Yes, it is in fact still baseball season.
The NFL Draft was a blast, but it’s time to buckle down and plan ahead for the next week of fantasy baseball. You need wins, you need categories, you need pitchers. Week 7 lacks a ton of elite talent among two-start options, but there is plenty of value to be had here, and at the end of the day, you are basically looking for guys who take the mound against the Padres and Astros.
Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds (vs SD, @PHI)- So about those Padres, did you know that two teams in baseball have double the amount of runs scored as San Diego this year? However, they have improved. You know, if you call going from the worst team batting average (.219) to the second worst improvement. Leake is not a strikeout guy, averaging a 5.19 K/9 rate, the 8th-lowest in baseball, but he has potential in these two matchups, as both the Padres and Phillies are inside the bottom-10 in strikeout rate. He’s been eating a ton of innings, too, going seven, eight, seven and seven innings over his last four outings. He should roll in the matchup against the Padres, but I also like his chances against a very inconsistent and sporadic Phillies offense. The win may be difficult, seeing as he’ll be facing Cliff Lee, but the peripherals should be solid.
Tyler Lyons, St.Louis Cardinals (vs CHC, vs ATL)- Lyons has yet to record a win this season, but he’s pitched pretty well, sporting an ERA of 3.43 and a 21-6 K/BB ratio. The Cardinals bats continue to underperform, but if they can awaken this week, he could be in for some nice lines. The Braves offense has also underperformed, sporting the highest team strikeout rate in all of baseball, while the Cubs are right behind them at number two. The Cubs are allowing the opposition to post 27.62 outs per game this year, the fourth-most in the league. Oh, and during his last start, Lyons went six innings, allowing four hits, one run and fanning seven batters. It was against the Braves. Lyons has some nice strikeout potential in the first place, and serves as one of the top under-the-radar streaming options for the week.
Marco Estrada, Milwaukee Brewers (vs PIT, @CHC)- Estrada is struggling to keep the ball in the park thus far, sporting the second-highest HR/9 in all of baseball (1.87). He’s surrendered an ugly nine home runs already, but he is worth a long look as a streaming option for Week 7. The Pirates haven’t been swinging the bat very well, and he has had great success against them in his career, sporting a 5-0 record, 2.01 ERA and an insane 63-5 K/BB ratio. The home run regression should come, seeing as his ground ball percentage is just two percentage points lower than his fly ball ratio. Look for him to do a better job keeping the ball in the park, and the Brewers will get Ryan Braun back for some extra run support.