Those of you who read my prospect content know that I’m a big fan of Michael Wacha, that I’ve been touting him as a fantasy-relevant prospect since before he was drafted last June. Now that may sound like I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but I’m really not — I tout a lot of prospects, and plenty of them performed poorly upon first arrival in the bigs, making me look quite dumb. I’m looking at you, Kevin Gausman. See, stuff, pedigree, velocity… each of those variables is superseded by command at the big league level. Not many people would grade Wacha’s pure stuff on par with Gausman’s, but Gausman has struggled spotting the fastball and it’s gotten him in trouble early in his MLB career. Wacha, instead, is the one attracting all the hype, disappearing from waivers with haste. Not to discount his repertoire — he has two plus pitches and a good third one with plus potential — but his early success is mostly to do with the fact he hit his spots. Well… and also that he faced the Royals. All rookie pitchers should be so lucky to debut versus KC. Wacha goes twice this week.
As always, probable pitchers are subject to change. For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.
- Start ’em if you got ’em.
- This first tier is a little thinner than normal. Hopefully you already have one or two of these dudes rostered, because there’s not much from this group on waivers. Your best bet is Kyle Kendrick (47% owned in Y! leagues), who’s cooled off of recent, but with two mouthwatering match-ups next week, he’s hard to pass up if available. Andy Pettitte (50%) is set to return from injury on Monday. He’s had only one markedly poor start this year, and I’m trusting the old man in week 10. In shallow leagues, you might be able to snag Trevor Cahill (72%), but everyone else here is likely owned. As always, first tier guys are good plays.
Michael Wacha (ARI, @CIN); John Lackey (TEX, LAA); A.J. Griffin (@MIL, @CWS); Tommy Milone (@MIL, @CWS); Luis Mendoza (MIN, HOU); Chris Tillman (@HOU, @TB); Kris Medlen (PIT, @LAD); Andrew Cashner (@LAD, @COL); Jonathan Pettibone (MIA, @MIL); Marco Estrada (OAK, PHI); Ted Lilly (SD, ATL); Tyler Chatwood (@CIN, SD); Tom Koehler (@PHI, @NYM); Jeremy Hefner (@WAS, MIA); Brandon McCarthy (@STL, SF);
- This group is where the streamable options are. If it weren’t for the tough start at Cincy next weekend, Michael Wacha (51%) would’ve been a first tier guy, following his outstanding debut on Thursday. I’m not too discouraged by Brandon McCarthy’s (43%) rough outing at Texas this past Wednesday — everyone is susceptible to the occasional blowup at Arlington. The rest of this group is a mix between solid arms with iffy match-ups (Cashner, Estrada, Griffin, Lackey), and iffy arms with solid match-ups (Mendoza, Koehler, Hefner). With the exception of Kris Medlen, virtually everyone from this bunch is widely available.
Tim Lincecum (TOR, @ARI); Joe Saunders (CWS, NYY); David Phelps (CLE, @SEA); Eric Stults (@LAD, @COL); Samuel Deduno (@KC, @WAS); Erik Bedard (@LAA, @KC); John Danks (@SEA, OAK); Bronson Arroyo (@COL, STL); Chris Capuano (SD, ATL); Juan Nicasio (@CIN, SD); Justin Grimm (@BOS, @TOR)
- I’ll reiterate my usual tier three spiel: Use these dudes with extreme caution. In points leagues, there are counting stats to be had here. Avoid these guys in category leagues, though — they’ll blow up your ratios. I promise they will. If you’re desperate, my biggest upside play from this group is Joe Saunders, who happens to be quite good at home, where he’ll pitch twice in the coming week.