Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 3 (2021)
Streaming starting pitchers will always be a part of my fantasy baseball strategy, particularly in daily lineup leagues. The idea when it comes to streaming SPs it that we’re looking to take calculated risks in order to piece together a start-worthy fantasy option over the course of the season.
Therefore, I’m primarily focused on ratios when it comes to the below recommendations. I don’t care about receiving a win if my ERA and WHIP wind up destroyed, after all. Furthermore, wins are becoming an increasingly random stat in today’s game. They’ll still play a factor in my streaming decisions (as will quality starts), but they aren’t the priority.
Let’s dive in — and please feel free to reach out on Twitter with questions anytime @toomuchtuma
*Note streaming recommendations are made as of Friday, April 16th*
Monday, April 19th
Joe Ross (WAS) vs. STL
Ross has totaled 11 scoreless innings through two starts so far. It has been an impressive display of contact suppression, though he isn’t missing bats, which makes me skeptical that this string of success can continue. The 27-year-old’s whiff rate ranks within the 17th percentile of MLB. Additionally, he’ll be facing the Cardinals for the second straight start on Monday. Ross makes sense as a “ride the hot hand” option on a weak day for streamers, but I’m not particularly enthused about his season-long outlook.
Tuesday, April 20th
Michael Fulmer (DET) vs. PIT
As opposed to Ross, I’m far more excited about employing Fulmer for this matchup. The former Rookie of the Year is throwing over two mph harder so far in 2021 (up to 95.4 mph). However, he’s also using his fastball less than ever before while throwing his slider at a career-high rate. He’s now a full two years removed from Tommy John surgery and gets a matchup versus the lowly Pirates.
Wednesday, April 21st
David Peterson (NYM) @CHC
It’s really hard to find a perfect streamer — one where the advanced stats, hot streak, and matchup all line up. Peterson checks a couple of these boxes though, as he’s coming off a great starts and is scheduled to face the struggling Chicago offense. In his second outing of the season, the 25-year-old lefty was throwing his fastball harder than in his first start, which ultimately led to 10 strikeouts over six innings (and just 80 total pitches). The hard-hit data isn’t strong at all, which is where the matchup against the Cubs comes into play. They’re ice cold as of this writing.
Thursday, April 22nd
Jeff Hoffman (CIN) vs. ARI
The Reds are committed to becoming “Spincinnati” and it has led to several of their pitchers suddenly looking interesting for fantasy purposes. Hoffma’s four-seam fastball has always had decent horizontal movement, but so far in 2021 he has increased the vertical ride of this pitch. Embracing analytics like this doesn’t turn every player into a superstar, but it can at least make former fantasy non-factors worth monitoring. The matchup here isn’t overly imposing by any means, so I’m willing to give “Spincinnati” a chance here.
Friday, April 23rd
Dane Dunning (TEX) @CWS
I wanted to cheat and go with Casey Mize for next Friday, but he’s rostered in too many leagues. Drew Smyly and his lofty strikeout potential isn’t a bad pick either on this day, but I’ll take the opportunity to highlight Dunning versus his former team. The 26-year-old righty has been changing his pitch mix frequently since debuting in 2020. The plan since arriving in Texas has seemingly been to utilize his sinker more, which he’s now throwing 66% of the time. It has led to Dunning allowing just one earned run through two starts. This matchup isn’t ideal and it doesn’t seem as if the Rangers are letting him pitch too deep into games, but Dunning’s a top-100 prospect with strong metrics and good results (so far).
Saturday, April 24th
Wade Miley (CIN) @STL
Another big day for streamers. Huascar Ynoa is the preferred option next Saturday, but his rostership is growing by the day. Alex Cobb, Danny Duffy, and possibly even Adbert Alzolay are all in play. We’ll stick with another “Spincinnati” special, though, as Miley’s early-season Statcast data is pretty encouraging. His xwOBA ranks within the 81st percentile while the hard-hit rate stands within the 87th percentile. There have been a lot more changeups this year from him, which is something we can point towards as a reason for the encouraging results thus far.
Sunday, April 25th
Logan Webb (SF) vs. MIA
This is assuming that Webb takes the rotation spot of Johnny Cueto, who just went on the injured list with a lat strain. It’ll give the 24-year-old another chance to build on his wildly impressive spring training performance. Webb was fine through his first two starts of the regular season, but he didn’t completely wow us by any means. His slider has been generating whiffs at an above average rate, so we’ll give him a chance with the strong matchup in a good ballpark.
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