Fantasy Baseball: Pitchers to stream this week

Many fantasy baseball games come down to the wire. Whether it’s a points or roto league, many matchups are decided on Sunday nights. In this article, I’m going to highlight some pitchers that could give their team a win this week.

Let’s start with the points league. In my opinion, streaming in a points league is easier than in a roto league. As long as a pitcher doesn’t do absolutely terrible, he should be able to contribute some positive points to a team. Of course, team owners are looking for more than just a few points, but if the matchup is close, every point helps.

[Is it time to drop Billy Hamilton?]

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley

Wade Miley

Two start pitchers are much more valuable in points leagues than they are in roto leagues. For example, a pitcher could start twice and get you 20+ points each start, but in a roto league, it can be dangerous because one bad outing can destroy a team’s chance of winning the ERA and WHIP categories.

Here is a list of pitchers starting twice this week that are owned in less than 50% of ESPN Fantasy Baseball leagues – I have listed them, in my opinion, from best to worst:

  1. Wade Miley (AZ) – MON vs. COL, SUN at SD
  2. Tyson Ross (SD) – MON at SF, SUN vs. AZ
  3. Tyler Skaggs (LAA) – MON vs. CLE, SUN vs. TEX
  4. Jonathon Niese (NYM) – TUES at PHI, SUN at COL
  5. Franklin Morales (COL) – MON at AZ, SUN vs. NYM
  6. Andre Rienzo (CHW) – MON vs. TB, SUN vs. CLE
  7. Tyler Chatwood (COL) – TUES at AZ, SUN vs. NYM
  8. Chris Young (SEA) – TUES at NYY, SUN at HOU
  9. Jake Odorizzi (TB) – MON at CHW, SAT at NYY
  10. Dustin McGowan (TOR) – TUES at KC, SUN at PIT
  11. Erik Bedard (TB) – TUES at BOS, SUN at NYY
  12. Mike Pelfrey (MIN) – TUES vs. LAD, SUN vs. BAL

Now that we’ve looked at points leagues, let’s turn our focus to roto leagues. As I mentioned above, I believe that it is more risky to stream pitchers in a roto league. One bad performance can end a team’s chance of winning a category for the week. In this sense, it is not as important to have two-start pitchers, unless they are elite and are almost certain to do well. In fact, I occasionally avoid two-start pitchers when I’m looking to stream in my roto league.

[Is Albert Pujols back?]

Here are a few pitchers who could be of streaming value this week in roto leagues – as before, these pitchers are owned in less than 50% of ESPN Fantasy Baseball Leagues:

Drew Hutchison (TOR) – WED at KC

Hutchison has pitched well above expectations this season. He’s posted a 3.46 ERA in his first five starts. In both of his last two starts, he’s struck out nine while only giving up two runs. Hutchison does not pitch deep – he has yet to go more than six innings this season.

Corey Kluber (CLE) – TUES at LAA

At the beginning of the season, I named Kluber as one of my breakout-pitching candidates. After his first four starts, he had yet to give up less than eight hits in an outing. However, last Thursday Kluber had his best pitching performance of the year against Kansas City – he threw a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out 11 batters. Kluber may be starting to heat up.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett

Josh Beckett (LAD) – THU at MIN

Beckett still may not have a decision this season, but he has posted a 2.45 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP in his first four starts. This week he’s going up against a poor offense in Minnesota and could put up solid numbers. Beckett will not strike out many hitters, so he could hurt in a league that uses K/9 instead of K, but he can definitely help a team’s WHIP.


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