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Week 14 Stream Team and Two Start Pitchers

The Stream Team feature is designed to help you identify the best pitching matchups for each week of the fantasy baseball season.  All pitchers with an average ownership below 40% in Yahoo! and ESPN Leagues are assigned a Matchup Score (MS), a score that weighs multiple factors in an effort to quantify how successful any pitcher will be on any given night.  You can learn more about how Matchup Scores are calculated here.

It’s been another week of successful streaming. Matt Shoemaker was moved up to pitch on three days rest so he didn’t get to face the Twins, but here’s how the rest of the Stream Team performed over the past seven days:

MS Pitcher Opp Dec IP ER K ERA WHIP
7.4 Henderson Alvarez vs NYM W 6.33 0 5 0.00 1.11
7.4 Jason Vargas vs SEA L 8.67 2 2 2.08 1.15
7.5 Jonathan Niese at MIA W 6 3 4 4.50 1.33
7.1 Nate Eovaldi at PHI W 6.33 0 2 0.00 1.11
6.4 Henderson Alvarez at PHI W 6.67 1 3 1.35 1.35
7.3 Vance Worley vs NYM W 7 1 3 1.29 1.29

If you want to complain, the strikeout numbers are lower than you’d probably like, but Shoemaker was the only streamer in the past seven days who stood much of a chance to help in that department. Beyond the strikeouts, these pitchers went 5-1 with a 1.54 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Over the past two weeks, Stream Team starters are 9-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

Numbers like that bear repeating: 9-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

Let’s keep the magic highly detailed scientific breakdown of streaming options going.  Your Stream Team for Week 14 is as follows:

Monday – Jesse Hahn vs CIN (7.2 MS, Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 9%)

Tuesday – Mike Leake at SD (7.4 MS, Yahoo! 36%, ESPN 20%)

Wednesday – Matt Shoemaker at CHW (7.3 MS, Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 11%)

Thursday – Vance Worley vs ARI (6.1 MS, Yahoo! 7%, ESPN 9%)

Friday – Brandon McCarthy at ATL (7.0 MS, Yahoo! 3%, ESPN 0%)

Saturday – Jose Quintana vs SEA (6.5 MS, Yahoo! 31%, ESPN 5%)

Sunday – Jesse Hahn vs SF (6.8 MS, Yahoo! 20%, ESPN 9%)

As I did last week, I’ve added an evaluation of all two-start pitchers who are available in less than 40% of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. While Matchup Scores take into consideration many of the factors that I believe are most important when evaluating matchups, it doesn’t capture everything. There are times when I suggest using pitchers with lower Matchup Scores, so be sure to read the analysis of two-start pitchers as well as my breakdown of daily options to see where I actually rank each pitcher.

 

WEEK 14 TWO START PITCHERS

The following pitchers are currently scheduled for two starts in week 14 and are owned in less than 40% of ESPN and Yahoo! Leagues:

Pitcher Start 1 Opponent MS1 Start 2 Opponent MS2 Total MS
Jesse Hahn Monday Vs CIN 7.2 Sunday vs SF 6.8 14.0
Taijuan Walker* Monday *at HOU 7.1 Sunday *at CHW 6.6 13.8
Collin McHugh Monday vs SEA 7.0 Saturday at LAA 6.4 13.4
Danny Duffy Monday at MIN 6.0 Sunday at CLE 5.6 11.6
David Phelps Monday vs TB 5.1 Saturday at MIN 6.2 11.3
Miguel Gonzalez Monday vs TEX 5.5 Sunday at BOS 5.5 11.0
Drew Hutchison Tuesday vs MIL 5.1 Sunday at OAK 5.7 10.8
Joe Saunders Monday at BAL 3.8 Saturday at NYM 6.1 9.9
Jarred Cosart Tuesday vs SEA 5.1 Sunday at LAA 4.5 9.6
Nick Martinez Tuesday at BAL 4.0 Sunday at NYM 5.5 9.5
Ricky Nolasco Tuesday vs KC 4.1 Sunday vs NYY 4.6 8.7
Brad Mills Tuesday at DET 3.7 Sunday vs TOR 4.7 8.3

*Walker is the favorite to take Erasmo Ramirez’s spot in the Mariners’ rotation

 

TWO START PITCHER ANALYSIS

Jesse Hahn has completely captured my attention, and it’s time that you give him yours. Consider this: Hahn hasn’t thrown enough innings to qualify among the league leaders, but he freezing batters on 45% of pitches inside the strike zone, a rate which is the best among all starters in baseball. Further, he’s getting hitters to chase 35.1% of the pitches he throws outside the strike zone, which would be good for sixth best among qualified starters. To put it another way, batters have been absolutely clueless versus Hahn. When you factor in Hahn’s 10.2% swinging strike rate, the end result is a pitcher striking out 29% of the batters he faces. Only Yu Darvish (29.6%) is striking out batters at a higher rate. Just as impressive, Hahn is doing all of this with an 8.6% walk rate, and the highest walk rate he’s had at any stop in the minor leagues is 8.8%. This isn’t a spectacular rate – in fact, it’s slightly above the league average of 8.0% – but it’s low enough to suggest that control won’t be an issue moving forward. Hahn is currently owned in only one out of every five leagues but with two starts next week, he’s sure to attract the attention of other managers in your league. Even with two neutral matchups this week versus the Giants and Reds, Hahn is a terrific two-start option. Add him now.

Collin McHugh is my second favorite two-start option this week and while he should already be owned in your league, his ownership actually dropped the past week so there’s a chance he’s available. Though McHugh is three innings short of qualifying among the season leaders, his 11.5% swinging strike rate would place him sixth in all of baseball. If there’s any reason for concern, it’s that his control suffered a bit in June, but he was dealing with a blister over the same time frame.   In his last start he struck out nine while walking only two, which is plenty enough to keep me on the McHugh bandwagon. Like Hahn, McHugh needs to be owned in all leagues until something changes. His start against the Angels comes with some risk, but he has been good enough to use against anyone right now. He’s also faced the Angels twice already this season giving up just two runs and striking out 11 across 12 innings of work.

Like McHugh, Taijuan Walker should already be owned in your league. His ownership has skyrocketed over the past several days based on the possibility he could be called up for this start, and if he is called up, his ownership will go up some more. That said, as I write this there’s been no official word on what the Mariners will do. If Walker does get the call, the former 11th pick will have a great matchup with the Astros followed by a tough matchup with the White Sox. You definitely will want to use him against the Astros, but whether or not I’m confident using him against the White Sox will depend upon how he looks in his first start.

Danny Duffy, who comes in fourth according to Matchup Score, has been great this year, but I don’t believe it lasts. His control has improved this season, but a 3.6 BB/9 is still at a dangerous level – he’s walked four or more batters in 30% of his starts this season and three or more batters in 50% of his starts. Those numbers don’t mix well with a 6.3% swinging strike rate that would be sixth worst among qualified starters in all of baseball. Further, Duffy’s 46.2 FB% would be fourth highest among qualified starters, and while he’s fortunate to call Kaufmann Stadium home, I don’t see his miniscule 5.8% HR/FB rate holding up forever. Duffy’s fortunate to draw a road start at Target Field, which is as friendly to flyball pitchers as Kauffman Stadium is, but his start at Progressive Field isn’t as amiable. Between Duffy’s control problems and the home run risk versus the Indians, I simply can’t recommend using him.

Among other options, David Phelps always has high strikeout potential but it comes with the risk of his control problems and fly ball tendencies. I can’t see using him at home versus the Rays. Miguel Gonzalez has been decent this year, and while I’m not afraid to stream right-handed pitching versus the Rangers or the Red Sox this year, both matchups still grade out as slightly negative. There’s more risk than upside here and he should be avoided. Drew Hutchison is still a mildly intriguing pitcher, but he hasn’t been sharp the past six weeks. Since May 11, he has a 6.0 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9. Just as importantly, the Athletics (4th) and Brewers (6th) are both top ten teams according to wOBA when facing right-handed pitching this season. It’s nice Hutchison gets to avoid the Rogers Centre this week, but it’s unfortunate he has to face two of the hottest offenses in baseball. There’s simply no way to recommend Hutchison this week.

 

 

DAILY BREAKDOWN OF STREAMING TARGETS

Monday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Jesse Hahn 7.2 vs CIN Latos 19.8% 0.312 0.94 20 9
Taijuan Walker 7.1 at HOU McHugh 23.5% 0.299 1.03 38 8
Collin McHugh 7.0 vs SEA TBA 21.2% 0.308 1.03 39 29
Danny Duffy 6.0 at MIN Pino 22.7% 0.305 1.01 29 12
Miguel Gonzalez 5.5 vs TEX Saunders 19.3% 0.312 1.04 4 0

 As I stated in my analysis of two-start pitchers, Jess Hahn is my latest stream-crush. If there’s a reason to worry, it’s that he’s predominately a two-pitch pitcher (fastball/curve), but he has absolutely baffled hitters to this point. I will look to keep him on as many teams as possible. If Taijuan Walker gets the call versus the Astros, he’s a terrific streaming option, and while we can wish Collin McHugh’s start versus the Mariners was in Seattle, we can’t complain about the matchup. If you have the choice between Walker and McHugh, I’d use McHugh since we’ve seen more of him, but it’s really a toss-up. I can see using Danny Duffy versus the Twins, but Duffy simply isn’t a pitcher I’m actively targeting right now. You can do better than using Miguel Gonzalez versus the Rangers.

 

Tuesday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Mike Leake 7.4 at SD Kennedy 22.3% 0.275 0.94 36 20
Clay Buchholz 6.4 vs CHC Jackson 22.4% 0.286 1.05 37 19
Wade Miley 6.3 at PIT Locke 19.4% 0.337 0.93 14 9
Jeff Locke 6.2 vs ARI Miley 18.9% 0.312 0.93 9 5

Mike Leake isn’t going to get you many strikeouts, but he’s consistent, and as we all know, average pitchers look like Clayton Kershaw versus the Padres. Last week I told you that the Padres’ .274 wOBA was the worst mark since 1972. Since then, their wOBA has dropped two more points to .272. In Leake’s last outing versus this historically bad offense, he gave up one run over eight innings. Use Leake if you can.

Clay Buchholz returned to action following a month-long stint on the disabled list and he looked better than he has all season in a matchup versus the Mariners. Buchholz has a nice matchup with the Cubs, but it’s hard to trust a pitcher who is returning from injury and who has been as bad as Buchholz this season. I’ll be avoiding him.

Wade Miley is a pitcher I recommend avoiding as well. Pitching at PNC Park is a huge advantage for a fly ball pitcher like Miley, but the Pirates’ .337 wOBA versus left-handed pitching is fourth best in the majors. I can see using Miley, especially if you need strikeouts, but I won’t be doing it.

I’d prefer to take a chance with Jeff Locke before using Miley or Buchholz, though I don’t plan on using Locke either. Locke continues to throws strikes walking just four batters in 33.2 innings (1.1 BB/9). As long as he is throwing strikes he can continue performing as an above average major league pitcher. Unfortunately, I’m still betting on the 4.6 BB/9 we saw last season and the 4.0 BB/9 we saw over 50 innings at AAA this season to rear its ugly head. With his limited strikeout potential, there’s not enough here to make me see past the risk.

 

Wednesday’s Options

Wednesday Matt Shoemaker 7.3 at CHW Danks 22.2% 0.325 1.00 20 11
Wednesday Brandon Workman 6.5 vs CHC Wood 22.4% 0.286 1.05 5 1
Wednesday Jake Odorizzi 6.3 at NYY Nuno 18.5% 0.307 1.03 16 6
Wednesday Charlie Morton 6.1 vs ARI Anderson 19.6% 0.311 0.93 18 8
Wednesday Chase Anderson 6.0 at PIT Morton 20.5% 0.324 0.93 14 10
Wednesday Chris Young 5.7 at HOU Peacock 23.5% 0.299 1.03 9 3
Wednesday Jacob deGrom 5.7 at ATL Teheran 22.3% 0.291 0.97 5 1
Wednesday Tom Koehler 5.6 vs PHI Hamels 20.8% 0.29 0.95 18 7

 If my stream crush for week fourteen is Jesse Hahn, last week it was Matt Shoemaker. I’m clearly not the only one who is warming up to Shoemaker as his ownership in Yahoo! leagues has gone from 3% to 20% in the past seven days. In Shoemaker’s only start since I recommended making him a fixture in your lineup, he pitched 7.1 innings of one run ball against the Rangers. He now owns a 9.18 K/9 and 1.98 BB/9 over 50 innings of work. The only other pitchers with at least fifty innings of work who are averaging more than 9 strikeouts and less than 2 walks per nine innings are Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, David Price, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez, and Zack Greinke. That’s pretty good company for a guy who was universally available just seven days ago. Shoemaker should be owned in all formats and started regardless of matchups at this point.

Brandon Workman isn’t as exciting as Shoemaker, but he is another option worth taking a chance on. Workman’s slowly been stretched out over his five starts and has gone six-plus in his last two outings. Workman’s managed a serviceable 7.34 K/9 and 3.15 BB/9 this season. He’s also faced Tampa Bay twice, Cleveland twice, and Baltimore once in his five starts, so a start versus the Cubs and their .286 wOBA versus right-handed pitching should come as a welcome change.

While Jake Odorizzi draws a tough matchup at Yankee Stadium, it’s easy to make an argument for using him this week as well. Odorizzi continues to strike out batters at an elite level (his 10.5 K/9 is fifth best in baseball, and his 27.4 K% is good for 10th best). Odorizzi’s downfall has been his control, but he’s shown marked improvement in this regard as he has not walked more than two batters in any of his last six starts. If you need strikeouts, he’s worth a shot versus the Yankees.

Charlie Morton and Chase Anderson are options I could see using in a bind, but with better options available on Wednesday, there’s no reason to take a chance with either of them.

 

Thursday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Kyle Kendrick 6.4 at MIA DeSclafani 24.1% 0.316 0.95 3 2
Vance Worley 6.1 vs ARI Collmenter 19.6% 0.311 0.93 7 9
Josh Collmenter 6.0 at PIT Worley 20.5% 0.324 0.93 7 1
Carlos Martinez 5.5 at SF Bumgarner 21.7% 0.309 0.97 30 2
Kevin Gausman 5.3 vs TEX Darvish 19.3% 0.312 1.04 21 10

 Kyle Kendrick isn’t particularly great and the Marlins are better than they have been in recent years. For whatever reason, the Marlins also hit better at home.   Kendrick’s worst outing of the season, when he gave up six earned runs over just 5.2 innings, occurred at Marlins Park. This isn’t a matchup I’m targeting.

I’m not enthralled with Vance Worley’s matchup either, but I still like it enough to add him to my Stream Team over Kendrick. As I wrote last week, Worley reworked his approach in the minor leagues and is now throwing a two-seam fastball and a slider with far more regularity. His control this season has been impeccable, as he’s walking less than a batter per nine innings across 66.2 AAA and major league innings. He’s also seen a modest bump in his strikeout rate (though it’s still among the lowest in MLB). The Diamondbacks are worse on the road than at home and PNC Park is a pitcher’s haven. Worley came through for the Stream Team in week 13; I’ll ride with him another week.

As for the other options, Josh Collmenter is worth a shot if you really need a starter, but the Pirates are hitting well and are obviously improved with the red-hot Gregory Polanco atop their lineup. I don’t see Carlos Martinez going deep enough in his matchup with the Giants to make him fantasy relevant, and his control issues continue to be worrisome. I won’t use him. I also won’t be using Kevin Gausman, whose 5.3 Matchup Score versus Yu Darvish and the Rangers tells you everything you need to know about this start.

 

Friday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Brandon McCarthy 7.0 at ATL Santana 22.3% 0.291 0.97 3 0
Roenis Elias 6.4 at CHW Sale 23.8% 0.296 1.00 25 15
Colby Lewis 6.3 at NYM Niese 20.7% 0.297 0.93 1 0
Chase Whitley 6.2 at MIN Gibson 20.3% 0.313 1.01 8 5
Drew Smyly 5.9 vs TB Cobb 21.0% 0.299 1.05 26 53
Marcus Stroman 5.8 at OAK Milone 17.7% 0.337 0.97 15 3
Josh Tomlin 5.7 vs KC Ventura 15.1% 0.308 1.00 6 2
Nate Eovaldi 5.6 at STL Lynn 17.7% 0.308 0.97 36 31

 I’ve written about Brandon McCarthy for at least a month straight and I broke him down in painstaking detail in last week’s Stream Team article. By the time you read this, you’ll know if he finally capitalized on his excellent peripheral stats versus the Padres. I continue to believe he’s pitched well this season while being the unfortunate owner of arguably the worst luck of any pitcher in the majors. The Braves are struggling versus right-handed pitching this season. McCarthy makes another fine spot start.

I also like Roenis Elias versus the White Sox. Elias is an average pitcher facing an average team when it comes to hitting southpaws. I don’t expect Elias to outduel Chris Sale, but he should pick up a few strikeouts and maintain decent ratios on his way to a quality start.

There are a number of other decent options Friday as well. Colby Lewis hasn’t been as bad as his fantasy stats suggest, and he not only gets to travel from a hitter’s park to a pitcher’s park but he also is moving from the A.L. to the N.L. for this interleague matchup with the Mets. I agree with the Matchup Scores and, as strange as it is to write, have Colby Lewis ahead of the remaining options on Friday.

 

Saturday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Jose Quintana 6.5 vs SEA Felix 22.3% 0.285 1.00 31 5
Mike Bolsinger 6.4 at ATL Harang 22.3% 0.291 0.97 0 0
Collin McHugh 6.4 at LAA Richards 20.8% 0.326 1.02 39 29
David Phelps 6.2 at MIN Pino 20.3% 0.313 1.01 3 1
Joe Saunders 6.1 at NYM Colon 24.9% 0.302 0.93 0 0
David Buchanan 5.7 at PIt Cole 20.5% 0.324 0.93 1 0
Jeremy Guthrie 5.6 at CLE Masterson 19.1% 0.335 1.00 8 7
Odrisamer Despaigne 5.5 vs SF Hudson 21.7% 0.309 0.94 0 0

Outside of San Diego, the Mariners are the worst team at hitting left-handed pitching in the Major Leagues. This makes the steady Jose Quintana a great streaming option on Saturday. If choosing between Mike Bolsinger, Collin McHugh, and David Phelps, I’ll go with McHugh. As I wrote in my analysis of two-start pitchers, McHugh has already shut down the Angels twice this season. There’s no reason to think he can’t do it again. Of course, if you need strikeouts and a win, Phelps is a good option versus the Twins. Target Field will help neutralize Phelps’ propensity to give up home runs – the only remaining risk you need to worry about is his control.

 

Sunday’s Options

Pitcher MS Opp Team Opp Pitcher Opp K% Opp wOBA Park Factor Yahoo% ESPN%
Jesse Hahn 6.8 vs SF Lincecum 21.7% 0.309 0.94 20 9
Edinson Volquez 6.7 vs PHI Burnett 20.8% 0.29 0.93 5 2
Taijuan Walker 6.6 at CHW Noesi 22.2% 0.325 1.00 38 8
Drew Hutchison 5.7 at OAK Mills 17.7% 0.337 0.97 23 7
Nick Martinez 5.5 at NYM Wheeler 20.7% 0.297 0.93 1 0
Hector Noesi 5.5 vs SEA Walker* 21.2% 0.308 1.00 1 0
Miguel Gonzalez 5.5 at BOS Peavy 21.3% 0.304 1.05 4 0

Jesse Hahn bookends this week as our Stream Team pitcher. I also prefer Taijuan Walker at U.S. Cellular Field to Edinson Volquez if Walker does indeed get the start. Volquez’s Matchup Score got a nice boost from PNC Park and the Phillies horrible .290 wOBA versus right-handed pitching, but Volquez is tough to trust and hasn’t had his usual strikeout rates this season. There’s not much else I like here, though I would use Drew Hutchison at Oakland if I was in a bind and really needed someone. You’re best bet would be to stash Hahn or Walker and max out the rest of your starts by Saturday.

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Rob Adams
In 1991, at the age of ten, Rob ran his first fantasy football league. With Joe Montana out for the season and Jerry Rice taken with the first overall pick in the draft, one of the league managers started crying because all of the good players were taken. Rob's been addicted to fantasy sports ever since.

5 comments on “Week 14 Stream Team and Two Start Pitchers

  1. I guess he is owned in more leagues than required for this article, but do you have any suggestions about Heaney? Should I continue to hold on to him or drop him and add another stream spot? Or pick up Hahn to replace him?

    I love the term “stream crush” by the way.

    • I’m holding Heaney with zero reservations about doing so. His 10.9% swinging strike rate and 35.6% outside swing rate suggest more strikeouts are on the way and he isn’t walking anyone. He has a terrible strand rate at the moment, which helps capture exactly what has been happening to him — he’s pitching well for almost the entire game and then letting the flood gates open for an inning here or there. If you can pick up Heaney from an owner who lost hope based on his plus five ERA, now’s the time to do it. You have him, and I think you need to hold.

      As for Heaney vesus Hahn, I have a stream crush on Hahn so I’m not sure I can give you an unbiased answer. You’re not going to find many fantasy analysts who will tell you to drop Heaney for Hahn, but if I’m playing catchup in a league I can see going with Hahn. In other words, Heaney is the safer play but Hahn has a bit more short-term upside based simply on the fact that he is completely unhittable right now. I don’t think you can really go wrong with either one, and if it comes down to cutting Heaney or not adding Hahn, I’d be looking to make a 2 for 1 deal with your team so you can give yourself some flexibility with your roster as both should be owned.

  2. 12 team h2h weekly points

    Deal 2: My pence, Hamels, Dickerson for wright, Strasburg, Kemp?

    Deal 1: He first wanted Pence, Reyes, Hamels for wright, carpenter and Strassburg.

    Did I make the right counter? Or neither deal

    • I have Strasburg 12th and Hamels 13th in my mid-season rankings, so from my end this is a push and we are just looking at the hitters.

      I think you were right to decline the initial offer, but the counter looks like a toss-up to me. I’m concerned about Wright’s shoulder and I’m not sold on Matt Kemp. Meanwhile, Pence has been great and Dickerson has plenty of at bats left before Cargo comes back (and even then I think he’s done enough to force the Rockies to get him on the field more often). There’s a chance Wright returns to the lineup with a healed shoulder and starts hitting like the Wright of old, and there’s a chance Kemp continues to improve and becomes more like the MVP player he was two seasons ago, but that’s a lot of health risk there for me. In the end, I think this trade will come down to Wright and Kemp’s health, so if that’s something you want to bet on, go for it.

  3. I countered my counter with my Gerrit Cole and Pence for his Strassburg and wright. My Of is pence, Alex Gordon, Polanco and Brantley. Top of the rotation is Hamels, cole, then guys like Richards, Stroman, arrietta, Ventura.

    Thanks!

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