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Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 6 (2022)

by Joshua Thusat
May 15, 2022
Yusei Kikuchi

Yusei Kikuchi is worth streaming twice in Week 6.

When you stream pitchers, knowing the best and the worst run-producing teams is good. So far, the top-five scoring teams in 2022 are the Angels, Brewers, Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees (respectively). We might as well throw the Phillies and Mets in there too. Also, what offenses are on a recent hot streak? It’s surprising to see the Reds as top scorers in the last week but less surprising to see the Astros.

The lowest run-producing teams include the Tigers, Royals, Red Sox, White Sox, and Orioles. After these teams, it’s the Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Athletics. Here’s the list as of Friday morning, May 13th.

Highest Scoring Teams Lowest Scoring Teams
Los Angeles Angels (164) Detroit Tigers (88)
Milwaukee Brewers (159) Kansas City Royals (92)
Los Angeles Dodgers (156) Boston Red Sox (107)
San Francisco Giants (155) Chicago White Sox (109)
New York Yankees (150) Baltimore Orioles (111)
Philadelphia Phillies (148) Pittsburgh Pirates (113)
New York Mets (147) Arizona Diamondbacks (116)
Cleveland Guardians (145) Oakland Athletics (116)

Of course, it’s still early, and many factors can affect these numbers, including weather and injuries in lineups. And yet, many of these teams probably match our expectations. But not all. Collectively, the White Sox have nearly the lowest BABIP as a team while the Guardians have the 7th-highest BABIP. So we’ll see some more adjustments to this list.

Now let me get to the list for our Week 6 pitchers (I must choose someone every day, and they must have a 30% rostership or less). Kikuchi is our two-start option for Monday and Sunday.

*At publication, we use probable starters listed on CBS Sports on Saturday, May 14th.

Monday, May 16

Yusei Kikuchi (SP – TOR) vs SEA 26%

There aren’t many cozy matchups on Monday. Seattle is not on any of the above lists, which indicates that they may be middling. Kikuchi’s numbers have impressed in the last few games. He completely cut the cutter from his arsenal in these outings (two matchups with the Yanks and the one with the Astros). He’s modifying the number of off-speed pitches opponents see from game to game. For example, he threw his changeup 17.9% in the first bout against the Yankees and then 9% the second time around. He threw the fastball around 43.6% and then dialed it up to nearly 60%, locating it well at the zone’s bottom corners. The GB% went up considerably, and here’s his K/9 in his last four games in a row (9.82 / 13.50 / 10.50 / 11.81). There are STILL control issues! This is why he’s on the waivers! But keep an eye on him.

Other option: Jake Odorizzi (SP – HOU) at BOS 23%

Tuesday, May 17

Jameson Taillon (SP – NYY) at BAL 41%

Use the cheat code today. His rostership is too high, but Taillon is pitching against one of our low-scoring teams on the list, and he plays for one of the high-scoring ones. So…this is streaming 101. Last year, Taillon had an issue with flyballs, allowing 48.3%, the most of his career. So far this year, he has that number down by nearly 10%, and his GB % is up by almost 14%, sitting at 46.9%. That’s close to his 2018 number, which saw him pitch 191 innings for a 3.20 ERA. You’ve got a good pitcher on a great team with another year removed from Tommy John surgery.

Other option: Josh Winder (SP – MIN) at OAK 42%

Wednesday, May 18

Drew Smyly (SP – CHC) vs. PIT 8%

Today, most studs are unavailable, or we don’t want to choose someone facing a Goliath. The most elegant solution (see low-scoring teams above) is putting our defender against the Pirates. Detroit’s former second-round pick in 2010 is throwing his curveball and cutter more in 2022, and it has led to more groundballs and softer contact overall but fewer strikeouts (6.46 K/9). And yet, following my rule that I MUST start someone every day, we can hope to limit the damage and snag a Win.

Other options: Let’s leave it.

Thursday, May 19

Rich Hill (SP – BOS) vs. SEA 5%

Ah, a pitcher still older than me. Barely. How inspiring. Hill has only pitched 160 innings or more ONCE back in 2007. For giggles and grins, I wanted to compare that younger (briefly durable) Rich Hill to last year’s version (when he pitched 158.2 innings). Check it out. With 15 years in between and at 42 years of age, let’s at least hope for that ERA against Seattle on Thursday.

K/9 BB/9 GB % ERA FIP velocity (FA)
2007 8.45 2.91 36% 3.92 4.32 90.7
2021 8.51 3.12 35.2% 3.86 4.35 88.4

Friday, May 20

Michael Lorenzen (SP – LAA) vs. OAK 26%

Although he struggled a bit in his last outing, he’s facing one of those weaker lineups I mentioned at the top. And just like we did with Taillon on Tuesday, it’s good to choose a decent pitcher on a high-scoring team against a low-scoring lineup. He had his worst outing of the season on May 7th against Washington, where he still struck out seven but gave up the long ball. We’re relying on the dead ball for help because he usually doesn’t strike many batters out. We’re playing the matchups here. That’s all I can say.

Other option: Nah

Saturday, May 21

Brad Keller (SP – KC) vs. MIN 31%

I would avoid today. My choices are Bumgarner in front of the Bleacher Bums of Wrigleyville or Keller at Kauffman. These are similar pitchers in that they don’t strike out many guys. However, Keller keeps the ball on the ground nearly half the time, and the percentage of soft contact is slightly higher. If we look at ERA, Bumgarner has shown more consistency, but it’s Keller if we look at xFIP. Minnesota and Chicago are tied if we go by team runs-scored and play the matchups. They’re both in 20th for runs scored. I leave it to you.

Other options: Madison Bumgarner (SP – ARI) at CHC 37%

Sunday, May 22

Yusei Kikuchi (TOR) vs. CIN 26%

See Monday’s notes. All the same points apply. According to Jeff Zimmerman on Fangraphs, Toronto has worked with Kikuchi to limit his leg kick, and they also changed the target behind the plate. The decent results have continued through two games against the Bronx Bombers. Even if he wobbles a bit on Monday, we will give him another chance on a team that helped Robbie Ray find his form and get a Cy Young.

Other option: None

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