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 FantasyPros.com 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 – Week 9

Back for another edition of streamers with candidates in Yahoo/ESPN leagues owned in 25% and under per FantasyPros.com. 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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Starting Pitchers to Stream 5/21 – 5/27

Another dominate start from Pivetta going 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 11K. I believe I’ve streamed him three times, but safe to say he won’t drop below the 25% threshold for the rest of the season. He’s needs to be much closer to 100% owned. Some good, some bad last week but we still Anderson going today against the Giants today so hopefully we can grab a third win this week. So far here are the numbers this past week: 2 W, 4.13 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 31 K in 28 ⅓ IP. Kind of meh, but the strikeouts are nice. Here’s the season stats thus far on the streamers I’ve selected:

8 W, 3.26 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 170 K in 179 ⅔ IP; now those are solid, stick with the plan. Ok, let’s get to the streamers for 5/21 through 5/27.

Trevor Cahill (OAK) 15% Home vs SEA Tuesday 5/22
Cahill returned from the DL last week after missing only one start and performed better than expected against the Boston Betts. He gets a Cano-less Mariners and Cruz has been banged up as well. The lineup is actually still solid with Seager, Healy and Segura hitting well but I like what Cahill is doing by throwing more change-ups and throwing less sinkers. His change-up is his best pitch, it’s allowing only a 0.091 batting average with a 45% whiff rate. He’s getting even more ground balls than last year and as long as he doesn’t elevate his sinker, he should go 6-7 innings with a strikeout per inning and good ratios. STREAM

Vincent Velasquez (PHI) 19% Home vs ATL Tuesday 5/22
So VV allowed a couple of home runs in his last outing but he also struck out 12! His best pitch is his fastball but he can get whiffs on just about all of his pitches. The dilemma with Velasquez is if the fastball is off, it’s really off. He’s already given up 6 home runs off the pitch but an average exit velocity against of only 88 mph. He’s already seen the Braves twice and hasn’t fared well at home. I get that he could rip off 10 Ks and a win, but I don’t think he’s worth the risk against the many very good Braves hitters. STAY AWAY

Luiz Gohara (ATL) 7% Away vs PHI Wednesday 5/23
With Soroka going on the DL, the Braves are giving Gohara a spot start. I liked Gohara coming into the year but the ankle injury prevented a rotation spot to start the season. Gohara has been used out of the pen and will face a Phillies offense on the road this week. His slider is great and he throws his fastball at 94-95 mph. He was stretched out to start in the minors but hasn’t started a game in over 2 weeks. His slider usage out of the pen has been 50% and I don’t see that happening in this start. I see limited upside in this one with a 5 inning maximum. I’m playing it safe for this start and STAYING AWAY. Note: I do like Gohara long term, keep an eye on him, if he gets more regular starts, I’d scoop him up.

Ross Stripling (LAD) 6% Home vs SD Friday 5/25
Well Rich Hill is out again (surprise)! He left after throwing only two pitches in Friday’s start, so it’s clear that Stripling will remain in the rotation, especially after dominating the Nationals with 1 ER and 9 Ks in 6 IP. How has he been so successful? Well his slider is very good and his change and curve have also registered as plus pitches. He throws those three pitches 63% of the time. He’s only had 3 ball barreled against him this year and an avg exit velocity against of 84 mph! He’s also possesses good control and a solid ground ball rate. Throw in a home start against a poor Padres team and boom, easy street. Stripling is my stream of the week STREEEEEEAM!

Daniel Mengden (OAK) 8% Home vs ARI Saturday May 26
Mengden has been a solid if unspectacular streamer thus far and has only given up 4 ER in his last three starts. It’s not like he’s doing it against cupcakes either, he’s faced Boston, Houston, and the Orioles. He doesn’t get a ton of strikeouts and his fastball isn’t good. He does do a great job with his off-speed and breaking pitches keeping hitters off balance. I’d like to see the fastball usage go below 50% but we are talking about a pitcher owned in less than 10% of leagues. I like the home start against the Diamondbacks without their best hitter in Pollock (yeah I said it). If he keeps the ball in the yard he could go 7 or more innings with decent ratios. STREAM.

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Week 5 Starting Pitcher Streaming Options 4/30 – 5/6

As we continue to search for starting pitchers to stream, the player pool starts to get thin. We are entering week 5 of the MLB season so there’s a decent sample from pitchers and the cream always rises to the top. Keep in mind these are all pitchers who are owned in 25% or less of Yahoo & ESPN leagues per FantasyPros. Last week Tyler Anderson left after 1.1 IP in his start, so we ended up with limited streams. My streaming picks last week went

0 W 3.44 ERA 1.20 WHIP 15 K in 18 1/3 IP; more solid ratios, limited wins

Kyle Gibson (MIN) 9% at home vs TOR on 5/1
Kyle Gibson is good you guys. That’s something I never thought I’d say. Gibson sports a cool 10.0 K/9 which is supported by a very good 13% SwStr rate. While the walks are high, they haven’t hurt him because he’s given up only one home run all season. All of Gibson’s secondary pitches (slider, change, curve) have yielded plus pitch values on FanGraphs. He also gets to pitch at home against the Donaldson-less Blue Jays who sport a 25.5% K rate as a team. It’s Gib-SON. STREAM

Andrew Triggs (OAK) 6%  on the road vs SEA on 5/1
Triggs has performed well thus far, he’s soft tosser (90 mph FB) with a sinker, curve/slider, and a change. He induces a high amount of grounders and will face a fully healthy Mariners club. It’s an underrated lineup filled with veterans and some solid left handed hitters (Cano, Seager, and Gordon). Triggs typically doesn’t miss many bats but his 9.0 K/9 says otherwise. However, looking deeper, the 8.4% swinging strike rate and 93.9% zone contact rate tell me that he’s due for regression. I don’t usually rely on batter v pitcher numbers, but in 10 plate appearances, Cruz and Cano have a combined  for 6 hits and 3 HRs against Triggs and Seattle as a team has hit .426 against the righty. STAY AWAY

Sean Newcomb (ATL) 22% away vs NYM Tuesday 5/1
Newcomb has upside in terms of strikeouts for a streamer but also has blowup potential due to his elevated walk rate. The Mets have a 27.4% strikeout rate as a team! He’s also been a bit unlucky with his .343 BABIP and a sub 70% LOB rate. He’s been inducing more ground balls this year limiting the potential for home runs. STREAM, but only if you need strikeouts.

Yonny Chirinos (TB) 6% Home/Away vs Blue Jays on 5/4
Can I forgive Yonny for another rough start this week? Maybe, let’s see. He’s getting lucky with a .250 BABIP and and 80% left on base rate. I love a guy who doesn’t give free passes but a 43% hard contact rate against with a sub 8.0% HR/FB rate does not compute. Toronto isn’t all that scary, especially at the Trop, but Chirinos will be limited to 80-85 pitches so a win and high strikeout totals will be difficult. The chances of a 3-4 inning blow up are higher than a gem, I’m passing. STAY AWAY

Marco Gonzalez (SEA) 6% Home vs LAA on 5/5
Can Marco contain the LA Trouts? The former highly touted prospect is off to a poor start based on his surface numbers: 5.56 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. However, an insanely high .422 BABIP with a 64% LOB rate tells me there’s some positive regression coming. His 10.7 K/9 is great but combined with a 2.48 BB/9 is excellent. (FYI excellent is better than great IMO). It’s a tough task but the Angels will strikeout and Gonzalez doesn’t give up a lot of fly balls. That, combined with limiting walks should yield positive results. I’m good with streaming Marco. STREAM.

Trevor Cahill (OAK) 9% Home v BAL on 5/5
It’s 2017 all over again. Cahill is mowing down batters with a K rate that sits at 10.5 K/9 through two starts. The long reliever/short starter is sure to burn out by mid-July, but he’s fresh now and I like the way he’s getting the job done. The Machad-Os are struggling. Yes, they get Schoop back, but he may be cold as he’s been out for three weeks. Cahill isn’t concerned because he’s got his ground and pound approach going to the tune of 60% ground ball rate. You see that 15% SwStr rate? Yes, yes I do. STREAM

Marco Estrada (TOR) 20% of the road vs TB on 5/6
I’m not starting Estrada against the Twins on Tuesday, it’s a bad match-up, the Twins are sneaky good. If he gets a second start this week, it’ll come on Sunday against the Rays. Estrada has always suppressed BABIP evidenced by a career .264 BABIP. He does this by being an extreme fly ball pitcher inducing a ton of popups and weak contact. There’s also a home run risk with Estrada, but the Rays don’t concern me, the lineup is it good. STREAM

Week 4 SP Streaming Options 4/23 – 4/29

Ended up with some solid streams last week with a final line of:

2 Wins 2.92 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 28 K in 31 1/3 innings

Let’s keep it going this week.

Trevor Cahill (OAK) 1% 4/23 on the road v TEX
I would have preferred that this one was is Oakland but Rangers are a big swing and miss team and haven’t hit their stride yet offensively.  Cahill looked good in his first start and his fastball velocity was over 93 mph along with an increased curveball usage (which is his best pitch). Maybe he can capture some early season success similar to last year. STREAM

Matt Boyd (DET) 6% 4/25 road  v PIT
The fact that this is on the road doesn’t bother me. PNC Park is a fine pitchers park and Boyd should face the pitcher at least twice instead of the DH. However, Boyd is a lefty and many of the Pirates best hitters are right handed or switch hitters. Boyd sports a 5.1 K/9, a 98% left on base percentage, and a .132 BABIP. I’m betting on shit going sideways in this one. STAY AWAY

Chad Kuhl (PIT) 3% 4/24 at home v DET
My love/hate relationship continues with Kuhl. He throws 96 mph with a very good slider. Except he’s throwing that slider less. Hmmm, that’s odd. He’s been hurt by a .371 BABIP but he also isn’t getting many whiffs or hitters to chase. I can’t recommend Kuhl against the Tigers. They aren’t scary but have some professional hitters that I believe will get to Kuhl knocking him out early in this one. STAY AWAY

Ivan Nova (PIT) 25% 4/26 home v DET
Seems like I’m picking on the Tigers this week. They have been heating up recently, so it might not be the cake walk most think. However, Nova has been solid over his last several starts going at least 6 innings with 3 runs or less in his last three while striking out an uncharacteristic 18 batters in just over 19 innings. His ground ball tendencies should hold up against the mostly weak hitting Tigers. The fact that the best hitters on the Tigers are right handed lies in Nova’s favor. STREAM

Tyler Anderson (COL) 3% 4/27 road v Mia
I’m not a fan of Tyler Anderson but a road start against the Marlins changes that. Anderson pitched well at home against the Cubs on Saturday, maybe he can carry it into this start. He’s inducing a lot of swings and misses which appears to be more smoke and mirrors. This one is risky especially if his control is bad. With warmer weather, I think his control will be better, I’m rolling with one. STREAM

Zack Wheeler (NYM) 22% 4/28 road v SD
The Mets have moved Harvey to the bullpen meaning Wheeler has a shot at staying in the rotation for the time being. Wheeler’s velocity looks good in his first 2 starts. He’s dropped the sinker and his slider is still a good pitch. I like his chances against a young inexperienced Padres team. STREAM