Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers Week 16
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.
Maybe you can’t replicate what Clayton Kershaw would do, but you can certainly put up some solid numbers if you pick your spots while using the picks you’d have spent on middling starters to beef up your offense. I personally find it to be a very fun strategy that requires some persistence and a bit of being the early bird who gets the worm, and the payoff can be particularly sweet.
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, July 17
Brent Suter (MIL) – @ Pittsburgh Pirates (5.2 percent ESPN)
First of all, I love the matchup since the Pirates boast one of the worst offenses in the game (89 wRC+) with virtually no end in sight. The lefty Suter hasn’t put in much time in the Brewers’ rotation — hence the ownership numbers — but the soft-tosser has done a nice job getting strikeouts (8.2 K/9) and grounders (46.2 percent) while walking virtually no one (2.6 BB/9). We’ll take a spin on him this Monday on a lean slate.
Tuesday, July 18
Dinelson Lamet (SDP) – @ Colorado Rockies (11.3 percent ESPN)
Here’s another day where we don’t really love anyone, and some teams haven’t even firmed up their rotations yet. Based on what we’ve seen from Lamet (5.93 ERA) so far this season is that he runs really, really hot and cold. He’s run cold against some good offenses and hot against some poor ones, and this Rockies one happens to be the worst one in the game (79 wRC+). This isn’t a matchup we love — so sit out if you wish — but if you’re going to take a spin, you can do worse.
Wednesday, July 19
Mike Montgomery (CHC) – @ Atlanta Braves (12.1 percent ESPN)
Another day, another so-so matchup. Montgomery has worked all over for the Cubs this season and this will be his eighth start — matching the number of games finished he has. Since moving to the rotation he has not been good (5.79 ERA), but the Braves offense is pretty bad (91 wRC+) so we may be able to spin it that way. Everyone else on Wednesday is owned over 30 percent or awful.
Thursday, July 20
Luis Castillo (CIN) – v. Arizona Diamondbacks (16 percent ESPN)
Castillo is at least interesting. He throws absolute gas — 97.8 mph average — with a good change and slider. He’s also inducing tons of grounders (56.2 percent) to go with more than 11 strikeouts per nine. It’s super iffy to trust a guy who has made five big-league starts, but the Diamondbacks offense isn’t all that great (94 wRC+) and pretty much the rest of the slate is over 30 percent owned or Wade Miley. You decide.
Friday, July 21
Jose Urena (MIA) – @ Cincinnati Reds (29.8 percent ESPN)
Urena is at least finally interesting — 3.93 ERA, .241 BAA — after years of toiling as a guy with great raw stuff but absolutely no idea what to do with it. Still, it’s a risky play with no strikeouts (6.2 K/9) and a reliance on fly balls (39.3 percent groundball rate). Other options Friday aren’t great either, such as Ricky Nolasco against the Red Sox, Anibal Sanchez against the Twins or even Trevor Williams against the Rockies.
Saturday, July 22
Luis Perdomo (SDP) – @ San Francisco Giants (4.7 percent ESPN)
The Giants still boast a dreadful offense (third-worst in MLB at 81 wRC+), and Perdomo has allowed three or fewer earned runs in four of his last five starts. He induces tons of grounders (67.1 percent) with some strikeout intrigue (7.5 K/9) and a big-time fastball (94.1 mph on average). He’s a work in progress, but the Giants are such a mess offensively you can take that risk…
Sunday, July 23
Dinelson Lamet (SDP) – @ San Francisco Giants (11.3 percent ESPN)
…which is why we’re recommending Lamet for a second spin this week. Seriously, the guy with nearly a 6.00 ERA. It’s a pretty good two-start week for Lamet if your format favors this, actually.