This is my weekly column where I suggest streaming low owned starting pitchers that have a matchup in their favor next week to help your fantasy baseball team. Most of these hurlers are to be used and tossed back to the waiver wire. Some of them will graduate from the wire and find a permanent space on someone’s roster,
Streaming Starting Pitchers Week 18
My process is to look at wOBA, ISO and K% because they tend to identify weak lineups and conversely for pitchers I look at wOBA, ISO against and their K%.
All statistics, ownership and projected starting dates are as of Thursday morning, July 18.
The Baltimore Orioles are not good at baseball. If you follow baseball (and if you are reading this you probably do) then you know this already. They are tied with the Detroit Tigers for a MLB-low 29 wins. They are carrying the “MLB Worst” belt due to having played 4 more games than the Tigers, making their winning percentage a paltry .305… which is just a tad bit higher than their team OBP of .300, but slightly lower than their .298 team wOBA.
They’re not good and we’re going to take advantage this week!
- Baltimore vs RHP & LHP (season) – 0.298 (28th in MLB), 0.159 (25th) and 24.0 K% (21st)
- Baltimore vs RHP on the road (season) – 0.286 wOBA (29th in MLB), 0.139 (29th) and 26.1 K% (27th)
Starting pitchers are posting a 4.15 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 8.3 K/9 (450 strikeouts in 490.2 innings) when facing the Orioles. Furthermore, right-handed SP have a 3.52 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 (149 strikeouts in 153.1 innings) when pitching at home versus Baltimore.
I think we know what to do, right?
RHP Merrill Kelly, ARI
Owned Y31%|E21% · vs. Baltimore Orioles – Tuesday, July 23
Kelly has a 3.93 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and an 18.5 K% (86 strikeouts in 110 innings; 7.04 K/9). When the MLB ERA sits at 4.50 any pitcher with an ERA below 4.00 has to be in contention to be rostered. He’s been pitching well lately with a 2.86 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 20.4 K% in his last 8 starts. Additionally, he pitches better at home. Over 8 home starts he has a 3.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 24.3 K%.
Pitcher having recent success + pitcher pitching well at home + Baltimore offensive woes = Let’s do this!
RHP Jaime Barria, LAA
Owned Y1%|E1% · vs. Baltimore Orioles – Thursday, July 25
Barria has a 5.22 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a 23.6 K% (30 strikeouts in 29.1 innings; 9.20 K/9). That’s over 7 games, 3 of which were starts. In those 3 starts he has a 4.20 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and a 27.9 K%. Most of the damage came in one really bad outing in Kansas City where he came in as a “follower” and gave up 7 earned runs in 1.2 innings.
In 4 home games his ERA sits at 2.04 with a 0.91 WHIP and he struck out 26.5% of the batters he faced.
I know the sample size is small but I don’t think the lowly Orioles will be any trouble for Barria.
RHP Griffin Canning, LAA
Owned Y16%|E8% · vs. Baltimore Orioles – Friday, July 26
Through 13 starts Canning has a 4.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and a 25.3 K% (71 strikeouts in 66.1 innings; 9.63 K/9). Like Kelly and Barria, he’s a slightly better pitcher at home. He has a 4.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 24.8 K% in 7 home starts.
His most recent home start was easily his worst. He gave up 3 earned runs, 6 walks and 2 hits in 1.1 innings against the Astros on July 15. If you factor that start out then his home numbers look like this: 3.41 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and a 25.5 K%.
I’m willing to overlook the bad start versus Houston and trot him out there against Baltimore. These Orioles are not the Astros. Not even close.
Here is where I recommend a two-start pitcher for you to stream. Please bear in mind that things can change after this article is posted. Injuries, rain delays, managerial moves, etc. can happen.
LHP Marco Gonzalez, SEA
Owned Y45%|E66% – vs. Rangers (Mon Jul 22) & vs. Tigers (Sat Jul 27)
Unfortunately, there are no two start pitchers facing the Orioles this week. But, we do have an interesting option with Gonzalez. Through 21 starts he has a 4.48 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 16.7 K% (87 strikeouts in 120.2 innings; 6.49 K/9). Nothing great and frankly his ownership is too high.
- Rangers vs LHP (season): 0.306 wOBA (23rd), 0.188 (14th) and a 27.8 K% (30th)
- Rangers vs LHP (last 30 days): 0.279 wOBA (29th), 0.219 ISO (7th) and a 29.9 K% (30th)
- Tigers vs LHP (season): 0.306 wOBA (22nd), 0.148 ISO (26th) and a 26.0 K% (28th)
- Tigers vs LHP (last 30 days): 0.307 wOBA (23rd), 0.122 ISO (30th) and a 24.7 K% (24th)
The start versus Detroit is the less worrisome of the two. They’re offensively challenged by southpaws and get this… this is the first time he is facing the Tigers in 2019 and his stats when facing other teams the first time this season? 3.47 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 16.9 K%. We can work with that.
The Rangers could pose a problem. Marco’s last start against them was at home on May 22 and it was a calamity. He was rocked for 6 earned runs in 4 innings. But, his other two starts against them were a fantasy blessing: only 1 earned run, 13 hits, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings. Given the Rangers recent struggles against lefties and I’m thinking (okay, hoping) that he’ll get another good start against them next week.
Streaming Starting Pitchers Week 16 Review
Typically this is where I take a look back at the pitchers I recommended two weeks ago in this column. But two weeks ago was the All Star Break and I didn’t recommend anyone. And last week’s recommendations are still in play so I’ll recap them in next week’s column. But…… I will be on vacation next week, so I’ll be recapping Week 17 & Week 18 two weeks from now in my Week 20 Straight Cheese.