You don’t need me to recommend starting the Kershaws and Wainwrights of the world , but we all should dare to stream sometime and this is here to highlight some hurlers owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo (Y!) leagues. There will be some that should be of great use to your fake team (snag ‘em), but others could burn you like a ginger sans SPF in the scorching sun (bag ‘em). Here’s a look at this week’s stream candidates that can help weave the dream of fantasy glory.
Tom Koehler (20% owned on Y!) – The stars have aligned for the streamers as the lightly-owned Koehler draws two cake starts at home against the Cubs (Monday) and the Mets (Saturday). By no means is Koehler the second coming of Nolan Ryan, but even an 80-year old Eddie Harris from Major League could piece together two quality starts against these clubs – and that’s without the Vagisil knuckle ball. Both teams rank bottom-five in strikeouts, and neither average even four runs per game. Koehler’s 6.43 K/9 doesn’t amaze, but he has a 2.70 ERA and .274 wOBA against at home, so this is about as safe a stream as you can get.
Drew Smyly (25% owned on Y!) – It’s been a roller coaster ride with Smyly this season, but not the fun kind when your balls feel like they shoot into your stomach. Anyways, Smyly’s best start of 2014 came against the Royals (W, 7 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K), and that’s who he’ll face at home on Wednesday. Kansas City ranks 23rd in OPS versus LHP (.672), and they are averaging just over four runs per game on the road. In addition, Smyly is 3-0 lifetime against the Royals with a 2.05 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
Chris Young (8% owned on Y!) – Here’s a guy who burst onto the scene in the first half of 2007 (with the Padres) but has been battling injuries and frequent trips to the DL ever since. Young certainly hasn’t resurrected his career, as his .214 BABIP and 5.87 xFIP demonstrate the ball’s bounced his way more often than not. Luck aside, he’s been somewhat serviceable from a fantasy perspective (5-4 with a 3.68 ERA), and he gets two starts this week against lineups that wouldn’t strike fear into the cowardly lion. Young will face the Padres at home on Monday and then travel to Kansas City on Saturday. San Diego owns the lowest team OPS against RHP (.624), and Kansas City is averaging a meager 3.79 runs per game at home. The latter start is a little scarier, but it’s worth the double-down on Young if you’re desperate for wins, or at the very least, quality starts.
Henderson Alvarez (29% owned on Y!) – Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets! Alvarez is all but locked in for a win against the punchless Metropolitans (on Friday), who rank 29th in SLG% (.347) and dead-last in SLG% against RHP (.346). Alvarez won’t feed your need for strikeouts, but he’s been lights out at home (1.47 ERA and .256 wOBA against), and his 53.7 GB%, 3.49 xFIP, and .319 BABIP prove that he hasn’t been pitching over his head.
Jake Arrieta (7% owned on Y!) – Jake has snaked his way to a handful of nice outings this season, but he should be avoided in South Beach on Wednesday. The Marlins rank fifth in OPS at home (.776) and sixth in total bases per game (14.29). Miami saw Arrieta in Chicago last week, and they were actually held scoreless in his six innings pitched with only three hits. That should make Arrieta a lean, mean streaming machine, right? Wrong. The Marlins’ home/away splits are very real, and this is a trap. Be warned.
Jacob Turner (1% owned on Y!) – The Cubs are a very easy team to target, but don’t be tempted by Jacob Turner’s … umm … turn against them on Tuesday. This is a bit contradictory to what was said about Chicago in the Koehler write-up above, but Turner is a fraction of a pitcher that Koehler is. He has failed to concoct any edible home cooking (6.33 ERA and .403 wOBA against), and he couldn’t strike out a bat boy hitting with a broomstick (5.63 K/9). The Cubbies aren’t the most carnivorous of offenses, but guys like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro can still put some dents in roto categories.