Already over a full week of baseball in the books. How the time flies! What’s that? Enough small talk? Get on with the streamers? Alright, alright, remain calm. First let’s see how last weekend’s streamers fared; ya know, so I am held accountable for my actions or whatever.
Alright, last weekend I recommended six streamers for you and they done did purty darned well. The first six streamers of this season went 3-1, with two no decisions, posting a 2.94 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and a 6.15 K/9. The WHIP and K/9 were not spectacular, but you could still make do with those numbers. Of course not all streaming starts are created equally – most times there will be Ins, Outs and What Have Yous. Well, not this time around. Nope, this time around we only have all ins and only one out.
Well dem’s the appetizers to whet the ol’ appetite. Time to dish up the main course…
Cody Anderson, Indians (vs. Mets) – While I did have Cody as a streamer last weekend, and he did get a quality start, it wasn’t the start I thought we’d get. The grounders were not bountiful by any means as his GB% was a shade under 40 and the Ks did not come. Cody’s K/9 was in the fours last season, but given news of offseason conditioning and a significant increase in his fastball velocity, I was thinking the K rate might at least be average. The sample size is extremely, small though so have some grains of salt nearby. Really the only pluses, statistically, from that first start of 2016 were the nice ERA and a quality start. Everything else was unimpressive from a fantasy standpoint — well, from a regular standpoint too, for that matter. The FIPs average out to about six, so really not what I was expecting.
Starting to seem odd that I have Cody in Field of Streams again, give all this negative yammering? First off, I am sticking to my proverbial guns on this one, and secondly I am not scared of the Mets offense. Bare with me while I throw some small sample size data atcha. The Mets are last in the majors in both ISO and wOBA and only the Twinkies have scored fewer runs than the Metropolitans. Small sample size, small sample size, small….sample….size…I get it. The thing is, I was already down on the Mets offense before the season started. You can choose to believe that or not, but would I lie to you? Nevermind, that was rhetorical. I’m not saying I think the Mets are, or will be, the worst hitting team in baseball, but at best I think they’ll be a middling offense. They’re struggling now, so why not reap the benefits?
4.2% owned in ESPN, 7% owned in Yahoo!
Rich Hill, Athletics (vs. Royals) – I’m just gonna chalk up his opening day debacle to him being a last-minute fill in for Sonny Gray, because his second start was more what I was expecting from him, this season. In that second start, pitching in Seattle, he cooled off a then red-hot Mariners lineup. Six innings, one run, ten strikeouts and a 54,5% ground ball rate! Hill looked ace like and very similar to what we saw in quick flashes at the end of 2015. Now I am not naive enough to think Hill is gonna rattle off twenty some odd starts of this caliber, but I have mentioned on several occasions that I think Hill should be much more widely owned.
The Royals are about middle of the pack offensively, but they currently hit he ball on the ground at a higher rate than all but two teams, and are only three teams in the majors have made soft contact more than the Royals. This game is in Oakland, so Hill should be fairly safe from the big flies in this one. The Athletics infield defense is also pretty decent, at least from what the advanced defensive ratings tell me, which bodes well if there is going to be a heaping helping of grounders. This one seems like a no-brainer for me.
12.4% owned in ESPN, 23% owned in Yahoo!
Erasmo Ramirez, Rays (vs. White Sox) – In six innings of relief work this season, Erasmo has been fairly decent, allowing two earned runs with zero walks and six strikeouts. While the FIP data isn’t all too reliable at this point, it’s still nice to see them at a reasonable level, especially his xFIP which is sitting a hair below two. Keep in mind they are from relief appearances so tough to extrapolate too much from this data.
That being said – what we do know is that Erasmo was somewhat serviceable in the starting role last year with the Rays. His ability to keep the ball on the ground (47.6 GB% last season, 60% thus far this season) is helpful, but stretching out to starting will probably reduce the number of strikeouts he gets. Ramirez’s ERA as a starter last season was 3.51, with both his FIP and xFIP close to his season ERA, so we know he can rattle of some good starts. A concern some might have is the transition from the bullpen to the rotation.
Is Erasmo stretched out and ready for starting? Well, last year he was generally good when transitioning, doing it three times and pitching well in two of those three starts. The first time last season when he switched from the pen to the rotation he was knocked around pretty good, but he was knocked around in the bullpen outing before that start as well. In theory if he is pitching ok now I am thinking that will translate to a somewhat decent start. A quality start and oodles of Ks may be a stretch, but I’d say you get at least five quality innings out of him.
6.2% owned in ESPN, 9% owned in Yahoo!
Brandon Finnegan, Reds (@ Cardinals) – Not gonna lie here; Brandon Finnegan was not on my preseason radar, but his first two starts have caught my eye! Through two starts, Finnegan has posted a 2.84 ERA, a .79 WHIP, a 9.95 K/9 and a GB% of 57.1. All plus numbers for me, and really most anyone else. There may be some luck o’ the Irish working for this young lad as the FIP numbers point to some regression, but an ERA in the mid 3’s is something we can live with. This game is against the Redbirds who seem to be hitting the ball pretty well thus far, but did you know, when facing left-handed pitching the Cardinals bats have been a bit more mortal? They are more middle of the pack when facing southpaws, and their strikeout rate is the third highest in the majors against lefties. Look for another quality start for Finnegan.
24.9% owned in ESPN, 27% owned in Yahoo!
Nick Tropeano, Angels (@ Twins) – Trope looked darned good in his first start of 2016, throwing five scoreless innings against the Athletics. He didn’t induce a lot of ground balls, but the Ks were flowing like wine which should counteract the lack of groundballs a bit. This years FIP numbers combined with last seasons total suggest Trope should be able to maintain a nice ERA. The thing to really like here though is even if you are not 100% sold on Tropeano every time out, he’s facing the Twins.
The Twins bats have not exactly been knocking covers off of baseballs in the early goings of the season. Currently they are in the bottom four in both ISO and wOBA which, I would wager, probably contributes to them having scored fewer runs than any other team in the majors to this point. That’s good enough for me.
2.3% owned in ESPN, 3% owned in Yahoo!
Jarred Cosart, Marlins (vs. Braves) – Before I even delve into Cosart’s numbers, let me just tell you something that may come as somewhat of a shock. Are you ready? No one thought the Braves offense would be any good in 2016.Shocking, I know. And thus far they haven’t been; they are right near the bottom of the barrel in ISO, wOBA and runs scored. Enter Jarred Cosart. He is good enough to handle the Braves offense which is really all you need to know, but if you want more comforting words on the subject, I can offer a few.
Cosart has a great ground ball rate, and while he did not face the Braves last season he did start eight games combined versus the Mets, Phillies and Nationals, all of whom had a better offense. He went 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and he allowed 2 runs or less in six of those eight starts. Cosart is not off to a great start, but I will defer to the above data pertaining to the Braves offense (or lack thereof) and leave it at that.
1.8% owned in ESPN, 1% owned in Yahoo!
Jhoulys Chacin, Braves (@ Marlins) – Will I sound like a broken record if I mention the small sample size thing again? It’s just one start, but Jhoulys numbers (standard and advanced) look quite good, and it’s not as if they came against a light hitting offense. Jhoulys shined against the Nationals, tossing six, five-hit, shutout innings, striking out eight batters and walking none along the way. He appeared to have everything working – getting lots of strikeouts and grounders regularly are a recipe for fantasy goodness. While the Marlins are not exactly the Braves at the plate, they are also not world beaters in my opinion. I think Chacin should be able to deal his way to another quality start in this one.
1.5% owned in ESPN, 0% owned in Yahoo!
That’s it. That’s all I got for ya. Go on, get outta here, go stream!
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