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Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 8 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: Week 8 Waiver Wire Picks (2023)

We’ve got a good week of streaming on tap. I can feel it. It feels the way the end of a school day feels. It feels the way Christmas Eve can feel. There are some possibilities this week on the waiver wire, and I’m really only worried the most about Wednesday (okay, maybe the short slate on Thursday too). But five out of seven ain’t bad.

Remember that offense is up this year and last week I made the decision to increase the availability threshold for pitchers to stream. I will choose pitchers rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues and I will attempt to go lower when possible. It helps more people if you can actually get the pitcher off waivers in your league. The other rule is simple: I must choose a pitcher every single day, even if it is a weak day to stream. However, I will tell you when it’s dangerous and you should sit back, if possible.

I find all the probable pitchers on the Fantasy Pros Probable Pitchers page as of Friday, May 19th.

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Waiver Wire SP Streamers: Week 8

Monday, May 22

Dane Dunning (SP – TEX) at PIT 48%

Dunning has a 1.69 ERA to go along with a 2.86 FIP. He has increased the use of his cutter, which might be playing better off his primary pitch, the sinker. As we know, this allows him to move between a horizontal and vertical action, and it’s often the case that a younger pitcher will rely too much on their primary pitch. Could it be that this is a leap forward then? Like Josiah Gray below or Drew Smyly early on, you will see that Dunning is more confidently throwing his sinker in the zone (51.2% versus 63.9%). He wants hitters to hit it, and while that doesn’t lead to more strikeouts, it does lead to a contact pitcher minimizing the long ball. On the sinker in 2022, Dunning had a 14.3% HR/FB, and this year it’s (checks notes) an even 0.0%. Yup. Now the cutter has a 0.0 % HR/FB rate as well, but it has leaped from having a 27.7% CSW in 2022 to a 38.2% CSW in 2023. I’m ready to see if these changes will stick.

Tuesday, May 23

Logan Allen (SP – CLE) vs. CWS 36%

In 26 IP by the time I write this article, Allen has managed 29 K’s and a 3.04 ERA. This goes along with a dangerous 1.46 WHIP, however. Check out the crazy spread for the underlying stats. He has a 4.56 xERA, a 2.99 FIP and a 3.76 xFIP. The White Sox are 19th in runs-scored. Allen managed to beat this team last time out, going 5.2 innings and only allowing one ER. He threw 102 pitches and only walked one batter, but he gave up 7 singles. That is where we’ll have to hope for some growth, as he managed a 1.13 WHIP across 258.1 IP in the minor leagues. This is a pitcher still learning to pitch at this level, but that just means he might be available in your league for a reasonable matchup.

Wednesday, May 24

Brayan Bello (SP – BOS) at LAA 16%

He hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in his last four outings, which came against Seattle, Atlanta, Toronto, and Cleveland while winning three of those games. The Halos score runs, but so do the Braves and the Blue Jays, so at some point in our streaming world, we have to wonder if Bello is a guy we can rely on. Here are some positives. He owns a 3.79 xFIP. Most of his ERA troubles came in the first two outings of the season. Since that point, he has done the two things that we want to see. Bello has walked fewer batters (4.3% BB% against Toronto and Atlanta versus nearly 10% against Milwaukee and Cleveland at the end of April), and he’s throwing the sinker with more confidence (getting a whopping 43.1% CSW in his previous outing versus 11.5% on April 29th and 25% on April 23rd).

Thursday, May 25

Kyle Freeland (SP – COL) vs. MIA 41%

Okay, so you’re going to ask this question: What kind of analyst would advise streaming a pitcher at Coors Field? There are several answers to this question for Thursday. First, I must stream someone, and the other options are either widely unavailable or bad with a capital B. Second, Freeland has managed to find some success at home this year. Perhaps it’s because he’s using his sinker a lot more (23% vs. 34%). Freeland has a 50.8% GB% on the sinker and his curveball also gets a lot of groundballs (52%). The slider is the dangerous pitch in Coors Field. However, here’s the thing. He seems to know this, and he refrains from throwing it as much at home. Also, he owns a 1.11 WHIP, and the long ball often doesn’t hurt as much when you don’t put runners on base. Finally, the last reason I am going with Freeland is the matchup. Which MLB team is in first place for GIDP? That would be Miami. Which team is in third place in GB%? That would be Miami. Which team is 21st in HR/FB ratio? You know the answer. On the season, they are 28th in runs scored. C’mon, Freeland! Don’t make me look like a crazy man for suggesting a pitcher in that rarefied air.

Friday, May 26

Reid Detmers (SP – LAA) vs. MIA 40%

I so want Detmers to be good. I drafted him in most of my leagues. The fantasy baseball industry was really high on him after an amazing finish to the 2022 season, but he hasn’t lived up to his full potential. Yet, here I am willing to stream him against one of the lower-scoring teams in the league. Detmers has a 3.44 FIP and a 3.77 xFIP, so the underlying numbers put him on the edge of streamable for the season. In his last outing against Minnesota, he struck out a whopping 12 batters in 5.2 IP. He had a 39% CSW, but let me just remind us all why we were so high on him in the first place. It was the slider, which he started to throw harder. In 2022, it averaged 85.9 mph, and this year it’s 90.3 mph. Detmers managed to get hitters to swing at that pitch out of the zone 35.6% of the time last season, but this year it’s up to 47.4%, in large part because of an increase in usage, but also because hitters will tell you that a good slider will play annoyingly well off the fastball. I’ll admit that I dropped Detmers in my leagues, but I’m trying to figure out who to drop in order to claim him and wait, yet again.

Saturday, May 27

Josiah Gray (SP – WSH) at KC 53%

This is the play here. Gray has a 2.73 ERA that is defying his 4.19 FIP. Can he continue to outmaneuver the underlying numbers? What I like about Gray’s work is that he’s not giving up home runs. This is what plagued him in the past, and he has somehow changed from a strikeout guy to a contact pitcher. Consider that last year, on his fastball alone, he gave up 24 home runs. He gave up another 11 on the slider and curveball. That’s 35 dingers alongside his continually elevated WHIP. This year, with the addition of that cutter, he has given up five home runs. Yup. SO that 1.35 WHIP is a problem, and it could come back to haunt us for one of these games. For now, let’s see if Gray can continue to avoid the long ball with runners on.

Sunday, May 28

MacKenzie Gore (SP – WSH) at KC 54%

This is an easy pick for me. Gore’s underlying numbers match his 3.69 ERA. A highly touted prospect a couple years ago, we shouldn’t be surprised that he’s finding success. As I’ve mentioned before, his velocity is up a tick on all of his pitches, which has yielded more punchouts on his fastball and slider (see Reid Detmers and slider velocity, or Jon Gray and slider velocity). That pitch pairs really well with the fastball when it can be thrown harder and that seems to be what he’s doing this year. His WHIP is not great at 1.45, but he is keeping the ball on the ground more too (40.5% GB% in 2022 versus 50% so far in 2023). He’s got a good matchup. Let’s go for it.

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