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Pitching Streamers to Target in Week 2 of Fantasy Baseball

With the first week of the fantasy baseball season in the books, and more players landing on the IL, fantasy baseball managers are likely in need of pitching streamers. Finding that diamond in the rough could be the difference between a win and a loss, and could gain you places in your standings.

Finding a solid streamer this early can be difficult since we do not know a ton about MLB offenses yet, but here are a few of my favorites for matchup number two.

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Pitching Streamers Available in Some Leagues (50%-65% Rostered)

Shota Imanaga (SP – CHC)

Next Start: Monday 4/1 vs COL

This game marks Shota Imanaga’s MLB debut and it is an excellent matchup for him. As of this writing, Colorado has the eighth-lowest walk rate and the 13th-highest strikeout rate in baseball. Imanaga tosses a fastball, splitter, slider, and curveball.

The Rockies already have shown a lot of swing and miss, chasing the sixth most as a team, making Imanaga a must-start for this matchup. He induced a ton of whiffs while pitching in Japan, even with his fastball. That is something that we should see on display in this matchup.

In 12.2 IP during spring training, Imanaga had an astounding 17 K/9 rate. And while his fastball and splitter are his bread and butter, he can get batters out with his slider, like this one:


Imanaga makes for a great streamer if he is available on your waiver wire, and he may be a pitcher you want to hold onto beyond this start.

Kenta Maeda (SP – DET)

Next Start: Friday 4/7 vs OAK

We are picking on Oakland a bit this week since they have the second-lowest run differential in baseball already. This is very likely a strategy that can be employed all season – targeting matchups against Oakland. Plus, Detroit leans more pitcher-friendly, according to Statcast park factors from last season, making this an even better matchup for Maeda.

In this one, Kenta Maeda makes his second start of the season. Maeda has a nasty splitter that induced a 35% whiff rate last season, and his fastball, slider, and sweeper all had whiff rates of 25-27%. As of writing, Oakland has the 11th-worst chase rate in baseball. The A’s also have the 10th lowest contact rate.

Like Imanaga, Maeda not only makes for a great streamer this week but also a potential pitcher you want to hold onto going forward. He had a 4.23 ERA in 104.1 IP last season, but a 3.98 xFIP and a 3.76 SIERA. If he is available, you should snag him.

Pitching Streamers Available in Most Leagues (30%-50% Rostered)

Brayan Bello (SP – BOS)

Next Start: Tuesday 4/2 at OAK

This is another matchup play against what should be a low-scoring offense. Brayan Bello looked solid against Seattle, tossing five innings and picking up two strikeouts while walking one and allowing two earned runs. He also earned a win in that matchup. Oakland presents a much better matchup for him, so it will be exciting to see what he can do. Aside from the A’s not having a great lineup, it is a very pitcher-friendly park according to Statcast park factors from last season.

Bello tossed a sinker, fastball, changeup, slider, and cutter last season, but did not throw the fastball or cutter in his first game. It could have been a gameplan to attack Seattle that way, but new pitching coach Andrew Bailey could be focusing Bello more on what arguably were his three best pitches last season. Bailey is the mastermind behind the resurgence of pitchers like Kevin Gausman, Alex Cobb, and others in San Francisco, so it would not be surprising to Bello develop significantly this season.

Much of his success has been thanks to a near unhittable changeup:


It had a 38% whiff rate and a 25% putaway rate last season and already has a 38% whiff rate in one start this season.

Bello should be rostered more widely than he is currently, making him another pitching streamer that you should consider holding onto beyond his next start.

Widely Available Pitching Streamers (0%-30% Rostered)

Dean Kremer (SP – BAL)

Next Start: Monday 4/1 vs KC, and Sunday 4/7 at PIT

Dean Kremer has a two-start week this week, both of which are great matchups. Kremer does not strike out a lot of batters (8.1 K/9 rate last season), but he limits runs and has a great offense behind him, so wins are in play in both matchups.

Pittsburgh has looked good in two games so far, but half of their earned runs came off relievers, and four other earned runs were against A.J. Puk in his first career start. Kremer will present a tougher matchup for the Pirates and a tough matchup for the Royals.

Kremer has deceptive stuff, with his fastball, cutter, changeup, curveball, and sweeper all inducing between a 24-27% whiff rate last season. He also did really well at stranding baserunners, finishing in the top 20 of LOB% among qualified starters last season.

Make Kremer a streamer target for this week if he is available in your league.

Tanner Houck (SP – BOS)

Next Start: Monday 4/1 at OAK, and Sunday 4/7 at LAA

Houck has bounced between being a starter and a reliever, but last year made 21 starts. They were not the prettiest, as he finished with a 5.01 ERA, though his xFIP was 4.07 and his SIERA was 4.33. He made the Red Sox’s rotation to start this season and will get two advantageous matchups to start the season.

Houck has a pretty filthy slider and splitter, with 38% and 40% whiff rates respectively from last season. Here is a look at his slider from spring training:


Having those pitches in his arsenal should allow him to get both righties and lefties out, making it difficult for offenses to gameplan against him. So in what could be a tougher matchup against the Angels, he still has the potential for a great start.

Houck has a career 51% GB rate, which will help him in a park like Angel Stadium that leans hitter-friendly.

Houck makes for a great streamer target in week two thanks to these matchups.

Seth Lugo (SP – KC)

Next Start: Thursday 4/4 vs CWS

Seth Lugo had a bit of a breakout in 2023, tossing 146 IP, the most in a single season in his career. He started 26 games after being deployed as a reliever for most of his career. He finished with a 3.57 ERA.

Lugo’s arsenal features five pitches with whiff rates between 21-33%, so he should be able to get swings and misses against the White Sox. And with Kauffman Park finishing as the fifth best hitters park according to Statcast park factors last season, he’ll need to rely on his ability to miss bats.

Lugo was excellent last season at stranding runners, and would have been tied with Sonny Gray for the 12th best LOB% if he qualified.

This is a juicy matchup for a pitcher that should be more widely rostered in fantasy. If he looks good in this matchup, he will be rostered more, so add him now as a solid streamer for this week.

Ranger Suarez and Cristopher Sanchez (SPs – PHI)

Next Start: Suarez Saturday 4/6 and Sanchez Sunday 4/7 at WAS

The Nationals are another matchup to target this season when you look for potential streamers. With Philly having potentially one of the best offenses in baseball, this could result in wins for both Ranger Suarez and Cristopher Sanchez over the weekend.

Nats Park is a hitter-friendly park, so Suarez’s 48% GB rate and Sanchez’s 57% GB rate from last season help make this an enticing matchup. Aside from that, though, these are very different pitchers.

Sanchez was excellent at limiting walks last season but had a propensity for giving up the long ball. Suarez was the opposite, giving up over three walks per nine innings, but allowing fewer than a home run per nine innings. Despite those differences, they should both have great starts against the Nats.

Also, Ranger Suarez looked great in spring:


These are two widely available pitchers that you should consider as streamers for the week ahead.

Other SP Streamers to Watch

These are not necessarily pitchers that I would add for this week, but are names you should have on your radar just in case:

  • Nick Nastrini CWS
  • Casey Mize DET
  • Reese Olson DET
  • Ronel Blanco HOU
  • Chase Silseth LAA
  • Tyler Anderson LAA
  • Patrick Sandoval LAA
  • Colin Rea MIL
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