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Hitter Streamers (Week 9) - Head-to-Head Leagues

Welcome back to my hitting streamers column for Week 9, taking a look at hitters to add or stream off the waiver wire for this week's scheduled games.

To keep things simple, I pick from players who are 50% owned or less and who play at least seven games in the week.  If someone jumps off the page at me as a less than seven game player, I may make an exception, but otherwise the advantage in number of games dictates my choices.

Streaming can be a valuable tool, by allowing you to feast on favorable pitching matchups and simply have your hitters play more games than your opponents' hitters. If you have the roster space, streaming a hitter can be useful not only to fill a vacant lineup spot, but also to fill in for someone who has five games that week or faces tough matchups. In 5x5 leagues, four of the five hitting categories are counting stats, making the value of extra games significant. Streaming also can allow you to target a specific category of need. Because of Memorial Day, more teams than normal have seven or more games this week, with two teams having eight games (Mets and Braves). While this means there are more streaming options from which to choose, it also means it is less likely that you have a player with few games. That being said, let's dive into the streamers.

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Bats to Stream and Start in Week 9

Matt Kemp (OF, LAD) - 47% owned

When the Dodgers re-acquired Kemp this offseason, it was widely viewed as a salary cap maneuver. Many thought Kemp would not make the team. However, he has been rejuvenated, performing better in nearly all aspects. For our purposes, he has been knocking the cover off the ball, with a slash line of .327/.361/.510 and a wRC+ of 142. While skeptics may point to his high BABIP, believers would counter by noting that he has a career-high hard-hit rate and line-drive rate. Facing decent pitching matchups and with three games in Coors Field, he is a good bet for all around production (except for stolen bases). Stream him with confidence.

Franchy Cordero (OF, SDP) - 15% owned

Franchy has excellent pitching matchups this week. He faces five righties and generally poor pitching. That is a dream scenario for the Statcast darling who has seven homers and five steals in just 37 games. His strikeout rate means that he very well may hurt you in batting average, but he should provide excellent production in the other categories. With the scarcity of stolen bases these days, a player who can steal bases while still producing in other categories is incredibly valuable. Thus, Cordero represents the second best streaming option this week.

Yonder Alonso (1B, CLE) - 25% owned

Yonder, the powerful lefty, gets to face seven righties this week in favorable matchups. If now is not the week to start him, I don't know when you would. Even though Alonso's batting average struggles have continued into May despite a batted-ball profile that suggested his average would bounce back to his norm, I still believe. Moreover, he is batting .246 with a homer every 19 at bats versus righties this year. Alonso is a good bet this week to provide a homer or more along with decent run production and possibly serviceable average. If you don't need stolen bases, he is a great bet.

Michael Conforto (OF, NYM) - 48% owned

Conforto's bat is showing some signs of life of late, going 11/37 in his last 10 games with two homers and six RBIs. Given his immense potential, any sign of him heating up is worthy of adding him immediately. Further, he has eight games this week against decent pitching matchups. Even though his early season struggles certainly are cause for concern as to whether he is still battling injury, the potential gain is worth the risk. When he's right, he can be an elite power source and run producer with a decent batting average. Take a chance this week, and consider holding onto him rather than employing him as a mere streamer.

Jay Bruce (1B/OF, NYM) - 49% owned

Jay Bruce has been a disappointment to start the year. And it is not just bad luck. He is hitting the ball hard just 27.6% of the time, which is a career low. Unsurprisingly, then, his home run per fly ball rate is likewise at a career low. But, Bruce has averaged 32 homers over the past three years to go with an average of 96 RBIs. Despite no clear signs that he is turning things around, the fact that he has eight games this week against decent pitching matchups, combined with his track record of production, makes him worth the gamble if the other options are unavailable. And if he breaks out this week, consider holding onto him. If he turns the corner to his career norms, he is more than just a streamer in many leagues.

Brandon Nimmo (OF, NYM) - 11% owned

Nimmo has found himself at the plate this year, with an incredible 180 wRC+ and a .450 OBP coupled with a .541 SLG. In just 85 at bats, he has three homers and three steals. This week, the Mets play eight games against decent pitching matchups. While his strikeout rate means he likely will not continue to be an asset in the batting average department, he could be a good source of runs with the chance for a homer and a steal. A lot of his value is tied to OBP leagues, but that does not mean he is not a good value this week. Unless you are targeting one specific category that the other streamers provide, he is worth a look .

Aaron Hicks (OF, NYY) - 49% owned

Hicks has provided great production the past two years, albeit somewhat under the radar. In those 122 games, he has batted .262/20/74/71/15. That is decent production for an entire season, and he has done it in much less time.  This week he faces a few tough pitchers and a few pitchers who should provide an opportunity for an offensive outburst. Thus, he could have some bad games and still turn in a decent week. If you want to gamble on speed and power despite the matchups, take a chance on him.


Others to Consider

Delino DeShields, Jr. (OF, TEX) - 44% owned - In 347 career games, he has 71 stolen bases. If you need stolen bases, he is your best bet. He can also score some runs, but he is not likely to provide much else.

Dustin Pedroia (2B, BOS) - 25% owned - I am always hesitant to recommend someone coming off of an extensive injury, but that is why Pedroia is so low on the streaming list. His fantasy value is simply too high not to list at all.


More Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers