If you read the first or second column from last week, you can skip the first section of this post and start to read where I go over the best streaming options.
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 the 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:
Taijuan Walker vs. Houston (In Seattle)
ESPN Ownership: 18.7%
Opponent’s wRC+: 84 vs RHPs (28th in MLB)
Take advantage of one of Walker’s last starts of the year before the Mariner’s shut him down due to innings restrictions. Walker will have the benefit of going against the Astors’ league leading strikeout percentage against right-handers (25.2%), and being more acclimated the major leagues now that he is in his third start of his career.
Dillon Gee vs Washington (In New York)
ESPN Ownership: 17.1%
Opponent’s wRC+: 99 vs. RHPs (14th in MLB)
Gee has sported a 2.51 ERA (3.80 FIP) at home this year, compared to 4.32 ERA (4.35 FIP) on the road in 2013. While his FIP splits suggest he has received some luck this year from a .291 BABIP and a 79.1% LOB%, his home FIP still falls in the range of a quality-starting pitcher. What’s interesting about Gee is, although his average velocity on fastballs is under 90 MPH, he still produces a 9.1% swinging strike percentage, and is one of six pitchers in the MLB that has averaged a SwStr% of nine percent or more with an average fastball under 90 MPH.
Sonny Gray vs. Minnesota (At Minnesota)
ESPN Ownership: (40.2%)
Opponent’s wRC+: 91 vs. RHPs (22nd in MLB)
It amazes me that Gray is still not above the 50% ownership threshold, but as long as he is readily available in fantasy leagues, owners need to take advantage of the inefficiency, and even consider Gray as a long-term investment. Gray is coming off a good matchup against the Astros last week, with another good matchup against the Twins this week. Gray has not only showed the ability to miss bats (9.21 K/9) and control the strike-zone (2.30 BB/9), but he has also pitched his way to a 53.7% ground ball rate that ranks him 19th in baseball among starting pitchers that meet his innings threshold.
Come back Thursday to find out the best streaming options for Thursday through Sunday.
Devon Jordan is obsessed with statistical analysis, non-fiction literature, and electronic music. If you enjoyed reading about pitcher value in Fantasy Baseball, follow him on Twitter @devonjjordan.