Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers Week 12
A strategy that I have used with success in deeper leagues is streaming starting pitchers. That is, if you miss out on one or more of your high-end targets, you can piece together a fairly solid pitching staff by picking up guys each day and starting them in advantageous matchups to give you solid results.
We’re going to set a 30 percent threshold for ownership and we’ll use ESPN to get us there. Feel free to guide us in the comments section if you think there’s a better way.
Monday, June 19
Jason Hammel (KC) – v. Boston Red Sox (8.5 percent ESPN)
This is an inherently exploitable week in my view, and you’ll see why in just a second. This matchup is the only one we aren’t lining you up to pick someone facing the Giants or Padres. Hammel has been really, really good of late, even if his season numbers tell a bit of a different story. In June — a three-start span — Hammel has a 2.21 ERA (five earned in 20.1 innings) with 15 strikeouts, one walk and a .571 OPS against. The Red Sox offense (97 wRC+) isn’t as good as you remember, either.
Tuesday, June 20
Mike Montgomery (CHC) – v. San Diego Padres (4.9 percent ESPN)
Montgomery has done a decent job out of the pen this season (2.21 ERA), and his first two starts haven’t been too bad either, as he’s allowed four earned runs over nine innings with nine strikeouts. He was up to 88 pitches last time out — June 14 against the Mets — so he should be fairly stretched out as well. It also doesn’t hurt that he — as well as Buck Farmer later this week — is facing the Padres this time around. They’re the second-worst offense in baseball (81 wRC+).
Wednesday, June 21
Sean Newcomb (ATL) – v. San Francisco Giants (20.4 percent ESPN)
…and here we have the worst offense in baseball, as the Giants have scuffled for most of the season and have jockeyed for position with the Royals, Padres, and Phillies for the bottom of the barrel. We just hope Newcomb’s ownership numbers comply, as he was up as high as 101 mph in his last start and terrific in his debut. Sure, it’s a risk to start someone in just their third big-league start, but you’ve got to jump on the Newcomb train early, or you’ll get left behind. Random aside; can we call him “Duke?” Nineties kids might get that reference…..
Thursday, June 22
Jaime Garcia (ATL) – v. San Francisco Giants (30.6 percent ESPN)
We’re breaking the rules ever so slightly to get Garcia in there, as he’s just over the 30 percent threshold. This is just a really, really great matchup for the lefty, and he’s been pretty darn good this season. He’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his last five outings and is coming off a strong appearance against the Mets last time out in a loss; two earned runs in seven innings with nine strikeouts and two walks. Over his last five starts, here’s how he’s fared; 36.1 innings, 1.49 ERA, 28-7 K/BB ratio and .605 OPS against. And perhaps even more impressively, he’s pitched into the seventh inning in all five of those games.
Friday, June 23
Buck Farmer (DET) – @ San Diego Padres (24.2 percent ESPN)
*Editor’s note: Farmer has been optioned back to Triple-A
Farmer was brutal last time out — six earned in 2.1 innings — but that came against the Diamondbacks. These Padres are no Diamondbacks, and Farmer should hopefully be able to replicate his early success. In his first two outings, he tossed 13 scoreless innings against the White Sox and Angels, who are quite a bit better offensively than the Padres. It’s a bit of a roll of the dice, but why not?
Dinelson Lamet (SD) – v. Detroit Tigers (6.5 percent ESPN)
Lamet is coming off a 12 K performance on the road against the Brewers, and that is just the kind of upside you’re looking for when streaming. He’ll have the benefit of his pitcher-friendly home confines at Petco on Friday against a Tigers team that strikes out at a clip of 22.9% against RHP (good for 8th highest K%). Lamet has been making batters whiff throughout his minor league career and while it’s a small sample size, his 14.2% SwStr% this season over five games shows he’s got the stuff at the big league level as well.
Saturday, June 24
Zack Wheeler (NYM) – @ San Francisco Giants (28.3 percent ESPN)
Wheeler got lit up last time out by the Cubs — eight earned runs with just five outs recorded — but again, he’s got the Giants here. Wheeler was really, really good before that last outing, allowing three or fewer earned runs in each of his previous seven starts before the dud against the Cubs. That stretch had brought his ERA down to 3.45, with his numbers over that span looking like this; 2.41 ERA, .718 OPS against and 35-20 K/BB ratio in 41 innings. It’s not perfect, but I’ll take a shot on that, plus his pedigree/talent.
Sunday, June 25
Robert Gsellman (NYM) – @ San Francisco Giants (9.7 percent ESPN)
OK, we’re done exploiting the Giants for the week. Gsellman is also coming off a dud — where have we heard this before? — as he allowed seven earned runs to the Nationals last time out. The season numbers are ugly (5.50 ERA), but he was so good in a small burst last season, and was good in a recent stretch before backsliding against a solid Nats club. In the previous four starts, Gsellman had a 2.16 ERA and .590 OPS against with an 18-7 K/BB ratio in 25 innings.