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Head-to-Head Hitter Streamers & Starts for Week 9


Welcome to the hitting streamers column for the week of 5/27 - 6/02. 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 9

Seven-Game Weeks: ARI, BOS, CHW, CIN, CLE, COL, KC, LAA, LAD, MIA, NYM, NYY, SEA, TB, TEX

 

Streamer of the Week

Hunter Pence (OF, TEX): 55% Owned

In perhaps one of the most unexpected career bounce backs in recent memory, Hunter Pence is raking for Texas this season. His .339 ISO is by far a career high, and he’s lighting up the Statcast hitting metrics like never before. Pence has a 93.3 MPH average exit velocity, 48.3% hard hit rate, and .407 xwOBA.

That type of power plays well in a park like Globe Life, which is great news since the Rangers have seven home games this upcoming week, including four games against weak left-handed pitchers. Pence is just above the 50% threshold this piece usually targets, but he’s out there in enough leagues that it’s worth checking for him. Expect Pence to continue his hot hitting with a great slate of matchups ahead.

 

Behind the Plate

James McCann (C, CWS): 40%

McCann has been one of the biggest surprise at catcher this season, with a .333 AVG and .896 OPS on the year, both career highs by a significant margin. He has stolen the starting job away from Welington Castillo, and this semi-regular playing time means he should get 4-5 starts next week as the White Sox have seven games ahead. The White Sox have seven home games to boot, so McCann will get to play in an excellent hitting environment all week.

Christian Vazquez (C, BOS): 37% Owned

Vazquez has also been a nice surprise behind the plate, and the Red Sox have been riding him pretty hard as a result. He even played DH a few days ago, although J.D. Martinez has been sitting with back soreness over the past couple games. Vazquez still started six of the last seven games for Boston, and brings a .295/.338/.488 triple slash to the table. If McCann isn’t available, then Vazquez is the number one alternative.

Also Consider: Jorge Alfaro (C, MIA): 23% Owned, Tony Wolters (C, COL): 2% Owned

 

At the Corners

Christian Walker (1B, ARI): 36% Owned

Walker has cooled off after a hot start, hitting just .197 with a .607 in May. The good news, is that Walker’s cold stretch has caused his ownership to dip 40% just as the Diamondbacks head into a four game series at Coors Field. Walker still has a 93.2 MPH average exit velocity and a 53.6% hard hit rate. The power is here, it’s just lying dormant. A trip to Coors Field should change that. Now is the time to buy back into Walker, before he jumps back on everyone’s radar with a big series in Colorado.

Mitch Moreland (1B, BOS): 37% Owned

There’s just one lefty on the slate for Boston this week, and you know what that means: Mitch Moreland time! One would think having a .336 ISO and hitting cleanup for the Red Sox would have Moreland owned in more leagues, but perhaps his .238 AVG and reputation as a replacement-level player have kept his ownership low. Sure, Moreland sits against lefties, but he has a .969 OPS and .374 ISO against right-handed pitching. Moreland also benefits from a four-game series in Yankee Stadium, one of the most favorable ballparks for left-handed power hitters. He could provide some great run production off the wire this week.

Also Consider: Gio Urshela (3B/SS, NYY): 21% Owned, Derek Dietrich (1B/2B/OF, CIN): 25% Owned, Ji-Man Choi (1B, TB): 3% Owned

 

Up the Middle

Brendan Rodgers (SS, COL): 33% Owned

Long considered one of the game’s best middle infield prospects, Rodgers is finally getting his chance thanks to the futility of Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson. The young second baseman has a big opportunity this week, as the Rockies have seven home games, including three games against a weak Toronto pitching staff. Rodgers was dominating Triple-A pitching for a .356 AVG and 1.066 OPS, and this week would be his chance to ride his Triple-A success into major league production. Pick Rodgers up for the stream, and hope he turns into a valuable long term asset.

Logan Forsythe (1B/2B/3B/SS, TEX): 17% Owned

Forsythe has been hot for Texas lately, hitting .368 in May with a 1.031 OPS. His efforts have been rewarded as well, as Forsythe is hitting near the top of the Rangers’ order on most days. It’s true he might be on borrowed time with Elvis Andrus on a rehab assignment, but Texas has plenty of slumping infielders and could move Forsythe around the diamond while he’s hot even if Andrus returns. The Rangers have seven games at home with four against lefties this week, which is about as good as it gets for a player like Forsythe. His quadruple eligibility makes him even more valuable in daily lineups leagues for the upcoming week.

Also Consider: Nicky Lopez (SS, KC): 16% Owned, Nick Ahmed (SS, ARI): 7% Owned, Jose Iglesias (SS, CIN): 3% Owned

 

In the Outfield

Jorge Soler (OF, KC): 33% Owned

It’s a good week to play for the Royals, as Kansas City has three games at the White Sox and four at the Rangers. Not only do those series offer big ballpark upgrades for a power hitter like Soler, but it gives him plenty of exposure to two of the worst pitching staffs in baseball. Soler has hit much better in May; he has a .286 AVG and .836 OPS on the month, both upgrades of more than 60 points compared to April. This week presents a great opportunity for Soler to feast on bad pitching in hitter-friendly ballparks.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI): 25% Owned

Dyson has claimed Arizona’s leadoff spot for his own, which means he’ll have plenty of run scoring opportunities as the Diamondbacks head into Colorado for a four-game series. Dyson has improved his speedster profile by upping his walk rate to 13.6% and increasing his groundball rate to 57.1%. From most players, a 57% groundball rate would be horrible to see, but for a rabbit like Dyson it’s exactly what owners should want. Dyson should be a good source of batting average, steals, and runs scored this week. He’s even better in OBP leagues thanks to his above average plate discipline.

Raimel Tapia (OF, COL): 15% Owned

Not only do the Rockies have seven home games this week, but they only have one lefty on the upcoming schedule. Tapia should start all the games against right-handed pitching, which means plenty of at bats in Coors Field. He’s been crushing the ball in May as well, owning a .902 OPS and .214 ISO this month. The Rockies have finally learned their lesson and are playing Tapia over Ian Desmond, and it has paid off for them so far. It can pay off for fantasy owners too, as Tapia is out there in 85% of leagues with a juicy week coming up.

Also Consider: Jesse Winker (OF, CIN): 35% Owned, Mallex Smith (OF, SEA): 36% Owned, Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB): 10% Owned, Leury Garcia (MI/OF, CWS): 13% Owned, Charlie Tilson (OF, CWS): 1% Owned

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