The trade deadline is coming up, but don’t let that deter you from managing your fantasy baseball leagues. Daily leagues will be easier to manage, but weekly leagues will face a tougher task when it comes to pitching if trades are made. In either case, be sure to follow the latest updates of the players on your fantasy teams.
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.
Shane Bieber – Cleveland Indians (ESPN: 37%, Yahoo: 39%)
Projected starts: 7/30 @ MIN, 8/5 vs. LAA
Bieber’s ownership has been on a sharp decline since his worst start of the season against the Pirates. If he’s available in your league, you’ll want to take a close look at Bieber, as he has two starts this week. He has a road, divisional matchup against the Twins, and will be at home against the Angels. The AL Central is weak, but the Twins have a losing record and are second, behind the Indians. The Angels are looking to get in the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Bieber usually walks one batter per start, and averages almost one strikeout per inning, which is decent. If you don’t want to start him in both starts, the matchup with the Angels should be better with all of their right-handed bats. I expect Bieber to bounce back from his worst start of the season.
Edwin Jackson – Oakland Athletics (ESPN: 11%, Yahoo: 9%)
Projected starts: 7/30 vs. TOR, 8/5 vs. DET
Jackson is in Oakland now, after a brief stint with the Nationals last season. With just six starts on the season, he’s only won one of them, but has given up three or less earned runs in five of these starts. Jackson doesn’t have a K-rate that many would like, but he is about 11% owned on ESPN, and less on Yahoo – at 9%. There shouldn’t, and can’t, be high expectations when it comes to the ownership of Jackson, and the other two pitchers mentioned next. He has two starts this week, against the Blue Jays and Tigers. Both of these teams are struggling this season, and it helps that these games will be in Oakland. There couldn’t be a better week, if you need a two-start pitcher, with both starts in a pitcher-friendly ball park.
Mike Minor – Texas Rangers (ESPN: 9%, Yahoo: 11%)
Projected start: 8/4 vs. BAL
Minor has really worked his way back from being a reliever, and now back to a starter. His numbers may not be the greatest, but he doesn’t seem to have any setbacks from his shoulder injury. In 19 starts, Minor’s pitched at least five innings in 16 starts, and has gone six or more in 10 of them. If you ask me, that’s pretty impressive. Minor has some interesting home-road numbers. He gives up more home runs at home, but has a lower batting average against and slugging there too. As long as he can avoid the home run ball against a Machado-less Orioles, he should be fine.
Nick Tropeano – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (ESPN: 4%, Yahoo: 4%)
Projected start: 8/1 @ TB
Tropeano has been hit or miss this season. Looking at his home-road splits, Tropeano’s doing better on the road in almost all pitching categories. If there’s a time to roster him, it would be a better choice to do so if it’s a road start. Even better, if it’s at a pitcher-friendly park, like this start against the Rays, at Tropicana Field. At just 4% ownership on both ESPN and Yahoo, it is a risk, and it might be one that a few may want to take. If you decide to stream Tropeano, you have some time to mitigate any damage during the remainder of the week.
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your fantasy baseball season and pitching streamers!