Good day my loyal readers, not so loyal readers, soon to be loyal readers and any other readers. Are you ready to get your stream on? Okay, yeah, that sounded weird. I’ll work on it. Anyways, the fantasy seasons are winding down, so streaming is at its highest level of importance. Lucky for you, I am here to guide you through.
Kyle Hendricks, Cubs (@Mets) – Mr. Hendricks draws the Mets on Monday. Do the Mets have the lowest slugging percentage in the majors over the past two weeks? Sure. Do those same Mets have the second lowest 0n-base percentage in the majors over that two-week time span? Absolutely they do. Have the Mets also scored the fifth fewest runs in the majors over the two weeks? Yes, that is fact. So, the point is, yes, the Mets offense is bad and so with that being the fact of the matter, streaming against them is generally gonna be a safe bet. But, the craziness of this is, Mr. Hendricks does not necessarily need such a softball toss of a matchup to be a viable streamer. Hendricks is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA and while the sub six K/9 and .252 BABIP does point to some regression, Kyle should still be good for a quality start more often than not. (28% owned in ESPN, 27% owned in Yahoo!)
Bartolo Colon, Mets (vs. Cubs) – While in this matchup I do favor Hendricks, Big Fat Bartolo could be a good bet in this one as well. The Cubs are not quite as abysmal offensively as they once were, but they are still in the lower echelon of major league hitting. Now, truth be told, BFBC has actually been serviceable for a good chunk of the season thus far. You never get anything too flashy, you know, moderately low K numbers and such, but four of BFBC’s last five starts have been quality starts and in the last two starts he allowed just one run in each outing. Overall, on the season, Colon sports an xFIP in the mid threes, which is respectable and against the Cubs, the level of respectability gets a bump into a somewhat higher strata. (37.6% owned in ESPN, 43% owned in Yahoo!)
Roenis Elias, Mariners (@ Phillies) – Elias was a trendy streamer earlier in the season, you know, when he was pitching pretty darned well and, well, actually on the major league roster. Elias hit a rough patch and was, eventually, jettisoned off to Tacoma, which, I would wager, is just as glamorous as it sounds. In Elias’ last four starts with the Ms, though, he has allowed five earned runs…total. Elias adds a nice xFIP below four and has had some nice K numbers. In fact, in those last four starts, Elias has 26 Ks over 21.2 innings pitched and those are numbers I can certainly get on board with, for sure. Elias is not a must own or anything, but against the Phillies, pitchers who are not normally must starts, become must starts. The Phils are down in the lowest tier of offense in the majors and show no signs of pulling themselves up out of that dark place. So, get weird and give Elias a start this week. (5% owned in ESPN, 7% owned in Yahoo!)
Chase Anderson, Diamondbacks (@ Nationals) – Young Chase has been darned decent for the D-backs to the tune of 7-4 with a 3.16 ERA. Anderson has rattled off six straight quality starts and in those starts is sporting a 2.19 ERA and a K/9 over eight. Those numbers are decent by pretty much anyone’s standards. That ERA does not seem to be sustainable for Anderson, but the quality starts, at least, should keep rolling on in. Now the Nats are no slouches at the plate, by any means, but I am liking what Chase Anderson has been putting out there of late and feel like he can pull off another QS, in our nation’s capital come Tuesday. (12.1% owned in ESPN, 16% owned in Yahoo!)
Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (@ Cubs) – Look, I cannot stress enough the fact that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a charter member of the Ryan Vogelsong Fan Club. I feel like RV has been overrated and I rarely recommend him as a streamer, but the Cubs are barely out of the ‘Must Stream Against” category. The streaming is light on Tuesday, but don’t let that detract you away from me recommending Vogelson, here. I definitely find this to be a good start for Vogelsong. After all, Vogelsong has tossed four consecutive high quality starts and the Cubs should not prevent him from keeping that streak going. (17% owned in ESPN, 20% owned in Yahoo!)
James Paxton, Mariners (@ Phillies) – For more information on the Phillies lack of offensive please see above in the Roenis Elias section of our program. The Phils are not so good offensively, that has been firmly established and as such, makes even average to above average pitchers a good bet against them. Paxton may not even need that little boost, though, since he has been quite good thus far. Paxton is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA and a K/9 in the mid sevens and the numbers look as if they may be somewhat sustainable. The xFIP is also under three and Pax has not given up more than three runs in any of his starts. Look for the Phightin’ Phils to be more like the Phlailin’ Phils on hump day. (29.7% owned in ESPN, 34% owned in Yahoo!)
Matt Shoemaker, Angels (@ Red Sox) – Many people may not realize that Matt Shoemaker has ten wins this season. I know I was caught unawares by this information, myself. Shoemaker has a 3.16 xFIP and an 8.67 K/9, both pretty good numbers, especially for a streaming option. Plus Shoemaker has a sub three FIP as a starter and the Red Sox have been pretty bad at the plate lately, making Shoemaker a good option this week, even at Fenway. Shoemaker has faced the BoSox once this year, in a recent relief outing, where he threw three scoreless innings, striking out four. In fact, in those brief three innings, the Sox did not even have a baserunner against Matty. So, is Shoemaker a decent stream this week? According to the Magic 8-ball “All Signs Point to Yes”. (17.2% owned in ESPN, 26% owned in Yahoo!)
Brandon McCarthy, Yankees (vs. Astros) – Six of McCarthy’s seven starts as a Yankee have been quality and although he gave up four runs in his last outing, only two of those runs were earned. Plus, in that start McCarthy did fan seven batters in his 6.1 innings of work which helped him get that game xFIP below two. McCarthy has been good in pinstripes and I am here to say I do not think that performance is a mirage. Change of scenery, change of luck, return to utilizing the cutter, whatever it may be, it seems to be for real…ish. The xFIP has been pretty good all year though, so stay on the Brandon McCarthy train, people. (53% owned in ESPN, 41% owned in Yahoo!)
Travis Wood, Cubs (vs. Giants) – Thursday is not a great day for streaming options, but if you really must stream and cannot land McCarthy, T-Wood may help in a pinch. Yes, I know you may be hesitant, but look, at home this season, Wood has a 3.72 ERA and is striking out more than a batter per inning. Oh, and also, the Giant offense has not been so giant of late, as they are sitting in the bottom third of the league in several hitting categories over the past couple of weeks. Hey, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it, this is no guarantee, but streaming is a risky business, folks! (4.7% owned in ESPN, 25% owned in Yahoo!)
Alright kids, that does it. Another Field of Streams is in in the books. Happy streaming!