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 22
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, August 15.
LHP John Means, BAL
Owned Y35%|E30% · vs. Kansas City Royals – Monday, August 19
Means has a 3.96 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 6.54 K/9 and has struck out 17.4% of the batters he faced in the 19 games he’s started this season. Those good ratios come at the expense of strikeouts. In his 11 home starts he has a 3.12 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 7.18 K/9 and a 19.8 K%.
Digging deeper I took a look at his numbers the first time he faces a team and found this: 2.80 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 8.4 K/9 and a 22.2 K% over 54.2 innings (10 starts and 2 relief appearances). Digging even deeper here’s his numbers when facing a team for the first time in Baltimore: 1.80 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 and a 24.8 K% in 25 innings (5 starts). We can definitely work with this.
Enter the Royals and their 0.297 wOBA (24th in MLB), 0.166 ISO (19th) and 25.0 K% (23rd) versus LHP on the road. In fact, lefty SP at home facing the Royals have put up a 4.15 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 10.4 K/9 in 18 games.
While not an exciting match-up at first glance, the fact that Kansas City struggles against lefties on the road and this will be their first look at Means in Baltimore instills a good deal of confidence rolling him out there next week.
LHP Tommy Milone, SEA
Owned Y3%|E2% · @ Tampa Bay Rays – Tuesday, August 20
Déjà vu? I suggested we stream Milone against the Tigers in Detroit in last week’s Straight Cheese. I’m watching the game as I’m writing this article. He pitched 4 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 3. Meh.
After the Tigers game he had a 4.69 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 8.1 K/9 and has struck out 22.5% of the batters he’s faced over 78.2 innings. Like last week, you need to look at his numbers when he follows an opener:
- With an opener – 4.44 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.0 K/9 and a 19.9 K%
- As a starter – 5.19 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 10.4 K/9 and a 27.3 K%
He’s better as a “follower” than he is as a starter. He just doesn’t get as many K’s.
Tampa should be able to help with that. Facing LHP at home, the Rays have a 0.304 wOBA (23rd in MLB), 0.139 ISO (29th), and strikeout 27.1% of the time (29th). Lefty SP facing the Rays in Tampa have put up a 3.39 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and a 9.7 K/9 in 22 games.
Here’s to hoping that Tampa’s weakness for striking out strengthens Milone’s ability to put up a good start against them next week.
RHP Sean Reid-Foley, TOR
Owned Y6%|E3% · @ Seattle Mariners – Sunday, August 25
Reid-Foley has a 3.65 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 7.3 K/9 and a 17.0 K% in his 6 starts in 2019. Albeit a small sample size, he has a 0.82 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 6.55 K/9 and a 14.8 K% in 11 innings on the road (2 starts and 1 relief appearance).
The Mariners when facing RHP in Seattle have a 0.308 wOBA (23rd in MLB), 0.172 ISO (23rd) and strike out 27.9% of the time (worst in MLB). In 38 games in Seattle, visiting right-handed SP have put up a 5.06 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and a 9.8 K/9.
There is a danger of Reid-Foley’s start getting bumped since it is on Sunday. In all honesty, that might be a blessing in disguise if it happens. But if this start against Seattle takes place I have a hunch that he will put up a “fantasy usable” start.
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 Brendan McKay, TB
Owned Y37%|E20% – vs. Mariners (Mon Aug 19) & @ Orioles (Sat Aug 24)
Last week I suggested him in this space but his Sunday start against Detroit was bumped to Monday versus Seattle. I’m going to be lazy and just rehash what I wrote last week with updated numbers.
McKay has a 5.08 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 10.7 K/9 and a 27.4 K% in his first 7 MLB starts this season. Outside of that high ERA and high-ish WHIP everything else (the strikeouts) is something that would look great on your roster. If you factor out his messy start against the White Sox his numbers look very appealing: 3.86 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 10.38 K/9 and a 27.8 K%.
- Mariners vs LHP on the road: 0.323 wOBA (13th), 0.189 ISO (10th) and a 26.0 K% (28th)
- Orioles vs LHP at home: 0.312 wOBA (21st), 0.160 (22nd) and a 27.7 K% (30th)
McKay has the ability to strike batters out and these two starts are in his favor. Let’s roll him out there (again) and see what happens.
Streaming Starting Pitchers Week 20
Let’s look back at my previous recommendations, streaming starting pitchers week 20. Note we have to look back two weeks since last week’s Straight Cheese is for the current week. Got it? Good.
|Eric Lauer, SDP||8/8 vs COL||1||4.00||3||10||0||2||ND||6.75||2.50|
|Gio Gonzalez, MIL||8/9 vs TEX||1||5.00||1||2||3||2||ND||1.80||1.00|
|Cumulative Season Total||37||186.33||111||208||68||167||12 – 14||5.36||1.48|
Duffy went on the IL before his start in Detroit. If only I could say the same for Lauer…
Here’s a look back at the two start pitcher I recommended back in Week 20.
|Dinelson Lamet, SDP||8/6 @ SEA||1||7.00||0||2||4||12||W||0.00||0.86|
|Dinelson Lamet, SDP||8/11 vs COL||1||5.00||2||3||3||7||ND||3.60||1.20|
|Total||2||12.00||2||5||7||19||1 – 0||1.50||1.00|
|Cumulative Season Total||26||151.67||66||141||38||139||13 – 5||3.92||1.18|
Man, my two start recommendations are on fire. I anticipated the two-start pitchers having worst numbers due to the fact that I’d have to find low-owned pitchers with two good match-ups. Quite the opposite is happening.