This is one of those rare articles where I’ll be writing up more two-start streamers than one-start streams. With that said, there are so many pitchers that I love for this week, that I’ll provide an additional list of one-start streamers that intrigue me. It’s crazy to say this but we’re actually at a pivotal point of the season. We’re past the 100-game mark by the time you’re reading this and we have the trade deadline coming next week too. That means a lot of these rotations could change and it’ll be key to keep an eye on that for the next 10 days.
Chris Archer, PIT (vs. STL, at NYM)
Archer has changed the way he’s pitching and that’s all you can ask for from a struggling guy. He’s scrapped what the pitching coach has asked him to do and is going back to being a two-pitch pitcher. While that doesn’t sound like a good idea, it’s hard to argue with his career numbers and numbers since that change. Over his last five starts, Archer is pitching to a 4.15 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while striking out 37 batters across 26 innings of action. That’s the guy that we loved in Tampa, who pitched to a 3.60 ERA and 1.21 WHIP between 2013 and 2017.
Anytime you can find a reason why there’s a change in numbers, you have to ride it. What adds to Archer’s intrigue this week are these matchups, as he gets two starts in pitcher-friendly parks. They happen to come against struggling offenses too, with the Cardinals ranking 21st in runs scored, 25th in OPS and 24th in wOBA while the Mets sit 18th in K rate and 19th in both runs scored and OPS. That doesn’t even take into consideration that St. Louis is without Matt Carpenter, Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina. The Streamonator loves Archer too, projecting him for 12.8 Ks while providing $31.9 worth of value.
Jason Vargas, NYM (vs. SD, vs. PIT)
I had to get this awesome Vargas picture in here because it’s one of the most ridiculous things I saw in baseball this year. I don’t know what’s stranger, the fact that Vargas looks like a 9th-grade history teacher or the fact that Thomas Jefferson has hopped in a time machine to interview him. Anyway, Vargas hasn’t been pitching like a 9th-grade teacher recently and we have to love him in two home starts against two quality opponents. What really makes Vargas an attractive option this week is the fact that he’s allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of his last 14 starts. That equates to a 3.42 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in that span, which is all you can ask for from a streamer.
Getting to pitch in Citi Field for two starts is huge too, as that ballpark ranks Top-5 in park factor and runs surrendered. These are some tasty matchups as well, with San Diego sitting 28th in K rate and 25th in runs scored while the Pirates rank 17th in wOBA, 18th in xwOBA and 20th in runs scored. The Streamonator agrees with this assessment, projecting him for a 3.84 ERA and 1.14 WHIP while striking out 10.1 batters in these two starts.
Marco Gonzalez, SEA (vs. TEX, vs. DET)
This one does concern me a bit with Gonzalez’ inconsistency but there’s a lot to like about these matchups. One thing that’s very encouraging about Gonzalez is his recent form, with Gonzo allowing two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts. He actually pitched to a 2.89 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in that span, facing teams like the Twins, Astros, Brewers and Athletics. That’s a fantastic stretch from a guy mixed moments of brilliance with absolute duds and we have to love that he gets two home starts in a pitcher’s park like Safeco.
Facing Texas may sound like a difficult task but they’ve been struggling mightily with left-handed pitching all season long. Not only do they rank dead-last in K rate, they also sit 23rd in OPS and 26th in OBP against southpaws this season. Detroit is simply a brilliant matchup for anyone, with the Motor City Kitties ranking 29th in K rate, 28th in wOBA, 29th in xwOBA and last in runs scored. That’s why the Streamonator has Gonzo projected to provide $28.7 worth of value, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and 1.08 WHIP while striking out 11.7 batters across 12 innings.
Griffin Canning, LAA (vs. BAL)
Canning is in a terrible stretch right now but he’s too good of a pitcher to be sitting on waiver wires. Anyone would struggle with matchups versus the Astros and at Texas, so let’s eliminate this ugly two-game stretch heading into this week. Prior to that, Canning pitched to a 3.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over his first 11 starts. That’s the guy we expect to see, as his 28.3 percent K rate and 2.05 FIP at Triple-A shows the sort of stuff he provides. The matchup may be the biggest reason we like Canning this week though, with the Orioles ranking 20th in K rate, 27th in runs scored and 29th in wOBA. That’s why the Streamonator has him projected to provide $26.2 worth of value, which is easily the highest total of any one-start streamer for the week.
Michael Pineda, MIN (at CWS)
Can we start giving this dude the credit he deserves? While a 4.38 ERA may look like nothing special, he’s been one of the most reliable pitchers in the game. A 1.18 WHIP is much more indicative of his stellar season, with Pineda allowing just one run in five of his last six starts. This is a guy who’s been awesome throughout his career too, pitching to a 3.47 xFIP while posting a 24 percent K rate. These numbers would indicate that he’s owned in almost every league but that’s simply not the case. Getting to face the White Sox is the icing on the cake, with Chicago ranking 24th in K rate, 28th in runs scored and 22nd in xwOBA. All of this explains why the Streamonator has him projected to provide $20.5 worth of value.
Additional One-Start Streamers
Brendan McKay, TB (at TOR)
Dinelson Lamet, SD (at NYM)
Zac Gallen, MIA (at CWS)
Alex Young, ARI (vs. BAL)
Merrill Kelly, ARI (vs. BAL)
Nick Pivetta, PHI (at DET)