Fantasy Baseball

Field of Streams: Week 8 Weekday Streamers

Field of Streams logoYour Field of Streams specialist, Will Emerson, will be back on Friday, and his timing couldn’t be any better as I was sure to be sent back to Triple-A after last week’s fiasco. I had a few winners in there, but overall it was a week to forget – hopefully nobody listened to me; apologies if you did.

Last week’s streamers went 2-6 with a 5.09 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP and a 6.84 K/9. Yea, not my proudest moment. Of course, not every stream was a clunker. There were still Ins, Outs and What Have Yous

Adam Conley
6 8 1 1 5 W
Josh Tomlin
Indians 7.2 5 1 2 7 W
Tyler Wilson
Orioles 6 6 3 5 3 L
Bartolo Colon
Mets 4.2 5 5 3 4 L
R.A. Dickey Blue Jays 6 8 1 4 6 L
Ross Stripling Dodgers 4.2 7 3 5 3 L
What have you  
Jerad Eickhoff
Phillies 6 6 2 3 4 L
Colin Rea
Padres 5 4 2 3 3 L
Total 46 45 18 26 35 2-6-0

Let’s just hit the reset button and see if we can turn things around this week. 


Today is one ugly day for streaming. Any player worth his weight is already rostered, and the ones that are not – well, lets throw some names out there:

  • Nick Tropeano: playing in Texas with a FB% over 50 – pass
  • Mat Latos: four or more runs in last four games in 5.1 innings or less – pass
  • Matt Moore: can’t get past the fifth inning, walks & homers are on the rise, and the Marlins have one of the best batting averages in May – pass
  • Ricky Nolasco: see Mat Latos – pass
  • Brandon Finnegan: A May ERA and WHIP of 5.23 and 1.60 combined with a BB/9 over four and nine home runs allowed in under 50 innings – pass
  • Mike Clevinger: He could be a dart throw, but if Cleveland is already considering sending him back to the minors, why should fantasy owners trust him? – pass

That’s it; everyone else is owned in over 60% of leagues, minus whoever the White Sox and Indians call up for their second start – you want no part of either. If for some reason you feel the insatiable desire to stream today, I see only one option – and it isn’t a pretty one.

Mike Pelfrey, Tigers (vs Phillies) – This start is based upon the inept Phillies offense. The team is ranked 28th in OBP and 29th in batting average, home runs and runs scored. If we just look at May stats the Phillies are 29th in runs scored and dead last in home runs. Batting average and OBP have crept up to 25th and 27th respectively, but neither gain really makes much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Mike Pelfrey isn’t having the best season (or career for that matter), but he does have a few positives. His GB% is close to 50 and his FB% is under 30. The Phillies don’t hit many home runs so this just dampens any chances they might have. While his Contact percentage is league average, his Z-Contact% is much better which plays well since the Phillies rank 29th in both. Finally Pelfrey only allowed two earned runs in each of his last two games, and the walks were kept to a minimum in both starts. 

See, not much to go on, but there is enough that combined with the sad state of the Phillies bats, you could make a case for Pelfrey going today.
1% owned in ESPN, 2% owned in Yahoo!


Tom Koehler, Marlins (vs Rays) – I rarely pass up a chance to throw a pitcher out there against the Rays, and today is no different. The Rays are in the bottom third of the league in almost all offensive categories – except home runs, they are second in the league when it comes to long balls and first in May. Still, all those homers don’t mean a thing if nobody is on base to drive home.

Koehler has a 45.3% ground ball rate, an elite 24.1 hard hit rate, and has only allowed three home runs this year – all of which should help. On the flip side he has a 35.9% fly ball rate and a 5.36 BB/9 so there is always a chance for trouble. Koehler has allowed more than two earned runs in just two of his eight starts which is a positive, but the negative is he has only gone six or more innings in three of those games.

You have less than a 50% chance of getting a quality start, but you do have a good shot at a win with the way the Marlins have been hitting the ball. As long as Koehler can keep the ball in the yard this should be a low scoring contest, and if he can keep the hits to a minimum (something he has done in half his starts) you could get a nice WHIP too. I don’t love this start, but I like it enough.
03% owned in ESPN, 02% owned in Yahoo!

Nathan Karns, Mariners (vs A’s) – In Moneyball, Billy Beane built his team around guys who could get on base. This is not one of those teams – the A’s rank 27th in OBP (29th in walks). They are basically league average everywhere else; not a major threat offensively, but good enough at times to put up some numbers.

That basically describes Karns; an ERA and WHIP that says he could be good, but he doesn’t always show it. Karns has been good for one thing this year though, strikeouts – his K/9 is 9.39. He also has a contact percentage that ranks in the top 20. Other than that, nothing really stands out. The FIP (3.59), xFIP (3.65), SIERA (3.82), BABIP (.300) and strand rate (78.9%) say he is pitching almost around his talent level, so what you see is what you get.

Karns has faced the A’s twice this year. The first was the season opener where he allowed four runs over five innings with six strikeouts. The next was on May 2nd where he allowed three runs over six inning striking out five. If this trend continues we could see two runs over six plus innings in this game. Expect a quality start at the least, and you should get the win as well with Kendall Graveman taking the mound for Oakland.
27% owned in ESPN, 31% owned in Yahoo!

Ervin Santana, Twins (vs Royals) – Santana has never been a great pitcher, but overall he has always been a solid option. So far this season he is posting the second best ground ball percentage of his career (44.1%) and his lowest fly ball rate ever (31.5%). He’s also striking out more batters than in past years (7.71 K/9) and limiting the number of home runs allowed. Santana has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his seven starts; two or fewer runs in five of them. He has done this against some decent offensive teams too.

The Royals have faced Santana once this season, and they managed to score two runs over six innings while striking out seven times. Santana also held them to four runs on seven hits over 15 innings last season. The Royals are in the bottom third of the league in runs scored, home runs and OBP in May, and they are less successful in scoring runs on the road. Santana does go through his rough patches, but now is not one of them so take advantage if he’s available.
11% owned in ESPN, 22% owned in Yahoo!


Tyler Duffey, Twins (vs Royals) – We’re going to stick with the Royals since we know they are not hitting up to par. Duffey had his first bad game Friday, getting smacked around by the Blue Jays. Prior to that he held the Indians scoreless through seven, gave up three to the White Sox through seven, and allowed one earned run through 6.1 innings against the Tigers. He had six or more strikeouts in each of those games.

Duffey has a 7.50 K/9 and a 1.80 BB/9 to go along with a 46.8% ground ball rate – that means a good number of strikeouts and somewhat limited damage from any home runs allowed (two of his three allowed have been solo shots). With the exception of the Toronto game, Duffey has been great in Minnesota since his debut. I expect that greatness (or at least goodness) to continue here. The Twins may not score enough to get him a win, but the rest of the numbers should be there.
18% owned in ESPN, 20% owned in Yahoo!

Junior Guerra, Brewers (@ Braves) – Guerra is getting some solid strikeout numbers with a 8.64 K/9. Sure it’s only 4 starts (25 innings), but prior to being promoted he had four starts in Triple-A (23.1 innings) and had a 8.87 K/9 which makes them seem more real. With a few more innings his 13% swinging strike rate would rank inside the top 10. He also has a H/9 of 6.54 between Triple-A and the majors (6.56 minor – 6.48 major) and a BB/9 just south of 3.0.

There are a few red flags, like a FB% of 42.9 and a hard hit rate of 35.4%, but considering his competition in this contest this should not be a problem for this start. While the hard hit rate ranks as one of the worst, his medium contact rate (46.2%) ranks in the top 20, as does his contact percentage (74.2%). What I like most about Guerra is the surprise factor. He spent several years pitching in the independent league as well as in Italy so there has been very little exposure. Teams don’t have much of a scouting report on Guerra so they’re learning about him on the fly. That should give him somewhat of an advantage early on.

The Braves are hitting the ball a little better in May, but they are still one of the bottom five teams for runs and home runs this month and rank 29th and 30th for runs and home runs at home. This could turn out to be one of the sneakiest streams of the week.
5% owned in ESPN, 3% owned in Yahoo!


Matt Wisler, Braves (vs Brewers) – While there are only eight games on the slate today, there are still a few gems to choose from – this is one of them. Wisler has gone at least 6.2 innings in each of his last four starts and has allowed 0,1,2 and 3 earned runs. He has seven strikeouts in each of his last two games, one of those was against the Royals who have the second lowest strikeout total in the league. Note the Brewers are the second worst team in the league for strikeouts. They are, however, the second best team when it comes to drawing walks, but they will have their work cut out for them here as Wisler (2.11 BB/9) can be stingy when it comes to free passes.

Now Wisler has had some luck so far. He has been getting some BABIP love (.230) along with some good fortune with fly balls (47% fly ball rate – 6.5% HR/FB ratio). The Brewers ranked 5th and 6th for home runs and runs scored in the month of May, however most of that production has come at home as they rank near the bottom in both categories on the road. The same goes for batting average where they rank dead last away from Miller park. Once you add in the road splits the Brewers don’t look as scary.

Milwaukee sends Wily Peralta to the mound in this one, and even a weak hitting team like the Braves should be able to score runs here. I expect nothing less than six innings with six strikeouts and a win.
17% owned in ESPN, 19% owned in Yahoo!

Danny Duffy, Royals (vs White Sox) – The White Sox haven’t found their power stroke yet (tied with the Braves for home runs in May), but they are hitting the ball well and scoring runs this month. That statement can be repeated verbatim when comparing their hitting versus lefties.

As for Duffy: he has had some success against the Sox in the past. Over nine starts (11 games – 47 innings) he has a 3.64 ERA and 1.26 WHIP along with 39 K’s. His numbers this year should be taken with a grain of salt since they are all out of the bullpen, but Duffy has a 11.14 K/9, a GB% over 40 (first time), a hard hit rate of 24.5 (ranked just outside the top 10), and a 65.1% contact rate. He won’t keep all those numbers, but it will take some time for them to come down which is good for the short-term. Right now he’ll be attacking hitters as he was coming out of the bullpen so we’ve got a few starts before the starter mentality takes over.

Duffy may be on another innings limit since Saturday was his first start, but I see no reason he shouldn’t be able to go at least five. The run total could go either way, but my gut is leaning towards Duffy here. Three runs over five innings with five or six strikeouts would be the line in the sand – I’m taking the under.
6% owned in ESPN, 9% owned in Yahoo!


As Will would say, that’s all I got, go on, get out of 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.