Welcome to David Mendelson’s Weekly Starting Pitcher Streamers for the week of April 25 – April 28.
We’re now getting to the point in the season where things are beginning to take shape. We’re seeing pitcher velocity changes and pitch mix switches look more like a reality. We’re seeing changes in launch angle, hard contact, eye at the plate, and more take effect in how we look at hitting and overall team lineups. All this information is crucial and you must continue to adjust to new information as it’s given to you. This is how you can stay on top of many things, including pitcher streaming like in this article.
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 gets considered for each player.
Let’s take a look at my top pitching streamers for this week.
Top Pitching Streamers 4/25 – 4/28
Eric Lauer (13% Rostered) Monday vs SF – Coming off six innings of one-run baseball with five strikeouts, Lauer looked very much like the pitcher I was hoping he’d be when I recommended streaming him last week. His four-seam fastball has been all the difference so far as the extra one mph tick added onto it, with nearly 100 more rpm’s of spin, has his expected batting average on it at .155. Much improved from his .217 a year prior.
Lauer is also facing the Giants, who against LHP over the last two weeks, have the worst qualified wRC+ of 41. They also have a .217 wOBA and an over 30% K rate. It may be risky, but I like Lauer again here.
Tony Gonsolin (36% Rostered) Tuesday @ARI – The “Cat” has a juicy matchup here with the Diamondbacks, who have been bad against RHP of late. Since April 8, DBack hitters are hitting .190 with a 28.4% K rate, and a wRC+ of 81.
Gonsolin also looked good in his last outing, which was six shutout innings of one-hit ball against the tough Braves lineup. He also has only allowed one run in 13 IP this season. Gonsolin has upped the use of his slider and split-finger this season, and the early results are encouraging. While the K’s may not be there, Gonsolin is in line to provide a nice outing here.
Mackenzie Gore (50% Rostered) Wednesday @CIN – Gore’s second major league start was pretty awesome wasn’t it? Gore threw 88 pitches with 11 whiffs (7 on his fastball), to the tune of five innings of no runs and seven strikeouts. That with only three hard-hit balls. The fastball averaged a healthy 95 mph and he looked like he belonged in the Padres big league rotation.
Gore gets to face the Reds, who are only batting .162 with a 28% K rate against LHP over the last fourteen days. That with a .108 ISO. The Reds are arguably the worst offense in baseball so far this season, and with Gore’s electric stuff, he should feast on this lineup come Wednesday.
Jameson Taillon (28% Rostered) Thursday vs BAL – I admittingly have not watched too much Jameson Taillon this year, but in his first two starts he hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in an outing in his combined 9.2 innings pitched. The slider usage has been increased slightly and the result is a nearly 10% increase in whiff rate on the pitch while helping better set up his fastball. Taillon is now in his second season back from all the time missed with injury and seems to be settling in nicely.
Taillon faces these very same O’s he played against in his last outing where he gave up two earned runs in 4.2 innings on April 16th. I like Taillon to get the advantage more so here the second time in New York, as the Orioles have an awful .086 ISO and the fifth-worst wRC+ against RHP since the beginning of April. You could do a lot worse than Taillon on Thursday.
Jose Quintana (2% Rostered) Thursday vs MIL – This may not look pretty on paper, but I think this could work out better than one might think in a pinch. Milwaukee since April 8th is tied for second-worst in wRC+ against left-handers this year at a putrid 44. They also are slashing .162/.231/.261 with a 0.99 ISO.
Quintana meanwhile, has quietly pitched to a 3.86 ERA over his first 9.1 innings for the Pirates this year and recorded the second-highest ground ball rate of his career to this point. The K’s won’t be there (only five so far) but think if you’re desperate for some innings, he could be used to accumulate those for your fantasy team in this spot.
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!