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Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: James Paxton, Mackenzie Gore, Taj Bradley (Week 11)

Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers: James Paxton, Mackenzie Gore, Taj Bradley (Week 11)

Well, our ERA took a hit last week, but those strikeouts were still helpful. Kyle Gibson struck out seven hitters in five innings, and Kyle Bradish struck out ten in five innings. Thank you very much. Still, Tanner Bibee didn’t have the strikeout pitch working in his outing, and some pitchers who were starting to get some fantasy managers interested weren’t as successful (Braxton Garrett and Ben Lively I’m talking about you).

This is the Land of Streaming, however, so we can’t discount the possibility that we may use them again. If we based our analysis on one outing, we’d never stream anyone.

This week, I’m interested in James Paxton (BOS) as both our two-start pitcher and our claim-and-hold guy. The strikeouts are up, and he may be getting things done now in Boston. We might want him on our roster if that’s the case.

Remember, I try to choose guys who are available in half of Yahoo leagues. If it’s a tough day to stream, I’ll warn you. But I always choose someone. Good luck this week.

Fantasy Baseball Streaming Pitchers

Monday, June 12

James Paxton (BOS) vs. COL 40%

In five starts on the season, Paxton has one blemish against the Halos on May 24th. On the season, in 26 innings pitched, Paxton has a 3.81 ERA, and in his last two starts, he has a 2.25 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP with 17 Ks in 12 innings pitched. Sure, he faced Cincinnati and Cleveland in these two games, but to be fair, the Reds are 11th in runs scored on the season. In the last two weeks, the Reds are actually 2nd in runs scored, and the Guardians are 8th. With his 3.56 FIP and 33.1% CSW, I’m raising my eyebrows with interest. He’s throwing the curveball with as much success as he’s had in the past, which is helping his primary fastball. Oh, and about that fastball: It’s as fast as it’s ever been, hovering around 96 mph (which is a little faster than his last healthy season in 2019). Colorado is away from home, and Paxton is available in a lot of leagues. Let’s go for it.

Tuesday, June 13

Tanner Bibee (CLE) at SD 52%

As long as he’s available in half of Yahoo leagues, I’m going to continue streaming him. Here are the numbers. He has a 3.05 ERA (3.29 FIP) and a 1.13 WHIP. His last outing didn’t see a ton of punchouts against Boston (2 K’s in 5 innings pitched), but Boston has the 6th-fewest strikeouts in the league. They like to make contact, and they are fifth in runs scored. In this outing, they hit the ball hard, but fortunately, it was on the ground. In fact, Bibee induced the highest GB% of his rookie season in that game. He made some mistakes and may have escaped with some luck. Still, the Padres aren’t the best this year. You might argue that their team is getting healthier, and so we should expect more danger. If you feel that way, then consider sitting today and live to stream another day. Otherwise, let’s try Bibee.

Wednesday, June 14

Andrew Heaney (TEX) vs. LAA 65%

You might not be able to claim Heaney in your league, in which case I’m probably skipping Wednesday due to a lack of available pitchers. Heaney has a 4.03 ERA, which really comes down to two starts: his last one against Seattle and a start against Arizona on May 3rd. The truth is that his changeup wasn’t working in his last outing, so he resorted to throwing the slider more. Maybe that was by design, but it didn’t work. Usually, Heaney gets that changeup in the zone more often to a greater effect. He had the 2nd-lowest called-strike percentage of the season in this one and the highest Whiff% and SwStr% of the season. More balance is needed, and this might be a case where one pitch wasn’t working well and/or he was trying to strike out the world. Let’s hope for a better result at home against the Halos.

Thursday, June 15

Taj Bradley (TB) at OAK 60%

He’s on one of the best teams in baseball, and he’s facing one of the worst teams in baseball. Sign me up. If you can get him, that is. Like Tanner Bibee, it’s still a mystery to me why he isn’t owned in more leagues. Unlike Bibee, we can’t use the excuse that he’s on a weak team. His ERA is 3.60, but all the underlying numbers indicate that it should be lower (3.25 xERA, 2.79 FIP, 2.87 xFIP). His strongest weapon hasn’t even been his primary fastball. It’s been the changeup, which garners a .057 xAVG and a 34.3% CSW. He should probably figure out ways to mix it into his repertoire more, but it’s working well in any case. His K% was up significantly in his starts against the Cubs (38.1%) and the Blue Jays (33.3%). Let’s see if he can give us a good outing against the A’s.

Friday, June 16

MacKenzie Gore (WAS) vs. MIA 54%

Gore is leveling up. I think that’s clear. Yes, his WHIP is a problem at 1.42, but he has those 80 punchouts in 64 innings. He has a 2.77 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP in his last 13 innings pitched against the Phillies and Royals. Gore sits with a comfortable 3.66 ERA with a 3.36 xFIP. The GB% is a nice 48.5%. If he can reduce the number of walks, he’s going to take another step forward. In 250 minor league innings, he held a 1.12 WHIP. He only played 37 innings at Triple-A, and I think this should require us to focus on the long-term possibilities for Gore. Miami has been better recently, so don’t assume this is an easy matchup. But let’s go for it.

Saturday, June 17

Braxton Garrett (MIA) at WSH 26%

Garrett had a tough outing last time, giving up four runs in five innings against the lowly Royals. He now has a 4.47 ERA. So you know what that makes him? Available. Garrett still has a 3.09 xFIP and a 32.9% CSW to go along with a 54% GB%. His biggest change this year is the cutter, which he throws for a 34.2% CSW. The problem might be that he needs to find ways to get hitters to reach out of the zone more for this pitch. This may come down to figuring out the right mix. There is a dangerously high xAVG on the cutter, which is why it is still a work in progress and not his primary pitch. His two most-used pitches are the slider and sinker, and they hold hitters to a .260 xAVG. These are not ace numbers, but again, that’s why he’s available here.

Sunday, June 18

James Paxton (BOS) vs. NYY 40%

Everything from Monday applies here. My one addition is to defend starting him against the Yankees. He’s not facing them in their small park. He’s home. Aaron Judge is the owner of the most runs on their team, and he’s not in the lineup. Well, he could be back. Technically he can come off the IL on June 14th, but there is a huge question mark there. It may take more time. Unsurprisingly, the Yankees aren’t producing as many runs without him in their lineup. They’re 9th in runs-scored for the entire season, but in the last week, they’re 21st in runs-scored. I’m wondering if we have a window here to continue testing out Paxton.

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