Welcome back to another edition of Straight Cheese, a resource for streaming starting pitchers for your fantasy baseball team.
This is the place where you come to get the scoop on less than desirable, questionably talented, hardly owned starting pitchers that you can use for a spot start to get those all-important necessary counting stats without drop-kicking your ratio stats into submission.
Before we dive into the dumpster looking for junk pitchers we can use this weekend, I want to evaluate my picks from last week.
Week 2 Review
|Tyson Ross||4/13 vs. SF||1.0||6||0||7||1||5||W||0.00||1.33|
|Clayton Richard||4/14 vs. SF||1.0||5||4||7||3||3||–||7.20||2.00|
|Joey Lucchesi||4/15 vs. SF||1.0||6||1||5||0||9||W||1.50||0.83|
|Mike Foltynewicz||4/17 vs. PHI||1.0||6||1||4||4||8||–||1.50||1.33|
|Week 2 Total||4.0||23||6||23||8||25||2-0||2.348||1.348|
Not bad, not bad at all. Three out of four.
I also mentioned Mike Minor @ TB, Brandon McCarthy vs. PHI and Anibal Sanchez vs. PHI last week as solid streaming options but their starts got moved. Minor missed the Tampa Bay Rays and is scheduled to face Seattle Mariners at home on April 20. McCarthy will still face the Phillies, now scheduled April 18. Sanchez is scheduled for a home start to the New York Mets on April 19.
I’ve learned a lesson on not recommending pitchers that far into the future, so I will keep the focus in future articles to the upcoming weekend. I will keep a running tally of my picks throughout the season.
Streaming Starting Pitchers – Week 3 Picks
Alright, with that stuff out of the way we can take a look at our streaming starting pitchers options for the upcoming weekend. Here are six pitchers (less than 50% owned ) that I’m recommending streaming.
Ownership info from Yahoo! (Y) and ESPN (E) and all 2018 stats are through Monday, April 16. This is important because we’re still dealing with small sample sizes that by the time you’re reading this the 2018 numbers may have changed.
RHP Jordan Zimmermann, DET
Owned Y3%/E3% · vs. Baltimore Orioles – Thursday, April 19th
A few weeks ago I wrote about Zimmermann’s luck… or lack thereof. In that piece I advised you to keep an eye on him as someone that could potentially become useful. I mentioned to pick your spots with him and, now is the time.
Don’t let his current 8.18 ERA and 1.50 WHIP scare you off. He has a 3.98 xFIP, 9.00 K/9, 1.64 BB/9 and hasn’t allowed a homerun in 11 innings pitched (3 starts). His BABIP sits at .429 (yikes!) at the moment. He could really use some good luck. Enter the Orioles. Baltimore comes into Detroit sporting a .283 wOBA (25th) and 31.6 K% (29th) in 282 PA vs. RHP on the road. Spots don’t get much better to pick than this.
LHP Sean Newcomb, ATL
Owned Y25%/E17% · vs. New York Mets – Friday, April 20th
Do you like strikeouts? Of course you do. Newcomb can get you strikeouts. Therefore, you like Newcomb. Over his first 3 starts (15 2/3 innings) he has a 4.02 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 22 strikeouts (12.64 K/9) and 8 walks (4.54 BB/9). Effectively wild, right? Well, dig a little deeper and you’ll see his 2.87 xFIP with a .359 BABIP. This kid is good if a bit unlucky so far.
On Friday he faces off against Noah Syndergaard, but don’t let that scare you. The Mets may be 6-0 on the road but they don’t hit like it. Their road wOBA is .306 (16th) and their road strikeout rate is 26.9% (25th). If you take those a step further and look at when they face southpaws you’ll see that their wOBA is only .239 (27th) and strikeout rate is 31.8% (29th) in 118 PA. I really like the spot Newcomb is in here.
LHP Andrew Heaney, LAA
Owned Y4%/E3% · vs. San Francisco Giants – Friday, April 20th
Last week I wrote about picking on the Giants when they are on the road and it worked out quite well (see chart at top of this page). Well, they are on the road again this weekend. Want to guess what I am going to tell you to do?
In 162 PA, San Francisco has a .254 wOBA (25th) and a 24.7 K% (20th) vs. LHP on the road. That is news you can use. Why am I recommending that you stream Heaney after just one unspectacular start at Kansas City last Friday? Strikeouts. He hasn’t seen much MLB action since 2016, but his K/9 is 11.3 and his BB/9 is 2.8 in those 32 2/3 innings. Call it a hunch but I think Heaney will do alright in this matchup. Make no mistake, this is more of a pick on the Giants than it is an endorsement of Heaney’s skills.
RHP Jhoulys Chacin, MIL
Owned Y7%/E4% · vs. Miami Marlins – Friday, April 20th
Stop me if you’ve heard this before… the Marlins are somewhere between awful and depressing. You can get caught up in the hyperbole of how Jeter is ruining the franchise or you can simply take it for what it is: a gift.
On the road, the Marlins are a team you need to pick on until they show otherwise. Currently they have a wOBA of .207 (30th out of 30 MLB teams!) and a K% of 32.4% (also 30th) when away from the beaches of Miami.
If that doesn’t put a hop in your step then let me tell you that they are even worse against RHP! Yeah, vs. RHP on the road they have a wOBA of .192 (30th) and a strikeout rate of 34.4% (30th aka Dead Last). Now, Chacin and his 5.60 ERA, 1.92 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings is not the guy I would ultimately want to be in this situation but he is taking the mound and, most importantly, the Marlins stink.
LHP Brent Suter, MIL
Owned Y9%/E5% · vs. Miami Marlins – Saturday, April 21st
See Chacin above. But, I will warn you that the Marlins are “better” vs. lefties. They only have 17 PA on the road vs. LHP this season so here are their stats vs. LHP overall: .293 wOBA (21st) and 19.1 K% (8th) in 191 PA. Suter isn’t setting the world on fire with his 4.87 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 15 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings. But, it bears repeating: the Marlins stink.
RHP Jose Urena, MIA
Owned Y11%/E8% · @ Milwaukee Brewers – Saturday, April 21st
Yeah, I know. I’m not sure of it either. How can I possibly be saying that you should consider streaming a Marlins pitcher after saying they stink… twice?!? I can say it because although Marlins pitchers don’t get the luxury of facing Marlins batters they do get to face the free swinging Brewers. In Miller Park, the Brewers have a .272 wOBA (28th) and 30.4 K% (30th) when facing RHP. With a 5.57 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 21 innings I can hardly believe he is owned in 11% of Yahoo leagues. I’m not telling you to own him but I am telling you that you could borrow him for this start on Saturday. Just don’t forget to keep your receipt so you can return him back to the waiver wire on Monday!
Until next week!