Ahoy-hoy! Welcome to another edition of what no one is calling the feel good fantasy sports series of the season, Field of Streams! It’s crunch time now, folks. If I am not mistaken all head-to-head leagues will be in full on playoff mode (or close to it) come Labor Day, so the high risk high reward of streaming becomes more impactful (yes, that is not a word…yet) than it has been at any other point this season. But before I try to help you fetch a championship, let’s look at how last week’s streamers fared.
Last week was one of those banner weeks for Field of streams, as the nine recommended starters went 6-2, with a 1.89 ERA, a .98 WHIP and a 8.68 K/9. Yeah, like I said…banner week. If only I could actually have had all those pitchers on my squads, as most of my team ERAs are in the high threes and low fours as I fight for playoff spots (angrily shakes fists in air). Anyways, that is behind us, let’s look to the future, shall we kids?
Henderson Alvarez, Marlins (vs. Mets)- Apparently roughly half of fantasy baseball owners are not impressed by a 10-6 record and or a 2.75 ERA according to Henderson’s current ownership numbers. Yeah, Alvarez won’t generally get you a bunch of strikeouts, which would tend to steer me away from him a bit in fantasy, but the other numbers almost more than make up for that, in my opinion. Yes, while Alvarez rarely gets knocked around, that is sort of what has precisely happened the last two times out, but those were at Colorado (where the Rockies hit like the Gas House Gorillas against the Tea Totalers) and at Anahiem, where he had to face, well, the Angels. This start is in cavernous Marlins Park against the Mets. The Mets! In two starts at home against the Mets this season, Alvarez has allowed, let’s see, um, ZERO runs. That is not a typo, Alvarez has thrown 15 scoreless innings at home against the Mets this season. Mets may not get shutout, but I don’t think you’ll see a ton of them crossing home plate.
(52.7% owned in ESPN, 48% owned in Yahoo!)
Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks (@ Padres)- Okay, so, let’s not look at Cahill’s overall body of work in 2014, since it is not pretty and contains little in the way of supporting starting Trevor Cahill in any situation. Instead, let’s take a look at what Cahill has done since returning to the Arizona rotation. Trevor’s last outing aside, he was darned decent in his first five starts since returning to the rotation, tossing quality in each one of ’em. As you may remember, not too long ago, Cahill was a very viable fantasy option, so the stuff was, and may still be, there. The last start was against the Dodgers, so I am not too concerned as they will knock some pitchers around. The more important information you need here is that Cahill gets to take the hill against the Padres, in San Diego. Despite some recent signs of life from the Friars, they are still not anywhere close to being a formidable offense and most pitchers are still a must start against ’em. Stay classy, San Diego.
(.8% owned in ESPN, 2% owned in Yahoo!)
Shane Greene, Yankees (vs. Red Sox)- The Sox have been good to me lately, in the “streaming against” kinda way. They have more or less phoned it in for the remainder of 2014 and are just trying to have fun out there. This can lead to some big wins, but against average to above-average pitchers (by my own personal judgment) they have struggled…mightily, some might say. I guess I maybe buried the lead here, as Shane Greene has been good against just about all comers. An ERA in the low threes and a K/9 just south of nine, sort of backs this up, no? Greene even dazzled against the Tiggers, last time out, which is no small feat, by any means. It looks like Greene is only getting better with each start, so I think this is a good time to grab him.
(8.8% owned in ESPN, 12% owned in Yahoo!)
Jon Niese, Mets (@ Marlins)- After a few blips when returning from the DL, Mr. Niese Guy has returned to quality starting. Niese has now rattled off four consecutive quality starts, looking like the Niese of old. Nothing flashy about Niese, but, when right, he is a solid pitching option that should get you at least six innings. Also, in case you didn’t notice and, quite frankly, I am not sure how you couldn’t, this start is down in Miami’s Pitchers, er, Marlins Park. Niese has thrown a quality start each time out against the Fish in ’14 and I expect much of the same this time out.
(11.2 % owned in ESPN, 19% owned in Yahoo!)
Jacob deGrom, Mets (@Marlins)- I am okay with almost every starter (sorry Brad Penny) in this series, but right now, I’d green light deGrom almost every time out, regardless of opponent or park. That being said, the Marlins offense is fairly non-threatening, outside of a little fella by the name of Giancarlo, and this is a park made for pitching, but let’s get back to Jacob. deGrom is sporting an ERA of 2.94, with a K/9 in eights and a GB% around 45. Seven of deGrom’s last eight starts have been quality, with most of those starts being high quality starts. Even when the superficial numbers look bad, Jacob is still showing strong to very strong peripherals, which absolutely points to using him in Miami this week.
(44% owned in ESPN, 42% owned in Yahoo!)
Tom Koehler, Marlins (vs. Mets)- Remember that time I was all, “I am okay with almost ever starter in this series”? Well, enter Tom Koehler. Koehler is not someone how is a must own or who is flashy. What Koehler lacks in flash he makes up for in boring old solid starts. Koehler has thrown a quality start in ten of his last 13 starts, and has now thrown three consecutive quality starts. Against the Mets, this season, in Miami, TK has allowed two runs over 15 innings of work. Now, I think he gives up two or three runs in this one, but I think he goes at least six, so if you can’t land deGrom in this duel., Koehler is not a bad contingency plan.
(6.4% owned in ESPN, 14% owned in Yahoo!)
Vidal Nuno, Diamondbacks (@ Padres)- Vidal Nuno makes his first Field of Streams appearance, this week, with the help of a good matchup. You should know by now that the Padres are not a good hitting team in a not god hitting park, but is that the main reason to go with Vidal on Thursday? Well, it also helps that overall there are very slim pickings on Thursday, but Nuno has also actually pitched fairly decently since joining the Dbacks staff. Nuno had just three quality starts in 14 tries with the Yankees, but with Arizona? Well, that’s a bit of a different story. Since joining the Diamondbacks Nuno has six quality starts in just ten tries. For those not good with percentages, that’s better than his numbers in the Bronx. Vidal is on his longest quality start streak of ’14…at three. I think it gets to four in San Diego.
(1% owned in ESPN, 3% owned in Yahoo!)
Roenis Elias, Mariners (vs. Rangers)- Elias, is becoming a late season regular here at Field of Streams, thanks primarily to some favorable matchups, which is exactly why he is here, right now. I have documented before that these are not your older brother’s Rangers. The Rangers still have some offensive talent, and there are those games, here and there, where the bats spring to life, but they are fewer and farther between than they used to be. Elias’ last start against Texas went swimmingly enough, with Roenis throwing five strong innings and allowing just one run. Elias has not been going deep in games of late, only pitching six or more innings once in his last nine starts, but the innings he has been throwing have been, for the most part, decent. Yeah, I know, what a ringing endorsement. One thing that has been consistent is the Ks. With a K/9 over eight, Roenis can help you get some Ks on the cheap.
(7% owned in ESPN, 9% owned in Yahoo!)
Okay, there you have it! Happy Labor Day and, as always, happy streaming!