Streaming starting pitchers can be one of the most effective strategies in fantasy baseball. Here are three pitchers who are widely available and should be useful on July 1.
Henderson Alvarez vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Alvarez has been fantastic this season, he may not help you much in the strikeout department, but his 2.32 ERA is the sixth lowest in baseball and to go with it he has a very respectable 1.28 WHIP. Alvarez’s 3.06 FIP — along with his high, .321 BABIP — verify that he has truly been a great pitcher this season. He’s doing it by keeping the ball on the ground — his 53.8 percent groundball rate is the 12th best in baseball, and by limiting home runs his 0.36 HR/9 is the fifth lowest in baseball.
On Tuesday he gets to face a Phillies team that he’s handled pretty well so far this season. In three starts against the Phillies he owns a 1.83 ERA and last week when he faced them he went 6.2 innings while giving up seven hits, one run, two walks and three strikeouts on his way to a win.
Mike Leake at San Diego Padres
I would consider starting my grandfather if he was pitching against the Padres’ offense. They have truly been that bad. Like, historically bad.
San Diego is last in MLB in runs scored by a mile (despite playing more games than almost any team in baseball), they’re hitting an absolutely pathetic .212 this season (second lowest average is the Chicago Cubs at .232) and their .270 wOBA is the lowest of any team in the last ten seasons (the 2013 Miami Marlins have the second lowest at .279). The Padres have scored more than five runs just three times this month, they’ve been held to one or fewer runs in 12 of 26 games and they’ve scored just four runs total over their last four games.
Leake will bring a 3.41 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP into Petco Park on Tuesday night and I will be shocked if when he leaves those numbers aren’t lower.
Jarred Cosart vs. Seattle Mariners
Cosart has been on a roll lately. The young Houston Astros righty allowed just one run on six hits and two walks in a win against the Atlanta Braves last week and that was the 12th start in a row in which he gave up three runs or less. Over that stretch (dating back to April 23) he’s had a 2.70 ERA to go with a 1.28 WHIP and a very impressive 54.7 percent groundball rate.
Tuesday he faces a Mariners’ offense that hasn’t been all that strong against righties this season. Seattle’s .239 AVG against right-handed pitching is 23rd in baseball, their .300 OBP is 26th and their .305 wOBA is 20th.
Billy Moy is a Fantasy Sports writer at RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @william_moy6, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google