We’re about a third of the way through the season and time is just flying! So, I guess I’m having fun. This week, we’ll take an alternate look at finding low owned hitters that could help lead your team to victory. Being a Phillies fan, I realized just how many hits/runs/fantasy stats the bullpen was allowing since the arms were pitching like hot garbage. So I started working my way backward in finding hitters to stream by finding bullpens to attack. I don’t want to stream hitters against the Brewers or Dodgers because once the starters are out, my bats are going up against sub-2.50 ERA arms. So let’s take a look at some teams to stream hitters from this week.
Baltimore Orioles Hitters – The Orioles hitters have excellent this year. They’ve mashed lefties (.391 wOBA) and they’ve been respectful against righties. Their 106 wRC+ against right-handed pitching places them 12th in the league and it comes with a decent 21.6% strikeout rate. The Orioles play 7 games at home this week against the Blue Jays and the Red Sox. The Red Sox pitching has struggled as a whole and the bullpen has put up a 5.25 ERA over the last 14 days. Those four games against the Red Sox should feature plenty of fireworks as their staff has been hot garbage to start the year. There’s a laundry list of underappreciated Oriole hitters that I’d consider playing this week, including Pedro Severino (if he’s somehow still available), Jose Iglesias (5.6% ESPN; 9%), and Rio Ruiz (10.1% ESPN; 19% CBS).
Atlanta Braves Hitters – The Braves get a pair of three-game series against the Nationals and Phillies. It looks like the Braves have lucked out as they miss both Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola. The lone tough starter looks to be Zack Wheeler. The Phillies’ bullpen has been better of late, putting up a 9.67 ERA over the last 7 days – yes, that’s better than them. The Nationals’ pen hasn’t been great either. They’ve posted a 4.13 ERA on the year, but that number has bumped up to 5.34 in 28.2 innings over their last seven games. That schedule puts guys like Nick Markakis, Adam Duvall, and Tyler Flowers in play.
Boston Red Sox Hitters – Boy, oh boy do the Red Sox need a cake matchup. This week they get their cake in the Phillies and the Orioles for six games. We already discussed the dumpster fire that is the Phillies bullpen – they’re the gift that keeps on giving. While the Orioles have been better – a super low bar – they still have been bad, posting a 5.40 ERA over the last 7 days. This should make guys like Michael Chavis and Mitch Moreland streamable.
Austin Slater (13.2% ESPN; 17% CBS) – Instead of a full “Speed Report” I just wanted to touch on Slater. Unfortunately, he’s currently day-to-day, but if you’re looking for speed, Slater has the dream matchup. The Angels and Diamondbacks are ranked 1 and 2 in stolen bases allowed. If he makes his way back to the lineup by mid-week swoop in for some easy speed.
Patrick Sandoval (2.1% ESPN; 7% CBS) – This one was brought to my attention by Dan Richards (@Fantasy_Esquire) on Twitter. Sandoval has three starts under his belt this year and currently sports a 3.94 ERA (3.73 SIERA) with a 65.3% ground ball rate and 13.4% swinging-strike rate. These are stats I can get behind, especially to stream against the Giants tomorrow.
Chad Kuhl (2.2% ESPN; 5% CBS) – This feels a little dirty to write, but that’s 2020 for ya. Kuhl has been decent to start the year. He’s posted a career-best 25.9% K-BB%. His previous best for a year was 12.9%. Tomorrow he gets a matchup with the Indians. Those just looking on the surface will scoff at this suggestion, but the Indians have struggled against right-handed pitching. For the year they’ve put up a .289 wOBA. They’ve gotten slightly better of late, but are still below league average over the last 14 days.
Tarik Skubal (17.6% ESPN; 12% CBS) – Skubal and Casey Mize got the call on Monday with the former making his Major League debut today. If they’re available in your leagues, grab them now and make decisions after their start. Skubal is a lefty and gets a matchup with the White Sox, who have been hitting the ball pretty hard of late. Over the last 7 days, the White Sox have posted a .356 wOBA against lefties. I’m not sure that I’m starting Skubal this time out, but I’m certainly keeping an eye on his stuff.
Coors Report – Only two games in Coors for the week with the Astros coming to town. The Astros will face German Marquez and Ryan Castellani, two righties, making Josh Reddick a sneaky little grab – especially with Yordan Alvarez being day-to-day with a knee injury and Michael Brantley is on the IL.