Hitter Streamers (Week 5): Head-to-Head Leagues

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Welcome back, RotoBallers! As a reminder, in this piece we're looking for weekly streamers, which means players who are less than 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues and who have a good chance to play a full complement of games in the week.

There are a lot of teams with seven games this week, so I will be choosing from those players to maximize games player.

With that said, let’s dive into the stream(ers).

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Bats to Stream and Start in Week 5

Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) - 37% owned

Conforto got off to a blazing start in 2016, hitting .365/4/15/18/1 in April. However, he cooled off mightily from then on, and he posted an astoundingly low .295 OPS versus lefties on the year (as opposed to an .804 OPS versus righties). Coming into this year, there were two major questions: (1) could he learn to hit lefties, and (2) how would he find playing time? This week, the Mets face five righties, diminishing the significance of the first question. With Yoenis Cespedes’ most recent injury, he should also have a clear path to playing time. If he’s available, get him into your lineup this week and reap the rewards, but also consider holding onto him beyond this week.

Hernan Perez (2B/3B/OF, MIL) - 34% owned

Perez came out of nowhere last year to hit .272 with 13 homers and 34 steals in only 123 games. Entering the year, it was tough to gauge his value; he had the ability to be a top-flight fantasy asset, but his path to everyday playing time was unclear. Nevertheless, as of Friday, Perez was hitting .296 with three homers and two steals while starting most games (with two of the homers and both steals coming in the last week). Confidently stream him in your lineup this week, and you will have a nice power/speed threat who can hold his own in the batting average department.

Zack Cozart (SS, CIN) - 43% owned

Cozart hit .252/16/67/50/4 in only 121 games last year. He has started this year with a line of .379/1/9/11/1. His .462 BABIP is unsustainable, so his average will drop. Nevertheless, he should continue to produce at a high level, just as he did last year. This week, he gets to play all his games in the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark, and he faces favorable pitching matchups. If the top two options are unavailable, Cozart is a great alternative.

Josh Reddick (OF, HOU) 11% owned

Last week I recommended Reddick as a player who can do a little of everything. He has started the week 6-17 with three RBIs and a run scored, even though he has not yet homered or stolen a base. I also highlighted his lefty/righty splits, with him being a career .271 hitter with a .791 OPS versus righties, and a .218 hitter with a .638 OPS versus lefties. This week, he faces righties in all seven games, and the pitching matchups are also otherwise favorable. Reddick again has the potential to give you a little of everything this week and produce in all five categories; he has a .309/1/10/8/1 line to start the year. Stream him with confidence.

Carlos Gomez (OF, TEX) 39% owned

Carlos Gomez is another player who I recommended last week. I pointed out how he hits atop a strong offense and over the past five years has homer totals of 19, 24, 23, 12, 13 and steals totals of 37, 40, 34, 17, and 18. As of Friday, he had produced two steals, two runs, and an RBI on the week. Even though he is on the road this week, he has acceptable pitching matchups and again provides an opportunity for power, speed and run production. His even career splits dispel any concerns about him facing six righties. Stream him with confidence.

Neil Walker (2B, NYM) - 29% owned

Last year, Neil Walker learned to hit lefties. In only 113 games, he hit .282 with 23 homers. Yes, his 16.2% HR/FB ratio was likely unsustainable, but his career rate of 10.8% still leads to a reasonable power output. Thus, Walker should continue to hit for decent power. His .215 average to start the year is the result of a .234 BABIP; he has a career .305 BABIP, and it was .302 and .306 the past two years. With favorable pitching matchups this week, expect his average to rebound, with the possibility of him tapping into his power and adding some run production.

Scott Schebler (OF, CIN) 10% owned

Schebler has hit much better versus righties (.808 OPS versus .625 OPS) and better at home (.801 OPS versus .752 OPS). This week, he has seven games at home and faces six righties. Combine those facts with the fact that he has 19 homers in 367 career at bats, including seven this year, and you have a nice power option who should also give you run production. The favorable pitching matchups will likewise help. Stream him with confidence.

 

Also worth monitoring

Randal Grichuk (OF, STL) – The Cardinals face favorable pitching matchups this week. Even though Grichuk is a righty facing seven righty starters, he has hit righties slightly better than lefties in his young career. He could be a source of cheap power.

Orlando Arcia (SS, MIL) – Arcia is a 22 year-old with top prospect pedigree who is in his second season in the majors. He has three homers and a steal on the year, but he should show even more speed. He is one of the better cheap speed options this week.

Ender Inciarte (OF, ATL) – Inciarte is another good cheap speed option this week. He also hits righties much better, and he faces seven of them this week. To date, he has four homers and four steals on the year. The only reason he is not higher on the list is due to the tough pitching matchups he will face.

Shin Soo Choo (OF, TEX) – Choo is a hitter I have recommended in the past. He hits righties better, and he faces six of them this week. His batted ball profile has stayed the same as years prior, and the results should follow.

Jose Reyes (SS/3B, NYM) – Reyes was one of my sleepers coming into the year, and an extremely low BABIP has resulted in a poor start to the season. Nevertheless, he already has a homer and three steals, and his strikeout rate is in line with last year’s. He is a good buy-low candidate.

Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT) – Bell should be able to hit for good average (despite his low average to start the year) with a little pop, and he has favorable matchups this week. He is worth a look if the others are gone.

 

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