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H2H Category Streamers - Week 18 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

Leury Garcia (SS/OF, CHW) - 15% Owned

The 28-year-old outfielder is in the midst of a career-year - relatively speaking - with a .286 AVG, five home runs and 10 stolen bases. Nothing to write home about, especially considering that Garcia only has two stolen bases since the beginning of July. But the real reason that Garcia is in this space, is the same reason Manuel Margot was last week. Because the White Sox have three games against the Mets, who will either have Wilson Ramos behind the plate, who's allowed 17 more stolen bases than any other catcher in baseball, or Tomas Nido, who's allowed 20 stolen bases in only 26 starts. Margot got Nido for two last Wednesday and don't be surprised to see Garcia take off for a couple as well.

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI) - 11% Owned

Boring, old Jarrod Dyson? Yes, because sometimes you need some boring old reliability to win the week. And like a warm and fluffy cheetah blanket, you can always rely on a little comforting speed from the wily veteran.  A strange schedule in the upcoming week, as Arizona has one game in Miami on Monday, before a two-game set at Yankee Stadium, before going to Washington for three games over the weekend.

Gary Sanchez is out for New York but gets replaced by Austin Romine, who's not much better at stopping the running game, allowing 15 stolen bases in his 33 starts. In Washington, it will be Kurt Suzuki behind the dish, with Suzuki having allowed 28 stolen bases in his 46 starts.


Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Robel Garcia (1B/2B/3B, CHC) - 6% Owned

Since being called up to the big club on July 3, Chicago Cubs rookie Robel Garcia has done nothing but crush lasers. Over his first 47 plate-appearances, the 26-year-old has four home runs, with eight RBI and six runs scored. And it's not just the counting stats that are nice, as they are backed by underlying numbers that confirm previously stated crushing of lasers. As well as slashing .279/.319/.698, Garcia has a .400 wOBA and a .419 ISO. A switch-hitter, Garcia is far better from the right side, batting only .179 from the left.

This week, the Cubs go to St. Louis for a three-game set, where Garcia won't see a left-hander, then head home for three afternoon games against the Brewers, with sunny weather in the forecast. With triple-eligibility and free availability on most wires, grab Garcia as a streamer that could matriculate to something more.

Anthony Santander (OF, WSH) - 11% Owned

Heading into the weekend, Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander has hit four home runs in his past six games and should see his ownership rise from the current 11%. But if you're looking for some pop, there's probably a good chance you can still snag the 24-year-old, who over his 169 plate appearances, has eight home runs with a 124 wRC+.

Santander and the Orioles have two games in San Diego to finish off their west-coast swing, before coming home for a four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays. That's a good set-up for Santander, as he not only gets four games in hitter's paradise Camden Yards, but will also face a Toronto club that will send out pitchers named Borucki, Sanchez, and Font. Yes, Aaron Sanchez is still getting trotted out. Yes, you should stream hitters against him.


Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Alex Dickerson (OF, SFG) – 1% Owned

San Francisco outfielder Alex Dickerson was acquired from the Padres on June 10 and made it up to the big club on June 21. Since then, the 29-year-old has been a revelation for the surging Giants, slashing .405/.466/.823, with a 227 wRC+ over his first 88 plate appearances. As noted; a revelation. While Dickerson certainly isn't a .400 hitter, he still has a .311 xBA and 10.5% barrel-rate, so perhaps regression won't be so harsh. But until Dickerson slows down, he needs to be owned. Especially this week, with the Giants getting three games at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park and three games in Colorado. As in, Coors.

Mike Tauchman (OF, NYY) – 3% Owned

Mike Tauchman? Surely you jest? I jest not, as the Mike Tauchman has been one of baseball's hottest hitters of late with three multi-hit performances in a row against the Minnesota Twins last week. In fact, in his 37 plate appearances in July, Tauchman has 16 hits and is slashing .500/.568/.875, with a 276 wRC+ and .583 wOBA. Yes, all those numbers are real. Only 37 PA, but impressive nonetheless. Having started six of the Yankee's past seven games, look to ride Tauchman's hot streak until the wheels fall off, as he rolls into a six-game homestand against Arizona and Boston.


Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Jakob Junis (SP, KCR) - 19% Owned

With 17 strikeouts in his last two games, Jakob Junis has been pumping the box score with K's. The 26-year-old right-hander has 54 strikeouts in his 52 innings since the start of June, with a 4.15 ERA. Junis' schedule is currently in flux with him going on paternity leave on July 24, so depending on how the Royals shuffle their rotation, he should line up for either one start against the Toronto Blue Jays or could possibly slide into a two-start week and get Minnesota over the weekend in addition to the start against Toronto.

Minnesota has a powerful offense and only strikes out at a 20.5% rate against righties, but luckily Toronto is kind of the opposite; a weak offense with a 24.5% K-rate against right-handers. Keep an eye on his schedule but Junis should be a good source for strikeouts this week.

Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CHW) - 25% Owned

Over his last three starts, White Sox pitcher Reynaldo Lopez has 25 strikeouts over 21 innings, with a 1.71 ERA and 30.5% K-rate. Lopez lines up for two starts this week, with a start against Syndergaard and the Mets first up, before going on the road to face the Philadelphia Phillies. While neither team is a prodigious strikeout artist against right-handed pitching, they both still hold K-rates over 22% against righties since the beginning of June. If you need wins, Lopez probably isn't the play given the opponents, but with two starts the strikeout upside is high.


Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Tanner Roark  (SP, CIN) – 26% Owned

Coming off of back-to-back performances of five innings, with two earned runs allowed, Cincinnati pitcher Tanner Roark looks like a useful stream if you're hunting for wins. The 32-year-old right-hander is scheduled for two starts this week, with one in Pittsburgh on Monday as well as a Saturday tilt in Atlanta. While neither matchup is ideal, there is a dearth of two-start pitchers on the waiver wire this week and Roark looks like the best chance to snake a win or two.

Mike Leake (SP, SEA) - 23% Owned

After not making it out of the first inning in his start against the Angels on July 12, retiring only two of the 12 batters he faced and giving up seven runs, Mike Leake got his revenge in his next start, pitching a one-hit shutout against those same Angels on July 19. In his last start, Leake beat the Rangers but still gave up three runs over his seven innings. Hopefully, history repeats itself with Leake facing the Rangers again, looking for another shutout. Well, not really but with Texas losing eight of their last nine games, Leake should have a good shot at a win.


ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Dario Agrazal (SP, PIT) - 6% Owned

Low owned and not flashy, Pirates rookie Dario Agrazal now has five starts under his belt, going six innings in each of the past four, allowing one run in all except when he gave up two earned runs to the Brewers. Agrazal now has 2.25 ERA over his 28 innings pitched, with a 1.21 WHIP. The regression will come for him eventually, as Agrazal's sparkling ERA has an ugly 6.14 xFIP behind it; but if you need ratios then it may be worth rolling the dice again when Agrazal goes on the road to face an up and down Cincinnati offense on Wednesday.

Tyler Beede (SP, SFG) - 14% Owned

The mini-breakout hit a bump in the road when Tyler Beede and his new slider got a little roughed up by the Chicago Cubs, giving up four earned runs, on three home runs in 5 2/3 innings. But Beede still struck out seven Cubs and threw that new slider a season-high 29.6%. This week Beede gets two starts against teams who've been bottom-five in wRC+against right-handed pitching in July. On Tuesday, it's against a Phillies team that in July has a .700 OPS and .298 wOBA against righties while striking out 24.2% of the time.

Sunday's start is admittedly a lot dicier with a road start in Colorado but hopefully, you won't need him by then. But if you have to, take solace in the fact that Colorado has been the league's worst offense against right-handed pitching in July and has only a 65 wRC+ in the month, as well as the sixth-worst team pVal against sliders for all of 2019. Coors will Coors, but sometimes you have to take risks to pull out a Sunday win.

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