Welcome to David Mendelson’s Weekly Starting Pitcher Streamers for the week of June 13 – June 16.
Welcome to Week Nine of your pitching streamers! Here we like to give you an edge over your competition every week by helping find diamonds in the rough when it comes to borderline rosterable pitchers. Everyone needs to do this in one way or another during the season, and it’s important that you have the best information for making these decisions when it comes to beating your opponent.
Sometimes, your draft doesn’t work out how you intended it to. Whether it be injuries, lack of performance, or maybe your draft was just awful. At some point, you’re going to need to pick up pitchers off the waiver wire and stream them (in other words pick them up for a start or two). This becomes crucial as hitting on the right pitchers consistently will help your ratios, while also potentially beating an opponent for those that play in H2H formats.
So how do we determine which pitchers to stream? Well, there are a lot of ways but I’ve found a few ways to be most effective. This can include looking at the trends of the opposing teams over recent periods of time, how they’re faring against certain handiness, and of course, how that streaming pitcher is currently performing.
I’m here to try and help you narrow it down to five names from all games Monday – Thursday every week, my goal all season being 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).
This article will go out every Sunday 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 get considered for each player.
Let’s take a look at my top pitching streamers for this week.
Week 10 Pitching Streamers
Josiah Gray (36% Rostered) Monday vs ATL – Josiah Gray is someone that I normally am not excited to stream and for good reason. Over two home runs per nine for a second straight year, along with 14 home runs allowed this season ALREADY. For reference, that is what ZIPS projected Gray for the entire season. Why I’m suddenly intrigued with Gray is because of his last three starts.
Over Gray’s last three starts, he’s recorded 16 innings pitched with 11 hits, 2 earned runs, & 18 strikeouts. What has coincided with that is Gray has finally stopped throwing his four-seam fastball as much as he has in the past. He’s lowered his usage of that pitch in four straight games, from 50% to 32.7% in his most recent start. That’s a big deal because Gray has allowed 11 of his 14 home runs against the fastball this season. I’m buying the Gray change and you should too.
Zach Eflin (23% Rostered) Tuesday vs MIA – Eflin is definitely intriguing already in the fact that he has two starts against the Marlins and the Nationals this week. If that isn’t enough to entice you, Eflin has looked very solid this season, ranking in the top 10% of baseball in opponent’s average exit velocity, hard-hit percentage, & xWOBACON. His 3.76 ERA and 1.18 WHIP aren’t too shabby either. He may not be flashy with the strikeouts, but he can definitely give you innings, as seen when he faced the Angels on June 3rd and allowed just one run in eight innings.
The Marlins on the season are in the middle of the pack in terms of runs per game, but rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of wRC+ & K% on the season against RHP. Make sure you pick up Eflin for the two starts.
Alex Faedo (7% Rostered) Tuesday vs CHW – Faedo Baggins as I like to call him, has surprised many this year with just what he’s been able to accomplish. Faedo hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any start this season while recording a sparkling 2.92 ERA in just over 37 innings pitched. A big part of that is his nasty slider that has opposing hitters whiffing at a 41% rate against it. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows though, as his expected stats show that regression is coming for the young right-hander, and to proceed with caution when starting him.
In this start I very much like him against the White Sox. The Sox have a putrid .070 ISO & 73 wRC+ against RHP over the last two weeks. Both bottom three in baseball. Against his division foe, I like Faedo to be a good start for your fantasy team.
Spencer Strider (26% Rostered) Wednesday @ WSH – We’ve seen the flashes of why Strider is so appealing to roster for your fantasy team. 49 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched with a 2.76 ERA, and a fastball that averages 98 mph. It’s very appealing, to say the least. However, Strider is walking batters at a 13.5% clip and only maintains a 37.9% GB rate, which is well below the major league average. There’s no denying the electricity that Spencer “Quadzilla” Strider brings to the mound when he starts and right now he’s someone you have to in the right matchups.
That would coincide with going against the Washington Nationals, who are in the bottom third in baseball in runs per game this season, while in the middle of the pack in terms of all offensive statistics over the last two weeks against RHP. Strider should be terrific in this one and it’ll just come down to how many innings he’ll pitch.
George Kirby (39% Rostered) Thursday vs LAA – I’ll preface by saying his Statcast page isn’t pretty, with enough blue to make you need a sweater. However, in Kirby’s two-start week last week, he combined to go 12 innings, while allowing nine hits, two earned runs, and 11 strikeouts. That while walking only one batter and staying strong to his control pitcher narrative. Kirby has also jumped the usage of his slider up in those two starts, with both reaching nearly a 30% usage, after having one such case in all of his starts this season.
The Angels have fired their manager and just recently snapped their 14-game losing streak, which means they’re a vulnerable target. Combine that with the fact that as a team they’re striking out over 27% of the time and have an 84 wRC+ over the last two weeks against RHP and it makes this matchup for Kirby even better.
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!