I’m flying high in my H2H league this week, managing three wins in five days on streaming alone. Thank you, Hunter Brown (HOU), Bailey Falter (PHI), and Drew Smyly (CHC). See the results (through Friday) below.
- Hunter Brown (HOU), 6 IP, 6 K, 1 W, 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
- Bailey Falter (PHI), 6 IP, 4 K, 1 W, 1.50 ERA, 0.67 WHIP
- Nick Lodolo (CIN), 6.1 IP, 11 K, 0 W, 4.26 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
- Dylan Bundy (MIN), 4 IP, 2 K, 0 W, 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
- Drew Smyly (CHC), 5 IP, 5 K, 1 W, 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
Bundy is the only one who didn’t help things at all, but he didn’t really hurt us either. Remember, I must choose a pitcher owned in 30% or less of Yahoo leagues, and I absolutely must choose a pitcher every day. That’s what led us to a Bundy stream.
Let’s turn the page. If you’ve read this article all year, thank you. We’re nearing the end of the season, and I have two more weeks to offer suggestions. This week, I’m really choosing some widely UN-rostered options. The Chicago Cubs feature heavily as we tiptoe past days with tough matchups and a limited number of available gunslingers. I’m even choosing a Pittsburgh pitcher. It feels like I haven’t done that since the ’90s. If you can believe it, Wade Miley is my two-start pitcher of the week.
Here we go!
Monday, September 19
Wade Miley (SP – CHC) at MIA: 17%
You’re going to hear my familiar warning a couple of times this week, and as many of you are in the playoffs in H2H leagues or vying for a spot in the top-3 in your rotisserie leagues, I need to be clear: It’s a tough day to stream as many of the best options are owned. Since I must choose a guy, I’m interested in Wade Miley. Did you know in the last month, the Miami Marlins have been the lowest-scoring team in baseball? They’ve scored 70 runs in the last 30 days. Even Detroit and Pittsburgh have scored 90 runs in that time. In six games for the Cubs, Miley has a 2.89 ERA (3.22 FIP). His GB% in this small sample is 55%, which is the highest of his career. Miley has a re-emerging slider (which he threw 5% of the time last year vs. 18% so far in 2022). This pitch has a 36% CSW, but it has also led to a significant increase in groundballs on his cutter (51.7% in 2021 and 64% in 2022) and changeup (58.9% in 2021 and 81.5% in 2022). Let’s go for it.
Other option: Tyler Wells (BAL) vs. DET: 12%
Tuesday, September 20
Austin Voth (SP – BAL) vs. DET: 10%
I like Pepiot (see below) because he’s on a team that could give us a win, but Arizona has muscled its way to third in runs scored in the last month. Scary. So I will stick with a low-scoring team and send Voth back to the bump. His 4.36 ERA is matched by a 4.37 xERA on Fangraphs (4.00 FIP). But you’ve heard me say it all year: That is often our wheelhouse when streaming at this level. We hope for a 4.00 ERA, decent Ks, and a win. Did you know that the Orioles are 10-4 when Voth starts? He hasn’t given up more than two runs in a game since August 6th. Whatever the magic formula is (because I don’t believe it’s the cutter), we should hope to ride the success for another game. It was widely reported that he’s studying opponents more, so maybe he’s identifying the best pitch selection on a game-by-game basis. Some of this shows up in the widely varying percentages on many of his pitches from start to start.
Other option: Ryan Pepiot (LAD) vs. ARI: 5%
Wednesday, September 21
Drew Smyly (SP – CHC) at MIA: 20%
As shown on Monday, Miami is a team to stream against right now. Smyly continued to defy the odds last week, holding the tougher New York Mets to two runs (one earned). His FIP is nearly a full point higher than his 3.48 ERA, and his LOB% is 78.6%. So I’ll admit, it’s a scary proposition. I feel like he’s due for a sharp correction. The success, for now, should probably be attributed to his knuckle curve. The pitch tore through the Mets lineup last time. He’s getting more swings and misses out of the zone on the curveball (41.7% O-Sw% vs. 36.4% in 2021). That bump might be enough to show that he’s getting in their heads. I’m hoping he can do it with a weaker lineup, but baseball is weird.
Other option: Matt Manning (DET) at BAL: 21%
Thursday, September 22
Mitch Keller (SP – PIT) vs. CHC: 16%
This is not a good day to stream. So you know what, to counteract all the pitchers I used this year against the Pirates, I’m going to stream a Pittsburgh pitcher. Really, I’m not even that scared about it. The 26-year-old 2nd-round pick in 2014 has the kind of numbers we want from a widely unrostered option: a 4.03 ERA and a 3.90 FIP. His GB% is the highest in his career at 49.4%. He has significantly increased his sinker usage. In fact it has gone from non-existent (nearly 0% usage) to 21% in 2022. It has not been a crazy-good pitch, but it may have contributed to a slight increase in his CSW for three other offerings: his fastball, curveball, and changeup. The Cubs are 23rd in runs scored in the last thirty days.
Other option: No thanks
Friday, September 23
Hayden Wesneski (SP – CHC) at PIT: 1%
He’s owned in 1% of Yahoo leagues, folks. Friday and Saturday begin my series of “lowest-owned streamers.” Wesneski pitched 110 innings in Triple-A, managing a 3.92 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and an admirable 8.6 K/9. He has five pitches to get hitters out, a slider, sinker, 4-seamer, cutter, and change. He uses the slider and sinker the most. In 8.2 IP (a very small sample), he has a 3.12 ERA and a 2.53 xERA, according to Fangraphs. That’s with an 11.42 K/9. So there may be some hope that his skills can transfer to a higher level, and at the very least, he’s worth trying against the Pirates. Sorry, Pittsburgh! I did stream Keller on Thursday!
Other option: None
Saturday, September 24
Javier Assad (SP – CHC) at PIT: 2%
I’m staying with Chicago and Pittsburgh for several games this week. That’s how I hope (really, really hope) to make my way through the obstacle course of weak matchups and widely unavailable options. I could see streaming either pitcher in this matchup, but let’s go with Chicago against the team that struggles to score. In 36.2 IP in Triple-A this year, Assad managed a 2.95 ERA alongside a 9.08 K/9. His control has been a problem in his first 21.1 IP for Chicago (4.22 BB/9). He walked three batters through six innings against the Mets his last time out, but he only gave up one earned run and struck out six. So there may be enough poise to get through the Pittsburgh lineup a few times.
Other option: Johan Oviedo (PIT) vs. CHC: 1%
Sunday, September 25
Wade Miley (CHC) at PIT: 17%
The slider discussion on Monday applies on Sunday too. Pittsburgh hits the ball on the ground 43.7% of the time. That’s all you need to know. If you’re watching the Cubs/Pirates series this week, you’re probably a true-blue Cubs fan, drinking Old Style and reminiscing about the Budweiser roof-that-once-was before a big ol’ screen was put in the way. Or you’re a Pirates fan, and you love sitting and looking at the beautiful Allegheny River and the Clemente Wall. These teams may be out of any playoff hunt, but they do have beautiful ballparks, don’t they?
Other option: Roansy Contreras (PIT) vs. CHC: 24%
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