Welcome to David Mendelson’s Weekly Starting Pitching Streamers for the week of June 12 – June 18.
Never no drama in baseball huh? Just when injuries had continued to dominate headlines, we had baseball’s foreign substance scandal rise from the woodwork. EVERYBODY now is watching Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, and any other pitcher who excels with high spin rates very closely.
While the storylines are good for the entertainment aspect of things, it just goes to show that there’s still plenty of cheating in our game. Sadly, I don’t see this ever changing in our lifetimes as there’s always going to be something that teams will try to get away with if they’re not getting caught. With the potential for shorter outings from our reliable starters, it becomes even more important to hit on our streamers!
My goal all season is to provide you with the BEST pitching streamers each week to hopefully help you when you’re in a pinch. It’s important to remember that I won’t always be right (no one is), but I hope to provide you with winning streamers more often than not. The criteria for being in this article? The pitcher must be rostered in 50% or less of leagues on FantasyPros (the site being referenced for these articles).
What?! Your league is not using Fantrax? Inconceivable! Check out everything Fantrax has to offer and I’m sure you’ll come around to our way of thinking.
This article will go out every Saturday morning so make sure to make necessary adjustments with postponements, starts skipped, IL stints, etc affecting the projected pitcher starting. The hope for these articles is to keep having more data that we can build off of as the season moves along.
With that being said, here are some factors that go into my streaming picks:
Percentage Rostered – Pitcher must be rostered in 50% or fewer according to FantasyPros to qualify for this article.
wRC+ of Opposing Team – wRC+ or Weighed Runs Created Plus, takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for important external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average and 150 would be 50 percent above league average. This is one of my favorite stats to look at when picking not just pitching, but hitting as well.
Home/Road ERA Splits – How a pitcher does at home versus how they do on the road. One example of this is German Marquez and how he pitches on the road compared to at Coors Field.
Other Analytics – Things like a pitcher’s swinging strike rate, K-BB ratios, ISO, & OPS are some of the other data that gets considered for each player.
Let’s take a look at my top pitching streamers for this week.
Top Pitching Streamers 6/12 – 6/18
Alex Cobb (23% Rostered) Saturday @ ARI – Alex Cobb has definitely looked like a new pitcher, for the most part, this year. The main reason seems to be the Kevin Gausman route and the effectiveness of his split-finger. It has a .184 xBA, .271 xSLG and a 37% whiff rate. While Cobb hasn’t been great all season, his peripherals show some positive regression coming.
That may be the case in the start against Arizona. Arizona is striking out 27.5% of the time against RHP since the end of May and has a .096 ISO with a 61 wRC+. Cobb has the groundwork made for him in this start so I’d expect good results.
Adrian Houser (12% Rostered) Sunday vs PIT – There’s nothing sexy about Adrian Houser, as a 3.66 ERA, 20.9% K rate, and a ho-hum peripheral profile doesn’t get you out of the bed in the morning. However, he’s only given up 2 earned runs over his last 15.1 innings (3 starts).
Houser gets to go up against Pittsburgh who has a bottom-10 ISO (.140) and wRC+ (86) and batting .222 as a team since the end of May. While I’m not expecting the Moon and the stars, he should at least be able to get you to space with this start.
Adam Wainwright (39% Rostered) Monday vs MIA – One of the focal points of this article is to identify major home/road outliers. Adam Wainwright is one of the biggest examples of that and many don’t know about it.
Waino has a 4.04 career road ERA compared to a 2.85 ERA career home ERA. This season has held up to that and then some. In his home starts in 2021, Wainwright has a 2.62 ERA in 55 innings. His road numbers? In 18.2 innings, he has a 8.22 ERA. Guess what? He has a bottom-tier hitting Marlins team at home in this start. This start should definitely go Wain-RIGHT for you.
Tucker Davidson (8% Rostered) Tuesday vs BOS – Don’t look now but Boston has been scuffling a little bit offensively, and we will look to pounce with this young exciting rookie in this start. Davidson has looked good in 17.2 innings, with a 1.53 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He came back from 5 walks against the Nationals to only 1 in 6 innings against the Phillies.
The left-handed Davidson will face Boston in this start, who over their last 139 plate appearances have looked awful against LHP. They rank 3rd worse in wRC+ (64) and are striking out over 28% of the time. Give me the young gun here and let it ride!
Jake Odorizzi (12% Rostered) Tuesday vs TEX – The numbers don’t look great for Odorizzi. 1 win with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. However, there are some silver linings to this profile. He’s still averaging over a K per 9 (25.3% K rate) and his expected ERA is nearly 2.5 runs lower than his actual ERA. That means there’s positive regression expected to come and hopefully soon.
He’s going against a struggling offense in the Rangers that has the worst wRC+ against RHP since the end of May. They are striking out 29% of the time with a tiny .086 ISO. Oh and a .178 team batting average. I like Odorizzi here.
Tarik Skubal (30% Rostered) Wednesday @ KC – This is a free space with Skubal at this point and I’m honestly not sure how he’s still in the streaming category at this point. Since the calendar turned to May, Skubal has pitched 32 innings (6 starts) and has a 2.91 ERA with 50 K’s! 11 in his last start alone.
This comes down to a completely new approach with Skubal as the slider and changeup have become even more prominent in his pitch selection. The whiffs on the slider have jumped up 8% from 2020 and even more so, the changeup has become NASTY with a 52.5% whiff rate. Start him with confidence.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @DMendy02 and tag me if I helped you strike gold with one of these pitching streamers. Good luck!
For more great Fantasy Baseball check out Mick Ciallela’s Rest of Season Rankings! Mick was the No. 1 Ranker on FantasyPros.com for the 2020 MLB season.
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