Best Streaming Options: Five Options to Win Your League!

Sep 26

Best Streaming Options: Five Options to Win Your League!

Since the major league season is over on Sunday, that means the end of fantasy baseball, and the end of this source for the best streaming options. I will write a wrap-up column that will be posted next monday that will summarize my performance over the last two weeks. But, there will also be many columns to come during the offseason, and if you want to be notified of when those columns will go up, follow me at @devonjjordan.

f you read any of the other articles in the streaming series, you can skip the first section of this post and start to read where I go over the best streaming options.

To make your options realistic and reach a wider range of players, we will keep the pool of players eligible to be streamed to those pitchers that are owned in 50% or less of ESPN leagues.

 (If you don’t know what wRC+ is, this is a link to the FanGraphs library definition)

Here are the best streaming options for Thursday through Sunday:

Thursday:

Zach McAllister vs. Minnesota (At Minnesota) IF YOU ARE DESPERATE

ESPN Ownership: 11.6%

Opponent’s wRC+: 92 vs. RHPs (20th in MLB)

If you have to find someone available to start on Thursday, Zach McAllister is your best option, but here are some reasons not to start Zach McAllister, and make you rethink whether or not you actually need to stream a pitcher on Thursday.  McAllister is in the top 20 twenty for starting pitchers in fly ball percentage. Which is not necessarily bad when you pitch at Progressive field for your home games, which has been in the bottom third of ballparks for runs allowed the last two years, but it is a problem when you play a Target Field, which has been 10th and 12th in runs allowed the last two years, and happens to be where McAllister will play the Twins on Thursday.

Friday:

Rick Porcello vs. Miami (At Miami)

ESPN Ownership: 29.9%

Opponent’s wRC+: 68 vs. RHPs (30th in MLB)

For the same reason that you do not want to start Zach McAllister—the park factors at Target Field—you want to start Rick Porcello at Miami on Friday. Marlins Park was 26th in 2012 and 30th this year in home runs allowed, and Porcello’s peripherals have outperformed his ERA in large part thanks to his 14.1% HR/FB ratio.

Corey Kluber vs. Minnesota (At Minnesota)

ESPN Ownership: 12.1%

Opponent’s wRC+: 92 vs. RHPs (20th in MLB)

Unlike his teammate Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber supports a respectable 45.9 GB%, and as a result has a reputable .301 wOBA allowed at home, compared to a higher, but still respectable .330 wOBA allowed on the road. Fun fact: Corey Kluber’s 10.3% swinging strike rate (the percentage of pitches that a batter swings and misses at) is higher than Jose Fernandez, Zack Greinke, and Hisashi Iwakuma’s SwStr%.

Saturday:

Yordano Ventura vs. Chicago White Sox (At Chicago)

ESPN Ownership: 3.4%

Opponent’s wRC+: 84 vs. RHPs (29th in MLB)

In Ventura’s first two major league starts he has proven that he has the talent to miss big league bats; a 100 MPH fastball has that effect. For their share, the White Sox have proven their inability to produce runs with a 6.8% walk rate against RHPs that ranks them 27th in baseball. But, not only can the White Sox not take a walk, they also cannot hit for power and have a .126 ISO (26th in MLB).

Sunday:

Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada has seen improvement in the second half as his home runs have decreased.

Marco Estrada vs. New York Mets (At New York)

ESPN Ownership: 18%

Opponent’s wRC+: 91 vs. RHPs (22nd in MLB)

As much as I distrust Marco Estrada, his recent performance, and the fact that he plays the Mets in his final start of the season are two reasons that one may be dissuaded from their apprehensions about the aforementioned right-hander. Estrada had a 5.32 ERA (4.75 FIP) with a 15.7% HR/FB ratio in the first half of the season, but now that his HR/FB ratio has regressed to a more reasonable 8.5%—a little bit of an over regression to be quite honest—his second half ERA has dropped to 2.26 (3.08 FIP).  As much as Estrada’s HR/FB over regression may hurt him in the long run, it will not matter in the spacious confines of Citi Field on Sunday.

Devon Jordan is obsessed with statistical analysis, non-fiction literature, and electronic music. If you enjoyed reading about the best streaming options  in Fantasy Baseball, follow him on Twitter @devinjjordan.


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