Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 16

We're getting closer to the trade deadline, so we may be seeing some pitchers on the move very soon. With pitchers potentially on the move, that could make for some interesting new names popping up in this column through the rest of the season.

So while we wait to see who goes on the move, lets take a look at how last week's column is looking. To be frank...it could be better. Andrew Cashner was lit up for five earned runs over five innings (boy could you imagine if somebody ranked him as the best two-start pitcher last week?), and Drew Pomeranz is currently leading the way after allowing one run with four strikeouts over five innings.

There's still time for last week's guys to turn it around, but for now let's take a look at who you need to add for Week 16.

 

Week 16 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Daniel Ponce de Leon, STL - 37% owned

Probable opponents: @ PIT, vs HOU

Despite coming off his shortest start of the season, Ponce de Leon has been solid as a starter for St. Louis this year. Currently sporting a 2.90 ERA over five starts with a 9.2 K/9 in 25 1/3 innings, Ponce de Leon struggled against Pittsburgh his last time out as he allowed four runs over 3 2/3 innings. Now he'll get the chance for revenge as he opens the week with another start against the Pirates.

While the Pirates may have had some success against Ponce de Leon in their last matchup, they have shown some struggles over their past 10 games, averaging 4.3 runs and 7.2 strikeouts per game. Ponce de Leon has recorded six or more strikeouts in three of his five starts, and he could very easily reach that mark in his second start against Pittsburgh. The biggest challenge for him this week comes in his second outing against Houston. The Astros have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last two weeks, averaging 6.7 runs and hitting .298 over their last 10 games, but they have also been striking out at a high clip by averaging 8.6 per game in that span. Ponce de Leon will get a slight boost though thanks to the Astros' batting splits, as they are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.262 average, .804 OPS) than left-handers (.288, .855) and they are also hitting worse on the road (.266, .816) than at home (.275, .823).

Ponce de Leon has a fair amount of risk this week, but there are definitely indicators that he could put up a good week for fantasy. If owners are willing to gamble on the Astros splits favoring Ponce de Leon, they could be rewarded with some good strikeout numbers and maybe a win or two this week.

Martin Perez, MIN - 34% owned

Probable opponents: vs NYY, @ CHW

Perez is in the midst of his best season since his rookie year, as he currently owns an 8-3 record and 4.10 ERA with a career-high 7.9 K/9 with Minnesota. His ERA took a hit during June, but he kept up the strikeouts as he recorded six or more strikeouts in three of his five starts.

Owners looking for strikeouts will love Perez's first start against the Yankees, who are averaging 8.9 strikeouts over their last 10 games. On top of that, the Yankees are also striking out at a slightly higher rate against left-handed starters (24.4 percent) than against right-handers (22.5 percent). The strikeout potential gets even better in his second start against Chicago, as they are averaging 9.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Along with the strikeouts, Perez should see a nice week for his ERA, as the Yankees and White Sox are both averaging fewer than 4.4 runs per game over their last 10 games.

It seems like all the pieces are there for Perez to have a big week in fantasy, and after a rough June things appear to be settling down for him in July. If you're looking for the guy with the highest potential this week, look no further than Perez.

 

Week 16 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Homer Bailey, OAK - 17% owned

Probable opponents: @ HOU, vs TEX

One of the hottest starting pitchers since the beginning of June, Bailey shined in his Oakland debut with six strikeouts over six innings while allowing just two runs against Seattle. He'll start his week against the Astros, and while he won't benefit from the home-road splits that Ponce de Leon will, Bailey will still get the benefit of Houston's struggles against right-handed starters. After Houston, Bailey will face the Rangers for the third time this season. Bailey struggled in his earlier outings against Texas, but both those starts came before his recent hot streak. The Rangers are averaging 11.5 strikeouts per game over their last 10 games, and Bailey will also get to benefit from their home-road splits, as they are hitting 10 points worse on the road with an OPS nearly 50 points lower than at home.

This week could pose some risk for Bailey's ERA, as the Rangers are averaging 4.7 runs over their last 10 games, while the Astros are averaging 6.7 runs in the same span. But if owners are willing to risk a hit to their ERA, Bailey should provide plenty of strikeouts against a pair of Texas opponents.

Chase Anderson, MIL - 15% owned

Probable opponents: vs CIN, vs CHC

It's been an up-and-down season for Anderson this year, but right now he's on the upswing. Over his last five starts, Anderson has posted a 2.45 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. He'll start off the week against Cincinnati, which is averaging 5.7 runs per game over their last 10 games. While that looks scary to fantasy owners, it looks less daunting once you take out a 17-run and 11-run performance and see that they are averaging 3.6 runs in that span outside of those two games. The Reds are also averaging 8.8 strikeouts over that span, and Anderson will benefit from Cincinnati's struggles against right-handed starters, as they are hitting 32 points worse against them than left-handers. The Cubs on the other hand will provide a greater challenge, as they are averaging 5.8 runs over their last 10 games while hitting .276.

Despite a tough start against Chicago, Anderson should still have a chance to rack up strikeouts as the Cubs are averaging 9.6 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Owners looking at Anderson will have to judge whether they want to risk the Cubs start in order to get the Reds start, but he should provide solid value in Week 16.

Peter Lambert, COL - 2% owned

Probable opponents: @ WAS, @ CIN

Lambert is this week's high-risk, high-reward lottery pick. He has struggled when pitching in Denver, but this week he gets a pair of road starts which should allow him to be a sneaky play in fantasy. He'll start the week off against Washington, which is currently averaging 5.2 runs and 7.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Then he'll travel to Cincinnati for (as mentioned before) a much easier start against the Reds, where he will benefit from the same splits that Anderson will.

Lambert is a lottery pick that should be available in virtually any league. If you're picking him up this week, you're hoping for a high-strikeout performance with a potentially lower ERA pitching outside of Coors Field.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 16 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

With the All-Star week in our rearview mirror, we as fantasy owners are now on a nonstop train towards late September's championship weeks. We here at RotoBaller offer our analysis and dynamic pitching scores for each matchup to frame your start/sit decisions and get you on top of that podium. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 16 -- July 15th through July 21st -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. This column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their outlook against lefties and righties, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions. Streamers and those relying on counting stats more than all-around ratios can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers.

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through July 21st.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 17

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 7/22 through 7/28. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 17

Seven Game Weeks: BAL, BOS, CWS, CLE, COL, MIN, NYM, NYY, PIT, SEA, STL, TEX, WAS

 

Streamer of the Week

Oscar Mercado (OF, CLE): 30% Owned

This is a tough week for streamers. While there are plenty of teams with a full seven-game week, no club gets the golden combo of seven games against bad pitching and in a hitter’s park. Both Texas and Colorado are on the road this week, which certainly contributes to the dearth of options, but I digress to Mercado. The 24-year-old outfielder has gotten off to a scorching second-half start, clobbering three home runs in just six games since the break. He’s also tacked on a pair of steals over that stretch.

Mercado should keep on rolling this week, as Cleveland gets three games in Toronto followed by four games in Kansas City. Marcus Stroman is the only quality pitcher on the slate for Cleveland. The rest of the pitchers they face could most generously be described as “innings eaters”. They only get one lefty (Clayton Richard), but that shouldn’t scare owners away from Mercardo. He’s has a .292 AVG and .794 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season. Mercado probably has a little more run in him beyond just a streamer, but even as a one-off add he’s a great choice.

 

Behind the Plate

Roberto Perez (C, CLE): 33% Owned

If you’re on the fence as to whether the ball is juiced, Roberto Perez’s season should remove all doubts. He had 13 home runs in 642 PA combined between 2016-2018. This year he has 16 homers in 256 PA and a .250 ISO. Owners in the market for streaming hitters should look to ride the Cleveland train wherever possible. Perez is my favorite streaming catcher this week, both for his recent performance and upcoming matchups.

Chance Sisco (C, BAL):  12% Owned

It’s surprising that Sisco is only 12% owned, considering his .948 OPS and .307 ISO in 88 PA as a catcher. Sure, his 33% K rate and 31.6% HR/FB rate are rightful cause for skepticism, but I’d rather own him over Francisco Meija or Mike Zunino, who are both owned in more leagues that Sisco. As far as streamers go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a catcher in a better spot than Sisco this week. Unlike most catchers, Sisco has a premium lineup spot in Baltimore, usually hitting third or fourth. He also has just two scheduled lefties on the slate, meaning we should lock-in five games for Sisco this week. He’s one of the best options behind the dish this week.

Also Consider: Matt Wieters (C, STL): 2% Owned

 

At the Corners

C.J. Cron (1B, MIN): 44% Owned

Fresh off the injured list, Cron already has two doubles and a homer in three games for the Twins. That IL stint caused his ownership to dip a bit, and the powerful first baseman is available in far too many leagues. Unfortunately, the Twins only have two lefties this week, but the schedule makes up for it with four games in Chicago against the White Sox. It’s going to be muggy and humid in Chicago this week, which is bad news for Ivan Nova and Dylan Cease, as if they needed any more bad news given their performances to date. Cron gives us plenty of power as a streaming option this week.

Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL): 23% Owned

Nunez is a prime example of power deflation in the modern game. He has 21 homers and a .251 ISO, yet he’s owned in fewer than a quarter of Yahoo leagues. He’s a rather one dimensional player on a bad team, but he still brings legitimate power to the table. One of Nunez’s best attributes is his punctuality. He’s played in every game for Baltimore since the All-Star break, and has played DH with little rest all season. It’s not like the Orioles have anyone better, so we can rely on Nunez to be in the lineup hitting fourth or fifth every day. Of course, there’s a bonus if Baltimore faces a lefty, but Nunez has a respectable .217 ISO against right-handed pitchers this season as well. For power and volume, Nunez is a nice alternative to C.J. Cron.

Also Consider: Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN): 29% Owned, Todd Frazier (3B, NYM): 5% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Danny Santana (1B/2B/OF, TEX): 50% Owned

Santana is reportedly taking more reps at third base, which should keep his hot bat in the lineup even more often. He’d certainly be a more productive option than Asdrubal Cabrera, but he’d also be a more productive option than Rougned Odor, yet Texas seems reluctant to make that switch permanently. Santana has played five of the last six games, and Texas seems dedicated to playing him more often, which they have good reason try and squeeze him in as much as possible. Santana is hitting .417 with four home runs and two steals in July, and has a .922 OPS on the year. Texas may be on the road this week, but they get seven games of relatively weak pitching against Arizona and Anaheim. This will probably be the last week Santana is at the 50% ownership threshold to qualify as a streamer, so pick him up while you can.

Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT): 39% Owned

Newman has been lowkey crushing it, as the kids would say, and has raised his average to a stellar .331 on the year. The Pirates have six games against righties, but don’t let that give you apprehension towards adding Newman. He’s hit .337 against right-handed pitching with all six of his home runs. It’d be nice if the Pirates would hit Newman leadoff permanently, he’s definitely earned it, but we’ll have to settle for every few games as he splits time atop the order with Adam Frazier. Frazier isn’t a bad volume play this week for deeper leagues, but Newman is the better option in Pittsburgh.

Also Consider: Amed Rosario (SS, NYM): 40% Owned, Marwin Gonzalez (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, MIN): 27% Owned, Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT): 17% Owned, Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE): 9% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY): 30% Owned

Gardner has been red hot in July, hitting .325 with three home runs and two steals. The Yankees face two lefties this week, but Gardner’s been playing every day regardless of opposing pitcher, so we shouldn’t take a volume hit on days against a left-handed starter. Gardner is a nice backup option to Oscar Mercardo, since he provides the power-speed combo, but doesn’t have the premium matchups or lineup spot that Mercardo has.

Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL): 25% Owned

O’Neill has been crushing homers left and right since the break, and now he gets to roll that hot streak into a seven-game week with St. Louis. The Cardinals have already moved O’Neill up to the cleanup spot, where he should have plenty of run-producing opportunities. Expect O’Neill’s ownership to skyrocket over the weekend, especially if he goes yard again. Pick him up while you can, because he’s an excellent power option this week.

Also Consider: Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT): 31% Owned, Corey Dickerson (OF, PIT): 22% Owned, Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CWS): 14% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 15

And we're back in action after the All-Star Break. We've still got time to take a look at the two-start streaming options for this upcoming week.

Taking a look back at the last two columns, Marco Gonzales was the best pick out of a lackluster Week 13 selection. Gonzales finished 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA and nine strikeouts against the Brewers and Astros. And in another lackluster week marred by changing pitching schedules before the break, Jason Vargas was the winning choice despite making only one of his two projected starts. Vargas allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings while striking out six against the Yankees.

Well now that we're past the break things should settle down and this week's pitchers should provide better value. So let's dive on in.

 

Week 15 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Andrew Cashner, BOS - 44% owned

Probable opponents: vs TOR, @ BAL

Coming off his trade to the Red Sox on Saturday, Cashner will be in line for a two-start week in his Boston debut. Prior to the trade, Cashner had been lighting it up over his last five starts, going 3-1 with 18 strikeouts and a 1.41 ERA over 32  innings.

His first start will come against Toronto, which should be a good start to the week for Cashner. In two starts against the Blue Jays this year, Cashner is 2-0 with seven strikeouts and a 0.69 ERA. The Blue Jays have been on a recent slide over their last five games, hitting .188 while averaging 2.0 runs and 8.8 strikeouts per game in that span. Cashner will then follow that up with a start against his former teammates in Baltimore. That game could prove to be an even better start for Cashner, as the Orioles are averaging 3.8 runs and 10.6 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .223. Add on to that the fact that the Orioles are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.238 average, .691 OPS) than left-handed starters (.243 average, .718 OPS), and Cashner should be in line for a very good fantasy week.

There isn't really a whole lot more to say about Cashner. He's a pitcher on a hot streak on a good team. My money is on Cashner to be the best pick out of this week's column.

Michael Pineda, MIN - 38% owned

Probable opponents: vs NYM, vs OAK

Much like Cashner, Pineda is another pitcher on a hot streak on a good team to make the column this week. After a rough start to the year, Pineda is now 2-1 over his last six starts with a 3.21 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings pitched.

Pineda will get a couple of home starts this week, as he will start things off against the Mets. New York is 4-6 over their last 10 games, and while they aren't doing terrible with a .252 team average, they're only averaging 3.8 runs while averaging 8.2 strikeouts in that span. After the Mets though, Pineda will face stiffer competition against Oakland. The Athletics are 8-2 over their last 10 games, averaging 6.7 runs while hitting .269.

This will be a bit of a risk for owners taking a shot at Pineda this week. Do you bank on his hot streak or do you shy away from that Oakland matchup? Cashner should be the No. 1 target for owners this week, but if he's already snagged then Pineda should be the next guy to target. That Oakland start is a little nerve-wracking, but he should have little problem continuing his hot streak.

 

Week 15 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Anthony DeSclafani, CIN - 16% owned

Probable opponents: @ CHC, vs STL

DeSclafani has been up and down over the course of this season, but he has been on a hot streak in his last six outings. Posting a 3-1 record and 3.06 ERA, DeSclafani has recorded 35 strikeouts in his last 32 1/3 innings of work. Now he'll face off against division rivals Chicago and St. Louis this week — both of which DeSclafani has had success against this year. Against Chicago, DeSclafani is 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA and nine strikeouts in two starts, while he has a 1-0 record and 3.00 ERA in three starts against St. Louis with 16 strikeouts

The Cubs and the Cardinals make for a high-risk, high-reward week for DeSclafani. I'd put DeSclafani's value as similar to Pineda for this week, and between the two owners should try to target DeSclafani first and foremost.

Adrian Houser, MIL - 3% owned

Probable opponents: vs ATL, @ ARI

I'm going to be upfront on this one — don't bet the house on Houser (hahaha I'm so funny and clever). Since joining the rotation, Houser has gone 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA over three starts. But coming out of the pen, Houser had posted a 1.11 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 24 1/3 innings. He'll open up this week with the Braves, who are averaging 5.2 runs and hitting .268 over their last 10 games. After Atlanta, Houser will head to the desert to face the Diamondbacks, who are averaging 4.2 runs and hitting .257 over their last 10 games.

If you're going with Houser this week, you're hoping for the high strikeout potential. Arizona is averaging 8.1 strikeouts over their last 10 games, while Atlanta is averaging 9.4 over the same span. If you're willing to risk ERA this week to get a boost in strikeouts, Houser is the guy to go with if everyone else has already been claimed.

Drew Pomeranz, SFG - 3% owned

Probable opponents: @ COL, vs NYM

Pomeranz started off the year rough, but he has been picking things up over his last six starts. While the 1-3 record and 4.13 ERA in that span is underwhelming, his 37 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings will cause fantasy owners to take notice. The strikeout potential will look especially enticing when considering the fact Pomeranz begins this week against the Rockies after striking out a season-high 11 in his last start against Colorado. The Rockies have averaged 9.2 strikeouts over their last 10 games, and after Colorado he'll face the Mets who have averaged 8.2 strikeouts in the same span.

Owners should look at Pomeranz as a safer version of Houser this week. Both should provide plenty of strikeouts, but Pomeranz is less likely to hurt your ERA.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 15 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

I hope you enjoyed the All-Star break and having a couple of days off from sweating daily baseball action because it's all business from now until the finish line! That's why we here at RotoBaller offer our analysis and dynamic pitching scores for each matchup to frame your start/sit decisions. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 15 -- July 11th through July 14th, the short week -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. This column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their outlook against lefties and righties, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions. Streamers and those relying on counting stats more than all-around ratios can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. I apologize for the vertical margin issues, but the short week really messes with the spacing.

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through July 14th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 16

Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column that skews towards points league. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

We’ve hurdled the Midsummer Classic and turning towards home for fantasy baseball season. While some league counterparts may be multi-tasking with pigskin prep, it’s time for savvy owners to stay juiced on the diamond! By now, team turnover should be commonplace and most managers have waved goodbye to busted high-round assets. During the dog days, keenness on the waiver could result in celebratory pay days in October.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under at least 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

 

Points League Pickups to Consider

Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN)

32% Owned

Miguel Sano has experienced wild swings in performance this season with a batting average bouncing between .260 and .195. He’s hit a hot stretch lately, riding a nine-game hitting streak (.400 average) with four homers. The husky slugger has even legged out a triple, so everything must be going right.

Owning Sano has been a nightmare over his career, with the prodigious power completely offset by miserable plate discipline and an inability to stay healthy. Owners with an objective lens can capitalize on the plethora of other desensitized owners and scoop up a player who quietly owns a sturdy .896 OPS. Sano is barreling 18 percent of batted-balls with a 55 percent hard-hit rate. Ride the wave while it lasts and exit promptly if the tide turns.

 

Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT)

20% Owned

Adam Frazier is a classic points league hero that likely wallows in anonymity in standard leagues. His strongest contributions reside in doubles (20) and minimal strikeouts (12 percent). As a leadoff staple in Pittsburgh, he certainly deserves deeper league consideration at the keystone.

Frazier is a typical slap hitter with a minuscule barrel rate (two percent) and just four homers. While he doesn’t walk much, his elite contact skills allot him plenty of run-scoring opportunities. Amidst an 18-for-30 tear (.600 average) Frazier has a legitimate shot to surpass 100 runs and 40 two-baggers by year end. Throw in a realistic chance at 20 triples-plus-homers and we have a fantasy player whose marginal contributions could be huge down the stretch.

 

Jason Heyward (OF, CHC)

31% Owned

The Jason Heyward revival movement was in full effect earlier this season as he posted a .932 OPS through April. He then hit an icy skid in May (.618 OPS), only to follow up with another rock star month in June (.968). Is the perennial fantasy bummer fantasy-relevant or just tugging our heart strings?

While lackluster compared to the gaudy power numbers elsewhere, Heyward has already matched his highest dinger tally since 2012 (14). He’s seemingly made a concerted effort towards slugging, on pace for his best ISO (.190) and slugging percentage (.457) since that breakout 2012 campaign. While the strikeouts have spiked, he’s moderated that detraction by raising walks from nine to 12 percent. On pace for his best offensive production in seven seasons, Heyward’s all-around category contribution could certainly bolster a roster lacking outfield depth.

 

Alex Dickerson (OF, SF)

4% Owned

Once a promising left-handed bat in the Padres farm system, Alex Dickerson became an afterthought by missing two full seasons to injury. After being shipped to San Francisco in June, the 29-year-old has captured extended playing time with an eye-popping .362/.444/.787 slash in the Bay.

Before his myriad injuries, Dickerson posted a promising 10-homer, 16-double and five-steal campaign in 2016 with the Friars. He was viewed as a potential regular before the extended setback. Now with a likely infinite leash on the rebuilding Giants, Dickerson has an opportunity to showcase what could have been. With 10 extra-base hits in just 54 plate appearances since joining his new club and a supportive .390 xwOBA overall, Dickerson could be a quiet fantasy grab that’ll ultimately pay dividends.

 

Michael Pineda (SP, MIN)

37% Owned

Michael Pineda, we get it. Look away if you must. After May, Pineda sat with an unsightly 5.34 ERA but since then he’s registered a 3.21 ERA in six starts. In four of those outings, he’s surrendered just one earned run. Considering Pineda made his debut in 2011 and has long been considered damaged goods, it’s incredible that he’s still just 30 years old.

The Twins have succeeded this season refraining from letting starters go deep into games. Pineda appears best served in limited doses, having lasted past six innings just once. The big righty’s stayed around the strike zone, utilizing a strong changeup to post a solid 22 percent strikeout rate and 5.3 K/BB. In a vanilla division, the veteran is surely scheduled for favorable matchups. Pineda, pinata. Let’s hope not.

 

Daniel Poncedeleon (SP, STL)

2% Owned

For deep leaguers with innings caps, Daniel Poncedeleon could be a perfect fit. With upside. Utilized as both a spot starter and reliever, Poncedeleon has recorded a 2.16 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and excellent 33 percent strikeout rate.

A quick scouting report shows Poncedelon with a mid-90s active fastball with three passable supplemental pitches. He’s induced grounders on 46 percent of batted balls and kept the long balls to a minimum, fantastic trends in today’s game. The game-changer this season has been his curveball, which he’s revamped from subpar to a 1.48 wCB/C. With some starters on the Red Birds struggling, the chirps for Poncedelon as a full-time rotation installation are growing. Unlike his Spanish ancestor, the risk on this Poncedelon is minimal. Go, explore!

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 14 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

Can you believe that July is already here, bursting through the calendar wall like the Kool-Aid Man? Start the "second half" of the season off right with strong pitching and make the summer yours. That's why we here at RotoBaller offer our insight and dynamic pitching scores for each matchup to frame your start/sit decisions. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 14 -- July 1st through July 7th -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. This column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their outlook against lefties and righties, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions. Streamers and those relying on counting stats more than all-around ratios can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. On your marks, get set...go!

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through July 7th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 14

How is it already almost the halfway point of the season? We have the All-Star starters finalized, and the All-Star Game itself is a little over two weeks away. But more importantly, this is the 14th time this year we're looking at two-start streaming options.

Looking back at Week 12, Cleveland rookie Zach Plesac was the winning choice for fantasy owners. Plesac earned two wins on back-to-back outings of seven innings and one run allowed while recording a combined eight strikeouts. The pitchers on the Week 13 list are off to a lackluster start to begin the week, but Marco Gonzales is leading the way after allowing three runs — two earned — over five innings to get the win over Milwaukee.

Now that the recap is out of the way, let's look at who to target for Week 14.

 

Week 14 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Zac Gallen, MIA - 50% owned

Probable opponents: @ WAS, @ ATL

Yet another rookie making this column, Gallen has pitched well in his first two starts despite his 0-1 record. He has thrown five innings in each start, averaging seven strikeouts  while allowing a combined four runs against the Cardinals and the Nationals.

Gallen's last start was at home against Washington, and he'll face them once again as he starts Week 14 on the road against the Nationals. Washington has been one of the hotter offenses in the league recently, as they're averaging 6.7 runs while hitting .272 over their last 10 games. The Nationals have also averaged 7.4 strikeouts per game over that stretch, and Gallen recorded a career-high eight strikeouts against them his last time out. After Washington, Gallen will then face the similarly hot-hitting Braves, who are averaging 5.9 runs over their last 10 games. It will be the first time Gallen faces Atlanta, but he has some good strikeout potential in that start as the Braves are averaging 8.8 strikeouts over their last 10 games.

Going with Gallen is a high-risk, high-reward play this week. We've only seen two starts out of him at this level, and he'll be going up against a pair of high-scoring offenses. If you're willing to take the risk on your ERA, you should be rewarded with good strikeout numbers.

Griffin Canning, LAA - 44% owned

Probable opponents: @ TEX, @ HOU

Canning makes yet another appearance on this list despite posting a 4.60 ERA over five starts in June. Despite the high ERA, Canning has been otherwise solid this month as he has thrown six innings in four of his last five starts while recording two quality starts, and he's also averaging almost six strikeouts a game.

This week Canning will be on the road against a pair of AL West rivals. He'll open the week against the Rangers, who are hitting .269 while averaging 4.7 runs and 9.7 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Canning has already faced Texas once this season, allowing one run while striking out five over five innings. After Texas, Canning will then take on the struggling Houston Astros, who are hitting .267 and averaging 3.5 runs and 7.2 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Canning will also get a boost against Houston, as they are hitting slightly worse against right-handed starters (.263 average, .799 OPS) than against lefties (.278 average, .847 OPS).

If you're looking for a boost in strikeouts this week, Canning is the guy you will want to target. He might not end up with wins this week, but Canning should also have potential to help out owners in quality starts leagues. Canning is likely the top guy to target on this week's list.

Week 14 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Chase Anderson, MIL - 13% owned

Probable opponents: @ CIN, @ PIT

Anderson has been somewhat inconsistent with the number of innings per start, but what he has done fairly consistently in June is rack up strikeouts, as he's recorded six strikeouts in four of his five starts this month. Owners will need to be wary though of his 5.92 ERA over his last five starts, including his worst outing of the month against Cincinnati in which he allowed six runs over five innings.

He'll start off the week with a rematch against the Reds, who — despite their success against him the last time out — are still hitting worse against right-handed starters (.230 average, .304 OBP) than against left-handed starters (.246 average, .312 OBP). If he can get through Cincinnati with little damage, Anderson should reward owners with a nice start against Pittsburgh. Over two starts against the Pirates, Anderson has recorded a win and a quality start, while allowing four runs over 11 innings with 11 strikeouts. Owners will want to try and pick up Gallen or Canning as their first options, but Anderson could be a solid add if they're already claimed.

Jason Vargas, NYM - 8% owned

Probable opponents: vs NYY, vs PHI

After back-to-back outings where he failed to pitch a full five innings, Vargas shined in his most recent outing against Philadelphia — allowing two runs while striking out 10 over 6 1/3 innings. The strikeouts have been inconsistent for Vargas this year, but he's been fairly solid with his ERA over his last seven starts as he's posted a 2.36 ERA since May 25.

Vargas will start off the week against the hot-hitting Yankees, who are averaging 6.8 runs while hitting .299 over their last 10 games. That being said, Vargas pitched well against the Yankees earlier this month, recording the win and a quality start after allowing three runs over six innings while striking out three. And then after facing New York, Vargas will get another start against the Phillies, which should be another good start for him after his aforementioned success in his most recent outing. While he pitched well in his last time out against the Yankees, their recent hot streak is cause for some concern. Vargas may not be the top choice this week, but he should be a solid option for owners willing to take the chance on him.

Wade LeBlanc, SEA - 3% owned

Probable opponents: vs STL, vs OAK

LeBlanc is one of the recurring pitchers to make this list, and he's here for Week 14 after back-to-back wins against Baltimore and Milwaukee. In four of his last five starts, LeBlanc has allowed two or fewer runs while also recording three wins and three starts with six or more strikeouts. The biggest concern for this week though is his game against Oakland, as he was lit up by the Athletics to the tune of six runs over 2 2/3 innings three starts ago.

But before facing Oakland again, LeBlanc will go up against the struggling Cardinals offense. Over their last 10 games, St. Louis is averaging 3.3 runs and 8.1 strikeouts while hitting .213. On top of that, St. Louis is hitting worse against left-handed starters while also hitting worse on the road. But after that start, LeBlanc will go up against the Athletics, who are averaging 5.3 runs and 6.6 strikeouts while hitting .253 over their last 10 games. His last start against Oakland wasn't his only difficult outing against them, as he suffered the loss after allowing four runs over five innings against the Athletics in May. Owners should look at LeBlanc in a similar light as Anderson this week, with the preference going to Anderson. But if you're willing to take the risk to your ERA and you want someone who could provide good strikeout value, LeBlanc should be available in practically every league.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 13 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

These beautiful summer nights should be filled with barbecue, relaxation and dominating your competition with only the finest of pitching performances. That's why we here at RotoBaller offer our insight and dynamic pitching scores for each matchup to frame your start/sit decisions. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 13 -- June 24th through June 30th -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. This column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their outlook against lefties and righties, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions. Streamers and those relying on counting stats more than all-around ratios can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. On your marks, get set...go!

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through June 30th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 13

This is an interesting week for two-start streamers. In previous weeks there have tended to be a bunch of serviceable to decent options somewhere in the five to 10 percent ownership range, but this week that's really not the case. But never fear, we've still got five streamers to take a look at for Week 13.

Looking back at Week 11's list, John Means and Anibal Sanchez both had solid weeks, but Mike Leake was the best option to go with as he went 1-0 with two quality starts, 13 strikeouts and a 3.21 ERA. As for Week 12, Zach Plesac, Mike Fiers and Tommy Milone are all off to good starts after their first outing of the week.

And now it's time to look at who you should grab for Week 13.

 

Week 13 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Marco Gonzales, SEA - 35% owned

Probable opponents: @ MIL, @ HOU

Gonzales had a pair of rough starts at the end of May and beginning of June, but he's turned things around since then with three wins in three starts and a 2.33 ERA. Along with struggling in ERA in May, Gonzales struggled with his strikeouts that month as he averaged just three per start. He's reached five strikeouts in two of his last three starts, but owners shouldn't expect too much more than that this week.

He'll be on the road for both starts this week, which should be a boost to his value as he has pitched better on the road (4-2, 2.77 ERA, 1.212 WHIP) than at home (4-4, 6.00 ERA, 1.521 WHIP). Gonzales will start off the week against the Brewers, who are averaging 4.3 runs and 8.9 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .231. Also boosting Gonzales' value is the Brewers struggles against lefty starters, as their team average is 15 points lower against left-handed starters than right-handed starters, and their OPS is 50 points lower as well. After Milwaukee, Gonzales will take on the Astros, who are averaging 5.2 runs and 8.5 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .251. Their runs average is slightly inflated though thanks to a 15-run outburst against Toronto and a 10-run performance against Milwaukee. Since their 15-2 win against Toronto, the Astros are averaging just 3.3 runs over their last six games.

Gonzales won't put up high strikeout numbers this week, but he should still provide pretty good value. Owners in quality starts leagues should take a look at him as well, as he could put up a pair of quality starts this week after recording two in his last three outings.

Trevor Williams, PIT - 34% owned

Probable opponents: @ HOU, @ MIL

In his return from the injured list, Williams looked a little rusty against the Tigers — allowing seven runs on nine hits over five innings. Despite that, Williams posted his fifth consecutive start with at least five strikeouts and one or fewer walks. This week should be a bounce back week for Williams, as he had been one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball prior to his injury.

Coincidentally, Williams will be facing both the Astros and Brewers on the road this week. Another coincidence is that like Gonzales, Williams has pitched better on the road (2-0, 2.83 ERA, 1.143 WHIP) than on the road (0-1, 6.00 ERA, 1.250 WHIP). Against the Astros, Williams will get a boost that Gonzales won't, as Houston has a team average 14 points worse against right-handed starters than left-handers, and their OPS is also 39 points lower against right-handers. While the Brewers are hitting better against right-handed pitching, Williams has shown a high level of success against Milwaukee. Last season, Williams went 3-0 against the Brewers with a 0.00 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 19 innings.

Williams might be a bit of a risky play this week as he comes back from injury, but that start against Milwaukee looks to have the potential to be a big fantasy day for owners. Try to snag Williams while he's still available.

 

Week 13 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Chris Bassitt, OAK - 28% owned

Probable opponents: @ STL, @ LAA

OK yeah I'm cheating a little bit here. Like I said, there weren't a whole lot of decent options I like this week in the under 25 percent range, and I figured 28 percent is close enough. Anyway, Bassitt's ERA has been a little inconsistent year, but he's been racking up the strikeouts with at least six strikeouts in seven of his 11 starts this year. Bassitt will kick things off this week against the Cardinals, who are averaging 4.5 runs and 9.0 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .233. Then he'll take on the hot-hitting Angels, who are averaging 5.8 runs and 7.9 strikeouts over their last 10 games. In his last start against the Angels, Bassitt earned the win but allowed five runs over five innings with three strikeouts.

Bassitt should have a good outing against St. Louis, but that start against the Angels could be dicey. But if you're looking for a high-strikeout potential this week and are willing to take the risk on your ERA, Bassitt is the guy to look at for Week 13.

Brad Keller, KCR - 20% owned

Probable opponents: @ CLE, @ TOR

Keller's most recent start is definitely one to forget, as he allowed seven runs over four innings against the Mariners. But before that outing, he had been riding a bit of a hot streak. Over his previous five starts, Keller had posted a 2.83 ERA with 21 strikeouts and four quality starts. Starting off Week 13, Keller will face the Indians for the second time this season. In his first outing against them, he posted a season-high 10 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings while allowing just one run. After Cleveland, Keller will head to Toronto where he will face an offense averaging 5.7 runs over their last 10 games. While that may seem like cause to avoid Keller, Keller will actually get a slight boost as the Blue Jays are hitting .217 against right-handed starters and they are hitting .209 in home games.

This might be the high-risk, high-reward pick on this week's list. He probably won't be in line for wins this week thanks to the anemic Royals offense, but he should more than make up for that in other categories. Keller is probably the best guy to grab in the "Under 25%" section this week.

Adam Plutko, CLE - 5% owned

Probable opponents: vs KCR, @ BAL

Despite lasting a season-low 4 1/3 innings in his last start against the Rangers, Plutko has been pitching pretty well this season. He's recorded a quality start in three of his five outings this season, and over his last three starts he has posted a 3.31 ERA while averaging five strikeouts. Plutko will face a couple of low-scoring offenses this week, as the Royals are averaging 4.5 runs and the Orioles are averaging 3.2 runs over their last 10 games. While this week will be the first time he faces the Royals, Plutko faced the Orioles in his first start of the season — allowing one run over six innings while striking out four.

Plutko is one of the better options this week who is available in nearly every league. Owners in quality starts leagues should give him some serious consideration, as Plutko could very well end up with a pair of quality starts this week.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 13

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 6/24 through 6/30. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 12

Seven Game Weeks: ARI, ATL, CHC, COL, LAD, NYM, PHI, SF

 

Streamer of the Week

Jay Bruce (OF/1B, PHI): 55% Owned

Bruce’s ownership levels have plummeted over the last week due to a slump, but he’ll get a nice chance to bounce back with a seven-game week this week. The Phillies get four games at home against the Mets, and are fortunate enough to avoid Jacob deGrom. That lines him up against mostly mediocre pitching, and owners shouldn’t be afraid of lefties Steven Matz and Jason Vargas.

Bruce has a .984 OPS and .388 ISO against left-handed pitching this season, which gives him better numbers against southpaws compared to righties. There isn’t a better streaming option for power and run production than Bruce this week.

 

Behind the Plate

Carson Kelly (C, ARI): 4% Owned

Kelly’s ownership is surprisingly low considering his production over the last two months. He got off to a horrid April, but Kelly is hitting .292 with eight homers and a .986 OPS since May 1. Alex Avila was recently placed on the injured list, which means Kelly will get the bulk of the playing time at catcher for Arizona. The Diamondbacks will face at least three left-handed starters this week, which is great for Kelly since he’s hitting .400 with a 1.328 OPS against southpaws this season. Kelly is the best option for a streaming catcher this week.

Austin Barnes (C/2B, LAD): 13% Owned

The Dodgers have a seven-game week this week, with four games in Colorado. The Dodgers only have one game against a left-handed starter, which is good for Barnes since he has been much better against righties. He has a .727 OPS and .163 ISO against right-handed pitching this season. Barnes should get 4-5 starts this week, with three games likely to occur in Coors Field. If Kelly isn’t available, Barnes isn’t a bad alternative.

Also Consider: Tony Wolters (C, COL): 4%

 

At the Corners

Christian Walker (1B, ARI): 20% Owned

Walker’s ownership and production has taken a nosedive since a hot April, but he’s still got a 91.3 MPH average exit velocity and a .515 xSLG this season. There is plenty of power in this bat, and Walker gets three left-handed starters this week. While the Diamondbacks play four games in pitcher-friendly San Francisco, the Giants are throwing some rather poor pitching at Arizona in that series. Madison Bumgarner is the only opposing pitcher in that series who belongs in a major league rotation. The hype has worn off of Walker, but he has plenty of upside as a streamer this week.

Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF, NYM): 47% Owned

McNeil is one of the safest sources of batting average in the league. He may have slowed down a bit in May, but he’s picked things up in June with a .345 AVG and a .901 OPS this month. The Mets get a ballpark upgrade with four games in Philadelphia to start the week, then get three at home against the Braves. McNeil is a great volume play and should be a nice boost to batting average with a seven game week ahead.

Also Consider: Todd Frazier (3B, NYM): 3% Owned, Brandon Belt (1B/OF, SF): 13% Owned, Evan Longoria (3B, SF): 15% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Robinson Cano (1B/2B, NYM): 47% Owned

Cano’s ownership has fallen below 50%, which would’ve been unbelievable three months ago. Alas, he’s hitting .233 with a .658 OPS in 202 PA thus far. There are some positive indicators with Cano; he has a 90.6 MPH average exit velocity and a 44.5% hard-hit rate. The Mets have seven games this week, with only one against a left-handed pitching, so Cano has a great opportunity to turn things around this week. This a proven bat worth taking a chance on as a volume play with upside.

Amed Rosario (SS, NYM): 39% Owned

Another Met, but the Mets are in an excellent position this week. Rosario also has the added benefit of providing speed, a rare attribute among streaming options. He’s been running more than ever this month, as Rosario already has four steals in 17 games, his best month so far. For those in need of speed at middle infield, Rosario is a great option.

Also Consider: Kike Hernandez (1B/2B/SS/OF, LAD): 23% Owned, Chris Taylor (2B/SS/OF, LAD): 23% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Adam Jones (OF, ARI): 55% Owned

Jones and the Diamondbacks take on three lefties this week, which makes him an excellent streaming option in the outfield. Jones has always been better against lefties, and the same is true this season, as Jones has an .804 OPS and .216 ISO versus southpaws. Arizona also gets some mediocre opposing starters, so Jones should have plenty of run producing opportunities as the Diamondbacks’ cleanup hitter. He is the top outfield option after Jay Bruce.

Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD): 18% Owned

Verdugo is in an optimal position this week, as the Dodgers have seven games with just one against a left-handed starter. They also get four games in Coors Field, all against right-handed pitching. The Dodgers get a few tough pitchers in the beginning of the week against Arizona, but Jon Gray is the only quality arm the Dodgers face in Coors. He doesn’t have exceptional power or speed, but Verdugo should provide solid volume and batting average this week.

Also Consider: Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI): 14% Owned, Jason Heyward (OF, CHC): 19% Owned, Kevin Pillar (OF, SF): 5% Owned, Mike Yastrzemski (OF, SF): 1% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 12 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

Starting pitcher decisions can make your hair turn gray throughout these beautiful summer months where you're supposed to be enjoying the long days and gorgeous baseball weather. That's why we're here to help take the edge off with our insight and pitching scores for each matchup to frame your start/sit calls. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 12 -- June 17th through June 23rd -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions. Streamers and those relying on counting stats more than all-around ratios can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. On your marks, get set...go!

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through June 23rd.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 12

Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column that skews towards points league. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

For Week 12, we’ll key in on strong performers over the past two weeks that are disproportionately underowned. There’s no guarantee these players are long-term fixes for an ailing fantasy squad but at this point in the year, temporary solutions could be the best tonic to get your team on track. Conversely, if these players stick for good, there’s no marginal risk for capitalizing early.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under at least 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

 

Points League Pickups to Consider

Colin Moran (3B, PIT)

10% Owned

Former prospect Colin Moran has batted .278 since the calendar flipped to June, including three homers and 13 runs-plus-RBI. For the season, the 26-year-old is hovering around a .800 OPS and has been a solid contributor to the Pirates with a 109 wRC+.

Previously knocked for his ground ball tendencies, Moran has upped his fly ball rate to 34% this season, resulting in a spike in hard-hit rate (39%) and barrels (9%). In 209 fewer batted balls, Moran’s 12 barrels is already approaching the 18 he registered in 2018. With limited resistance to playing time, Moran has a firm hold in the heart of the Bucco’s lineup. If the improvement in swing plane proves structural, he could finally make the leap from prospect to MLB regular.

 

Todd Frazier (3B, NYM)

4% Owned

Crusty Todd Frazier is back in our lives so look away if you’ve been burned before. Frazier vanished from fantasy relevance in 2019, starting the year injured then hitting rock bottom on May 15 with a .423 OPS. Since then, he’s raised that profile to .770.

Over that span, Frazier is hitting a crisp .321 with 10 of 27 knocks going for extra bases. His 0.76 BB/K further bolsters his points league relevance. Those reliant on Statcast and advanced metrics will notice that Frazier’s Baseball Savant reeks of shady outcomes. But this could be attributable to his terribly foul start. Recently promoted to cleanup, Frazier’s current tear is undeniable and any scorching player deserves roster consideration, geezer or not.

 

Jorge Soler (OF, KC)

39% Owned

Summer’s warmth provides respite for believers of Jorge Soler. His 30% whiff rate should provide a cool breeze as we watch in close anticipation of his breakthrough. (Father’s Day deserved an awful dad joke). In his last 46 at-bats, Soler has cranked four homers, four doubles and collected 17 R+RBI. In true form, he’s also struck out 12 times.

Even in a points format, if fantasy owners can overcome the human fan, Soler checks the boxes. Soler possesses the exit velocity (94.8 MPH FB/LD), hard-hit rate (43%) and expected slugging (.514) to mash over 40 bombs and 40 doubles (he currently has 17 of each). Although his plate discipline is underwhelming, Soler’s swing tendencies don’t justify just a 6% walk rate. Still just 27 years old, Soler is an instance where the strikeouts are palatable for the power potential.

 

JaCoby Jones (OF, DET)

10% Owned

Since the end of May, JaCoby Jones has seemingly found his groove. Hovering below the Mendoza Line around Memorial Day, Jones has been on fire with a .407 average, raising his season OPS from .606 to .790. Included in the 17-game tear was a 12-game hitting streak that recently concluded.

Like Soler, JaCoby Jones has an equally awful strikeout habit (30%). But they also share more positive traits including an identical FB/LD exit velocity (94.8 MPH) and stellar 50% hard-hit rate. As a kicker, Jones has above average sprint speed and is a perfect 6-for-6 in steals. Jones has exactly zero full seasons under his belt, but after 22 doubles, six triples, 11 homers and 13 steals in just 467 plate appearances in 2018, Jones is emerging as the most attractive offensive fantasy asset in Detroit.

 

Adrian Sampson (SP, TEX)

29% Owned

Adrian Sampson started the season as a dedicated opener with an uninspiring K/9, so was therefore a fantasy non-factor. Since fully joining the rotation and building his endurance, Sampson has registered a 3.19 ERA with a passible 8.6 K/9 over his last six starts. Skewing these numbers positively was a stellar one-run complete game on June 8 against the Athletics.

Sampson, 27, was a seven-year minor leaguer prior to a brief audition in 2018 (four starts). After successfully breaking spring training on the roster, he’s made notable strides year-over-year. The strikeouts have spiked from 16% to 19%, supporting an already-low walk rate to a 3.9 K/BB. Velocity and swinging strikes are up which are encouraging trends. Despite his June 13th struggles against Boston, stay vigilant.

 

Merrill Kelly (SP, ARZ)

18% Owned

As rookies are concerned, Merrill Kelly’s emergence is shocking. After unsuccessfully wallowing in the minors until 2014, Kelly spent four seasons in Korea before debuting as a 30-year-old this season. Like Sampson, his strikeout numbers aren’t stellar, but fantasy-relevant trends are promising.

Highs and lows abound, in 14 starts, Kelly has permitted four or more earned runs four times. He’s also kept opponents to two or less in seven starts. Kelly brings a four-pitch arsenal to the mound and while no single pitch appears overpowering, he mixes them well enough to grade above average. Kelly’s age and lack of experience are automatic non-starters for some fantasy players, and the subpar strikeouts also detracts his appeal. For contrarians willing to overlook these shortcomings, Kelly could provide considerable value as a streaming option.

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 12

A dozen weeks in to the season, and hopefully those of you reading this column have scored big with the guys I hit on in this column and avoided the guys I missed on...especially in Week 6.

But we're past that now. Let's take a look at the last couple weeks of this column. Wades were winners in Week 10, as Wade Miley went 1-0 with 11 strikeouts and a 2.45 ERA, while Wade LeBlanc also finished 1-0 with 10 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA. As for last week's column, there have been several solid starts so far, but David Means leads the pack after allowing one run over five innings with seven strikeouts to earn the win.

Now that we've got the recap out of the way, it's time to look at two-start streamers for the 12th time this season.

 

Week 12 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Zach Plesac, CLE - 42% owned

Probable opponents: @ TEX, vs DET

Four starts into his major league career, Plesac has been looking pretty good on the mound for Cleveland, going 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA, 0.973 WHIP and 7.3 K/9. Plesac surrendered a season-high four runs in his last start against Cincinnati to earn the loss, but prior to that outing he had recorded back-to-back quality starts against the White Sox and the Yankees.

Plesac is going to be a gamble for owners this week, as he has a tough start against the Rangers before closing out the week with a soft matchup against Detroit. Texas is averaging a lot of runs (5.2/game) and a lot of strikeouts (10.2/game) over their last 10 games while hitting .253 with a .721 OPS over that span. The Rangers are also hitting significantly better against right-handed starters (.271 avg, .825 OPS) than against southpaws (.230, .703), and they do slightly better at the plate at home (.260, .795) than on the road (.253, .769). If Plesac can handle the Rangers, he'll them get a plum matchup against Detroit, which is currently averaging 3.6 runs and 9.1 strikeouts over their last game. Along with that, the Tigers are hitting worse on the road this season, and they have significantly more struggles against right-handed starters than left-handers — posting an average 25 points lower and an OPS over 100 points lower against righties.

He will be a high-risk, high reward play in fantasy this week. Texas is going to be a very difficult start, but owners can have some hope as he has previously limited Boston and New York to a combined three runs over 12 1/3 innings this year. If Plesac can pitch well in Texas, owners should be rewarded with his start against Detroit.

Adrian Sampson, TEX - 29% owned

Probable opponents: vs CLE, vs CHW

Sampson did not factor into the decision on Thursday night as he was rocked for six runs over five innings against Boston. But before that, Sampson had won in five straight starts while posting a 1.99 ERA over 31 2/3 innings. His last two outings before Boston included a one-run, 11-strikeout performance against Kansas City, and a one-run, seven-strikeout performance in a complete game effort against Oakland.

This week Sampson gets a pair of home starts, which will provide a boost to his value as he has pitched significantly better at home (4-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.157 WHIP) than on the road (1-2, 6.92 ERA, 1.692 WHIP) this year. He'll start things off against Cleveland, which is currently averaging 4.6 runs and 7.5 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .223. Sampson will also get to benefit from the Indians' batting splits, which show they are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.223 avg, .665 OPS, 23.8% strikeout rate) than lefties (.235, .767, 21.6%) and they are hitting worse on the road (.225, .685) than at home (.227, .701). After facing the Indians, Sampson will close out the week against Chicago, which is 3.8 runs and 7.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games while hitting .232. On top of that, Chicago has nearly identical splits to Cleveland, with the White Sox hitting worse against right-handed starters than left-handers, and they are hitting worse on the road than at home.

I wouldn't be surprised if Sampson ended up being the top two-start streaming option this week. Again, outside of his latest outing against Boston, Sampson has been very solid, and the matchups this week seem like a prime opportunity for fantasy owners. Look to target Sampson as your top option this week.

 

Week 12 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Mike Fiers, OAK - 25% owned

Probable opponents: vs BAL, vs TBR

Fiers has been on a bit of a streak lately, albeit against a rather soft schedule. He's recorded five straight quality starts to go 3-0 over that span with a 3.82 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP. Fiers will have another relatively soft slate this week, as he gets a pair of home starts against the Orioles and the Rays. The Orioles should be the best matchup this week for Fiers, as they are averaging 3.7 runs and 10.1 strikeouts over their last games, and they have struggled more against right-handed starters (.236 avg, .691 OPS) than versus lefties (.243, .719). The Rays have done marginally better over their last 10 games, averaging 4.5 runs and 9.5 strikeouts in that span, but Fiers just faced off with Tampa Bay in his last start — limiting them to three hits and two runs over six innings.

There haven't been a lot of strikeouts for Fiers this year, but he's been very solid as of late despite the underwhelming strikeout rate. Fiers will probably provided the most value in leagues that count quality starts this week, but if you're looking for a guy who shouldn't blow up your ERA, he's probably a good pickup with this scheduled slate.

Merrill Kelly, ARI - 20% owned

Probable opponents: vs COL, vs SFG

While he's been somewhat inconsistent this year, Kelly has put together a string of solid outings this month with three quality starts, three wins and a 0.81 ERA in June. Kelly will be at home for both starts this week, which should boost his value as he has posted a 2.35 ERA and 1.070 WHIP at home versus a 4.95 ERA and 1.443 WHIP on the road. He'll start off the week against the Rockies, who are averaging 4.9 runs and 9.3 strikeouts over their last 10 games. Kelly faced off against Colorado recently, where he allowed four runs over 6 2/3 innings with five strikeouts while taking the loss. Kelly will also have a second crack at the Giants this week after throwing 5 1/3 shutout innings against them last month to earn the win.

Kelly doesn't have quite the easy matchups that some of the other guys have this week, but he should still provide solid fantasy value in Week 12. Owners should look at Kelly as comparable to Fiers this week, except with a potentially better ERA.

Tommy Milone, SEA - 2% owned

Probable opponents: vs KCR, vs BAL

Make it four out of five guys on this week's list with a pair of home starts. After posting a 3.45 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings this month, Milone will have arguably the best matchups out of everyone on this week's list. Milone will start off the week against the Royals, who are averaging 2.9 runs and 10.4 strikeouts over their last 10 games. He'll also benefit from the Royals' .235 average against left-handed starters (13 points lower than versus righties) and a .677 OPS (53 points lower). Milone will then face the Orioles to close out the week, where he will have most of the same benefits that I outlined with Fiers, with the only exception being he won't get the benefit of Baltimore's struggles against right-handed starters.

Milone likely won't be the best option on this week's list, but he will be the most widely available. If you're desperate to grab a two-start streamer this week and the other four guys on this list have already been snagged, you shouldn't be hurting for missing out.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 12

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 06/17-06/23. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 12

Seven Game Weeks: BAL, CIN, CLE, HOU, KC, LAA, LAD, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYM, NYY, OAK, PHI, SEA, SF, STL, TB, TEX, TOR, WAS

 

Streamer of the Week

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA): 23% Owned

Calhoun has quietly been crushing it for the Angels this season, with 14 home runs and a .247 ISO in 268 PA on the year. He’s in a great spot this week, with seven road games and only one left-handed starter on the slate for the Angels. That left-handed starter is Clayton Richard, so we shouldn’t be too worried about that start anyway.

Calhoun hits fourth for the Angels against righties, and should be in prime position to produce as the Angels beat up on weak Blue Jays’ pitching with four games in Toronto. He’ll then get three games in St. Louis, all against right-handed starters. Calhoun is under-owned in general, but he’s a great streamer this week as well.

 

Behind the Plate

Chance Sisco (C, BAL): 12% Owned

Sisco was recently promoted to the majors, and he’s already hitting cleanup for Baltimore. He’s also served as the DH for the Orioles, which could allow him to maximize his plate appearances in a seven-game week for Baltimore. He’ll get to feast on the weak pitching of Oakland and Seattle, though unfortunately Sisco will be on the road away from hitter-friendly Camden Yards. Still, he’s in a good position to produce and is one of the best streaming options at catcher.

Roberto Perez (C, CLE): 13% Owned

Perez has experienced a power explosion this season, with a career-high 11 home runs and a .254 ISO. For the first time in his career, Perez is an above average hitter. He’s in a great spot this week, as Cleveland plays four games in Texas and then gets three at home against Detroit. Perez typically plays 4-5 games a week, and should get plenty of exposure to weak Texas and Detroit pitchers. As far as streaming catchers go, owners could do a lot worse than picking up Perez.

 

At the Corners

Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN): 38% Owned

Sano has been on a power binge since returning from the injured list, crushing six home runs with a .342 ISO in 19 games. He also gets four games against bad Royals pitching and three games against lefties. Sano is under-owned in a general sense, but now is the perfect time to swoop in and pick him up before his ownership creeps up even higher. This is arguably the best power-hitter out there in this many leagues, and should provide power and run production numbers this week.

Yandy Diaz (1B/3B, TB): 34% Owned

The way things are currently lined up, the Rays would take on four left-handed starting pitchers. Granted, one of those lefties is James Paxton but that shouldn’t deter owners away from Diaz. He has pulverized lefties this season for a .349 AVG, 1.026 OPS, and .254 ISO. He’s also picked things up in June after a cold May, hitting .326 with an .827 OPS since June 1. Diaz is in the ideal position to boost those numbers with seven road games in the Bronx and Oakland.

Also Consider: Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL): 40% Owned, Cheslor Cuthbert (1B/3B, KC): 1%  Owned, Kyle Seager (3B, SEA): 19% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (2B/SS/OF, TOR): 34% Owned

Gurriel has been on fire since returning from his demotion, hitting .323 with five home runs and a 1.060 OPS in 68 PA going into Thursday. He has demolished left-handed pitching as well, with an .894 OPS and .324 ISO versus southpaws. That’s great news, since Gurriel and the Blue Jays take on five left-handed starters this week. He’s also hitting third for the Blue Jays behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio, meaning he’s got plenty of run-producing opportunities this week. With triple eligibility and a smoking hot bat, there are few better options than Gurriel right now.

Danny Santana (1B/2B/OF, TEX): 11% Owned

Texas has seven home games this week, so most of their hitters are in play for streaming. Santana is a widely available option who has triple eligibility and a decent power-speed combination. As of writing this, the Rangers are only scheduled to face right-handed starters, which plays well into Santana’s skillset. He’s hit .336 with a .909 OPS and .212 ISO versus right-handed pitching this season. The Rangers are going to score a ton of runs this week, and Santana could be right in the thick of it all near the top of their order.

Also Consider: Rougned Odor (2B, TEX): 44% Owned, Jurickson Profar (1B/2B/3B/SS, OAK): 42% Owned, Kolten Wong (2B, STL): 21% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Randal Grichuk (OF, TOR): 23% Owned

Grichuk also benefits from the Blue Jays’ seven-game week with five games against left-handed starters. He has a .773 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, over 100 points higher than his OPS against righties. He has good power potential for the upcoming week, as he gets four games at home against the Angels and three in Boston. With a 36.2% hard-hit rate and 17-degree average launch angle, Grichuk should be able to produce some power as a streaming option.

Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, MIA): 21% Owned

Cooper has been on fire in June, hitting .395 with three home runs and a 1.173 OPS this month. He also has had reverse splits this season, hitting .329 with a .935 OPS against right-handed pitchers. The Marlins are set to take on exclusively right-handed starters this week, and Cooper gets a ballpark upgrade with four games in St. Louis and three in Philadelphia. He is a under-the-radar option at both outfield and corner infield this week.

Also Consider: Oscar Mercado (OF, CLE): 17% Owned, Josh Reddick (OF, HOU): 22% Owned, Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK): 27% Owned, Harrison Bader (OF, STL): 22% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 11 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

Summertime may bring relaxation, but it also means there's plenty of sweat to go around! Whether you're dealing with struggling studs such as Trevor Bauer or deciding who to stream in your H2H matchup, there isn't a day that goes by without a starting pitcher decision or two...or five. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 11 -- June 10th - June 16th -- which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

Score values typically range from about 40-60, with higher values being superior. A 50 is the theoretical "Start/Sit" cutoff, but you can and should use the color-coded scores for valuable context to make your own decisions rather than abiding by an arbitrary Start/Sit threshold. Aggressive streamers can target 48s and 49s, for example. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. On your marks, get set...go!

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through June 16th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 11

I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but man my Week 9 picks were probably the best I'm going to make this year.

Steven Matz, Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn, Trevor Richards and Jose Urena combined for seven quality starts while posting a 7-3 record, a 3.13 ERA and 62 strikeouts. The winner out of that group was Richards, who was 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 12 innings. Week 10 has been a little rougher on the picks, but Dylan Bundy is leading the way after allowing three runs while striking out four over five innings to earn the win against Texas.

There are some interesting names on this list that owners should consider streaming this week, but most of these guy's you'll be playing with fire. So let's take a look at who are the safer bets in a potentially volatile Week 11.

 

Week 11 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Spencer Turnbull, DET - 37% owned

Probable opponents: @ KCR, vs CLE

Turnbull started off the year with three straight rough outings, but since then he's been putting up solid numbers for Detroit. In the month of May, he posted a 3.12 ERA over 34 2/3 innings with 33 strikeouts and a pair of quality starts. The strikeout rate has dipped over his last two starts, but otherwise things are still looking good for the rookie.

He'll start off the week with a nice start against a struggling Royals offense, which is averaging 3.1 runs over their last 10 games. As if that isn't a good enough sign for owners looking at streamers, the Royals are hitting .243 over that span while averaging 10 strikeouts per game. And then the cherry on top of this matchup is that in the two outings he's had against Kansas City earlier this season, he's recorded two quality starts while striking out 17 over 13 innings. Closing out the week, Turnbull will then face the Indians, who have been heating up recently. Over their last 10 games, Cleveland is averaging 5.3 runs and 6.6 strikeouts while hitting .260. But in Turnbull's favor, the Indians are posting an OPS 75 points lower and a strikeout rate two percent higher against right-handers than lefties, and they have a worse average (.225) and OPS (.685) on the road than at home.

There's a fair amount of risk throughout this week's list, but Turnbull seems to be the safest bet for Week 11. Owners should focus on targeting him first out of the guys on this list.

John Means, BAL - 37% owned

Probable opponents: vs TOR, vs BOS

At the beginning of the year, I never thought I would have had two Miami pitchers in the same column in one week, and I also never would have thought I'd have Baltimore pitchers in back-to-back columns. And yet, here I am telling you all to look at adding John Means off the waiver-wire this week. One could argue that Means has been somewhat of the ace of the Orioles rotation in 2019, posting a 2.89 ERA over 10 starts with four quality starts and 37 strikeouts over 53 innings.

This week Means gets the benefit of pitching at home, where he has shown greater success with a 1.53 ERA and 8.0 K.9 over 29 1/3 innings. He'll start off the week taking on the Blue Jays for the first time in 2019. Toronto is currently 3-7 over their last 10 games, averaging 4.5 runs and 8.5 strikeouts in that span. While those numbers look to be in Means' favor, the Blue Jays have also been hitting better against lefties and while on the road this season. If Means can find success against Toronto, he'll then face the Red Sox, who are averaging 6.1 runs over their last 10 games while also hitting .282. While that might seem like reason to avoid Means, the Red Sox are also hitting worse on the road, and they're averaging 9.2 strikeouts over this last stretch. Oh, and did I mention that Means has already faced the Red Sox twice this year? And that he's held them to two runs, seven hits and one walk over 12 innings?

If Turnbull has already been picked up, owners should focus on grabbing Means next. Because when it comes to looking for a win in Week 11, this lefty will definitely be a Means to an end.

Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.

 

Week 11 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Jerad Eickhoff, PHI - 20% owned

Probable opponents: vs ARI, @ ATL

Eickhoff has struggled as of late, but after recording a quality start against the Padres his last time out, things might be looking up for him. Especially with starts projected against the Diamondbacks and Braves this week. Both the Diamondbacks and the Braves are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.242 and .256 respectively) than against lefty starters (.277 and .261). The Diamondbacks in particular should be a decent matchup, as they are averaging 4.0 runs and 8.5 strikeouts while hitting .239 over their last 10 games. The Braves on the other hand will be a tougher start, as they are hitting .250 and averaging 5.5 runs over their last 10 games.

In the under 25 percent owned section this week, you're going to find a lot of risk and volatility. Eickhoff is a good example of this, as he is coming off recent struggles and he will be facing at least one tough start with the Braves. The splits though suggest that Eickhoff could put up a decent week, and if you want to gamble on getting a really good outing against Arizona he could be a solid add.

Anibal Sanchez, WAS - 14% owned

Probable opponents: @ CHW, vs ARI

You may not realize it, but Sanchez has actually been on a bit of a hot streak over the last month. After being rocked for six runs over five innings on April 24, Sanchez has posted a 2.36 ERA over six starts while striking out 35 over 26 2/3 innings, and since returning from a hamstring injury he's allowed just one run over his last 11 1/3 innings. Everything I mentioned with Eickhoff regarding the Diamondbacks applies to Sanchez, but unlike Eickhoff, Sanchez will get the benefit of another soft start against the White Sox. Chicago is averaging 4.3 runs and 9.3 strikeouts over their last 10 games, and they also have struggled more against right-handed starters (.248, 26.3 percent strikeout rate) than against lefties (.270, 25.9 percent).

Owners aren't going to have many good opportunities to consider rostering Sanchez this season. This week might be the softest slate of games he'll have all season, and owners should consider adding Sanchez before looking at Eickhoff.

Mike Leake, SEA - 9% owned

Probable opponents: @ MIN, @ OAK

And now we've arrived at the final member of this week's column, and also probably the riskiest play. Leake has been putting up fairly solid performances over the last month, recording a quality start in five of his last seven outings while posting a 3.80 ERA over 47 1/3 innings. But this week he'll be facing two of the hotter offenses in MLB, as both the Twins and Athletics are averaging over 5.0 runs and hitting over .255 over their last 10 games. Leake hasn't faced the Twins in 2019, but he has had two starts against Oakland — one in which he allowed one earned run with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings, and another where he allowed five runs with four strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. But like several of the other guys on this list, Leake will have decent matchups based on splits, as both the Twins and Athletics are hitting worse against right-handed starters (.269 and .242 respectively) than versus left-handers (.284, .259), and they both hit worse at home (.253, .231) than on the road (.287, .263).

Hopefully you will be able to grab one of the other guys on this list before you look at Leake. But if you're considering him, he may be risky but the matchups look like they could be in his favor.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 11

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 06/10-06/16. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 11

Seven-Game Weeks: ARI, ATL, BOS, CHC, COL, PIT, STL, TB, TEX

 

Streamer of the Week

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI): 12% Owned

Dyson isn’t the stereotypical stream of the week. He won’t boost your power numbers, and he won’t pile up RBI, but Dyson’s speed and plate discipline give him a rare skillset for a player who is available in almost 90% of Yahoo leagues. Even at age 34 Dyson is in the 87th percentile of sprint speed, and is tied for third in the league with 12 stolen bases.

His career-high .354 OBP gives him even more opportunities to rack up steals, and gives him added value in on-base percentage formats. Dyson leads off for Arizona against right-handed pitchers, which means he should be atop the Diamondbacks’ lineup all week as they take on seven righties. In weekly leagues, Dyson could give owners an edge in speed while chipping in a decent average and runs scored.

 

Behind the Plate

Matt Wieters (C, STL): 3% Owned

More than decade before the Orioles sunk their hopes into top catching prospect Adley Rutschman, they sunk them into top catching prospect Matt Wieters. 12 years later Wieters is backing up Yadier Molina, but with Molina landing on the IL with a thumb injury, Wieters is seeing regular playing time once again. Wieters has performed well thus far, hitting .302 with a .256 ISO in 46 PA. While his 13:1 K:BB and .357 BABIP suggest this production isn’t sustainable, owners must remember that we’re talking about Matt Freakin’ Wieters here. He’s starting nearly every day for St. Louis and hitting fifth in the order. Chances are, if you are streaming your catcher off waivers, you could do much worse than Matt Wieters on a hot streak.

Elias Diaz (C, PIT): 7% Owned

In case Wieters is unavailable, or you don’t trust him, Elias Diaz is another decent streaming option at catcher this week. Like Yadier Molina, Pittsburgh starting catcher Francisco Cervelli is on the injured list. Unlike Molina, Cervelli may not win his job back when he returns. That’s partially because Cervelli had been terrible, but also because Elias Diaz has hit well in Cervelli’s absence. He has a .291 BA in 108 PA thus far, though a lack of power and poor walk rate cap his upside. Still, a near .300 BA from a catcher is a rarity for a player this widely available. With seven games ahead for Pittsburgh, Diaz could certainly prove to be a solid volume play this week.

Also Consider: Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 39% Owned, Tony Wolters (C, COL): 1% Owned

 

At the Corners

Colin Moran (3B, PIT): 4% Owned

Moran is off to a scorching start this June, hitting .353 with two home runs already. He’s actually been hot for much longer than that. He had a four-RBI day back on May 19, and since then Moran is hitting .353 with a 1.024 OPS and four home runs in 63 PA. Pittsburgh has a seven-game week coming up, and all seven games are against right-handed starters. Moran has feasted on righties this year for a .286 AVG and .834 OPS. He’s a great option in deeper leagues during this hot streak.

Yandy Diaz (1B/3B, TB): 30% Owned

Diaz is the opposite to Colin Moran right now, because Moran is tearing things up at the plate while Diaz has been scuffling over the past month. Since May 1 Diaz is hitting .181 with a .591 OPS and .139 ISO. He spent a few weeks on the injured list mixed in there, but he hasn’t performed well since returning either. He has just the week to turn things around, however, as Diaz gets seven games against the Athletics and Angels pitching staffs. He won’t even have to face Frankie Montas either. There are some really bad pitchers upcoming for Diaz, making him a nice alternative to Moran or an option at first base where needed.

Also Consider: Ji-Man Choi (1B, TB): 3% Owned, David Bote (2B/3B, CHC): 5% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B/SS, TEX): 42% Owned

Unfortunately, the Rangers have seven games on the road this week, meaning Cabrera will be away from the friendly confines of Globe Life Park in Arlington. Their seven games are in Boston and Cincinnati, so Cabrera still gets to play in hitter’s parks this week. His multi-positional eligibility and ability to switch-hit means there’s a place in the lineup for Cabrera every day, both in fantasy and reality. He is great in weekly leagues and daily lineup leagues where he can be swapped around between positions as needed.

Brock Holt (2B/SS/CI/OF, BOS): 1% Owned

It doesn’t get more boring that Brock Holt, but sometimes boring can be good in fantasy. Holt is multi-position eligible and plays nearly every day for Boston. He also has a .293/.356/.341 triple slash in 45 PA this year. He gets seven games against Texas and Baltimore pitching, so Holt should have plenty of chances to up his numbers this week. He’s a good deep league or AL-only option since he’s available in 99% of Yahoo leagues.

Also Consider: Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT): 2% Owned, Rougned Odor (2B, TEX): 45% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Avisail Garcia (OF, TB): 48% Owned

Why is this man only 48% owned? Why? Not only are his surface stats incredible (.300/.358/.530 triple slash, 11 HR and six SB), but the underlying numbers support the production. Garcia has raised his average launch angle to 11 degrees, and he has a .296 xBA and .557 xSLG. His 91 MPH average exit velocity is a career-high, and Garcia has also cut his chase rate to 36.8%. Tampa Bay faces some soft pitching this week against Oakland and Anaheim, so Garcia should get a chance to boost his numbers even more. Pick him up for the stream, hang onto him for much longer.

Kyle Schwarber (OF, CHC): 46% Owned

Schwarber will be a top streaming outfielder as long as he remains under 50% owned and hits leadoff for the Cubs. He has an .835 OPS and .282 ISO since moving to leadoff, and Schwarber has begun playing against left-handed pitching since moving up as well. That’s great news for this week, as the Cubs take on the Dodgers, who will throw three southpaws at Chicago. A three-game series in Coors Field should help offset some of the damage the lefties might cause to Schwarber’s numbers. Schwarber is hitting .294 against lefties this season, so it may not make a difference regardless. Consider him the top alternative to Garcia where available.

Also Consider: Gregory Polanco (OF, PIT): 36% Owned, Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB): 17% Owned, Delino DeShields (OF, TEX): 2% Owned, Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT): 27% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 10 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

With our calendars now turned to June, we are truly in the "runner's high" summer stretch of the fantasy baseball marathon. While we're more familiar with the chaotic starting-pitcher landscape of 2019, youngsters are being called up, doubleheaders are throwing wrenches, openers are...opening, and pitch arsenals are always changing, meaning you can never hit autopilot! In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 10, which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

We'll now include a "Score" value that goes from 0-100, with 100 being a perfect start and zero being an easy sit. With 50 as the theoretical "Start/Sit" border, you can use the color-coded scores giving you valuable context to make your own decisions rather than abiding by an arbitrary Start/Sit threshold. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. Openers will have an asterisk if no "true" starter is announced by team beat writers. On your marks, get set...go!

This column will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through June 9th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 10

Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column which falls in-line with most fantasy “who should I pick up?” articles with a skew towards points leagues. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective.

For Week 10, we’ll look at non-homer extra-base hits on the batter side and wins on the pitcher side. For hitters, slugging is exponentially more important in points formats due to the additional credit for total bases. For hurlers, wins are a universally prized category but can make a season-long difference in points leagues if we strategically invest in arms with favorable team environments.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

 

Points League Pickups to Consider

Jeff McNeil (2B/3B/OF, NYM)

42% Owned

If you picked Jeff McNeil to place in the top-5 in batting to start the season, buy a lottery ticket. Prior to going down with a hamstring injury, McNeil was scorching at the dish, hitting a crisp .333 and collecting 16 extra-base hits and 35 runs-plus-RBI. Reported to be nearing a rehab assignment, it’s time to refocus on the multi-positional asset.

With just a pair of homers, McNeil is an uninspiring standard fantasy option. Add in 14 doubles a triple and he looks tastier points-wise. McNeil also carries a sturdy 0.8 BB/K. Firmly entrenched at the leadoff spot, he should have plenty more opportunities rest-of-season. McNeil possesses above-average sprint speed, so if the hammy issue is resolved, the 0-for-4 rate on the basepaths appears fluky. After an upstart .329 average and six triples in just 248 plate appearances in 2018, McNeil should pick up where he left upon return.

 

Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE)

9% Owned

If McNeil is bland, Jason Kipnis might be inedible for seasoned fantasy players. With a .634 OPS, I understand. However, after missing the first few weeks of 2019, Kipnis has been heating up. Since troughing with a .198 average on May 13, the 32-year-old veteran is hitting .274 with knocks in 13 of 15 contests.

If you’re not impressed with Kipnis, we get it. But fantasy rewards production, and Kipnis has been an extra-base machine. Even in years of limited action, he’s surpassed 20 doubles in seven consecutive campaigns. Once a speed demon, the old geezer is a perfect 4-for-4 in steals. Throw in a passable BB/K and his role atop the order, Kipnis has upside at almost zero cost. With expected stats materially higher than his current production and the Indians offense underperforming, a reversal of fortunes could reward managers willing to take the risk.

 

Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT)

17% Owned

If you stomached the McNeil and Kipnis buy cases, I present you with a more exciting solution. Since his call-up on April 20, Bryan Reynolds has posted a smooth .339/.393/.571 slash with 15 extra-base hits (five homers) and 35 runs-plus-RBI in 122 plate appearances. Rated as the Pirates No. 8 prospect entering the year, Reynolds looks the part.

The first pass at Reynolds’ peripheral metrics are approved. His 51 percent hard-hit rate and 155 wRC+ reek of offensive prowess. Throughout his stops in the minors, Reynolds never hit below .300 and a plus defensive resume provides leash for regular playing time. While not flashy with prodigious power or blazing wheels, Reynolds is the contact-hitter points league players crave. Sure the .418 BABIP will result in a downtick on average, but his ability to put balls in play should keep him relevant.

 

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA)

16% Owned

For someone hitting behind Mike Trout with a multi-season track record as an offensive contributor, Kole Calhoun is grossly under-owned. After an inconsistent 2018, Calhoun has rebounded with a resounding .830 OPS, 11 homers, 13 doubles and 66 runs-plus-RBI.

Calhoun checks the boxes in the important categories of launch angle, hard hit rate, xwOBA and xSLG. These are traits we like in fantasy. While Calhoun is still showing some lingering contact issues, he’s upped his BB/K to 0.51. Though playing time throughout his career has been volatile, in the four seasons where Calhoun registered at least 500 plate appearances, he’s been bankable in the slugging and run production departments. With balls flying out of the yard in 2019, Calhoun’s skillset looks primed to benefit handsomely.

 

Wade Miley (SP, HOU)

44% Owned

Many fantasy participants have bought into the Wade Miley revelation, evidenced by his ownership nearing our threshold. Even with a declining skillset wily Miley has benefited from his resilient performance and team situation.

Playing on a squad loaded on offense, Miley just has to limit the damage. He’s succeeded in that task by allowing three or fewer runs in 11 of 12 starts and been rewarded with five wins. While Miley isn’t exceptional, his perceived craftiness has veiled the fact that his strikeouts are back to career norms (19 percent) and the xwOBA is an excellent .286. Miley’s bugaboo has historically been walks, so the 2.1 BB/9 this year is encouraging. When faced with a choice between an unproven fireballer on a weak squad or a boring vet on a stacked team, take vanilla each time.

 

Jalen Beeks (RP, TB)

4% Owned

As teams trend towards the opener phenomenon, there are cases where fantasy players should follow. Jalen Beeks has been effective as the Rays long guy in bullpen games, registering a 2.83 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in 13 appearances. Not held to the conventional starter requirements, Beeks has tallied four victories despite going past five innings just once.

Beeks’ success this season has been hiding his mediocre fastball with a cutter-changeup combination. He’s lifted his first-pitch strikes from 55 to 60 percent and induced a swinging strike rate of 12 percent. Once an (over)hyped prospect, Beeks bought into the masterful pitching strategy in Tampa Bay. While it’s likely he won’t emerge as a top-tier starter, Beeks carries the pitching arsenal required to keep hitters honest. As an unconventional source of fantasy production, Beeks is a sneaky deployment for leagues with innings limitations.

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 10

We're at the end of the second month of the season, and hopefully, those of you who have been reading this column are doing well in your leagues.

Looking at Week 8's list there were quite a few rather lackluster performances. That being said, Brett Anderson looks to have been the winning pick after going 2-0 with five strikeouts and two runs allowed over 11 2/3 innings. Week 9, on the other hand, is looking like it could be my best week so far this season. All five starters have combined to go 4-1 with five quality starts, but Sonny Gray looks to be in the lead so far after allowing one run over six innings while striking out seven against the Pirates.

One last note on Week 9 before we dive into Week 10: Jose Urena threw his fourth consecutive quality start and now has seven over his last eight starts. If you're in a quality starts league, pick him up now. And with that out of the way let's look at Week 10.

 

Week 10 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Wade Miley, HOU - 44% owned

Probable opponents: @ SEA, vs BAL

Miley finds himself on this list again, coming off his best start of the season that also ended with him taking the loss. Miley allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over seven innings against the Cubs while also striking out a season-high nine. The outing marked his second straight quality start, as he has now posted four quality starts over six appearances this month.

Now in Week 10, Miley will find himself going up against a pair of last-place teams in the Mariners and the Orioles. Don't let their records fool you though, both teams have been putting quite a few runs on the board recently. The Mariners have averaged 4.5 runs per game over their last 10 games while hitting .272, and the Orioles have averaged 5.0 runs while hitting .265 over their last 10 games. All that being said, these look like a couple of great matchups for Miley. First off, both teams are averaging over 8.5 strikeouts a game over their last 10 games. And on top of that, both teams are striking out at a higher rate against left-handed starters (SEA: 27.2 percent, BAL: 26.2 percent) than they are against right-handed starters (SEA: 24.4 percent, BAL: 22.3 percent). On top of that, the home-road splits for both teams are in Miley's favor as the Mariners' team batting average is 25 points lower and their OPS is 89 points lower at home than on the road. And while the Orioles' batting average is about six points higher on the road than at home, their OPS is 26 points worse on the road.

Miley has been cruising through the month of May with a 4-1 record and 3.25 ERA. Owners can expect him to start off June on a high note this week, and he should be grabbed as a top two-start option this week.

Griffin Canning, LAA - 37% owned

Probable opponents:@ CHC, vs SEA

You know, for a guy that back in March I didn't think we'd see in the majors this year, Canning has been doing pretty well for the Angels. He's currently 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA this year, and over his last three starts against the Royals, Rangers and Athletics, Canning has struck out 15 while posting a 1.00 ERA.

Now I've already talked about the Mariners' offense with Miley. Canning won't get the same advantage Miley will have in Seattle's home-road splits and lefty-righty splits, but he should have a solid outing against them regardless. Looking at his first start of the week at Wrigley Field, the Cubs show some similarities to the Mariners' offense — which could be good news for Canning. Like the Mariners, the Cubs are averaging 9.8 strikeouts over their last 10 games, and the Cubs' .244 average and .776 OPS at home are 26 and 64 points lower (respectively) than on the road.

If you have to choose between Miley and Canning this week, I'd still pick Miley first. But if Miley has already been picked up off the wire, you shouldn't be disappointed by Canning in Week 10.

 

Week 10 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Corbin Martin, HOU - 16% owned

Probable opponents: @ SEA, vs BAL

I'm going to be completely upfront with you guys here: Martin is the risky play in this week's column. Martin looked really good in his debut against the Rangers, with nine strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings, but since then he has thrown 11 innings total over three starts with a 6.55 ERA. While Martin is a right-hander, he'll still get the same home-road split benefits that Miley will get this week, and he'll be going up against the Mariners and Orioles after facing tougher opponents in the Red Sox, White Sox and Cubs over his last three outings.

Like I said before, Martin is a risky play this week. He's worth taking a flyer on if you absolutely need someone, and his matchups this week look somewhat enticing. I think there's a decent chance that this week we could see him return to his Triple-A form, where he had posted a 1.42 ERA and 10.3 K/9 over six appearances before being called up.

Dylan Bundy, BAL - 11% owned

Probable opponents: @ TEX, @ HOU

After ending the month of April with an 0-4 record and 6.67 ERA, Bundy has shown significant improvement in May with a 2-2 record and 2.64 ERA. In his last time out against Detroit, Bundy earned his third quality start of the year after holding the Tigers to three runs over seven innings while striking out eight. Now this week, Bundy faces a tough start against the Rangers and an easier outing against the Astros. Texas is averaging 5.5 runs over their last 10 games while hitting .257 with a .794 OPS, while Houston is averaging just 3.7 runs and hitting .249 with a .708 OPS. One possible silver lining for Bundy's first outing is that while the Rangers are hitting well, they are also striking out a lot — averaging 9.5 Ks over their last 10 games.

This will probably be one of the toughest weeks for Bundy since April, but he has been looking quite a bit better on the mound over the past month. Martin may have an easier slate ahead of him in Week 10, but you might want to look to add Bundy first before considering Martin.

Wade LeBlanc, SEA - 2% owned

Probable opponents: vs HOU, @ LAA

LeBlanc wasn't setting the world on fire this season, but he looked decent in April before being sidelined by an oblique injury. His last three outings have not been very good at all, but he has shown improvement each time out. Now he could be poised for a bounce-back week with starts against Houston and Los Angeles. As I mentioned with Bundy, the Astros' offense has been slumping as of late, but on top of that, the splits look to be in LeBlanc's favor. The Astros' average and OPS on the road are respectively 20 and 22 points than at home, and they are striking out at a 20.3 percent rate against lefty starters as opposed to a 17.3 percent rate against right-handers. Meanwhile, the Angels are averaging 4.8 runs over their last 10 games, but their average is 39 points lower and their OPS is 81 points lower against left-handed starters than against right-handed starters.

He wouldn't normally be a guy you'd want to consider adding as a streaming option — especially with his performance over his last three starts. But LeBlanc could reap the benefits of a pair of very nice matchups where he has the advantage based on batting splits. Martin may be the risky play this week, but I think LeBlanc fits the definition of "high-risk, high reward" in Week 10.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 10

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 06/03-06/09. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 10

Seven-Game Weeks: BOS, CHC, HOU, LAA, OAK, SD, SEA, TB, TEX

 

Streamer of the Week

Avisail Garcia (OF, TB): 35% Owned

Garcia is one of the hottest players in baseball at the moment, and is currently riding a streak of three straight games with multiple hits. He had a .999 OPS and .247 ISO in May going into play Thursday, and has a .301/.363/.522 triple slash on the year. Garcia’s Statcast numbers are off the charts too, as he ranks in the 87th percentile in every Statcast metric. He’s even in the 90th percentile for sprint speed, as a 6’4”, 250 pound corner outfielder.

It’s rare to get a hitter this hot, with the peripherals to back it up, on waivers as a streamer for a seven-game week. The cherry on top: Tampa Bay faces four left-handed starters next week. He provides help in power, speed and batting average. Heck, do more than stream him, pick him up for good. He’s the best option in all leagues this week.

 

Behind the Plate

Jonathan Lucroy (C, LAA): 49% Owned

Is Jonathan Lucroy back? After two years of mediocrity, Lucroy looks to finally be picking his game up lately. He’s hitting .288 in May with five homers and a .934 OPS in 75 PA. For context, Lucroy hit a total of four home runs in 454 PA last season, so it’s safe to say he’s upped his power game a fair bit.

In some leagues, any catcher with a pulse is worth something, and in general, it’s rare to find a catcher producing at such a high level on waivers. Lucroy is someone to add for the Angels’ upcoming seven-game week, but he might be worth hanging onto long term as well.

Also Consider: Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 40% Owned

 

At the Corners

Albert Pujols (1B, LAA): 8% Owned

It’s fair to say that Albert Pujols is past his prime. In fact, calling him a shell of his former self might be generous. However, the Angels draw four left-handed starters this week, which is great news for Pujols, as he has a .246 ISO against southpaws this season. The Angels also play six of their seven games at home this week, with just a makeup game in Wrigley Field keeping them out of Anaheim. Pujols is off most fantasy radars, but if there was ever a week to deploy the old-timer, it’s now.

Mark Canha (1B/OF, OAK): 6% Owned

Canha has been playing every day with Khris Davis on the injured list, and boy has he taken advantage. He has a .500 ISO in May with seven home runs in just 53 PA. It seems as if no one has noticed, as Canha is out there in more than 90% of Yahoo leagues. Not only will Canha get seven games this week, but four of them are against weak-to-middling left-handed starters, and four of them are in the hitter’s paradise known as Globe Life Park. Canha’s .233 average is his only downside, but his 14.2% walk rate helps soften the blow in points leagues and OBP formats. Canha is a great option for those in need of power this week.

Also Consider: Kyle Seager (3B, SEA): 21% Owned, Asdrubal Cabrera (2B/3B/SS, TEX): 41% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Rougned Odor (2B, TEX): 50%

The Odor has been putrid this season, owning a .161/.231/.329 triple slash in 170 PA thus far, but his fortunes could change this week as Texas gets ready for seven home games against Baltimore and Oakland. Frankie Montas is the only quality opposing pitcher, and Texas draws just one left-handed opposing starter in John Means. It’s now or never for Odor, and it might end up being never, but he has ideal conditions to succeed this week. Owners should be willing to bet on this talent one more time considering the matchups and favorable ballpark.

Addison Russell (2B/SS, CHC): 6% Owned

Russell has been playing close to every day, with no timetable for a Ben Zobrist return, his grasp on the Cubs’ second base job is rather secure. He’s hit well since returning too, owning a .275/.339/.529 triple slash with four home runs and a .255 ISO in 57 PA. Yes, his 26.7% HR/FB rate will regress, but his 40% hard hit rate is a 14% increase over last season, indicating that Russell has made legitimate power gains this year. Russell is a fine option for either middle infield position, and is out there in plenty of Yahoo leagues.

Also Consider: David Fletcher (2B/3B/SS/OF, LAA): 35% Owned, Shed Long (2B, SEA): 0% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Kyle Schwarber (OF, CHC): 46% Owned

Schwarber got off to a rough start this season, but he has picked things up lately after being moved to the leadoff spot in Chicago’s batting order. As a leadoff hitter, Schwarber has a .884 OPS and .333 ISO in 67 PA. The Cubs only face two left-handed starters next week, but that isn’t as big a concern for Schwarber these days as he is playing every day regardless of opposing pitcher. He is the top outfield stream in leagues where Avisail Garcia is unavailable.

Jay Bruce (1B/OF, SEA): 18% Owned

Bruce is rather one-dimensional at this point in his career, which is fine for owners who know they need power and have batting average to give. There’s just one lefty on the schedule next week for Seattle, which is great, but Bruce has maintained even platoon splits this year anyway. He hits for power, and the opposing pitcher’s handedness doesn’t matter. Bruce also gets a park boost later in the week when the Mariners travel to Anaheim for a three-game weekend series. He should be a decent power source and volume option for the week.

Also Consider: Mallex Smith (OF, SEA): 45% Owned, Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD): 46% Owned, Albert Almora Jr. (OF, CHC): 10% Owned, Ramon Laureano (OF, OAK): 17% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 9 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

As we come barreling towards the end of May, the reality of the fantasy baseball season being one-third of the way over is nigh. Starting pitcher decisions may start to feel more automatic now as we become more familiar with 2019's names and trends, but rest assured, complacency is the devil. We're constantly re-evaluating here with our weekly starting pitcher matchups and recommendations so that you don't have to deal with the headache. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 9, which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

We'll now include a "Score" value that goes from 0-100, with 100 being a perfect start and zero being an easy sit. With 50 as the theoretical "Start/Sit" border, you can use the color-coded scores giving you valuable context to make your own decisions rather than abiding by an arbitrary Start/Sit threshold. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. On your marks, get set...go!

This column was last updated on Sunday, May 26th, and will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through June 2nd.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers & Starts for Week 9

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 5/27 - 6/02. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 9

Seven-Game Weeks: ARI, BOS, CHW, CIN, CLE, COL, KC, LAA, LAD, MIA, NYM, NYY, SEA, TB, TEX

 

Streamer of the Week

Hunter Pence (OF, TEX): 55% Owned

In perhaps one of the most unexpected career bounce backs in recent memory, Hunter Pence is raking for Texas this season. His .339 ISO is by far a career high, and he’s lighting up the Statcast hitting metrics like never before. Pence has a 93.3 MPH average exit velocity, 48.3% hard hit rate, and .407 xwOBA.

That type of power plays well in a park like Globe Life, which is great news since the Rangers have seven home games this upcoming week, including four games against weak left-handed pitchers. Pence is just above the 50% threshold this piece usually targets, but he’s out there in enough leagues that it’s worth checking for him. Expect Pence to continue his hot hitting with a great slate of matchups ahead.

 

Behind the Plate

James McCann (C, CWS): 40%

McCann has been one of the biggest surprise at catcher this season, with a .333 AVG and .896 OPS on the year, both career highs by a significant margin. He has stolen the starting job away from Welington Castillo, and this semi-regular playing time means he should get 4-5 starts next week as the White Sox have seven games ahead. The White Sox have seven home games to boot, so McCann will get to play in an excellent hitting environment all week.

Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 37% Owned

Vazquez has also been a nice surprise behind the plate, and the Red Sox have been riding him pretty hard as a result. He even played DH a few days ago, although J.D. Martinez has been sitting with back soreness over the past couple games. Vazquez still started six of the last seven games for Boston, and brings a .295/.338/.488 triple slash to the table. If McCann isn’t available, then Vazquez is the number one alternative.

Also Consider: Jorge Alfaro (C, MIA): 23% Owned, Tony Wolters (C, COL): 2% Owned

 

At the Corners

Christian Walker (1B, ARI): 36% Owned

Walker has cooled off after a hot start, hitting just .197 with a .607 in May. The good news, is that Walker’s cold stretch has caused his ownership to dip 40% just as the Diamondbacks head into a four game series at Coors Field. Walker still has a 93.2 MPH average exit velocity and a 53.6% hard hit rate. The power is here, it’s just lying dormant. A trip to Coors Field should change that. Now is the time to buy back into Walker, before he jumps back on everyone’s radar with a big series in Colorado.

Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS): 37% Owned

There’s just one lefty on the slate for Boston this week, and you know what that means: Mitch Moreland time! One would think having a .336 ISO and hitting cleanup for the Red Sox would have Moreland owned in more leagues, but perhaps his .238 AVG and reputation as a replacement-level player have kept his ownership low. Sure, Moreland sits against lefties, but he has a .969 OPS and .374 ISO against right-handed pitching. Moreland also benefits from a four-game series in Yankee Stadium, one of the most favorable ballparks for left-handed power hitters. He could provide some great run production off the wire this week.

Also Consider: Gio Urshela (3B/SS, NYY): 21% Owned, Derek Dietrich (1B/2B/OF, CIN): 25% Owned, Ji-Man Choi (1B, TB): 3% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL): 33% Owned

Long considered one of the game’s best middle infield prospects, Rodgers is finally getting his chance thanks to the futility of Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson. The young second baseman has a big opportunity this week, as the Rockies have seven home games, including three games against a weak Toronto pitching staff. Rodgers was dominating Triple-A pitching for a .356 AVG and 1.066 OPS, and this week would be his chance to ride his Triple-A success into major league production. Pick Rodgers up for the stream, and hope he turns into a valuable long term asset.

Logan Forsythe (1B/2B/3B/SS, TEX): 17% Owned

Forsythe has been hot for Texas lately, hitting .368 in May with a 1.031 OPS. His efforts have been rewarded as well, as Forsythe is hitting near the top of the Rangers’ order on most days. It’s true he might be on borrowed time with Elvis Andrus on a rehab assignment, but Texas has plenty of slumping infielders and could move Forsythe around the diamond while he’s hot even if Andrus returns. The Rangers have seven games at home with four against lefties this week, which is about as good as it gets for a player like Forsythe. His quadruple eligibility makes him even more valuable in daily lineups leagues for the upcoming week.

Also Consider: Nicky Lopez (SS, KC): 16% Owned, Nick Ahmed (SS, ARI): 7% Owned, Jose Iglesias (SS, CIN): 3% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Jorge Soler (OF, KC): 33% Owned

It’s a good week to play for the Royals, as Kansas City has three games at the White Sox and four at the Rangers. Not only do those series offer big ballpark upgrades for a power hitter like Soler, but it gives him plenty of exposure to two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Soler has hit much better in May; he has a .286 AVG and .836 OPS on the month, both upgrades of more than 60 points compared to April. This week presents a great opportunity for Soler to feast on bad pitching in hitter-friendly ballparks.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI): 25% Owned

Dyson has claimed Arizona’s leadoff spot for his own, which means he’ll have plenty of run scoring opportunities as the Diamondbacks head into Colorado for a four-game series. Dyson has improved his speedster profile by upping his walk rate to 13.6% and increasing his groundball rate to 57.1%. From most players, a 57% groundball rate would be horrible to see, but for a rabbit like Dyson it’s exactly what owners should want. Dyson should be a good source of batting average, steals, and runs scored this week. He’s even better in OBP leagues thanks to his above average plate discipline.

Raimel Tapia (OF, COL): 15% Owned

Not only do the Rockies have seven home games this week, but they only have one lefty on the upcoming schedule. Tapia should start all the games against right-handed pitching, which means plenty of at bats in Coors Field. He’s been crushing the ball in May as well, owning a .902 OPS and .214 ISO this month. The Rockies have finally learned their lesson and are playing Tapia over Ian Desmond, and it has paid off for them so far. It can pay off for fantasy owners too, as Tapia is out there in 85% of leagues with a juicy week coming up.

Also Consider: Jesse Winker (OF, CIN): 35% Owned, Mallex Smith (OF, SEA): 36% Owned, Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB): 10% Owned, Leury Garcia (MI/OF, CWS): 13% Owned, Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS): 1% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 9

And we're back for another week of two-start streaming options as we head into Memorial Day weekend. Rotoballer hasn't fired me yet, so let's keep it up and look at who we got this week.

First off, Week 7 went a LOT better for this column than Week 6 (not that it would take much to do better). Although he only had one strikeout in his second start, I think it's safe to say Reynaldo Lopez was the top choice in Week 7 after posting two quality starts while earning a win and allowing just two earned runs. Looking at Week 8, Julio Teheran is off to the best start out of that list, allowing one run while striking out six over 5 2/3 innings against the Giants.

As we wait to see how Week 8 wraps up, let's get cracking on who to grab in Week 9.

 

Week 9 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Steven Matz, NYM - 44% owned

Probable opponents: @ LAD, @ ARI

The first of a few familiar faces making another appearance in this column, Matz is coming off his fourth quality start in his last seven outings after holding Washington to one run over six innings while striking out seven. Matz has quietly been a fairly consistent pitcher this season, as he has thrown at least five innings in all but two starts, and his disastrous outing against Philadelphia in which he didn't record an out is the only start he's had this year where he's allowed more than three runs. In fact, if you give him a mulligan on that outing and take it out of his season stat line, his ERA drops from 3.63 to 2.42.

This week will be interesting to watch, because while he has a couple of decent matchups against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks they're both on the road — and his home-road splits both for this season and his career shows he does better in New York. First up for Matz will be the Dodgers, who have gone 7-3 over their last 10 games. They are currently averaging 4.3 runs per game over that stretch, while hitting .232 and averaging 7.7 strikeouts per game. If Matz can pitch well in Los Angeles, he should also do well against the Diamondbacks who are putting up a similar offensive performance over their last 10 games. While Arizona has gone 3-7 over that stretch, they are also averaging 4.4 runs and 9.0 strikeouts per game while hitting .232.

Matz has been a pretty solid pitcher this season outside of two bad starts, and owners should look at him as a solid streaming option. While he might not be in line for wins this week thanks to New York's struggling offense, he could be a valuable asset in quality starts leagues.

Sonny Gray, CIN - 34% owned

Probable opponents: vs PIT, vs WAS

And another starter returning to this list, Gray is coming off his first win of the season after throwing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts against Milwaukee. Since appearing on my Week 4 column, Gray has posted a less than impressive 4.40 ERA, but he is averaging just over five innings per start with a 26.5 percent strikeout rate and a 10.3 K.9.

Interestingly enough, Gray seems to have the opposite problem of Matz this week — Gray has pitched better on the road this season, and both of his starts in Week 9 are at home. In his first game he'll face the Pirates for the third time this season. After lasting just 2 2/3 innings his first time against them, Gray recorded a quality start against Pittsburgh his second time around — allowing one run while striking out seven over 6 2/3 innings. The Pirates have been heating up as of late though, averaging 4.8 runs per game while hitting .270 over their last 10 games — including a 14-run, 15-hit outburst on Thursday against Colorado. The Nationals have been putting up similar numbers over their last 10 games, as they are hitting .270 and averaging 4.3 runs per game. That being said, two things in Gray's favor are the Nationals have been hitting worse on the road (.235 road vs .251 home) while hitting worse against right handers (.229 against RHP vs .290 against LHP).

Gray is coming off back-to-back solid outings, and there are signs he can continue that success this week against Pittsburgh and Washington. Owners will likely want to take Matz over Gray this week, but if Matz is already snagged then Gray should be a more than adequate consolation prize.

 

Week 9 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Lance Lynn, TEX - 19% owned

Probable opponents: @ SEA, vs KCR

Lynn just might be the hottest under-the-radar pitcher in fantasy right now. He is 4-1 over his last five starts, he has recorded three quality starts in a row and has earned four in his last five starts and he's averaging just over seven strikeouts a game and has a 3.18 ERA over that stretch. Here's the best part though: he's already taken on this week's slated opponents during his hot five-game stretch.

Two of Lynn's last five starts have come against Seattle, and in those starts he has recorded two wins, two quality starts, a 1.93 ERA and averaged 10 strikeouts a game. Before his 11-strikeout performance against Seattle his last time out, Lynn held the Royals to just one run over seven innings while striking out five to earn both the win and the quality start. At the risk of jinxing myself, I don't think I can see any way Lynn doesn't end up the top pitcher out of this week's list. Add him in all leagues.

Trevor Richards, MIA - 12% owned

Probable opponents: vs SFG, @ SDP

And here is our third and final pitcher making his second appearance of the year on this column. Richards has been a little up and down this season, but overall he's been able to put up some solid outings. In five of his 10 starts he has earned a quality start, and in the month of May, Richards is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. While he might not sound exciting on his own, what owners should look at this week is his two struggling opponents.

While the Giants have managed a 5-5 record over their last 10 games, they are averaging just 3.5 runs per game while also averaging 9.8 strikeouts and hitting .211. Meanwhile, the Padres are 4-6 over their last 10 games and are averaging 3.3 runs and 10 strikeouts while hitting .219. All this points to Richards having a good chance of ending up with a couple of quality starts that could see a lot of strikeouts. If Lynn is already owned, pick up Richards and you should do pretty well this week.

Jose Urena, MIA - 5% owned

Probable opponents: @ WAS, @ SDP

What's this? Another Marlins pitcher on the list? Well guess what: as much as Braves fans hate him, Urena has been one of the better starting pitchers in the league as of late. After starting the season 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA, Urena is 2-3 over his last seven starts with a 2.80 ERA and six quality starts. In his last three starts along against the Cubs, Rays and Tigers, Urena has averaged 6 1/3 innings and 1.3 runs per game with three quality starts and a 1.89 ERA.

The one downside to Urena's value is he's not going to get you a lot of strikeouts. He recorded just 10 strikeouts over his last three starts, and he currently owns a 6.0 K/9 this year. But his potential for quality starts and a low ERA definitely make him a must add in leagues with quality starts. I've already written about Washington and San Diego's offense in this column, but I will add that Urena has already faced the Nationals once this season. In that outing, Urena earned his first win of the season, allowing two earned runs over six innings while striking out four. If you find yourself choosing between Marlins pitchers this week, grab Urena over Richards.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 8 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

To start or to sit this starting pitcher? This is the philosophical quandary that has plagued some of the greatest minds of our time. Not many people know that Discourse on the Method by Rene Descartes was actually about the method of streaming pitchers. We pick up where he left off with our weekly starting pitcher matchups and recommendations. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 8, which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

We'll now include a "Score" value that goes from 0-100, with 100 being a perfect start and zero being an easy sit. With 50 as the theoretical "Start/Sit" border, you can use the color-coded scores giving you valuable context to make your own decisions rather than abiding by an arbitrary Start/Sit threshold. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. On your marks, get set...go!

This column was last updated on Thursday, May 25th, and will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through May 26th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Two-Start Pitcher Streamers: Week 8

So uh...wow. Week 6 absolutely sucked for this column. Like, I'm surprised I still even have a job after that one.

Griffin Canning was the winner of the Week 6 column, but that's not saying much. Canning went 1-1, allowing six runs over 10 innings while striking out 13. The other four guys on that list combined to go 0-7 with a 10.41 ERA and 22 strikeouts to 19 walks. I would especially like to apologize anyone who bought on to my Felix Hernandez hype train. Week 7 on the other hand has looked significantly better, with Reynaldo Lopez leading the way after earning the quality start and the win against the Indians, allowing one earned run over 7 2/3 innings while striking out six.

So as I wait for my inevitable pink slip from RotoBaller, let's dive in to the two-start streaming options in Week 8.

 

Week 8 Streamers - Under 50% Owned

Julio Teheran, ATL - 45% owned

Probable opponents: @ SFG, @ STL

Once again Teheran makes this list, and while he's been a little up and down at times this year, he's been putting up some pretty good fantasy numbers. Teheran has recorded a quality start in four of his last six outings, and he has struck out at least six batters in six of his nine starts this year. What he has been lacking this year however is wins, as he is 0-3 over his last five starts due to a lack of run support from the Braves' offense.

Teheran will get a couple road starts this week against two teams in the midst of slumps. The Giants have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games, hitting .228 while averaging 5.4 runs and 9.9 strikeouts per game. The Giants matchup looks even better when you take out the 14-4 win over Colorado, as they are then averaging 4.4 runs per game while hitting .206. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are 3-7 over their last 10 games, averaging 5.1 runs and 6.7 strikeouts per game while hitting .247. And like the Giants, if you take out their 17-4 thrashing of Pittsburgh, the Cardinals are averaging 3.8 runs per game while hitting .227.

In quality start leagues Teheran has to be your top priority this week if he's available. But even if your league doesn't count quality starts, he will still be one of the top two-start options on the waiver-wire this week.

Wade Miley, HOU - 30% owned

Probable opponents: vs CHW, vs BOS

Much like Teheran, Miley has been racking up quality starts lately with four over his last six outings. Over his last three starts, Miley has gone 3-0 with 14 strikeouts while posting a not-amazing-but-not-terrible 4.00 ERA. He will be coming off a start against Detroit where he just missed the quality start after allowing four runs over six innings while striking out five to earn the win. But in the start prior, Miley got the win and the quality start against Texas by allowing just two runs over six innings while tying his season high with seven strikeouts.

Both of Miley's starts this week will come at home, which will be a significant boost for his fantasy potential as he has a lower ERA at home (2.31 vs 4.50) and a higher K/9 (8.1 vs 4.5). His first start should be a good matchup against the White Sox who — despite going 6-4 over their last 10 games — are averaging 3.8 runs and 9.2 strikeouts per game over that span. The challenge will come in his second start when he faces the resurgent Boston Red Sox. Over their last 10 games, the Red Sox are 8-2, averaging 7.9 runs per game and hitting .288. Despite those daunting numbers, there are two positives in Miley's favor. First off, Boston averaged 7.9 runs per game off four of the bottom eight pitching staffs in the league by ERA: the Orioles (5.66), the White Sox (5.04), the Rockies (5.01) and the Mariners (4.87). And second, the Red Sox have shown some struggles at the plate against lefties, hitting .237 with a .748 OPS (compared to their .261 average and .775 OPS against righties), which should bode well for the Astros' southpaw.

Miley will be a risky play this week, but the numbers all seem to suggest he could do well enough against Boston and have a solid outing against Chicago. He's not going to win the week outright for owners, but he could very likely provide enough of a bump to make a difference in most leagues.

 

Week 8 Streamers - Under 25% Owned

Brett Anderson, OAK - 12% owned

Probable opponents: @ CLE, vs SEA

Anderson has been a little rocky over his past few starts, but he has the potential to be a sneaky play this week against Cleveland and Seattle. He has pitched at least five innings in seven of his nine starts this year, and in five of those starts he has allowed three or fewer runs. He hasn't racked up much in the way of strikeouts, but he could be a good play in deep leagues that count quality starts, as he has four quality starts this year.

He'll start off the week at Cleveland, where the Indians are 5-5 over their last 10 games, hitting .271 while averaging 4.6 runs per game. Take out their 14-7 win against Baltimore though, and they're averaging 3.6 runs while hitting .262. And while they're hitting slightly better against lefties this year (.234 vs .223) they are striking out significantly more against lefties (28.1 percent strikeout rate vs 23.9). Then after Cleveland, Anderson will get a rematch against Seattle after allowing four runs over six innings with a season-high five strikeouts in the losing effort. This could be one of the better weeks for Anderson to rack up strikeouts, as Seattle is averaging 8.5 strikeouts over their last 10 games and they are striking out at a slightly higher rate against lefties. So if you're looking for a deeper league play try to add Anderson this week.

Felix Pena, LAA - 9% owned

Probable opponents: vs MIN, vs TEX

Owners looking at Pena will have the benefit of looking at his previous outings as he is projected to have rematches with both Minnesota and Texas this week. Pena has been one of the better pitchers on staff for the Angels this season, posting a 2-1 record, 3.49 ERA and 8.6 K/9 over 38 2/3 innings. In his second start of the year Pena allowed one run while striking out seven over 4 2/3 innings against Texas, and in his latest outing he held the Twins to three runs over five innings while striking out three. 

The Rangers have gone 4-6 over their last 10 games, averaging 6.1 runs and 10.5 strikeouts per game while hitting .264. Take out their 16-1 win over the Royals on Thursday though, and those averages drop to 5.0 runs per game while hitting .235. Meanwhile, the Twins are 6-4 over their last 10 games, hitting .294 while averaging 5.9 runs per game. While they are currently in a hot streak, the Twins have hit slightly worse against righties this year, with a .262 average (.278 vs LHP) and an .832 OPS (.847 vs LHP). Pena will get a bump in his stats pitching at home, so if you're scrambling for a two-start guy, he should be easy to find on the waiver-wire.

Andrew Cashner, BAL - 6% owned

Probable opponents: vs NYY, @ COL

Cashner will be a risky play this week, but he could be a solid add in deeper leagues — especially in quality starts leagues. He's recorded a quality start in three of his last four outings, including a six-inning effort against the Yankees in his last start in which he allowed two runs while striking out seven. Over his last four starts, Cashner has posted a 3.13 ERA while striking out 25 over 23 innings of work. 

He will start off the week facing the Yankees for the third time this season, As mentioned before, Cashner's last outing against them went well despite earning the loss, which was in stark contrast to his first start of the year when New York pummeled him for six runs over four innings. While the Yankees are 8-2 over their last 10 games, they are averaging just 4.1 runs per game while hitting .233 with a .692 OPS. Colorado looks to be the tougher matchup this week, as they are hitting .283 while averaging 7.0 runs per game over their last 10 games. The one advantage Cashner has over Colorado is they have hit slightly worse against right-handers (.245/.309/.425) than against lefties (.256/.314/.463). Basically Cashner should have similar value to Pena this week, but I might suggest trying to add him first over Pena.

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups Featured Baseball #2 MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers & Starts for Week 8

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 5/20 - 5/26. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 8

Seven-Game Weeks: ATL, BAL, BOS, CHC, CHW, CLE, HOU, NYM, NYY, PHI, SF, TOR, WSH

 

Streamer of the Week

Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS): 36% Owned

Moreland has quietly been one of the game’s best power hitters this season, putting up 12 homers and a .344 ISO in 141 PA. He’s done basically all of his damage against right-handed pitching, which is good news since Boston faces just one left-handed starter next week. Justin Verlander is the only strong right-hander they go up against, and Moreland will get a smorgasbord of weak pitching with a four game series in Toronto. To top it all off, he hits cleanup behind the trio of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and J.D. Martinez. He should probably be owned in more than 36% leagues permanently, but since Moreland is out there in nearly two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, he is the top streamer this week.

 

Behind the Plate

James McCann (C, CWS): 47% Owned

McCann has been one of the biggest surprises at catcher this season, hitting .366 with a .985 OPS and .215 ISO through 99 PA. Yes, his .455 BABIP is going to drop, and yes he had a career 75 wRC+ coming into this season, but one can’t be too picky with waiver wire catchers. McCann has improved his average exit velocity to 90.7 MPH and upped his hard hit rate to 44.3%, both career highs. McCann has usurped underperforming veteran Welington Castillo and is getting the majority of playing time behind the plate for the White Sox right now. The seven-game schedule isn’t exactly a cake walk; the White Sox have seven road games against quality pitching in Houston and Minnesota. Still, McCann’s been good enough to be the top catcher target this week.

Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 20% Owned

Much like James McCann, Christian Vazquez is one of those players no one ever thought could hit. He was miserable at the plate last season, posting a .540 OPS with three homers and 42 wRC+ in 269 PA. He’s already exceeded that home run total this season, putting up five bombs in 112 PA, and has a .294 AVG and .838 OPS to go along with those homers. Vazquez too has increased his average exit velocity and hard hit rate, and he’s increased his line drive rate to 25.3% as well. With seven games on the schedule, Vazquez should catch 4-5 of them for Boston and put up decent numbers at the position.

Also Consider: Steven Vogt (C/1B, SF): 1% Owned

 

At the Corners

Giovanny Urshela (3B/SS, NYY): 16% Owned

A former Cleveland washout, Urshela has thrived in his chance to play for the injury-plagued Yankees. He’s hitting .330 with a .874 OPS and .160 ISO in 104 PA this season. His .377 BABIP suggests Urshela is overperforming, but he’s upped his line drive rate to 27.8% and his average exit velocity to 90.5 MPH this season. That is the golden combination for batting average results, and with seven games against the weak pitching of Baltimore and Kansas City, Urshela should provide plenty of batting average help this week.

Chris Davis (1B, BAL): 2% Owned

Scoff if you want, but you’ll be turning your nose up at player who’s hit .279 with a .899 OPS and .265 ISO in 76 PA since April 13. What’s so special about April 13? It’s the day Davis busted out of his historically bad slump, and he’s been a productive hitter ever since that game. His name is tainted in both the fantasy and real baseball realm, which is why his ownership remains at 2% despite a solid month of hitting. The Orioles have moved him up to fourth in the order and stopped platooning him, which is great since Baltimore gets four home games against the Yankees followed by three games in Coors Field. With his ownership, there’s a chance Davis is out there in some AL-only leagues, which would make him a great option in such a deep format. He’s even a fine option in mixed leagues depending on depth. He’ll never be Crush Davis again, but at least he’s not Crash (and burn) Davis anymore.

Also Consider: Yonder Alonso (1B, CWS): 16% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, WSH): 15% Owned

It’s always nice to see a former top-15 prospect live up to their potential, even if it’s 13 years later. In all seriousness, something fierce has gotten into Kendrick this season, and he’s on pace for career highs in several metrics. His .244 ISO would be a career best by over 60 points, and his 12.5% strikeout rate would also be a career low. Kendrick has increased his average exit velocity to a monstrous 92.1 MPH, and his .441 xwOBA puts him in the 97th percentile of the league. Batted ball and Statcast metrics indicate that what he’s doing is legitimate, plus he’s quad-eligible, making Kendrick one of the best streaming options this week.

Aledmys Diaz (1B/2B/3B/SS, HOU): 15% Owned

Diaz is playing every day for Houston while Jose Altuve is on the IL, and he’s been a solid source of power in a utility role this season. His .256 ISO is a career best, as is his 11.5% strikeout rate. Unlike Howie Kendrick, Diaz isn’t lighting up the Statcast leaderboards, and his production probably isn’t sustainable over the long term. But screw the long term, because we’re playing for one week here, and sometimes that requires riding a hot hand, even if we know things will come to an end soon. Diaz has certainly been a hot hand play lately; he has a .959 OPS and .282 ISO in May along with a 1.25 BB/K. The Astros also take on at least three lefties this week, and Diaz has crushed southpaws to the tune of a .970 OPS and .375 ISO this year. Sure, one of the lefties is Chris Sale, but one of them is Manny Banuelos, so the universe tends to even out. Life's funny that way. Diaz is a great quad-eligible option where Kendrick isn’t available, or great if you specifically need a shortstop.

Also Consider: Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE): 4% Owned, Leury Garcia (MI/OF, CWS): 10% Owned, Addison Russell, (SS, CHC): 2% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Jason Heyward (OF, CHC): 40% Owned

Even though his production has taken a downturn, Heyward has been hitting leadoff for the Cubs over the past few games for Chicago. Heyward still has above-average plate discipline, and with chip-in power and speed, he could provide production in several of the traditional 5x5 categories this week. He’s even better in points and OBP formats because of his excellent plate discipline. The Cubs have a seven-game workload next week, and only have one lefty on the schedule, rookie Cole Irvin. Heyward is a fine volume option this week, providing most of his help in batting average and runs scored.

Kyle Schwarber (OF, CHC): 42% Owned

Schwarber has been disappointing this season, hitting just .217 with a .158 ISO in 142 PA. That doesn’t quite cut it for a defensively-limited platoon bat, but if Schwarber were to turn things around, it would be in a week like this one. As previously stated, the Cubs have a seven-game week upcoming, and six of those are against right-handed starters. Schwarber’s 91.3 MPH average exit velocity and .479 xSLG both suggest he’s capable of more power, so now could be the best time to buy into Schwarber, when he’s at his lowest. He hit leadoff on Thursday, and that would be a nice boost to his value if that continues against right-handed pitchers. It’s do or die for Schwarber this week, and those who believe in the talent should take a chance on him.

Also Consider: Clint Frazier (OF, NYY): 42% Owned, Brett Gardner (OF, NYY): 17% Owned, Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS): 2% Owned, Steve Wilkerson (2B/OF, BAL): 0% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Week 7 Starts & Sits - All Starting Pitcher Matchups

Mid-May marks the fantasy baseball season's quarter pole, which can be exciting as data becomes robust, but also frightful for pitching as warmer air leads to long flies. Are you keeping tabs of park factors, team stats and pitchers tweaking with their repertoire? Well, we here at RotoBaller are, with the aim to ease your decision-making thanks to our weekly starting pitcher matchups and recommendations. In case you missed it, this is our sixth year now writing this weekly column, helping fantasy baseball managers pick the best pitchers weekly.

Below are the projected starting pitching matchups for Week 7, which will be updated as rotations are announced and tweaked. Injuries are claiming starters left and right, so this column will be continuously updated and adjusted for any postponements or rotation shuffles, reflecting official beat writer speculation for as many unconfirmed rotation slots as possible.

For every week of the fantasy baseball season, we look to analyze all of the projected starting pitcher matchups and put together our optimal lineups. Here at RotoBaller, we believe that it’s key to analyze every SP matchup, each and every week, to help determine which SPs to start/sit and identify some sneaky streams. Let's win some leagues!

 

SP Matchups & Start/Sit Recommendations

This weekly piece considers the pitcher’s opponents, their career stats against the opponent, some ballpark factors and historical splits. With all of this information, we then provide our start/sit recommendations for each starting pitcher matchup for the approaching week of fantasy baseball.

We'll now include a "Score" value that goes from 0-100, with 100 being a perfect start and zero being an easy sit. With 50 as the theoretical "Start/Sit" border, you can use the color-coded scores giving you valuable context to make your own decisions rather than abiding by an arbitrary Start/Sit threshold. Those set for two-start weeks are highlighted in yellow. You ready? Let's go!

 

This column was last updated on Sunday, May 12th, and will be updated daily as more rotations and starters are announced through May 19th.

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis




Categories
2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice Editor Note Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Pickups MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

Points Leagues Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 7

Welcome to the RotoBaller waiver wire column which falls in-line with most fantasy “who should I pick up?” articles with a skew towards points leagues. Yes, there is positive correlation to standard 5x5 scoring but in our format, specific categories matter less and the accumulation of total stats is the ultimate objective. Some stats are uniquely critical.

For Week 7, we’ll key in on walks and strikeouts. In points leagues, when debating two comparable fantasy pieces, the edge goes to the hitter with better plate discipline and the pitcher with superior control. Since points leagues ding strikeouts and reward free passes (for hitters), the marginal gains and losses could make a material difference across a full season.

Our points league waiver wire column will default to standard scoring and try to unearth three players under 50% ownership and three players under 25% ownership. For each group, we’ll identify an infielder, outfielder and pitcher. Let’s get hunting!

 

Points League Pickups to Consider

Eric Sogard (2B/SS, TOR)

17% Owned

As a career .242 hitter with a career 79 wRC+, Eric Sogard has historically been miles from fantasy relevance. With four homers this season, Sogard is more than one-third towards his career totals (11 entering 2019) and is making his case as a versatile, multi-category fantasy asset.

Sogard currently holds a BB/K of 1.4 which places him third-best if he qualified. The better eye has lowered his strikeout rate from 20% to 11% and improved contact rates have lifted his OPS from a career .640 to a stellar 1.051. Sogard’s astronomical hitting metrics are bound to come down, but he’s racking up extra-base hits (nine), swiping bags (two) and bats leadoff daily. Even with a trend back to earth, Sogard’s newfound plate discipline puts him in position to test 50 extra-base hits, double-digit steals and solid run production.

 

David Fletcher (2B/3B/OF, LAA)

8% Owned

If 32-year-old utility lifers aren’t for you, David Fletcher is a positional swiss-army knife that could tickle your fancy. Fletcher is a younger clone of Sogard, batting leadoff and racking up extra-base hits and steals at a surprising clip.

Fletcher currently leads the majors with a 1.8 BB/K, no small feat. While he only walks 7% of plate appearances, Fletcher’s 4% K-rate is tops in the league. While a 24% hard-hit rate is pedestrian, Fletcher’s soft-contact profile has witnessed an uptick in exit velocity from 83 MPH to 85 MPH. With already three long balls on the season, Fletchers 98% Z-Contact rate is apparently permitting him some quality swings. With an xBA of .340 and superior plate discipline, Fletcher could transform into a doubles machine hitting ahead Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Not too shabby for a 24-year-old.

 

Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD)

31% Owned

With strong performance and some injuries in the Dodger outfield, Alex Verdugo has left the cloud of playing time uncertainty in the past. The exciting 22-year-old has excelled in his 101 plate appearances with 32 knocks, 11 extra-base hits (four homers) and a .946 OPS.

Verdugo has lowered his strikeout clip from 16% to 10%, leading to a sturdy 0.7 BB/K. His Statcast data and improved on batted-ball characteristics suggests we’re amidst a breakout. With a reputation as a ground-ball hitter, Verdugo has lifted his fly ball rate from 22% to 34%. That’s resulted in a jump in hard-hit rate to 39% and a 90 MPH exit velocity. If he keeps raking, Verdugo has a chance to be a key beneficiary of a loaded lineup.

 

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY)

20% Owned

Brett Gardner just won’t go away, and that’s a good thing in points leagues. While he’s outside the top-250 in standard leagues, he falls inside the top-100 in points formats. The 36-year-old does everything 5x5’s fail to capture; he walks, steals efficiently and loves doubles and triples.

With an 11-year track record, it’s encouraging to see Gardner’s numbers and expected stats in-line with his annual averages. The key improvements have been fewer strikeouts (22% to 11%), increased launch angle (11 to 14 degrees) and a two MPH uptick in exit velocity (88.9). This puts Gardner on track to tally his usual 140-plus runs-plus-RBI, 30 doubles and triples, 80% steals success and an inside shot to surpass his career high of 21 homers. Don’t be fooled by the standard-league narrative, Gardner is still a highly valuable fantasy asset.

 

Brandon Woodruff (SP, MIL)

35% Owned

After a six-inning, one-run outing against the Nationals on May 8, Brandon Woodruff is on a streak of three straight starts allowing just one run and a 7.3 BB/K. Since wins matter in points leagues, playing for the reigning National League champ helps. He already has five victories this year.

A supporting offense is half the story, Woodruff possesses traits fantasy managers crave. His strikeouts are near 30% and the great control gives him the league’s 15th-best 23.1% K-BB. A three-pitch mix headlined with a mid-90s heater has resulted in an 11.7% SwStr%. Woodruff’s xwOBA (.304) and SIERA (3.39) check the boxes; he should keep rolling as the season progresses.

 

Lucas Giolito (SP, CHW)

11% Owned

After shaking off the cobwebs from an IL stint on May 2, Lucas Giolito hurled 7 1/3 frames of shutout ball against the Indians on May 7. After posting an ugly 16% strikeout rate in 2018, Giolito has lifted that number to 29% through 31 innings pitched.

Three years removed from his hyped prospect days and starting amidst the anonymity of Chicago’s southside, we forget Giolito is only 24. Giolito’s fastball velocity has surged to 94 MPH this year and he’s begun leaning on a changeup that’s been one of the league’s best this season. Giolito has endured control issues, but a 17.7% K-BB works fine. If he keeps honing that changeup as his kill pitch, the rise in strikeouts and 12% SwStr% seems durable. Although it’s a small sample, the underlying data suggests it could be Giolito’s time.

More Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Advice