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

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

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, 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 8

Seven-Game Weeks: ATL, BAL, BOS, CHC, CHW, CLE, HOU, NYM, NYY, PHI, SF, TOR, WSH

 

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

 

Keenan Allen - Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody on your bench. Disaster Recovery is to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting, and deciding if you should be panicking at all about... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 7) - Targets and Avoids

Another week, more upsets. The Cowboys, Chiefs and Chargers all went down knocking out about 15-20 percent of remaining entrants in survivor pools, including myself. The Baltimore and New England wins were never in doubt, but the Redskins and Packers just barely squeaked out wins. If you've made it this far, you've done a job... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


Running Back Metrics That Matter - NFL NextGen Stats

It's been a month--a full month!--since the last time we took a look at our beloved running backs. I don't think there is a hotter topic of discussion between pro- and anti-analytics than rushing. The guys fighting for stat-supremacy are all about using the passing game as much as possible while ditching the run; the... Read More


Titanic Disappointment - Will Ryan Tannehill Help Tennessee?

In the midst of being shutout by the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Tennesse Titans coach Mike Vrabel made a move that many casual NFL fans had been expecting for the past few weeks: he decided to give Ryan Tannehill a shot at quarterback instead of Marcus Mariota. While Tannehill wasn't noticeably better on Sunday, throwing... Read More


Warning Signs: Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Jared Goff

This is going to be a special edition of Warning Signs. Usually, we take a look at players from different teams who have disappointed thus far. This week, I am going to focus on a single team full of players to worry about. It is not good to have a team of big stars where... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 6 Outliers

In Week 6, several players exploded in fantasy lineups. There were a few receivers that were above the rest of the pack in Week 6, such as Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, Chris Godwin and Tyreek Hill, but there shouldn't be any surprises there as those guys should have been in fantasy lineups. At the quarterback... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 7

The bye week difficulties continue this week with Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay all getting their rest in Week 7. It should be noted, however, that just because a player is currently in their bye week, doesn't mean you should avoid them on the waiver wire. In fact, this is often the easiest way... Read More


Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

All of a sudden, the Chargers look like one of the worst teams in football and the Jets look like a playoff contender. Maybe things won't shake out that way in the end but it goes to show how quickly things change in the "Not For Long" NFL. For that reason, we advise looking at... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 7)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More


Week 7 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 6 is done, and we've seen some outstanding games thus far. We've also seen a lot of surprising teams through six weeks. The San Francisco 49ers, after picking in the top 10 for four straight years, are 5-0 with one of the most complete teams in football. As far as kickers go, we're seeing... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Some of you have been rewarded for your meticulous roster planning by receiving excellent production from your running backs. Unfortunately, many of you have been equally prepared when making roster decisions, but have been undermined by injuries, inconsistent usage, or underwhelming performances. If that applies to you, then those unwanted outcomes have forced you to... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

We weren't really surprised by the top-scoring fantasy wide receivers from Week 6. Out of the top-20 receivers, only Jamison Crowder, Auden Tate and Jaron Brown were less than 50% owned. Jaron Brown (0% owned) was only targeted five times but he scored two touchdowns off of those five targets. Auden Tate (23% owned) hauled... Read More