Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 7 (2022)
For many fantasy managers, streaming pitchers became a much more attractive (and necessary) strategy following a slew of injuries to top arms last week. Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Tylor Megill, Tarik Skubal, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jake Odorizzi, Jesus Luzardo, and Chris Paddack either went down with injuries of varying degrees or got bad news about the ones they already had.
Last week, featured writer Joshua Thusat looked at the top and bottom run-producing teams in MLB to find good streaming targets. Another stat worth examining is a team’s K% since nabbing some strikeouts with streamers can make a manager’s heart (and counting stats) happy.
The two do not necessarily go together. For instance, the White Sox are in the bottom five in runs per game at 3.55 but in the top five K% at 19.8. Here’s a quick look at how that shakes out:
|Highest K%||Lowest K%|
|Atlanta Braves (26.4%)||St. Louis Cardinals (19.4%)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks (25.6%)||Cleveland Guardians (19.5%)|
|Cincinnati Reds (24.9%)||Chicago White Sox (19.8%)|
|Los Angeles Angels (24.7%)||Washington Nationals (19.9%)|
|Pittsburgh Pirates (24.6%)||New York Mets (20.1%)|
Targeting those in the first group can help rack up extra points for your team while staying clear of the second group can help dodge the soul-crushing blowups that can destroy a weekly H2H matchup.
Since I’m a guest in his column, I’ll be following Joshua’s rules: I must choose someone every day, and they must have a 30% rostership or less, according to FantasyPros.
It’s a good thing there are some advantageous matchups in Week 7, so I can avoid suggesting any Colorado pitchers.
*At publication, we use probable starters listed on FantasyPros Pitching Planner as they appear on Saturday, May 21.
Monday, May 23
Marco Gonzales (SP – SEA) vs OAK – 17% rostered
Starting with Gonzales is an excellent reminder that streaming pitchers is not about declaring them good overall. Indeed, the lefty’s stats on the season are uninspiring overall, as he sits at an ERA of 3.08 (xERA of 5.34) and a WHIP of 1.50. But streaming against this iteration of the Oakland Athletics is a legitimate option for many pitchers in the league as they score 3.30 runs per game and have a K% of 24.1.
Gonzales has a great track record against this lineup. Current A’s batters are 31/145 (.213 AVG) with 39 strikeouts while slugging (if we can call it that) .296 against him. Pick him up, start him, enjoy the night, and throw him back into the pond.
Other option: J.T. Brubaker (SP – PIT) vs COL – 3% rostered
Tuesday, May 24
Dane Dunning (SP – TEX) @LAA – 11% rostered
Dane Dunning has one of my favorite names in baseball, and he seems to enjoy throwing against the Angels, having struck out 13 of them in 9 2/3 innings this season. Dunning appears to have figured out something this year. He’s thrown three quality starts against the Braves, Yankees, and Angels while missing a QS by one out against the Astros. His 1-2 record is much more a product of his offense’s deficiencies than anything he is doing wrong.
Dunning brings an interesting combination of high chase rate and average K rate and yet sits in the seventh percentile for fastball velocity and spin rate. Hitters struggle to make solid contact when they do square up against him, including Shohei Ohtani, who is 1-for-12 with an OPS of .381 against Dunning in his career.
The win-equity isn’t there, but this is a matchup to capitalize on Los Angeles’s 24.7 K%, as mentioned above.
Other option: Nick Pivetta (SP – BOS) @ CWS – 23% rostered
Wednesday, May 25
Reid Detmers (SP – LAA) vs TEX – 18% rostered
The Texas Rangers are the definition of average when it comes to offensive stats like runs per game and K%. They are collectively batting .226 with an OPS of .678 against lefties, and those numbers are even worse when away from Arlington.
While Detmers’ home/road splits are skewed by his no-hitter coming in Anaheim, it’s not like those nine innings don’t count. His home ERA is 1.96 versus an unsightly 8.49 on the road, and left-handed batters are only hitting .103 against him. This should neutralize three of Texas’s top power hitters in Corey Seager, Kole Calhoun, and Brad Miller, making it easier for Detmers to perhaps go deeper into the game and even sneak away with a win.
Other option: Jakob Junis (SP – SF) vs NYM – 10% rostered
Thursday, May 26
Justin Steele (SP – CHC) @ CIN – 4% rostered
I know the general rule of thumb is “Don’t start pitchers in a park where you can practically bunt home runs,” but this is Great American Ballpark against the hapless Reds, not Yankee Stadium against the Yankees, so we’re going with it. Steele has quietly been an effective, high-strikeout lefty for the Cubs. In 33 innings, he has 38 strikeouts with a 3.82 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. (His xERA and FIP are almost an entire run lower at 2.92 and 2.73, meaning he has also been unlucky.)
Most impressively, he is in the 99th percentile in barrel percentage and above the 90th percentile in SLG and xSLG. Translation: Steele doesn’t give up a lot of homers, 0.27 HR/9 to be exact. Yes, the walks aren’t great and sometimes cause truncated outings where he won’t qualify for the win. But give me his 26 K% and pair that with Cinci’s 24.9 K%, and let’s have some fun, shall we?
Other option: Alex Faedo (SP – DET) vs CLE – 3% rostered
Friday, May 27
Jeffrey Springs (SP – TB) vs NYY – 4% rostered
Springs is a 29-year-old left-hander whose Statcast looks like this:
Springs’ ERA of 1.32 probably will not hold the rest of the season, but his xERA is still a sparkling 2.28, and his FIP is 2.36, so it’s not like he is pitching impossibly above his metrics. I know that suggesting a streamer against the Yankees might prevent me from ever being invited back to substitute-write this column, but it’s indicative of two things:
(1) It’s in Tampa Bay, where Springs has yet to give up a home run. He profiles pretty similarly to Justin Steele: He might not pitch deep enough to get the W or QS, but his K% of 27 up against some of the more strikeout-prone Bombers is appealing enough to stream.
(2) There aren’t many great streaming options on Friday.
Other option: David Peterson (SP – NYM) vs PHI – 7% rostered
Saturday, May 28
Tucker Davidson (SP – ATL) vs MIA – 1% rostered
Assuming he is still in the rotation, Davidson offers strong upside against the Marlins and their wOBA of .294. He is also a suggestion for those fantasy managers who need a win late in the week in their H2H matchups. In his one previous start, the 26-year-old lefty worked his way through an outstanding Brewers lineup, pitching five innings, allowing three hits, three walks, and no runs while striking out three and collecting the win.
Meanwhile, the Marlins strike out against lefties at a 33% clip, and they have an OPS of .699 against them. The Braves have begun to hit their stride with the weather warming up, and they are not scheduled to face Sandy Alcantara or Pablo Lopez in this game, so a W is definitely on the table.
Other option: James Kaprielian (SP – OAK) vs TEX – 5% rostered
Sunday, May 29
Dane Dunning (SP – TEX) @ OAK – 11% rostered
Please see the explanation above and then substitute a lineup void of anyone near the Ward-Ohtani-Trout-Rendon echelon of hitters. It should also be a getaway-day type of game between two lower-tier offenses.
Dunning is also the only right-hander on this list. I might as well use him twice to prevent anyone from thinking I have a lefty bias.
Other option: Matt Manning (SP – DET) vs CLE – 6% rostered
Joshua will be back to offer some streamers for Week 8, but I hope these suggestions power you through in the meantime. And, as always, good luck!
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