Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 16 (2022)
When I last filled in for this article, it was Week 7, back in May, when I didn’t spend every waking moment watching Twitter for Juan Soto news. Those were innocent times. Now I’m back and writing this the weekend before the trade deadline, meaning that some of my suggested streamers will be coming against teams I anticipate will be decimated by Wednesday. (Hi. I’m a Cubs fan.)
What makes a pitcher good to stream but not to roster? Obviously, a high percentage of it is simply the matchup, but I think there is more to it psychologically for fantasy managers. For instance, in one of my deep leagues, Justin Steele has been added and dropped more than anyone else. Yet when it is his turn to pitch, he inevitably appears on someone’s roster. So why doesn’t anyone keep him there?
Partly it’s because Steele isn’t “great” and plays for a team that isn’t going to win many games. But fantasy managers also want to chase the sexier options, the potential of a bigger name breaking out. Steele’s 21.64 K% and 3.86 ERA aren’t going anywhere. He’s like the restaurant you choose because you’re next to it, not because you actually want to eat there.
So here is my list of other pitchers you might drive-thru on your way to a more prominent, exciting place like Reid Detmers.
Since I’m a guest in his column, I’ll be following the rules that your regular streaming genius, Joshua Thusat, laid out: I must choose someone every day, and they must have a 30% rostership or less, according to FantasyPros. However, I’ve also added the caveat that if the percentage can be rounded down to 30, it still counts.
*At publication, we use probable starters listed on FantasyPros Pitching Planner as they appear on Saturday, July 30.
Monday, August 1
Brad Keller (SP – KC) @ CWS – 12% rostered
The best attribute a fantasy player who likes to stream pitchers can have is an open mind and belief that the numbers don’t lie; then maintaining that belief no matter how many different sites you go to looking for confirmation bias saying, ‘No, you can’t recommend Brad Keller to people.’
But the numbers say otherwise. Keller has had a lot of success against the White Sox in his career. In 18 appearances, he has an ERA of 3.34 and has struck out 71 hitters in 91 2/3 innings while not allowing more than three runs in any start against them since April 2021. He has also gone seven innings in each of the last three starts. This, somehow, is your safest play on Monday.
Other option: Domingo German (SP – NYY) vs. SEA – 17% rostered
Tuesday, August 2
Brady Singer (SP – KC) @ CWS – 18% rostered
But wait! There’s more where that sweet Royals pitching came from! Brady Singer has shut the Sox down in six career appearances against them, carrying a shiny 2.73 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 33 innings into Tuesday’s matchup. The 25-year-old has been outstanding in his last seven starts overall, striking out 51 batters in 44 1/3 innings with an ERA of 2.84 and WHIP of 1.08.
Truthfully, I don’t understand how he is still available in 82 percent of leagues. He seems like the kind of pitcher worth acquiring and then holding onto, especially in deeper leagues. It’s not his fault he is doing his good work in the quiet halls of Kansas City, but he is young and seems ready to make the leap. And even if you’re not interested in him long-term, he’s good to go on Tuesday.
Other option: Run away from all of them
Wednesday, August 3
Cole Irvin (SP – OAK) @ LAA – 31% rostered
The trade deadline is Tuesday afternoon, so no one knows what iteration of that Angels lineup Irvin will face on Wednesday. Even if the Halos hold onto everyone, Irvin still has a career 3.16 ERA against them in six starts. You can bank on six innings with four strikeouts and fewer than four runs, although this depends on him avoiding the soul-crushing home run.
Irvin will never be a strikeout artist, but if you want some ratio help, he is a must-add for this matchup.
Other option: Alex Cobb (SP – SF) vs. LAD (but only if you really need to) – 27% rostered
Thursday, August 4
Dakota Hudson (SP – STL) vs. CHC – 10% rostered
Let’s stay on our “Teams that will be shells of themselves” theme and nab Hudson to face the Cubs at home. In seven appearances against the Loveable Losers, he is 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23 innings. The 27-year-old has struggled mightily in his previous seven starts, carrying a 6.16 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and striking out basically no one.
However, while watching the Cubs will cure nothing in your life, playing them might help Hudson heal from whatever ails him. (I’d still suggest dropping him immediately after, though.)
Other option: Jose Quintana (SP – PIT) vs. MIL – 14% rostered (but keep an eye on where he goes if traded)
Friday, August 5
Aaron Ashby (SP – MIL) vs. CIN – 20% rostered
Ashby doesn’t have much history against the Reds, but the Brewers are on a roll, and their pitching has finally begun to resemble the dominant ensemble it was always meant to be. The lefty has had an up-and-down year but is coming off a dominant start against the Rockies, going seven innings with nine strikeouts and only one walk (which has been a primary culprit for him). Meanwhile, the Reds have a combined .625 OPS on the road, and depending on their trade deadline evacuation of talent, Ashby should be set up for a nice win here.
Other option: Drew Smyly (SP – CHC) vs. MIA – 3% rostered
Saturday, August 6
Adrian Sampson (SP – CHC) vs. MIA – 3% rostered
Do not stream Adrian Sampson expecting strikeouts because you will be vastly disappointed and begin to send me hate tweets, and I’d just rather not. However, Sampson against the Marlins is in play because of his consistency and their current lineup lacking pop. (Ah yes, I recall the olden days of March when I was sure Avisail Garcia was in line for a renaissance.)
In July, the Marlins had a team batting average of .222 and OPS of .603. They hit fewer than 20 home runs after crossing the 30 mark in May and June. Sampson is adept at pitching to contact that doesn’t hurt him, which seems to fit the bill for this matchup.
Just don’t expect the Ks.
Other option: JT Brubaker (SP – PIT) @ BAL – 11% rostered
Sunday, August 7
Braxton Garrett (SP – MIA) @ CHC – 34% rostered
Back by popular demand, here’s a pitcher with a lot of Ks to offer. Sticking with our theme of picking on the least teams have to offer, Garrett versus the Cubs should be a slam dunk. In his last 17 innings, he has struck out 26 batters. I will only hesitate to stream him if my ratios are too close to call heading into Sunday afternoon.
Other option: Nope
I’ll be back next week for one more guest column, but until then, I hope these suggestions power you through, and, as always, good luck!
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