Regardless of how good you think a matchup might be, how good the pitcher has been throwing, how bad the offense has been for the opposing team, you need to remember. This is baseball and anything can happen, for better or worse. Take last week’s streamers for example. While I wasn’t proud of all of them, I did ass-u-me they could at least muster a quality start.
Last week’s streamers went 0-5 with a 6.39 ERA, a 1.64 WHIP, and a 7.94 K/9. I’ll just lower my head in shame as you review the numbers below.
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Here’s to a much better weekend this time around.
*Ownership rates under 50% in Yahoo and ESPN
Once again, if Michael Kopech or Mike Fiers are available in your league they are a must own and are solid choices to roll out weekly regardless of opponent.
Tyler Glasnow @Cleveland
In five starts since joining the Rays Glasnow as a streamable 3.80 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and a .173 BAA. The home run production has ticked up a tad, but walks are slightly down and strikeouts are steady and strong. The one thing that has me worried is his fly and ground ball numbers have done an about-face and we’ve seen an uptick in hard hit contact. Still, he’s getting success so I’m rolling with him.
The Indians are a top-5 offensive team, but this month they have slipped outside the top-10 in batting average, runs scored and home runs, putting them on par with the Rays bats which gives Glasnow a shot at a win. Things could go sideways in a hurry so I might shy away if the ERA category is close.
Andrew Cashner @Kansas City
Cashner had an ERA below 4.00 in both June and July, and if not for a 10-run 1.2 inning blowout on August 2nd this could be three in a row. He has gone at least 6 innings in 7 of his last 10 starts with 6 quality starts – although only 2 wins. Cashner also isn’t the best pitcher in the world for WHIP and it’s a coin flip on whether he’ll help you here. Overall not a rave review, but this is more about how bad the Royals can be compared to how average Cashner is.
The Royals rank 23rd in batting average, 26th in home runs, 27th in OBP, and dead last in runs scored. They have shown mild improvements this month, but not enough to warrant consideration. Looking at the game log Cashner has beaten the teams he was supposed to beat, predominately low offensive squads similar to the Royals. While Cashner will not win you the week, he will eat innings, give you a quality start, solidify your ERA, and maybe get you a win. There is the potential for a good game, but set your sights on an average start and be happy if he exceeds expectations.
Derek Holland vs New York Mets
Holland has only gone 6 or more innings 3 times in 7 starts since the all-star break, and 7 of 15 prior to the break – so not a great option for quality start leagues. However, he does have 5 or more strikeouts in 15 of his 25 starts – 5 of 7 of them after the break, his walks have dipped in the second half, as has his home runs (0.69 compared to 1.15), and he has allowed more than 2 earned runs in 9 of his 25 starts – 5 of those were 4 runs and he hasn’t allowed more than 4 in any start. Yes, you get limited innings, but also minimal damage.
The Mets are 23rd in OBP and runs scored and only the Padres have a worst team batting average. On one hand they are second only to the Red Sox for runs scored in August so there is some danger. On the other hand their rankings vs lefties is worse than their ranking for the season in those respective categories. Holland is on a roll and I do not expect that to stop this weekend. Stream away with confidence.
Daniel Mengden vs Seattle Mariners
This is a gut call so feel free to avoid if you’re not feeling it. Mengden’s numbers fall within streaming range (4.28 ERA, 1.18 WHIP). He has given up a few too many home runs, but his limited free passes limit the damage. He was sent down after a string of bad games in July, but he’s back with the big club after rediscovering himself – although he might still be in the minors if an opening didn’t present itself. Still, I like what he did in the minors (9 runs, 5 BB, 1 HR over 30.2 innings). He’s basically showing all the things he did in limited starts in 2017.
The Mariners may rank in the top-10 for batting average, but they are 18th in home runs, 21st in OBP and 24th in runs scored – all four of those categories rank in the bottom-third of the league in August. Since the Mariners rank poorly at home in these categories one would assume they would not fare much better in Oakland. It’s a risk to go with Mengden and just assume what he did prior to his call-up is what you’re gonna get. I think he will, but I can’t back that up statistically so do what you will here.
Edwin Jackson vs Seattle Mariners
Jackson is turning the clock back to 2010; that’s the last time he had numbers this good (3.03 ERA, 1.16 WHIP. He hasn’t gone very deep into games in his last 3 starts, but like Holland he has held opponents to 2 or fewer runs in 9 of his 12 starts this year. For some reason he has given up 8 home runs in Oakland as opposed to one on the road which is a negative, but there were a lot of solo shots with a lower ERA, WHIP and BAA in the Coliseum. While Jackson does have some years we’d like to forget, he also has been serviceable at times – now being one of them.
I’ve already discussed the Mariners above with Mengden so no need to rehash. Provided Jackson can go 6 innings you’re looking at a quality start, solid ratios, and a chance at a W.
Anthony DeSclafani vs St Louis Cardinals
Disco Inferno appeared to be on a roll with three consecutive seven-inning gems. Then came his last two starts with 4 runs over 6 and 6.2 innings. The strikeouts were still there and he only turned in an unusable WHIP in one start so it’s not all negative. Looking at the underlying metrics all his numbers line up with his shortened 2016 season, except the hard hit rate is now over 40% as opposed to being close to 30%. He has also traded in a few curveballs for sliders; that has worked out for the best as well. What I like most is he’ll be on the road; while his splits may not show much of a difference I’m always more comfortable starting Cincinnati pitchers outside the Great American Ballpark.
The Cardinals were the third best team in batting average and OBP in August and were third in runs scored so they are doing a lot more damage than they did earlier this year. For the season they sit right between the Cubs and Brewers, DeSclafani’s last two opponents. That gives him a worst case scenario of 4 runs over 6-plus innings which isn’t bad. When you factor in his upside of 7-plus with one or two runs it makes this a highly acceptable risk to take on Sunday.
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