Field of Streams: Week 24 Weekend Streamers

At this point there is no need for a lengthy introduction. You know the risks of streaming and what’s at stake so no need to beat a dead horse (who came up with that analogy). Stream if you must, and as I said last week, pick up the best streaming options even if you don’t plan on streaming – simply to keep them off your opponents roster.

Before we get to this week’s streamers we need to see how things panned out last weekend. Last week’s streamers went 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Overall serviceable numbers – with a lot of strikeouts, but as always, there were Ins, Outs, and What Have Yous.

Ins IP H BB ER K W/L
Ivan Nova
vs Marlins
6 3 1 0 9 W
John Gant
@Tigers
6.2
5
1
2
6
W
Touki Toussaint
@Diamondbacks
5.2
2
5
2
5
ND
Outs
Edwin Jackson
vs Rangers
3
5
1
4
5
ND
Wei-Yin Chen
@Pirates
4
5
2
3
6
L
Anthony DeSclafani
vs Padres
4 8 0 4 3 ND
What Have Yous
Austin Gomber
@Tigers
6
6
3
3
6
ND
Dan Straily
@Pirates
4.2
4
0
2
4
ND
Total 40 38 13 20 44 1-2-2

Now that we’ve had our review, on to this weeks streamers.

*Ownership rates under 50% in Yahoo and ESPN

Friday

Edwin Jackson @Tampa Bay Rays

I recommended Jackson and his 2.91 ERA last weekend, and he repaid me by serving up four runs over three innings. I’m betting on a rebound this week against the Rays. Unlike past years Tampa has done a better than average job hitting the ball and getting on base. However, they are 19th in runs scored and only the Tigers, Marlins and Giants have hit fewer home runs.

Jackson is getting some BABIP love, but you can also tie some of his success into his cutter which has overtaken his fastball as his go-to pitch. The positive results have trickled into the rest of his arsenal, and while the underlying metrics say he is much worse than his current ERA, we can’t argue with the results. I’m riding the luck train and hoping the venue is a contributing factor.

Jorge Lopez vs Minnesota Twins

His second start for the Royals was solid, but it was sandwiched between two stinkers that would make any fantasy owner run for the hills. However, his last two starts were brilliant; he fired seven innings against Baltimore allowing one run and followed that up with a one-hit eight inning gem at Minnesota – also allowing a single run. Lopez lines up against Minnesota for round two, and while this game is in Kansas City I feel just as confident. The Twins have a middle of the road offense (at best), and surprisingly they are slightly worse on the road. Look for Lopez to extend his streak with a solid game over Minnesota.

Wei-Yin Chen @Philadelphia Phillies

I am on the fence with the recommendation. Chen does have an ERA under 3.o0, a WHIP under 1.00, and a BAA under .200 over his last six starts, and he has already faced the Phillies once this year (one run over six innings). And the Phillies are a poor hitting club against lefties, ranking 20th in OBP, 24th in runs scored, and 28th in batting average. What has me nervous is the fact that Chen owns a 1.77 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and .190 BAA at home but a 9.13 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, and .333 BAA on the road. If this were a different venue I might feel better, but Citizens Bank Park is not a friendly environment. I will probably avoid him if ERA and WHIP are close, but if I’m already losing those two categories I’ll throw caution into the wind.

Saturday

Robbie Erlin vs Texas Rangers

Erlin’s 4.42 ERA and 1.14 WHIP fall within streaming range, but it’s his 2.92 ERA and 0.95 WHIP at Petco you are investing in. His strikeout rate (7.21 K/9) is acceptable, the walk rate (2.7%) is phenomenal; combine that with a 45% ground ball rate and spacious home park and good things can happen. The only real risk with Erlin is innings – he may only go five which puts a quality start out of reach and W hard to come by. Texas is well below average on the road (22nd OBP, 26th runs scored, dead last in batting average) and are mediocre vs lefties. Everything lines up if Erlin can go the distance – meaning at least five.

C.C. Sabathia vs Toronto Blue Jays

I roll my eyes every time I consider Sabathia, but he hasn’t been half bad this year. He owns a 3.54 ERA on the season, a 2.61 ERA at home, and finally a 1.65 ERA through three starts against the Blue Jays this year. Toronto does have a little thump against lefties, but getting on base and scoring runs hasn’t been their strong suit. If this were a few years ago I would avoid this start, but these aren’t your fathers Blue Jays. The ownership rate is close to 50% so you may not get a shot, but if C.C. is out there I’d roll with him.

John Gant vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Gant grows on my with each outing. He now has seven consecutive starts with two or fewer runs allowed. Walks can be an issue, strikeouts are sporadic, and the hard hit rate (44.6%) is down right scary. He does induce a high number of ground balls, keeps the ball in the yard and limits contact – and he has shown better of late than his overall numbers suggest. Good enough to handle the Dodgers? Well, the Dodgers are second in the league in home runs so this will be a big test. The are also the top team for walks so Gant will need to bring his A-Game. The are 19th in batting average and 8th in strikeouts which gives an edge to Gant. I’d like to give the edge to Gant for home games, but the Dodgers enjoy life on the road.

This will be a good old fashion pitching duel with Gant vs Rich Hill. I predict a quality start at the very least – that may be three runs over six innings, but if everything clicks I can see Gant making it eight consecutive games of two runs or less.

Sunday

Lucas Giolito @Baltimore Orioles

The ERA has been over a 1.5 points lower the past 30 days (4.01), but few have taken notice that Giolito has shown improvement. Yes, the Tigers (yea, those Tigers) housed him on September 4, but put that game aside and you’re looking at five quality starts with limited walks and a high number of K’s – two areas of improvement to remember next year. Short of a meltdown (there is a slight chance) I’d take his recent numbers for a spin considering he’s playing the Orioles. Baltimore can hit, can’t get on base, can’t score, and as Mike and I have pointed out over the past weeks, those categories have gotten worse since Schoop and Machado departed. I like Minor (below) a tad more, but I’d be happy with either pitcher today – both if possible.

Mike Minor @San Diego Padres

Minor has a 2.51 ERA over his last six starts with a WHIP under 1.00 and a BAA under .200. Over his last 10 he has kept the run total to two or fewer in eight starts with five quality starts and six wins. His control has gotten better in the second half as has is propensity for the long ball. Granted his road numbers are nothing to write home about, but Petco is not your average road park. And the Padres are challenging the Orioles and Marlins to see who can win the worst offensive team award in 2018. I see little reason to avoid Minor, and he’s the kind of pitcher I would add even if I didn’t plan on starting him (to block my opponent).

Nick Pivetta vs Miami Marlins

Do you see a pattern today – focus your streaming efforts against the worst teams. Since I’ve already told you how bad Baltimore and San Diego are there is no need to go into details here. Miami is right there with those two teams at the bottom of the barrel. Pivetta has had his ups and downs, but he has three ups against the Marlins this year (2.30 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 20K/2BB, .193 BAA). The only team he has multiple starts against with numbers this good is the Orioles. I know Pivetta has had some short outings of late, but this is the kind of start that can jump-start a pitcher – even it’s only for one start.

*****

That’s all I got… go on, get out of here… go stream!

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Jim Finch

Written by 

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. You can also find me at FanRagSports.com

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