Starting Pitchers to Stream -Minor Fiers won’t have you running from the CaHills

Welcome back to another week of SP streaming options that are 25% owned and under per combined ownership. With rosters about to expand, things are going to start getting interesting with quicker hooks and deeper bullpens. Let’s take a look at the pitching options for the upcoming week.

Trevor Cahill (OAK), 21% at Home vs TOR, Tuesday, July 31st
Cahill is healthy at pitching at home against the rebuilding Blue Jays. He’s got an above average K rare and his normally high walk rate sits at league average. Cahill is throwing his change up more than last year and it’s a pretty incredible pitch. It gets swings outside the zone 50% of the time and has a swinging strike rate of 25%! Between that pitch and the sinker, he’s getting over 60% ground balls. I like Cahill to keep the power dependent Blue Jays in check at home while piling up some strikeouts. STREAM

James Shields (CWS), 8% at Home vs KC, Tuesday, July 31st
Oh boy, here we go! I’ve avoided Big-Lame James like the plague the last few years. While Shields isn’t pitching well, he’s throwing his change up more and fastball less, which is good. His K rate is low but his swinging strike rate is identical to last year and he no longer has a major gopher ball issue. In fact, since July 1st, his K/9 is 9.3! He gets to face the Royals at home who just traded their best hitter, Mike Moustakas to the Brewers. In the last 30 days, the Royals have a 25% K rate and a 6% walk rate which ranks 27th and 30th, respectively. This could blow up in my face but if there’s ever a chance to stream Shields, it’s this start. STREAM with caution.

Nick Tropeano (LAA), 3% on the Road vs TB, Wednesday, August 1st
Tropeano has some real gophoritis going on with a 1.93 HR/9 this year. In his last start, on Thursday against the White Sox, he had one of the most amazing stat-lines – 6.1 IP 5 H, 5 ER, 5 HR, 2 BB, 7 K. Yup, his BABIP was .000 and he gave up 5 solo homers but still managed to strikeout 7. That was his second start off the DL, so what should we expect this time? Who knows, because he’s getting a lot of swings and misses but has some issues with control and hard contact. I think the risk is just too high with Trop this week but if you’re desperate, I could see a high K outing with decent ratios, you just have to squint really hard to see it. I’m staying away

Mike Fiers (DET), 20% on the Road vs OAK, Friday, August 3rd
Mike has been on Fiers lately, am-I-right? Since  June 9th, he’s sporting a 2.70 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and while the Ks are low, his BB% is only 5.6% in that time frame. Fiers is kind of a junkballer and he’s doubled the use of his cutter this year which has proven to be his best pitch per FanGraphs pitch value. Other than that, he’s basically the same pitcher he’s always been, so not all that exciting. Here’s what is exciting though, the Athletics have a wOBA of .295 at home this season as a team which ranks 28th in all of baseball. Yes, their park is brutal, for a team that hits so many home runs, they rank 24th in home runs while at home as opposed to FIRST, yes first, when on the road. They have hit 96 HR on the road and 46 at home. There’s enough of a spark here for me to give Fiers a shot, I’m STREAMing

Mike Minor (TEX), 9% Home vs BAL, Saturday, August 4th
Minor is coming off an impressive start against the Astros today. Well, technically the game isn’t over but he’s managed just 2 hits and 1 run with 7 strikeouts in just under 5 IP. So, regardless of the result, he’s done well. And let’s face it, the Machado-less Orioles are not good and are especially bad away from Camden Yards. As a team, they rank 29th in both wOBA and strikeouts. That’s a recipe for success for Mr. Minor. Unfortunately, Minor’s velocity is down as a starter this year, so his margin for error is slim. However, since the middle of June, Minor has a 3.46 ERA and his HR/FB is at a somewhat respectable 11.8%. The strikeout improvement against Houston shows me that he could easily get a K per inning against the Oriole and I like his chances at a win. STREAM.

Yonny Chirinos (TB), 1% at Home vs CHW, Friday or Saturday, August 3rd or 4th
Yes, Yonny is back! Chirinos had a decent run early in the season and is back in the rotation after Nathan Eovaldi and Matt Andreise have been traded. There’s also talk that Chris Archer could also be on the move. With Snell on the DL, what are they going to do, a bullpen game every day? Anyways, Chirinos pitched well against the Yankees earlier this week and struggled against the Orioles today, go figure. I think Chirinos has good stuff and and his sinker induces a lot ground balls. The last time Chirinos faced the White Sox, he went 5.1 scoreless with 5 Ks and 5 base runners. That start was in Guaranteed Rate and this one is at home where I think he can go 6 IP with a K per inning. STREAM.

Starting Pitchers to Stream – YEAH BOOOOOOYD!

After a week off due to the All-Star break, I’m back to continue with streaming options for the upcoming week, 7/23 – 7/29. I’m planning on putting together a waiver wire article next week in this site and also one over at TheSportsDegens.

Also, check out my most recent deep dive article up later today on There’s some great stuff on this site, give it a click.

Felix Pena (LAA) Home vs CHW, Tuesday, July 24th
The 28-year-old rookie has looked sharp for the Angels who have once again been decimated with injuries to their pitch by staff. Pena is an interesting option, he started throwing a sinker which has generated a lot of ground balls and that’s something previously he was unable to do. The problem is, it’s not a good pitch and has a high HR/FB rate against it. His slider on the other hand, is almost unhittable. He’s getting swings outside the zone over 40% and swing and misses about 25% of the time. That’s helped him get a 28% K-rate on the season. If he throws the slider around 40%, it means he’s getting ahead of hitters and against the White Sox, he might get 8-10 strikeouts. If he’s not throwing it much, it’s probably a bad sign. I’m rolling the dice here. STREAM

Ryan Borucki (TOR) – 4%, Home vs MIN, Tuesday July 24th
Oh hey look, another rookie pitcher! Borucki has not yet been confirmed to start Tuesday, so keep an eye out. Borucki doesn’t have overpowering stuff, his fastball sits around 92-93 mph and he throws it over 60% of the time. I’m actually more concerned that this start would be at home and I think the Twins can take advantage of hitting in a better park. The Twins are right in the middle of the pack in terms of wOBA over the past month and are 10th overall in K%-BB%.  I’m not sure I love the heavy fastball approach, something I believe the Twins will exploit. I’m Staying Away here.

Matt Boyd (DET) – 7%, Away vs KC Wednesday, July 25th
Boyd finally turned a great start on Friday night against the Red Sox of all teams. I think he can carry that confidence into Kauffman Stadium against Royals who have the worst strikeout rate in the league since June 15th. They have also hit only 18 home runs in that span. Boyd has been better than his numbers indicate and his slider has been fantastic. The increased usage of his slider has induced more whiffs and upped his K rate. Boyd should handle the Royals for 6 or 7 good innings with a K per inning. STREAM

Nick Kingham (PIT) – 14%, Home vs NYM, Thursday, July 26th
Kingham is a guy I’d grab right now and not just stream, but hold. Kingham’s elevated ERA is due to a high home run rate which should drop quite a bit. His walks are low and his K rate is solid. He gets Mets at home which should be a pretty easy quality start with 6+ Ks and a good shot at a win. The Mets are in the bottom six in wOBA the past month and are striking out over 23% of the time team. STREAM

Nick Tropeano (LAA) – 2%, Home vs CHW, Thursday, July 26th
The White Sox are bad, we all know this. Apparently, their approach as a team is to swing at everything because they are striking out at a 25% clip and walking less than 6% of the time in the past month. Tropeano looked OK in his first start off the DL but he’s been prone to some short outings due to his poor control. He’s also been giving up a ton of contact in the air and as a result has allowed 9 HR in only 59 IP. I’m a little bit worried that Trop (yeah I called his Trop) goes less than 5 IP which makes his start almost useless, especially if he gives up a home run or two. The risk is just too high with Trop until I see a little bit more. I’m Staying Away.

Clay Buchholz (ARI) – 17%, Away vs SD, Sunday, July 29th
This will be Buchholz’s second start off the disabled list, the first of which will come against the Cubs. In no way am I starting him there but he should be widely available for his second start on Sunday against the Padres. In the last 30 days, the Padres have had a wOBA of only .294. The Padres strikeout nearly 25% of the time and are also bottom five in terms of run production at home. Buchholz has been fortunate with a low BABIP and I don’t expect him to keep a sub-3.00 ERA this season. That being said, Buchholz throws five pitches, each thrown over 15% of the time and should keep the Padres off balance three times through the order. I see a decent start from Buchholz with a cheap win. STREAM

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