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Fantasy Baseball: Best Week 7 Pitcher Streams, Like Jason Vargas and Brandon McCarthy

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The Pitchers to Pick Up in Week 7

Kelvin Kuo-USA Today Sports

Last week was a good one for pitching. Chris Sale owned the Los Angeles Angels on primetime’s Sunday Night Baseball last night. A few hours prior, Jorge De La Rosa extended a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. There were a bunch of good performances by big-name guys, but also a bunch by some middling, unexciting ones. For example? Well, the Sale and De La Rosa example.

Sale’s a high-ceiling stud who went early in drafts and whips around a blazing fastball and nasty slider. If you told someone he pitched a gem on national television, they’d probably be impressed, though not surprised.

De La Rosa? Well, he’s pretty much the opposite — a lifetime journeymen who nobody ever really gives any attention to besides the Colorado Rockies and their stinky pitching staff.

And there’s the beauty in the pitcher stream. Though you’ll get good performances more often from a guy like Sale, picking De La Rosa on a day like yesterday is a ticket to success: the hitters (not pitchers) you spent your early-round picks on are crushing, and your free pitching is matching with their broadway guys. Ah, success.

Once again, in another fantasy baseball week, there’s value to be had out there on the wire. Let’s figure out who’s the best bet to give you that success.

As always:

‘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.’

For more streaming options, check back every Monday morning. Follow Nick Tom on Twitter @NickTomFB

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Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers

Jeff Hanisch-USA Today Sports

Before his blow-up vs. the Cardinals last week, Marco Estrada (28.6% owned) had been pitching consistently well while keeping his slight control problems in check. He’s improved his first-pitch strike percentage this season, but is letting up an increased number of homers — 6.4%. Homers shouldn’t be a problem vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. His second start of the week is vs. the Cardinals, which is obviously a worse matchup.

Confidence vs. Pirates – 8

Confidence vs. Cards – 6

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Justin Grimm, Texas Rangers

Jake Roth-USA Today Sports

If you’re playing your streamers for a lock in wins and strikeouts, rather than all-around ratio building, Justin Grimm (27.8%) is it. He’s a double-start pitcher this week and is striking out 9.7 per nine, or 24.4% of hitters faced. Whichever stat you trust, it’s obvious he’ll rack up the Ks. In Grimm we trust.

Confidence vs. Oakland Athletics – 7

Confidence vs. Detroit Tigers – 6

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Jason Vargas, Los Angeles Angels

Brett David-USA Today Sports

It’ll be boring to watch, but Jason Vargas (16.4%) had strung three good starts together prior to his semi-meltdown vs. the Houston Astros last week. His stuff isn’t dipping and diving like it usually does and H/9 and BB/9 are both up despite a career-average K/9, but Vargas’ two starts give him some value. His second start matches him up against the Chicago White Sox, which is always favorable.

Confidence vs. Kansas City Royals – 6

Confidence vs. White Sox – 8

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Brandon McCarthy, Arizona Diamondbacks

Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA Today Sports

Finally! A good start! Brandon McCarthy went eight shutout vs. the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. He struck out five and didn’t walk anyone, which is usually a McCarthy problem. He gets the Miami Marlins on Saturday, and he’s been known to be streaky — if he can keep the walks to a minimum, the Marlins are an awesome, awesome matchup.

Confidence vs. Marlins – 8

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Kevin Correia, Minnesota Twins

David Butler II-USA Today Sports

Vs. the White Sox. Duh.

Confidence – 7.5