by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Streaming starting pitchers is always an intriguing notion, but this early in the season there’s no reason to force the issue. You want to be cautious and not risk torpedoing your ratios for the sake of chasing a win and little else. Keep that in mind, as that’s why there will be days that we don’t recommend any options.
That said, let’s take a look at the potential options for the coming week:
Monday, May 4
Jesse Hahn – Oakland A’s – at Minnesota
There was a bit of hype behind Hahn entering the season and, to an extent, he’s been solid with a 2.86 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Of course there’s some luck in the numbers (24.6% line drive rate, .235 BABIP), so in streaming him you hope that the luck isn’t going to run out.
He’s shown control (1.64 BB/9) and groundballs (53.6%) over his first four starts, both of which are in line with his minor league marks (2.64 and 58.5%, respectively), but he’s struggled generating swings and misses leading to a miniscule 4.50 K/9. He posted an 8.59 K/9 in 73.1 innings for the Padres last season and 8.82 in the minors, so there’s clearly more upside. The Twins aren’t a particularly high strikeout club, but they also own one of the lowest SLG in the league (.363). They’ve been hot lately, but this is still worth the gamble if you need a streaming option.
Tuesday, May 5
No streaming option
Wednesday, May 6
Mike Foltynewicz – Atlanta Braves – vs. Philadelphia
You could argue that Foltynewicz is more than just a streaming option, but that’s irrelevant here. While his first start was fairly mediocre, it was his first start of the season and there’s definitely ample potential in his arm. Drawing a Phillies team that has 72 runs scored (only above the White Sox 70) certainly helps his cause. We’re always looking for strikeout potential from a streaming option and it’s going to be hard to find someone with similar upside in that department. As long as he avoids walking batters he should produce a solid line with the potential for a W.
Thursday, May 7
Dan Haren – Miami Marlins – at San Francisco
The Giants have the fifth lowest SLG at home (.352) and the fourth fewest runs (39). In other words, they are an ideal team to try and pick on. That’s especially true with Haren, who owns a career 2.94 against them and has fared relatively well against their best hitters:
- Buster Posey – 1-6, 0 HR
- Brandon Belt – 1-6, 1 HR
Angel Pagan has hit him well (5-8, 1 HR), but that’s hardly going to be enough to steer us away.
Friday, May 8
Jarred Cosart – Miami Marlins – at San Francisco
We said to pick on the Giants, didn’t we? The Marlins offer back-to-back potential options to try and exploit a team that has struggled at home. Cosart has struggled in the strikeout department this season (5.34 K/9 over his first 30.1 IP) and he may never thrive in that department. He does bring solid control (2.37 BB/9) and groundball stuff (57.3% in ’15, 54.6% in the Majors) and will be pitching in a big ballpark. That certainly seems like a good chance to utilize him, as long as you aren’t solely focused on adding strikeouts.
Saturday, May 9
No streaming option
Sunday, May 10
Kyle Hendriks – Chicago Cubs – at Milwaukee
Obviously we’d be a lot more confident in Hendriks if Carlos Gomez hadn’t returned or if Ryan Braun hadn’t started showing signs of turning things around. Still, he beat the Brewers twice last season posting a 1.38 ERA over 13.0 IP. On the negative, neither of those starts came in Milwaukee and he only had 5 K in the process. This certainly isn’t a ringing endorsement, but it’s at least worth a consideration.
Sources – CBS Sports, Fangraphs, MLB.com