Will Emerson is away this weekend so I get the call to make another spot start here at Field of Streams. Just like in fantasy, if you want to guarantee yourself playing time you have to be versatile. I’m no stranger to streaming, I have a team in one league that I have done nothing but stream going on 3 years now. The first two years I did so with great success; this year, not so much. Those are the pitfalls of playing the wire; without a few aces or guaranteed starters, you are at the mercy of the dregs that nobody deemed worthy enough of a roster spot. You can find some good starts, but you will also get your fair share of bad ones as you will see below with last weeks streaming options.
|What Have You|
|Wade Miley||Red Sox||6||4||5||1||4||L|
Will started off the week strong with 3 wins, but things went down hill after that. Even with the bad games, last weeks streamers had an ERA of 3.49, a 1.41 WHIP and a strikeout per inning. The WHIP was bad, but the rest of the numbers were playable. Enough reminiscing, let’s get to what you came here for.
Cody Anderson, Indians (vs. Royals) – Finding a worthy f/a streaming option on Monday will be tough and your choices are limited so proceed with caution. With that said, Anderson has done quite well in his brief time in the majors. On the surface everything looks good: 1.91 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 4 quality starts in 5 attempts, 2 wins and a 45% groundball rate. Underneath you see a 4.05 xFIP, 4.53 SIERA and a .224 BABIP; all things Anderson owners and streamers alike should be aware of. The Royals are in the top 10 in many of the offensive categories not only for July but for the season so today’s task won’t be an easy one.
You are partly relying on luck with this one and hoping the magic that Anderson has been spinning will continue for a little while longer. Even if he does falter some, keep in mind that (prior to last night’s game) 5 of the last 7 starters that have faced the Royals have allowed 4 earned runs or less – that should give you some confidence Anderson won’t get blown out. The odds of a win here a slim and with Anderson’s and Kansas City’s low strikeout totals you won’t get many K’s, but you should get 6 innings and a quality start. I told you pickings were slim today.
45% owned in ESPN, 25% owned in Yahoo!
Robbie Ray, Diamondbacks (@Seattle) – Ray has 10 major league starts under his belt and has been fairly successful. He has had quality starts in only half his games, but has allowed more than 3 earned runs just twice. His ERA is 2.72 but his xFIP is 3.94 suggesting he’s had a little luck, but an ERA under 4.0 will play for streaming purposes. Ray also has a K/9 of 7.54 which will come in handy today against a Mariners team that is near the top of the league for strikeouts. Seattle is a top 10 team when it comes to home runs and this is where the danger lies. Ray has a FB% of 43.9% and has been extremely lucky with a HR/FB ratio of 2.7%. Playing in Seattle will help, but one hanging slider and things could get ugly. Seattle is near the bottom of the league for scoring runs but they are near the top in July meaning you can flip a coin when trying to guess the outcome of this game. I think Ray will get his fair share of K’s, go 6 innings and come away with a quality start. Personally, I’d rather find an extra streaming option later in the week and skip Monday all together.
17% owned in ESPN, 13% owned in Yahoo!
Mike Pelfrey, Twins (vs. Pittsburgh) – This is one of those hidden gems on waivers. While Pelfrey’s ERA and WHIP are close to 4.0 and 1.50 respectively, his home numbers are 2.22 and 1.14. He also strikes out batters at a higher rate at home and has a BAA (.242) that is 50 points lower than his season total. A 54.4% groundball rate combined with a 24.9% fly ball percentage will almost assure the ball stays in the yard. The Pirates picked things up in the run scoring department in July, but they are also striking out at an extremely high rate – ranking just behind the Cubs for the worst in the league. Pelfrey isn’t a strikeout pitcher, but Pittsburgh’s swing and miss ways could give him a few more than normal. Pelfrey’s worst home start was his last one against Detroit where he allowed 4 earned runs over 7.2 innings. The rest of the starts were 3 earned runs or less so expect a quality start today. With Charlie Morton on the mound for the Pirates, you might just get a win as well if the Twins can muster some offense.
8% owned in ESPN, 6% owned in Yahoo!
Brett Anderson, Dodgers (vs. Oakland) – I was going to suggest Mike Bolsinger today, but it looks like the Dodgers have rearranged their schedule. If things change by Tuesday then grab Bolsinger, but for now Anderson is the man to own (and Bolsinger is the man to stash for Wednesday). He should be owned more, but Will Emerson and I have both preached this on numerous occasions so no need to beat a dead horse. Anderson’s ERA and xFIP are both 3.33 so his numbers are what they are. His batted ball profile is tremendous: 66.8 GB% – 13.6 LD% – 19.6 FB%. Anderson keeps the ball in the park, limits base runners and keeps the score close. How close? He has allowed more than 3 earned runs only twice; one of those times was back in April which means just one additional time over the next 3 months. For the month of July the A’s are batting .234, are 29th in OBP and are near the bottom when it comes to scoring runs. I expect another gem here from Anderson (health permitted).
21% owned in ESPN, 23% owned in Yahoo!
Chris Tillman, Orioles (vs. Atlanta) – I talked about Tillman the other day when recommending him in my waiver wire report; instead of regurgitating what I already said I’ll let you read it for yourself. Go ahead, I’ll wait. OK, now you know that Tillman is basically back, and Wednesday he draws the Braves who just traded one of their biggest bats to the Mets. Yes, Kelly Johnson was a big bat for Atlanta which should tell you all you need to know about this team offensively. For July they are in the bottom third of the league when it comes to average, OBP, runs, home runs – basically any statistically category that involves men getting on base. Baring a Tillman collapse or fluke day from Atlanta, I predict a win, a half-dozen K and another strong start for Tillman. If you steam Tillman today, hold onto him because his next start is at Oakland.
30% owned in ESPN, 39% owned in Yahoo!
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks (@Seattle) – Unlike Monday’s recommendation of Robbie Ray, Corbin has a little bit of a track record to fall back on. His surface number so far this year mirror those he put up in 2013; while it has only been 4 starts, it is a good sign. Corbin has done a good job early at limiting hits and walks and is averaging just over a strikeout an inning, but he has given up a home run in each of his last 3 starts. The Mariners are one of the top 5 teams in July for home runs which is bad, but if Corbin can continue to limited the hits and free passes the damage should be minimal. Corbin did manage to go 7 innings last time out which is a good sign stamina wise so the potential is there for a quality start. As for a win, I wouldn’t put money on it with Felix Hernandez toeing the rubber for the opposition. I still expect a quality start with around a half-dozen K’s, low WHIP and an ERA under 4.0. With another good start or two we could see Corbin’s ownership rise; you may want to buy him now before it’s too late.
24% owned in ESPN, 15% owned in Yahoo!
Drew Hutchison, Blue Jays (vs. Royals) – Given his ownership on Yahoo, this may be the last time you see Hutch here on Field of Streams. Hutchison owns a 5.19 ERA; for those of you that don’t follow the splits, he has a healthy 2.21 ERA at home along with a 1.05 WHIP and .219 BAA. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in a home start since May 20th and has won each of his home starts since. In addition, Hutch has only put together two bad starts in a row twice this season. He was smacked around his last start at Seattle so the odds of him bouncing back here are good. I talked about the Royals above when (half-heartedly) recommending Cody Anderson. Hutchison has his work cut out for him today, but I can’t see today being any worse than his home game against the Angels where he surrendered 4 runs in 6.2 innings. That would be a worst case scenario, and the worst case scenario isn’t that bad for streaming purposes.
30% owned in ESPN, 44% owned in Yahoo!
Jonathan Niese, Mets (vs. San Diego) – Thankfully Niese went on a paternity leave forcing the Mets to rearrange their rotation. I say thankfully because there are some ugly streaming choices today and I wasn’t looking forward to recommending any of them. Just like Tillman above, Niese was one of my waiver wire recommendations yesterday so I will not rehash why he should be more than just a streaming option – you can read it for yourself. Instead I will talk about his opponents for today. For the month of July the Padres are 29th in BA, 27th in OBP and dead last in runs scored. They are in the middle of the pack for home runs which plays against Niese, but they are also in the middle of the pack for strikeouts. Considering Niese’s strikeout totals I wouldn’t expect more than 5 today, but combine that with at least 6 innings, a low run total and potentially a win and you’ve got a no-brainer of a streaming choice. Don’t throw Niese back after this start because his next game will be at Miami, and they are just as bad as the Padres right now.
21% owned in ESPN, 15% owned in Yahoo!
That’s all I got – Happy Streaming!
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