Pitching, like everything else this year, has been a literal S-Show. My TGFBI team got quickly dismantled thanks to David Price, Justin Verlander, Corey Kluber, and Joe Musgrove. That dismantlement forced me to turn to streaming early on. Now that we’re a full five weeks into the season, it’s clear what teams to pick on and what teams to avoid for streaming. For example, Indians versus righties avoid (.364 wOBA over the last 14 days), but those same bats against a lefty have posted a .272 wOBA on the year. Justin Dunn (7.5% ESPN, 10% CBS) has learned well that the Rangers are an awesome team to stream against. He’s faced the Rangers twice already this year going 6 IP in each start and allowing just 2 earned runs. He didn’t do anything exceedingly special. Dunn struck out 8 batters over those two starts, but just let the Rangers do what they do best – suck. As of this writing, Dunn gets a third lucky matchup with the Rangers on September 7th. A little bit of a look-ahead for us, but a great spot for us to attack if you’re looking to improve your ratios or grab a streaming “W”. Let’s take a look at five more streamers this week to get you ahead of your competition.
Yusei Kikuchi, SP (5.3% ESPN, 20% CBS) – It’s been a mixed bag for year two of the Japanese import. Despite changing up his pitch mix and picking up 2+ ticks on his fastball, the results have been worse than last year. The strikeout rate is up, but so is his walk rate and line-drive rate. There is some glimmer of hope as his 2.69 FIP certainly does not match up with his 6.12 ERA. His LOB% of 53.6% is due for some major regression. The other thing that stands out is his opponents. In five starts this year, he’s faced the Astros, Athletics, Rockies, Dodgers, and Padres. Of the “West” opponents, he hasn’t seen the Rangers, Angels, or Diamondbacks yet. That all changes on Friday as he faces the Rangers. Over the last 14 days, the Rangers have posted a .269 wOBA while walking just 3.9% of the time against southpaws. Kikuchi should provide you with decent ratios to go along with strikeouts and a potential win in this stream.
Tony Gonsolin, SP (22.9% ESPN, 38% CBS) – With Ross Stripling being moved at the trade deadline, Tony Gonsolin should have a regular spot in the rotation. Gonsolin has only allowed one earned run through 17.1 innings this year, thanks in part to his opponents. Thus far, he’s faced the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Padres, and Rangers. Of that group, only the Padres are an above-average offense and on Saturday, Gonsolin gets the Rockies outside of Coors. For the year, the Rockies have posted a .308 wOBA against righties which places them at 23rd in the league. However, when we cut out Coors and just look at away games versus right-handed pitchers, that number drops to .285. Gonsolin should provide decent ratios as a hand full of strikeouts, but as he’s only reached 5 IP once this year, he’s not likely to bring home that “W”.
Josh Fleming, SP/RP (10.1% ESPN, 13% CBS) – Tampa Bay has been turning and burning pitchers like a fantasy team that’s been streaming this year. With Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, and Ryan Yarbrough hitting the IL (along with half of their bullpen), Josh Fleming was called up to start for the Rays. In two starts, allowed two earned runs through 10.1 IP while striking out 9 and walking 2. On Friday, the Rays’ southpaw is scheduled to face the Marlins, who he actually faced his last time out. Against the fish, he went 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out 6 and earning a “W”. Hopefully, we can get a repeat performance from the Rays rookie.
Dane Dunning, SP (13.4% ESPN, 20% CBS) – With Gio Gonzalez and Carlos Rodon heading to the IL, the White Sox called up Dane Dunning, one of their top pitching prospects. Dunning has not disappointed, posting a 34.3 K-BB%. In his last outing against the Royals, Dunning went five hitless innings. On Friday, Dunning faces those same Royals and will be looking for a repeat performance. Over their last 14 days, the Royals have posted a .300 wOBA against right-handed pitchers. Diving in some, they’re next to last in hard-hit rate against righties during that time. Dunning should provide you with good ratios, strikeouts, and hopefully a streaming win!
Kevin Gausman, SP/RP (31.8% ESPN, 49% CBS) – Okay fine, I cheated a little. I needed to get another arm in here to get it to six and Gausman has a decent matchup. If someone dropped Gausman following today’s start against the Rockies in Coors, nows the time to scoop him up as he gets the Diamondbacks on Monday. Over the last 14 days, the D-Backs have posted a .288 wOBA against righties and just traded Starling Marte. Gausman should help with your ratios and give you a nice pile of strikeouts.
Good luck this week!