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Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers & Starts Week 4


Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 4/22 - 4/28. 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 fewer than 50% 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 4

Seven-Game Weeks: Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Los Angels Angels, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers

 

Streamer of the Week

Clint Frazier (OF, NYY) – 29% Owned

Frazier was given an every day job due to mounting injuries in New York, and has taken advantage of the opportunity. He is hitting .333 with a .622 SLG and has popped four home runs in 49 PA. The Yankees have a seven-game week, and draw five subpar right-handed starters over those seven games.

Their four-game set in Los Angeles against the Angels is especially enticing because it’s in a hitter-friendly ballpark against a few rough starting pitchers. The three-game series in San Francisco afterward is a little less appealing since the ballpark is bad for left-handed hitters and San Francisco is projected to use two lefties, but Frazier isn’t sitting against lefties and is on a roll right now. Sometimes the best streaming hitters are simply the hottest ones, and it helps that Frazier gets seven games this week on top of that.

 

Behind the Plate

Welington Castillo (C, CWS) – 40% Owned

Castillo has gotten off to a tough start this season, owning a .129 AVG and .600 OPS in 41 PA thus far. There are a few glimmers of hope here, mainly an 8:9 BB:K ratio and a 41% hard hit rate. The White Sox get three games in Baltimore and three games at home against Detroit, which means plenty of bad pitching for Castillo to feast on in hitter-friendly ballparks. It’s hard to find a decent catcher on waivers, but Castillo has a solid track record and good enough underlying numbers to make him a streaming option.

Also Consider: Jonathan Lucroy (C, LAA) - 19% Owned, Austin Romine (C, NYY – 2% Owned

 

At the Corners

Niko Goodrum (1B/2B/3B/SS/OF DET) – 45% Owned

Goodrum is the type of player fantasy owners should love to stream; he can provide power and speed, and he’s eligible at every position. Even though the results haven’t totally been there for Goodrum with his .265 AVG and one home run in 58 PA, there is a lot to like in this profile. Goodrum has cut his strikeout rate to 22.4% and nearly doubled his walk rate up to 15.5%.

He’s also crushing the baseball with an average exit velocity of 92.7 MPH and a 55.6% hard-hit rate. Statcast loves what Goodrum is doing, as he has a .315 xBA and .608 xSLG. This could be week where these batted ball numbers turn into better results, as he gets four games in Boston and three games in Chicago against the White Sox. He’ll be playing in more hitter-friendly ballparks against some struggling pitchers. This is a case where we’ll trust the skills and hope the results come.

Ryan Zimmerman (1B, WAS) – 13% Owned

It hasn’t been a good start for Zimmerman, but things could be looking up this week as Washington has three games in Coors Field and four games against left-handed starters. For his career, Zimmerman has a .917 OPS and .215 ISO against left-handed pitching. Even with Zimmerman’s .184 AVG, he has an 8:9 BB:K ratio and a 46.3% hard hit rate on the year, so there are indicators that Zimmerman could turn it around. With Coors Field and a lefty-heavy week, Zimmerman is in a prime position to rebound.

Also Consider: Yonder Alonso (1B, CWS) - 16% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Andrelton Simmons (SS, LAA) – 39% Owned

Simmons has been on a roll lately, with three straight multi-hit games going into play Friday. He has also raised his batting average nearly 50 points in just a week thanks to his hot hitting. Simmons has a seven-game slate this week, with four games at home against the Yankees and three games in Kansas City. His under-owned at just 39% due to his early-season slump, but Simmons has the track record and the skills that make him an excellent option this week. Owners could do a lot worse than picking up a streaking cleanup hitter at a middle infield position this week.

Also Consider: Adam Frazier (2B/OF, PIT) – 14% Owned, Wilmer Difo (2B/3B/SS, WAS) – 1% Owned, David Fletcher (2B/3B/OF, LAA) – 2% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) – 16% Owned

Gardner is a good option for many of the same reasons Clint Frazier is a good option. The Yankees do play three games in a National League park, but one would figure recently recalled first baseman Mike Ford is the one that would sit without a DH. Gardner hasn’t been nearly as hot as Frazier, in fact he’s hitting just .191 on the year, but he leads off against right-handed pitching and has decent power and speed. He also has a 10.4% walk rate, so Gardner is much better in OBP leagues compared to traditional batting average leagues.

Shin-Soo Choo (OF, TEX) – 37% Owned

Shin-Soo Choo may be one of the most underappreciated fantasy players of his era. He puts up consistent production year after year, but always seems to be on the fringes of ownership in 10- and 12-team leagues. He’s off to a blistering start this year, with a .345 AVG and 1.046 OPS in 65 PA. He may only have one home run, but his .255 ISO and ten extra-base hits suggest more balls could be leaving the yard soon. Choo gets seven games to do it this week, with only two of those games coming against lefty starters. Rangers hitters get a park downgrade this week thanks to seven road games between Oakland and Seattle

Also Consider: Brian Goodwin (OF, LAA) – 2% Owned, Leury Garcia (MI/OF, CWS) – 7% Owned, Dwight Smith Jr. (OF, BAL) – 15% Owned

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