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Starting Pitchers to Stream – Week 2 (4/8-4/14): Fantasy Baseball

My apologies for missing last week, things were hectic to start the season! I’m back and I plan on getting a weekly article out either on Saturday or Sunday for starting pitcher streaming options for the following week. I’ll be using the FantasyPros ownership rate that combines Yahoo and ESPN ownership rates. The threshold for a streamer is 25% owned and under. I did this for the first time all of last year and here’s how I did last season. I love looking back and realizing I streamed Matt Boyd a total of seven times! Overall, he performed well for me and now he’s breaking out this year! No streaming Boyd this year as his ownership has jumped to about 40%, which is far too low. Let’s find out who this year’s Matt Boyd is.

I am hoping to pile up more strikeouts and wins without hurting those ratios. Without further ado, here are my week 2 streamers. Here were last season’s streaming results

IP ERA WHIP K W
Season Totals 666.0 3.57 1.15 615 41

Jordan Zimmerman (SP – DET) – 16% Owned; 4/9 Home vs CLE
I know that I said I wanted more strikeouts in the intro and Zim isn’t going to help there. It’s a long season though fellas. Zimmerman has been lucky with a .184 BABIP and an 87.5% strand rate, so those numbers are clearly going to regress. He is throwing his slider and curveball more frequently while deploying his fastball less often. That’s good because his breaking balls perform much better than his terrible fastball. The Indians have produced the league’s second-lowest offensive production with a .221 wOBA and are striking out over 30% of the time. This seems to be a safe six-inning quality start with 4-5 strikeouts. STREAM

Freddy Peralta (SP – MIL – 25% Owned; 4/9 Away vs LAA
Peralta twirled eight shutout innings with an amazing 11 strikeouts against the Reds in Great American Ballpark no less. I told you in the intro I wanted to seek out more strikeouts this season and early in the year is where I can grab them. His velocity is up about 1.5 MPH which is a big deal since his fastball was sub-92 MPH last year. Peralta has some deception in his delivery and the Angels are not familiar with it. The Angels have only managed to hit five home runs to date and will be without Upton and Ohtani. Feel free to use Peralta in the road here and just hope Trout doesn’t make him pay. STREAM

Trevor Richards (SP – MIA) – 22% Owned; 4/10 @ CIN
Here’s another high-risk, high-reward streamer this week. At some point, the Reds are going to heat up, but let’s hope the weather stays cool and Richards stays red-hot. The Reds are rock bottom in the Majors with a .221 wOBA and a 27.2% K rate. That’s almost like an entire team of Chris Davis’. Richards changeup is arguably one of the best in the game and he’s throwing it 36% of the time. How good is his change? Well, it produced swings outside the zone over 50% of the time with a 36% strikeout rate against in 2018. This isn’t a lock but how many streamers have 10 K upside? STREAM

Frankie Montas (SP – OAK) – 7% Owned; 4/10 @BAL
Montas has bumped up his velocity early on this season and has added a splitter. Montas averaged 98.1 MPH on his fastball in his first two starts and the splitter, on average induces the most swings and misses. Montas has some serious strikeout upside against a Baltimore team that loves to swing and miss. I would prefer this game to be in Oakland but beggars can’t be choosers. My only fear is his control which could mess with his ratios. However, I’ll still gladly take Montas and his 7% ownership rate but don’t expect seven innings. STREAM

Jeff Samardzija (SP – SF) – 5% Owned; 4/11 Home vs COL
Shark is back, well kind of. The Rockies are one of the worst teams offensively on the road. In fact, last year, they produced a 79 wRC+ on the road, that’s 21% below league average. They are just as bad to start this year as well. Couple that with the game being at home in Oracle Park and I just don’t see a poor outing from Samardzija. The problem here is, I don’t see much upside in terms of strikeouts. I’d stream him if you are looking for ratios but not much else.

Michael Pineda (SP – MIN) – 17% Owned; 4/12 @DET
Pineda looks good coming off of Tommy John Surgery and this will be his third start of the season. I’d expect something closer 90-95 pitches and hopefully six innings from the big man. Detriot is going to be a target to stream against and my early research looking at HR Park Factors show that Detroit is not a good park for home runs. I’ve even seen Niko Goodrum hit out of the cleanup spot in one game for the Tigers this past week. Let’s hope this start gives Pineda some confidence going forward in his comeback. STREAM

Domingo German (SP – NYY) 19% Owned; 4/13 vs CHW
When I said I wanted strikeout upside, I meant it! German has control issues and is inconsistent, there’s no doubt about that. His strikeout upside is huge, however. Wait, am I backtracking? The White Sox have had a nice start to the season with a better lineup than appears on paper. Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson have been hot recently and the middle of the order looks a little scary with Jose Abreu and Eloy Jimenez. I fear that lefty power bats, Yonder Alonso, and Daniel Palka could do some damage as well. There’s a ton of strikeout upside here but given his scary walk rates, I’m staying away from German in this one. Yup, I’m backtracking.

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Source: Mark Brown/Getty Images North America)

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Pitching Streamers 9/17 – 9/19 – Right Near Da Beach Boyyyyyyyyyd!

This is only Part 1 of my 2 Part streamer article for next week. I’ll cover Thursday 9/20 through Sunday 9/23 in the next part. I’m trying to cover as many options owned in 25% of leagues or less for the Championship or Semi-Finals. If pitchers like Jake Odorizzi or Derek Holland are available, I’d grab them to stream as well, but they are over 25% owned, so I don’t cover them here. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Joe Musgrove (PIT – RHP), 24% Home vs KC, Monday 9/17
Musgrove is one of many options that’s available near my 25% and just under my threshold. That means you need to grab him now! Wait, let me vet him first. In the last 14 days, the Royals are ranked 6th in wOBA at .331 and are running wild thanks to Merrifield and Mondesi. If you’re wondering, they’ve actually been steady offensively for the last month. The good news is, Musgrove doesn’t give out many free passes. Also, since 8/1 Musgrove has registered about a K per inning but his 13+% swinging strike rate and a 39% O-Swing suggests more strikeouts are coming. I like Musgrove’s upside but the hot-hitting Royals could wreak havoc on Musgrove’s ratios. Take a look at your opponent, if you think you need strikeouts, grab Musgrove. On Monday, it’s too early to take huge risks, this is a moderate pass for me. with upside.

Jordan Zimmerman (DET – RHP), 10% Home vs MIN, Monday 9/17
I’ve been hot and cold with Zimmerman this year. He’s really keeping the walks down but his HR rate is crazy-high at 1.85/9. He’s given up 6 homers in the last three games and his BABIP is under .150 in that span! That’s a recipe for disaster. Since the All-Star break, Zim has served up 16 HR in only 10 starts. You better believe he’s giving up at least two dingers in this one. Even against the Twins who aren’t great offensively, but I don’t want to trust my ratios with Zimmerman in the playoffs. STAY AWAY

Andrew Suarez (SF – LHP), 7% @SD, Monday 9/17
Wow, starting off 0 for 2, that’s not good. The third pitcher I’ll cover for Monday is Andrew Suarez who gets the Padres. The Padres have been better of late thanks to Franmil Reyes and Francisco Mejia, but they have been bad against left-handed pitching with a .302 wOBA. Working in Suarez’s favor is the ground ball tendencies which is at 53%. Suarez is not going to strike many batters out but he does have a good defense behind him to help limit the damage. The Padres have faced Suarez twice earlier this year and failed to do much of anything and he limited them to 2ER or less in both starts. Unfortunately, the Giants likely won’t offer much run support. Suarez does offer a good chance at a QS and good ratios. I think he can manage 4-5 Ks in 6-7 IP, so he is worth a stream in deeper leagues.

Joey Lucchesi (SD – LHP), 24% Home vs SF, Tuesday 9/18
Ok, here we go, my lock of the week. I know I told you to stay away from Joey L. last week and I was mostly right as he struggled a bit vs Seattle. This week, I don’t necessarily care that the Giants have seen Lucchesi before because that was back in April and the Giants are just straight terrible. How bad you ask? The Giants are hitting .204 as a team the last two weeks with a wOBA of .249 and a 31.7% K rate! That’s like facing an entire team of Chris Davis’, Davisi? Actually, Chris Davis has a higher walk rate than the Giant’s 5.7% posted by Giants hitters. OK, enough about how bad the Giants are. Lucchesi has a K/9 over 9.0 and a 3.67 ERA on the season. This should be a 6 inning, 7 K outing for Lucchesi with golden ratios. STREAM

Joe Ross (WAS – RHP), 4% @MIA, Tuesday 9/18
Zero strikeouts, really Joe?!? I know that Ross held the Cubs scoreless in five innings, but how could you not manage one strikeout? Believe it or not, the Cubs have been bad offensively ranking 6th from the bottom in wOBA in the last two weeks and the last month. Do you know who has been worse? The Marlins. In the last two weeks, the Marlins are hitting .211 with a .267 wOBA and a 25% K rate as a team. Good for Ross! One change I noticed in Ross’ repertoire is he’s cut his sinker usage in half compared to last year. That pitch killed him last year. Sure, it’s only one start, but it’s clear to me that he’s moving away from the pitch. Ross has never been an elite swing and miss pitcher but he should provide at least a few Ks in this one. I’m STREAMING Ross here but only for ratios and a W.

Matt Boyd (DET – LHP), 24% Home vs MIN, Wednesday 9/19
Another option that’s right near 25%, but I think Boyd is worth it. The Twins have only been hitting .241 with a .295 wOBA in the last two weeks. Shifting to Boyd, I’ve discussed his elite level slider that ranks in the top 10 per FanGraphs Pitch Value for all sliders thrown. Boyd has also improved his fastball velocity in the second half from about 89 mph to 92-93 mph in recent starts. Not coincidentally, Boyd’s second-half ERA us 3.06 with a strikeout per inning. His fastball has registered positive results in that time frame opposed to slightly below average results in the first half. There’s no reason to think Boyd can’t provide a QS with at least 6 Ks and solid ratios. STREAM

Matt Shoemaker (LAA – RHP), 18% @OAK, Thursday 9/20
Surely a start like this against the red-hot Oakland Athletics isn’t a great idea, right? Well, here’s the thing, Oakland is in the bottom 10 offensively when playing at home. On, the road, they are the best offense in baseball. It’s odd, but it’s true, plus Oakland is a great pitcher’s park. Shoemaker is going up against Edwin Jackson and it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe drops ;).  Shoemaker has only three starts off the DL (fourth coming this weekend), and his strikeout rate is low. However, his contact rate is below 75% with a solid swinging strike rate as well. Oakland can certainly swing and miss quite a bit and I think Shoemaker has more upside in this game than it would appear on paper. In a mid-week battle, Shoemaker is a good option who should be available given the matchup. STREAM

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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



Top Waiver Wire Adds for the Stretch Run



We are approaching the end of July and playoffs in Head-to-Head leagues are just around the corner. Maybe you’re looking for an edge in your Rotisserie league to put you over the top. Either way, I’m taking a look at a collection of hitters and pitchers who may be available on your waiver wire. I’ll cover shallow and deep league adds to put you at an advantage over your league-mates. I’ll look at ownership rates based on FantasyPros.com ESPN/Yahoo combined.

Jesse Winker (CIN) – OF, 39% Owned
I absolutely love Winker’s approach. He’s walking more than he’s striking out and since June 1st no one in Major League Baseball has a higher OBP (.476). His .400 BABIP in that time frame is high, but when you consider his 53% hard contact rate combined with a near 35% line drive rate, it’s justifies an elevated rate. Winker doesn’t provide speed and I wish he’d hit the ball in the air more because a 32% fly ball rate isn’t going to yield more than 20 homers. Either way, he’s a great source of average/OBP, runs, and can provide some pop. Add in all leagues

Rougned Odor (TEX) – 2B, 45% Owned
If you left Odor for dead months ago, I don’t blame you. Early on, Odor somehow looked worse than his did in 2017. There was a time in May where Odor had an infield fly rate of over 35%! At that time, he also had a high quantity of weak ground balls, it was ugly. Since the start of June, he’s cut his IFFB% to a much more reasonable 10%. His hard contact has been sitting around 40% and his zone contact is up around 90%. The results are there as well, he’s hitting .300 with six home runs and seven steals since June 1. Odor is an add in all leagues right now. Add in all leagues

Ketel Marte (ARI) – SS, 22% Owned
Marte basically did nothing the first month and a half like most of the Diamondbacks, but has been solid since. Marte has improved on his O-Swing and currently has a very solid 92% zone contact rate. Since June 1st, Marte turned up the power with 8 HR, 2 steals and a .281 average. His walk rate has also improved and his 43% hard contact rate since the start of June is well above league average. Marte hits too many balls on the ground to have huge power upside but also has more speed than he’s displayed. I love players with high contact rates that have 15-20 HR upside. Grab him for solid average, 5-8 HR and a few steals. Add in 14-team and deeper leagues

Jake Bauers (TB) – 1B, 23% Owned
Bauers is another young hitter with elite plate discipline. These are my kind of players and he’s got above average speed for a first baseman. Bauers is similar to Winker because he squares up a lot balls with a 46% hard contact rate but a low 33% fly ball rate will cap his power. He does strike out a bit more than Winker but it’s still just about league average. Bauers possess above average speed which is rare for 1B eligible players. He profiles as a 15-20 HR hitter with around 10 steals and a .275-.280 average over a full season. He gets a bump in OBP leagues. Add in 12-team and deeper leagues; add in all OBP leagues



Jason Heyward (CHC) – OF, 33% Owned
Yes, I know, it’s Jay-Hey. He hasn’t been fantasy relevant for about 2.5 years and it’s not like he’s killing it this year with only six homers and one steal. However, his .284 average with a .351 OBP are at least helpful in all formats. Plus, he’s hitting .302 with four home runs since June 1. Joe Maddon has even began slotting him the two-hole at times which has boosted his run production. The last two seasons, Heyward averaged 114 runs+RBI, this year he already has 94 runs+RBI, on pace for 150. His strikeout rate is also down to a career low 10.7%, so he’s likely going to keep the batting average steady. He’s still not 12-team viable but in 15 team leagues, he can help in two-three categories. Add in 14-team and deeper leagues

Charlie Culberson (ATL) – SS, 3B, OF, 2% Owned
Culberson has basically been a utility player for the Braves this season managing only 188 plate appearances in 2018. The leg injury to Ozzie Albies has given Culberson the start at second base the last few days but he’s also been used at 3B and the outfield. As the Dog Days of summer start rolling in, Culberson could find a little bit more playing time. Since the start of June Culberson is hitting .303 with 4 homers and 2 steals in only 117 plate appearances. No one is rushing out to get him but if you need depth at MI, CI, or in the outfield in deeper leagues, he’s a good bench guy to grab. Add in deep 15-team and NL Only leagues

Garrett Hampson (COL) – 2B, 5% Owned
The Rockies prospect was called up last week after hitting 8 homers and compiling 33 steals across two levels in 2018. He’s filling in for the injured DJ LeMaheiu but could stay up if he performs well. Hampson has great speed and should continue running in the Majors. He managed to get 51 steals in High-A in 2017 so I wouldn’t be surprised if he swiped eight to ten bags if he remains up with the big club. Hampson is also not a zero in terms of power, especially in Colorado. I’d be very aggressive in adding Hampson in all leagues because of his intriguing upside but understand he could be sent back down in a couple weeks. I’d roll the dice. Add in 12-team and deeper leagues

Pitchers

Shane Bieber (CLE) - SP, 47% Owned
Bieber has been impressive in his short stint in the Majors thus far. He was sent back down during the All-Star break to continue to get work but has since been called back up. He’s been fantastic and has managed a 3.52 ERA with an outrageously inflated .362 BABIP. Bieber has given up a high percentage of hard contact, so a low HR/FB might jump up a bit. That might be OK if the BABIP regresses. Plus, he’s got above average O-Swing, SwStr rate, and contact rate compared to league average. His walk rate sits at a minuscule 4.4%, so free passes are not an issue. I love Bieber, and he’s my top add of this pitching group. Add in all leagues

Kevin Gausman (BAL) - SP, 42% Owned
Gausman continues to be inconsistent but he seems to pull things together in the second half. The timing of this isn't great after the beating by the Red Sox, but Gausman's peripherals look as good as ever. His swings outside the zone sits near 35% and his swinging strike rate is a career high 11.5%. Gausman doesn't give up a ton of hard contact in a year where hard contact is up 3% across the board. Maybe it's the 3.58 career second half ERA with a strikeout rate that's 4% higher after the All-Star break. Either way, he's due some positive regression. Add in 12-team and deeper leagues

Jordan Zimmerman (DET) - SP, 27% Owned
After an awful start to the season, I had all but forgotten about Zimmerman. Prior to this season, he hadn’t provided a K/9 over 6.0 since 2015. That’s trash for fantasy purposes. This year, he’s over 8.0 K/9. He’s lower his fastball and upped his slider usage, which is great. In his last six starts he has a 2.21 ERA with a 30.1 K-BB% and 22% soft contact rate. As long as he keeps throwing the slider over 35%, I recommend him in all leagues.

Dereck Rodriguez (SF) - SP, 25% Owned
Ivan’s son might not play the same position as his Hall-of-Fame Father, but he certainly inherited his cannon for an arm. Rodriguez is another low-strikeout pitcher, which I understand isn't exciting, but that’s where the value is on the waiver wire. Everyone wants the 10 K/9 pitchers, so there’s less available. His best pitch is probably his changeup and his sinker is by far the worst pitch in his arsenal. Rodriguez’s sinker only gets ground balls 45% of the time. Sinker’s typically don;t get swings and misses and D-Rod’s is not different, but they are effective because of the high ground ball rates near 60%. A 45% rate will not cut it. It sounds like I’m talking you out of grabbing Rodriguez, but here’s the thing. Since June 16th, he’s cut his sinker usage and has thrown more change ups. Since then, he has a 1.98 ERA! The trend is getting better as well as his change up usage is over 20% over his last two starts compared to a season low for the sinker.Whew, sorry that was long winded. Either way, he and his pitching coaches are figuring out the combination that works. Go get em in 12-team and deeper leagues

Zack Wheeler (NYM) - SP, 23% Owned
Wheeler is healthy and slinging fastballs around 97 mph and has touched 100 mph several times in recent starts. Wheeler’s 4.44 ERA, 8.89 K/9, and 3.35 BB/9 don’t exactly jump off the page at you, but he’s been better than the numbers indicate. Wheeler is generating a ton weak contact and limits hard contact. He has two plus pitches, his fastball and slider which he throws a combined 77% of the time. He’s also increased his swinging strike rate to an above average 11% and has increased swings outside the zone. Since May 22nd, Wheeler has a 3.63 ERA with a 2.99 BB/9. His SIERA and FIP match his sub-4.00 ERA and I think the best is yet to come with Wheeler. He’s intriguing in most leagues.



Tyler Mahle (CIN) - SP, 17% Owned
Mahle is a young pitcher who has given up quite a few homers but has some decent swing a miss stuff. Since June 1 he sports a 3.78 ERA with nearly a strikeout per inning and his homerun rate is down 0.5 HR/9 from his season rate. Not bad but he still has an elevated walk rate. Mahle is a streamer in 12 team leagues but I'd grab him in 15-team and deeper leagues.

Michael Pineda (MIN) - SP, 1% Owned
Remember Pineada? He used to post great strikeout numbers, walk no one and give up a ton of home runs. Well, he's with the Twins now and is beginning to throw in simulated games. He's scheduled to be back by the start of September and plays in a better pitchers park and doesn't get to face much of the AL East. He's a deep league stash for some strikeout upside. It's risky, but for deep 15+ team leagues, you could do much worse.



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Week 1 Pitchers to Stream (4/2 – 4/8)

Every week I’ll post somewhere between three and five streaming options that are available in at least 75% of leagues using FantasyPros Yahoo/ESPN consensus ownership. I will keep track of the statistics for all my streaming picks to see how well I fared. It’s also fun, so there’s that. I’m calling 4/2 through 4/8 Week 1 since it’s the first full week of games.

4/3: Matt Boyd (DET) Home against the Kansas City Royals (2% owned)
Boyd did have a great 2017 but there was a lot of luck that did not go his way including a .330 BABIP and a 68.7% LOB. He has improved on his SwStr rates and induces a lot of popups and soft contact. Pitching at home, a decent pitcher’s park against one of the worst lineups, I’ll take a chance. I want to see what new pitching coach Chris Bosio can do with some of the Tiger’s pitchers (Norris being another intriguing name). Boyd is left handed and the most dangerous hitters the Royals poses are left handed, so if Boyd can neutralize them, he should have a shot at a quality start and a win. STREAM

4/3: Marco Gonzalez (SEA) Away against the S.F. Giants (4% owned)
High risk, pick here. Coming off Tommy John surgery, so I doubt he goes deep in this one. The Giants don’t strikeout much and are very patient, so they will see a lot of pitches. The park is good, but this one may blow up in your face. It’s a low risk, low reward on this one. The best you can hope for is five to six innings, 2-3 ER, and 4-5 strikeouts. STAY AWAY

4/3: Seth Lugo (NYM) Home against the Philadelphia Phillies (1% owned)
At first, Lugo was my favorite of the group owned under 5%. However, the Phillies roll out a ton of lefties and switch hitters. The good news is, he doesn’t have huge L/R splits and he’s at home where he dominates with a 2.54 career ERA at Citi Field.  Citi Field is known as a great pitcher’s park and Lugo has talent. Unfortunately he’s either been injured or hasn’t been given a chance, maybe this is his shot. STREAM

4/3: Jack Flaherty (STL) Away against the Milwaukee Brewers (12% Owned)
Flaherty may have the best stuff of the group under 255 owned but also is faced with an incredibly tough matchup. I believe he has the highest strikeout upside but could get bombed for 5 ER in 2 innings. Right now, the new Brewers are mashing led by Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, both hitting over .500 to start the season. They have great depth and can throw out a lineup mostly comprised of lefties which could give Flaherty headaches. This one might be too scary to stream. STAY AWAY

4/4: Ivan Nova (PIT) at Home against the Twins (13% owned)
Wow, Nova walked three batters in his first start! He walked three or more batters only three times in 31 starts in 2017. I don’t expect that to happen again, but also don’t expect a lot of Ks either. The Twins do have a few dangerous left handed batters with Logan Morrison, Eddie Rosario, Joe Mauer, and Max Kepler. That’s not exactly a murders row and if Nova keeps the walks down to a minimum a solo homer or two shouldn’t kill him. Expect a quality start with 3-4 strikeouts and a chance for a win. STREAM

4/5 Jordan Zimmermann (DET) Away against the Chicago White Sox  (5% owned)
Zimmerman went six innings and gave up four earned runs in his first start, but it wasn’t all bad. He struck out eight and only walked one batter without allowing a home run. He mostly induced weak contact on his balls in play and now gets to face one of the worst teams offensively at home. I still don’t trust him long term, and the White Sox have been swinging hot bats early. I expect them to cool down a bit and there’s a lot of strikeout potential with the Sox lineup. Roll Zimm out for one more. STREAM.

4/7 Reynaldo Lopez (CWS) Home against the Detroit Tigers (8% owned)
Lopez was slinging it in Spring Training with velocity reading around 97 and 98 mph. His results weren’t great but he’s got a great fastball and a decent change up. The Tigers aren’t exactly scaring anyone this year and while I’d hold off on keeping Lopez, he’s a nice stream this week. At some point, Lopez should tap into his strikeout potential, but for now he just needs to throw strikes and continue to induce weak contact. This one is risky, but if you need a pitcher late in the week this is your guy. STREAM.