by Ken Balderston
Streaming pitchers off the waiver wire can be a very effective way to add innings to your staff. Maybe you missed out on some of your end game pitchers in the draft, have run into a string of injuries or just want to take advantage of some matchups. Here’s a look at some options owned in less than 50% of CBS leagues to help you gain an advantage this week.
To be considered in most leagues
No ‘A’ grade starts this week
Some nice upside but also some risk
Brandon McCarthy – Braves (vs. Padres, 28% owned) ‘B+’
It’s been a rough go of for McCarthy, who owns a 6.19 ERA in his past three starts and gave up an uncharacteristic 3 home runs in his last start in LA. In those 3 starts he’s only walked one batter leading to a 1.19 WHIP, and even has 11 strikeouts in 10.2 June innings. The Padres could help him out there as well, as they’ve struck out as a team the second most times and have the second worst road OPS at .645. McCarthy’s been downgraded a bit in his grade because of his ups and downs this season, but his peripherals suggest he could be coming around. On top of that the Padres present a great opportunity to stream a proven major leaguer.
Solid option but also a fair amount of uncertainty
Anibal Sanchez – Braves (vs. Padres, 10% owned) ‘C+’
After a hot start, including a 1.29 April ERA, Sanchez got hurt and has fallen off fantasy radars, proven by his 10% ownership rate. He’s back and has already started off June with 7 innings with 0 ER against the Nationals. The Padres have already been mentioned as one of the worst road offenses, but to cement that they’re also the third worst team in OPS against right handed pitchers at .665. There’s some reason for concern with Sanchez, as he’s not been very successful the last few years, but he’s been effective when healthy in 2018 and has a very intriguing matchup.
Matthew Boyd – Tigers (vs. Twins, 40% owned) ‘C+’
I’m at a bit of a loss why Boyd is only owned in 40% of CBS leagues, as he shows a 3.20 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 2018 (he also seems to be owned in every league I play in…). The downside is he’s only struck out 54 in 70+ innings and plays for the Tigers (so he only has 4 wins). I don’t know about you but I can live with that. The team he’s facing, the Twins, have put up a respectable but not intimidating .705 road OPS, not quite enough to scare anyone off from grabbing a starter who’s mostly been successful this year. There might not be many strikeouts, but the ‘danger’ seems very low and if you’re looking for innings with some upside this is a streamer to consider.
Significant risk but also potential to put up a solid outing
Dylan Covey – White Sox (vs. Indians, 8% owned) ‘D+’
Who is Covey you might be saying. Until he shut out the Red Sox for 6 innings last week he wasn’t really on my radar either, but the numbers speak for themselves (2.22 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 11 BB and 28 K in 28 IP). He’s even sporting a 2.30 FIP lending credibility to his early success, as well as a .309 BABIP. His opponent, the Indians, have been a funny group to predict this year. After back to back playoff appearances they got off to a dreadful start on offense, only to put up a league best .848 OPS in May… but are down to .636 in June. The lack of major league track record, and the unpredictability of the offense, gives this game quite a bit of uncertainty but the odds are leaning towards a strong start for the home team.
Options you might be considering but are not recommended
Lance Lynn – Twins (at Tigers, 40% owned) ‘F’
After a rough start to the year, Lynn seemingly has turned things around the last three starts going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 18 innings. The main cause for concern with Lynn, the walks, remains (in those 18 innings he’s walked 10). That’s an alarming rate that makes the results suspect. In this start he’ll be facing the Tigers, a team many felt were half a step away from a full rebuild. Offensively they’ve more than held their own at home, putting up the 8th best OPS at .757 and scoring almost 5 runs a game. If you’ve held Lynn this long I understand why you’d be optimistic with his last three starts, but this is a tough matchup and his continuing control issues could really sink your fantasy team.
Always open to comments or questions in the notes below, or on Twitter @kenintoronto
Sites consulted: CBSsports, MLB.com, Fangraphs, Fantasy Pros
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