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H2H Category Streamers - Week 15 Waiver Wire

There are plenty of strategies that fantasy managers explore in hopes of getting 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!


Steals – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Kevin Kiermaier (OF, TB) - 20% Owned

On pace to play in more games than he has since 2015, Kevin Kiermaier has so far appeared in 80 of the Rays' 91 games. And when Kiermaier plays, Kiermaier runs; he's reached double-digit stolen bases every year since 2015, even though he's only played in over 105 games once during that time. He's swiped seven bags since June 1st and 17 total on the year, with 19 RBI and 14 runs scored in the same period, so he's not just a stolen base play.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI) - 13% Owned

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Jarrod Dyson may be 34 years old, but he's still running. Running so much that his 20 stolen bases are good for third-most in baseball. But given playing time concerns in a crowded Arizona outfield, as well as often being sat against lefties.

Dyson remains widely available at only 13% ownership. For those who have a need for speed, now is a good time to pick up the veteran speedster, as the Diamondbacks will likely only face one lefthander this week. With four games against Milwaukee catcher Yasmani Grandal, who's allowed the fifth-most stolen bases in baseball this year, this could be a week that Dyson runs wild.


Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Miguel Sano (1B/3B, MIN) - 37% Owned

Maybe people still don't realize that Miguel Sano returned from injury on May 16th and that's why he's not more widely owned. Or maybe it's because his .236 average is too much of a sink for some. But if you looking for power, then you may want to look at Sano, as his 13 home runs since returning are tied for seventh-most over that time. Sano has six games at home this week, with four against Oakland and two against the putrid Mets. Likely to face two lefties against whom he carries a .338 ISO, now is a good time to grab Sano.

Matt Adams (1B/OF, WSH) - 2% Owned

Nationals first baseman Matt Adams has seen his playing time dip recently with Ryan Zimmerman returning from the IL. Even in limited at-bats, Adams continues to mash. Only getting 61 plate-appearances over the past four weeks, Adams still managed to hit seven round-trippers. And while not likely to start every game of Washington's four-game set in Atlanta, Adams should start both games in Baltimore, as the DH will be in play. That means two games at Camden Yards  a top-five park for left-handed power, and one game against the home run jack-in-the-box that is Dylan Bundy.


Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Luis Arraez (2B/3B/OF, MIN) – 3% Owned

Since being called up on May 18th, Luis Arraez has done nothing but hit, as he's batting .397 over his first 95 plate appearances with the big club. Consequentially, Arraez's playing time has increased and he's started ten of Minnesota's last 11 games. That lofty average is likely to see some regression given his .413 BABIP but with his success at the plate and the ability to play multiple positions, it looks like Arraez has a bead on regular playing time in the second half. With six games at home this week against the Mets and A's, it's a good week to grab Arraez if your batting average needs some doctoring.

Bryan Reynolds (OF, PIT) – 32% Owned

While he's cooled off over the past two weeks - as the bill for his .426 BABIP has started to come due - Bryan Reynolds still looks like an excellent addition, slashing .342/.414/.536 over his 250 plate appearances with the Pirates. Reynolds has no real issues with his splits, as his average against both hands, as well as his wOBA and wRC+, are separated by only a few points. This week Reynolds has three games on the road against the Cardinals and three at home against the Phillies and their suspect rotation. Their starters have an ERA north of five since June 1st with a bullpen whose ERA is over six.


Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Tyler Mahle (SP, CIN) – 16% Owned

In his last two starts before the All-Star break, Cinncinati's Tyler Mahle struck out 15 batters over ten innings. He's still giving up a lot of runs - one of the "benefits" of playing his home games at the Great American Bandbox. Mahle has quietly put up better numbers in his sophomore campaign, improving his xFIP and SIERA both by over half a run, increasing his K-rate by four points, while shaving four points from his walk-rate.

This week, Mahle has a start at home against a woeful Cardinals offense that has a 77 wRC+ and 24.5% K-rate since the beginning of June. While it's no picnic pitching at home for Mahle, as far as his ERA goes, his 11.09 K/9 at home is actually superior to his 8.62 K/9 on the road.

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SDP) - 22% Owned

In his 2017 rookie year, Dinelson Lamet struck out 139 batters in just 11 innings, good for a 28.7% K-rate. Hopes were high for a 2018 encore. But like it has for so many others, Tommy John's revenge came for Lamet in spring, causing him to miss the entire season. Lamet returned to major league action on July fourth, and was immediately up to his old tricks, striking out seven Dodgers in five innings. Following the All-Star break, he'll return to action on the road against the Marlins and their 24.8% K-rate against righthanded pitching.


Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Michael Pineda (SP, MIN) – 36% Owned

Mercurial Minnesota pitcher Michael Pineda only has an 8.12 K/9 this season; but since the beginning of June, he has a 25% K-rate that is four points higher than his season-long mark. And in his last two starts, he struck out 17 batters in 12 innings while only giving up two earned runs. In his first start after the All-Star break, Pineda lines up to face a New York Mets team who had lost 17 of their last 25 games before the mid-season festivities. At home with a powerful Twins offense behind him, Pineda looks to be in a great spot to pick up a W.

Dylan Cease (SP, CHW) - 31% Owned

The wait was over for White Sox fans as top pitching prospect Dylan Cease was called up by Chicago on the third of July. The initial results were positive with the rookie striking out six over five innings, on his way to earning the win over Detroit. Cease lines up for two starts on the road this week, the first in Kansas City and the second coming in Tampa Bay. While he won't be a favorite when he faces the Rays, Cease will have a great opportunity to pick up the win in Kansas City, as the light-hitting Royal's .287 wOBA and 75 wRC+ are both worst in the league since the start of June.


ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Zach Plesac (SP, CLE) - 15% Owned

Currently in Triple-A after being optioned on the sixth of June, it's no surprise to see Plesac's ownership so low. But the Cleveland rookie did a fine job in his nine starts with the Indians; going four and one with a 1.41 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP, along with 56 strikeouts in his 57 innings. Though in the minors now, Plesac is likely to be called up when Cleveland needs a fifth starter on either Monday or Tuesday, which would put him in line for a two-start week against two of baseball's worst offenses over the last month.  Plesac's first likely opponent, the Detroit Tigers, have won only six of their last 30 games; while his second opponent, the Kansas City Royals, have dropped 13 of their last 16. Plesac can help you in multiple categories, but facing two opponents who have a sub .700 OPS since the start of June, look for him to have a week of great ratios.

Tanner Roark (SP, CIN) - 31% Owned

Wait. Is Tanner Roark good again? No, probably not. But over his last four starts, he has been; tossing 25 innings with a 2.88 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. While there are plenty of issues in Roark's underlying metrics - namely an xFIP that's over a run higher than his ERA, a .235 BABIP, and an 85.7% strand-rate - he has the advantage of playing the St. Louis Cardinals in his next start. As in, the aforementioned offensively-challenged St. Louis Cardinals. To refresh your memory, St. Louis has a 77 wRC+ since the beginning of June, along with a .676 OPS and .288 wOBA. The hammer of regression will likely come soon for Roark but probably not this week against the recently flightless Cardinals and those woeful bats.

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