To assist you in planning ahead for Week 3, here are my nominees for streaming options this period. All these pitchers are owned in less than 50% of leagues, and thus may be available for your to grab off the wire and assist you in your fantasy endeavors, be it in a H2H league or some other format that allows for daily roster manipulation.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Brett Anderson COL @ SD Ian Kennedy
Scott Feldman HOU vs KC Bruce Chen
Dustin McGowan TOR @ MIN Kyle Gibson
Edinson Volquez PIT vs MIL Yovani Gallardo
I liked the Brett Anderson trade when Colorado pulled it off last December, as when he is healthy he can provide a nice source of strikeouts and good peripherals. Health is the issue with him, however, and this start is still up in the air after he suffered a finger contusion in his last start against the Giants. If he can go, pitching at Petco should be a nice added benefit to his performance. Feldman has surprised many, pitching like a true ace in his first three starts, having held opponents to just one run on 7 hits in 20.2 innings. His next start is not a guarantee, however, with him currently on the bereavement list, so if you want to add him, make certain he will take his turn in the rotation. McGowan looked impressive against Baltimore, holding the Orioles scoreless through 6.1 innings and only giving up one free pass and scattering 5 hits, although he did manage to plunk a couple of batters. He may not be long for the Blue Jay rotation, but another stellar outing like that on April 11th, and the Jays will need to find space to keep him as a starting pitcher when J. A. Happ comes off the DL. In twirling 14 innings this season for the Pirates, Volquez has been fantastic, allowing only 2 earned runs while striking out 10 batters and limiting the opponents to just eight hits in the early going of 2014. Moving to Pittsburgh was a wise career move, and if he keeps this up, he may be more than a streaming option, rather a solid SP to add to your roster.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Drew Hutchison TOR @ CLE Carlos Carrasco
Bud Norris BAL @ BOS John Lackey
Alfredo Simon CIN @ CHC Jeff Samardzija
Hutchison is still under owned in fantasy leagues, fanning better than a batter per inning, and keeping a 3.68 ERA through 14.2 innings over 3 games. He is walking a few too many batters for my taste, but then again, he is coming off Tommy John surgery and control is something that takes a while to return for many pitchers that have gone under the knife. He is the No. 2 in Toronto at this point, and you would do well to grab him before your league's other owners wake up and realize his value. Norris is not striking out as many hitters as he did when pitching in Houston, where he was close to a K/9 pitcher. He is also winless on the season, but should have racked up his first W against Toronto, but his bullpen did him no favors when Tommy Hunter allowed the Blue Jays a game tying homer. If he can rediscover his strikeout pitch, expect him to be a valuable SP that can be snagged off the wire, and while I don't exactly love the match up in Boston, he is still a decent available option this week. Simon has slipped into the Cincinnati rotation nicely, and looks to stick there with Mat Latos hitting the DL with an elbow injury. He offers superb control, although his strikeout numbers are average at best. With less than stellar strikeout numbers, he is actually a better SP than a set up man, and if he continues to limit the runs scored, he is a good injury fill-in, both for the Reds and your fantasy squad.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Henderson Alvarez MIA @ SEA Roenis Elias
Roenis Elias SEA vs MIA Henderson Alvarez
Robbie Ross TEX vs CHW Jose Quintana
Eric Stults SD vs SF Tim Hudson
Alvarez, as the Marlins #2 SP, is clearly overshadowed by his teammate, Jose Fernandez, but has been a decent SP option for savvy fantasy owners. He has been giving up too many hits, but his BABIP shows that he has been unlucky so far, as .401 is unsustainable over time. His 3.43 FIP (as opposed to his 4.15 ERA) also demonstrates the unlucky trend he's been on to start the season. Expect these numbers to moderate, and Alvarez to become more usable as they do so. Pitching at home in a pitcher's park against the Mariners also has great potential for him to toss a good to great game on Saturday. Elias, Alvarez' opponent on Saturday, also has a nice match up, not only because of the venue, but also because he has been very stingy with scoring opportunities so far this season, allowing a scant 3 earned runs over his two starts. He's putting up a sub 3 ERA and while he is no strikeout machine, he also generates a ton of ground balls, thus keeping the ball in the park. Left hander Ross has been generating a strikeout per inning and limiting earned runs significantly, having only allowed four runners to cross the plate in 10.1 innings, with just two of those runs being earned. He could lose his spot in the rotation when the Rangers get some of their top line starters off the DL, but until then, take advantage of his early success. Stults at home is a fine option to pep up your line up, although he was unlucky in picking up his second loss on the season after holding the Indians to two runs (one earned) in his last start. Do not plan on a load of Ks, but if he can repeat his recent success, he won't hurt your team's pitching stats.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Robbie Erlin SD vs SF Tim Lincecum
Zach McAllister CLE vs TOR Brandon Morrow
Juan Nicasio vs PHI Cliff Lee
Like Stults, I like Erlin at home against the Giants, and like his match up much better as he faces Lincecum on Sunday. In his first start as the Padres' #5 SP, he held the Indians to a single run, while allowing only 5 base runners over 6.2 innings. I see his slotting in to the San Diego rotation easily, and putting up good numbers all season, especially when taking the hill at home. McAllister should not be owned in only 30% of leagues, given his success in 2013. He has bumped up his strikeout rate this season, racking up 11 Ks in 11.2 innings, and was able to avoid any giving up any free passes in his last start, although he did walk 4 in his first outing. If he can continue to show control and keep whiffing batters, he will be in demand soon enough. Why not beat the rush and add him now? Nicasio doesn't have a great matchup, facing Cliff Lee and the Phillies at home, but he is a good source for strikeouts, and has been limiting the walks this year so far. If he can keep the Rockies close, with their offense, he has a good chance to post a W as well as fill in your stats with nice peripherals, too. Finding the strike zone has always been an issue for the right-hander, but if he has indeed discovered his control, with the strikeout potential he becomes a worthwhile pickup not only for this game but in the future as well.
Should you have questions regarding fantasy baseball, especially starting pitching, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org to continue the discussion.