I guess I owe some of you an apology. Last week’s streamers went 1-for-4 in terms of successful starts. Doubront was mediocre, Tillman was lit up, and Fiers (who, you’ll remember, was more of a “buy” recommendation than a stream) was terrible. Luckily, my “deep” stream, the one most of you could have streamed due to ownership levels, was a treat. Dan Straily struck out 11 Astros, furthering the “Streaming ‘Stros” strategy until Brandon Maurer ended it on Tuesday.
Anyway, let’s hope for a better turn this weekend. Based on some feedback, I’ll ditch the spreadsheet since it’s available elsewhere in a cleaner format. I’m also working on some sort of “start potential” metric but it’s a bit early to employ without testing it out. And finally, I’ll try to make one recommendation at each of the 50, 25, 15 and 5 percent ownership levels to appeal to all league depths.
Jose Fernandez (43% owned) – Fernandez doesn’t score well on my “MatchQual” trial formula, but after his debut performance I’d suggest trying him out until he gives you a reason not to. The Phillies grade out as mildly strikeout-prone but have a wOBA of .335 against righties in the ridiculously small sample of a season we’re looking at. Still, when a guy strikes out eight in five innings and has Whiff numbers like he does, you pick him up – Fernandez caused a swing-and-miss on 27 percent of swings at his fastball, 33 percent of swings at his curveball and the lone changeup that was swung at. In all, he induced 12 whiffs on 40 swings, good for a 30 percent Whiff/Swing rate and an 11.3 percent SwStr rate.
Jhoulys Chacin (18%) – Perhaps I have a soft spot because of the last name and my affinity for a certain “winner” with his own cologne, but I like Chacin more than his ownership rate would dictate. He’s had a pair of decent starts now, including allowing just a run over 6.2 innings against the Padres last weekend. He’ll draw San Diego again, this time in Petco, making it an even safer match-up. Thanks to the park and the Padres’ .269 wOBA against righties so far, Chacin grades out well in my trial metric. Not included but also relevant here is that the Padres don’t walk much, a benefit to Chacin and his 11 percent career walk rate.
Ross Detwiler (15%) – Pretty simple here, really – league average park, a team that has struggled against lefties so far, and a high-strikeout line-up. It all adds up for make for a decent match-up for a guy who has an okay FIP (4.17) over 342 career innings and an apparent skill in outperforming that mark (career ERA of 3.68). Is Detwiler the next in a line of Jeremy Hellickson’s and Matt Cain’s? Probably not. But I do believe the walk-nobody, induce-groundballs strategy is a good one against the powerful, fly-ball heavy Braves. Of the four suggestions here, I’m least confident about this one, for whatever that’s worth.
Mike Leake (0%) – Hey, you wanted deeper streaming options, you got it! Leake grades out at the top of my very rough metric this week, which again, doesn’t take pitcher quality into account. But Leake draws the Pirates, who are striking out at a 27 percent clip, in PNC, which is slightly favorable. Add in the fact that the Pirates have a wOBA of just .226 (!!) against righties and I’ll take the flier. The samples are admittedly small, but Andrew McCutchen is the only Pirate who seems to have a clue against northpaws right now. Maybe this is the game when that all corrects itself, but if I’m streaming in this deep a league I’ll roll the dice.
So there you have it, a stream for every depth of league, and no picking on the Astros this weekend! (The Angels draw the Astros but Garrett Richards and Tommy Hanson are hardly safe bets, stream at your own discretion.) If I’m still on stream duty next week, I’ll let you all know how my “MatchQual” score did in predicting pitcher success. Of course, if I go 1-for-4 again here, I’ll probably be put out to pasture.