I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t nervous about last week’s streamers when I wrote that article. Luckily, it ended up being a terrific week for us, with all of our recommendations pitching well. JT Brubaker, Luis Garcia, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, and Adbert Alzolay led the way, making it one of my best pieces of the year! That has us riding the wave at a rapid speed, having just one poor week through the first six weeks of the season. There’s a lot I like this week, too, so let’s go ahead and get into it!
Two Start Streamers
Yusei Kikuchi, SEA (vs. DET, at SD)
This is the third time that Kikuchi has been in this article, and it’ll likely be his last. We say that because fantasy owners are wising up, and his ownership percentage is finally getting to where it should be. He’s still available in over 20 percent of leagues out there, though, and those people need to be arrested for their crimes on humanity! We say that because Kikuchi has been one of the biggest revelations this season, getting his fastball average up to 96 MPH this season. It’s not like its empty velocity either, with Kikuchi generating a 4.30 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 9.2 K/9 rate.
His only two duds came against elite offenses like the Red Sox and Astros, too, which is far from the matchups he has this week. His first matchup is the jelly in the donut, with Detroit ranked near the bottom of every statistic out there. We’ll discuss that more thoroughly later, but San Diego isn’t as tough as you’d think either. In fact, the Padres rank 28th in barrel rate and 29th in xwOBACON. That’s scary against such an improved pitcher, making Kikuchi one of the best streamers of the season. The Streamonator couldn’t agree more, projecting Yusei to provide $37.9 worth of value in this fabulous spot.
Casey Mize, DET (at SEA, at KC)
Mize was miserable in his limited time last season, but he’s been showing flashes in his first few starts this year. Let’s kick things off by talking about his Minor League acumen, generating a 2.71 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 25 percent K rate in 123 total innings. Those ridiculous numbers made him one of the most touted prospects in baseball and earned him a spot in this rotation. In his six starts this season, Mize has pitched to a 4.19 ERA and 1.27 WHIP. Those averages would be even better if it weren’t for two duds, and we truly believe Mize could be a star in the making.
What makes him one of the most spectacular streamers of the season are these matchups. Not only does he get to pitch in two pitcher-heavy ballparks, but Mize also gets to face two of the worst offenses in baseball. Seattle is definitely the tastier of the two matchups, with the Mariners sitting 25th in K rate, 28th in OBP, and 27th in OPS. It’s not like Kansas City is much better, with the Royals ranked 22nd in OBP, 20th in OPS, and 23rd in wOBA.
Rich Hill, TB (at BAL, at TOR)
Here we are! Right back on Dick Mountain! This guy has been one of my favorite fantasy assets for years now, and it’s a wonder why he’s always disrespected in fantasy circles. We’re talking about a funky southpaw who has a 3.02 ERA and 1.06 WHIP since 2015. That’s a monster sample size of success, with Hill pitching to a 4.26 ERA and 1.08 WHIP so far this year. It’s his recent form that’s really ravishing, with Rich generating a 0.83 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9 rate over his last four appearances.
All of those statistics make him hard to fade, and these matchups make him one of the streamers of the week. Baltimore currently boasts one of the worst lineups in baseball, ranked 28th in OBP and 26th in OPS. Toronto is definitely the scarier of the two matchups, but they can be tamed too. In fact, the Blue Jays rank 19th in OBP and have one of the worst bottom halves of the orders in the AL.
Vince Velasquez, PHI (vs. MIA)
Oof! We’ve been down this stream many times, and the waters are bumpy! Sometimes we tame the beast, and sometimes we drown when riding Velasquez, but we feel good about this week! The talented righty has proven to possess nasty stuff throughout his career and has shown that recently. Since struggling as a reliever in his first three appearances, VV has a 2.84 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 9.9 K/9 rate over his last five starts. That’s the stud we’ve been waiting to see for years, and this might be his time after disappointing us on so many occasions before.
What makes that even crazier is the fact that he did that damage in tough matchups, facing at COL, vs. ATL, at TOR, and at STL. That makes this week look like a vacation, facing an ugly Marlins lineup. Miami currently ranks 25th in OBP, 24th in OPS, 28th in xwOBA, and 26th in K rate. That’s why The Streamonator loves him as well, projecting VV to provide $13.3 worth of value.
Mike Minor, KC (vs. DET)
We foreshadowed how we want to exploit this disastrous Detroit lineup, so let’s go ahead and talk about that! The Motor City Kitties have one of the worst lineups in recent memory, ranked dead-last in runs scored, OBP, OPS, xwOBA, and K rate. That’s hard to do, and it has to make one wonder if they get relegated to Triple-A. That’s a godsend for our streamers, making Minor a major problem for their lineup. The southpaw has been solid since 2017, accruing a 3.93 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in that span. That’s right on par with his WHIP this season, and we love that MM threw a seven-inning gem in his most recent outing. It definitely passes The Streamonator test, too, projecting Minor to provide $11.4 worth of value.
Streamers to Consider
Ryan Yarbrough, TB (at BAL, at TOR)
We like Yarbrough in the same matchups as Hill behind his 1.17 career WHIP.
Any decent pitcher against Detroit is in play.
John Gant, STL (vs. PIT)
Pittsburgh has one of the worst lineups in baseball and could struggle against Gant’s 1.83 ERA.
Feel free to comment me here or reach me on Twitter @Bartilottajoel if you have any questions!