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Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 18

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 7/29 through 8/4. 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.

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Bats to Stream and Start in Week 18

Seven Game Weeks: ATL, BOS, CIN, LAD, TOR

As you can see, very few teams have a full seven-game week this week. That means it's going to be slim pickings on the waiver wire. There are still plenty of viable options, but we're going to be focusing on lots of players from the same lineup this week.


Streamer of the Week

Scooter Gennett (2B, CIN): 45% Owned

Gennett has gotten off to a slow start since returning from the injured list, but that just means an talented player has slipped below the 50% ownership threshold. The Reds are one of the few teams with a seven-game week, with three home games against weak Pittsburgh pitching.

The Reds do have a pair of games against left-handed starters, but Gennett was more than adequate against left-handed pitching last season, hitting .294 versus southpaws. With such a limited range of options for max volume, I’m looking to trust a proven player like Gennett, even if he’s been subpar in his first 16 games.


Behind the Plate

Danny Jansen (C, TOR): 43% Owned

Jansen has picked things up since his pitiful effort in the first two months, and he has a .792 OPS with six home runs since June 1. The Blue Jays are in a great spot this week, with seven games against cellar dweller teams. They face the Royals in Kansas City for three games, and then take on Baltimore at home for four games. The only quality pitcher on the slate would be John Means, and even his success is dubious. Jansen is the top catcher to stream this week.

Will D. Smith (C, LAD): 2%

The Dodgers promoted Smith yesterday, presumably to be their every day catcher as Austin Barnes was demoted to the minors. Smith crushed it in his brief time in the majors this season, clobbering three home runs in 29 PA. He’s also been destroying pitches in the minor leagues, with 20 home runs and a .335 ISO in 268 PA. The Dodgers have one of the most favorable schedules this week, with three games in Coors Field and four home games against the Padres. Smith should get four or five starts this week, and is available in nearly every league.

Also consider: Brian McCann (C, ATL): 9% Owned


At the Corners

Justin Smoak (1B, TOR): 31% Owned

Smoak’s production has been dwindling over the past two months, but the veteran first baseman still has value given his solid combination of power and patience. Smoak is particularly interesting in OBP leagues, since his 16% walk rate is sixth-best among qualified hitters. The switch-hitting Smoak has traditionally been better against right-handed pitchers, which is good news since the Blue Jays face five low quality righties this week. The Blue Jays are one of the teams I’m targeting heavily this week, and Smoak is a good option at the corners.

Ian Desmond (1B/OF, COL): 47% Owned

The Rockies don’t have a seven-game week, which is pretty crucial in terms of maximizing volume in our streamers, but Colorado does have six games at home. There’s plenty of scoring to be had with six games in Coors Field, and Desmond is just under the threshold for streaming hitters, making him one of the best choices outside of players on teams with seven games. Desmond doesn’t run like he once did, but he’s got a respectable 13 home runs and .228 ISO on the year. He’s also hitting .302 with an .891 OPS at home in 2019. If you’ve got some Colorado studs on your team such as Nolan Arenado or Trevor Story you should be in for a fun week. If not, you can still get in on the action with Desmond.

Also Consider: Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS): 10% Owned


Up the Middle

Eric Sogard (2B/SS/OF, TOR): 21% Owned

Sogard has quietly experiencing a late career breakout at age 33, with a .299 AVG and .843 OPS in 317 PA thus far. The production has come in streaks for Sogard, which is a good thing right now since he’s hitting .321 since the All-Star break. Sogard is great in both batting average leagues and OBP leagues, since he has a 9% walk rate to compliment his .299 average. He hits leadoff for Toronto and should get plenty of high-quality volume in a seven-game week. Whether Sogard can maintain his production all season is another, but for this week he’s the best choice up the middle.

Freddy Galvis (2B/SS, TOR): 37% Owned

If you can’t get your hands on Sogard, Galvis presents a solid alternative in the same lineup. Hitting second behind Eric Sogard, Galvis provides a little less batting average safety but a little more punch with the stick. The switch-hitter has been better against right-handed pitching this season, with a .749 OPS and .197 ISO versus righties. Like Sogard, Galvis should provide high-quality volume near the top of Toronto’s lineup.

Also Consider: Cavan Biggio (2B/OF, TOR): 24% Owned, Brock Holt, (2B/SS/OF, BOS): 2% Owned, Ryan McMahon, (1B/2B/3B, COL): 21% Owned


In the Outfield

Alex Verdugo (OF, LAD): 44% Owned

Verdugo’s rookie season has flown somewhat under-the-radar, but the young outfielder has been terrific with a .295/.345/.487 triple slash in 345 PA. He’s hitting second in the Dodgers’ lineup, a premium spot in front of Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. He should get plenty of volume in a seven-game week for Los Angeles, and his production will get a boost thanks to three games in Coors Field. Don’t worry about the two games against left-handed starters either, as Verdugo is hitting .340 against southpaws this season. He’s the top outfielder to stream this week where available.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (OF, BOS): 23% Owned

Bradley has been hot-ish over the last week, with a two-homer game last Saturday and a three hit game last night. He didn’t record a hit in the four games between, but there’s still some signs of life here. Bradley’s value is dinged by hitting low in the Red Sox’ order, but he gets a juicy seven-game week, with four of those games in the lefty favoring Yankee Stadium. Hopefully, Bradley can roll his recent spurts of success into a nice week. He’s more of a high-risk, high-reward option, but for those looking to stream Bradley is a fine OF4 or OF5.

Also Consider: Jesse Winker (OF, CIN): 22% Owned, Randal Grichuk (OF, TOR): 20% Owned

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