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Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 4 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 4 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

Let’s look at a few of our pitching streamers from last week at the time of publication. Alex Wood left his start early and has since been placed on the IL with a hamstring injury. Taj Bradley showed ace material on the best team in baseball, so don’t drop him. And thank you, Matt Strahm! Even though Colorado got to you, look at the strikeouts!

Let’s see if we can keep the good times rolling. Given our restrictions, we have a couple of two-start pitchers worth mentioning here: Eduardo Rodriguez (DET) and Kyle Bradish (BAL).

What are the restrictions? I must choose pitchers owned in less than 30% of Yahoo leagues for maximum availability. I must choose a pitcher every single day, but I’ll warn you if it’s a tough day to stream.

Last week we had some excellent available pitchers against weaker lineups, but this week is more tenuous. But don’t worry: We can tiptoe through it successfully.

FantasyPros My Playbook

Monday, April 24

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – DET) at MIL 19%

You could take today off, or you can choose a pitcher who dominated his last two starts. Rodriguez is having more success with his cutter in the early going. He’s throwing it nearly as much as last season (~25%), but he’s limiting hitters to a .105 BA on the offering in 2023. Last year it was .240. He managed a 14.2% Whiff% in 2022 on his cutter, but now it’s 28%. This is significant and the big difference seems to be command. Rodriguez is placing it exactly where he wants, getting the pitch in the zone 10% more and getting hitters to swing out of the zone nearly 10% more as well. I’ll grant that he’s pitching for one of the worst run-scoring teams in the league, and he faces a decent lineup in the Brew Crew, but with our options limited, he seems to be the guy for Monday.

Tuesday, April 25

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL) (SP – BAL) vs. BOS 12% OR Mason Miller (SP – OAK) at LAA 34%

I’m liking some of the Bradish hype out there. His least admirable pitch in 2022 was the fastball, but he didn’t use it as much against Washington his last time out, opting to throw his significantly more effective curveball. In that outing, batters had an xBA of .192 against his curve and an xBA of .157 against the slider. These numbers are similar to last year’s season-long averages, but there is danger here, especially if he goes back to throwing the fastball too much, which had an xBA of .300 last year AND an xSLG of .517. Lean on the breaking stuff, Kyle! Please!

I also feel obligated to mention Mason Miller, even though — like Rodriguez on Monday– he has a weak supporting cast. There is elite plus-plus stuff, particularly with the heater, and if he manages to impress against the Halos, he may no longer be available in your league. Miller went 4.1 innings against the Cubs and gave up two earned runs, hitting nearly 100 mph on his fastball (99.4), and he threw it 63% of the time with outstanding success (.087 xBA). He also throws a slider and a cutter, and he has a changeup. He can get a ton of whiffs on those pitches, but he made a few mistakes in his first outing. We’ll let it go due to first-day jitters.

Wednesday, April 26

Joey Lucchesi (SP – NYM) vs. WSH

Last year, there came a time when I said to myself: “If you’re thinking of streaming Yusei Kikuchi, then don’t stream that day.” In other words, I was thinking of suggesting Kikuchi for Wednesday, but for now, he is still on my DNS (“Do Not Start”) list until the consistency is there. He got shellacked by the Angels in his first outing, and then he flat-out dominated…the Rays? Instead, let’s go with the matchup play. Joey Lucchesi faces the weak Nationals lineup. He’s returning from Tommy John surgery and has looked decent in Triple-A, recording a 2.30 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 15 2/3 innings. He went seven innings against the Giants on April 21 when he struck out nine batters and allowed no runs.

Thursday, April 27

Kyle Gibson (SP – BAL) at DET 29%

The obvious matchup play here is Kyle Gibson against the lowest-scoring team in baseball, but I’ll admit that my heart wants to see how Matt Strahm can manage against the Mariners. My pick is Gibson, but if you’re feeling lucky, I’ll argue for the Strahm too and hope that his matchup is not the “Strahm that broke the camel’s back” (*snort laugh*). Strahm is in the top 89th percentile in Whiff% to start the season, and he’s in the 90th percentile with his K% overall (top 4% of the league). He should be on your watch list if you need pitching, but Gibson has three wins in his first four starts by playing for a potent offense. He got those wins against Oakland, Texas, and Boston. So call me curious to see if we can chance Gibson’s 4.18 ERA against sleepy Detroit and get a hard-won victory.

Friday, April 28

Zach Eflin (SP – TB) at CHW 54%

This is probably a day that I would sit tight. However, I’ll admit to being interested in Eflin in Tampa, mainly because of the strong lineup to support his return from the IL, and the ability of this organization to get the best out of its players. They’re already changing his pitch mix, having him focus more on a sinker-cutter tandem that is intended to mess with the hitter’s ability to identify vertical versus horizontal movement, while also hoping to see this make his off-speed pitches more effective. I realize that I’m breaking my 30% availability rule here, but it’s time.

Saturday, April 29

Eduardo Rodriguez (SP – DET) vs. BAL 19%

Again, another tough day, and you’d think that we’d go with the Baltimore pitcher (Dean Kremer) in Detroit against the lowest-scoring team, but I’d prefer to stick with Eduardo Rodriguez for his second start of the week. Part of the reason is that Kremer (insert Seinfeld joke) hasn’t been very good. For example, his FIP of 6.55 (xFIP 5.26) absolutely agrees with his ERA of 6.16. His HR/FB rate is 19.2%. If the Tigers can choose today to get some runs, and Rodriguez can minimize the damage in his bigger home ballpark against a good lineup, we may be in luck.

Sunday, April 30

Kyle Bradish (SP – BAL) at DET 12% OR Johan Oviedo (SP – PIT) at WSH 55%

Kyle Bradish is the play here, and you can see my Tuesday report above for an explanation. If you haven’t considered Oviedo, and he’s available in your leagues, he’s worth picking up and holding to see if the Pirates can keep up their torrid offensive pace (5th in the league in runs scored), and if Oviedo can keep up his solid performance against another weak lineup. In 24.1 IP, Oviedo has a 9.25 K/9, a 55.1% GB%, and a 2.77 xERA according to Fangraphs. Someone will no doubt tell me that his underlying numbers show an ERA that should be nearly a full run higher, but in the world of streaming available players against weak lineups, that’s still our wheelhouse.

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