Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers Week 20
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 average starters to beef up your offense. I find it to be an enjoyable 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, Aug. 14 – Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) – @ San Diego Padres (14.9 percent ESPN)
Eickhoff hasn’t had a great season (4.45 ERA. 4.13 FIP), but he’s been very good of late and has a fantastic matchup in this one, as the Padres have a collective 85 wRC+ — 28th in MLB. Eickhoff’s ERA peaked at 5.22 two months ago, but here’s what he’s done in the seven starts since: 3.10 ERA, 38-17 K/BB ratio in 40.2 innings and a .240/.324/.380 line against. That might not be studly, but it’s way better than 15 percent ownership fodder.
Tuesday, Aug. 15 – Dinelson Lamet (SD) – v. Philadelphia Phillies (23.1 percent ESPN)
Lamet has tantalized and teased with his talent and inconsistency (5.00 ERA, 11.2 K/9), but he’s got a nice matchup here with the Phillies checking in as the fourth-worst offense in baseball (86 wRC+). Lamet has been a lot better at home this season than on the road, too: 4.03 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 5.7 K/BB and a WHIP of 0.90.
Wednesday, Aug. 16 – Kyle Freeland (COL) – v. Atlanta Braves (22.5 percent ESPN)
There’s obviously risk involved here since Freeland left his last start in the first inning with a groin injury, but it’s a day without much to choose from, and he has a nice matchup. The Braves have a brutal offense (89 wRC+, t-24th in MLB), and since a tough start on July 4, Freeland has posted a 1.99 ERA, .616 OPS against and 21-6 K/BB ratio over the 22.2 innings since. He’s also quite a bit better at home this year: .692 OPS against, 3.19 ERA, and 1.31 WHIP.
Thursday, Aug. 17 – Mike Clevinger (CLE) – @ Minnesota Twins (23 percent ESPN)
Clevinger is pretty much the only choice who is under 30 percent on a lean Thursday slate. The Twins’ offense isn’t great (95 wRC+), and Clevinger’s season numbers are at the very least….intriguing: 4.00 ERA, 9.8 K/9, and a 1.33 WHIP. He hasn’t been good of late but gamble on the talent here if you’re going to stream.
Friday, Aug. 18 – Jordan Montgomery (NYY) – @ Boston Red Sox (22.4 percent ESPN)
It looks like a lot of people dropped Montgomery with the news of him being sent to the minors, but he’s back with a C.C. Sabathia injury, and that could be to your benefit. The young lefty has a decent 4.05 ERA this year with nearly a strikeout per inning (111 in 115.2 innings), and again it isn’t a day with a ton of low-owned options.
Saturday, Aug. 19 – Jerad Eickhoff (PHI) – @ San Francisco Giants (14.9 percent ESPN)
Everything we said about Eickhoff for Monday’s start applies here. He’s got quite a nice week, as he gets two of the bottom-three lineups in baseball. The Giants (82 wRC+) are the worst offense in baseball right now.
Sunday, Aug. 20 – Luis Castillo (CIN) – @ Atlanta Braves (28.6 percent ESPN)
We’ll get another good matchup at the expense of the Braves here, but that shouldn’t take away from how good Castillo has been, too. Through 10 career starts for the 24-year-old youngster, Castillo has allowed more than three earned runs just twice, as he’s posted a cool 3.73 ERA, 59 strikeouts, and 26 walks in 60.1 innings and a 1.23 WHIP. Perhaps the proverbial rookie hiccup is coming, but it’s hard to see it coming against the Braves.