2013

Best Streaming Options: Six Pitchers for the Next Three Days

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For all of the Fantasy Baseball players that are in daily roto or head-to-head leagues, and need a few more strong outings to take home the championship in their leagues, this post is for you.

From now till the end of the season, I will go over the best streaming options available for the upcoming week; Monday’s post will have best options for Monday through Thursday, and Thursday’s post will have the best options for Thursday through Sunday.

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 Monday through Wednesday:

Monday:

Jose Quintana vs. New York (At New York)

ESPN Ownership: 16.3%

Opponent’s wRC+: 87 vs LHPs (22nd in MLB)
The Yankees have been dreadful against lefties this year. More importantly, regardless of handedness, opposing pitchers have held the Yankees to 92 wRC+ in the second half of the season. As of late, the Yankees have attempted to quell their futility by platooning Mark Reynolds and Vernon Wells against LHPs, which shows how desperate the Yankees are to inject some offense into their lineup.

Brief Aside About Mark Reynolds:

What’s interesting about Mark Reynolds is that his HR/FB ratio is down from last year, while the average distance of his fly balls and home runs are up 294ft this year and 284ft in 2012. The lack of power is most likely due to his move to Cleveland, which has been known to evaporate power from right handed sluggers (Progressive Field is 27th out of the 30 parks when you look at Baseball Prospectus’ HR Factor data from 2012.

Danny Duffy vs. Seattle (In Kansas City)

ESPN Ownership: 6.6%

Opponent’s wRC+: 83 (25th in MLB)
The Mariners strike out in 22% of their at bats against south paws—sixth most in baseball—and have recently traded away one of their best right handed bats—Michael Morse. Duffy has only allowed two runs in his first three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery; because of the injury history you wouldn’t want to risk a long term investment in Duffy. But, with the right matchup, Duffy can be valuable stream, and this matchup looks serendipitous.

Tuesday:

Bartolo Colon vs Texas (In Oakland)

ESPN Ownership: 49.2%

Opponent’s wRC+: 97 vs RHPs (16th in MLB)
Colon plays the Rangers on Tuesday, and while the matchup isn’t a great one, the Rangers have only performed at league average against RHPs this year. Colon provided a solid performance against the Tigers in his first start back from the DL on Thursday (5 innings, 7 hits, 1 earned run, no walks, and 1 strikeout), which gives owners a reason to believe that his most recent stint on the shelf is not an issue for the future. Take advantage of the owners that dropped him in your leagues and allowed his ownership to dissipate to 49.2%.

Erasmo Ramirez vs. Kansas City (At Kansas City)

ESPN Ownership: 1.8%

Opponent’s wRC+: 89 vs. RHP (26th in MLB)
Ramirez’s peripherals—3.96 xFIP—suggest that he has pitched better than his ERA—5.18—suggests. The culprit of Ramirez’s misfortune has been a 14.8% HR/FB rate which is sure to regress and will see some help from Tuesday’s game in Kauffman Stadium, which has played relatively neutral towards home runs in 2013.

Wednesday:

Hector Santiago vs. New York (At New York)

ESPN Ownership: 4.3%

Opponent’s wRC+: 87 vs LHPs (22nd in MLB)
Everything that was said about Monday’s matchup between Quintana and the Yankees, double it down for Santiago’ s contest in New York on Wednesday. There was an altercation between Santiago and White Sox’s pitching coach Don Cooper on Saturday, in which Cooper criticized Santiago for his lack of control in his start against the Red Sox on Friday night. “It’s making me think that maybe he’s hitting a little bit of a wall physically, and we are going to have to come up with something,” Cooper said. “I expect guys to be able to get up on Christmas Eve and throw the (expletive) thing over the plate. And make them swing the bat.” Someone should tell Cooper that Santiago has not shown an ability to throw strikes all year long, as he has averaged 4.38 BB/9. Make this start only if you are desperate.

Taijuan Walker vs. Kansas City (At Kansas City)

ESPN Ownership: 16.2%

Opponent’s wRC+: 89 vs. RHP (26th in MLB)

Taijuan Walker, one of baseball’s best young pitching prospects, has finally arrived. Walker pitched five shutout innings against the Astros on Friday, which a lot of pitchers have done this year, but almost none of those pitchers have Walker’s pedigree. Walker will most likely go through some growing pains as he adjusts to major league hitters, but I would not expect it to happen against the Royals.

Come back on Thursday to find the best streaming options for the second half of this week.

Devon Jordan is obsessed with statistical analysis, non-fiction literature, and electronic music. If you enjoyed reading about pitcher value in Fantasy Football, follow him on Twitter @devinjjordan.

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