I have no colorful stories or amusing anecdotes for you this week. Instead we’re just gonna dive right in and get down to business. Before we get to this week’s streamers we need to review last week’s selections. Last week’s streamers went 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a 6.21 K/9. Solid, and actually much better than you think considering I hit on 6 of the 8 recommendations. Below and the Ins and Outs for those that want to see what you missed out on.
Now that you’ve tasted the appetizers it’s on to the main course – which comes with seconds.
*Ownership rates under 50% in Yahoo and ESPN
Touki Toussaint @Miami Marlins
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Marlins do not have much… OK, any offense to speak of, and for the month of August they rank between 29th and 30th in batting average, OBP, runs, and RBI. The Braves are giving rookie Touki Toussaint another start, temporarily going with a six-man rotation. He did fairly well in his first start, throwing a two hitter against the same opponent he will be facing today. Prior to 2018 his minor league numbers were not all too impressive, but things turned around this year. Over two levels and 22 starts (123 innings) Toussaint had a 2.63 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and a 10.80 K/9. Bad team + hot young pitcher = solid stream.
Andrew Heaney vs Houston Astros
His ownership rate borders on the 50% mark, but something tells me if he is out there nobody will be touching him against the Astros. Mistake! Heaney has already face the Astros twice this season – both games in Los Angeles – and came away with the win in both starts. He threw 14 innings allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out 14. He also owns a 2.92 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and .212 BAA at home.
The Astros are a strong hitting team, especially against lefties (1st in R, RBI, 2nd in BA, OBP, 3rd in HR) so there is a risk. However, in August only the Giants and Marlins are batting worse and their OBP has slipped into the bottom-10. They are still hitting homers, but Heaney is stingy with the free passes and outside of June has done a solid job keeping the ball in the park. There are a lot of solid streaming options today so if you don’t feel this one, move on to the next.
Joe Musgrove @Milwaukee Brewers
That’s now five consecutive quality starts, four of which were two or fewer runs and seven innings. He has allowed more than three runs three times in 14 starts and held teams to two or fewer in nine. You would think more people would be on him, especially after his seven inning performance at Coors Field. When things are going this well for a pitcher you tend to ignore the opponent which is what I am doing today and moving forward until he gives me a reason not to trust him. The Brewers have hit for a high average in August, but runs and RBIs have been average, just as they have been all season. Musgrove is not a streaming option, he is a permanent add to any contending team.
*Mike Sheehan went above and beyond when doing his weekday streamers (which included Friday) so I decided to include his recommendations as well.
Wade Miley vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Miley has been really good lately. I think this is likely just a hot streak given the lack of strikeouts, but we can try to take advantage of the streak. Miley has a 2.12 ERA over the last 30 days and plays for a good team that is likely to give him offensive and defensive support. The Pirates are not a cake walk match up, but I would be inclined to try and ride the hot hand here. He is readily available which makes him a target for deep leagues.
Reynaldo Lopez @Detroit Tigers
Lopez is a bit of a tease. He has electric stuff but hasn’t yet been able to put it all together. He started out the season very hot but has suffered a bunch of regression as of late. I still like him this week given his matchup with the Tigers who are the third worst hitting team in the league by wOBA. Given that Lopez has good stuff and has shown the ability to perform throughout the season, I would be pretty open to streaming him in this spot. Prior to his start against the Tigers last Monday he had three quality starts against them; another reason to like him.
C.C. Sabathia @Baltimore Orioles
Surprisingly C.C. has had a good year. He is coming off of the DL, but the big K performances prior to the stint give me confidence in starting the big fella. He had 19 punch outs in his last two starts and has a 7.99 K/9 for the season. He is also playing against the lowly Orioles. The O’s have the 6th worst team wOBA in the bigs. This is probably even worse given that Machado and Schoop are gone (they combined for 5 of the 8 runs Baltimore scored against Sabathia in their two matchups). I’d feel pretty good about streaming Sabathia in this spot.
Mike Fiers is just over 50% and has a road game in Oakland. If he is out there this is your best possible streaming options. Realistically he is a must own at this point.
Jaime Barria vs Houston Astros
The rookie has done fairly well this year, compiling a 3.41 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 19 starts (97.2 innings). He even managed to four-hit the Astros back in May holding them to one run over seven innings. His contact rate is above average which I like and he limits free passes (6.7%). However, I’m not a fan of his almost even fly to ground ball ratio, the excessive number of hard and medium hit balls, and his tendency to give up the long ball (15).
The other thing playing against him is innings with only four starts of six innings or more. That leaves very little margin for error. The Astros have a strong offense but have not put up their typical offensive numbers in August (18th-OBP, 20th-BA, 16th-R, 14th-RBI). They are still excelling in home runs (5th in August, 3rd on the road) which is the danger here. It’s a coin flip for me on which way things will go.
Mike Leake @Arizona Diamondbacks
Leake is a blue-collar pitcher. Of his 25 starts: 6 have been less than six innings, 8 have gone seven or more, and of the 19 games that have gone six or more, 16 were quality starts. That’s what you can expect out of Leake on any given night, a quality start. He will not give you gaudy strikeout totals, the WHIP will be average, and the ERA will land between 3.00 and 4.50. Not the type of numbers that will win your week, but the perfect pitcher to throw in there if you need innings, a quality start, and a chance at a W (although he has not gotten a win since June 23). For those that are worried about the venue – don’t. Arizona hasn’t done enough at the plate this year so I don’t see it being an issue.
Stephen Gonsalves vs Oakland Athletics
When I look at the surface numbers for Gonsalves you get a positive impression. He posted an ERA of 2.48 or lower all the way up through Double-A. His ERA at Triple-A this year prior to his promotion was 2.96 over 100 innings. And with a career 1.10 WHIP over 596 innings along with an impressive 9.53 K/9 you’d expect big things from the 24-year-old. I do have my doubts, though.
He doesn’t throw heat, which isn’t a deal breaker. He does have a four-pitch arsenal, all with varying speeds, but none of them grade out to more than average right now. The batted ball profile is rather pedestrian. His walk rate has climbed as he has advanced levels (4.61 BB/9 in AAA). And while the home run total is low, he has spent his career in a pitchers league. The positive takeaway from that last part is he plays half his games in Minnesota.
Despite challenging for the AL West the A’s don’t have a thunderous lineup, but they do have some solid hitters. However they are less impressive against lefties. Chapman and Canha are the only two players batting over .270, and Lucroy and Semien are the only other hitters over .250. This gives Gonsalves a fighting chance. His major league debut didn’t go well, and if the White Sox can get to him this start does make me nervous. This stream is for deeper leagues and risk takers in shallow formats.
Michael Kopech would have been my top option this weekend, but after a multitude of articles hyping his impending promotion followed by a solid two-inning debut his ownership has shot up above that 50% threshold. If he’s still out there – he shouldn’t be. Kopech could be a difference maker on a contending team.
Brett Anderson @Minnesota Twins
It has been a roller coaster ride for Anderson who has started 20 or more games in a season twice in his 10 year major league career. He can be useful provided everything is clicking, which is why Anderson is a recommendation today. In four August starts spanning 26.2 innings he has a 0.68 ERA, a 0.53 WHIP, and a .135 BAA. Three of those four starts were 7 plus inning shutouts. He’s getting ahead of batters, limiting walks, and just as he has done for his entire career is generating a lot of ground balls. The strikeouts are lacking (putting things mildly) but everything else is clicking.
Anderson is healthy, draws a home park comparable to the Coliseum, faces a middle of the road offensive team, and has some extra incentive with the A’s battling in the AL West. Start with confidence.
Robbie Erlin @Los Angeles Dodgers
Fun fact: Over 80.2 innings Erlin has as many walks (8) as home runs. His 3.46 season ERA is very respectable and also on par with his ERA in August after he was moved from the bullpen to the rotation. He has gone at least five innings in all four starts – he only threw 60 innings in his last five-inning start so there is potential to go deeper. Erlin added a sinker to his arsenal this year which is why he is having so much success. That gives him a four pitch mix to keep batters off-balance – something he needed considering his fastball sits at 90.3 MPH (a career high).
The Dodgers may have a solid offense, but they are 19th in OBP and 27th in batting average against lefties and at home. They still score an above average number of runs and power isn’t an issue so there is a risk. On the flip side, Erlin missed the 2016 and 2017 season due to an injury so the scouting book on him and his new pitch is a work in progress. He is an under the radar starting in real life and fantasy. The only drawback is his innings, but I’m hoping since this is a division game the Padres open his pitch count just a little bit.
That’s all I got… go on, get out of here… go stream!
Need more streamer options or potential two-start pitchers, head on over to Fantasy Rundown