Fantasy Baseball Two-Start Pitchers/Streaming Starters: Taking A Look At Nick Lodolo And Others
Published: Jul 16, 2022
Updated: Jul 16, 2022
The All-Star Break (ASB) is upon us, and therefore, there are no two-start options this coming week, with the lack of games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The tendency of managers to adjust their MLB lineups, especially their rotations after the break in action, throws a monkey wrench into our ability to forecast those arms that will be available for streaming purposes, as well. It behooves the successful fantasy manager to keep checking the fantasy baseball news for purposes of populating the rotation during the short week following the All-Star Game.
Because of the uncertainly with regard to upcoming starting pitcher situation, we shall take a different tack this week and look back at those streaming pitchers that have been discussed in the prior 14 weeks here. Let us take a gander at those that have met or exceeded expectations in the first half of the season.
Nick Lodolo CIN
A back injury landed the Cincy southpaw on the 60-day IL after making three April starts. He returned to the rotation for a couple of pre-ASB, and collected 14 strikeouts over those 9.2 IP. He does not feature a blazing fastball, unlike fellow rookie rotation-mate Hunter Greene, but instead possesses four above-average offerings, including a sinker that sits in the low 90 MPH range and a high 80’s slider, which allows him to miss plenty of bats. Pitching for the woeful Reds limits his desirability, as victories will be hard to come by, and due to potential inning limits as he recovers from another injury will also deprive his owners of quality start (QS) stats.
MadBum is a well-known name in the pitching ranks from his exploits with the Giants but his star has lost some of the luster since he landed in the desert with the Diamondbacks. He has been featured a number of times in this report in 2022, however, and this season he sports a sub-4.00 ERA through his 19 starts to date (3.83). No reason not to use him, despite his continued depressed strikeout numbers (6.45 K/9 over 96.1 IP this season) and a continued trend showing less control (3.08 BB/9). In the proper matchup-at home, against an opponent that does not play well on the road-he still has streaming value.
Brad Keller KC
Keller is another streaming option that better serves those who would employ his services when he is toeing the rubber in Kansas City rather than away from Kauffman Stadium. He has an acceptable sub-4.00 ERA (3.98 actually) and 1.27 WHIP through his 97.2 IP, and while he is coming off a nice eight K effort in defeating the Tigers, his K rate is sub-par at 6.2 K/9. Toiling for a last place team generally means that wins are not readily available, yet the Royal righty is working on a three-game victory run. Yet pitching as part of a cellar dwelling staff does tend to depress the ownership percentages and make these types of hurlers available for matchup free agent pickup claims.
Adrian Houser MIL
This SP climbs the hill for a first-place team, but is still available in a majority of leagues (7% Yahoo, 5.5% ESPN). True, his ratio stats have been steadily rising, but that is perhaps due to the elbow strain that recently landed him on the IL. To build on a trend, he pitches much better when enjoying home cooking than away from his home field. He offers innings but is frequently unable to avoid allowing too many earned tallies to come away with a QS, or a victory for that matter (4-8 on the season). His K rate is pedestrian at 6.7 K/9 through 76.1 IP, but in the proper matchup, he can be useful.
José Quintana PIT
Until recently, the veteran southpaw had been a steadily performing member of the middle of the pack Pirate rotation. His last two starts pre-ASB have been less than noteworthy, however, with 10 earned runs being charged to him over 9.1 IP. An 8.1 K/9 rate is useful, although the 1.34 WHIP is a detrimental ratio to carry along on his trips atop the bump. He has had a bad two game stretch before back in June, so the hope is that the break will allow him to regroup and return to form as a useful streaming option, especially when pitching at PNC Park.
Justin Steele CHC
The second-year left-hander for the Cubbies is racking up some useful K numbers (8.6 K/9 over his 82.1 IP on the season) but has some control issues that inflate his WHIP to an unattractive 1.47 over his 17 starts in 2022. Once again, our streaming option is a better choice to employ is he is throwing the pellet from his home hill in Wrigley than out on the road, so matchups are a key to his value. He also keeps the ball in the yard effectively, which fits in well with his tendency to induce groundballs from opposing hitters. His peripherals indicate his second half performance could see some positive progression.
Cole Irvin OAK
Continuing a general theme, the 28-year-old southpaw pitches for a team mired in last place in the division. Unlike others in our discussion of steaming “stars” over the first half, though, he has good control backing up his efforts (1.8 BB/9 over his 95.1 IP in 2022). Putting away opposing hitters at less than six per nine frames (5.9 K/9 to be precise) does not make him extraordinarily valuable as a plug-in arm, but he is incredibly effective at home, despite his team’s relative lack of success in their homebase (11-31 through Friday’s contests). Use him for his prowess in providing excellent ratio stats, not in hopes of collecting victories.
J.T. Brubaker PIT
Another Pirate hurler that offers value in terms of a strikeout rate better than a batter per inning (9.3 K/9 through 94.0 IP) but whose lack of control and command push his WHIP to an unappealing height of 1.41 over his 18 starts this season. He is the exception among these SPs, however, in that his home/road splits favor him plying his trade on a foreign mound. Heading into the break, he has amassed four QS among his most recent seven starts.
Reviewing the past 14 weeks of the season, those are the streaming options that stand out, of those that are no longer owned at a low enough percentage to be attainable in most leagues. There will be others that appear as the second half of the season proceeds, and next week the two-start options will emerge again, so keep reading as you pursue your fantasy baseball championship title(s).
Feel free also to send any starting pitching or other fantasy baseball questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for a private response to your specific issue. The more detail you can provide about your team and league, including settings (H2H vs roto, points or categories, weekly or daily moves, roster size, league size, etc.) the better the response will be suited to your individual situation. As ever, good luck and Godspeed in all your fantasy endeavors.
Related MLB Links:
- Previous Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Targets
- 2022 MLB Fantasy Baseball Prospect Report
- 2022 MLB Injury Report
- Fantasy Baseball Daily Round Ups
- Fantasy Baseball Closer Reports