Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers & Starts for Week 8

Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 5/20 - 5/26. 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. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!


Bats to Stream and Start in Week 8



Streamer of the Week

Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS): 36% Owned

Moreland has quietly been one of the game’s best power hitters this season, putting up 12 homers and a .344 ISO in 141 PA. He’s done basically all of his damage against right-handed pitching, which is good news since Boston faces just one left-handed starter next week. Justin Verlander is the only strong right-hander they go up against, and Moreland will get a smorgasbord of weak pitching with a four game series in Toronto. To top it all off, he hits cleanup behind the trio of Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and J.D. Martinez. He should probably be owned in more than 36% leagues permanently, but since Moreland is out there in nearly two-thirds of Yahoo leagues, he is the top streamer this week.


Behind the Plate

James McCann (C, CWS): 47% Owned

McCann has been one of the biggest surprises at catcher this season, hitting .366 with a .985 OPS and .215 ISO through 99 PA. Yes, his .455 BABIP is going to drop, and yes he had a career 75 wRC+ coming into this season, but one can’t be too picky with waiver wire catchers. McCann has improved his average exit velocity to 90.7 MPH and upped his hard hit rate to 44.3%, both career highs. McCann has usurped underperforming veteran Welington Castillo and is getting the majority of playing time behind the plate for the White Sox right now. The seven-game schedule isn’t exactly a cake walk; the White Sox have seven road games against quality pitching in Houston and Minnesota. Still, McCann’s been good enough to be the top catcher target this week.

Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 20% Owned

Much like James McCann, Christian Vazquez is one of those players no one ever thought could hit. He was miserable at the plate last season, posting a .540 OPS with three homers and 42 wRC+ in 269 PA. He’s already exceeded that home run total this season, putting up five bombs in 112 PA, and has a .294 AVG and .838 OPS to go along with those homers. Vazquez too has increased his average exit velocity and hard hit rate, and he’s increased his line drive rate to 25.3% as well. With seven games on the schedule, Vazquez should catch 4-5 of them for Boston and put up decent numbers at the position.

Also Consider: Steven Vogt (C/1B, SF): 1% Owned


At the Corners

Giovanny Urshela (3B/SS, NYY): 16% Owned

A former Cleveland washout, Urshela has thrived in his chance to play for the injury-plagued Yankees. He’s hitting .330 with a .874 OPS and .160 ISO in 104 PA this season. His .377 BABIP suggests Urshela is overperforming, but he’s upped his line drive rate to 27.8% and his average exit velocity to 90.5 MPH this season. That is the golden combination for batting average results, and with seven games against the weak pitching of Baltimore and Kansas City, Urshela should provide plenty of batting average help this week.

Chris Davis (1B, BAL): 2% Owned

Scoff if you want, but you’ll be turning your nose up at player who’s hit .279 with a .899 OPS and .265 ISO in 76 PA since April 13. What’s so special about April 13? It’s the day Davis busted out of his historically bad slump, and he’s been a productive hitter ever since that game. His name is tainted in both the fantasy and real baseball realm, which is why his ownership remains at 2% despite a solid month of hitting. The Orioles have moved him up to fourth in the order and stopped platooning him, which is great since Baltimore gets four home games against the Yankees followed by three games in Coors Field. With his ownership, there’s a chance Davis is out there in some AL-only leagues, which would make him a great option in such a deep format. He’s even a fine option in mixed leagues depending on depth. He’ll never be Crush Davis again, but at least he’s not Crash (and burn) Davis anymore.

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


Up the Middle

Howie Kendrick (1B/2B/3B/OF, WSH): 15% Owned

It’s always nice to see a former top-15 prospect live up to their potential, even if it’s 13 years later. In all seriousness, something fierce has gotten into Kendrick this season, and he’s on pace for career highs in several metrics. His .244 ISO would be a career best by over 60 points, and his 12.5% strikeout rate would also be a career low. Kendrick has increased his average exit velocity to a monstrous 92.1 MPH, and his .441 xwOBA puts him in the 97th percentile of the league. Batted ball and Statcast metrics indicate that what he’s doing is legitimate, plus he’s quad-eligible, making Kendrick one of the best streaming options this week.

Aledmys Diaz (1B/2B/3B/SS, HOU): 15% Owned

Diaz is playing every day for Houston while Jose Altuve is on the IL, and he’s been a solid source of power in a utility role this season. His .256 ISO is a career best, as is his 11.5% strikeout rate. Unlike Howie Kendrick, Diaz isn’t lighting up the Statcast leaderboards, and his production probably isn’t sustainable over the long term. But screw the long term, because we’re playing for one week here, and sometimes that requires riding a hot hand, even if we know things will come to an end soon. Diaz has certainly been a hot hand play lately; he has a .959 OPS and .282 ISO in May along with a 1.25 BB/K. The Astros also take on at least three lefties this week, and Diaz has crushed southpaws to the tune of a .970 OPS and .375 ISO this year. Sure, one of the lefties is Chris Sale, but one of them is Manny Banuelos, so the universe tends to even out. Life's funny that way. Diaz is a great quad-eligible option where Kendrick isn’t available, or great if you specifically need a shortstop.

Also Consider: Jason Kipnis (2B/OF, CLE): 4% Owned, Leury Garcia (MI/OF, CWS): 10% Owned, Addison Russell, (SS, CHC): 2% Owned


In the Outfield

Jason Heyward (OF, CHC): 40% Owned

Even though his production has taken a downturn, Heyward has been hitting leadoff for the Cubs over the past few games for Chicago. Heyward still has above-average plate discipline, and with chip-in power and speed, he could provide production in several of the traditional 5x5 categories this week. He’s even better in points and OBP formats because of his excellent plate discipline. The Cubs have a seven-game workload next week, and only have one lefty on the schedule, rookie Cole Irvin. Heyward is a fine volume option this week, providing most of his help in batting average and runs scored.

Kyle Schwarber (OF, CHC): 42% Owned

Schwarber has been disappointing this season, hitting just .217 with a .158 ISO in 142 PA. That doesn’t quite cut it for a defensively-limited platoon bat, but if Schwarber were to turn things around, it would be in a week like this one. As previously stated, the Cubs have a seven-game week upcoming, and six of those are against right-handed starters. Schwarber’s 91.3 MPH average exit velocity and .479 xSLG both suggest he’s capable of more power, so now could be the best time to buy into Schwarber, when he’s at his lowest. He hit leadoff on Thursday, and that would be a nice boost to his value if that continues against right-handed pitchers. It’s do or die for Schwarber this week, and those who believe in the talent should take a chance on him.

Also Consider: Clint Frazier (OF, NYY): 42% Owned, Brett Gardner (OF, NYY): 17% Owned, Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS): 2% Owned, Steve Wilkerson (2B/OF, BAL): 0% Owned

More Streamers and Head-to-Head League Columns

More Recent Articles


2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The RT Sports Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 156 teams competing to be crowned champ of the 2019 Fantasy Football RotoBaller... Read More

WR Target Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

With the season over and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team shared their targets among their available receivers last season. Not every team splits up the targets in the passing game in the same way, and that has a great impact on the fantasy points any given... Read More

Best Waiver Wire Pickups from 2019

Each and every year we see an incredible number of players step foot on the NFL gridiron. Just in 2019, using Play Index, a total of 2,025 players took part in at least one game while one (Emmanuel Sanders) did the impossible and played 17 (!) games in the regular season as he was... Read More

Tight End VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More

Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More

Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More

2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More

Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More

Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More

Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More

The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More

Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More

Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More

Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More

Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More