Fantasy Baseball

Field of Streams; Week Eight Weekday Streamers

Field of Streams logoJust like any job, everyone gets sick days, personal days and the occasional I’m gonna go out and drink until I fall down silly days.  Today it’s Will Emerson’s turn, but I won’t tell you which one of these reasons he gave; It’s Memorial Day weekend so I’m sure you’ve put 2 and 2 together by now.  Needless to say I’ll be doling out the streamers this week, but I’ll still hold Will accountable for his actions last week – so here are his Ins and Outs.

Ins IP  BB  ER  W
Chase Anderson Diamondbacks 8 4 1 1 2 1
Carlos Frias Dodgers 7.1 5 2 1 3  
Clay Buchholz Red Sox 7.1 5 2 2 4  
Jesse Chavez A’s 6 5 1 3 6  
Brett Anderson Dodgers 6.1 7 3 3 7  
Drew Pomeranz A’s 4.1 2 5 1 2  
C.J. Wilson Angels 5 10 2 4 3  
Mike Foltynewicz Braves 5 8 1 5 7  
Total 49.1 46 17 20 34 1

Overall the group ended with a 3.67 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 1 DL trip.  Pom-Pom was one of Will’s regulars here so I’m sure he will be having an extra drink today in his memory – Get well soon.  OK, enough of the rehash, on with the streamers – and I’ve got some 2 start pitchers for Monday and Tuesday.


Chase Anderson, Diamondbacks (@Cardinals & @Brewers) – Anderson has been impressive all season allowing 2 or fewer earned runs in 6 of his first 8 games.  He’s done a great job keeping the ball in the park as well, surrendering only 2 home runs this season over 49.2 innings.  Next we have a BB/9 of 2.36 which is right in line with the 2.33 ratio he produced in the minors.  The two biggest knocks on Anderson are wins and strikeouts.  Despite some very good games he has just one win to show for it.  As for strikeouts, he started the year strong but has tailed off over the past few leaving his K/9 at 6.16.  These two things explain his lack of ownership, but we are not here to discuss that.

Anderson does have a few red flags.  An xFIP just above 4.0 and .252 BABIP suggest he’s been a little lucky.  The FB% is 34 yet the HR/FB ratio is 4.2%.  A correction is coming, or maybe it won’t as sometimes a pitcher can play beyond what the underlying numbers say.  As for his opponent, given what Anderson has done to date against some decent teams, I’m not worried.  You will get a good ERA and WHIP here with a few K’s and a quality start.  The win is up in the air and is dependent on which Carlos Martinez shows up for St Louis.  Start Anderson with confidence and the same goes for his weekend start at Milwaukee.
19% owned in Yahoo and ESPN

Shaun Marcum, Indians (vs Rangers & @Mariners) – Remember this guy?  I’m sure many of you have forgotten about him since it’s been 2 years, and the memories you have of him are a guy pitching horribly for the New York Mets.  Remember, before Marcum’s Citi-Field days he was a pitcher that consistently put up an ERA in the mid 3’s, a WHIP in the 1.15 range and a K/9 around 7.0.  He 3-hit Detroit his first game back over 5 innings and followed that up with a 4 hitter against the White Sox going 6.2 innings.  He did give up home runs in each of those games, but overall the results were positive.  Marcum draws the Rangers on Monday – in Cleveland which is a plus.  While the Rangers have been getting better, they are still towards the bottom for batting average, OBP, and RBIs.  Unfortunately they are just outside the top 10 for home runs which will be the deciding factor here. 

If Marcum can keep the ball in the yard or at least limit the damage the Indians have a shot, and with a 46.7% FB and GB percentage, that shot is 50/50.  I still like the odds and how Marcum has looked so far, and since Marcum has been out for a while the scouting reports on him are old so he should get 5-6 K’s the first few times through the order (just like rookies when first recalled).  I expect a quality start and probably a win as well since Cleveland’s offense is a step above Texas.  If things go well, Marcum is worth throwing in there this weekend at Seattle.
1% owned in Yahoo, 2% owned in ESPN

David Phelps, Marlins (@Pirates & @Mets) – Prior to Wednesday’s start versus Arizona, Phelps had 5 quality starts in a row of at least 6 innings and allowed 2 earned runs or less in each of them.  He also has not allowed a home run this year, a span covering 42 innings *jinxed it*.  Normally a 1.31 WHIP isn’t impressive, but when you consider he lowered his BB/9 from 3.66 to 3.0 and the H/9 from the low 9’s to 8.79, it’s pretty good.  Phelps is enjoying his new surroundings, but not his home park.  The home ERA is 5.50 but his road ERA is a nifty 1.50; this works out nicely since Monday’s game is in Pittsburgh. 

Speaking of Pittsburgh, the Pirates are in the bottom third of the league in all major scoring categories except doubles and stolen bases.  For some odd reason J.T. Realmuto has only had 13 runners attempts steals against him; that could change this week, but that’s another story for another time.  Overall the Pirates are struggling so expect Phelps to bounce back from his last start with another quality start.  Don’t expect may K’s here though, his K/9 has slipped yet again from 8.67 (2012) to 8.20 (2013) to 7.33 (2014) to this year at 6.43.  A win might be in order here as well as Charlie Morton comes off the DL to start Monday’s game.  I don’t buy Phelps long-term, but I would rent him for the day – maybe 2 days as Phelps draws the Mets on Saturday.
9% owned in Yahoo, 15% owned in ESPN


James Happ, Mariners (@Rays & Cleveland) – His last rain shortened disaster start knocked him out of the top 50 and raised the ERA to 3.61, but the last time that happened (6 runs versus Houston) Happ bounced back with 2 gems.  I expect the same here against a Rays team that isn’t bad, but is not intimidating.  Evan Longoria is hitting .414 against lefties and his career average against them is 30 points higher than he bats against righties. Desmond Jennings and Kevin Kiermaier also hit lefties, but both are in a slump which negates their threat. 

As for Happ, his last start was just the second time this year he has allowed more than 2 earned runs in a game.  He’s a lefty going against a team that doesn’t hit them well which is another plus.  His GB% is close to 42 which also plays well for him.  Finally he has had a K/9 above 7.0 since 2010 so you can expect close to a strikeout an inning – even against a team like Tampa that doesn’t strike out much.  This is the entire package, a QS, W, K’s, 6+ innings; actually double all that because Happ faces the Indians at home on Sunday.  He should really be owned more.
26% owned in Yahoo, 38% owned in ESPN

Wandy Rodriguez, Rangers (@Indians) – The Indians are in the middle of the pack for runs, home runs, OBP and batting average.  Wandy is having a fine season by his own standards, and many of the Indians struggle against lefties.  OK, Michael Brantley is wrecking left-handed pitchers, and Swisher, Sands and Raburn play well against lefties as well when they are in the lineup.  Beyond that you’ve got Kipnis (.217), Santana (.220), Moss (.233), Bourn (.213), Ramirez (.154) and Chisenhall (.256). 

Wandy didn’t fare too well against Cleveland a few games ago (8 hits, 5 earned runs, 4.2 innings), but that was his first time facing this team in his career and it was in Texas.  Now he is on somewhat neutral ground and a little more familiar with who he will be facing.  Wandy is averaging 7.53 K/9 this season (in line with his career average), but I wouldn’t count on more than 5 since the Indians are one of the tougher teams to strike out. Honestly I can paint you a pretty picture, but I can also paint one so grotesque it will send you screaming.  Wandy has produced an ERA in the 3.60 range since 2008 so he has his good days and bad days.  I’m gambling on a good one, just for the fact that Wandy has been in the NL for his career so his exposure to AL hitters is limited. I wouldn’t count on a win given the opposing pitcher (Danny Salazar), but you should get a quality start *knock on wood*.
6% owned in Yahoo, 11% owned in ESPN


Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (@Brewers) – Both his FB and GB percentages are 39%, the BB/9 is 4.0, HR/FB% is 16 and his ERA and xFIP are both above 4.0.  None of this inspires ownership in Vogelsong, but those numbers can be deceiving.  OK, they’re bad, but there are two sides to Vogelsong and those numbers represent the bad side.  If you haven’t been paying attention lately Vogelsong has rattled off 4 quality starts in a row (I’m giving him the game at Cincinnati that he came up 1/3 of an inning short of 6).  Four in a row with 2 earned runs or less, the last being a 2 hit 6 inning gem at Colorado.  The man can have some quality stretches and is in the middle of one right now.  Perfect timing considering his opponent. 

The Brewers may be able to hit home runs, but they’re last in OBP and next to last in batting average so they’ll have to beat Vogelsong with the long ball.  Over the past 4 games (25.2 innings) he has allowed just one home run.  Vogelsong’s biggest threats are Braun and Gomez who have been hot the past 2 weeks.  Gerardo Parra has also been hot over that time but is not a power threat.  Other than that, the past two weeks haven’t been kind to the rest of the regulars: Lind (.139), Gennett (0.50), H.Gomez (.189), Maldonado (.154), Davis (.194), Ramirez (.241).  The Brewers are in the bottom third of the league for drawing walks; combined with the cold bats, the bases should be empty more often than not even if Braun or Gomez connects.  There are times Vogelsong is worth owning, and considering his hot streak and career 3.38 ERA in Miller park, this is one of those times.  Ignore his bottom line and plug him in.
5% owned in Yahoo, 9% owned in ESPN

Sean O’Sullivan, Phillies (@Mets) –  Either it’s the luck of the Irish or O’Sullivan has been drinking out of Aaron Harang’s water bottle.  How else do you explain, after years of mediocrity, an ERA of 3.55, a 1,14 WHIP and a BAA less than his weight?  We are only talking a 5 game sample, but so far his numbers look good.  Under the hood though we see an xFIP of 4.58 and a .233 BABIP.  I’ve said time and again don’t worry about the underlying stats and play the numbers.  Those numbers state a correction is coming, but it doesn’t mean one is coming today.

The Mets are below the Phillies for batting average and just above them in runs, home runs and OBP.  In case you haven’t been paying attention, the Phillies are at or near the bottom in all offensive categories so taking on the Mets shouldn’t be a challenge, right?  O’Sullivan should be able to provide you with a quality start, a decent WHIP and 4 K’s, but I wouldn’t count on a win since he will be facing off with Jacob deGrom.  This matchup is more for H2H leagues that need to pad their weekly totals, roto and points leagues might want to wait and stream another day, or just double up the streams on Monday and Tuesday where there are better options.
1% owned in Yahoo and ESPN


Mike Wright, Orioles (vs White Sox) – While not a household name, Wright has had a decent minor league career and was off to a hot start in AAA before being called up (2.64 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 30 K’s, 30.2 innings).  He 4-hit the Angels over 7.1 innings his first time out then 3 hit the Marlins last night over 7 innings.  Now he draws the White Sox who have raised their team batting average some, but are next to last in scoring runs and home runs and are in the bottom 5 for strikeouts.  Wright’s career K/9 in the minors is 7.40, a number he should easily match or exceed today.  His minor league BB/9 (2.28) and HR/9 (0.70 – 0.60 in AAA) will also aid him here.  Add on the Sox lack of ability to score runs and you’re looking at a quality start at minimum.  The league will eventually catch up to Wright, but until teams get a few more scouting reports on the kid he should continue to surprise his opponents and fantasy owners.
11% owned in Yahoo and ESPN

Chris Heston, Giants (vs Braves) – Just like Wright above, Heston wasn’t a household name when the Giants promoted him, but he has and continues to surprise with his success.  His minor league numbers suggest Heston could be a solid starter and with the exceptions of a few hiccups he has been.  In 9 starts he has gone 6 plus innings in 5 of them (all quality starts), the other 4 were a little rough putting it mildly; in his defense 2 of them were in Colorado and the other in Cincinnati.  His home ERA is 2.77 which is where he faces his next opponent, the Atlanta Braves.

This is a team at the bottom of the barrel for batting average, OBP and strikeouts.  Team leader Freddie Freeman has been in a slump batting .250 over the past 14 days and hasn’t hit a home run since May 8th.  Their two best hitters over the past two weeks have been Nick Markakis and Cameron Maybin; I think that speaks for itself.  Heston has had his ups and downs, but even with his inconsistencies I think he can handle the light hitting Braves nicely today, don’t you?  At home, with the right matchups, Heston makes a nice streaming option.
30% owned in Yahoo, 31% owned in ESPN

That’s all folks – Have a happy Memorial Day.

Fantasy Rundown BannerNeed more streamer options, prospect news, waiver wire recommendations, and general fantasy baseball goodness, head on over to Fantasy Rundown.

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.