10-Team Leagues

Félix Hernández (SEA) – Two weeks ago, Hernandez wouldn’t have even sniffed the streamers list. On June 9, he had a 5.70 ERA and just 64 strikeouts with 30 walks in 77.1 innings of work. There was little reason to get excited about King Felix. And even right now there isn’t any reason to rely on him the rest of the year. However, in his last two starts against the Red Sox and Yankees he’s worked 12 innings racking up 12 strikeouts to just two walks and he’s allowed just three earned runs.

Considering Hernandez is coming off two strong outings against a pair of potent offenses, there’s reason to be optimistic in an upcoming matchup against the Orioles on Monday. And then he finishes next week with a home start against Kansas City. He’s a two-start pitcher next week against two of the weaker offenses in baseball. You can stream with a little more confidence next week with Hernandez on your roster, but temper season-long expectations for now.

Rich Hill (LAD) – Hill finally returned from the disabled list and twirled six scoreless innings against the Cubbies this past Tuesday. His next matchup comes Sunday against the Mets, which is a phenomenal opportunity for him to keep on rolling. If you can get him before he embarrasses the Metropolitans do so now.

Next week, Hill will take the bump against the Rockies at home. Hill’s ownership should continue to spike, but be aware that he does have a history with injuries. Ride him while he’s hot, but just know it could come crashing down at any moment.

Domingo Germán (NYY) – So this is more of a general suggestion to pick up German. He’s about 31% owned in ESPN leagues and 45% owned in Yahoo! leagues. Those Yahooligans are pretty savvy if you ask me. German does face the Rays this coming Sunday so it’s a great matchup to close out the week. Since moving to the rotation German has a 10.57 K/9 and a 2.74 BB/9. He has no issues pounding the strike zone as walks aren’t really an issue. However, in 46 innings as a starter he’s surrendered eight home runs and that’s a little worrisome. But in each of his last three starts he’s amassed at least nine strikeouts in each appearance.

The long ball is still an issue, and German does face the Red Sox next week, which is not a matchup you like to see. If he can stick in the rotation until the All-Star Break, he’ll likely see matchups against Baltimore and Toronto. So in total, three of his next four matchups are looking pretty good on paper. Grab him while you can!


12-Team Leagues

Kyle Gibson (MIN) – This is by far the best Gibson has looked in his career and he’s still just a measly 30% owned in Yahoo! leagues. He’s averaging nearly a strikeout per inning and his ERA (3.25) is a career best so far. Sure the Twins have been disappointing after a Wild Card run in 2017 and Gibson only has two wins this season. Overall he’s been solid and should definitely carry more ownership.

Next week, Gibson faces the White Sox on the road and Chicago is slashing just .237/.300/.392 and those numbers rank bottom ten in all of baseball. Chicago is also averaging less than four runs per game at home so this is certainly a tantalizing matchup for Gibson.

Caleb Smith (MIA) – This is where the list starts to run a bit dry. Smith is basically this year’s version of Kevin Gausman . Every time he appears in this piece he gets rocked. Well not this time, I tell ya! Smith gets a delightful matchup next week against the Mets who are one of the worst teams at the plate right now. Particularly against southpaws as the Mets slash just .215/.299/.333 so the numbers support my argument here.

Smith still has a decent 11.5% swinging strike rate, but he has given up four home runs over his last 19.2 innings of work. He wraps up the current week with a matchup in Colorado. I’m not going to hold it against him if he completely sucks because lets’ be honest, it’s Coors Field. Regardless of the outcome on Sunday he’s a solid option next week against the Mets.

Jeff Samardzija (SF) – As of right now the Shark is not yet scheduled for a matchup next week. However, it is believed that he’ll rejoin the team sometime in the next few days. If he is added to the rotation it’s possible he’ll either face the Rockies at home or the Diamondbacks on the road. I don’t think the Giants would hesitate to push either Dereck Rodriguez , Chris Stratton , or Derek Holland from the rotation to make room for Samardzija.

Samardzija hasn’t been quite the same player that he was in his prime with the Cubs. In fact, he wasn’t even really that good prior to landing on the DL. So this is a “don’t hold you breath” kind of streaming option if he does get a start next week. But in his rehab start earlier this week he threw 46 of 73 pitches for strikes while striking out seven hitters. You know the options are thin when I’m recommending a guy who technically doesn’t have an official start next week.


Deeper-League Options

Shane Bieber (CLE) – It’s a very small sample size for Bieber, but in two starts prior to Friday he was looking like a nice source of strikeouts in deeper leagues. In 11.1 innings of work he had 13 strikeouts and just a pair of walks. He had given up a lot of hits (18 at that point), but his .471 BABIP was due to regress a little bit, which would help his case.

On Friday night against the Tigers, the strikeouts continued to roll on in. In seven innings of work Bieber struck out nine hitters, walked one, and allowed a mere four hits. It’s not official, but according to the box score he induced a whopping 18 swinging strikes. That’s really good. Bieber’s in line for one start on the road next week against St. Louis. I’m feeling really confident in his ability to hang on to the fifth spot in Cleveland’s rotation and you can stream him next week.

Frankie Montás (OAK) – Montas is seeing his ownership slowly rise, but I don’t know how much higher it’ll get than maybe 30%. The reality is that he’s simply just a two-pitch guy with his fastball and slider. The fastball is pretty good. It sits at 95mph, and it would be nice if he had a better changeup that he could use more often, but he just doesn’t have that yet. He doesn’t have great strikeout potential and may be due for some regression. After all he does have a 2.41 ERA and a 3.68 FIP.

Montas does a good enough job keeping the ball in the park and if you need a guy in a deeper league or if the aforementioned Jeff Samardzija doesn’t actually start next week. Montas is a two-start pitcher next week against Detroit and Cleveland. Obviously he’s in play for the first time. Avoid the Indians if you can.

Mike Montgomery (CHC) – Montgomery isn’t a sexy choice by any stretch of the imagination, but you know what you’re gonna get out of him. Check this out. In each of his last four starts he’s chucked six innings and given up one earned run. That’s consistency right there folks. Sure the strikeouts, walks, and hit totals have all varied but when this guy takes the mound there’s a good chance he comes away with a quality start.

All jokes aside, Montgomery has been a reliable arm since the Cubs moved him into the rotation with Darvish hitting the disabled list. Does he stick in the rotation when Darvish is healthy and good to go? I doubt it. But for now, Montgomery is a two-start guy next week taking the bump against the Dodgers and then against the Twins. If I was a betting man I’d say he’s due for six innings of one-run ball in at least one of those matchups.