Fantasy Baseball

Field of Streams: Week 21 Weekend Streamers

Field of Streams logoWell, Will Emerson is N/A again.  Fortunately we don’t have to call anyone up from the minors to take his spot in the rotations as I am stretched out and up for the challenge.  I haven’t had much luck this year in the streamer department; fortunately for you though that my luck seems to change when I recommend pitchers here on Field of Streams.  Pitching is thin in my leagues (almost anorexic) to the point that anyone with a pulse worth owning – is owned.  That leaves me with the dregs, the flotsam and jetsam of streaming options that would strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest souls.  I’d pay good money to have some of these guys available, but enough about my pitching woes (Marsha Marsha Marsha).  You came here for streamers and streamers I shall give you.  But first we have a little matter of last weeks selections, let’s see how Will did.

Aaron Nola Phillies 8 3 2 0 6 W
Chris Bassitt A’s 6.2 6 2 1 3 L
Chris Tillman Orioles 6.2 4 2 3 6 L
Eduardo Rodriguez Red Sox 6 7 0 2 1 L
Kendry Flores Marlins 5 7 2 5 5 L
What Have You
Erasmo Ramirez Rays 7 8 2 4 4 ND
Total 38 35 10 15 25 1-4-1

Overall not bad.  Flores was the only real clunker, Erasmo wasn’t horrible and the rest gave you a quality start, a good WHIP and a few of them contributed some strikeouts.  I can hear Will now: “I’d take that”.  To be fair, he did warn you Flores was a desperation stream so if you avoided him you did well.  Enough of rehashing, on to this weeks main course.


Aaron Nola, Phillies (vs Padres) – Let’s review Nola’s first 7 starts.  He has:

  • gone at least 5 innings in each game
  • allowed more than 3 earned runs twice
  • racked up 5 or more K’s 5 times
  • walked more than 2 batters just once
  • Allowed more hits than innings pitched once

Nola hasn’t been lights out, but he has been solid.  He has a GB% close to 50 and a LD% under 20 which help keep men off base and keep the score low more often than not.  In August the Padres are just like Nola.  They are middle of the road when it comes to home runs, batting average, on-base percentage, and even strikeouts.  They are no better at hitting on the road than they are at home so they are who they are.  This should be a relatively low scoring game since the Phillies haven’t been any better than the Padres in August.  A win is up in the air, but a quality start with at least 5 K’s and a good WHIP is almost a guarantee.  Stream Nola with confidence today.
35% owned in ESPN, 25% owned in Yahoo!

Kyle Gibson, Twins (vs Houston) – Gibson may have an ERA close to 4.0, but he is a much better pitcher at home (3.12).  A 3.69 xFIP supports his home superiority if you had any doubt.  In 13 home starts he has allowed more than 3 earned runs just 3 times and has allowed 2 or fewer runs 9 times.  Gibson has a nifty 53% groundball percentage, and despite giving up more homers at home his FB% is just under 26.  All this plays well today as he faces the Astros.  In August the Astros are 25th in OBP, 27th in BA, 23rd in runs scored and just outside the top 10 in strikeouts.  That last one doesn’t matter much as Gibson isn’t a strikeout pitcher, but every little bit helps.  The Astros have done most of their damage via the long ball (7th in August and 1st overall in MLB).  As long as Gibson can limit walks (something else he does better at home) and keep the ball in the park (or at least limited the HR damage), you should get a quality start, a respectable WHIP and potentially a win (the Twins are 6th for runs scored in August).  And who knows, you may get a few strikeouts as well.
15% owned in ESPN, 17% owned in Yahoo!


Mike Pelfrey, Twins (vs Houston) – Pelfrey is one of the best kept streaming secrets in fantasy.  He is horrific on the road, but at home Pelfrey has a 1.97 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a .225 BAA.  In 11 home games he has allowed 2 or fewer runs to score in 9 of them; 3 earned runs over 6.2 innings in another, and in his worst start it was 4 runs over 7.2 innings.  In a lot of ways, Pelfrey is very similar to Gibson above, right down to the similar GB and FB ratios.  I already covered the Astros offense so no need to rehash.  I expect a quality start at minimum here, a very good WHIP and a win.  Unlike the Gibson start, don’t get your hopes up for any K’s and be extremely thankful for any you do get.
9% owned in ESPN, 6% owned in Yahoo!

Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays (vs Tigers) – I honestly didn’t plan on spotlighting extreme home/away splits when I selected my weekend streamers, but that’s the way the ball is rolling so far.  Hutch has been a beast at home with a 2.57 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and .226 BAA.  Since his home start on May 20th where he surrendered 4 runs over 6.2 innings, he has rattled of 8 home starts of 2 runs or less and just one with 3 earned runs.  I’ll admit a 35% Flyball ratio does scare me, but Hutch has done a good job at keeping the ball in the park at home with just 5 home runs over 80.2 innings.  Detroit has been about average hitting wise in August, but below average when it comes to home runs and runs scored.  That’s good news for Hutchison considering Detroit has one of the best team averages in the league and are the 6th best team at scoring runs for the season.  Detroit lit Hutchison up on July 3rd for 7 runs (5 earned) over 4.2 innings.  Let’s see them do it on his home turf!
29% owned in ESPN, 36% owned in Yahoo!

James Happ, Pirates (vs Colorado) – After 5 1/2 years of trying to catch on in the AL, Happ has returned to the national league.  Pitchers seem to play better in Pittsburgh for some reason (and St Louis, but that’s another story).  Happ’s first game wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but the next 3 reminded us of the guy we saw back in April.  Happ held the Mets to 1 run and then went on to blank the Diamondbacks and Marlins.  Impressive when you consider the Mets and D’Backs were two of the top 5 hitting teams in August, unlike today’s opponent.  The Rockies are 24th in BA, 26th in OBP and 20th in runs scored for August.  Now factor in that Happ is a lefty: the Rockies are dead last in home runs versus lefties with 15; that’s 1 more than Happ has given up all year.  The final nail in the coffin is that the game is on the road where the Rockies are 29th in BA and runs scored.  The Rockies are slumping, playing on the road and facing a better than average lefty, what more do you need.  I added him to 2 teams as I was writing this.
16% owned in ESPN, 11% owned in Yahoo!


Brad Hand, Miami (@Washington) – I listed 3 streamer options for Saturday for 1 simple reason; there isn’t anybody worth streaming today.  The players worth starting are owned in over 50% of leagues so streaming options are left to the dregs that I discussed earlier.  I did manage to find one potential diamond in the rough though.

Hand’s overall numbers are a bit deceiving; he had a few blowouts as a reliever, but he has been pretty good as a starter.  He has gone at least 6 innings in his last 4 starts with consistent strikeouts, low walks and an improving GB% and strand rate.  His road ERA is scary at first glance, but almost all of that is from 2 games in relief (over 2 months ago) where he surrendered 11 earned runs in 1.1 innings.  He’s a different pitcher now.  The Nationals are in the bottom third of the league for batting average for the month of August, the season, against lefties and at home.  The Nationals are also dead last when it comes to hits at home, and they are a top 10 team when it comes to strikeouts.  Like any team, the Nationals are capable of going off at any time.  And Hand can be gotten to; just ask the Cardinals who tagged him for 6 runs on 11 hits just 2 weeks ago.  I like Hand and like his chances on Sunday, but I would not risk streaming him if ERA and WHIP are close in H2H matchups.  Roto and point based leagues, feel free to roll the dice.
3% owned in ESPN, 1% owned in Yahoo!

As Will would say: “that’s all she wrote; get outta here, go stream”!

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By Jim Finch

The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.