Welcome to David Mendelson’s Weekly Starting Pitcher Streamers for the week of May 22 – May 28.
I want to start off this article by saying, I’m sorry for the injuries that have brought your team down this season. I feel very confident that every single person reading this article has had the injury bug bite them in some way or another. The soft tissue injuries seem to be the worst, as it’s been widely documented how much higher they are at this point than any other year. All we can do is have the next-man-up mentality and adjust our fantasy teams the best we can.
Injuries can impact streaming too. Guys getting scratched, players being called upon for spot starts, and many more guys pitching we haven’t been familiar with. This means picking options for streaming can be tricky, and in short, is making streaming as thin as ever in deep leagues. Nonetheless, we’re going to give you some great streamers for next week!
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. The biggest example of this is someone like 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 5/22 – 5/28
Adbert Alzolay (23% Rostered) Saturday @ STL – With Adbert Alzolay, it always starts with his slider. Having undergone the transformation of it being his most used pitch, and at nearly 46% of the time at that, it’s a pitcher that truly knows his strength. That pitch has accumulated a .137 BAA with a .192 SLG and a 38.6 whiff percentage. In other words, it’s very nasty.
The Cardinals are in the middle of the pack in terms of wRC+ against RHP over the last two weeks as well so there are plenty of scarier matchups out there. I expect Alzolay to give us a quality start here.
Jon Gray (49% Rostered) Sunday vs ARI – Starting Jon Gray at Coors?? What are you thinking Mendy?! Well, there’s some method to my madness. Outside of his 52 innings of a 3.48 ERA is his insane home/road splits. At home this season, Gray has a 4-1 record, with a 2.00 ERA and 38 K’s in 36 IP. On the road? A 0-3 record with a 6.89 ERA and 7 K’s in 15.2 IP. That’s a dramatic difference. I’m starting Gray at home until the wheels come off.
Spencer Turnbull (18% Rostered) Monday vs CLE – Fresh off a no-no, we’re going to turn right back to Turnbull in his next start against the woeful Cleveland Indians. Cleveland ranks 22nd over the last 14 days in wRC+ at 83 and a yucky .162 ISO. Meanwhile, Turnbull has pitched quietly to a 2.88 ERA and has been getting more ground balls and weak contact this year. I think he’s very much rosterable the rest of the season and that percentage should shoot up after his next start.
Tarik Skubal (7% Rostered) Tuesday vs CLE – We’re going right back to the Cleveland well for back-to-back starts. I was asked a question in the offseason if I’d rather have Skubal or Mize, and I had gone Skubal, with that decision looking bad at the beginning of the season.
Skubal in May has looked like a much better pitcher than April, having gone 16 innings and recording 22 K’s over that time, while improving his 6.14 ERA in April to 4.50 in May. The whiffs are the most encouraging aspect, specifically on this slow-looking changeup he’s throwing. It has a 52.4 whiff percentage on it and has seemed to take his arsenal to a new level recently. I like Skubal in this matchup with Cleveland.
David Peterson (12% Rostered) Tuesday vs COL – You had me at Colorado on the road, where they have a 20! wRC+ over the last two weeks. That’s not helping their case for their worst road wRC+ on the road over the entire season. They also have a 0.63 ISO and are striking out over 30% of the time over that period. Yikes
Peterson comes in as a Jekyl and Hyde for sure, having not strung together a string of starts that would make you feel confident. However, he has upped his K% to right around 29% and cut his walks down from his 2020 campaign. I feel very confident in this stream and think he’ll pay off if you play him.
James Kaprielian (2% Rostered) Wednesday vs SEA – James Kaprielian earned his first career victory last Wednesday against Boston, allowing one run on four hits over five innings with six strikeouts and three walks. With a 1.80 ERA and over a 26% K percentage, the outlying numbers look great.
While his fastball isn’t overpowering by any means at 93 mph, he has a nasty splitter that he has as his g0-to pitch, and it’s been majorly effective. Add in a Seattle team that has already been no-hit twice and is in the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive category, and we should have a solid streamer.
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!
When you’re done digesting Mendy’s latest pitching streamers, head on over and take a bite out of Eric Cross’s latest Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire column.
Fantrax was one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites of 2020, and we’re not stopping now. With multi-team trades, designated commissioner/league managers, and drag/drop easy click methods, Fantrax is sure to excite the serious fantasy sports fan – sign up now for a free year at Fantrax.com.