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Pitching Streamers You Might Want to Hold Long Term

First of all, happy Opening Day! It’s been so amazing to see baseball that actually counts again. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the last two days as much as I have. Now that baseball is back and drafts are finished, I’ll be switching gears to pitching streamers. The good people at Fantrax are putting me in charge of a weekly column that will keep you updated on the following week’s best options. This is perfect for both weekly transaction leagues that update on Sunday nights, and for studious daily leaguers who want to strategize for the week ahead.

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As the season progresses, these articles will focus on pitchers who give you the best chance of winning your weekly matchups. It’s the beginning of a long season, though, so targeting early pitching streamers for me is just as much about longer-term gains as short ones. So in my first article, I want to focus on pitchers that can help you win your first matchup, but also who have the potential to be on your roster all year based on early performance. Basically, the criteria this week is: availability in many leagues (about 65% ownership or less) + good matchups + upside. Below are my 11 favorites:

Pitching Streamers Available in Some Leagues (55-65% Rostered)

Reid Detmers P Angels

First 2 Starts: Monday, April 3 @ Mariners + Sunday, April 9th vs. Blue Jays

After flashing both his upside (a no-hitter) and downside (a brief demotion to the minors), Reid Detmers’s first full season could be labeled as a mixed bag. He was much better after the demotion, though, and his increased velocity numbers blew away the competition this spring. Is he primed for a breakout? His first opponent, the Mariners, are a middle-of-the-road offense, and the venue, Seattle, is not exactly a launching pad. If he does well there, that ownership percentage will climb, even if the second start will likely be against a high-powered Blue Jays team. Scoop him up and hold him a while in leagues where he’s available.

Jameson Taillon P Cubs

First 2 Starts: Saturday, April 1 vs. Brewers + vs. Texas

Bottom line: I want to see if Jameson Taillon’s new slider is a put-away pitch. He struck out 23 batters in 18 IPs this spring, so maybe there’s something to see here. The Brewers, his first opponent, struck out 4th most last season. And the Rangers, who he’ll face in Week 2, weren’t far behind that. If he puts up some serious Ks in these two good streaming matchups, he probably won’t be a streamer much longer. Pick him up and hold.

Tyler Anderson P Angels

First 2 Starts: Sunday, April 2 @ A’s + next weekend vs. Blue Jays

Whether you believe Tyler Anderson’s breakout last year (15 Wins, 2.57 ERA/1.00 WHIP) was legit or not, I think we can all agree that the Oakland A’s should finish among the bottom of the league in every offensive category again. Definitely worth a stream if you need one, and offsets the risk of his second start against the loaded Blue Jays. If he does pass both tests, you might want to ride with him a bit longer.

Graham Ashcraft P Reds

First 2 Starts: Sunday, April 2 vs. Pirates + next weekend @ Phillies

A 100-MPH fastball, combined with a new slider that accumulated 25 Ks in 17 spring innings, has accounted for Graham Ashcraft’s rise on draft boards and now higher roster percentage in leagues. It doesn’t hurt that he opens up against the Pirates, a mostly anemic offense that was 3rd in the league in striking out. Sure, the Phillies will be a tough second start next weekend, but if he was available in any of my leagues I’d take the risk.

Pitching Streamers Available in About Half of Leagues (40-55% Rostered)

Hayden Wesneski P Cubs

Only start: Tuesday, April 4 @ Reds

Decent success during his cup of coffee with the Cubs last season (2.18 ERA/0.94 WHIP in 4 starts) earned Hayden Wesneski a chance to win the 5th starter job to start this year. He impressed this spring, won the job, and became a fantasy sleeper in drafts. He’ll only get one start, but it’s a juicy matchup against a weak Reds batting order. If your league truly slept on him, now’s your chance to make up for it.

Ross Stripling P Giants

First 2 Starts: Sunday, April 2 @ Yankees + next weekend vs. Royals

Ross Stripling is more of a traditional pitching streamer in the sense that I don’t expect him to become a must-start pitcher this season. That’s partly due to his injury history which makes a stint or two on the IL in 2023 likely, but mostly due to his steadily decreasing metrics like velocity rate, spin rate, and barrel rate as he’s aged. That being said, he did put up good numbers in a mostly healthy 2022 season. And his second start is against the Royals, a bottom-third offensive team. If you find yourself in a situation where you need volume to win your first matchup, and you want a reasonable floor sort of guy, this could be your man.

Clarke Schmidt P Yankees

First 2 Starts: Saturday, April 1 vs. Giants + next weekend @ Orioles

Injuries and a new cutter that has turned heads this spring have given Clarke Schmidt his first chance to be a regular big-league starter. He’ll face a Giants’ offense that struck out 16 times and only mustered 4 hits in the opener. Then he’ll go to Baltimore next weekend and enjoy a pitcher-friendly park. He’s a good stream for sure and you might want to see where it goes after that.

Streamers Widely Available (Under 40% Rostered)

Trevor Rogers P Marlins

First 2 Starts: Sunday, April 2 vs. Mets + Saturday, April 9 @ Mets

OK, fine, Trevor Rogers will make his first two starts against a good offensive Mets team. But it’s not about a juicy matchup anyway, it’s about a potential return to the form of 2021 that had us highly optimistic just a year ago. His changeup appears to be working again. He had a great spring. I have him on all my teams because he was being drafted so late. He’s probably hiding on your waiver wires. If he dominates on Sunday afternoon, that could change quickly. Pick him up now or at least watch him very closely.

Jared Shuster P Braves

First 2 Starts: Sunday, April 2 @ Nationals + Saturday, April 8 vs. Padres

If this were the middle of the season, I’d probably be a little nervous to start a pitcher making his major league debut, even if Jared Shuster is already 24 years old and opening against a Nationals team that finished at or near the bottom of all the offensive categories. He’s been with the big-league club all spring though and sure looked like he’s ready for the rotation. He only allowed 7 hits in 18.2 innings! I know his second start against the Padres will be a big test, but I’m taking a shot that he’ll pass it. Judging by his roster percentage, you can too.

Dylan Dodd P Braves

Only Start: Tuesday, April 4 @ Cardinals

Almost all the things I said about Jared Shuster also apply to Dylan Dodd. The only two major differences are that he only makes one start next week and it’s against a very good opponent, and that he’s rostered in fewer leagues. Unless you’re in a very deep league, you can afford to wait and see.

Jhony Brito P Yankees

Starts: Sunday, April 2 vs. Giants + Next weekend @ Orioles

This is another deep-league play. Jhony Brito had a really good spring and because of injuries, he’s getting a taste of the Yankees’ rotation. His lower K rate might limit that upside, but his first two matchups are doable.

Who are your favorite pitching streamers for early in the season? For more help in staying on top of your fantasy baseball rosters make sure to check out the daily Fantrax MLB Injury Report!

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