I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back! This is my first article of the season, and we’re back at it with the streamers! If you’re familiar with my Ride the Wave piece from the past, then you’re in for a treat. We’ll be doing the same thing as last year but adding a few extra sections. We’ll kick things off with some favorable matchups and then dive into our usual streamers. We’ll also include some SAGNOF options at the end, and it should be one of the most informative articles I’ve ever done. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment me!

Favorable Team Matchups

7 Games

WAS (vs. TB, at COL)

6 Games

BOS (vs. PIT, at DET)

CIN (vs. CHC, at PHI)

COL (at LAD, vs. WAS)

PHI (at NYY, vs. CIN)

TB (at WAS, vs. OAK)

Pitching Streamers

Michael Kopech, CWS (vs. SF, at PIT)

Kopech was once one of the highest touted prospects in the game, and it feels like the fantasy baseball community is sleeping on him. The hard-throwing righty has a 3,53 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over the last two years while striking out 208 batters across 189 innings. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him post similar rates in this two-start week, facing two of the worst offenses in baseball. The Pirates were 28th in almost every significant category last season, while the Giants possess one of the weakest lineups in the sport.

Kenta Maeda, MIN (at MIA)

Maeda’s 2022 season was marred by injuries, but this dude was an ace before that. The Japanese pitcher provided a 3.75 ERA and 1.11 WHIP though his first five years in MLB. That’s all you can hope for from one of your streamers, and he should be able to recapture that form against a team like Miami. The Marlins ranked 22nd in K rate, 27th in OBP, and 28th in runs scored last year while playing in one of the most spacious parks around.

Sean Manaea, SF (vs. KC)

I rarely get too excited about spring training chatter, but the Manaea hype is tough to overlook. The left-hander saw his velocity spike above 95 MPH, and a move to San Fran could be just what the doctor ordered. Not only is that ballpark a godsend for pitchers, but this franchise regularly turns pitcher’s careers around. The southpaw had a 3.68 ERA and 1.14 WHIP between 2018 and 2022 and should duplicate that for the Giants. Facing Kansas City is wonderful, too, with the Royals ranked 24th in runs scored and 23rd in wOBA last year. The Streamonator loves this start, projecting Manaea to provide $9.4 worth of value.

Mike Clevinger, CWS (at PIT)

Here we are with another reclamation project. Clevinger really struggled in limited time last year, but he’s fully healthy for the first time since he had Tommy John surgery. The righty had a 2.91 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in three years before that surgery, and even 80 percent of that would make Clevinger a must-own pitcher in most fantasy leagues. Facing Pittsburgh is a good way to kickstart his season, with the Pirates ranked 28th in wOBA, xwOBA, and K rate last year.

Zach Plesac, CLE (at OAK)

Plesac can be frustrating at times, but this guy quietly got off to a nice start last season. Through his first 17 starts, Plesac provided a 3.77 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Those aren’t the best numbers you’ll see, but getting to face Oakland would make anyone look like an ace. The A’s ranked dead-last in OBP, OPS, wOBA, and xwOBA last season and undoubtedly have the worst lineup in MLB.

Streamers Plesac

Hitting Streamers

Elehuris Montero, COL (at LAD, vs. WAS)

The (at LAD) looks terrifying on the surface, but this guy gets four home games against the Nationals. That means he gets to face the second-worst pitching staff from last season in the most hitter-friendly environment in MLB. That’s amazing since this guy looks like the everyday third baseman, batting fifth in the first two games for the Rockies. He could get 20 home at-bats against this putrid pitching staff which is awesome since Montero maintained a .277 AVG, .530 SLG, and .856 OPS at home last year.

Darick Hall, PHI (at NYY, vs. CIN)

I wasn’t so sure that Philly would give this guy the everyday job, but they did more than that. The Phillies hit Hall in the cleanup spot in their opener, and if he continues to do that, Darick needs to be picked up in every league. He’s filling in for the injured Rhys Hoskins, and there’s no one else behind him who will take this job from the slugger. Hall has earned it with his minor league averages, generating a .337 OBP, .480 SLG, and .817 OPS. Getting to face this beat-up Yankees rotation in that little league ballpark is huge, and that’s not even his best matchup. The Reds ranked at the bottom of nearly every pitching metric last year, and he’ll avoid a matchup with Hunter Greene.

Wil Myers, CIN (vs. CHC, at PHI)

Myers is going to bat in the heart of this Cincy lineup every day, and it makes him one of the most enticing streamers out there. That’s going to be massive for his fantasy value because Great American Smallpark can make any hitter look elite. Three games there would be nice, but he also gets three games in Citizens Bank Ballpark as well. That couldn’t get much better from a ballpark perspective, but he gets some fantastic matchups this week as well. Zack Wheeler is the only tough pitcher on his docket. Myers averaged 20 homers and 15 steals per year before an injury-riddled 2022, and we have to assume he’ll recapture that form in this friendly environment.

SAGNOF (Saves/Steals Ain’t Got No Face)

Steals Specialists

Jorge Mateo (BAL)

People seem to forget that Mateo was one of the league leaders with 35 steals last year. He reminded us in the opener when he swiped two bags. Many people faded him in drafts because of his poor average and crappy lineup placement, but Mateo is one of the best steals streamers out there with the new rules.

Lane Thomas (WAS)

Thomas is expected to be the everyday leadoff hitter for the Nats and should get on base a ton with four games in Colorado. He’s not necessarily a steals specialist, but getting on base a handful of times in that series makes him a sneaky steals candidate.

Saves Specialists

Michael Fulmer (CHC)

We weren’t so sure who to trust in this Chicago pen, but Fulmer looks like the guy. He got the save in the opener and has been successful in this role in the past. He had 14 saves just two years ago and will likely keep this job until he blows a game.

Scott McGough (ARI)

McGough got the final save in spring training and had 38 saves as one of the best closers in Japan last year. There’s not much competition behind him either, with Mark Melancon and Joe Mantiply landing on the IL.

Reynaldo Lopez (CWS)

Lopez used to be one of the worst pitchers in baseball, but this reliever role has done wonders for his career. The right-hander registered a 3.07 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over the last two years, showcasing his elite stuff. That earned him the first save of the season, and he should fill this role as long as Liam Hendriks is out.

Feel free to comment here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel if you have any questions!