Sunday, May 29, 2016

The State of Streaming SP: Week 9

This blog is evolving. Early on, I was doing a "Pitching Matchups" series every day. After a while, I shifted that to a daily post with vulture saves, streaming starters and some miscellaneous bits. What a I've discovered is that I really don't have the ability to do daily analysis while still giving my complete effort into the weekly breakdowns and the buying and selling posts.

After some thought, I came up with an idea: what if I provided the same info about streaming starting pitchers, but provided it ahead of time, so you can plan out your starts and which streams to target? The catalyst for this idea was my own team: I was going to fall two starts short of our weekly games started limit, so I needed to stream two starts. The problem was that I didn't know whether the best stream on any given day was likely to be one of the two best options for the week.

Out of those two issues, this series was born. So, without further ado:

Top Streams for Each Day

Nathan Karns (SD) - Grade: A
Ervin Santana (@OAK) - Grade: B

Jake Peavy (@ATL) - Grade: B
JA Happ (vs NYY) - Grade: B
Jon Gray (vs CIN) - Grade: B+
Tyler Duffey (@OAK) - Grade: B+

Matt Cain (@ATL) - Grade: B
Sean Manaea (vs MIN) - Grade: B+

Matt Moore (@MIN) - Grade: B+
Chase Anderson (@PHI) - Grade: C

Eddie Butler (@SD)- Grade: C
Doug Fister (OAK) - Grade: C

Chad Bettis (@SD) - Grade: A
Junior Guerra (@PHI) - Grade: B

Jon Gray (@SD) - Grade: A+
Wily Peralta (@PHI)- Grade: D

Top Streams for the Week

1. Jon Gray (@SD) - Grade: A+

You might notice all three projected Rockies starters for their weekend series in Petco are listed. Padres at home against a right-handed pitcher is one of my favorite streaming targets, and I think Gray and Bettis are two of the more skilled pitchers who are widely available, with their ownership percentages driven down by their home stadium, which of course means nothing with regard to their road games.

2. Chad Bettis (@SD) - Grade: A

See above. Bettis more skilled than most unowned pitchers, but is on wires because half his games are in a ridiculously hitter friendly environment. This game, however, is in a pitcher-friendly environment against a team that struggles mightily against right-handed pitching.

3. Nathan Karns (SD) - Grade: A

I really didn't mean to pile on the Padres like this, but they'll be a frequent streaming target. The combination of a pitcher-friendly home stadium and ugly lineup (especially against right-handers) makes them an easy target.

4. Matt Moore (@MIN)

I wish this game was in Tampa, but it's location doesn't change the fact that the Twins can't hit lefties, and Moore has electric stuff.

5. Sean Manaea (@MIN)

Literally everything I just wrote about Moore applies to Manaea. Lefties with plus stuff against a Twins lineup that doesn't hit well against lefties.

Two-Start Pitchers of the Week

1. Jon Gray (vs CIN and @SDP)

I wrote in depth about Gray a few weeks ago. I firmly believe he's an undervalued arm. A guy with a 3.10 xFIP facing two of the teams in the bottom 3 by wOBA against right-handed pitchers is a no-brainer. Only downside is the first start is in Coors, but the second being in Petco takes a bit of the sting off that.

2. Nathan Karns (vs SDP and @TEX)

Karns has taken a nice leap forward with his changeup, which is now getting a 20% whiff rate, and the Rangers have struggled to hit changeups this year. He also faces the Padres, and though he doesn't get to face them in Petco like their weekend opponents, he gets to face them in his equally pitcher-friendly home stadium. He's actually been pretty solid this year, posting a 3.53 ERA and 51 K in 51 IP.

3. Tyler Duffey (@OAK and vs TB)

I think Duffey is a little underrated, and he'll have a good chance to prove it, facing the Athletics who are a top tier matchup and the Rays who are certainly not a lineup to fear.

There you have it. That's your first weekly "The State of Streaming" article. Hopefully you find it helpful and can use it to plan out any spot starts ahead of time.

Don't forget to follow Pitching Breakdowns on Twitter (@PitchBreakdowns)!


  1. What are your thoughts on Shoemaker for Wednesday? I know the Tigers can be dangerous, but Shoe has been pretty impressive the last two times out. Was he on your radar?

    1. He's a very high risk, high reward start on Wednesday. As a pure streamer, I'd prefer Cain or Manaea because their matchups are more ideal but I think Shoemaker has a bit more value as a flier rather than just a pure streamer

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