Hitter Streamers (Week 2): Head-to-Head Leagues

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Welcome back to my hitting streamers column for Week 2, 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 less than 50% owned 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.

With that said, let’s dive right in.

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Bats to Stream and Start in Week 2

Mark Reynolds

Mark Reynolds has been one of the hottest waiver wire adds.  With Ian Desmond injured, he has a path to playing time.  Even though he hasn’t shown the power in years past that he did early in his career, he did hit .282 with 14 homers in under 400 at bats last year, and is 9 for 22 to start this year with three homers, including one off Clayton Kershaw.  With three games in Coors against the likes of Cahill, Weaver, and Perdomo, he is the top streaming option available even though he has to face Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore and Samardzija later in the week.

Mitch Moreland

The Red Sox face seven righty starting pitchers, which is a great thing for Mitch Moreland.  In his career, he has hit .257 with a .776 OPS and a homer every 20.6 at bats versus righties (as opposed to .238 with a .672 OPS and a homer every 34.9 at bats vs lefties).  In Moreland’s last three “full” years, he has hit 22, 23, and 23 homers despite having fewer than 500 at bats in each.  In a strong Boston lineup (that is, once their stars get over the flu), Moreland will provide power and run production with a mediocre average against a fairly decent slate of starting pitchers.

Ryan Schimpf

Schimpf falls in the category I mentioned at the outset: six game hitters who caught my eye.  He is a great option for middle infield power.  Last year he hit 20 homers in 89 games.  He crushes righties (.902 career OPS and a homer every 13.7 at bats), and he gets to face five of them this week.  He also plays three of his games in Coors and faces a weak group of starting pitchers.  With those factors, he is one of the best streaming bets to homer this week.

Zack Cozart

Cosart spent much of this offseason as a target of trade rumors, and for good reason: he had a solid 2016.  Last year, he hit .252/16/67/50/4 in only 121 games. He is off to a hot start this year, going eight for 16 with a stolen base.  With seven games this week against less than great starting pitching, he is a good middle streaming infield option.

Joe Panik

Panik doesn’t wow you with his power or speed, which dings him a bit from a fantasy perspective.  But he actually has much better power against righties (.140 ISO) than lefties (.085 ISO), and he will face five righties this week.  He also has incredible contact skills and plate discipline, boasting an 8.3% walk rate and 9.9% strikeout rate for his career.  Despite what one may gather from last year’s stat line, Panik should be a high average hitter with decent power versus righties and a handful of steals.  Facing a subpar group of pitchers this week, he is a decent middle infield option.

Pablo Sandoval

As I stated for Moreland, the Red Sox face seven righty starting pitchers.  Sandoval is a career .298 hitter versus righties, with a homer every 26.9 at bats and an OPS of .836.  His career numbers are brought down by his .259 average, homer every 57.5 at bats, and .673 OPS versus lefties.  Just over two years ago Sandoval signed a five year, $95 million deal with the Red Sox after hitting .294 with a 162 game average of 20 homers over his first seven seasons.  After coming into camp noticeably slimmer this year, at still just thirty years old, he can produce for you this week despite being off to a slow start.

David Freese

Freese missed Saturday’s game with a chest injury, so you need to monitor his health before adding him.  But if he appears healthy, he will get to face four lefty starters, and he has demolished lefties: .337 with a homer every 23 at bats off them last year, and .302 with a homer every 29.4 at bats for his career. Recently, he has been serviceable against righties too.  He won’t steal you any bases and faces some tough pitchers this week, but could give you some moderate power and average if the other options aren’t a fit for you.

Josh Harrison (and cheap steals)

This week does not provide many good streaming stolen base options among the seven game options, so I may look to the six game players such as Raul Mondesi or Travis Jankowski if I’m in desperate need of cheap steals.  However, if we are looking in the seven-game category, Josh Harrison may be your best bet.  He faces some tough pitchers, but he has stolen a respectable number of bases the past two years (19 last year and 10 the year prior).  He also will not kill you elsewhere as he has batted .287 and .283 the past two years. He is not a great option, but if you want to take a dart throw at speed amongst this group, he is worth a look.


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