There are some fantasy baseball names who are quickly gaining ownership percentages, so make sure you snag them for your Week 19 pitching streamers. Since this has been release ahead of Monday’s games, Pitching Primer candidates are projected to pitch from Wednesday through the rest of the week.
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.
Kevin Gausman – Atlanta Braves (ESPN: 48%, Yahoo: 50%)
Projected start: 8/15 vs. MIA
Gausman has been one of those pitchers who we thought could produce better than average numbers, but it just hasn’t been there. The Orioles haven’t developed their pitchers into their potential, but Gausman has a chance to show it, now that he’s in a Braves’ uniform. He has only started twice for them, but his most recent start against the Brewers was especially impressive. Gausman pitched eight innings, struck out eight batters, allowed just one run, and didn’t give up any home runs. With the Orioles, a home run per game (at least) was a regular occurrence. This week’s start comes against the Marlins at home. After the end of Sunday’s games, the Braves are tied with the Phillies atop the NL East, while the Nationals are 5 1/2 games back. For the rest of the season, the majority of the Braves’ series are against winning teams and they’ll need to take advantage of weaker teams, particularly at home. The change of scenery, and competitive environment could bring out the best in Gausman.
Trevor Cahill – Oakland A’s (ESPN: 42%, Yahoo: 48%)
Projected start: 8/18 vs. HOU
Cahill’s popularity has spiked, and you can see it in his significant rise in ownership. His start on Sunday, against the Angels, was less than stellar. He’ll get an opportunity to get back on track, but it’ll be against the Astros, at home. At least this start will be in Oakland, which is one of the best parks for pitchers. On the season, Cahill is sporting a 3.12 ERA, and a strikeout per inning. Facing the Astros isn’t ideal, but if you’re looking to stream Cahill, there’s some comfort in his home/road splits.
There’s a large difference between ERA, K%, BB%, and BABIP, just to name a few. This start is on Saturday, so you’ll have some time to decide if you need stream Cahill. Also, his ownership will probably drop after Sunday’s start, so he may free up in your league if he already isn’t.
Mike Minor – Texas Rangers (ESPN: 13%, Yahoo: 15%)
Projected start: 8/17 vs. LAA
Minor has 22 starts this season, which is the most since having 25 back in 2014. He’s healthy and has been reliable in some situations. The Rangers are in the top five in MLB in runs scored, yet they’re last in their division. If you look at Minor’s splits, he also pitches better at home. Globe Life Park gives way to a lot of offense, so it’s good to see that he’s able to pitch well at home. His start comes against the Angels, who could be without Mike Trout. Trout’s absence changes the Angels lineup, and is a plus for Minor. As mentioned before with lower owned pitchers, there are some stats that we need to put aside. If you are okay with not getting the win, consider Minor as a streamer.
James Shields – Chicago White Sox (ESPN: 8%, Yahoo: 7%)
Projected start: 8/17 vs. KC
Shields will face his former team, the Royals. Because he’s been inconsistent, it’s hard to know when he’ll pitch a good game, or have a blow up. This will be Shields’ fourth start against the Royals this season, and he’s done okay. His last two starts against the Indians and Rays, were quality ones. Like Cahill and Minor, Shields has better home than road numbers, like: ERA, AVG, HR/9, and BABIP. Considering the team Shields’ pitches for, he’s having a better season than last. He’s been hard to trust, but sometimes you need a streamer to give you a little bump for those extra points or category wins.
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your fantasy baseball season and pitching streamers!