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 2/3 – Pitchers to Stream (4/9 – 4/15)

Last week was kind of a mixed bag in terms of streamers. I did not receive a single win and the strikeout numbers were low. The WHIP somehow managed below 1.00 and the ERA was over 4! It really was the Reynaldo Lopez show who of course I’m streaming again this week until his ownership goes over 25%. I suspect that to happen by week’s end. The final numbers from last week:

0 W 4.56 ERA 0.98 WHIP 19 K, 3 QS in 5 starts

I’m try to do better this week looking at more strikeout upside and hopefully a couple wins. Here are my streaming options for 4/9-4/15.

Jakob Junis (KC), 24% 4/9 Home v Sea
No Nelson Cruz or Mike Zunino which is good. Junis will still have to deal with hot hitting Cano among other left hand hitters Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager. However, without Cruz, the Seattle lineup just isn’t all that scary. I like that the game is in Kansas City which is not only a pitcher’s park but the weather is going to be in the low 40s so again, favor Junis. STREAM

Nick Pivetta (PHI), 5% 4/11 Home v CIN
Yup, Nicky P is legit. 12 strikeouts in 9 ⅔ innings against only 2 walks. He’s given up 9 hits but that’s fueled by am inflated .375 BABIP. I don’t love his home park and the Reds have some hitters that can take him deep but they also have a ton of free swingers. Now that Suarez is hurt (who I believe is their second best hitter), I’m not concerned outside of Joey Votto. The weather should be cool, so that should keep the ball in the yard and it’s not like Pivetta has given up much hard contact thus far, under 21%. STREAM

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD), 10% 4/11 Home v OAK
Ryu had a rough first start lasting only 3 ⅔ innings, striking out 2 and walking 5 batters. This is a home start against the Athletics who were just mowed down by Babe Ohtani. Ryu is no Ohtani though. The Athletics have a ton swing and miss in their game but also a ton of power. Much of it from the right side except for Olson. Ryu isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, so I’m concerned that if he can’t get his walks under control he’s going to pay against the As. He gives up a lot of hard contact and home runs have been an issue in the past. I can see a blow up with a couple of HRs given up with men on base. STAY AWAY

Chris Stratton (SF) 4/12 3% v SD on the road
Stratton is destined to be a streamer all year long. The positives with Stratton: great home park, limits homeruns (yes that’s a skill to a certain extent), and he’s improved his velocity. Negatives: Limited strikeout upside, control is average, and the Giants aren’t very good. I understand that the Padres aren’t good but the ballpark is actually a better park than AT&T Park. Stratton has limited homers more at home than on the road, so this makes sense. I need to see more from Stratton. This has the makings of a 5 IP, 5 hits, 3 BB, 3 ER, 3 K type start. STAY AWAY

Chad Kuhl (PIT) 4/13 4% v MIA on the road
Kuhl is one of my sleepers coming into 2018. He’s got good stuff along with a 96 mph fastball. He really just needs to execute to be successful. So far after two starts, he’s got a K rate over 9.0 and a walk rate at 2.5/9. He’s been a little unlucky in terms of BABIP against at .375 due to an unsustainable 37.5% line drive rate. I don’t love Kuhl’s pitch mix so far (more sliders please) but the Marlins don’t scare me. STREAM

Reynaldo Lopez (CHW) 4/14 22% v MIN on the road
Not much to say here, his percentage will keep rising, so grab him and hold him if he’s available. He’s been dominating and yes his walks are a little high and his BABIP is cannot be maintained but his swinging strike and first pitch strike percentages tell me that his K rate should rise his walk rate should drop. STREAM until you can’t anymore.

Bonus Stream: Yonny Chirinos (TB)
Yonny isn’t scheduled to start due to the Rays having a 4-man rotation, good luck with that. Chirinos did make spot start last week and was solid over 5 innings without allowing a run or a walk, while striking out four. I’ve been intrigued by Chirinos since the start of 2017. He’s has success at every level, isn’t a major strikeout pitcher but has incredible control, gets ground balls and there’s value in that. He’s not fully stretched out, but if he gets the start, he could see 80 pitches +/- which should be good for 5-6 innings, 4-5 Ks and good ratios. STREAM (if he gets a start)