Fantasy Baseball: The Best Streaming Options in Week 5, Like Kevin Correia and Stud Dan Straily
The Starting Pitching Streamers That'll Lead You to Week 5 Victory
Streaming pitchers is either rewarding or detrimental. Fortunately, if you (like me) followed the advice of last week’s version of this column, you reaped the benefits of at least one of the eight starts last week. Patrick Corbin, Tony Cingrani, Carlos Villanueva, Ricky Nolasco and Wei-Yin Chen all posted starts that would have positively affected your team. Unfortunately, with those pitchers’ successes, many of them are now owned in a lot of leagues — hopefully by you.
Villanueva, Cingrani, and Corbin are all now owned in over 50% of ESPN standard leagues and, therefore, aren’t eligible for this column. If they were, they’d probably be on it again. But…
Now we must dig deeper and into uncharted and uncertain waters, and into the dregs, drips, and depths of fantasy baseball. We’ll gopher into the territory where you’ll cringe when you click that dirty ‘add’ button and hope for the best. What might we find? Maybe a shiny new Cingrani (for that week, at least), or maybe a filthy, cretinous Philip Humber. We’ll find help or we’ll find hurt. Hopefully we find the fortune we found last week. So hop on, partner, let’s take a look at the potential waiver-wire help for your fifth fantasy matchup.
As always, we will use the following criteria when selecting our streaming pitchers:
We'll use SPs owned in less than 50% of ESPN standard leagues. I’ll also give you a ‘confidence rating’ with each player — 10 is ‘extremely confident’, 1 is ‘hey, I just threw a name out there.’ Also, we’ll naturally give priority to those sweet double-start candidates.’
Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals
This is more of a testament to how bad the Chicago White Sox offense is rather than how good Jeremy Guthrie is, but Guthrie has indeed changed his pitching style and is seeing clear results. Heretofore this season, the right-hander has eschewed his fastball in favor of his change-up and slider. In 2011 he had the lowest fastball rate of his career (28.7%) but complemented it with a cutter — the first year he implemented that pitch. Now, though, Guthrie’s fastball rate is 35.5%, or the second-lowest in his career, and is throwing his slider 21.8% of his pitches and his change 14.1%. He’s basically abandoned his beach-ball cutter and is now getting hitters to chase more bad pitches, which has increased his K%.
Confidence vs. White Sox – 6.5
Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs
Travis Wood’s on a hot streak. He’s five-for-five when it comes to quality starts this season, and he’s done it against the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers. It won’t last, though, so use him while you can. Hitters have a .202 BAbip against him yet a 17% line-drive rate. His K% and BB% are pretty much in line with his career rates. Hitters historically have deflated BAbips against him — he’s a fly-ball guy — but things will change. I don’t think it’ll be sparked by the White Sox, though.
Confidence vs. the San Diego Padres – 6
Kevin Correia, Minnesota Twins
I think I’ve fully bought into Kevin Correia. He won’t strike anyone out, but he also won’t walk anyone. So as long as he continues to keep the ball in the ballpark he should be fine. He’ll be facing the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, which hurts a guy like Correia who benefits from spacious fields, but Cleveland’s scuffling.
Confidence vs. Cleveland – 7
Ricky Nolasco, Miami Marlins
Nolasco’s been hot since the beginning of spring and continues to be an unexciting pitcher for an unexciting team. Unexciting, though, is how you find value. He’s improved his two-seamer, is throwing it more and it’s working. He’s pretty much been the same pitcher in Miami and away from it, so don’t fear the Philadelphia Phillies for any reason whatsoever. If you can find your strikeouts elsewhere, Nolasco should at least keep Miami in contention for the W.
Confidence vs. Philly – 7.5
Dan Straily, Oakland Athletics
I like Straily here for his two-start potential and for the chance he retains a rotation spot if he pitches well. Jarrod Parker is pitching terribly with no signs of a turnaround, and Brett Anderson is being his silly injured self again, so Straily could stay up with the MLB club this time around. Even if he doesn’t get the opportunity to dice through the Houston Astros on Monday, but rather the Los Angeles Angels, Tommy Hanson will most likely keep Straily in the running for a win. This is more of an advisory to pick him up and stash him than an urge to start him Monday.
Confidence vs. L.A. - 7