Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your daily source of waiver wire and streaming advice. Use this column to plug lineup holes, stream pitchers, or target categories of need.
Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Monday, April 17th.
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- Happy Easter
- Today's Weather and Updates
- Tomorrow's Picks
1. Happy Easter
Whether or not you celebrate this international holiday for rabbits, I have a gift for you.
That Yelich bomb... Don't let his slow-ish start fool you. He's going to have a monster year. As far as Stanton goes, well, we'll see if he stays on the field. I'm a believer. Research shows that there's no such thing as an injury prone hitter - Rocco Baldelli notwithstanding. Even Grady Sizemore eventually played a couple full seasons.
2. Today's Weather and Updates
Today's forecast calls for fire and brimstone. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Oakland, and San Francisco are all scheduled for a good soaking. At this point, the forecasts are not specific enough to determine if these games will be postponed. Tomorrow, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Oakland may be at some risk according to this vague weather map.
3. Tomorrow's Picks - Monday, April 17th
Pitchers to Use
Meager Monday includes 10 games this week. Surprisingly, we have a full handful of viable starters on the waiver wire, although none of them are must-play assets. Brandon McCarthy is the boring veteran of the bunch. His stuff has declined from his brief peak in 2014 and 2015. He likes to get ahead in the count and continue attacking the strike zone. He's opposed by a difficult Diamondbacks offense.
Yankees rookie Jordan Montgomery reminded me of Rich Hill during his debut last week. The southpaw likes to work up in the zone with an over-the-top delivery. He'll drop in a curve ball too. Montgomery only lasted 4.2 innings, but he did induce 15 swinging strikes in just 89 pitches. He'll face the Quad-A White Sox. Montgomery is far and away the best streaming option.
Blake Snell's biggest issue is command. It's been a noticeable problem in the early going. He's walked eight hitters compared to just six strikeouts in 11.1 innings. He's been fortunate enough to only allow five hits thanks to a .121 BABIP. His matchup against the Red Sox might be one to avoid.
Joe Musgrove is apparently struggling with mechanical consistency. It's affecting his usually superb command. When he's on, Musgrove will find his way to a decent strikeout total by virtue of working many 0-2 and 1-2 counts. His average stuff plays up due to the command. If he's still off his game, the Angels might thump him.
Andrew Triggs, a soft throwing righty, was a popular sleeper candidate entering the season. His velocity has declined over one mph, and he induced few whiffs through two starts. The ground ball pitcher has a risky pairing against the Rangers. He should receive run support.
Other Targets: Nah
Pitchers to Exploit
Knuckle balls are finicky things. Through two starts, Steven Wright has not shown his usual feel for the pitch. If that thing isn't dancing, then Wright is play slow pitch softball on a major league field. He's opposed by the Rays.
Lance Lynn's velocity is down slightly from his pre-injury peak. Of greater concern is that his command has taken a step back, and hitters aren't missing his frequently thrown fastball. The Pirates are well positioned to benefit.
Kyle Gibson is trying to breaking ball his way to better results. The righty is almost a good pitcher. His sinker is just a tad too hittable. He'll occasional pull together a strong outing, but he generally makes for a reliable source of runs.
Homers on the Wire
We have a few lineups to aggressively target. The Rays lefties have to contend with a park that suppresses left-handed home runs. They're still a good bet to supply big numbers. Logan Morrison and Corey Dickerson are the power plays from the group.
Professional lefty masher Chris Young is facing Snell. Over his very brief career, Snell has shown big platoon splits. Young is a career .267/.365/.480 hitter versus southpaws.
Matt Joyce hasn't gotten going yet, but he's still drawing starts atop the lineup. Fellow lefty Yonder Alonso made some offseason swing adjustments to produce more power and contact to all fields. The early results include an almost luck neutral .300/.400/.467 line. Even if the league doesn't find an answer for his new tendencies, Alonso is only a threat for 15 or 20 home runs. The A's face A.J. Griffin.
Steals on the Wire
Give Kevin Kiermaier a whirl if you want power upside with your stolen bases. It's relatively easy to swipe bags versus knuckleballers.
Speaking of power and speed, Ender Inciarte has adjusted his swing to produce more fly ball contact. He's still working out the timing. He's morphed into a 20-20 threat despite being available in 57 percent of leagues. Brandon Phillips is more widely available. He's running early and often as part of his audition for a new contract. They face the ever-exploitable Weaver.
Austin Hedges finally hit a home run - right after I swapped him out for Jett Bandy in my two catcher formats. He'll face lefty Jaime Garcia. On the other side of the matchup, you'll find Tyler Flowers taking massive hacks at Weaver slowballs.