We’ll keep things simple for those faithful few who are still playing. If ERA and WHIP are blown then stream away. If those two categories are close then stream with caution. Check your opponents lineup and see how many pitchers he has going and make lineup adjustments accordingly. Finally, even if you don’t need to stream, pick up the best streaming options anyway to block your opponent. Good luck.
*Ownership rates under 50% in Yahoo and ESPN
Wei-Yin Chen vs Cincinnati Reds
You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but Chen has been a beast at home, turning in a 1.77 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, and a .190 BAA over 12 starts (71 innings). He had quality starts in 8 of those contests; in another 3 he allowed just one run total and reached the 5th inning in each contest. That leaves one poor home start, back on June 11. His only start against the Reds was in Cincinnati – that didn’t go so well. Chen also has home run issues, but part of that could be negated by his home park (5 HR vs 14 on the road). Chen’s overall line and general inconsistencies warrant hesitation, but if you buy the home numbers then this is a solid stream.
John Gant vs San Francisco Giants
While I do like Gant, his hard hit rate (44.5%) does scare the hell out of me and he can walk a few too many at times. However, a solid ground ball approach and ability to keep the ball in the park eases some of my concerns, especially this week. The Giants have scored the least amount of runs in September, and only the Marlins have hit fewer home runs or scored fewer runs for the season. They also rank in the bottom-five for walks. I know Gant has come up short on innings in a number of outings, but I don’t see him going any less than five in this one with a real shot at a quality start.
Francisco Liriano vs Kansas City Royals
It’s been a few years since I’ve looked Liriano’s way, but with three solid starts in a row and a game against the Royals he is a consideration. He threw a decent game against the White Sox, blanked the Astros over six innings, and then beat the Indians on Sunday going seven innings. The strikeout total in each game was solid as was the WHIP – something we haven’t seen a lot of this season. What I like most is that Liriano has faced the Royals four times this year, and over 23.2 innings he has a 2.28 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and a .173 BAA. The Royals rank in the bottom-five for average, OBP, runs and home runs against lefties, and are not far off those marks overall for the season.
Mike Minor vs Seattle Mariners
Minor my not be available in competitive leagues, but if for some reason he is out there he needs to be owned and started. He has a 2.72 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, and a .182 BAA post all-star over 9 starts. Six of those nine have been high quality (two or fewer runs) with two more being two-run five-inning outings. He has also been much better in Arlington this year with a 3.32 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 14 starts (84 innings). While his record against Seattle this year isn’t great, Minor has improved since last facing the in May. The Mariners may be better than average at hitting lefties, but they rank 19th in home runs and runs scored.
Jakob Junis @Detroit Tigers
Junis is here not only because of his opponent, but for his recent body of work. Over the last 30 days (6 starts, 32.2 innings) Junis has a 3.03 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Three of his last four starts went seven plus innings with a total of three runs allowed. One of those starts was a nine-inning one-run game against the same Tigers he is facing today, but that wasn’t the first time Junis has faced Detroit this year. Over four starts (31 innings) Junis owns a 1.74 ERA, a 0.77 WHIP, and a .193 BAA, and he picked up a W in each one. The Tigers have hit better this month, but overall they rank in the bottom-10 offensively.
Adam Wainwright vs San Francisco Giants
Seriously, I’m recommending Adam Wainwright. First off he gets the Giants, and if you’re a regular reader of Field of Streams you know that the Giants are one of the best teams to stream against. I know Wainwright is on the downside (OK, end) of his career, but he showed in his last start against the Dodgers he still has some life in him. Wainwright threw a two-hit shutout over six innings striking out nine. The sample size is small this year, but Wainwright is posting a career ground ball rate (52.4%), a hard hit rate (25.6%) we haven’t seen since 2012, a career high in soft contact (23.3%), and an overall contact rate in line with his glory years.
With the Cardinals fighting for a place in the post-season we could see a few vintage Wainwright starts before the end of the season. OK, maybe that is a stretch, but Wainwright wouldn’t be the first veteran we wrote off early only to see him bounce back.
Brad Keller @Detroit Tigers
OK, my favorite weekday stream disappointed; maybe I jinxed things by making him my top stream. That doesn’t take away the fact that Keller has been solid not only over the last 30 days, but for the entire season. He owns a 3.17 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 40 games (19 starts), and over the last 30 days the ERA and WHIP have been 2.73 and 1.27. Prior to his last outing he had three consecutive high quality starts and six consecutive starts with two or fewer runs. If this were June, Keller would have an ownership rate well above 50%, but since it’s late he is under 25%. He is still my favorite stream and in my opinion a must own.
Ryan Borucki vs Tampa Bay Rays
Borucki has had a number of rocky outings with one-third of his starts being four or more runs. He has also gone six-plus innings in 10 of his 15 starts with each one being a high-quality start. Sometimes he generated decent strikeout totals (five-plus in eight start), while other times he came up short (two or fewer in six starts). Despite and average batted ball profile and plate discipline numbers he has kept the ball in the yard (5HR over 84 innings). Finally, his home ERA is a full point lower than it is for the season.
The Rays rank in the top-five for both batting average and OBP (both on the season and against lefties), but they rank in the bottom half of the league for runs scored under the same circumstances. This game could go either way, but given the data you’ve got a two in three chance of getting a very good start.
SUNDAY DART THROWS
While I will not officially endorse them, I will be considering Erick Fedde vs The Mets and Trevor Richard vs Cincinnati.
- Fedde has been hit or miss, but he does have 22 K’s over his last three starts (15 innings) and plays a Mets team who is tied with the Padres for the worst team batting average and is ranked in the bottom-10 in OBP and runs scored.
- Richards has recent home run (10 of his 15 over the last 7 starts) and innings issues (hasn’t reached the sixth inning in past 8 starts). Still, he draws a pitcher’s park against an average opponent and is generating a strikeout an inning. Like the Rays, Cincinnati can hit the ball, but they’ve come up short on runs and home runs.
That’s all I got… go on, get out of here… go stream!
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