With a few games in after the All-Star Break, a new week of fantasy baseball resumes. There are actually a good number of pitchers to stream for the upcoming week, but I’ve narrowed it down to four, including a couple of two-start pitchers.
Let’s get started on this week’s Pitching Primer! We’ll look at pitchers that you can stream, who are available in about 50% or more of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy baseball leagues. Listed will be a pitcher and their team, along with ownership percentages and their projected opponent.
Andrew Suarez – San Francisco Giants (ESPN: 23%, Yahoo: 23%)
Projected starts: 7/24 @ SEA, 7/29 vs. MIL
Aside from his last start against the A’s, Suarez had strung together six pretty good starts. It looks like he’s becoming more reliable as the season goes on, and has two starts this week where he should be beneficial to your roster. His first start of the week is in Seattle. Prior to the break, the Mariners were struggling to score runs. They scored just three or less in 7 out of 9 games. In his second start of the week, Suarez will face the Brewers at home. The Brewers have fallen to second place in the NL Central by losing their last seven games in a row. Their offense has been quiet, and this game being in AT&T Park should help to keep it that way. People may steer clear of Suarez for the Seattle start because James Paxton should be starting that game for the Mariners, but with this being his first start off the DL, I would take the chance.
Clay Buchholz – Arizona D-backs (ESPN: 17%, Yahoo: 18%)
Projected starts: 7/24 @ CHC, 7/29 @ SD
Buchholz is another two-start pitcher for Week 16. With seven starts with the D-backs, he’s put out good numbers in most of them. Buchholz has pitched at least five innings in six starts, three quality starts, and allowed just one earned run or less in five of these starts. While the strikeouts are not consistent, it’s not a stat that you should be banking on when rostering Buchholz. He has faced less offensively successful teams, like the Mets and Marlins, so his first start of the week against the Cubs in Chicago will the most challenging for the season. The second start is in San Diego, and it’s a much better match up for Buchholz against the Padres. If you’re playing in a daily league, you may only want Buchholz for the Padres start.
Nick Kingham – Pittsburgh Pirates (ESPN: 17%, Yahoo: 18%)
Projected start: 7/26 vs. NYM
Kingham’s start this week is against the Mets. It’s been a trend to stream pitchers against the Mets – after all, the Mets have the third worst runs scored in all of the MLB. His numbers aren’t as clean compared to Suarez and Buchholz when it comes to earned runs allowed, but Kingham is currently getting a strikeout per inning, with 9.06 K/9. In nine starts, he has five quality starts. His splits against right-handed batters are much better than lefties, so as long as he can keep that success, Kingham should be able to fairly mitigate any damage done by them. He’s had decent starts against teams like Brewers, Cardinals, and Cubs, and I believe you can roster Kingham with surety.
Matthew Boyd – Detroit Tigers (ESPN: 7%, Yahoo: 8%)
Projected start: 7/25 @ KC
The Royals are right there with the Orioles as the worst teams in Major League Baseball. Boyd will pitch against the Royals, in Kansas City, and they are the lowest scoring team in all of baseball. He’s able to get a good amount of strikeouts, it’s difficult to rely on him for the win. With ownership in the single digits, we know that we’ll take on some risk with rostering pitchers in this territory. If you look at his game log, you like the strike out potential, but won’t like the earned runs and walks allowed. If your team is competitive right now, there will be uncertainties and you’ll have to assess whether or not your team can absorb a less than satisfactory performance. When it comes to streaming pitchers for season-long fantasy baseball, think of it with a DFS mindset: will I roster this player just for this start?
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your fantasy baseball season and pitching streamers!