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H2H Category Streamers - Week 17 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

Manuel Margot (OF, SD) - 12% Owned

Margot has mostly been a disappointment this year in a crowded San Diego outfield, slashing .240/.310/.380 with only six home runs over the Padres' first 86 games. But Margot has at least been running, with his 12 stolen bases so far putting him on pace to beat his previous high of 17 swiped bags in 2017. And over his past 15 games, Margot has started to heat up at the plate as well; slashing .250/.400/.591 with four home runs and 14 runs scored.

This is a great week to pick up the Friar as the Padres have a three-game series against the Mets and Giants. These are not just bad teams; they are bad teams who are horrible at limiting stolen bases, with the Mets leading the league in stolen bases allowed, and the Giants coming in at fifth-worst.

Myles Straw (SS/OF, HOU) - 1% Owned

For the time being, Myles Straw has escaped minor-league purgatory and is up with the big club and starting regularly at shortstop, after spending his whole career in the outfield. But the Astros wanted to increase his versatility and had him start working at short in the minors. And now, after spending most of the first two months of his call-up as a fill-in outfielder/pinch-runner, Straw has started 13 of the Astros' last 15 games at shortstop.

With zero home runs and a .250 average over that time, Straw won't give you much help in other categories, but he does have a .400 OBP and three stolen bases over that time. This week may be a good opportunity to grab some Straw as the Astros have three games against Oakland, who have allowed the third-most stolen bases to opposing runners this year.

 

Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Travis D'Arnaud (C/1B, TB) - 28% Owned

After the Rays traded for D'Arnaud to address an injury to starter Mike Zunino, the former Met struggled mightily, getting only one hit in his first eight games, along with a 30% K-rate. But the Rays have seemingly sprinkled some of their magic baseball dust on the former top prospect and in 127 plate appearances since May 24th, D'Arnaud is slashing .316/.370/.614 with nine home runs, 26 RBI, and 26 Runs.

Next week, D'Arnaud and the Rays get the Red Sox at home for three games, with Boston set to throw Rodriguez, Sale, and Price; which while being a daunting set of pitchers, are also three lefthanders, against whom D'Arnaud holds a .298 ISO against. Next, he'll have three games in Toronto where he'll face Trent Thornton and...? Probably Thomas Pannone (a lefty) and then whoever the Blue Jays decide to send out instead of Aaron Sanchez, Human Gas Can. Or maybe Sanchez himself. Either way, it's win-win if you're hunting home runs.

Kole Calhoun (OF, LAA) - 23% Owned

Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun just keeps quietly trucking away in the giant Trout-sized shadow that looms eternal over Anaheim. After a down year in 2018, in which he only slashed .208/.283/.369, Calhoun has rebounded in 2019, currently slashing .238/.328/.479 with 21 home runs in 385 plate appearances after hitting 19 HR in 552 PA last year. While the ratios aren't all that impressive, the .479 SLG is a career-high, his .241 ISO is 62 points higher than his previous best, and Calhoun is carrying a 12.0% barrel-rate that's also the best of his career.

This week, the Angels have two games on the road at Dodger Stadium before heading back home for a four-game set against the Baltimore Orioles and their bullpen that currently has a league-worst 6.16 ERA.

 

Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Kevin Newman (2B/SS, PIT) – 38% Owned

What does Kevin Newman need to do in order for his ownership to jump? Through 266 plate appearances in 68 games, Newman is slashing .331/.370/.468. And while average may be what you pick him up for, Newman doesn't really hurt you in any category, with his 162-game pace for counting stats coming in at: 14 HR - 83 RBI - 62 Runs - 14 SB

Over the past month, Newman has been even more impressive, slashing .356/.380/.529 with four home runs and three stolen bases. This week he has a full seven-game week with four games against the Cardinals at home and three on the road against the Mets.

Donovan Solano (2B/SS, SF) – < 1% Owned

Who? 31-year-old Donovan Solano, that's who. As Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik have floundered, Solano has flourished and consequently eaten into Crawford and Panik's playing time. Solano has now started 13 of the Giants' last 15 games and it's easy to see why. Since June 5th he is slashing .392/.418/.554 with a 154 wRC+ over 79 plate appearances. Available everywhere, Solano can provide a cheap boost of average now, and is easily dropped, if and when he slows down.

 

Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Anthony DeSclafani (SP, CIN) – 16% Owned

The best thing DeSclafani has done so far this year is to stay healthy, as his 18 starts are only three shy of his highest total since he started 31 games in 2015. His 4.29 ERA and 1.32 WHIP aren't going to help your ratios but Tony Disco has increased his strikeout skills, with a 23.9% K-rate that's a career-high.

This week, he gets a start at home against the recently offensively-challenged Colorado Rockies, who've posted only an 81 wRC+ against right-handers over the past 30 days, as well as a 24.7% K-rate.

Andrew Heaney (SP, LAA) - 38% Owned

High hopes that Heaney would finally be healthy were stalled in spring when elbow inflammation landed him on the injured list again, with Heaney ultimately not returning until May 26th. In his first three starts of the year, Heaney reminded the world of his swing-and-miss skills, racking up 28 punch-outs in his first 17 innings of the year. He also gave up six home runs in those three starts, which certainly rubbed some of the shine off of the strikeout numbers but hopes for his success still remained high. Heaney has corrected the longball problem since, allowing just three home runs in his last seven starts.

This week, he gets the perfect elixir; a home matchup against the Baltimore Orioles and their 26.3% K-rate against left-handed pitching.

 

Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Dario Agrazal (SP, PIT) – 2% Owned

Free for all who want him, the Pittsburgh rookie - while not overly impressive - has mostly held his own in his first four starts in the big leagues, going 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA. But don't get too excited because that ERA is backed up by a 6.63 xFIP and almost a 90% strand-rate. He's also only struck out seven batters in his 22 innings, so if you're in the need of strikeouts or need to be careful on your ratios,  then you need to be very careful with Agrazal because regression will likely soon come. But if you're hunting wins, then Agrazal is a sneaky gambit in a two-start week.

First, he gets St. Louis at home, and while St. Louis has won four of their six games since the break - including two against the Pirates - they still have a 70 wRC+ and .647 OPS against right-handers since June first. In his second start, Agrazal goes on the road to face the New York Mets in a pitcher's park against a team that even after winning four of their last five games, is still seven games below .500.

Marco Gonzales (SP, SEA) - 44% Owned

With 44% ownership already, Marco Gonzalez may not be available in your league; but if he is, Gonzalez sets up for a nice two-start week at home, starting with the Rangers on Monday. While Texas is probably the better team, it cannot be understated how just bad they are against left-handed pitching; with a 28.2% K-rate and a 79 wRC+ against the wrong-handers this season.

Gonzalez will have an even better shot at a win when the Mariners host the 29 - 62 Detroit Tigers later in the week along with their 26.3% K-rate against left-handers that is third-worst in baseball, as well as holding only a .715 OPS.

 

ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Daniel Poncedeleon (SP, STL) - 39% Owned

St. Louis rookie PoncedeLeon has been one of the few recent bright spots for the Cardinals with a sub-three ERA and a 29.9% K-rate over his first 33 big-league innings. His last start against the Pirates did not go as well, with Ponce de Leon giving up four earned runs in less than four innings before being pulled. But even with that blowup, he still carries a 2.80 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP into a two-start week.

First up, is a rematch with those same Pirates, on Monday; followed by a scheduled Saturday start at home against the Astros. While neither matchup is ideal, Ponce de Leon has so far shown an ability to limit baserunners and could give your ratios a boost this week.

Ryan Yarbrough (SP/RP, TB) - 12% Owned

After surprising the world with 16 wins in 2018 as the poster child of Tampa Bay's "opener/follower" strategy, Ryan Yarbrough's encore season started with a thunk. Call them follows or delayed-starts but over Yarbrough's first ten appearances, the left-hander went five and three, with a bloated 5.59 ERA. The one positive over this stretch was that he still managed to keep a low 1.02 WHIP, even though his K/9 was under seven.

Since the bad start, Yarbrough has actually been quite good over his past five appearances, with a 1.27 ERA and 0.76 WHIP over 21 innings. Nothing is ever certain when it comes to the Rays but it looks like Yarbrough lines up to follow for Friday's game in Toronto against a Blue Jays team that has a 24% K-rate against left-handers and only a 90 wRC+.

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