Starting Pitcher Streamers for April 20th, 2014
Some veterans of the fantasy baseball world frown on the very idea of “streaming” starting pitchers, or attempting to pickup sneaky sleepers off the waiver wire. However, for those of us who regularly take part in leagues of the daily head-to-head variety, the need to often take part in the process is in no way a foreign concept. It is an exercise that largely takes place heading into the weekend, especially in preparation for your make-or-break Sunday slate of games. In order to utilize it effectively, a risk evaluation is needed. Adding arms at the end of your week can certainly aid in strikeouts and possibly wins or quality starts, but it is vital to understand the havoc that can be wreaked on your ratios. If you find the need for streaming candidates, be sure to check out my following suggestions for April 20th, 2014 in both the N.L. and A.L.
Robbie Erlin - SD
Erlin has gotten off to an outstanding start here in the 2014 regular season. Through three appearances (two starts), the Padres young southpaw has posted a very solid 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. Perhaps more impressive is his 14-to-1 K/BB ratio over 11.1 innings while allowing no home runs as of yet.
The Giants will be visiting San Diego’s PETCO Park on Sunday afternoon, where Erlin will enjoy one of the most pitcher friendly environments in the entire league. The 23 year old holds a career 2.58 ERA in front of his Southern California home crowd, including an effort versus San Francisco last September, in which he worked 5.1 innings while giving up just two runs on six hits with five punchouts. Erlin’s success to this point should have already resulted in a higher ownership rate than a mere nine percent in Yahoo! Leagues, so take advantage before word gets out.
Robbie Ross Jr. - TEX
Ross spent 2012-13 as part of a superb Rangers’ relief corps. This season, however, he has entered the rotation and has so far made that decision seem extremely intelligent. During a trio of trips atop the mound, the third-year lefty has recorded a 1.00 ERA while holding the opposition to a .219 batting average. One area of concern for Ross is his eight free passes across 18 innings, but so far he has been masterful in the damage control department.
A major aspect in his ability to avoid being burned by a sometimes substandard level command involves the fact that hitters just simply have trouble making solid contact. It is somewhat difficult to believe that Ross is currently owned in just seven 7% of Yahoo! Leagues. Can he turn in a fourth consecutive solid start to kick off the campaign? The potential of doing so Sunday afternoon against the White Sox seems fairly high.
Nate Miller is a RotoBaller regular as well as MLB Contributor & Tampa Bay Rays Beat Writer for RotoWire.com. Feel free to stay up to date with him on Twitter @Miller_RotoDad.