After an awful debut showing several weeks ago when I first started identifying streaming candidates, I came back with a roar last week to save face. In 6 starts spanning 35.1 innings, my streamer staff won 4 games and posted a sterling 2.80 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, while compiling 30 strikeouts. I’m pretty sure that was better than any of my actual staffs filled with start-every-week pitchers. Here are this week’s picks.
Zach McAllister vs KC
This choice here is primarily due to the opposition, as I don’t think that McAllister is a very good pitcher. We know that the Royals don’t have a whole lot of power (they rank 28th in baseball in ISO), which is good for McAllister who is a fly ball pitcher. They are also an impatient bunch, ranking 26th in baseball in walk percentage. McAllister will take the mound at home and face off against Jeremy Guthrie, owner of a ghastly 4.81 SIERA.
Scott Kazmir vs KC
For the second straight week, I am recommending Kazmir. And even after his six shutout inning, 12 strikeout gem against the Mets last Friday, his ownership in CBS leagues remains below 50%. I don’t get it. He’ll be facing the same punchless Royals squad as McAllister, though gets the better opposing pitcher in James Shields, who’s probably due for a perfect game after his 10 run blowup against the Tigers last outing.
Kazmir owns a 3.66 SIERA and has struck out nearly a batter per inning. Even more amazing about the new Kazmir though is that he suddenly possesses good control. He’s throwing a slightly higher rate of first pitch strikes than the league average and his Zone% is significantly higher. This has all led to the lowest walk percentage of his career. Don’t let his 4.17 ERA fool you into thinking Kazmir 2.0 isn’t just as effective as peak form Kazmir.
Tanner Roark @ NYM
Raise your hand if you knew that Tanner Roark holds a sub-1.00 ERA over 28.2 innings. Those hands in the air must be representative of his fantasy owners. Though he has made just one Major League start, you couldn’t ask for an easier opponent than the Mets. Roark brings a strong ground ball rate and excellent control to Citi Field, but he shouldn’t be expected to be much of a contributor in strikeouts given his paltry 6% SwStk%.
Charlie Morton vs CHC
This start might not actually happen as Morton is dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. I have been hyping Morton for the last couple of years, whether in writing or in radio show or podcast form. Finally, his skills have taken that step forward to make him worthy of shallow mixed league consideration. He still doesn’t generate as many swings and misses as you might expect given his outwardly good stuff, but he is an extreme ground ball pitcher and has been showing good control. He’ll get the light hitting Cubs lineup and the erratic Jake Arrieta at home.
None. Most pitchers are highly owned, and if not, they are mediocre or worse with poor matchups. There is one potential streaming option and that’s in the Marlins double header versus the Mets. At the moment, only Henderson Alvarez is scheduled, so depending on who the other starter is for the Fish, he could be a candidate.
Chris Capuano vs SF
Capuano left his last start with a groin strain, but it doesn’t appear serious and it seems that the Dodgers have elected to push him back a couple of days to Sunday. He gets a good matchup against the Giants and Ryan Vogelsong. Capuano has been hampered by a .333 BABIP, which sits at a career high, that has resulted in a sub-70% LOB%. His SIERA is actually identical to last year when his ERA was below 4.00. He still has some strikeout ability and is backed by a pretty good Dodgers offense.
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