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H2H Category Streamers - Week 19 Waiver Wire

There are plenty of strategies that fantasy managers explore in hopes of getting an advantage over their opponent. Heavy lineup, heavy starting pitchers, no catcher, all (or mostly) reliever staff, no reliever staff, etc. Even if you play a balanced lineup, injuries can cause holes. A few weeks without a key player won’t kill a season, but why accept losing when you can stream?

Streaming can be a risky business. If you do it right and check the necessary boxes, you can win the week. This column will do most of the work for you. It’ll cover weekly recommendations for when you need: steals, home runs, average, strikeouts, wins, and/or ratios (ERA/WHIP).

All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Steals – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Manuel Margot (OF, SDP) - 17% Owned

In an outfield that's a little less crowded since San Diego traded Franmil Reyes to Cleveland, Manuel Margot continues to be an intriguing streamer for stolen bases, with 15 bags swiped in his 277 plate appearances. While he hasn't had one in the past week, Margot has four stolen bases since the All-Star break and is facing two suspect catchers in the upcoming week. First, the Padres go to Seattle to face the Mariners and Omar Narvaez for two games, with Narvaez giving up the fourth-most stolen bases in the majors this year. Next, they go back to San Diego for a four-game set against the Rockies, with Tony Wolters - who's allowed 27 stolen bases this year - behind the dish.

Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CHW) - 18% Owned

Leury Garcia is in this spot for the second-straight week, as the Chicago outfielder - who also carries eligibility at SS - is looking at another great week of bad catchers.  First up are four games in Detroit against catcher Greyson Greiner, who has allowed 27 stolen bases in the 381 innings that he's caught this year. Greiner's 0.071 SB per inning caught, is fourth-worst in the majors among catchers who've caught a minimum of 350 innings. Garcia will then come back home for three games against the Athletics, who'll have journeyman backup Chris Herrmann behind the dish in replacement of Josh Phegley who just hit the IL.


Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Teoscar Hernandez (OF, TOR) - 7% Owned

Overshadowed by Toronto's frenzied activity heading into the trade deadline and the call-up of top prospect Bo Bichette has been the powerful performance being put on by outfielder Teoscar Hernandez as of late. The 26-year-old has only 15 home runs on the season but has heated up since the All-Star break, hitting seven home runs, with 12 RBI and 12 runs scored since then, hitting multiple home runs twice in those 16 games. And while he's still had a 30% K-rate, Hernandez has shown better batted-ball skills over that time, collecting hits in 14 of Toronto's 16 games. Hernandez is currently riding a five-game hit streak and will be in Tampa Bay for three games next week before heading home for a four-game set against the Yankees. In a friendly hitting environment at home, Hernandez will face two homer-prone pitchers in Masahiro Tanaka (1.52 HR/9) and JA Happ - whose 1.98 HR/9 leads all qualified starters.

Matt Thaiss (1B/3B, LAA) - 5% Owned

After being called up on July 3, Los Angeles Angels infielder Matt Thaiss landed with a thud, going 1-15 in his first four games in the majors. But since then the 2016 first-round pick has started rounding into shape and now has four home runs in his last six games. This week the Angels go on the road to Cincinnati for two games, where the left-handed Thaiss will hit in the Great American Bandbox which in 2018 was the third-best park for left-handed power. He then has a four-game series in Boston where he lines up to face Rick Porcello and Andrew Cashner, two right-handers known for their propensity to give up massive home runs. Only 5%-owned and multi-position eligible, this a good week to grab Thaiss to see how long the power continues.


Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Austin Nola (1B/2B, SEA) – 1% Owned

Never thought to be anything but a fringe major leaguer, Seattle Mariner infielder Austin Nola is starting to show that younger brother Aaron is not the only Nola with majors talent. Let go by the Marlins in the offseason  after spending his first eight professional years in Miami's system, Nola was signed by Seattle and subsequentially broke out at Triple-A for the Mariners, slashing .327/.415/.520 with seven home runs in 229 plate appearances, and was consequentially called up on June 16 to fill the roster hole left when Edwin Encarnacion was traded to the Yankees.

Nola treaded water during the first month of his big-league call-up, staying mostly in a utility role, but after the All-Star break, his role has increased and he's now started 14 of the Mariners 17 games since. In those 51 PA, Nola is slashing .391/.440/.739 with three home runs, five doubles, and a 210 wRC+. While his average is buoyed by a .440 BABIP, Nola has still shown an excellent approach, posting an 83.3% contact-rate and a 17.1% K-rate over that time, as well as a 42.1% hard-hit. Free on the wire and eligible at two positions, Nola is an interesting add while he stays hot at the dish.

Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT) – 29% Owned

Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds might as well live in this spot because Reynolds just keeps on hitting. And hitting quietly apparently, as evidenced by his still too-low 29% ownership, even though through 85 games and 328 plate appearances, he's slashing .324/.396/.503 with a 138 wRC+. For comparison, of batters with at least 300 PA, only six have higher than a .324 AVG, and a 138 wRC+ or greater. They are named Yelich, McNeil, Devers, Tatis, Bellinger...And Reynolds. With regard to ownership, one of these things is not like the others. Psst...It's Reynolds.

While he has regressed some in July, Reynolds has a .310 AVG and 120 wRC+, with five multi-hit games and a six-game hitting streak in the last two weeks.  He'll look to keep the train rolling with three games at home against Milwaukee, followed by a three-game set in St. Louis.


Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Jakob Junis (SP, KCR) - 16% Owned

Coming off of a start against Toronto where he went seven innings and struck out six, Kansas City Royal Jakob Junis lands in this spot for the second-straight week as he lines up for two starts in Week 19. In his four starts since the All-Star break, Junis has 28 strikeouts in 26 innings, good for a 26% K-rate. First up this week is the more dangerous of the two starts, as Junis goes to Boston to take on the Red Sox, who have only a 21% K-rate against right-handed pitching this year. Next though, is a plus-matchup in Detroit against the woeful Tigers and their 26.7% K-rate against right-handers that is second-worst in baseball since June 1.

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SDP) - 15% Owned

While he's not a threat to go deep in games, only going five innings in three of his starts and only four innings in his other two, Padres right-hander Dinelson Lamet is still a strikeout machine, holding an 11.74 K/9 over his first 23 innings pitched since returning from 2018 Tommy John surgery. Lamet has two great matchups this week, first going on the road to face the Mariners before heading home for a start against the visiting Rockies. Both of his opponents have struggled against right-handers this year, with Seattle and Colorado both holding a 25% K-rate against them since July 1.


Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Jeff Samardzija (SP, SFG) – 40% Owned

Seemingly back from the dead, Jeff Samardzija has been quietly excellent lately for the surging San Francisco Giants. In his six starts in July, Samardzija went 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA and lines up for two starts at home this week. First is a tilt against the Washington Nationals on Monday opposite Erik Fedde whose 4.69 ERA should allow the Giants to provide Samardzija with plenty of run support. In his second start, The Shark faces Philadelphia, who Samardzija just shutout for six innings on his way to a  road victory on July 31. With a Giants team behind him that has their eyes on the playoffs, Samardzija has a nice look at picking up a win or two in Week 19.

Jordan Lyles (SP, MIL) - 14% Owned

Joining Milwaukee in mid-season for the second-straight summer, Jordan Lyles started off well in his most recent tenure with the Brewers, going five innings in a victory in Oakland, allowing only one run on three hits. Lyles lines up for two starts this week, with a good shot at wins in both. First up is a start back in Pittsburgh where Lyles will face his former teammates and their 3-17 record since the All-Star break. Next Lyles gets the Texas Rangers, who are 4-12 in their last 16 games and have a league-worst 27.1% K-rate against right-handers since June 1. It remains to be seen what Lyles' long-term value is on his new team but with two struggling opponents on the upcoming docket, it's all streams ahead for Week 19.


ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Cal Quantrill (SP, SDP) - 13% Owned

Whether as a traditional starter or bulk follower, San Diego pitcher Cal Quantrill has been quietly very good since moving out of the bullpen in July. In his four starts since - in which he was used as a follower in one - Quantrill is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. It's yet unknown what role Quantrill will fill this week but it will likely be against the Colorado Rockies at home on Thursday or Friday. The Rockies have really struggled against right-handers since June 1, putting up on a .317 wOBA and 78 wRC+ against them. Regardless of role, Quantrill should be a great source of ratios this week and possibly going forward.

Drew Smyly (SP, PHI) - 8% Owned

Let the Drew Smyly Renassaisance continue! Okay, that's a bit aggressive given that the left-hander was most recently released by the Rangers earlier this year after posting an 8.42 ERA over 13 appearances. But Smyly has looked like a new pitcher so far in his two starts with the Phillies, giving up only one run in 13 innings, while striking out 13 with a 1.oo WHIP. Smyly has been succeeding on by a newfound reliance on his cutter which he is now throwing 29.6% of the time, up from 10.8%.  The party could keep rolling for Smyly in Week 19 as he faces San Franciso on the road in pitcher-friendly Oracle park; the same Giants team that he just shutout for seven innings at home on July 31.

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