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H2H Category Streamers - Week 1 Waiver Wire


There are plenty of strategies that fantasy managers explore in hopes to get an advantage over their opponent. Heavy lineup, heavy starting pitchers, no catcher, all (or mostly) reliever staff, no reliever staff, etc. Even if you play a balanced lineup, injuries can cause holes. A few weeks without a key player won’t kill a season, but why accept losing when you can stream?

Streaming can be a risky business. If you do it right and check the necessary boxes, you can win the week. This column will do most of the work for you. It’ll cover weekly recommendations for when you need: steals, home runs, average, strikeouts, wins, and/or ratios (ERA/WHIP).

All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! Fantasy leagues.

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!

 

Head-to-Head Category Streamers to Consider (Offense)

Steals

Delino DeShields (OF, TEX) - 4% Owned

DeShields hit in the leadoff spot on Opening Day and has the speed to swipe a lot of bags. He will probably hit lower in the lineup against right-handed pitchers, as Shin-Soo Choo will have leadoff locked up. However, he successfully stole 20 bases last year in just 106 games. The first part of the week he’ll face a tough challenge in the Astros pitching staff, but there is a light at the end of the week otherwise known as the Angels pitching staff.

Brett Gardner (OF, NYY) - 19% Owned

Gardner will likely man center field and bat leadoff until Aaron Hicks is ready to come back to the lineup. The Yankees continue their slate of sub-par matchups with the Tigers and Orioles next week. Even at age 34, Gardner stole 16 bases in 140 games in 2018. Now at age 35, the opportunity is still there for him to run on two of the weaker squads in the league. He’ll feature serious run-scoring upside at the leadoff spot as well.

 

Home Runs

Kike Hernandez (1B/2B/SS/OF, LAD) - 23% Owned

He earned the starting second baseman job and ran with it, blasting two home runs on Opening Day. The Dodgers will have a six-game slate next week starting at home against an underwhelming Giants staff and ending the week at Coors against the Rockies. Fair warning, this spot will feature Coors often.

Justin Bour (1B, LAA) - 9% Owned

With Justin Upton injured, Bour hit out of the three spot on Opening Day. Although he went hitless, he’s going to get a six-game slate against the Mariners and the Rangers. Bour is much better against right-handed pitching, hitting 18 of his 20 home runs off of righties in 2018. He projects to see at least three of those next week.

 

Batting Average

Jeff McNeil (2B, NYM) - 18% Owned

McNeil should continue to man third base until Jed Lowrie and Todd Frazier return from injury. The youngster will be fighting to keep an everyday job in the crowded Mets lineup. Three games against the Marlins to begin the week should be a good recipe for some hits, although it gets a bit more challenging in the second half of the week against the Nationals.

Eduardo Nunez (2B/3B, BOS) - 8% Owned

The Red Sox sport a full, seven-game slate next week and Nunez should man second or third for most of them. He remains a quality hitter against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers. He could have fit in the speed section here as well, as he had a stolen base on Opening Day and Boston is one of the more aggressive teams on the base paths. It shouldn’t be this easy to grab a piece of the Sox lineup.

 

Head-to-Head Category Streamers to Consider (Pitchers)

Strikeouts

Steven Matz (SP, NYM) - 38% Owned

Matz has posted a consistent strikeout rate of around 23% throughout his major league career (with the exception of a short 2017 campaign). He’ll get the Marlins on Monday and should grab a good amount of K’s with a good chance at getting a win. Don’t count on a second start from him as it would probably come against a strong Nationals lineup.

Domingo German (SP/RP, NYY) - 19% Owned

Manager Aaron Boone has floated the idea of using German as an opener next week, but as I mentioned with Gardner above, the Yankees get a couple of weak matchups with the Tigers and Orioles. It would be smart to let him work as late into the game as he can, but even in a shortened start, he provides great strikeout upside. A 27.2 percent strikeout rate in his appearances in 2018 projects for some promising strikeout numbers this week. If Boone does let him go, there’s good win potential here too. He would line up for a two-start week.

 

Wins

Brad Peacock (RP, HOU) - 46% Owned

The Astros lineup roughed up Blake Snell on Opening Day. If we’re looking for wins this is the kind of offense we’ll start with. Add in his start against the Rangers Monday and he makes for a good streaming option. Even in a second start against the A’s later in the week, it could be a two-win week for Peacock.

Kyle Gibson (SP, MIN) - 23% Owned

Gibson quietly put up a 3.62 ERA in 2018 and now has an improved offense to support him. He also improved his strikeout rate from 17.5 percent to 21.7 percent in 2018. Missing more bats brought improved results and puts him in a good position to get a win on Tuesday against the Royals. He should post good ratios in this one as well.

 

ERA/WHIP

Marcus Stroman (SP, TOR) - 50% Owned

Stroman started the season out with a two-hit bid over seven innings against the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day. We’ve seen brilliance from him before in his 2017 campaign where he pitched to a 3.09 ERA. Injuries marred his 2018, but he looks to be healthy and confident heading into a two-start week against the Orioles and Indians. This is mostly a vote of confidence for the Orioles start, however, the Lindor-less Indians could be in play after they were shut-out by Jose Berrios and the Twins on Opening Day.

Marco Gonzales (SP, SEA) - 30% Owned

Gonzales had a nice start against the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day allowing three earned runs on nine hits. Gonzales had a rough start to the game and then got into a groove pitching into the fifth inning. He was a good piece for the Mariners rotation in 2018 pitching to a 4.00 ERA with a 3.43 FIP. He’ll look to build on his solid first start next week against the Angels. With Justin Upton injured, the Angels lineup doesn’t look too scary (outside of Trout), especially against a left-handed pitcher.

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