Starting Pitchers to Stream: Giolito-bit of Matz-uration

Last week went really well and if you were able to grab the streamers I laid out last week, you may have just won your week. I received some comments about posting my previous week’s results, and I was doing that but I’ve just fallen behind. I’ll try to get them posted from here on out. I’ll also post all my streamer’s results for the entire season to see where we stand at the end of this month. Anyways, here was last week’s picks.

Name Date Opponent IP H BB ER K W
Joey Lucchesi 8/29 SEA 6.67 6 2 1 9 1
Matt Boyd 8/28 @KC 6 7 3 5 4 0
John Gant 8/30 PIT 5.67 3 3 0 6 1
Austin Gomber 8/31 CIN 7 10 0 2 3 1
Andrew Suarez 8/31 NYM 7 2 0 0 5 1
Steven Matz 9/1 @SF 7 3 1 1 11 0
TOTALS 39.34 31 9 9 38 4

If it weren’t for Boyd, it may have been the perfect week. Even still, we posted a 2.06 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP with 4 wins (out of 6 starts) and nearly a strikeout per inning. Gonna be tough to top that but there are a shit-ton of streaming options this seek under 25% owned and I don’t even discuss Lucchesi and Gomber who just missed the cut.

Adam Plutko (CLE) 3% owned, home vs KC, Monday, 9/3
Plutko isn’t a great pitcher but he does get to face the Royals at home. The Royals are terrible, right? Well, actually they are 10th in terms of wOBA in the last 30 days at .315 and they 5th in the league in combined HR + SB in that span. Plutko is an extreme flyball pitcher at 56% and has limited strikeout upside. A win is certainly possible with the elite offense of the Indians but Plutko has limited upside with strikeouts and ratios. I’m passing, STAY AWAY

Lucas Giolito (CHW) 22% owned, home vs DET, Tuesday, 9/4
Don’t laugh you guys!. Giolito has got it going on recently. His fastball velocity is up and his location is better. His changeup is probably his best pitch, so he’s subscribing to the fastballs up, offspeed down approach and finally having success. He gets the Tigers at home who are 28th in MLB in wOBA as .291 in the last 30 days. In that time, the Tigers are hitting .237 as a team with a 22.1% K rate and a below-average 7% walk rate. I’m a Giolito-bit excited about this one. Go ahead and STREAM

Dan Straily (MIA) 5% Home vs PHI, Wednesday 9/5
I thought long and hard about Glasnow but he’s got the Blue Jays in Toronto who rank in the top 5 offensively this past month. If you need strikeout upside and can sacrifice ratios, you can try Glasnow. Straily, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same upside as Glasnow but he gets the Phillies who are really struggling offensively with a 23% K rate and a .302 wOBA in August. Straily is known to give up the gopher ball but he hasn’t given one up in his last two starts and only 2 HR given up in his last five starts total. Straily, not surprising is also better at home and has been able to get more strikeouts in Miami. I expect Straily to continue on this mini-roll at least for one more start. STREAM

Steven Matz (NYM), 14% owned at Home vs PHI, Friday 9/7
Matz’ ownership should skyrocket after last night’s gem against the Giants where, as you can see above, dominated them with 11 Ks and only 1 ER. The Giants are terrible, but the Phillies aren’t that much better ranked 23rd in wOBA in the last 30 days with a 23% K rate that falls in the bottom six in MLB. What has changed with Matz? In his last 3 starts, he’s thrown his slider about 10% more and his change 5% more. Those are his two pitches and he’s getting a ton more swings and misses because of it. I think he keeps it going against the Phils. STREAM

Wei-Yin Chen (MIA) 6% owned Away vs PIT, Friday, 9/7
You guys, how is Chen only 6% owned? This confirms that over 50% of leagues are dead. Can we talk about how good he’s been in the last month? Here it is, 3 wins, 1.44 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 30 strikeouts in 31.1 IP. Yup. Of course, I’d prefer this game at home but PNC isn’t much of a hitter’s upgrade over Marlins Park. Oh, and the Pirates are bad. They are 26th in wOBA in the last month and only the Giants and Rays have hit fewer home runs in that span. The walks are up for Chen on the season but it’s down to a more Chen-like 6.8% walk rate in his last 8 starts. I’m all in STREAM

Matt Harvey (CIN) 17% owned @DET, Saturday 9/8
Matt Harvey has had a pretty eventful year and he gets the Tigers outside of Great American Ballpark. Then again, it’s Matt Harvey. However, since 7/28 Harvey has posted a  22.1% K rate and a 5.2% BB rate which is solid even if his ERA and WHIP don’t show it. An elevated BABIP has skewed the ratios a bit. In that timeframe, he’s also inducing 24% soft contact. I discussed how bad the Tigers have been in my Giolito blurb so I won’t do it again. There’s some risk here because Harvey typically goes only 5 or 6 innings but I’m rolling with Harvey in 14-team and deeper leagues. STREAM

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Fantasy Baseball Weekly Rundown: 4/28 – 5/5

I don’t want to keep writing about Mookie Betts every week because we know how good he is and he continues to embarrass Major League pitching. I’m just kidding, I love writing about Mookie, he’s the Betts! Sorry about that, but his OPS is over 2.0 this past week, and on the season he leads the league in AVG, HR, Runs, ISO, wOBA, OPS, WAR, saving 3rd World Countries, etc. His batting average is higher than his BABIP, .363 BA with a .313 BABIP, LOL. So, yeah I “heart” you Mookie.

Meanwhile, A.J. Pollock is doing his thing with five dongs and two steals in the last week+. I actually believe he’s a damn good player and this is his talent level when healthy. The problem is, he’s almost never healthy. That being said, he is healthy and I’m not selling. You likely drafted him after guys like Starling Marte and Elvis Andrus and if he can stay healthy you are looking at a top 25 type season. Something in the vicinity of 30 home runs and 25 steals. HUMIDOR WHAT!

Kevin Pillar has got a nice power/speed stretch going with three homers and two steals this past week. Oh nice, he’s kind of like a poor man’s Pollock. A poor Pollock is that even a thing? I don’t even know and I’m half Polish. This is more or less a hot streak for Pillar. I’d pick him up for now, but I’m not buying him at this level for the rest of the season. He’s going to wear down and go back to his true talent level. That’s ok, the 6 steals could end up around 15-18 with 14-15 homers. That’s a solid forth or fifth OF, so, yes he should be owned in all 12-teamers.

Old Man Nick Markakis is doing something he hasn’t done since his days in Baltimore. He’s hitting .458 with three home runs in the last seven days and has six dingers on the year after only having eight in all of 2017. It took Markakis until August to hit his sixth homer in 2017. I checked his batted ball profile along with xStats, and if you’re wondering, no, this will not last. He has however improved his plate discipline and should be a good source of AVG and OBP (for those leagues) and should be hitting in a good spot in one of the most exciting lineups in the league. He still likely ends up around .285/.360 with 12-14 homers, no speed but probably around 85+ RBI.

Dee Gordon is hitting a crazy .630 with five steals over the last week and has taken over the league lead in steals with 14. This is what Dee does, he steals bases. Any concerns about slowing down went out the window but his .415 BABIP won’t last. Yeah, he’s a .340 BABIP guy. Ok, so he’s basically a .290 hitter with 55-60 steals. Oh, that’s exactly what I projected him for this offseason. Great!

Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor started slow this year and fantasy owners were worried. What are their numbers now?  Ramirez is hitting .293 with 9 HR and 3 steals and is walking more than he’s striking out; Lindor is hitting .283 with 7 HR and 5 steals. Sounds like they are both going to be just fine. Everyone relax.

Quick hit: Eugenio Suarez came back from a fractured thumb in like 3 weeks! How? I don’t know but It doesn’t matter, he’s killing it with 2 HR and 12 RBI in the last 7 days. He’s now got 4 HR, 20 RBI and hitting over .300 in only 16 games. He shouldn’t be available but I’m buying his breakout.

FREEZING HITTERS
Kris Bryant and his dreamy blue eyes is 4 for his last 23. He does have a homer but to be honest, it was wind aided and was 2 rows deep at Wrigley. What’s interesting is that KB has reduced his strikeout rate and SwStr for the fourth straight year. That’s good but his FB% and launch angle are down. If you were expecting 40 HR from KB, you’re going to be disappointed. He’s more of a 25-30 HR hitter but he might hit .300, so that’s something, right?

This is the Cubs portion of the article; Javy Baez is hitting .200 in the last seven days with no homers. He has managed one steal so maybe he can weather these slumps by stealing bases. Doubtful, the Cubs are next to last in steals as a team. But he’s walking more, nope. I said this before, he had as many IBB as BB in 2017 because he hit in front of the pitcher. If he’s hitting higher in the order it’s good for his counting stats but bad for his OBP. Maddon has already moved him down after one bad week, so who knows what to expect. He’s still swinging out of the zone just as much and missing nearly the same as 2017. I’d be selling Baez and would have done it two weeks ago.

Paul DeJong is 3 for his last 16 with no homers,one run and no RBI in the last seven days. At least he’s but his K rate down to 31.7% though, right? This is the real Paul DeJong. The power is legit, but he’s going to have a lot more stretches like this one with a few hot streaks in between. They will very few and far between. I’m not buying DeJong, I’d be selling.

Rhys Hoskins was looking like a God among men through his first 70 or so games in the Majors. However, his line over the last week looks like this .083 with no homers, 1 R, 1 RBI, and an astonishing 11 strikeouts! This is just a slump, he’s still walking at just under 20%. If you thought Hoskins was going to turn into a .300 40 110 hitter in his first full season, then you will be disappointed. I think he could be that at his peak, but right now he hits too many fly balls to hit for a very high average. He’s more of a .260 hitter with 30+ homer power and great on base skills. I’d buy if someone is jumping ship.

HOT PITCHERS
Nick Kingham crowned as this week’s rundown pitcher of the week. I’m sorry, that was lame. Kingham ruled his opponents this week. I’ll let myself out.  2 starts with 16 Ks, 4 ER and 2 W this past week. Another Tommy John Surgery pitcher for the Pirates to ruin. His slider has been reinvented which means he’s got 3 plus pitches. He looks like the real deal. He’s not going to over power hitters but mixes in his secondary pitches very well. If it wasn’t for the 2-run jack by Domingo Santana in his last start, he’s would have completed another gem. I’m buying Kingham in all 12 team leagues and deeper.

Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole are my fifth and sixth best SPs right now. It’s way too late to buy Gerrit Cole but I believe in his stuff this year. The Pirates have got to be kicking themselves right now for not letting Cole use pine tar while pitching. LOL, I’m JK, right Tyler Bauer? Anyways, he’s got 77 strike out against 9 walks! He’s going to be very good this year but the high launch angle (18 degrees) and hard hit rate of 38% could create a few blowups in the future. Although when you strikeout everyone, does it matter? Sevy while not an dominant has given up an average launch angle of only 5.8 degrees and backs it up with a 52% ground ball rate. He’s got the safer floor than Cole by limiting home runs and keeping the ball on the ground.

Blake Snell’s like teen spirit is on a roll! I wrote that sleeper post back in December. He hasn’t given up more than 2 ER in a single start since his 2nd start of the season against the Yanks. He’s keeping his walks way down and finally missing bats like he was in the minors. You are witnessing Snell’s breakout and it Snells damn good! I’m buying him as a borderline top 30 SP. If an owner isn’t as fond of him, make an offer for him.

Sean Newcomb has put together a couple of very good starts. He’s kind of like Blake Snell back in 2017 but with more strikeout upside. He’s always had great stuff and high swing and miss numbers but his control has historically been bad. Well, he’s only walked 2 batters and struck out 16 in his last two starts. I like this kid and I’d be buying in 12 team and deeper leagues. His Zone% is up 3% so if he can keep the walks down, he’ll be very valuable. Expect some 4 IP 5 ER with 4 or 5 walk games but the good should out weight the bad.

Freezing Hurlers
David Price’s struggles hit a climax (and not in a good way) on Thursday night. He’s given up 12 ER and 19 base runners in his last 9 ⅓ innings. What’s up David? Do we need to get Dennis Eckersley to take trash about you again? I’m beginning to think Price’s best days are behind him. His average FB velocity is around 93 mph. Back when he was an ace, he was slinging it between 95 and 97 mph. His secondary offerings are just not that great. Without a dominant fastball you can see his K rate dropping and the walk rate is nearly up to 10%. I’d hold for now, he’s a good veteran pitcher. I want to see a few more starts and how he adjusts.

Carlos Carrasco serving up cookies to opposing batters in his last two starts. Tehehe. Carrasco’s skills all look to be intact. His velocity is fine, his walk rate is good, and his swings and misses are there, but the strikeouts are down (they will come back up). The only change is an increase in fly balls. His launch angle against is up 4 degrees from 2017. Maybe he gives up 2 more HRs than last year, so what. I’m not all that concerned, if a Carrasco owner is selling, I’m buying.

Jason Vargas and Chris Tillman can go back to being ignored in fantasy. Unless you’re stacking hitters against them. I wouldn’t be owning either of these guys or even streaming them. I’d actually be surprised if they are both pitching in the Majors in September this year.

Matt Harvey has been DFAed by the Mets as he refused to be sent to the minors. Wow, that escalated quickly. What a fall from grace for the Dark Knight. Back in 2015 his fastball averaged 96.7 mph and this year he averaged 92.6 mph. Here’s really the only other stat you need to know, in 2015 his xwOBA against was an incredible .255 and this year it’s .400! So basically, he turned every hitter into Alcides Escobar in 2015 and he’s turning everyone into Mike Trout now.