Streaming Starters: June 1-7: Taijuan Walker, Deep League Sleepers & More

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, June 1
No streamers worth gambling on

 

Tuesday, June 2
Chris Heston – San Francisco Giants – vs. Pittsburgh

There’s no question that Heston has been a different pitcher when pitching at home this season:

  • Home – 2.16 ERA
  • Road – 5.79 ERA

The major difference has been his home run rate, with a 0.27 HR/9 at home and a 1.61 on the road. The Pirates do have some players who can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but entering play on Friday their 19 HR on the road placed them 19th in the league.

 

Kyle Hendriks – Chicago Cubs – at Miami
(Would’ve been Monday’s streaming option)

Entering okay on Friday the Miami Marlins had scored the second fewest runs in May (81) and their home SLG of .351 was the worst in baseball. While Hendricks isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, he displays impeccable control (1.88 BB/9) and a solid groundball rate (51.0%). Put those two things into a big ballpark against a struggling offense? Seems like a good opportunity.

 

Wednesday, June 3
Taijuan Walker – Seattle Mariners – vs. New York Yankees

Many owners are probably ready to give up on Walker but this is another example of a pitcher who has fared significantly better in his home ballpark:

  • Home – 2.22 ERA
  • Road – 9.79 ERA

While he has yielded fewer home runs at home (0.74 vs. 2.03), he’s been almost a completely different pitcher. His strikeouts are up (10.36 vs. 6.41), his walks are down (2.59 vs. 5.40) and he’s enjoying significantly better luck (.228 BABIP vs. .390). That’s not to say that the Yankees can’t rough him up, because they have been hitting an ample amount of home runs, but it’s a gamble we’d consider taking depending on your situation.

 

Thursday, June 4
Roenis Elias – Seattle Mariners – vs. Tampa Bay

Looking at Tampa Bay’s offense they simply aren’t going to scare you. That’s not to say that they can’t/wont put up runs, because they’ve proven capable, but it’s not a team anyone is going to shy away from. Considering how Elias has fared since returning to the Majors, that makes this a good fit.

 

Friday, June 5
Charlie Morton – Pittsburgh Pirates – at Atlanta

Morton isn’t a sexy name, but he had a strong first start and takes on an offense that is less than impressive. Atlanta’s .339 SLG and 10 HR were worst in May (entering play on Friday), making an above average groundball pitcher a difficult matchup for them. For his career Morton owns a 55.3% groundball rate and posted an eye-popping 83.3% mark in his first start. With expectations that he will keep the ball in the ballpark, this is a good gamble to take.

 

Saturday, June 6
No streamers worth gambling on

 

Sunday, June 7
Ryan Vogelsong – San Francisco Giants – at Philadephia

Vogelsong has been pitching extremely well as of late, with a 1.14 ERA over 31.2 innings in May. Granted he’s performed better at home overall, which makes him risky here, but is the Phillies’ offense really going to scare anyone? He’s more of a deep league flier, but one that is worth considering if you are desperate for an option.

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, CBS Sports

4 comments

  1. Mark says:

    What do you think about Rubby today (Wednesday) against the Braves?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      My concern is his home run tendencies pitching at hoe

      • Mark says:

        Totally agree, but I’ll probably still start him in my season long league as Braves are 29th in HR. And Freeman is on my team so if Rubby does give up some runs, hopefully it’s to him!

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