Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 2
We’re back for another wild week of unpredictable outcomes. With the way the season has gone thus far, it begs the question of whether or not fantasy commissioners should be able to change their leagues from weekly to daily given the day-to-day news that develops.
Typically, rule changes in the middle of a season are a huge no, but since this season is unlike any other, what’s the harm? Imagine if you locked-in last week with players from the Blue Jays, Phillies, Nationals, Brewers, or Marlins?
For this one time, commissioners, make the change.
Take note that we are looking for pitchers who are rostered in under 30 percent of Yahoo leagues. Occasionally, a recommendation will exceed that threshold if they are in a particularly favorable streaming situation.
Monday, August 3
Alec Mills (CHC) vs. KC 13%
Monday’s options aren’t great, and it would be a flat-out lie to say that I have total confidence in Mills. He did, however, handle the Reds over six innings in his last time out. This time, he gets the Royals, who have the fifth-most strikeouts in baseball. As a bonus, you can hold Mills for his weekend start against the Cardinals, too, if you’re in a close matchup and need more volume.
Other options: Lewis Thorpe (MIN) vs. PIT 1%
Tuesday, August 4
Tyler Mahle (CIN) vs. CLE 2%
Mahle is a fantasy darling who the Reds announced would stay in the rotation. He threw four innings his first time out in a tough matchup against the Cubs. This time, he draws Cleveland, a club that has trouble getting anything going offensively. On the year, Cleveland is 28th in wOBA, 27th in batting average, 23rd in OBP, and 29th in SLG. Collectively, their batters strike out 24.5 percent of the time. It’s a good matchup for Mahle and pitchers in general until proven otherwise.
Other options: Zach Eflin (PHI) at MIA 5%
Wednesday, August 5
Kyle Gibson (TEX) at OAK 8%
Gibson is a polarizing pitcher for those in deep leagues. Just ask the fellas over at Sleeper and the Bust with their countless debates about Gibson from his time in Minnesota. He’s in Texas now, and he had a very Gibson-like start against Arizona his first time out. Volume is the name of the game this year, and Gibson should provide that against an Oakland team that strikes out 27.5 percent of the time. They have a .268 team wOBA (27th in baseball) and an American League-worst .188 team batting average. There’s nothing polarizing about that.
Thursday, August 6
Spencer Turnbull (DET) at STL 21%
If Turnbull was on any other team, or if he had a cooler sounding name, he’d be rostered in far more than the 21 percent of leagues that he’s rostered in now. He went toe-to-toe with Luis Castillo in his last time out, limiting the Reds to just three hits in six innings while striking out a batter per inning. This is less about the matchup with the Cardinals than it is that Turnbull, a sleeper heading into the season (s/o Eno Sarris and SP Streamer), has the best stuff in the Detroit rotation. He won’t be eligible for this list come next Monday.
Other options: Taijuan Walker (SEA) vs. LAA 4%
Friday, August 7
Yusei Kikuchi (SEA) vs. COL 5%
Kikuchi just didn’t look right in his first MLB season last year. However, he did a lot of offseason work to recapture his past effectiveness. He had good reviews in Spring Training and Summer Camp, and they were on full display against an as-of-now dismal Oakland offense on Sunday. Kikuchi struck out nine A’s over six innings without allowing a run. He also looked really good his first time through the Houston lineup in his first start of the season. Now, he gets the Rockies in Seattle. It’s worth noting that his fastball velocity is up to 95.5 on average this season — that’s up from 92.5 last year, and his max velo against the A’s was 97.
Other options: Michael Wacha (NYM) vs. MIA 7%
Saturday, August 1
Austin Voth (WAS) vs. BAL 5%
Voth held his own against a good Blue Jays lineup his last time out, going five innings giving up two earned runs. He only struck out two batters, though, which is kind of surprising. You’d like to think Voth and the defending champs would make quick work of the Orioles, but Baltimore is coming off a sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays, so maybe the matchup isn’t as easy as we initially thought? With Juan Soto likely back in the lineup for the Nats, Voth should have the offensive backing he needs if he can replicate his last outing.
Other options: Julio Teheran (LAA) at TEX 16%
Sunday, August 2
Cristian Javier (HOU) at OAK 34%
This is the one case where we’ll break the 30 percent rostership rule, but it’s close enough to give us a pass. Javier is worth talking about after his electric debut — he struck out eight Dodgers in 5.2 innings! Dusty Baker hasn’t yet confirmed that Javier is in the rotation for good, but the Houston rotation is suddenly — and surprisingly — a mess, so I expect him to stay in there for the juicy Oakland matchup (based on a small 2020 sample). He has serious control issues, so don’t let the eight strikeouts let you think that you’re getting an ace here, but we have to recognize the matchup and upside that Javier has.
Other options: Matt Shoemaker (TOR) at BOS 20%
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