Welcome to David Mendelson’s Weekly Starting Pitcher Streamers for the week of May 30 – June 2.
Welcome to Week Eight 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.
Top Pitching Streamers 5/30 – 6/2
Aaron Ashby (L) (16% Rostered) Monday @CHC – After Ashby’s blowup start of six earned runs in four innings against the Atlanta Braves, he’s now pitched the last 10.2 innings of scoreless baseball to go along with four hits, three walks, and 14 strikeouts. That’s not surprising as Ashby’s fastball and sinker velocity have gone up over his last few games, with his sinker helping contribute to his awesome 65.9% ground ball rate.
Ashby faces the Chicago Cubs who are right in the middle of the pack in terms of team runs per game and haven’t remained very patient against LHP as they have a 7.4% BB rate against them over the last two weeks. I’m buying the velocity increase and Ashby’s ability to attack Cubs hitters in this one.
Dylan Bundy (26% Rostered) Wednesday @DET – You see Dylan Bundy’s 4.54 ERA and it doesn’t impress you. As it shouldn’t. You also see two games against the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays in which he combined to give up 15 earned runs. That’s ugly. What isn’t though is in Bundy’s five other starts, he’s combined to give up just two earned runs in 24 innings (0.75 ERA).
Bundy gets to face the same Detroit Tigers team that he just held to one run in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts in his last start. The Tigers also have the league’s third-worst wRC+ over the last two weeks. Bundy should be a safe streamer on a tough slate for streaming pitching.
George Kirby (37% Rostered) Tuesday @BAL – I know Kirby has not pitched well enough consistently for you to feel comfortable starting him, but the potential is there. Kirby does something that many pitchers struggle with, in being able to limit his walks and pitch consistently in the strike zone. His 2.4% BB rate is one of the best in the Majors, and we’ve seen flashes of his potential as he’s had two of his four starts with 7+ K’s already this season.
The Orioles have been putrid against RHP over the last two weeks, with a 79 wRC+ and hitting only .206 as a team. Kirby has a nice two-start week and he should kick start it on a good note here.
Jeffrey Springs (L) (12% Rostered) Wednesday @TEX – Another Rays pitcher that has burst on the scene to fantasy relevance. What a shock. Springs’ 1.32 ERA may not last, but this xERA of 2.32 is still in the top 6% of baseball. Springs has gone heavy fastball/change-up this year and the 10 mph difference has done a great job of keeping hitters off-balance. He also is allowing ground balls at a career-high rate of 44%, which combined with the new pitch mix, has combined for great results.
Springs faces the Rangers in his next start, who are in the bottom third of the league in runs per game at just over four. This team is also extremely streaky and Springs seems to be getting them at the right time. Springs should be able to provide a quality start in this matchup.
Adrian Houser (21% Rostered) Thursday vs SD – I get it. This matchup on paper does not look attractive as the soft-throwing Houser faces a vaunted San Diego offense. Houser has continued what was a solid 2021 in which he’s twirled a 2.98 ERA in 42.1 innings so far this season. While the strikeouts may not be what you want, Houser has gone at least six innings in half of his starts this season. Only one start has he allowed more than three earned runs.
San Diego has been cold against righties recently, having a league-worst wRC+ of 59. They also have a pitiful .068 ISO since May 13th. Houser should be able to help out your fantasy team in a pinch against the Padres later on in the week.
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!