) 23% v TB, Thursday 5/31
Do you realize Mengden’s ERA is below 3.00 this season? Yeah, pretty crazy. He’s not completely doing it with smoke and mirrors but a 16.2% K rate doesn’t provide much confidence. However, his 2.3% BB rate is pretty fantastic. Plus he has an 80-grade mustache, so there’s that. In all seriousness, Mengden is NOT a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher, he might not even be a sub-4.00 ERA but he’s using his meh stuff at an elite level, if that makes sense. His first pitch strike percentage is great and his secondary stuff is above average. Limiting home runs and walking nobody doesn’t hurt. He’s going to turn into a pumpkin at some point but I’m willing to bet he handles Tampa Bay next week. I’m on board for at least one more. STREAM

Jordan Lyles (SD) 19% Home vs MIA, Thursday 5/31
The Miami Marlins are hitting .230 as a team with a pathetic .112 ISO and a league worst .284 wOBA! That’s like rolling out an entire team comprised of Alcides Escobars. Yes, Jordan Lyles has a 5.34 career ERA but he was very young with the Astros and also pitched in Colorado. Let’s not hold that against the 27-year-old. This year, he’s got decent strikeout and walk rates but has been very lucky in terms of BABIP. He does give up too many fly balls but has career highs in SwStr, F-Strike%, and Z-Contact. I’m not buying into Lyles as a 12-team viable starts but in 15+ team leagues, I’d own him. For this start against the Marlins, I’d be all over it. STREAM

Trevor Cahill (OAK) 23% vs KC, Friday, June 1
Let’s see how many Oakland and Miami starters we can get on this list! Look, they both have soft AF schedules while the Astros test their skills against the Yankees and Red Sox, the Athletics get to feast on the Rays and Royals. The issue I’m having with Cahill is the Royals don’t strike out. As a team, their collective K rate is under 19%, which is 0.6% less than the next lowest team (the Pirates). The Royals also don’t walk and are in the bottom 10 in wOBA. Cahill is getting ground balls 60% of the time and his change and sinker have been decent. Hitters are chasing and he’s getting swings and misses. I like Cahill to go 6 IP with a handful of Ks and a bunch of ground outs. I’d STREAM

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