Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 12 (2022)
The theme for next week’s pitching streamers is Devo’s famous song, “Whip It.” I’m leaning heavily on pitchers that maintain a low WHIP when possible. As it gets more challenging to find solid pitchers on the waivers, one tactic is finding the guy who limits baserunners. Of course, I’m still looking at matchups and other essential factors, but when the choice was particularly difficult for Week 12, the guy with the best whip leads the way. Can I call these “Indian Jones” pitchers?
Okay, maybe not.
Before I get to the pitching streamers, here’s how I did last week. If you recall, I was a little rebellious with some of these choices, but overall it went well. These are the pitchers whose games have been played by publication.
- David Peterson (NYM) 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 7 K, and a Win
- Rich Hill (BOS) 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 K, and a Win
- Ross Stripling (TOR) 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, and a Win
- Braxton Garrett (MIA) 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 K
- Alex Cobb (SF) 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 K
- Total 25.1 IP, 7 ER, 29 K, 3 W
This is a 2.51 ERA, and we’ll take that every time. Here’s hoping we can repeat it in Week 12.
Now let me get to the promised “Indiana Jones” pitchers.
No? We’re not going with that?
Monday, June 27
Tyler Wells (BAL) at SEA 13%
What a tough list of matchups to start the week! We have a nine-game slate today, and most pitchers are rostered in more than 30% of Yahoo leagues. But I must follow the age-old Rule #2 (let’s just call it Rule #2 from now on): I must stream someone every day. Folks, I give you Tyler Wells against Seattle. Kelly Kirby already discusses Wells in her recent article “Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis.” She points to his great 3.34 ERA and nods to his 1.10 WHIP (the theme of our stream).
Moreover, in the past two weeks, Baltimore is 9th in runs scored, and Seattle is 24th. As a team, Seattle also has a .380 SLG. Tyler Wells has re-tooled his pitch mix, throwing changeups nearly twice as much. His xAVG on that pitch in 2021 was .196, and it’s now .122, so let’s take him for a spin in this one.
Other options: None
Tuesday, June 28
Keegan Thompson (CHC) vs. CIN 37%
Here’s a pitcher with another solid 1.15 WHIP. Consider that Thompson has now pitched nearly as many innings as 2021, and there are significant signs of improvement. Last year, he struggled to a 1.49 WHIP. His BB/9 was 5.23, and his xERA was 5.33. Not so good. Fast forward to June 2022. Thompson has a BB/9 of 3.10 and an xERA of 3.45.
Moreover, his HR/FB ratio is nearly 7% lower based on inducing a 10% increase in soft contact. The CSW% on his fastball has gone from 26.3% to 35.1%. There has been a bump in this changeup usage, and that show-me pitch may have added to his fastball’s effectiveness. In any case, as we saw with Stripling last week, it can help us identify pitchers that show improvement, particularly in command. His rostership is higher than I generally permit for this article, but it’s close. Let’s go for it.
Other option: Devin Smeltzer (MIN) at CLE 14%
Wednesday, June 29
Paolo Espino (WSH) vs. PIT 2%
Espino was drafted way back in 2006 by Cleveland. He did not make it to the majors until 2017. He had a 3.79 BB/9 in those first games. He has a 1.99 BB/9 this year, the lowest of his big league career. It has led to another entry in this week’s theme: the low 1.11 WHIP. The matchup is a solid one. Pittsburgh is 28th in runs scored, though they’ve been hitting the ball a bit better in the last two weeks. Part of Espino’s modest improvements stems from an increase in his slider usage. He’s getting it in the zone more, too. He’s also getting his curveball in the zone, and while it’s not leading to more punchouts, it’s leading to more groundballs. It’s also leading to fewer flyballs reaching the seats. Let’s take these changes and pit them against Pittsburgh.
Other option: None
Thursday, June 30
Jason Alexander (MIL) at PIT 4%
This is a tough day, as many pitchers are owned. It’s also a day where our WHIP theme breaks down. Alexander gets a nice matchup with Pittsburgh. The 29-year-old rookie has a 3.21 ERA and a 3.94 FIP in 28 IP. His slider is arguably his most effective pitch, which gets a CSW% of 36%. He also uses a sinker, a changeup (and an occasional four-seamer). All of these pitches together have yielded a 51.5% GB%. This is not an ideal pitcher to own by any means. However, there may be enough here to get us through a weaker matchup with a decent run-scoring team behind him. I’m crossing my fingers on this one, as I would probably skip today if I had the option.
Other option: Chris Archer (MIN) at CLE 8%
Friday, July 1
Marco Gonzales (SEA) vs. OAK 27%
Now let’s get back to our theme. Gonzales actually has a 1.30 WHIP on the season. BUT, he has a 1.02 whip in the last 32 innings. Gonzales has increased his changeup usage by 13% this season, throwing it around 33% of the time. He threw this pitch in the zone about 34.6% of the time in 2021, but this year he’s getting it in the zone about 46.3% of the time. This causes more hitters to swing, turning it into a worm killer. The GB% on the changeup alone has increased by nearly 14%. Add to this the fact that Oakland is 29th in run-scored, and we’re doing our job of choosing a workable pitcher against a weaker matchup.
Other option: Adrian Houser (MIL) at PIT 16%
Saturday, July 2
Brady Singer (KC) at DET 22%
I could choose Pineda on the other side of this matchup, but Singer’s WHIP and K% are better. His 1.18 WHIP continues our theme. There was a lot of talk about Singer adding that third pitch (the changeup) to his slider and sinker, but perhaps he doesn’t need it. Or maybe the slight increase in changeup usage (6% from last year) is enough to help his other pitches. The fascinating thing about Singer right now is how much more successful he’s been with the slider. He had a 27.3% CSW% on the slider in 2021, but it’s up to 36.5% this year. There are flashes of a scary pitch, and it may continue to lead to lackluster outings as his control varies, like the one he had against Houston. But with our limited streamer options, let’s run him out there against the lowest-scoring team in baseball.
Other option: None
Sunday, July 3
Tyler Wells (BAL) at MIN 13%
Here’s our resident two-start pitcher and the man that started our WHIP theme. Everything that I listed on Monday certainly applies to Sunday. In addition to the re-tooled pitch mix that I mentioned before, I should point out that Wells is also re-introducing and re-working his curveball. He’s thrown the pitch a lot more in 2022, with mixed results. I like pitchers that show us a continual effort to improve. Maybe nothing comes of it, but it hasn’t been entirely ineffective. It has produced an xAVG of .194 and a CSW% of 27.2%, so let’s wait and see if it can get better or help his other pitches play better.
Other option: Devin Smeltzer (MIN) vs. BAL 14%
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