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Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 17


Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 7/22 through 7/28. Whether you're looking to maximize the number of games played, exploit favorable matchups, or fill in for injured players, streaming hitters can be a fruitful strategy for those willing to put in a little work every week.

Keep in mind that this column highlights players owned in approximately 50% or fewer of Yahoo leagues who could present nice streaming options for the upcoming week. This applies to any league but specifically is geared toward head-to-head weekly leagues where matchups are more critical.

If the following names aren't available, don't hesitate to check our famous waiver wire pickups list to find some appealing alternatives. Let's get to it.

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!

 

Bats to Stream and Start in Week 17

Seven Game Weeks: BAL, BOS, CWS, CLE, COL, MIN, NYM, NYY, PIT, SEA, STL, TEX, WAS

 

Streamer of the Week

Oscar Mercado (OF, CLE): 30% Owned

This is a tough week for streamers. While there are plenty of teams with a full seven-game week, no club gets the golden combo of seven games against bad pitching and in a hitter’s park. Both Texas and Colorado are on the road this week, which certainly contributes to the dearth of options, but I digress to Mercado. The 24-year-old outfielder has gotten off to a scorching second-half start, clobbering three home runs in just six games since the break. He’s also tacked on a pair of steals over that stretch.

Mercado should keep on rolling this week, as Cleveland gets three games in Toronto followed by four games in Kansas City. Marcus Stroman is the only quality pitcher on the slate for Cleveland. The rest of the pitchers they face could most generously be described as “innings eaters”. They only get one lefty (Clayton Richard), but that shouldn’t scare owners away from Mercardo. He’s has a .292 AVG and .794 OPS against right-handed pitchers this season. Mercado probably has a little more run in him beyond just a streamer, but even as a one-off add he’s a great choice.

 

Behind the Plate

Roberto Perez (C, CLE): 33% Owned

If you’re on the fence as to whether the ball is juiced, Roberto Perez’s season should remove all doubts. He had 13 home runs in 642 PA combined between 2016-2018. This year he has 16 homers in 256 PA and a .250 ISO. Owners in the market for streaming hitters should look to ride the Cleveland train wherever possible. Perez is my favorite streaming catcher this week, both for his recent performance and upcoming matchups.

Chance Sisco (C, BAL):  12% Owned

It’s surprising that Sisco is only 12% owned, considering his .948 OPS and .307 ISO in 88 PA as a catcher. Sure, his 33% K rate and 31.6% HR/FB rate are rightful cause for skepticism, but I’d rather own him over Francisco Meija or Mike Zunino, who are both owned in more leagues that Sisco. As far as streamers go, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a catcher in a better spot than Sisco this week. Unlike most catchers, Sisco has a premium lineup spot in Baltimore, usually hitting third or fourth. He also has just two scheduled lefties on the slate, meaning we should lock-in five games for Sisco this week. He’s one of the best options behind the dish this week.

Also Consider: Matt Wieters (C, STL): 2% Owned

 

At the Corners

C.J. Cron (1B, MIN): 44% Owned

Fresh off the injured list, Cron already has two doubles and a homer in three games for the Twins. That IL stint caused his ownership to dip a bit, and the powerful first baseman is available in far too many leagues. Unfortunately, the Twins only have two lefties this week, but the schedule makes up for it with four games in Chicago against the White Sox. It’s going to be muggy and humid in Chicago this week, which is bad news for Ivan Nova and Dylan Cease, as if they needed any more bad news given their performances to date. Cron gives us plenty of power as a streaming option this week.

Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL): 23% Owned

Nunez is a prime example of power deflation in the modern game. He has 21 homers and a .251 ISO, yet he’s owned in fewer than a quarter of Yahoo leagues. He’s a rather one dimensional player on a bad team, but he still brings legitimate power to the table. One of Nunez’s best attributes is his punctuality. He’s played in every game for Baltimore since the All-Star break, and has played DH with little rest all season. It’s not like the Orioles have anyone better, so we can rely on Nunez to be in the lineup hitting fourth or fifth every day. Of course, there’s a bonus if Baltimore faces a lefty, but Nunez has a respectable .217 ISO against right-handed pitchers this season as well. For power and volume, Nunez is a nice alternative to C.J. Cron.

Also Consider: Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN): 29% Owned, Todd Frazier (3B, NYM): 5% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Danny Santana (1B/2B/OF, TEX): 50% Owned

Santana is reportedly taking more reps at third base, which should keep his hot bat in the lineup even more often. He’d certainly be a more productive option than Asdrubal Cabrera, but he’d also be a more productive option than Rougned Odor, yet Texas seems reluctant to make that switch permanently. Santana has played five of the last six games, and Texas seems dedicated to playing him more often, which they have good reason try and squeeze him in as much as possible. Santana is hitting .417 with four home runs and two steals in July, and has a .922 OPS on the year. Texas may be on the road this week, but they get seven games of relatively weak pitching against Arizona and Anaheim. This will probably be the last week Santana is at the 50% ownership threshold to qualify as a streamer, so pick him up while you can.

Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT): 39% Owned

Newman has been lowkey crushing it, as the kids would say, and has raised his average to a stellar .331 on the year. The Pirates have six games against righties, but don’t let that give you apprehension towards adding Newman. He’s hit .337 against right-handed pitching with all six of his home runs. It’d be nice if the Pirates would hit Newman leadoff permanently, he’s definitely earned it, but we’ll have to settle for every few games as he splits time atop the order with Adam Frazier. Frazier isn’t a bad volume play this week for deeper leagues, but Newman is the better option in Pittsburgh.

Also Consider: Amed Rosario (SS, NYM): 40% Owned, Marwin Gonzalez (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, MIN): 27% Owned, Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT): 17% Owned, Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE): 9% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY): 30% Owned

Gardner has been red hot in July, hitting .325 with three home runs and two steals. The Yankees face two lefties this week, but Gardner’s been playing every day regardless of opposing pitcher, so we shouldn’t take a volume hit on days against a left-handed starter. Gardner is a nice backup option to Oscar Mercardo, since he provides the power-speed combo, but doesn’t have the premium matchups or lineup spot that Mercardo has.

Tyler O’Neill (OF, STL): 25% Owned

O’Neill has been crushing homers left and right since the break, and now he gets to roll that hot streak into a seven-game week with St. Louis. The Cardinals have already moved O’Neill up to the cleanup spot, where he should have plenty of run-producing opportunities. Expect O’Neill’s ownership to skyrocket over the weekend, especially if he goes yard again. Pick him up while you can, because he’s an excellent power option this week.

Also Consider: Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT): 31% Owned, Corey Dickerson (OF, PIT): 22% Owned, Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CWS): 14% Owned

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