After struggling through the opening week, we bounced back big time! I was really motivated to do well after that crappy opening week, but it just felt like every pitcher struggled in their opening start. The deeper we get into the season, the more we’re going to see these guys regress back to where they should be. That’s an important factor when playing fantasy baseball and even more essential when picking your streamers.
Favorable Team Matchups
Los Angeles Angels (at NYY, vs. KC)
Pittsburgh Pirates (at COL, vs. CIN)
Minnesota Twins (at BOS, vs. WAS)
Texas Rangers (at KC, vs. OAK)
Kyle Gibson, BAL (vs. DET)
We had Gibson as one of our top streamers last week, and we’re going right back to the well. The veteran righty has a 3-0 record, thanks to a 3.44 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. That’s the All-Star we saw in 2021, with Gibson generating a 2.29 ERA and 1.07 WHIP before the break. This guy is capable of going on lengthy runs of dominance, and it’s clear the new dimensions at Camden Yards are going to be massive for his fantasy value. Facing The Motor City Kitties is the best part, though, with the Tigers ranked last in wOBA, xwOBA, and runs scored while sitting 28th in K rate. The Streamonator loves Gibson, too, projecting KG to provide $16 worth of value.
Kenta Maeda, MIN (vs. WAS)
Maeda had his turn skipped in the rotation last week, and it forced a ton of fantasy managers to stupidly drop him. It feels like everyone forgets just how good this guy has been over recent years, tallying a 3.97 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 27 percent K rate since 2019. That ERA is slightly inflated, but that WHIP and K rate is tough to overlook. He’s shown flashes of that through his first two starts, posting a 4.09 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 24 percent K rate. What makes him one of our favorite streamers is this matchup with Washington, ranked 27th in wOBA, 28th in runs scored, and 29th in xwOBA. This is The Streamonator’s favorite play, projecting Maeda to provide $18.6 worth of value.
Alex Wood, SF (at MIA)
Wood and Maeda have very similar resumes. Both of these guys fly under the radar, and it’s hard to understand why. Wood had an injury-riddled stretch between 2019-20, but he still has a 3.92 ERA and 1.20 WHIP since 2017. That means he should be closer to a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP if you take out that rough period, which is awesome since he’s allowed just one run through his first two starts. Limiting a team like Miami should be easy, too, with the Marlins ranked 26th in K rate, 25th in xwOBA, and 29th in runs scored. Wood has had his way with the Marlins throughout his career, totaling a 2.55 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 15 starts against Miami.
Edward Cabrera, MIA (vs. SF)
Many fantasy managers have dropped Cabrera after a rough start to the year, but now’s the time to go pick him up. The talented righty had a 3.01 ERA and 1.07 WHIP last season and has struggled because of some nightmarish control. Facing the Phillies and Mets will do that to opposing pitchers, and getting to face San Fran at home is a good way to get him back on track. The Giants have average numbers from a statistical standpoint, but their lineup has nobody who scares us in a spacious stadium like Marlins Park.
Hunter Gaddis, CLE (at DET, vs. MIA)
This is risky because Gaddis has been terrible, but getting two starts against Detroit and Miami is tough to overlook. That’s exactly what you want with one of your streamers because those are two of the worst offenses in the league. Allowing eight runs against the Yankees will certainly scare people away, but Gaddis threw six scoreless innings against the A’s in his game prior. He’s also got a 3.90 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 29 percent K rate throughout his minor league career. Facing the Tigers and Marlins is comparable to the A’s and some minor league teams, so, we’re hoping he can duplicate that form in two quality matchups!
Connor Joe, PIT (at COL, vs. CIN)
Joe was always a sneaky fantasy option when he played for the Rockies, and he’s gotten off to a great start with his new team. He plays for the Pirates (if you were unaware), and he’s an everyday player batting in the heart of their lineup. He was actually moved to cleanup late in the week, providing a .444 OBP, .613 SLG, and 1.057 OPS. We don’t expect him to maintain those absurd averages, but posting a .351 OBP and .744 OPS through his last two years is not too shabby. What we love here is that he gets seven games against two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Not only does he face three lefties this week, but he also gets three games in Coors Field!
Gio Urshela, LAA (at NYY, vs. KC)
Urshela will never jump off the page, but this guy has been a solid bat throughout his career. Over the last five years, Gio has generated a .291 AVG, .337 OBP, .461 SLG, and .798 OPS. Those are amazing totals from a guy available in every league, and he’s developed into an everyday hitter for this dangerous lineup. He’s also gotten off to an incredible start, amassing a .380 OBP and .838 OPS. He usually bats behind Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon, and Hunter Renfroe, so, the RBI chances should be flowing in all year. They’ll be even more prevalent this week because LA plays seven games against some weak pitching staffs. He faces Jordan Lyles, Zach Greinke, Kris Bubic, Nick Pivetta, Jhonny Brito, Clarke Schmidt, and Nestor Cortes this week. Only one of those guys scares us, and we also love that Urshela has multi-position eligibility.
SAGNOF (Saves/Steals Ain’t Got No Face)
Ji-Hwan Bae (PIT)
While Bae has only played 22 games in MLB, he’s already up to seven steals. That speed has earned him the leadoff spot, and getting seven games in elite matchups makes Bae a beautiful pickup.
Edouard Julien (MIN)
We saw Julien bat leadoff last week, and he could be a massive pick-up if that continues. He had a .437 OBP and 54 steals in three years at the minors and could be a sneaky source this week.
Carlos Estevez (LAA)
Estevez is only 20 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, and it’s hard to understand why. He was rumored as the guy in the offseason and picked up his first save last week. You might be concerned that Jose Quijada has two saves, but those were two games where Estevez was unavailable.
Andrew Chafin (ARI)
Sean McGough lasted about 20 minutes as the D’Backs closer, and it should allow Chafin to take over. The goofy southpaw has two saves and six scoreless appearances this season.
Feel free to comment here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel if you have any questions!