What’s and what’s good streamaholics? I was going to use the intro this week to talk about one of the many great albums I’ve been spinning on my turntable this week, but there’s been a change of plans. The Honcho household had to shift into car buying mode this week, so I’ll pen a few words on perhaps my least favorite thing in the world to do. I mean there is really nothing worse than car shopping. The whole experience is a mess, headlined by the salesmen themselves. In this day and age car salesmen are useless. Most savvy shoppers have done their homework, yet in all their glory, car sales guy (or gal) will show up in their short sleeve dress shirt or tacky dealership polo. They’ll proceed to try to steer you towards something you don’t want and definitely have no use for. “Hey, I came in for a mid-size sedan and left with a gas guzzling SUV with the Limited Edition Sports Package!” Whatever that is. What I’m saying is be vigilant out there, do your research and walk in and confidently present your offer to them. If that doesn’t work, take a dive on the floor and grab your neck. That alone will be worth a few extra pesos off the sticker price. So let me try to sell you the fantasy baseball version of a Yugo. If you don’t remember those, well we probably can’t be friends. Anyway, I’m talking about being the proud owner of a shiny share of Matt Joyce this week. Look, he’s ugly at first sight. He’s batting just .188 this season with two home runs. He’s also known for his work vs RHP, but Joyce is hitting just .159 with a .564 OPS against righties this season. Before you leave, let me tell you how durable he is…meaning what his history is vs right-handers. Joyce owns a career .196 ISO, .346 wOBA and 121 wRC+, but here’s the best part: Oakland will play six games this week and all of them will come against right-handed starters. So here’s what you do, grab a subscription to the Stream-o-Nator and Hitter-Tron and follow me on my streaming journey all season. I’ll suggest players owned in less than 50% of ESPN standard leagues all year-long and we’ll lean on the Razzball Tools to guide us through the forest.
Here we go:
Alex Wood vs PIT – The fact that Wood continues to be a viable streaming option each week is pretty amazing. What a country. Anyway, the lefty has a 27:9 K:BB over 24.2 innings this year, but five of those passes came in his April 10th outing vs the Cubs. He’s issued just three walks in his last four appearances and he’s sporting a 2.50 GB/FB ratio. Wood has been a sneaky source for strikeouts as well, registering a 9.85 K/9, while maintaining an elite 2.63 FIP. He’s lined up to face the Pirates Monday night and that’s looking like a very good spot for those fishing for a quality start.
Blake Snell vs KC – If Snell is just hanging out on the wire in your league, definitely snatch him up for this start. The Royals are flirting with becoming a historically bad offense through five weeks of the season. Kansas City’s .124 ISO ranks 27th in all of baseball, while their 64 wRC+, .268 wOBA and .608 OPS rank dead last. Those numbers are bad enough to make George Brett stop what he’s doing and drop another deuce in his baseball pants.
Zack Wheeler vs SF – So let’s see…..Wheeler’s failed to toss a quality start in any of his five appearances and oh yeah, he’s issuing 3.42 walks per nine innings. No worries. Right amigos? You betcha! We’re hitching a ride on the K-train for this start as he’s posting a respectable 8.54 K/9 and he’s also doing a decent job keeping the ball in the park as his 1.0 HR/9 indicates. But really, let’s talk about the Giants. Shall we? They’re not so great when it comes to swinging the bat. Their .112 ISO is the worst in the league and their .294 OBP and .279 wOBA rank in the bottom third of the league. Even better news for you nerdy stat people….San Francisco’s 26.6% hard contact rate ranks dead last as well. Basically, this is offensive impotence at it’s finest.
Matt Andriese vs KC – We’ve already covered the advanced numbers on the Royals, hopefully you’ve recovered. Sometimes it’s difficult for our minds to “unsee” a total CF like that. What I’m saying here is that Andriese is in a very nice spot. He’s thrown two consecutive seven-inning quality starts, while posting a 3.09 ERA over his last six starts. The Royals own a 43.9% groundball rate, which ranks in the bottom half of the league making a perfect love connection with Andriese’s 1.67 GB/FB ratio.
Charlie Morton vs ATL – Someone please explain how Morton has gained fastball velocity in each of the last four seasons? Did I mention he’s 33 years-old and the proud owner of a 95.4 mph two-seamer? Now, before you man bun wearing millennials jump on my case and point to Jake Arrieta as a reference point, just remember Morton was averaging 91 on his fastball during his age 27 season. Back off, man. I mean seriously, how long before Rob Manfred reserves a honeymoon suite for Morton and Eric Thames? Anyway, Morton’s produced a 10.32 K/9, 3.10 FIP & 3.19 xFIP. The most impressive thing is he’s doing this with an unlucky 3.60 BABIP thus far. The 2017 version of Charlie Morton might be the Real Deal Holyfield. We’ll see. Until then I like Morton’s chances at home against the Braves.
Andrew Toles – The Dodgers play seven games this week, four of them will be inside of hitter friendly Coors Field. Toles will have the platoon advantage five time this week as he’ll face right-handed starters in those match-ups. He’s currently in the midst of an eight game hitting streak in which he’s raised his average 68 points during that stretch. So that qualifies as hot, according to the guide of scoring chicks and fantasy baseball. That’s good enough for me. Also, Toles’ has produced a .205 ISO and 104 wRC+ vs RHP this season.
Yonder Alonso – Obviously I’d be remiss if I didn’t add Alonso into the hitting party this week. As mentioned in the intro, Oakland will face six right-handed starters this week and righties have been kind to the A’s first baseman in 2017. Alonso has put together a .338/.648/1.060 slash line and smacked 6 of his 8 home runs vs RHP. He’s also produced a .441 wOBA and an otherworldly 194 wRC+ as well.
Logan Morrison – Morrison might be figuring things out in his age 29 season. Over his last seven games the Tampa Bay first baseman has slashed .467/.579/.933, blasting two home runs and driving in four runs. The fact that he’s owned in just 19% of ESPN leagues is beyond ridiculous.
Trey Mancini – He’s slugging .561 and only 22% owned. Please pick him up if you’re lacking some pop in your lineup. Baltimore will play seven games this week and they’ll face a righty in five of those contests. The good news is that Mancini has a reverse split thing going on here. He’s smashing right-handers to the tune of a 1.511 OPS and he’s went deep on 5 of his 6 HRs this year vs RHP. So here’s where the numbers get comic book silly. Mancino the Bambino owns a .773 ISO, .593 wOBA and 296 wRC+ against right-handers. Yes, you read that correctly.