Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 3
Here we go with the third week of finding ignored pitchers turned serviceable for a day. Please take note that rotations are still dicey early in the season, so most of these streaming options are projected starters who aren’t set in stone. That especially holds true for games played later in the week, and I will put a note next to pitchers who haven’t been formally announced to pitch that day. If there’s no indication next to a pitcher’s name, then the team has dubbed them the starter on that day. Got it? Good!
Take note that we are looking for pitchers who are owned in less than 30 percent of Yahoo leagues. Occasionally a recommendation will exceed that threshold if they are in a particularly favorable streaming situation.
Now let’s dive into the good stuff!
Monday, April 15
Trevor Richards (MIA) vs. Chicago Cubs (33%)
It’s a day to stream pitchers named Trevor, as Richards and Cahill profile as the best available hurlers around 30% owned on Yahoo. Richards has looked sharp with 18 strikeouts through 18 innings this season, which is right on pace with his career 9.23 K/9 rate. His artificially low .209 BABIP will rise at any given moment, but Richards isn’t a bad streaming choice considering he’ll be protected by his home pitcher-friendly ballpark. That neutralizes some of the concern while facing a talented Cubs’ offense.
Other Options: Trevor Cahill (LAA) at TEX (17%)
Tuesday, April 16
Kyle Gibson (MIN) vs. Toronto (14%)
Gibson has been pretty “blah” to begin the season. Getting lifted after 4.2 innings while holding a healthy lead is just plain bad luck, and we may view him differently if he rewarded fantasy backers with the all-important win last Tuesday. He’ll have a chance to finally check that category this time around, looking at a favorable home matchup against the Blue Jays. Toronto ranks 26th in wRC+ with the highest strikeout rate (29%) to begin the season, so the draw couldn’t be much better.
Wednesday, April 17
Justus Sheffield (SEA) vs. Cleveland (5%) – not formally announced
This recommendation is exciting, but we’ll need to confirm a few things before making the move. Seattle LHP Wade LeBlanc could miss his next start, and Sheffield would be a candidate to make his first major league start. Sheffield is one of the better Triple-A pitchers out there, as he has held a 2.50 ERA over the past two years with a healthy strikeout rate to boot. Facing an underwhelming, injury-plagued Cleveland lineup would help his cause … If Sheffield doesn’t work out, Lance Lynn could navigate an underwhelming Angels’ offense – especially if Mike Trout is still banged up.
Other Options: Lance Lynn (TEX) vs. LAA (5%) – not announced
Thursday, April 18
Ivan Nova (CWS) at Detroit (2%) – not formally announced
Nova was completely shelled for seven earned runs through 2.1 innings against Seattle on April 7. However, he has combined for 13 innings with two earned runs and nine strikeouts in his other two starts. Nova could handle a Tigers’ offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ and fourth in strikeout rate. When streaming your pitchers this week, taking guys against Detroit isn’t a bad strategy.
Other Options: Michael Pineda (MIN) vs. TOR (41%)
Friday, April 19
Caleb Smith (MIA) vs. Washington (17%) – not formally announced
This isn’t a great matchup, but Smith will be protected by his pitcher-friendly ballpark – similar to teammate Richards, mentioned earlier. Smith has been looking very good as well, allowing just five earned runs through 17 innings with 21 strikeouts. He looked outstanding against a tough Philadelphia lineup, going six scoreless innings with six strikeouts and one hit allowed last Saturday. Smith is one of those streamers who could end up staying on your fantasy squad for the rest of the season.
Other Options: C.C. Sabathia (NYY) vs. KC (12%) – not announced
Saturday, April 20
Eric Lauer (SD) vs. Cincinnati (28%) – not formally announced
Petco Park isn’t as pitcher-friendly as previous years, but it’s still kind to hurlers for all intents and purposes. Lauer will be facing a Cincinnati lineup that ranks 25th in wRC+ and seventh in strikeout rate (25.6%) to begin the young season. The San Diego southpaw was more than serviceable while recording a win and eight strikeouts through six innings at San Francisco in his last appearance. While this isn’t my favorite streamer of the week, Lauer makes sense for fantasy enthusiasts desperate towards the end of the scoring period.
Other Options: Marco Estrada (OAK) vs. TOR (8%) – not announced
Sunday, April 21
Tyler Mahle (CIN) at San Diego (7%) – not formally announced
Don’t look now, but Tyler Mahle has pitched 11 innings of one-run ball with 12 strikeouts over his first two starts. He’ll pitch in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Tuesday, but we aren’t looking to stream him there. Regardless of what happens in that outing, he’s in a reasonable spot and pitcher-friendly atmosphere while facing San Diego at the end of the week. It’s not hard to fathom that he can come close to replicating those first two starts of the year.