Week 18 for Fantasy Baseball looks to be a pretty tough one when it comes to looking for pitchers to stream. Strong pitching staffs with higher owned pitchers are facing weaker teams. The Rays don’t have a pitching rotation, and two-start pitchers are hard to come by. Do your research and keep up with the latest news. This is one of those weeks that could make it, or break it.
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.
Zack Wheeler – New York Mets (ESPN: 42%, Yahoo: 40%)
Projected start: 8/10 @ MIA
Yes, a Mets’ pitcher. I know I like to target against the Mets, but there are times when you can side with them. Wheeler’s start comes against the Marlins, in Miami. At this time, the Mets and the Marlins are tied for last in the NL East, so it’s hard to say that one is worse than the other. If you’re not comfortable with owning any other Mets besides Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, for a long period of time, then streaming Wheeler could work out. Wheeler has slightly better splits on the road, in regards to: ERA, K/9, HR/9, AVG, and slugging. This game will be at Marlins Park, and those numbers should get a slight boost as long as Wheeler stays on his current home/road trend.
Ervin Santana (ESPN: 27%, Yahoo: 28%)
Projected start: 8/10 @ DET
Santana’s back from the DL, and only has a small sample size of two starts this season. With one against the Blue Jays, and the other against the Indians, it’s not clear how this start against the Tigers will go. There certainly is a difference between his velocity this season and last. We shouldn’t expect it to get back to where it was in such a short span of time.
This week, Santana should have a more similar start to the one he had against the Blue Jays. He was able to keep them at three runs, with five strikeouts. All three of the home runs he’s allowed came against the Indians. This start won’t be until Friday, so as long as you’re in a daily league, you can hold off on making a decision on Santana. For me, he’s worth the stream in some of my leagues.
Austin Gomber (ESPN: 4%, Yahoo: 15%)
Projected start: 8/10 @ KC
The Cardinals are in a bit of a pickle, with Carlos Martinez going back on the DL. Taking this place this week is Gomber. He’s been pitching out of the bullpen and has just one start for the season. On July 24, against the Reds, Gomber just two earned runs, two walks, and struck out six batters. The Cardinals will be going to Kansas City for this series against the Royals. The Royals are still dead last in runs scored, out of all 30 MLB teams. Gomber has a good chance at having another nice start. The good thing about Gomber getting the start is that he’s been pitching out of the bullpen since June, in case you’re worried about any jitters.
Homer Bailey (ESPN: 1.5%, Yahoo: 2%)
Projected start: 8/6 @ NYM
Bailey is 1-8 on the season, but there are losses and no-decisions that have resulted in good starts where he’s allowed two or less runs. As we know, wins are dependent on the offense. For our pitchers to get them, we need them to at least keep their teams in the game. Bailey’s most impressive start this season came on July 31st, against the Tigers. He got the loss, but pitched eight innings, gave up just two earned runs, and struck out six batters. If you’re in a league where you get penalized for losses, you may want to pass on this streamer. If not, you can take the chance, with Bailey pitching against the Mets, in New York. Syndergaard will be getting the start for the Mets, but think about how you think the Mets offense will do against Bailey. This game is on Monday, so if it doesn’t pan out, you’ll have the rest of the week to correct any bad stats.
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your fantasy baseball season and pitching streamers!