Field of Streams; Week 18 Weekend Streamers

Field of Streams logoMan it’s hard to believe it. The fantasy baseball playoffs are right around the corner, and you know what that means, right? Well, yes, it does mean fantasy football is nearing (and Fantasy Assembly will have you covered for that as well), but it also means streaming becomes more and more crucial. A good stream can be the difference any week; lucky for you, I am here to hold your hand as we traipse (yes, I said traipse) through this upcoming weekend’s streaming options. But we can’t get right to the meat and potatoes, you know better than that! Gotta get some appetizers in ya first. So let’s take a look at how last weekend’s streamers fared with my Ins, Outs and What Have Yous!

Ins IP  BB  ER  W/L
Erasmo Ramirez Red Sox 6 5 2 1 6 ND
Aaron Nola Phillies 5 5 0 2 3 W
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 7 4 2 1 6 W
Eduardo Rodriguez Rays 5 6 4 3 4 ND
 Total 23 20
8 7 19 2-0-2

Well, nether Sunday streamer pick ended up starting, so only four pitchers to report on and overall those four were 2-0, with a 3.13 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 7.43 K/9. I’d buy that for a dollar! Enough gloating though, on to the main course.


Daniel Norris, Tigers (vs. Red Sox) – Obviously the 3.23 ERA is quite enticing, but for statheads like myself, that is not always going to be enough. The FIPpy (just go with it, it’ll catch on) for Norris on the season points to him pitching closer to a five ERA. That’s not good and obviously not something that should entice me, and it doesn’t. I know, I know, right now you are thinking, “then why is his darned name appearing in the world renown Field of Streams, Will?!” Great question, glad you asked. Well, for one there is the change of scenery factor. Norris is moving from that Canadian launching pad of a park to pitcher friendly Comerica Park. Again, I realize the FIPpy data still doesn’t point to this making a huge difference, however the change of scenery any time can inexplicably, some might say magically, improve performance. Norris has made one start as a Tiger and it went swimmingly. Seriously. Norris allowed one run over seven innings against the Orioles whom, I might add, are no slouches at the plate. That was Norris’ first start since the end of April. Plus in his last two starts, way back in April, he allowed just one run over ten innings. That’s two runs now over his last 17 innings pitched. That I like! Norris’ FIPpy data in that start is also improved somewhat and he faces the Red Sox on Friday.  Granted the Sox have picked up the pace on offense, but Norris practically lives in a van down by the river, which Matt Foley can tell you is no picnic! No time to play things too safe – time to be bold!
19.5% owned in ESPN, 18% owned in Yahoo!

Aaron Nola, Phillies (at Padres) – There are still plenty of seats available on the Aaron Nola bandwagon at the moment. I mean, sure, the FIP is close to five, but a 3.38 ERA and a 3.23 SIERA are just plain delightful. Nola has a ground ball rate of just over 50% which I like and the K rate is very serviceable thus far, but what I really like is the low BB/9. Nola is walking under two batters per nine innings which is very decent, especially for a young pitcher. Control is something that can take a bit to harness, and thus far Nola has been able to harness it just fine. With a very small three start sample size it is slightly premature to go all in on Nola, but so far so good, even if he only has one quality start. Nola has gone at least five innings in all three starts and in the last one he may have been pulled because the Phillies were routing their opponent.  The Padres offense is middling of late posting numbers that should not really be striking fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Might not be time to go all in on Nola, but for this start I like his chances.
43.2% owned in ESPN, 26% owned in Yahoo!


Tom Koehler, Marlins (at Braves) – I could make this about Tom Koehler, as there is certainly a streaming case for him many a day, but who am I kidding. This is more about the Braves: a team at or near the bottom of the league in wOBA, ISO and runs scored over the last couple of weeks, and those numbers were when they still had Freddie Freeman in the lineup. I mean, they’re just not a potent offense at this moment. Koehler is not a power pitcher, but he gets things done (most of the time). A 3.71 ERA is hardly anything to sneer at, even if the FIP  point to him pitching more to an ERA in the fours. Koehler has pitched against Atlanta three times this year (once in relief) allowing just four runs in 14.1 innings. So Koehler knows, and pitches well, against Atlanta. All things considered, I’m perfectly fine throwing TK out there in this one.
14.5% owned in ESPN, 15% 0wned in Yahoo!


Jake Peavy, Giants, (at Cubs)- Did you know that since coming off the DL, Jake Peavy has thrown a quality start in five of six starts? It’s the truth whether you were aware of it or not. In the one start that was not quality, he allowed four earned runs in six and a third innings, which is not that far from a good ol’ QS. In four of those five quality starts, Peavy allowed two runs or less. Now, I’m not saying this is vintage Cy Young contendin’ Jake Peavy because the FIP indicates otherwise, but for our streaming purposes he’ll do just fine. The Cubs are not the worst hitters in the world, but they aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball right now, neither. I say ride this sweet quality start train as long as you can!
12.1% owned in ESPN, 11% owned in Yahoo!

Chris Tillman, Orioles (at Angels)- Do not adjust your monitors, I am actually recommending Chris Tillman against the Halos. Look, before you have a hissy fit, let me point out that Tillman has thrown four straight high quality starts and has a quality start in five of his last six starts. Oh, and when I say high quality, I mean high quality. Over his last six starts Tillman is sporting a 1.08 ERA. 1.08! A 1.08 ERA with a very good FIP to boot! Granted some of the offenses he has faced have not been the cream of the crop, and this start is against a powerhouse offense lead by Michael Nelson Trout so Till is bound to get rocked, right? Well, maybe not. What you may not realize is that the Angels offense has not been stupendous lately. Over the past couple of weeks, the Halos are 28th in wOBA, 26th in ISO and just 22nd in runs scored. Sure it is an offense that could bounce back at any moment, but the respective momentum in this one favors Tillman.
37.4% owned in ESPN, 50% owned in Yahoo!

Okay, that’s it. That’s all I got. Scram! Go on, git! Go stream!

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Will Emerson

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Affectionately know by close friends as Willie Moe, Will is back living in Boston after brief, 11 year stint, in upstate New York. Will loves numbers and baseball, so it is no surprise that he has been addicted to fantasy baseball for over two decades. That’s right, Will was playing fantasy baseball since before the internet was providing up to the minute stats and standings, and you had to get your hands inky checking box scores in the newspaper.