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Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 1 (2021)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Apr 1, 2021

The waiting is over, and baseball is officially back!

Think back to where we were last year at this time when a full season of baseball seemed like a pipe dream. But alas, we’re here, and while there could still be some up-and-downs and stoppages, 162 games look like they’ll take place.

Like last year, I’ll be giving you your two-start pitchers for each week, as well as this column focused on pitching streamers for each day.

Last year, I went back to the previous week’s suggested streamers each week to see how I held myself accountable. I’ll be doing the same this year, too, in a year that’s going to be hard to predict and rely on pitchers after a shortened season.

As a reminder, we are looking for pitchers rostered in less than 30 percent of Yahoo leagues. Occasionally a recommendation will exceed that threshold if they are in a particularly favorable streaming situation. We are using projected starters by CBS Sports, and they are subject to change.

Let’s get to it for an extended Week 1.

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Thursday, April 1

Brad Keller (KC) vs. TEX 33%
Opening Day is usually an Ace-off, but each year, we’ll find a team with a less-than-great rotation to throw out someone who is, well, average. While Keller is average, he also gets the Rangers at home. Have you, umm, seen that Rangers lineup? Outside of Joey Gallo and Nick Solak, there’s not a whole lot to fear about it. Keller is a groundball specialist who should eat innings and limit the damage.

Other option: Kyle Gibson (TEX) at KC 8%

Friday, April 2

Johnny Cueto (SF) at SEA 4%
If we thought Opening Day was bad, Friday is even worse, with only six games on the schedule. I don’t really recommend starting Cueto at this point in the season unless you’re in a points league. Still, out of all the eligible pitchers, Cueto is the best option against a possibly good or possibly bad Mariners offense.

Other option: None

Saturday, April 3

Tanner Houck (BOS) vs. BAL
This is more like it. A true streamer! Houck will be filling in for the Red Sox to start the season, but as far as talent goes, he has the third or fourth-best stuff on the team. He has a nice pitch mix, and he was impressive in a tiny, tiny sample in 2020. The Orioles offense will surprise people this year, but early in the season, I feel comfortable using him in a streaming spot.

Other option: Chris Flexen (SEA) vs. SF 1%

Sunday, April 4

Tarik Skubal (DET) vs. CLE 22%
The rostership number for Skubal here was pretty surprising, considering he’s a second-year pitching prospect who cracked the rotation. He learned a new splitter, too, which will be on Twitter in GIF form by Sunday evening. Expect his rostership to grow after a dominating start against a pretty bad Cleveland team.

Other option: Dylan Cease (CWS) at LAA 22%

Monday, April 5

Matt Shoemaker (MIN) at DET 1%
Shoemaker lived in this column last year when he was with Toronto. I have a feeling he will this year again. Maybe it’s a me problem, but Shoemaker has always been pretty solid start to start – it’s the injuries that hold him back. He’ll be matchup dependent all year, and he could lose his job to Randy Dobnak at some point this season, but starting against the Tigers is a great spot for him. Start him with confidence.

Other option: Jeff Hoffman (CIN) vs. PIT 0%

Tuesday, April 6

José De León (CIN) vs. PIT 0%
This has as much to do with De León as it does the matchup, honestly. He was a former top prospect with the Rays, who just couldn’t stay healthy. But he’s had some intrigue around him for the past couple of years in Cincinnati, and due to injuries, he’s getting an audition to open the season in the Reds’ rotation. The Pirates are terrible and are a team you should stream against all season.

Other option: Ross Stripling (TOR) at TEX 2%

Wednesday, April 7

Brad Keller (KC) at CLE 33%
It’s usually a rule of thumb for this column not to use the same pitcher twice, but there are no other options that I feel comfortable recommending to you. So we’ll break it, just this once. Everything applies with this matchup as Keller’s first one.

Other option: None

Thursday, April 8

Jake Arrieta (CHC) at PIT 7%
My true recommendation is don’t stream anyone today. It’s a small slate, and there aren’t a lot of good matchups here. If you feel like, for some reason, you have to maximize your starts in the first week of the season, Arrieta is here as strictly a volume play against a bad offense.

Other option: None

Friday, April 9

Austin Gomber (COL) at SF 2%
I’m intrigued by Gomber, who put together a solid spring. The problem is, of course, that he pitches for the Rockies, so he’s only usable in select matchups on the road. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Other option: Johnny Cueto (SF) vs. COL 4%

Saturday, April 10

Dylan Cease (CHW) vs. KC 22%
Expect this number to shoot up quickly after his 11-strikeout game to end Spring Training. Should it? Maybe, it is Spring Training after all, but it’s the third year for Cease, who was a former top pitching prospect. There’s potential for him to take a huge step forward this year, and he gets two good matchups to start his campaign.

Other option: Logan Webb (SF) vs. COL 18%

Sunday, April 11

Trevor Williams (CHC) at PIT 1%
Revenge game time! I mean, it is, but Williams is also just a guy. But when you’re just a guy against the Pirates, you’re really a solid guy.

Other option: Nick Pivetta (BOS) at BAL 2%

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.