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Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 7 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 7 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

Of the 24 pitchers pitching on Monday, 15 of them have an ERA over 4.30. My reluctance to stream anyone this season is exemplified in that first day of the week, with nearly 60% of our options looking like disasters. Offense is up. So I’m modifying my restrictions a little this week to account for the limited availability of even mediocre pitching. Instead of only identifying arms owned in less than 30% Yahoo leagues, I’m going closer to the 50% mark. I realize that this might mean our choices aren’t on the wire as often, but I also realize that you don’t need bad advice.

So the names that ring true in the middle of May, the ones that seem like decent streaming names so far in 2023, include pitchers like Seth Lugo and Jon Gray (sigh of relief). If you need a two-start pitcher this week, you might consider Josiah Gray (WSH), though he’s not a claim and hold. There are warts on his FIP, and he doesn’t offer as much strikeout potential. Still, he has decent matchups. And even though he plays for a weak offense, he may be facing teams with weak enough offenses to get a win or two.

Remember that I will stream someone every single day, no matter what. This is for those of you who need to churn starters in H2H leagues. The day to avoid this week is probably Thursday, where I predict we’ll see some offense.

Let’s get to it.

More Week 7 Advice:

FantasyPros My Playbook

Week 7 Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers

I use the excellent Weekly Probable Pitchers tool on FantasyPros to identify projected starters as of Saturday, May 13th.

Monday, May 15

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) vs. LAA 65%

I want to start Michael Wacha (SD) here, but there is that old adage in baseball that sometimes it’s not who you face but when you face them. In the last two weeks, the Royals have shown more run-scoring ability, ranking 4th in that category. Needless to say, I’m reluctant to send Wacha against them. That’s why I’d rather sit Monday out if I can avoid streaming. If Grayson Rodriguez is available, he might be the best bet against the Halos, who are 12th in runs-scored in the last two weeks. Sure, Rodriguez has that 5.08 ERA, but it comes with a 3.48 xFIP. His fastball was down a couple ticks in the starts before Tampa Bay, sitting around 95 mph on May 4 and April 29. At home versus the Rays on May 9th, he was throwing 97.4 mph. The hope is that this will continue and it will help many of his other pitches play better. The free passes are proving problematic, with a 3.74 BB/9. Grayson is still learning to pitch in the big leagues, but it feels like our options are limited today.

Tuesday, May 16

Seth Lugo (SD) vs. KC 43%

I think Seth Lugo should go down as one of our best streaming options in the first couple months of 2023. He owns a 3.18 ERA with a 3.96 FIP. If you know our streaming goals and our need for decent available pitching, this is our wheelhouse. Lugo is throwing his fastball more (36% versus 29% in 2022), and he’s managing a stronger 33.4% CSW. He’s sinking it more too, and when he does so, it yields a 65.2% GB% (versus 46.3% in 2022). This makes me believe that he might be able to pitch well despite a high LOB % (84.8%). Lugo is limiting flyballs more than he has done in three years. However, I still don’t see him as a hold. He is a pure streamer.

Other option: Josiah Gray (WSH) at MIA 45%

Wednesday, May 17

MacKenzie Gore (WSH) at MIA 56%

This might be one of my more confident streams of the week, with his 3.29 ERA (3.70 xERA) and his 30% CSW. I’m also happy with the 52.9% GB%. He’s getting weaker contact; hitters are topping the ball more in 2023. For the most part, Gore has abandoned the changeup and become more of a three-pitch guy, which has worked. The xAVG on each pitch has decreased, sometimes considerably, on his fastball (.234), curveball (.180), and slider (.235). One noticeable difference is that he’s throwing every pitch a little bit harder, with a slight uptick in velocity for each one, perhaps indicating that he’s feeling stronger and/or more confident in his delivery of each pitch this year. In any case, he has a good matchup even though he too is on a weak team. Perhaps two teams with run-scoring issues will still equal a win for us.

Thursday, May 18

Jose Berrios (TOR) vs NYY 65%

There aren’t many good options today. I know I know. Some people will point at Logan Allen and/or Tyler Wells, but I’m here to tell you that every single probable starter today has a significant disaster-probability. In fact, I might as well predict that we’re going to see some significant offense today. Get your hitters in there! I’m choosing Berrios because I’m required to choose someone, and he seems to showing signs of life against the tougher teams lately. He held the Pirates scoreless in his last outing, managing a 30% CSW, and in the last month he has a 2.93 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP to go along with three wins in 30.2 IP. His only bad outing was against Boston on May 1st, but he otherwise held the Rays, Astros and White Sox down. His four-seamer, sinker and changeup have all seen significant improvements, with gigantic leaps in GB% for his sinker (65.4% versus 48.2% last year). His fastball and changeup are proving to be weapons again too, with a higher CSW on his fastball (33.7% versus 28.4% last year) and his changeup (27.8% versus 18.9% last year). His ERA may be 4.91, but that comes with an FIP of 3.22 and an xFIP of 3.17. We’ll take a chance against the Yanks.

Friday, May 19

Jon Gray (TEX) vs. COL 55%

In the last two weeks, Gray has a 3.65 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. This looks more like his 2022 line of 3.96 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In his last outing against Seattle (as of this writing), he punched out eight Mariners in seven innings. That ERA just below 4.00 is where we often live on the waiver wire. The Rangers have been scoring a lot this year, sitting 4th overall for the season, and I’m hopeful that we can get a win today. Another thing to note about his outing against Seattle is key: He was throwing the slider significantly harder, at 87.5 mph. It was sitting about three ticks lower in many of his previous outings. You might be surprised to learn that the slider had a CSW of 48.6% in that game against Seattle, and I for one would like to see if he can repeat it here.

Saturday, May 20

Tanner Bibee (CLE) at NYM 42%

Okay so he had a rocky outing against Detroit on May 8th, and I don’t know how well he will have performed against the Halos by the time of publication. But from where I’m sitting, we shouldn’t give up on a guy who has shown significant command of his arsenal throughout his minor league career and who is sporting 3.15 FIP as of this writing. That 9.20 K/9 is strong, and the Mets haven’t exactly been terrorizing pitching this season. Not yet, anyway. In the past two weeks, the Mets are 29th in runs-scored. Of course, the Guardians are 30th in runs-scored, so it might be hard to take a win away from this one. Historically, Citi Field is a homer-suppressing park too. Bibee throws that fastball, slider, curve and change. He’s having the last success with the heater and curveball, but his other pitches are fire, with a 38.6% CSW on the slider and a 36.8% CSW on the changeup. Let’s see if we can get a better outing out of him here.

Sunday, May 21

Josiah Gray (WSH) vs. DET 45%

Josiah may be a scary proposition if you look at the underlying stats, with an xERA of 4.19 compared to that 2.96 ERA. Still, the addition of that cutter has led to a sharp increase in groundballs (44.7% versus 35% in 2022). He was just tired of seeing the ball fly out of the yard, perhaps, because that was seriously what kept many of us away from him this year. But his HR/FB rate of 20.1% last year is now 10.9% this year. His strikeout ratios are down, sure, but it seems like a small price to pay if it means that he’s limited damage. I think the cutter and slider may lead to the groundballs, but we must watch to see if the slider can begin to get strikes again in the long run. He will either need to figure out how to get hitters to flail again on that pitch or we need to accept that even if he is not a big-time strikeout pitcher, he’s getting the job done. The slider has an xAVG of .139 this year, after all, compared to .182 last year. Let’s see if he can get past Detroit here.

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