We were absolutely crushing our streamers last week until Mike Minor decided to have the worst start of his career on Friday. That nine-run dud was obviously disappointing, but it was the only blemish in an otherwise flawless article. That gives us two great weeks back-to-back, and it feels like we’re back on track! The one concern with this week is the fact that the two-start streamers suck! The pickings are slim, to say the least, but we have a couple of guys we like and some brilliant one-start streamers to ride. With that in mind, let’s kick things off with these lackluster two-start pitchers!
Caleb Smith, ARI (at STL, vs. SF)
Smith was actually in this article a ton when he played for the Marlins, and he’s clearly got me under some sort of spell. The southpaw actually started the season out of the bullpen, but his stellar play has forced him into the rotation. So far this year, Smith has a 3.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 9.5 K/9 rate. Those are stupendous averages from a guy sitting on most waiver wires, and he showed in his time with Miami that he can be a fantasy-relevant player.
What makes him even more intriguing this week is the fact that he gets two home starts. Chase Field has become one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks since the humidifier, ranked 29th in total homers this year. That’s great news for Smith, and it’s not like these matchups are terrible either. St Louis is definitely the better of the two, with the Cardinals ranked 28th in both OBP and wOBA while sitting 25th in runs scored. San Fran has quietly been one of the best offenses around, but the talent is lacking, and they currently rank 23rd in K rate.
Jameson Taillon, NYY (vs. LAA, vs. NYM)
According to this picture, Jameson has had some long nights, but we’re looking forward to Taillon making quick work as one of our two start streamers. The 5.18 ERA is certainly nothing to write home about, but he’s been much better than that would indicate. In fact, JT has a 4.18 xERA and a 4.35 FIP, indicating that he has some positive regression headed his way. Some of that has already started with Taillon tallying a 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 9.0 K/9 rate over his last two starts. That’s the guy we saw in Pittsburgh, with Jameson owning a 3.35 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his two years before Tommy John surgery.
Getting to face the Angels and Mets should help that regression continue to fall, with both of those looking like solid matchups. The Mets are the one that really makes him attractive, with the New York rival ranked 19th in K rate, 24th in OPS, 29th in wOBA, and dead-last in runs scored. The Angels matchup is a bit scarier, but they’re missing Mike Trout and Justin Upton, leaving them very thin in the bottom half of the order. Just pour yourself a glass and watch Jameson do work this week.
Alex Cobb/Patrick Sandoval, LAA (vs. BAL)
We actually had these guys paired up two weeks back, and they both treated us to some fantastic outings. While Cobb had an ugly start on Saturday, we’re going right back to the well in a much better matchup. Let’s kick things off by talking about that opposition, with Baltimore owning one of the most blasphemous lineups in baseball. The Orioles currently rank 18th in K rate, 24th in runs scored, 28th in OBP, and 25th in xwOBA.
That puts both of these guys in play as streamers, with Cobb being the better option of the two. AC has had seven brilliant starts and four ugly ones, but we’re going to bet on another gem in such a tasty matchup. In those seven outings, Cobb has a 2.61 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 11.1 K/9 rate. It feels silly to divide the season like that, but it’s easy to understand when you see that the four duds came against tough teams while the seven gems were in much better matchups. That’s why he has a 3.79 xERA for the season, which is more than a run lower than his actual ERA.
Sandoval is in a superb spot, too, accruing a 2.78 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9 rate over his last four starts. The Streamonator definitely likes these two, also projecting them to provide right around $10 worth of value.
J.C. Mejia, CLE (vs. DET)
The Indians have been churning out starters for years now, and it appears they found another diamond in the rough with Mejia. The 24-year-old just threw six one-run innings in his most recent start, bringing his WHIP south of 1.20. That makes his 4.94 ERA looks extremely flukey, with J.C providing a 3.28 FIP, 1.18 WHIP, and 3.59 xFIP this season. He also posted a 2.95 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 9.9 K/9 rate at the Minors, showcasing some nasty stuff.
That’s a good indicator that some positive regression is headed his way, too, and a matchup with the Tigers is a great way to start it. The Motor City Kitties rank bottom-five in runs scored, OBP, OPS, wOBA, xwOBA, and K rate. All of that makes them the best matchup in baseball, and it puts Mejia in a great spot to pick up a quality start.
J.T. Brubaker, PIT (vs. MIL)
Brubaker has been in this article a lot this season, and results indicate that we’re doing something right with our streamers. The young righty had an ugly two-start stretch about a month ago but has been unstoppable aside from that. In fact, J.T. has allowed three runs or fewer in all 12 of his other starts, generating a 2.67 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 9.2 K/9 rate in those outings.
That makes it hard to believe that he’s still available in so many places, with many fantasy managers overlooking this Pirates pitcher. Getting to face the Brewers at home makes Bru even more bludgeoning. Milwaukee ranks 27th in K rate, 25th in OBP, 22nd in runs scored and 29th in both OPS and wOBA. Not to mention, PNC Park is a pitcher’s haven, with Brubaker owning a 0.92 WHIP there this season.
James Kaprielian OAK (vs. TEX)
Here we are with another youngster! This Oakland righty has had to deal with matchups like at COL, at BOS, and at NYY but continues to churn out quality starts. In fact, Kap has a 2.86 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 9.4 K/9 rate through his eight starts this year, allowing four runs or fewer in all of them. That’s the Billy Beane magic, and we believe it should continue in this fantastic spot.
Not only does Kaprielian get a start at the spacious Oakland Coliseum, but he also gets to face a Rangers team that ranks 20th in K rate, 21st in runs scored, 25th in OBP, and 24th in wOBACON. JK actually faced them in his most recent start, allowing two runs across six innings yet another quality start. The Streamonator agrees with our assessment, projecting Kap to provide $4.7 worth of value.
Streamers to Consider
Sammy Long, SF (at ARI)
Long has quietly had a really nice season for the Giants (0.87 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 rate) and should roll through a team that loses seemingly every day.
Logan Gilbert, SEA (vs. TEX)
Gilbert is one of the highest touted prospects in baseball and should have no problems with a 21st-ranked Rangers offense. He is owned in a ton of leagues, but he’s worth the pick-up if he’s sitting on your waiver wire.
Cal Quantrill, CLE (vs. DET)
Quantrill had a nightmarish start on Friday, but a matchup with the Motor City Kitties could get him back on track.
Adrian Houser, MIL (at PIT)
Houser has allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts, making him a great pick against a putrid Pirates lineup.
Feel free to comment me here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel if you have any questions!