Below are some of my picks for the second half of week 8 for starting pitchers to consider streaming off the waiver wire. All of these SP options can be considered sleepers for your team depending on the league format and depth including NL-Only, AL-Only and head-to-head formats.
Thursday SP Streamers
Jake Arrieta (CHC @ San Diego)
Ownernship: 2% Yahoo!, 0% ESPN. If you need help in K and ERA at the expense of WHIP, then Arrieta is your guy. He's got a 20.6% K rate but he's walking too many batters than he should. Fortunately he'll pitch in friendly San Diego and face the Padres, who own a pitcher friendly 0.32 K/BB rate.
Roenis Elias (SEA vs. HOU)
Ownership: 14% Yahoo!, 4% ESPN. Elias has pitched pretty well this season. He's striking out his fair share of batters and leaving men on base, however his 1.33 WHIP is mainly the result of his high walk rate. If it wasn't for Houston's success against lefties, Elias would be a must start in all leagues. Start him with caution against the Astros.
Henderson Alvarez (MIA vs. PHI)
Alvarez, owned in 12% of Yahoo! leagues and 4% of ESPN leagues, has had a couple of rough outings his last two starts. That was the bad news. The good news for his fantasy owners is that his last two starts were on the road and his next start is at home where he.....drum roll, please....is much better. His road splits- 4.88 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 1.90 K/BB rate- are drastically improved at home to the tune of a 2.33 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 4.00 K/BB rate. The Phillies are hitting only .236 with 19 HR and 105 RBI against right handers. Alvarez should help in every pitching category.
Friday SP Streamers
Edwin Jackson (CHC @ SD)
Even though he's in a Cubs uniform, E-Jacks is on his way to returning to his 2009 Detroit or 2012 St. Louis form. Owned in 4% of Yahoo! and 2% of ESPN leagues, he's on pace to allow the least amount of home runs and strike out the most batters for a season in his major league career. His 3.98 ERA is higher than he's actually been pitching this year as Chicago's lack of range on defense has inflated that number. Even still, he'll take the mound in an excellent pitcher's park on Friday night against the worst hitting team in the league. The Padres are last in hits, batting average and runs scored.
Danny Duffy (KC @ LAA)
Duff-Man comes with the largest risk/reward factor for fantasy owners. He took a perfect game into the seventh inning in his last start so he's obviously got good stuff. However he hasn't gone deep into games yet as a starter and he's averaging 3.55 BB/9 innings, an absurdly high number considering his 1.42 ERA. Meanwhile the Angels are hitting .263 off lefties but own a .248 BA at home. The best estimate is that Duffy and the Angels will meet somewhere in the middle. He's only owned in 15% of Yahoo! and 4% of ESPN leagues so he should be an easy pickup.
Saturday SP Streamers
Juan Nicasio (COL @ ATL)
How can someone with a 4.03 and 1.31 WHIP be a good streamer option this week? Just look at the team he's facing. The right handed Nicasio is only owned in 5% of Yahoo! leagues and 4% of ESPN leagues, but nearly every player hitting for him has been picked up in almost every fantasy baseball league so he should get some offensive help no matter who may be pitching opposite of him. The Braves have been terrible against right handed pitching and have been below average when hitting at home. If you're desperate for a W, Nicasio should help.
Donn Roach (SD vs. CHC)
Ownership: 0% Yahoo!, 0% ESPN. Another classic example of mediocre pitching versus bad hitting. The X factor is that the game is in the friendly pitcher confines of Petco Park. As a spot starter, don't expect Roach to go deep into the game but do expect him to have a low ERA and WHIP. The Cubs have scored only 82 R on the road and a .229 BA against righties.
Sunday SP Streamers
Mike Leake (CIN vs. STL)
Surely you're shocked that Leake is on this list.....again. For some reason fantasy owners still haven't climbed aboard the Leake train as he's only owned in 39% of Yahoo! and 28% of ESPN leagues. As good as he's been on the road this year, Leake is an even better pitcher at home. Leake induces more ground balls at home than on the road and is holding hitters to an ice cold .173 AVG when pitching at Great American Ball Park. He'll face the Cardinals who are having offensive troubles on the road this season. Expect a lot of ground ball outs and for Leake to go deep into the game.
Jake Odorizzi (TB vs. BOS)
Ownership: 8% Yahoo!, 4% ESPN. With a 26.7% K rate, Odorizzi should pile up some K numbers for your squad on the last day of the fantasy baseball week. Odorizzi is also a much improved pitcher at home than on the road as his ERA is nearly halved from 6.29 on the road to 3.32 when at home.
Bronson Arroyo (ARI @ NYM)
Ownership: 18% Yahoo!, 20% ESPN. Arroyo's best attribute has always been his ability go deep into games so he can help in IP. The Mets are also among the league worst in hitting- and playing for that matter- at home so if Arroyo can get it going early it could be a long day in Citi Field for the home team.