Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 6.10-6.16

Let’s first start with results:

Week 1: 1-3, 30 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP (Kevin SloweyUbaldo JimenezJoe Saunders)
Week 2: 2-3, 25.1 IP, 5.69 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.74 WHIP (Joe BlantonJames McDonaldEric Stults)
Week 3: 1-2, 32 IP, 3.66 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP (Wade DavisCarlos VillanuevaPatrick Corbin)
Week 4: 2-1, 22 IP, 6.14 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 1.95 WHIP (Julio TeheranJason HammelGarrett Richards)
Week 5: 2-2, 30 IP, 3.60 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 1.6 K/BB, 1.23 WHIP (Scott DiamondNick TepeschAndrew Cashner)
Week 6: 2-3, 32.2 IP, 4.96 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 2.0 K/BB, 1.44 WHIP (Justin GrimmJuan NicasioHector Santiago)
Week 7: 1-0, 29 IP, 3.41 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 1.8 K/BB, 1.34 WHIP (Julio TeheranPhil HughesScott Kazmir)
Week 8: 1-0, 34.2 IP, 4.93 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 4.5 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP (Jhoulys ChacinKevin SloweyDan Straily)
Week 9*: 1-1, 20 IP, 3.15 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 3.4 K/BB, 1.15 WHIP (John Danks, Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman)

Total: 13-15 (.464), 255.2 IP, 4.26 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.37 WHIP
League Averages: .495 win percentage, 4.12 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 2.6 K/BB, 1.30 WHIP

This week, we’ve added what the league numbers (for starters only) are to see if I’m really providing above league average recommendations. So far, not really, though I think weeks two and four are the outliers here, which will hopefully be rectified as the sample size opens up.

Here are this week’s selections, with a tip of the cap again to Twitter pal @tlschwerz:

John Lackey – 42.7% Yahoo!/40% ESPN – @TB (.325 team wOBA), @BAL (.340)

I’m not sure if it’s fair to say yet or not, but it looks like the trimmed down Lackey is better than ever at this point. He’s fanning over a hitter and a half more than his career numbers per 9. The walks and groundballs are all trending nicely, and his BABIP is low so he’s doing a good job of hiding his higher-than-usual HR/FB rate. As a result, his 2.79-3.82-3.28 pitching slash means he’s been legitimately very good so far this season (0.9 WAR).

And not a moment too soon; the Red Sox had paid Lackey $49.2 million for 375 innings of 5.26 ERA, 1.50 WHIP baseball from 2010-’12 (including missing all of ’12). And though the numbers weren’t pretty, Lackey was worth +5.6 wins in that time frame, so it wasn’t a total loss. Still, not an ideal allocation of assets.

Lackey gets a pair of pretty good offenses this week, but none better than the one in his corner (.347 team wOBA).

Corey Kluber – 1.2% Yahoo!/5% ESPN – @TEX (.334), v. WAS (.287)

Kluber is fanning well over a guy an inning, getting decent groundball rates (42%), and has done so with a high BABIP (.341) and less-than-ideal strand rates (67.7%). Hence, a 4.56-3.39-2.85 pitching slash. The Rangers matchup isn’t great, but go get Kluber before he blows up. This Indians team is pretty dang good.

Tony Cingrani – 16.5% Yahoo!/32% ESPN – @CHC (.312), v. MIL (.311)

I’m not going to give you the breathless account of a kid who is fanning over 11 (!) per 9 with an ERA around 3.00, because he’s a kid with flaws. Namely, his nearly 2.0 HR/9, a BABIP under .250, and a strand rate over 90%. But he’s young, heralded, throws pretty hard (92.1 mph average heater), and he has two really nice matchups this week. He’s a keeper in the long term — and his FIPs aren’t that discrepant from his true ERA — but worth throwing back maybe after this week.

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In addition to Rotographs, Warne is a Minnesota Twins beat reporter for 105 The Ticket's "Cold Omaha" website as well as a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Warne, or feel free to email him to do podcasts or for any old reason at brandon.r.warne@gmail-dot-com

17 Responses to “Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 6.10-6.16”

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  1. k says:

    If Gerrit Cole has two starts next week (@ home vs SF & LA), would you go with him right away?

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  2. Frank says:

    Are we sure Tony get’s that 2nd start? Cueto said he’ll be back by then.

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  3. Paul says:

    Picked up Cigrani after Peavy went on the DL. After Cueto comes back, who which starter should I nab? Griffin, Parker, Ogando, Wood, Lincecum, Wandy, De La Rosa, Hammel, Hughes, Hellboy and Arroyo are the top available. 6X5 H2H league.

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  4. Ruki Motomiya says:

    While I know it is just a statistical anomaly…I am very amused that you basically have a good week every other week. Better watch out this week, Brandon!

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  5. Fedee_ says:

    Jacob Turner with the Marlins has pitched decently in two starts.. only one start against the Brewers this week though. What’s the popular opinion on him?

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  6. napster says:

    This is your total: 13-15 (.464), 255.2 IP, 4.26 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.37 WHIP.

    Which says a lot about the power(lessness) of streaming pitchers. It’s too unpredictable to get your stats above the 90 percentile, and instead you get average stats.

    I can see the value of streaming in points weekly leagues, because the downside is negligible and the stats don’t carry over from week to week. But I don’t see why people do this in roto leagues where ERA and WHIP count against you, the law of regression to the mean is ruthless, and all the more so when you are regressing from average statistics.

    In the last 6 or 7 years I always just take chances with pitching and follow the hot streak, because I’d rather regress to the mean from awesome statistics like a 2.80 era and a 1.02 whip with 48 wins and only 15 losses.

    You have to appreciate the value of luck and take chances yes, but that means you grab and hold, and dump only when you think you can get a better deal, then you drop, grab, and hold.

    Works for me. I usually win my leagues with all 9’s and 10’s in my pitching staff, and I’ve won every single non-weekly roto league since 2006.

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    • Ruki Motomiya says:

      I’ve found that streaming helps Wins/Ks and hurts ERA/WHIP so far myself, so it really depends on if your ERA/WHIP can take a (probable) hit for extra strikeouts and wins. It also depends on how deep the league is (The shallower it is, the better you can stream).

      You don’t win a lot of leagues going 9/10 in 5 categories. Then again, I am a proponent of paying for pitching.

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      • napster says:

        that’s true, but I also usually do well in offense also.

        I usually pick for guys who can hit that also pick up 10 or 15 steals and hit 15 plus homers. In drafts I go for high homers and rbis first.

        In this way I usually wind up with at least a 9 or 10 in 3 out of 5 offense categories. Usually the category with a 5 or less is average. I know that’s strange, but it’s wierd how little it seems average is to the wins I’ve gotten over the years.

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  7. napster says:

    Jacob Turner came along with the Detroit trade in the Anibel Sanchez deal (unless I’m misremembering). He’s been given the status of “promising stud” but he’s only 22 and has really only had one year (2012) of minor league seasoning.

    Me, I always look at the K to Walk ratio. Anything above 3 to 1 is what I consider news worthy. Good defense and good bullpen also are better to have when you decide to go with a young pitcher not named Jose Fernandez or Shelby Miller.

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  8. Donald Trump says:

    Um surprised the YTD stats for this column are so poor. At what point do we stop this value destroying exercise? I don’t really mean to be such a di@k, as I do this strategy myself. It is just surprising to see someone tabulate the history and see such depressing results. I thought this strategy was easier.

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    • Josh says:

      I think the issue is in the pretty strict parameters of the exercise, i.e. picking three two-start pitchers to stream every week. There’s a small and changing pool of guys making two starts on a weekly basis, and if you’re playing in a weekly league you don’t get to choose individual starts, it’s both or neither. Plus the reason these guys are available for streaming is that they’re not that great. So even if they give you one good turn they’re likely to give it back the next time out.

      I think the lesson learned is don’t stream two-start guys in a weekly league, especially every week. And I think we got it. Maybe the restrictions of the article should be loosened (pick fewer guys, or don’t exclusively focus on two-start pitchers) and see how they do.

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  9. napster says:

    @Trump: I think streaming can be successful if it’s used to supplement a bedrock of 5 or 6 pitchers.

    However, it isn’t a magic potion either, and it’s too often that we pick streamers who for some reason don’t work out — even surprising the experts. Randomness and regression to the mean is too severe for those pitchers who are outside of the same group of 20 or 30 who are reliable studs 80 percent of the time.

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