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Field of Streams: Fantasy Pitching Options

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Field of Streams: Fantasy Pitching Options

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Will Emerson

Yes, yes, yes, it is that time again! Time to take a look at some fantasy pitching options for the upcoming week. The following pitchers have a great chance of being available in your league and may just be the key to fantasy victory.


Edwin Jackson, CHC- E-Jax has had a bumpy 2013 with the Cubbies so far, but I have always been a fan of his work. Jackson is not an ace, by any means, but should certainly be a solid fantasy option at the SP slot. Well, E-JAx is 1-6 with an ERA over five on the season, but he really has not pitched that poorly. Really, I’m serious! The K/9 is over eight and the xFIP and SIERA are both under four. The struggle has been with men on base, as Jackson’s LOB% is under 60 right now. Jackson will pitch at Pittsburgh this week, which is no gimme match up for him, but I like the odds of him righting his ship so to speak in this one.

Brandon McCarthy, ARI- After a slow start with the D-Backs, McCarthy is really starting to settle in. In McCarthy’s last two starts he has thrown 17 scoreless innings, 17?! Now those innings were against the Phillies and the lowly Marlins, so let’s not go too overboard with these outings. McCarthy should be much better than his early season numbers, and a solid three or maybe four, fantasy starter. But this week McCarthy has the Padres, so you can expect another ace like outing from him this week.

Tom Koehler, MIA- Do I know a ton about Koehler? No. What I do know is he has rattled off back-to-back decent starts for the Fish. On Saturday, against the D-backs, he hurled six strong innings allowing one earned run on three hits, while walking only two and striking out seven. Do I think Koehler is as good as those numbers indicate? Eh, not really. However, TK has had back-to-back solid starts and he draws the White Sox this week. The ChiSox have struggled producing runs this season and while they have cut down on the Ks, they are still striking out with great aplomb. Now the one drawback is the Marlins are not known for providing run support, so this may not be a great chance at a “W”, but you should get some help with your peripherals.

Travis Wood, CHC- Travis Wood, much like life (according to Madonna), is a mystery. I like Travis Wood, always have, but I am still a bit on the fence believing in his early season numbers. Wood is 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA and a WHIP of .92. I can’t imagine Wood can keep these numbers up, and judging by the percent he is owned in most fantasy leagues, I am not alone. Wood is more likely to have an ERA in the high threes. Wood has a LOB% of 80% and a ground ball rate below 40% and is not a strike out pitcher. Some sort of regression should be on its way and I feel like a start against Wood’s former mates in Cincy this week, may be where it begins.

Felix Doubront, BOS- It should be widely known that Doubront is a favorite of mine. I was high on Felix in the preseason. With a solid xFIP and K-rate, Doubront was high on my sleeper list. Now the numbers have not been great for Felix this season, although the xFIP, SIERA and K/9 were not terrible, until a clunker against Texas and a bad relief outing. The biggest issue has been the walks. Doubront has been all over the place, walking almost six batters per nine innings. This is a wild card stream for sure, but you can count on the Ks, especially against the White Sox. The White Sox have struggled to score runs, so while I can’t fully support this stream, I do think there is a 50-50 shot Doubront gets a quality start in the Windy City

Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano, PIT- I am lumping these two Pirate southpaws together. Both are similar this week in streaming. Both pitchers face the Cubs this week, at home. Liriano has looked sharp in his first two starts since returning from the disabled list. Sure they were against the Mets and Brewers who have not been world beaters at the plate, as both are towards the bottom of the league in runs scored in May. Wandy’s last two starts have been just as good, lacking the strikeouts, also against the Mets and Brewers. Now the Cubs have actually started to score a few runs here and there over the last couple of weeks, but nevertheless I would say roll the dice on both Bucs starters this week.

Jason Vargas, LAA- Jason Vargas is far from a flashy fantasy pitching option, to say the least, and the numbers pretty much back this statement up. Vargas is solid however. and I like him this week, because he is matched up against the Royals. The Royals are in the bottom third of the league in most offensively productive categories, so I think you may see one of Vargas’ best starts of 2013.

Scott Kazmir, CLE- There are still plenty of seats available on the Scott Kazmir bandwagon folks. Sure Kaz was roughed up by the Phils in his last outing, but most of his starts have been excellent. Kazmir’s velocity has been good as has K-rate and he has two starts this week. The first one is a no-brainer start for Kazmir as he faces the punchless Mariners, but the second start is against the BoSox and this one is iffy. I would take the first start against the Ms and hold off against the start against Boston.

Andrew Cashner, SD- The K-rate is lower than I would expect from Cash-money thus far, but the ERA has been solid. Cashner’s xFIP, SIERA and strand rate point to bit of an ERA regression, AC heads out to the desert this week to face the D-backs. This match up is tough to gauge for Cashner, but I think, if I had to, I would say roll the dice on this one.

Hector Santiago, CWS- Santiago has been up and down as a starter in 2013. The up? 12.1 innings pitched against the Mets and Twins, allowing one earned run, striking out 14. The down? 3.1 innings pitched against the Angels on Saturday, in which he allowed four earned runs. Ups, downs, what have yous, bottom line is Santiago starts against the Marlins this week and frankly that is really probably all I had to say because the Marlins offense is not even close to good right now.

Justin Grimm, TEX- Seems like “Reaper” has appeared here quite a bit and with good reason, he is not quite worth rostering year round. Plus Grimm is still outpitching his projections, but his ERA and WHIP thus far are about on par with how he is currently pitching. In other words, Grimm’s ERA and WHIP seem accurate thus far. Love him or hate him, Grimm faces the Mariners this week, and while they are not the Marlins, this is more or less a great match up for Grimm.

Bronson Arroyo, CIN- Arroyo has always been a middle of the road, reliable, innings eating pitcher. You will not get a lot of strikeouts, but Bronson also rarely gets completely rocked when he takes the hill. Arroyo has given up more than four earned runs in only one start this season and has only gone less than six innings in one start this season. In the one start Arroyo did not go six innings, he went five. There is never anything spectacular about Arroyo’s numbers, but he does manage a lot of quality starts, Arroyo faces the Cubs this week and for some reason I like this one. Cubs are putting runs on the board, but I like the chance for a QS and a “W”.

Well, that’s all I got this week, good luck, godspeed and happy streaming!

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Field of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

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Field of Streams: Fantasy Baseball Pitching Options

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Will Emerson

Welcome, welcome! Time for another edition of Field of Streams, a weekly look at some viable and some not so viable fantasy baseball streaming options for the upcoming week. Is Wood good? Is there a Grimm pitching option this week? Is Francisco Liriano back? Francisco? That’s fun to say! Anyways, away we go. Please remember all stats are going into Saturday, May 11th’s action. Enjoy!

Francisco Liriano

Travis Wood, CHC- In the words of Cosmo Kramer, “It’s the Wood that makes it good. Not only has every one of Travis Wood’s starts this season been of the quality variety, but he has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all but one start. Wood is readily available in most formats, so clearly most people are overlooking his numbers. Well, maybe they just aren’t buying in just yet. Although Wood is sporting a 2.33 ERA, both his xFIP and SIERA are over four and he is only inducing ground balls at a 40% rate. That ground ball rate, a K/9 which, at best, should hover around seven on a good day and a BABIP of under .200, points to Wood receiving a great deal of good luck. Wood has two starts this week, at home versus the Rockies and the Mets. The Rockies have the second highest slugging percentage in the league and the Mets are well, middle of the pack offensively. I would avoid the Rockies start and I am about 50-50 on the Mets start.

Justin Grimm, TEX- Despite a clunker against the Brew Crew in his last outing, Grimm is still very much in the streaming discussion. Grimm’s overall numbers are still very good, with a K/9 over nine and a SIERA of 3.62 points to him being a very serviceable fantasy pitching option. The pundits still feel like the ERA will be closer to the five range and the K-rate will decline, but for now “Reaper” is still looking good. Although it is a two start week for Grimm, this week, I am not full on board with streaming him as he faces two lineups who have been very good offensively, the Athletics and the Tigers. I would actually take Grimm at Oakland but use him at your own risk against the Tigers.

Roberto Hernandez, TB- On the surface, Roberto’s numbers are nothing spectacular. Hernandez is 1-4, with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP, but his SIERA is 3.25 and his K/9 is over nine. There is nothing pointing to this being the norm for Hernandez, but if he keeps pitching the way he is, he should continue to be a good spot start option. Hernandez throws against the Os at Camden Yards this upcoming week. The Orioles have scored the third most runs in the majors this season and actually do not strike out a ton. I like Hernandez for occasional starts, but would steer clear this week.

Francisco Liriano, PIT- Welcome back Francisco Liriano! Fresh of the DL, Liriano was a bit of alright against the Mets. Liriano pitched 5.1 innings, allowing one earned run on six hits, striking out nine and walking just two. Liriano will lock horns with the Brewers this week, a team that is fifth in the majors in OPS, so I wouldn’t be 100% about this start, but I feel confident in saying Liriano is about a 75-80% shot at a quality start here.

Dan Straily, OAK- Okay, okay, so Straily’s lat outing was, well, awful, sure. Here’s the thing though, ol’ Danny boy is still sporting a SIERA under 3.50 and a K/9 over ten, making him a favorite of mine. While I do like Straily, I would steer clear of this week’s outing against the Rangers and wait for a more favorable outing to spot start him.

John Lackey, BOS- Judging by the ownership percentage in ESPN and Yahoo!, many people are not buying into Slackey’s resurgence. Well, seems like almost every Boston starter is throwing well to start the season and while I do not expect them to keep up this pace, I do think they will continue to provide some quality pitching. Lackey has two starts this week, against the rays and Twinkies and I expect two good starts right there with chance for some “Ws”.

Ubaldo Jimenez, CLE- Yes it is true, Ubaldo’s overall numbers still look bad, but what you may not have noticed is, Ubaldo has actually put together a couple of nice consecutive starts. Now, as I write this Jimenez is pitching against Detroit and that could get messy, sure, but he has a start this upcoming week against the Mariners, which is a favorable start for most SPs. Although I am not completely convinced of Ubaldo’s turnaround just yet, it is the Mariners and I think he can pull off a quality start there.

Hector Santiago, CWS- K/9. enough said. No? Yeah, you’re right. How about a K/9 of 8.44, a sub-two ERA and a 3.24 SIERA? Now, Santiago may not be mainstay in the rotation, but after pretty much dominating the Mets in his last start, it may be worth considering in the future. At the very least, Santiago is slated to start Monday against the Twinkies so I have no problem saying, “stream away!”

Chris Tillman, BAL- Tillman does not have “ace” numbers, but he has put together four straight quality starts. Now, although in those starts the peripherals were not great and show that Tillman may be getting a bit lucky, he does draw the Padres this week and they are not exactly world beaters at the plate, so go ahead and get a start outta Tillman this week.


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AL Pitching Planner: June 18 – June 24

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AL Pitching Planner: June 18 – June 24

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

This week’s AL two-start hurlers feature a pair of lefty aces, a handful of decent options and not much else.

Here are the AL two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 12:

Two-Start Pitchers


C.C. Sabathia:  6/18 vs ATL; 6/24 @ NYM – His numbers aren’t as strong as last year, but still one of the best in the AL

David Price: 6/19 @ WAS; 6/24 @ PHI – gave up 7 ER in just 5 IP last time out, but still a must start


Week 10 -4 GS, 2 QS, 2 W, 22.1 IP, 35 H+BB, 12 K’s, 12 ER, 4.84 ERA, 1.57 whip

YTD – 56 GS, 36 QS, 30 W, 365.2 IP, 468 H+BB, 302 K’s, 141 ER, 3.47 ERA, 1.28 whip

Not Too Shabby

Clay Buchholz: 6/19 vs MIA; 6/24 vs ATL – seems to be rolling with 4 straight starts of 7+ IP and 2 or fewer ER

Matt Harrison: 6/18 @ SD; 6/24 vs COL – 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA in last 5 starts and gets two favorable matchups to boot

Jake Peavy: 6/18 vs CHC; 6/24 vs MIL – has given up more than 3 ER only twice in his 13 starts

Tommy Milone: 6/19 vs LAD; 6/24 vs SF – a couple rough outings hasn’t scared me off, yet

Jerome Williams: 6/18 vs SF; 6/24 vs LAD – 3.84 ERA as a starter this year (11 starts)

Scott Diamond: 6/19 @ PIT; 6/24 @ CIN – has an excellent 29/6 K/BB ratio to go along with 2.13 ERA


Week 10 – 17 GS, 5 QS, 5 W, 93.0 IP, 145 H+BB, 89 K’s, 66 ER, 6.39 ERA, 1.56 whip

YTD – 166 GS, 91 QS, 69 W, 1006.0 IP, 1353 H+BB, 771 K’s, 473 ER, 4.23 ERA, 1.34 whip

Risky at Best

Rick Porcello: 6/19 vs STL; 6/24 @ PIT – has a 5.18 ERA and won’t give you wins (just 4) or K’s (only 44)

Jonathan Sanchez: 6/18 @ HOU; 6/24 vs STL – occasional flashes of brilliance are overshadowed by poor outings

Jake Arrieta: 6/18 @ NYM; 6/24 vs WAS – could be good someday, just not there yet

Hector Noesi: 6/18 vs ARI; 6/24 @ SD – maybe Petco can help him keep the ball in the park (15 HR’s allowed), but I wouldn’t bet on it


Week 10 – 6 GS, 2 QS, 2 W, 32.2 IP, 47 H+BB, 25 K’s, 21 ER, 5.79 ERA, 1.44 whip

YTD – 81 GS, 32 QS, 22 W, 438.1 IP, 659 H+BB, 300 K’s, 268 ER, 5.50 ERA, 1.50 whip

Other Favorable Matchups (<50% owned)

Vin Mazzaro (3% owned):  6/20 @ HOU

Has a 1.80 ERA in last 3 starts (2.57 on the season) and faces the Astros and Jordan Lyles

Kevin Millwood (18% owned): 6/21 @ SD

Has a 1.98 ERA on the season and gets to pitch in Petco

Jose Quintana (6% owned): 6/22 vs MIL

Also has a 1.98 ERA on the season and a strong minor league track record


Week 10 -4 GS, 0 QS, 0 W, 20.2 IP, 38 H+BB, 14 K’s, 23 ER, 10.02 ERA, 1.84 whip

YTD -30 GS, 13 QS, 7 W, 188.2 IP, 258 H+BB, 149 K’s, 96 ER, 4.58 ERA, 1.37 whip

See ya next week.

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AL Pitching Planner: June 4 – June 10

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Mark Sherrard

Like their NL counterparts, the AL Week 10 two-start matchups are weak at the top, however, they are also weak in the middle, showing the lack of quality pitching depth in the AL.

Here are the Two-start pitchers and other favorable matchups for Week 10 in the AL:

Two-Start Pitchers


James Shields: 6/5 @ NYY; 6/10 @ MIA

Ricky Romero: 6/5 @ CHW; 6/10 @ ATL

I’m not sure either of these guys are “no-brainers”, but I needed to put someone in this category


Week 8 – 6 GS, 3 QS, 4 W, 37.0 IP, 46 H+BB, 34 K’s, 14 ER, 3.41 ERA, 1.24 whip

YTD – 49 GS, 34 QS, 28 W, 326.0 IP, 395 H+BB, 277 K’s, 115 ER, 3.18 ERA, 1.21 whip

Not Too Shabby

Jon Lester: 6/5 vs BAL; 6/10 vs WAS – not pitching up to previous years’ standards, but still a pretty safe bet

Ervin Santana: 6/4 vs SEA; 6/10 @ COL – 15 HR’s allowed in 11 starts and has to go to Coors, be careful

Derek Holland: 6/5 @ OAK; 6/10 @ SF – Giants and A’s can help struggling pitchers get back on track

Jason Vargas: 6/4 @ LAA; 6/10 vs LAD – maybe this guy is your no-brainer, if only he had more K’s

Philip Humber: 6/5 vs TOR; 6/10 vs HOU – has been maddeningly inconsistent

Jarrod Parker: 6/4 vs TEX; 6/9 @ ARI – shows a lot of promise for a rookie

Andy Pettitte: 6/5 vs TB; 6/10 vs NYM – he’s back

Drew Smyly: 6/5 vs CLE; 6/10 @ CIN – pitches well but gets little run support

Scott Feldman: 6/4 @ OAK; 6/9 @ SF – will eventually lost job to Roy Oswalt, but has some nice matchups this week


Week 8 – 16 GS, 10 QS, 6 W, 95.2 IP, 148 H+BB, 62 K’s, 49 ER, 4.61 ERA, 1.55 whip

YTD – 131 GS, 75 QS, 54 W, 804.0 IP, 1072 H+BB, 584 K’s, 359 ER, 4.02 ERA, 1.33 whip

Risky at Best

Ubaldo Jimenez: 6/5 @ DET; 6/10 @ STL – leads the league in walks allowed

Will Smith: 6/4 vs MIN; 6/10 @ PIT – has allowed 3 HR’s in first two major league starts

Travis Blackley: 6/5 vs TEX; 6/10 @ ARI – don’t be fooled by one good start…

Cole De Vries: 6/4 @ KC; 6/10 vs CHC – …or two good starts


Week 8 – 7 GS, 4 QS, 1 W, 44.1 IP, 62 H+BB, 23 K’s, 28 ER, 5.68 ERA, 1.40 whip

YTD – 68 GS, 28 QS, 17 W, 373.1 IP, 561 H+BB, 251 K’s, 227 ER, 5.47 ERA, 1.50 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Again, the focus here is on pitchers less than 50% owned in CBS leagues, with favorable matchups for the week

Blake Beavan (7% owned): 6/5 @ LAA

Surprisingly owns a career 1-0 record and 2.86 ERA against the Angles

Jerome Williams (42% owned): 6/6 vs SEA

3-0 with a 3.43 ERA against the Mariners in his career

Derek Lowe (50% owned): 6/7 @ DET

Right on the threshold, but owns a career 7-2 mark against the Tigers with a 1.87 ERA

P.J. Walters (14% owned): 6/8 vs CHC

3.72 career ERA against the Cubs and helped by a weaker 2012 version of them


Week 8 – 2 GS, 2 QS, 0 W, 13.2 IP, 14 H+BB, 9 K’s, 5 ER, 3.29 ERA, 1.02 whip

YTD – 21 GS, 12 QS, 6 W, 139.1 IP, 172 H+BB, 120 K’s, 53 ER, 3.42 ERA, 1.23 whip

Good luck and see ya next week

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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

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NL Pitching Planner: May 28 – June 3

Posted on 29 May 2012 by Mark Sherrard

We’re heading into Week 9 of the season, one third of the way home and the NL two-fers feature some quality youngsters, some lefties and at least one veteran having a comeback year.

So let’s get right to it, here are the NL two-start pitchers and favorable matchups for Week 9:

Two-Start Pitchers


Tommy Hanson:  5/28 vs STL; 6/3 @ WAS – he has fared well against STL (2.25 ERA) and the Nats (3.48 ERA)

Cole Hamels: 5/28 @ NYM; 6/3 vs MIA – 7-1 with a 2.17 ERA, what more do you need?

Jordan Zimmermann: 5/28 @ MIA; 6/3 vs ATL – for the Nats, pitching is not a problem

James McDonald: 5/28 vs CIN; 6/3 @ MIL – he has made a believer out of me.  Can the Pirates score any runs though?


Week 6 – 10 GS, 6 QS, 6 W, 64.2 IP, 75 H+BB, 59 K’s, 19 ER, 2.64 ERA, 1.16 whip

YTD – 39 GS, 30 QS, 14 W, 263.2 IP, 281 H+BB, 242 K’s, 75 ER, 2.66 ERA, 1.11 whip

Not Too Shabby

Lance Lynn: 5/28 @ ATL; 6/3 @ NYM -  3 straight starts giving up 3 runs or more

Wandy Rodriguez: 5/28 @ COL; 6/2 vs CIN – Coors has not been kind to pitchers this year

Trevor Cahill: 5/28 @ SF; 6/3 @ SD – Cahill owns the Giants (2.16 career ERA) and the Padres can’t hit

Shaun Marcum: 5/28 @ LAD; 6/2 vs PIT – the Pirates are the only team worse than the Padres

Jonathon Niese: 5/28 vs PHI; 6/3 vs STL – has fared well against the Phillies (3.58 ERA) and Cards (2.63 ERA)

Carlos Zambrano: 5/28 vs WAS; 6/3 @ PHI – comeback kid had first poor start of season against Rockies last time out

Juan Nicasio: 5/28 vs HOU; 6/2 vs LAD – strikeout rate is up, but so is hit rate and walk rate

Aaron Harang: 5/28 vs MIL; 6/2 @ COL – Coors makes me nervous, so tread carefully

Bronson Arroyo: 5/28 @ PIT; 6/3 @ HOU – a couple favorable matchups for the Reds righty


Week 6 – 33 GS, 17 QS, 7 W, 200.0 IP, 278 H+BB, 151 K’s, 102 ER, 4.59 ERA, 1.39 whip

YTD – 136 GS, 83 QS, 48 W, 844.1 IP, 1062 H+BB, 647 K’s, 337 ER, 3.59 ERA, 1.26 whip

Risky at Best

Barry Zito: 5/28 vs ARI; 6/3 vs CHC – after strong April, the wheels are starting to fall off

Jeff Suppan: 5/28 @ CHC; 6/3 vs ARI – you have to be really desperate to consider using this guy

Travis Wood: 5/28 vs SD; 6/3 @ SF – Chris Volstad‘s replacement is only marginally better


Week 6 – 12 GS, 7 QS, 3 W, 66.2 IP, 96 H+BB, 50 K’s, 31 ER, 4.18 ERA, 1.44 whip

YTD – 49 GS, 27 QS, 13 @, 293.2 IP, 396 H+BB, 205 K’s, 147 ER, 4.51 ERA, 1.35 whip

Other Favorable Matchups

Going forward, I will be focusing here on pitchers who are less than 50% owned in CBS leagues (and therefore likely available on your waiver wire).

Homer Bailey (25% owned): 5/29 @ PIT

He owns a 5-0 record and 1.94 career ERA against the Pirates

Lucas Harrell (8% owned): 5/30 @ COL

Risky, I know, but Harrell shut out the Rockies over 7 innings in his first start of the year

Jeremy Guthrie (10% owned): 5/31 vs HOU

1-0 with a 2.40 ERA against Astros in his career, albeit in a small sample size (15.0 IP)

Paul Maholm (15% owned): 6/1 @ SF

2-1 with a 3.10 ERA against the Giants in his career (52.1 IP)


Week 6 – 2 GS, 1 QS, 1 W, 12.0 IP, 17 H+BB, 14 K’s, 6 ER, 4.50 ERA, 1.42 whip

YTD – 20 GS, 13 QS, 12 W, 126.1 IP, 152 H+BB, 124 K’s, 42 ER, 2.99 ERA, 1.20 whip

AL is up next.

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