Fantasy Baseball Pitching Streamers: Week 17 (2022)
On Sunday afternoon, I get to see the musical “Wicked” for what is probably the tenth time in my life. I’m not sure what a Venn diagram of Wicked fans and fantasy baseball players would look like, but I like to think there’s more than just me.
If you don’t know anything about the musical, it is a brilliant twist on the “Wizard of Oz” story. Essentially, it’s an allegory on how our perception of a character (or, for our purposes here, a pitcher) can paint our impression so intensely that we fall into a trap of believing nothing other than what we think we know. Cognitive bias is the culprit – we see only that which reinforces our original opinion.
But Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West) wasn’t actually bad, see. We were blinded by her greenness (bad ERA and WHIP) and being in some unfortunate situations (Pittsburgh, Oakland). But underneath all of that, there was a good character (mechanics) and some advantageous developments (facing the Diamondbacks) to be found. These are who we are looking for when streaming pitchers. Let go of everything you think you know… Except for all that stuff about not wanting to roster them full-time or anything. That’s still true.
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. This week, I’ve basically doubled down with most suggestions in the teens or even single digits. Am I the Wizard behind the curtain? You bet I am.
*At publication, we use probable starters listed on FantasyPros Pitching Planner as they appear on Saturday, August 6.
Monday, August 8
Yusei Kikuchi (SP – TOR) @BAL – 22% Rostered
I want to start this by singing, “How do you solve a problem like Kikuchi?” But I also want to be allowed to write a column in the future, so that will be the end of my musical tropes (for today). However, it is a fair question. Predicting which Kikuchi will show up is a fool’s errand most days, so I’ll focus on the potential of this streaming option. Baltimore traded Trey Mancini at the deadline, eliminating one of their stronger batters against LHP. Against lefties, the Orioles are 24th in MLB in OPS at .680, and they also have the second-most strikeouts when facing southpaws. Between a K/9 of 10.22 and having the much better offensive backing, you could conceivably start your week off with a nice strikeout total and a win.
Other option: Nope
Tuesday, August 9
James Kaprielian (SP – OAK) LAA – 11% Rostered
Look, Tuesday is light on streamers. Bad pitchers are facing good teams, and good pitchers are rostered much too highly. This leaves us with James Kaprielian. My case for him exists only in his career history versus the Angels, who most likely will still be without Mike Trout. In four starts against Los Angeles, he has pitched 23 innings, tallying 25 strikeouts with only three earned runs and four walks on the negative side of the ledger. I’m not in love with this option, but if I have to pick someone every day, we’ll hope his solid run continues.
Wednesday, August 10
Justin Steele (SP – CHC) WSH – 13% Rostered
In his last seven games, Justin Steele has 44 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings with a 2.70 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. In last week’s article, I speculated about which teams would be good to stream against following the trade deadline. I suggested targeting the Cubs, under the silly impression they would make some moves in the midst of their futile attempt to tank correctly. Now that we have all the information, I have a much better idea to stream against the team that is competent in their tankapalooza attempt. Stream against the Nationals. It’ll make the heart happy.
Other option: Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) @ARI – 2% Rostered
Thursday, August 11
JT Brubaker (SP – PIT) @ARI – 13% Rostered
Sometimes, players are who we thought they were. JT Brubaker is the rare pitcher with an ERA/xERA and FIP/xFIP in line with each other. He is striking out a batter per inning, and the Diamondbacks aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire with their offense. There is a lot that prevents anyone from rostering him – his WHIP will probably always be problematic – but he should provide a boost to your strikeout total if you can absorb the hit to your ratios.
Other option: Nick Lodolo (SP – CIN) CHC – 33% Rostered
Friday, August 12
Domingo German (SP – NYY) @BOS – 24% Rostered
In three starts since coming off the IL, Domingo German has had a mixed bag. He has given up a higher number of hits and walks but hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of them. In his last outing against the Mets, he went 4 1/3 with five hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts. The Red Sox are prone to striking out against right-handers, and any Yankees pitcher can be staked to a huge lead at any time. When thinking about streaming on Fridays, you’ll know where you stand and what categories you might still be chasing. German can check off a number of boxes in this regard.
Other option: Not so much. Am I considered an expert for telling you to stay away from Patrick Corbin? No?
Saturday, August 13
Jake Odorizzi (SP – ATL) @MIA – 28% Rostered
The Miami Marlins love to strike out; against righties, they do it the second most in all of baseball. Jake Odorizzi’s debut for the Braves didn’t go as well as he’d hoped, pitching only 4 2/3 innings with six hits, three walks, two earned runs, and only four strikeouts. However, it was against the Mets, a team that doesn’t K a whole lot. I expect him to have some great success against this version of the Marlins, especially in their cavernous ballpark. Atlanta is currently scheduled to go up against Jesus Luzardo, so a weekend win could be in the cards for him as well.
Other option: If you are a 13 on a scale of 1 to 10 in desperation – Jordan Lyles (SP – BAL) @TB – 23% Rostered
Sunday, August 14
Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL) @TB – 1% Rostered
You could head back to Kikuchi against Cleveland here, but that has more risk than I’m willing to recommend. Kyle Bradish, on the other hand, apparently fits right in my risk window. This recommendation has less to do with Bradish’s pitching prowess and much more to do with the day of the week. On Monday, August 15, the Rays head to New York for a series against the Yankees, a matchup they will be infinitely more interested in than a 1 o’clock series finale against the O’s. That doesn’t mean the young righty will nab a win, but I do think there will be some quick at-bats and free swings from the Rays to help expedite getaway day.
Other option: Chris Archer (SP – MIN) @LAA – 6% Rostered
That’s all for me! Thanks for letting me fill in the past couple of weeks. We’ll return to your regularly-scheduled programming next week, but until then, I hope you have nothing but good streaming luck. And, as always, good luck!
Whether you’re new to fantasy baseball or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Baseball 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with our Sabermetrics Glossary or head to a more advanced strategy – like Maximizing Your Potential in Multi-Lineup Contests – to learn more.