Fantasy Baseball Streaming Hitters: Week 8

by Tyler Watts | @tylerpwatts | Featured Writer
May 17, 2019

A full week with a righty-heavy schedule presents the perfect time for a Kyle Schwarber breakout.

The wave of prospect call-ups has fantasy managers in shallow leagues making tough decisions this week. In general, fantasy players are often too hyped about prospects. For every Bryce Harper and Ronald Acuna Jr., there are five players who struggle immediately. Adjusting to the MLB is not easy.

That also does not mean you should not pick up recently promoted players. Take a chance, but only if you are dropping a replacement-level player. Do not cut a slumping Matt Carpenter for a young hopeful. Carpenter will likely have significantly more value the rest of the season.

Also, do not be afraid to cut bait with a prospect who’s struggling after a few weeks. They may get sent back down or continue harming your fantasy team with poor stats. Fantasy managers need to keep an eye on their production.

Maximizing your games is a fantastic way to win matchups in head-to-head fantasy leagues. Let us take a peek at the schedule to do just that for the week ahead.

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A Look at the Schedule

The Week 8 schedule is packed. Thirteen teams (Braves, Orioles, Red Sox, Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Astros, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Giants, Blue Jays, Nationals) have seven games. Conversely, five organizations (Reds, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Cardinals) play just five games. The remaining 12 teams have six games.

Streaming is a bit more difficult with so many teams playing seven games. It is compounded by just five having five contests. It would be difficult to start any player on a short slate ranked outside the top 100. Here is a look at some quality replacements fantasy managers can add off the waiver wire who are owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Top Pickups

Austin Riley (3B – ATL): 47% owned
This is the last chance for fantasy managers to snag Riley. The Braves just called up the 22-year-old to play left field. In his 486 Triple-A plate appearances, Riley hit .287/.356/.536 with 27 home runs. He should hit for significant power in the majors and is a must-add for his upside.

Mitch Moreland (1B – BOS): 31% owned
Moreland already has 12 home runs on the season. His low BABIP has hurt his average, but expect some positive regression to the mean in that area. The Red Sox play at Toronto and Houston this week against six right-handed starters. Moreland is a career .254/.323/.463 hitter against righties with all of his long balls coming in 119 plate appearances versus them this season. It should be a strong week for the Red Sox’s first baseman.

Oscar Mercado (OF – CLE): 20% owned
Cleveland called up the 24-year-old Mercado, who stole 37 bases with 26 home runs and a .278 average last year in Triple-A. Steals remain way down this season, so adding a guy who could steal 20 the rest of the way without killing your average or on-base percentage sounds like a wise move.

Kyle Schwarber (OF – CHC): 43% owned
Schwarber hit 26 and 30 home runs the last two seasons in just 486 and 510 plate appearances, respectively. The batting average has been ugly (.227) during his MLB career, but he gets on base (.339). The Cubs are facing the Phillies and Reds this week with seven home games. Chicago is also scheduled to face six righties, against whom Schwarber has a career .345 OBP.

Amed Rosario (SS – NYM): 47% owned
Rosario gets a bit underrated in fantasy at times. He had nine home runs and 24 steals last season with a .256 average. He already has three homers and four steals in 2019. Only 23 years old, Rosario could easily swipe 30 bags this season. The Mets also face three lefties this week, giving him plenty of opportunities to excel.

Randal Grichuk (OF – TOR): 30% owned
From 2016-2018, Grichuk hit 71 home runs in 1,382 plate appearances. If you set that to a 600 plate-appearance-per-season pace, Grichuk averages 30.8 home runs. Injuries usually catch up to him, but when healthy, the outfielder can rake. He has no discernable career splits either. Add Grichuk for the seven home games against the Red Sox and Padres in Week 8.

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Tyler Watts is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Tyler, follow him @tylerpwatts.

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