Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your daily source of waiver wire and streaming advice. This is your one stop guide to plug lineup holes, stream pitchers, or target categories of need.
Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Tuesday, April 18th.
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- My Dilemma of the Day
- Today's Weather and Updates
- Tomorrow's Picks
1. My Dilemma of the Day
The Brewers have two offensive-minded catchers - Jett Bandy and Manny Pina. A third, Andrew Susac, is recovering from injury. If either Bandy or Pina started, they would be borderline relevant in 12-team, single catcher formats. Since they split the action, they're just barely usable in two catcher leagues. I currently own Bandy, but I'm considering a swap to Pina.
Bandy is a great fit for Miller Park. His penchant for fly balls and pulled, hard contact should easily add up to 20 home runs in 400 plate appearances. Pina is more of a high contact guy. However, he also has a short track record for hitting pulled fly balls. Miller Park could help him to 15 home runs in 400 plate appearances with a healthier batting average than Bandy.
The Brewers clearly intend to split the time until one emerges over the other. The question is, which is the best Brewers catcher to own for immediate production? I'm running a twitter poll, the results of which will be reported tomorrow.
Which Brewers catcher to own for immediate production?
— Brad Johnson (@BaseballATeam) April 17, 2017
2. Today's Weather and Updates
Yesterday, they postponed the action in Oakland. As such, the pitchers were bumped. Oakland is also the only rain threat for today, although I think they'll make a point of squeezing it in. Tomorrow, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Oakland (again) may be at some risk according to this vague weather map. I thought it didn't rain in California?
Andrew Triggs is now scheduled to face Yu Darvish tomorrow. Joe Musgrove was bumped to Ricky Nolasco and the Angels. Tyler Flowers is out with a minor strain. He may require a minimum trip to the disabled list per reports.
3. Tomorrow's Picks - Tuesday, April 18th
Pitchers to Use
Luis Severino is coming off a masterful seven-inning, 11 strikeout performance against the Rays. To this point, Severino has avoided handing out free passes. He's still strangely hit-prone for a pitcher with such potent strikeout stuff. Home runs have plagued him through his first 145 innings. He's allowed about one per start. Yankee Stadium contributes to his homer woes. Look to Severino for strikeouts at the expense of other ratios. He'll face the Quad-A White Sox.
Despite a 5.06 ERA, Shelby Miller appears to be in prime form. A combination of increased fastball velocity and a career low fastball usage leads me to believe in his 10.13 K/9 - at least to the extent that he can continue to exceed his career 7.40 K/9. Miller is visiting the Padres at Petco Park. A win is well within reach.
Chad Kuhl is throwing a nasty slider this season. Once he's ahead in the count, he'll frequently turn to his top offering. Kuhl likes to induce early count contact with his sinker so there's always a chance he'll record three or fewer strikeouts. He's opposed by a tricky Cardinals lineup.
Hyun-Jin Ryu mostly handled the Rockies at Coors Field. I think he can repeat the feat at Dodgers Stadium. Ryu is best used by somebody chasing a win who isn't too concerned about the ratios. His stuff has picked up right where it left off in 2014.
Pitchers to Exploit
So. Many. Exploits. I'm going to focus my attention on the most interesting of these names - aka the ones you might consider using.
Eduardo Rodriguez's velocity is down. Again. He continues to induce plenty of whiffs. Unfortunately, he's also allowed three home runs in only 10 innings. For most pitchers, I'd shrug away the results of two starts. However, this looks like a continuation of E-Rod's 2016 struggles. He's facing the Blue Jays.
With Clay Buchholz on the shelf, the Phillies have turned to Zach Eflin as pitcher number six. Eflin is a pitch-to-contact volume guy. At his best, he'll keep the Phillies in a game without any positive fantasy contributions. At his worst, he's a dumpster fire.
Eflin is opposed by Zack Wheeler. Shockingly, Wheeler is currently one of the least injured Mets pitchers. For now. His velocity is down over one mph from his 2013-2014 peak, but let's give him a chance to build strength. Of greater concern is his penchant to make mistakes over the plate. The Phillies got to him last week. They could do it again.
Mike Foltynewicz is making his second start of the season. He hasn't looked sharp through two appearances, and his velocity is down about one mph. As with Wheeler, I'm inclined to wait for him to show he's back on track before using him. Folty allows a few too many home runs.
Other Targets: Miguel Gonzalez, Severino, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo, Matt Andriese, Josh Tomlin, Phil Hughes, Rick Nolasco, Matt Cain, Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Freeland, Jarred Cosart
Homers on the Wire
Josh Tomlin made an interesting change to his delivery. He lowered his arm angle which has added about three inches of additional arm side run to his fastballs. Through two starts, opposing teams are unimpressed. Consider a whole slew of Twins. Max Kepler is the best of the bunch, followed by Joe Mauer, Robbie Grossman, and Jorge Polanco depending on your positional needs.
Lonnie Chisenhall has jumped right into the action after missing the start of the season. He's a solid run production pick opposite Hughes.
Steals on the Wire
Some day, Jose Reyes will reach base. It's an open question as to whether or not he'll remember how to steal second. If anybody can help him aboard, it's Eflin.
Brett Gardner remains available in 56 percent of leagues despite already stealing five bases. Maybe it's his lack of home runs, RBI, and batting average. He's a home run and stolen base threat versus Gonzalez and the Blight Sox.
Joaquin Benoit and Addison Reed blew saves yesterday. Owners are clamoring for Hector Neris and the return of Jeurys Familia. It's a shame about Reed. He needed to be perfect to have a chance at holding the role. Now he'll await Familia's performance.
Russell Martin is doing his "I can't hit anything" routine again. Perhaps Rodriguez can help him back on track.