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H2H Category Streamers - Week 22 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

Delino DeShields (OF, TEX) - 7% Owned

Speedy Delino DeShields has been running a disappointing amount this year with only 20 stolen bases so far, but the feet are starting to light up with the Dentist swiping four bags so far in Week 21 with three games yet to play. DeShields consistently takes full advantage of suspect catchers, with Max Stassi serving as his personal turnstile when DeShields swiped his four bags in the Rangers series against the Angels this past week. Stassi will get a chance for revenge - which will likely go unfulfilled - as the Rangers start Week 22 with two more games against the Angels before going home for four games against the Seattle Mariners. This means four games of watching the possibly noodle-armed Omar Narvaez try to stop DeShields on the basepaths, even though Narvaez's 49 stolen bases allowed is third-worst in baseball. Good luck!

Jarrod Dyson (OF, ARI) - 12% Owned

Sometimes boring is good. And sometimes boring is fast. Arizona outfielder Jarrod Dyson is old, boring, and fast. Which might be good for your fantasy team if you need to steal a category. The 35-year old Dyson has 27 stolen bases on the year, with two coming in his past four games. Dyson and the Diamondbacks have two games in San Francisco in Week 22 before coming home to play four against the Dodgers. Buster Posey will be tasked with stopping Dyson for the Giants, against whom he stole his most recent base on August 18. Dyson contributes very little in every other category but every base counts this time of year, so sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and bet on the old-man speed coming through

 

Home Runs – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Willie Calhoun (OF, TEX) - 16% Owned

With eight home runs in his 24 games since being recalled on July 26, you didn't think there would be someone else here, did you? Since being recalled following Joey Gallo's injury, Calhoun has absolutely dominated in his 96 plate appearances, with a 1.013 OPS, .337 ISO, and a .414 wOBA. It's probably just a coincidence that Calhoun's launch angle of 18.1-degrees has seen a significant increase from the 11.6-degrees that he was leveling at in his 108 plate appearance from 2018. In Week 22 Calhoun starts with two games in Anaheim before heading home for four games against Seattle and whatever jokers they'll be trotting out in the hot Texas sun. With two home runs in Week 20 and two in Week 21 - with three games yet to play - it looks as if Groundskeeper Willie will just keep raking beautiful lasers for a sad world until everyone starts paying attention.

Mark Canha (1B/OF, OAK) - 9% Owned

Oakland A's outfielder Mark Canha is once again hitting for quiet power and being loudly ignored as he remains hidden on the West coast, with a scant 9%-ownership across all Yahoo leagues. A year after hitting 17 home runs in 411 plate appearances, Canha now has 19 HR in 349 PA, along with a .252 ISO that's a 50-point jump from the season prior, as well a 39% hard-hit rate that has also seen a five-point bump. Canha and the A's go on the road this week, starting with four games in Kansas City before heading to New York to face the Yankees for three games. With only a 93 HR Park Factor for right-handed power, Kaufman Stadium isn't very conducive to right-handed power but the Royals also have a bullpen with a bottom-10 ERA and will likely throw right-handers in three of the four games, against whom Canha holds reverse-splits in the power department, with 14 of his 19 HR coming against righties. And in the weekend series, Canha will be hitting in a Yankee's Stadium that has the third-highest Park Factor for right-handed power.

 

Batting Average – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Wilmer Flores (1B/2B/3B,  ARI) – 15% Owned

Utilityman Wilmer Flores has forced himself into Arizona's lineup lately, absolutely tearing the cover of the ball in his last six games. Starting at second base, Flores is slashing .524/.565/1.143 through his last 23 plate-appearances with 4 home runs and a 325 wRC+. An undercover sleeper pick prior to the season beginning, Flores has a .307 AVG on the year and is worth riding as long as he's getting steady playing time, as the 28- year old contributes in four categories, is eligible at three positions, and has no real splits to speak of. In Week 22, Flores and the Snakes go on the road for two games in San Francisco before heading back home for four against the Dodgers.

Austin Slater (1B/OF, SF) – 1% Owned

Do you know who's 54.9% hard-hit rate is the third-highest in baseball? That's right, Austin Slater. Of course. The same Austin Slater that almost no one has ever heard of, as his less-than one-percent should easily attest to. But maybe you should, because since July 31, Slater is slashing .362/.474/.574 with a 173 wRC+ in 57 plate appearances and now has a .306 AVG in his 126 PA on the year, with a 150 wRC+. Slater - who currently has a four-game hit streak, and has hits in seven of his last eight contests -  has six games at home this week, first facing the Diamondbacks for two before the Padres come in for a four-game set.

 

Strikeouts – Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Dinelson Lamet (SP, SD) - 34% Owned

San Diego pitcher Dinelson Lamet may still be a work-in-progress, with only eight starts under his belt since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. But what's not in-progress, are his filthy strikeout moves, with which he's used to carve batters up so far this year to a tune of 12.09 K/9 and a 31.3% K-rate. Lamet and the Padres travel to San Francisco this week, where the flamethrower will face the Giants, who have a 22.5% K-rate against right-handers this year, and an 88 wRC+. With every start, the chances of Lamet staying on the wire decrease, because every time he takes the bump, double-digit K's are on the table. Grab him now before he's gone until next year.

Adrian Houser (SP, MIL) - 31% Owned

Speaking of pitchers that may not last on the wire for long, next up is Milwaukee starter Adrian Houser, who's been on a dominant run as of late, allowing only one run in four of his five last starts. Houser has 31 strikeouts over those 28 innings, with a 2.54 ERA. He and the Brewers go on the road to face the St. Louis Cardinals in Week 22, who've earned a 24.5% K-rate against right-handers since July 1. Houser is running hot, has a rotation spot secured for the time being, and should stay a useful streamer for this week and beyond.

 

Wins - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Adam Plutko (SP, CLE) - 8% Owned

It may not always be pretty but Cleveland rookie Adam Plutko seems to always get a good look at picking up a win, throwing a Quality Start in five of his last six games, with the lone exception being a loss in Minnesota when he gave up four runs in six innings. Always going 5-6 innings, with a hot-hitting offense backing you up is a good way to scrape up wins, and that's exactly what Plutko has in Week 22, getting two starts on the road. First is an almost automatic win, going up against the flailing Detroit Tigers who've won only 10 games since the All-Star break. Next is a tougher test in Tampa Bay but against a Rays teams who only have a .753 OPS against right-handers since July 1.

Martin Perez (SP, MIN) - 29% Owned

If you're looking for good ratios, turn around now, as Martin Perez has a 4.60 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 133 innings this year. And if you're looking for strikeouts, definitely turn around now, as Perez carries only an 18.8% K-rate on the season. But if you need to vulture a win, Perez may be your man, as he sets up to face the Detroit Tigers in Week 22, who are owners of the worst record in baseball.  And as a silver lining, the Tigers have a 25% K-rate against lefties since July 1 so maybe even Perez will be able to grab a few strikeouts to combo with the win that's almost a given. Hold your nose, grab Perez, and then take a shower to make yourself feel better once you pocket the W.

 

ERA/WHIP - Head-to-Head Category Streamers

Tony Gonsolin (SP, LAD) – 12% Owned

The Los Angeles Dodgers made a somewhat surprising decision last week, recalling Tony Gonsolin from Triple-A while shifting fellow top-prospect Dustin May to the bullpen. Gonsolin responded to his promotion by only allowing one run over four innings in a start against the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves on August 18. Since a rough debut on June 26, Gonsolin has been excellent in his three appearances (two starts) since, with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in 14 innings. In Week 22, Gonsolin lines up for a start in Arizona on Thursday, with the Diamondbacks holding only an 88 wRC+ and .743 OPS against right-handers on the year.

Joe Ross (SP, WAS) - 24% Owned

Washington pitcher Joe Ross has looked like a different pitcher in August, dominating over four starts before being removed in the fourth inning of his last game in Pittsburgh after getting hit on the leg with a comebacker. But x-rays came back negative and Ross is back on track to pitch in the National's weekend series against the Cubs. Since August 2, Ross is 3-o with an o.42 ERA and 0.98 WHIP over 27.2 innings with only a .164 AVG-against. There is still a chance that Ross could lose his rotation spot with the return of Max Scherzer, but with Eric Fedde his only competition, look for Ross to keep his turn and roll into a tasty start against the Marlins in Week 22. One of the worst teams in baseball, Miami has only a 74 wRC+ against right-handers since July 1, with a minuscule .657 OPS.

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