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Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers and Starts Week 20

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 8/12 through 8/18. 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 20

Seven Game Weeks: ARI,  BAL, CWS, CIN, CLE, HOU, LAA, NYY, TEX

It's something of a light week as far as seven-game weeks go, however, the Yankees are underlined because they have the mythical eight-game week this week thanks to a doubleheader. While most players won't play in all eight games, the extra game makes their hitters even more attractive for the upcoming week.


Stream of the Week

Gio Urshela (3B/SS, NYY): 53% Owned

Urshela is the hottest player in baseball right now, having crushed five homers over his last three games. Chances are his 53% ownership rate is about to skyrocket, so it’s best to preemptively add Urshela if possible. The Yankees have an eight-game week ahead, and with all their injuries Urshela should be good for seven or perhaps even eight of those games. Both of those factors make Urshela the perfect stream of the week.


Behind the Plate

Robinson Chirinos (C, HOU): 47% Owned

Houston has a full slate next week, and it’s a full slate of mediocre to bad pitching. They start off with three games at the White Sox and finish with four in Oakland. The Astros only face two lefties next week, but they are Ross Detweiler and Brett Anderson, two pitchers Chirinos could really take to task. Look for four to five starts from Chirinos, with two against those poor lefties. He is the top catcher to stream this week.

Roberto Perez (C, CLE): 28% Owned

The Indians have a seven-game week against Boston and the Yankees, and they take on at least three lefties this week. That’s great for Perez, who has a .865 OPS and .269 ISO against lefties this season. Perez gives us some cheap power behind the plate for those in need and can’t get their hands on Chirinos.

Also Consider: Carson Kelly (C, ARI): 17% Owned, Austin Romine (C, NYY): 8% Owned


At the Corners

Renato Nunez (1B/3B, BAL): 46% Owned

The Orioles have a seven-game week ahead, with at least three games against left-handed pitching. Nunez crushes lefties, with a .847 OPS and .279 ISO versus left-handed pitchers this season. With four games in Yankee Stadium and three in Fenway Park, owners shouldn’t be worried about Nunez getting away from Camden Yards this week either. He should be a solid source of power this week.

Christian Walker (1B, ARI): 32% Owned

Walker’s production has picked up as of late, with a .911 OPS in July and .912 OPS in August thus far. He’s in a great position this week, as the Diamondbacks start off with three games in Colorado followed by four games at home against San Francisco. Walker still has eye-popping Statcast numbers, highlighted by a 14.5% barrel rate and 91.6 MPH average exit velocity, suggesting he is capable of sustaining solid production even if his overall numbers have dipped. Hopefully, he makes a big impact in the three games at Coors Field, but with seven total games against weak pitching, Walker should have plenty of chances to produce.

Also Consider: Mike Ford (1B, NYY): 0% Owned


Up the Middle

David Fletcher (2B/3B/SS/OF, LAA): 38% Owned

Fletcher is in a prime position this week, as he’s hitting leadoff ahead of Mike Trout in a seven-game week. The Angels face all righties this week, which works out well for Fletcher, who has pronounced platoon splits. He is hitting .301 with a .760 OPS against right-handed pitching this season. His 9.2% strikeout rate and 25% line drive rate means he’ll have tons of high quality balls in play this week. That golden combination has given him a .292 xBA, which is near the top of the league. Fletcher should be a good source of batting average and runs this week.

Nick Ahmed (SS, ARI): 7% Owned

Unfortunately for Ahmed, Arizona only takes on two lefties this week. They are poor quality lefties in Kyle Freeland and Conner Menez, which should help us feel more comfortable with Ahmed. He also gets three games at Coors Field, which will help boost production. Ahmed is a fine alternative to Fletcher if Fletcher is unavailable.

Also Consider: Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CWS): 24% Owned


In the Outfield

Mike Tauchman (OF, NYY): 51% Owned

Tauchman is another Yankee that will benefit from the team’s eight-game week. He’s been on fire since the break, hitting .413 with six home runs in the second half. The Yankees only have one game against a left-handed starter this week as well, which in theory is good for Tauchman, although Tauchman has hit .480 against lefties this season. Like with Urshela, Tauchman’s ownership could skyrocket over the next few days, so owners definitely try and add him before it’s too late.

Oscar Mercado (OF, CLE): 48% Owned

Mercado’s place in the two-hole got a whole lot sweeter after the trade deadline, as Cleveland added some serious beef to the middle of their lineup with Yasiel Puig and Franmil Reyes. Mercado has been on fire in the second half, with a .852 OPS and .227 ISO since the break. A solid five-category contributor, owners should be happy to add Mercado where available. He’s a great play for both volume and quantity in a seven-game week for Cleveland.

Also Consider: Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA): 30% Owned, Brett Gardner (OF, NYY): 21% Owned, Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX): 9% Owned

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