If you’re desperate for pitching in your league, there are a couple of recent call-ups worth claiming and holding this week: Bryce Miller (SEA) and Tanner Bibee (CLE). In fact, Bibee is our two-start pitcher for this second week of May. While both guys are slightly above my availability limitations for this column (which hovers around 30% availability in Yahoo leagues) they’re still available in enough places to take advantage.
My series focus is Seattle against Detroit next Friday (12th) and Saturday (13th). In fact, for the whole week, I’m streaming against the Tigers for three games.
If you recall the rules, which are turning into guidelines, I must choose a widely available pitcher every single day of the week, even if it’s a bad day to stream. Don’t worry, I’ll warn you if it’s a good time to play it safe and take a day off.
You can also check out our full probable pitchers report for the next two weeks. You can use that in coordination with our Streaming Pitcher Planner and Two-Start Pitcher Projections to plan your fantasy baseball rotation.
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Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers
Here are our top streaming pitchers to target for each day of Week 6 of the fantasy baseball season.
Monday, May 8
Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs. DET 45%
I recently learned that you pronounce his name BYE-BEE. It made me think of the old Seinfeld episode where they say, “The dingo ate my BYE-BEE.” In two games (against the Yanks and the Rockies) and 11 IP, Bibee has managed a 2.45 ERA (2.45 FIP). He has yet to walk a batter and owns a 10.64 K/9. Bibee had a 4.70 BB/9 in 15.1 IP in Triple-A before being called up, so we’ll want to keep an eye on those walks, but historically he has limited the free pass. Bibee had two easier match-ups to start his MLB career, considering the injury-riddled Yankees aren’t running on full power. But we’re not going to complain about a solid prospect getting another sweet matchup this week. Don’t forget that Cleveland has not been a run-producing team, and they are in last place in that category over the previous two weeks while Detroit has been moderately better. Still, Bibee is worth picking up for two starts, and he’s worth holding. This is a pitcher with long-term upside who could be a Guardians staple for years to come.
Other option: Mitch Keller (PIT) vs. COL 62%
Tuesday, May 9
Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs. MIA 28%
It’s a tough day to stream, as I don’t trust Clarke Schmidt (NYY), even against Oakland, or Patrick Corbin (WSH) against the Giants. I was going to choose Vince Velasquez (PIT) vs. Colorado but he’s now on the IL after leaving his last start with elbow soreness. Yes, yes, I know the luster of Pfaadt’s call-up has worn off a little after his first start against the Rangers. Please expect some growing pains. While he finished 2022 in Triple-A with a 2.63 ERA, he had an 89.5% LOB% to go along with his exceptional 10.80 K/9. In his outing against Texas, he threw his fastball 60% of the time, and it didn’t play nearly as well as his slider (xAVG of .390 against the FB vs. xAVG of .248 against the SL). So perhaps he relied too much on his comfort-pitch, like I rely too much on fish sticks of a Wednesday evening. And let’s face it, relying on one thing too much is just not good for you. (It’s Saturday and I’m thinking fish sticks.) He also has a good changeup and an above-average curveball, so if he can mix in some more movement to set up the fastball, and if he can get past the first-game jitters, we’ve got a decent matchup here.
Wednesday, May 10
In the last two weeks, the Padres are tied with the Blue Jays for run-scored, and in the last week, the Padres are 7th in runs-scored. We are beginning to see the friars’ prayers come true after Tatis played tee-ball the other day with Clayton Kershaw, pummeling two homers off the future Hall-of-Famer. Let’s hope for Lugo to benefit. The 33-year old veteran has a 3.21 ERA (3.95 FIP). Any sub-4.00 ERA is gold for the streaming life. His velocity is down a tick, and so we’ll need to watch his stamina long-term, as he’s already halfway to the number of IP this year as he pitched last year. For the long-haul, a newly stretched-out starter might need to revert to bullpen status, but we should keep in mind that Lugo throws his curveball nearly as much as his fastball, and it is the speed differential that is how Lugo finds success (from 93 mph to 78 mph). This year, the game plan seems to be this: Throw that curveball in the zone more often. Let them hit it. A number of other pitchers in the league are managing this as well (Drew Smyly comes to mind). The GB% on that curveball is 63.9% (versus 54.2% last year). The problem is that they may be sneaking through the infield too much, as he has an 84.5% LOB% to go along with an xAVG of .281. So our gamble here is that the Twins will hit into the defense behind Lugo for a night. The other, perhaps safer option, in Oracle Park is Josiah Gray, but don’t be fooled by his 3.03 ERA as it comes with 4.45 FIP and a 87.2% LOB%. Still, Lugo is on the stronger team and could get a win. These pitchers have their warts, but that’s exactly why they’re available to stream. So let’s take the good with the bad.
Thursday, May 11
Bailey Ober (MIN) vs. SD 32%
Only six games will be played today, and the only reasonable available candidate who might be worth rostering for Thursday is Bailey Ober. But given the Padres lineup is beginning to shake off the rust, I’m scared. Ober has an unsustainable .098 ERA in his first 18.1 IP. But with a 2.59 FIP and, according to Fangraphs, a 3.52 xERA, expect the inflation to come soon. His 7.85 K/9 isn’t that spectacular, but it will serve. He’s done well in Triple-A with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP to go along with a 11.2 K/9. Ober has shown in that short stretch an ability to limit the home runs, though he doesn’t always limit the walks. His fastball is his most-used pitch, but we’d love him to unlock that slider some more (38.9% CSW for the slider in his last outing). Trust the slider, Ober! Please!
Other option: Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) at OAK 65%
Friday, May 12
Marco Gonzales (SEA) at DET 12%
Okay, I’ll admit to wanting to stream Logan Allen, but the Angels are scoring more runs recently and the Guardians are struggling to get any runs. That means we need a matchup play, so enter a couple days of sending pitchers out against the Tigers. I have a lot less Panic in Detroit (excuse my Bowie reference here). Gonzales is a veteran pitcher who pitches like pitchers used to pitch (say that five times really fast). He has been a streamer-darling for many years, posting a career 4.10 ERA (which is the streamer wheelhouse and often why he is available). Interestingly, he’s throwing his curveball more this year for a whopping 85.7% GB%. He’s getting his fastball in the zone more for called strikes, and he’s getting hitters to swing and miss more on the changeup. I would say he has decided to eliminate a couple ways of throwing the fastball and focus more on a three-pitch arsenal to do his daily work. I have no problem putting him in against a weaker lineup.
Other option: Logan Allen (CLE) vs. LAA 40%
Saturday, May 13
Bryce Miller (SEA) at DET 41%
On our third day this week streaming against Detroit, we’ll go with another young call-up. Miller has a 70-grade fastball according to Fangraphs, and he threw it 70% of the time against Oakland last week. It yielded a CSW of 40.4%. Wow! Okay, so it’s Oakland, but still, Miller has been good in the minor leagues as well. In 2022, between High-A and Double-A, he had a K/9 above 10 and an ERA that hovered around 3.20 across 128.1 IP. Miller has not seen Triple-A action, so we can reasonably wonder how long he will stick in the rotation for Seattle, but for now, let’s take him for an outing against the Tigers.
Sunday, May 14
Tanner Bibee (CLE) vs. LAA 45%
This is the scarier of Bibee’s two-start week, as the Halos have been the second-best scoring team in the last two weeks. So I understand if you fade him today. But if you believe he is an SP2 on that Guardians team right now, second only to Shane Bieber, then you might take the gamble. Everything I said on Monday applies. Hopefully the dingo doesn’t eat this Bibee.