Week 5 wasn’t as good as Week 4, but I’m far from disappointed. The only real blunder was Jakob Junis, and he didn’t even start! He was strangely removed from the rotation and proceeded to get blown up in a bullpen role. That means you guys probably didn’t stream him anyway, which means we’ll take the win! The rest of the streamers picked up numerous quality starts, and I’m very pleased with how risky many of those picks looked. I feel way more confident about these streamers, though, so let’s go ahead and start riding the wave!
JT Brubaker, PIT (vs. CIN, vs. SF)
Aaron Sanchez was the initial highlight player of this week’s article, but with him landing on the IL, we’re going to ride Brubaker. This youngster has been unbelievably impressive in his rookie season, generating a 2.78 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9 rate. That’s pretty much the ace we saw at the minors, with JT owning a 2.57 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in Triple-A the last time we saw him in 2019. Those stellar averages have allowed Brubaker to allow three runs or fewer in all six of his starts, striking out at least four batters in each of those as well.
The form is one thing, but these matchups are pretty tasty too. The biggest factor here is that Bru gets two starts at PNC Park. That happens to be one of the best pitcher parks in baseball, and it should keep JT’s ERA and WHIP in check all season long. It’s not like his oppositions are tough either, with San Fran being the easier of the two. The Giants currently rank 20th in average and 22nd in K rate while the Reds rank 21st in K rate. That means we could be looking at 10-15 Ks for the week, which is fantastic from one of your streamers. The Streamonator loves him too, projecting him for a 3.66 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 10.5 Ks en route to $15.3 worth of value.
Luis Garcia, HOU (vs. LAA, vs. TEX)
It’s strange that Garcia is so widely available. This looks like another diamond in the rough discovered by the Astros, and we have to believe the process is there with how many aces they’ve churned out over the last decade. He’s been pitching like one since his call-up last year, accruing a 3.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He’s also got a 25 percent K rate in that span too, which is amazingly worse than his Minor League averages. In fact, LG provided a 2.55 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 32 percent K rate in nearly 200 innings at those levels. That’s a good indicator of his ridiculous stuff, and it should translate with matchups like these.
Much like Brubaker, we love that Garcia gets two home starts. Astros starters have excelled in Houston for years now, with that ballpark playing huge in some parts. That alone makes Garcia intriguing, but these are easily the best matchups of the week. Let’s start by talking about Texas, with the Rangers ranked 25th in K rate and 20th in xwOBA. The Angels aren’t much better, sitting bottom-five in both exit velocity and hard-hit rate.
Adbert Azolay, CHC (at CLE, at DET)
This youngster just had two great starts against the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers over the last 10 days, showing just how special he can be. So far this year, the right-hander has a 4.50 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 10.4 K/9 rate. You might look at that 4.50 ERA and cringe, but it’s clear that he’s been unlucky when you see that WHIP and K rate. That’s crystal clear by hs 3.42 xFIP, which is way more indicative of how dominant he’s been. Az showed flashes of that in a shortened 2020 season, dropping a 2.95 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.
If he can have numbers like that against potent offenses like the Dodgers and Braves, he should have no problem duplicating it here against the Indians and Tigers. Cleveland has been a nightmare since losing Francisco Lindor, sitting 28th in both wOBA and wOBACON. That’s terrible, but Detroit has been even worse. In fact, the Motor City Kitties rank dead-last in runs scored, OBP, OPS, xwOBA, and K rate. That’s hard to do, and it says a lot about how horrifying they’ve been. That makes Azolay one of my favorite streamers of the season because this might be the final time you can pick him up.
Taijuan Walker, NYM (vs. BAL)
This is one of the best streamers of the year, so let’s kick things off by talking about the Streamonator. It has Taijuan projected to provide $25.4 worth of value in this brilliant spot, and that’s about as good as to gets. It’s really no surprise when you see his numbers, with Walker tallying a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 9.2 K/9 rate through his first six starts of the year. That’s the stud prospect we’ve been waiting to see, and he’s shown flashes of this studly form in his day with the Mariners. The thing that really makes him enticing here is the matchup with the Orioles. Not only does Walker get to pitch in the spacious Citi Field, but Baltimore also ranks 19th in K rate, 26th in runs scored, 25th in OPS, and 29th in xwOBA.
Yusei Kikuchi, SEA (vs. CLE)
Kikuchi was actually one of our streamers last week, and we’re going right back to the well. The southpaw has been firing 95 MPH fastballs at ease all season long, and it’s led to the best stretch of his career. Yusei has thrown at least six innings in six of his seven starts, generating a 1.09 WHIP for the year. That’s really all you can ask for from a blossoming pitcher, especially with him striking out seven batters in back-to-back games. That puts him in play against anyone, but he should cruise through a terrible Indians lineup that we talked about earlier. There is some thought that he could pitch against the Dodgers on Wednesday instead, but I want to pick him up everywhere before he’s universally owned.
Streamers to Consider
Luke Weaver, AZ (vs. MIA, vs. WAS)
I really don’t trust Weaver, but these are two fantastic matchups for a talented pitcher.
Domingo German, NYY (at BAL)
German has been in this article a lot, and he should be able to cruise against a 25th-ranked O’s offense.
Tyler Anderson, PIT (vs. SF)
Mr. Anderson flirted with a no-no against the Padres in his most recent start and looks rejuvenated for the Buccos.
The Tigers have the worst offense in baseball, and it puts both of these streamers in play.
Feel free to comment me here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel if you have any questions!