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10 Pitching Streamers to Target in Week 8

Before getting into this week’s list, I feel like I should mention Eury Perez. I intended to include him last week, but his roster percentage grew very quickly following his callup, and by the time of my article he wasn’t eligible to be a “pitching streamer.” He’s only 20 years old but has handled his first two starts with maturity beyond his years. The top prospect’s got an upper-90s fastball, a swing-and-miss-inducing slider (45.5% whiff rate so far) and curveball (50% whiff rate so far), and an occasional changeup. He didn’t have as many whiffs in his latest start on Thursday but still has 13 Ks in his first 9.2 Major League innings. If your league-mates have somehow overlooked him, go grab that upside and see where it goes.

If you’ve already missed out, though, have no fear. Whether you’re in a weekly transaction league that updates on Sunday night, or you’re a daily-transaction leaguer who likes to plan ahead, I’ve got a list of ten pitching streamers who can help you win your next matchup. Half the names on this list even offer a start this weekend if your settings allow you to take advantage of that. As always, I’ve listed my favorite pitching streamers in roster-percentage order.

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Top 10 Pitching Streamer Options For This Upcoming Week

Pitching Streamers Available in Some Leagues (About 50% to 65% Rostered)

Bailey Ober SP Twins

Last start: Tuesday, May 16 @ Dodgers – 6IP W 1ER 6H 1BB 6K

2 starts next week: Monday, May 22nd vs. Giants + Sunday, May 28th vs. Blue Jays

That makes three quality starts in a row for Bailey Ober, who beat a top-tier Dodgers offense on Tuesday. Though his stellar 1.78 ERA and 0.96 WHIP through his first five starts are not likely to last all season (his xERA sits at 3.63) his ability to induce fly balls, his control (2.08 BB/9), and the Twins willingness to let him go deeper into games (six or more innings in the last three) should keep him relevant in all league formats for the foreseeable future. And, he’s a two-start pitcher this week. If he’s still sitting on your waiver wire, this could be your last chance.

Andrew Heaney SP Rangers

Last start: Sunday, May 14th @ A’s – 6IP 1ER 4H 2BB 9K

Next start: Sunday, May 21th vs. Rockies

1 start next week: Weekend @ Orioles

It was another good start for Andrew Heaney on Sunday, who generated 14 swinging strikes, struck out nine batters, and only yielded one run to the A’s. OK, fine, it was the A’s, but Heaney has now limited his opposition to three runs or fewer in all but two of his eight starts. Fantasy managers have an easy call tomorrow against the Rockies away from Coors. Next weekend’s start in Baltimore is tougher, but if you consider that the Orioles have scored fewer runs at home (95 runs in 22 home games vs. 120 in 21 on the road), and have a lower OBP (.313 vs. .345), SLG (.415 vs .428), and OPS (.728 vs .773), the risk makes more sense. Plus, the only two bad games Heaney’s had this season have both been at home (home ERA: 6.66, away ERA 2.04). Add it all up, I’d roll with him.

Mackenzie Gore SP Nationals

Last start: Wednesday, May 17th @ Marlins – 5.1IP L 4ER 5H 2BB 7K

2 starts next week: Tuesday, May 23rd vs. Padres + Sunday, May 28th @ Royals

Though Mackenzie Gore pitched deeper into his start this Wednesday in Miami (5.1 innings), he wasn’t particularly effective (4 ER) in a losing effort. He wasn’t horrible either. He still generated 14 swinging strikes, struck out seven, and his whiff rate, chase rate, and K rate are still well above average for the season. At the very worst, he’s a worthy streamer next week based on his two starts. The Padres, who have the lowest batting average in baseball, have been particularly bad on the road (slashing .202/.295/.346 vs. .247/.335/.411 at home and a .641 OPS vs. .746 at home), while the Royals are near the bottom in just about all offensive categories, including walks which is Gore’s biggest problem.

Taj Bradley SP Rays

Last start: Thursday, May 18th @ Mets – 5IP 2ER 3H 2BB 4K

2 starts next week (tentative): Tuesday, May 23rd vs. Blue Jays + Sunday, May 28th vs. Dodgers

After being abruptly demoted three weeks ago, Taj Bradley is back in the Rays’ rotation. Those who were worried about his poor results since being sent down (16 earned runs in 9 innings over three starts) breathed a sign of relief on Thursday night. The start wasn’t great, but good enough. He had 10 swinging strikes on 86 pitches, his velocity was higher than in his last stint, and he didn’t walk anyone after his shaky first inning. He should stick around for the foreseeable future if he pitches well. It won’t be easy given his next two matchups, both against top notch offenses. If you need the volume of a points league, I don’t see the harm. If you’re worried about ratios… well then you probably shouldn’t be streaming at all, honestly. But Bradley could be a solid part of your rotation all year if things click for him. He has no business being on your waiver wire.

Josiah Gray P Nationals

Last start: Tuesday, May 16th @ Marlins – 7IP W 1ER 7H 3BB 5K

Next start: Sunday, May 21st vs. Tigers

Next week: Saturday, May 27th @ Royals

I’ve pretty much written the same thing about Josiah Gray for the past month. He’s been adept at limiting hard contact, getting himself out of trouble, and recently has been going deep into games (four out of the last five outings were quality starts). Will the high walk rate (3.76 BB/9) catch up to him eventually? Will his ERA climb closer to the expected ERA? Probably. But even so, there’s no reason to think he can’t be a solid back-of-your-fantasy-rotation starter the whole season in standard 12-team leagues. In shallower leagues, he makes for a great streamer tomorrow against the Tigers and also next week at the Royals – both bottom-third offenses who rank last and second-to-last in OBP.

Pitching Streamers Available in Most Leagues (About 35% to 50% Rostered)

Dane Dunning SP/RP Rangers

Last start: Tuesday, May 16th vs. Braves – 6IP W 1ER 6H 0BB 4K

2 starts next week: Monday, May 22nd @ Pirates + Sunday, May 28th @ Orioles

There’s a long enough track record that tells us Dane Dunning is mediocre at best. His results have been impressive for the Rangers this season, though, both out of the pen and now filling in for Jacob Degrom’s rotation spot. He won’t have a 1.69 ERA all season. His xERA is over two runs higher than that. But he seems to be riding a hot streak right now, he’s playing for a team that’s atop the AL West and who scores the most runs per game, and he’s got two starts scheduled for next week. Above, I mentioned that the Orioles are not as potent at home, so I’m inclined to take the risk, especially in leagues where I need volume.

Tanner Bibee SP Guardians

Last start: Sunday, May 14th vs. Angels – 7.2IP 1ER 2H 0BB 7K

Next start: Saturday, May 20th @ Mets

1 start next week: Friday, May 26th vs. Cardinals

Coming off the worst start of his young career, Tanner Bibee had his best start Sunday against the Angels. He struck out seven and generated 14 swings and misses. The slider we’ve all learned to love (or is it the curve?), the pin-point control (no walks for the third time in four starts), and the 95-mile-per-hour fastball were all back on display. It’s wild that he’s still available in most leagues. You need to pick him up for his start at the Mets (whose struggles have left them in the bottom half in most offensive categories) tonight and hold him for next week’s matchup against the Cardinals. There might be growing pains along the way, but the upside is too much for the waiver wire.

Pitching Streamers Widely Available (About 35% Rostered or Fewer)

Jack Flaherty SP Cardinals

Last start: Monday, May 15th vs. Brewers – 7IP W 0ER 3H 2BB 10K

Next start: Sunday, May 21st vs. Dodgers

Next week: Friday, May 26th @ Guardians

Jack Flaherty was sure good against the Brewers this week. He threw seven scoreless while inducing 17 swinging strikes and striking out 10. His velocity was up, he threw his most effective pitch, his curveball, more and got seven whiffs with it, and his changeup had a greater differential than in past starts and had more movement. Because all these good signs have come out of nowhere (he’d surrendered three runs or more in each of his last five starts, including ten runs in one start), I don’t think I can recommend a stream tomorrow against the Dodgers (unless you already lost ratios and just need some K upside). Next week’s start is in Cleveland, though, so if he handles himself in a similar fashion Sunday, I’d take my chances against the team that scores the second-fewest runs per game and are statistically even worse against lefties.

Matthew Liberatore SP Cardinals

Last start: Wednesday, May 17th vs. Brewers – 5IP W 0ER 3H 3BB 6K

1 start next week: Tuesday, May 23rd @ Reds (tentative)

Though not as highly regarded as some of the other big-name recent call-ups, Matthew Liberatore certainly flashed his upside on Wednesday. Aside from throwing five shutout frames, earning a win, and getting six strikeouts, he showed some nice whiff rates on both his fastball (34.8%) and curveball (30.8%). And both pitches were up in velocity from his eight starts last season. He’ll likely stick around for at least one more start and it’s a favorable matchup at the Reds. If that goes well, he could get lots more starts. This could be one of those beat-the-rush situations. Be aggressive.

Louie Varland SP Twins

Last start: Sunday, May 14th vs. Cubs 6.1 IP W 3ER 4H 1BB 7K

Next start: Saturday, May 21st @ Angels

Next week: Friday, May 26th vs. Blue Jays

Although he surrendered three earned runs on Sunday (one of which occurred after he was removed from the game), Louie Varland was impressive in his win against the Cubs. He generated 16 swinging strikes on 97 pitches, struck out seven, and now has quality starts in three of his first four appearances. He’s been prone to some hard contact as seen with the two home runs surrendered Sunday, and with his underwhelming average exit velocity (29th percentile), hard hit rate (33rd), and barrel rate (9th). But he’s made up for it with an exceptional K rate (77th), chase rate (68th), and whiff rate (76th). He showed he can handle a top-ten offensive Cubs team. Both the Angels tonight and the Blue Jays next week are in that same tier, but I like his chances.

Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites over the last few years, and we’re not stopping now. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
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