At this stage of the game, there are not too many consistent fantasy relevant pitchers sitting out there on the wire. There are plenty of guys to stream based on matchups, but then again that can be like playing with fire. Streaming is a huge part of H2H leagues since your ERA essentially resets after every week. So I’ve always been a fan of streaming pitchers with my last one or two roster spots. Sometimes you’ll get the occasional guy that impresses and sticks as a member of your rotation. Below are some guys I’ve added over the past week or two that can stick and be a viable option to finish the year. Based off ESPN and Yahoo ownership percentages I’ve labeled one as “Should Be Owned” already in your league, one as “Could Be Owned” in your league, and one that likely “Will Be Owned” in your league.
Should Be Owned
Jose Urquidy (49.5% owned in ESPN, 33% in Yahoo)
Urquidy has seen his ownership rates skyrocket over the past week, and for good reason. After a rough first couple of starts, Jose has looked much sharper as of late. Over his last two starts Urquidy has allowed just 2 earned runs over 13 innings, while striking out 15 batters and walking just 2. He allowed just one run a piece against the Rangers and Cardinals, while surrendering just 6 hits total. Though his ERA sits at 4.26 through his first 4 starts, he has a FIP of 2.65 and a an xFIP of 2.94. Though a small sample size, his 10.89 K/9 shows the strikeout upside he possesses. It seems to be legitimate too, as his impressive 13.2% swinging strike rate indicates. We are looking at a small body of work, but Urquidy has already shown flashes of greatness. And at this point in the year, there isn’t much out there on the wire especially when it comes to pitching. Hence why he is included in the “should be owned” section. If he is still available in your league, go ahead and add him. The Astros rotation might change a bit come the deadline but for now it appears he is a part of their rotation going forward. A high strikeout upside combined with pitching for one of the top teams in the MLB makes Urquidy an appetizing play.
Steamer ROS: 3-2 with 9.15 K/9, 2.39 BB/9, 4.25 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 4.32 FIP through 40 IP (7 GS)
Could Be Owned
Zac Gallen (16.8% owned in ESPN, 34% in Yahoo)
Unfortunately for him and his owners, pitching for the Marlins won’t give Gallen an opportunity to rack up the wins this year. The Marlins are 29th in runs scored, and a full 51 runs behind the 28th ranked team. However, there is still value he can provide going forward. Through his first 6 starts, Gallen is 1-2 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. He has struck out 35 batters, while walking 15 through his first 29.1 innings of work in the bigs. Opponents are hitting just .194 against Gallen and he has a FIP of 3.47 in his 6 starts so far. Though a small sample size, he boasts an impressive 10.74 K/9 and 12% swinging strike rate. His biggest area of improvement thus far is limiting the walks, as his 4.60 BB/9 will hurt him if it continues at that rate. Gallen’s 1.68 BB/9 through 91 1/3 innings in AAA this year indicates that he doesn’t completely lack control, but that he needs to get more comfortable pitching at the major league level. Luckily he has been stranding runners at a 79.6% rate so he has been able to limit the damage. If he is able to limit the free passes, he should be a solid source of strike outs while also being friendly to your ratios. Gallen was able to pitch 7 innings last time out, the first time this year he has pitched more than 5 1/3. So it appears they are stretching him out to go deeper in games. While he may not be a source of wins, he should be able to pile up some quality starts along the way.
Steamer ROS: 3-3 with 9.29 K/9, 3.18 BB/9, 4.00 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 4.13 FIP through 49 IP (9 GS)
Will Be Owned
Dinelson Lamet (7.5% owned in ESPN, 21% in Yahoo)
Lamet is also a guy who doesn’t pitch for the most potent offense in baseball. The Padres are tied for 24th in the league in runs scored with 468. On the bright side, he throws in one of the most pitcher friendly parks in all of baseball. Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Lamet has shown signs of rust and will need to get stretched out. Admittedly, his numbers on the year don’t look great. Through his first 4 starts, Lamet has a 5.00 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. He has shown flashes of his high strikeout upside, but has also struggled with command and walked his fair share of batters. Through 18 innings, Lamet has struck out 25 batters while walking 7. Though an extremely limited sample size, this comes out to a 30.9% strikeout rate and an 8.6% walk rate. He has been missing plenty of bats, as his 14.4% swinging strike rate shows. Lamet’s 3.77 SIERA and 3.97 xFIP suggest that he has pitched significantly better than his stats indicate on the surface. As he gets more innings under his belt I think Lamet will really start to impress. Thus, I believe he is someone that will be owned in the majority of leagues as he shakes off the cobwebs. I am not saying it will happen overnight and that he will be a surefire stud, but at this point in the year hardly anyone on the wire has stud potential. However, Lamet has some serious strikeout potential and could be a solid back of the rotation arm to fill out your staff.
Steamer ROS: 3-3 with 10.76 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, 3.92 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 3.97 xFIP through 45 IP (8 GS)