Happy baseball season Razzballers! It’s me, Honcho, your on-again, off-again best baseball buddy. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ll be handling the streaming duties this season, so you’ll want to check in each week to get the best information in the free world on which lightly owned pitchers and hitters to grab off the wire. Now, I know what you’re thinking…”But how does Honcho know which arms and bats to own each week?” Well, let me tell you my secret: Friends, it’s this simple, I’ll be assisted by both the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron this season. Sounds exotic or erotic or both. Right? Exactly. These easy to use tools will help you dominate your league, so I urge you to check them out and take the plunge. You can choose which package is right for you and your fantasy needs and enjoy our easy to use tools all season long. Rudy has done a tremendous job creating what I consider the best “tools” in the industry and I plan on giving you a sneak preview each week of what they can do for you. Obviously, since we’re heading into Week 1 of the season, the options will be slim – at least in terms of pitching. However, I’ll dig deep and deliver the best streaming options available along with a few bats that you might want to consider as well. Here’s the best part…..I’ll be focusing on players that are less than 50% owned in ESPN leagues which should provide an opportunity for you to pluck these winners off the vine so to speak. Anyway, enough about me. Let’s turn our attention to the match-ups and stream away…
Zack Wheeler vs. MIA – Wheeler will fill the 4th starters spot in the Mets rotation and depending how Steven Matz’ recovers from his elbow issue – could find himself with a rotation gig for a few more weeks. The good news here is the Marlins were second to last in baseball last season with a .131 ISO, while sporting a below average 91 wRC+. The pitching friendly environment at Citi Field makes for a soft landing spot in Wheeler’s return to the majors. One more interesting item to share….Over 62 career at-bats against Wheeler, current Marlin’s batters own a .129/.217/.229 triple slash line.
Zach Davies vs COL – Recommending a Brewers pitcher against the Rockies? I must be out of my mind. Maybe, but after we go over Colorado’s numbers away from Coors Field you might want to give me a great big bro-hug. Last season Colorado owned a 24.1% strikeout rate on the road and an equally unimpressive 84 wRC+. The Rockies also produced a .301 wOBA which ranked 25th in the league. That’s no bueno amigos. Open your arms and hold me tight my friends……You owe Honcho a hug.
Francisco Liriano @ TB – Let’s clear this up real quick: Spring Training numbers are FAKE NEWS! Seriously though, have you had a look at what Liriano did this spring? The 33 year-old lefty produced a 1.86 ERA with an 18:2 K:BB ratio over 10 innings. Surely that will carry over into the regular season. Right? RIGHT!? Okay, here’s the thing about this particular start…..The Rays struck out in 25.4% of their plate appearances last season when facing a southpaw. The fact that Liriano is an extreme ground ball pitcher should offset the Tropicana effect for this start as he produced a 1.96 GB/FB ratio in 2016.
Mike Leake vs CIN – I’ll be honest. The thought of running Mike Leake out this early in the season is the equivalent of receiving nudes from Lena Dunham in a Snapchat exchange. What I mean is…..You’re either going to love it or you’re going to LOVE IT! Just kidding. It’s a bit risky, but a date with the punchless Reds seems to be a really nice spot. Cincinnati registered a .707 OPS in 2016 and a meager .399 slugging percentage. Leake demonstrated exceptional command of the strike zone last season as his 4.17 K/BB and 1.53 BB/9 would suggest.
David Peralta – The Arizona left-hander will face three right-handed starters this week at Chase Field where he’s hitting a cool .326 vs RHP over his major league career. Peralta’s numbers against right-handers at home are absurd – turning in a .207 ISO and 133 wRC+ in his time with Arizona.
Howie Kendrick – Yes, this is a very random suggestion. However, if you need to stream a hitter this week, the BvP numbers he’s displayed against Scott Feldman are worthy of attention. Kendrick has produced a 1.055 OPS over 28 career at-bats vs Feldman.
Welington Castillo – Sorry, there will be zero lame beef jokes in this write-up. Instead will talk about how Castillo has hammered Marco Estrada over his career to the tune of four home runs and a ridiculous 1.169 OPS. He’s 7/23 lifetime against the Toronto righty, while collecting 8 RBIs along the way.