Happy tax day and 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 Thursday, April 20th.
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- More Marte Maunderings
- Today's Weather and Updates
- Tomorrow's Picks
1. More Marte Maunderings
Undoubtedly, you've already gone afield looking for opinions about Starling Marte. The Pirates star was suspended 80 games for a PED violation. Just 79 more to go. I'll add my quick thoughts.
To stash or not to stash? That is the question, and it depends on your league depth and settings. The shallower your bench, the more benefit you'll receive from moving to an active player. Similarly, you're much better off when your replacement options are Kevin Kiermaier or Ender Inciarte rather than Daniel Nava or JaCoby Jones. Marte will have a chance to play in up to 69 games at the end of the season. The best stash scenario involves a deep league with deep benches. Yahoo's NA slot would help.
The primary beneficiary is not Austin Meadows. It's not call up Jose Osuna. It's not even Josh Bell. No, the winner of this exchange is Adam Frazier. I've dubbed Frazier the left-handed DJ LeMahieu. He has an oppo-field oriented, line drive approach at the plate. He's even fast but inefficient at stealing bases - just like DJLM. Frazier should produce a high average while starting most days.
We'll see Meadows as he raises his hand loudly enough. He's hitting .162/.220/.270 through 41 Triple-A plate appearances. So we'll wait. As for Osuna, he might be able to fake it in the outfield. Scouts insist he's a first baseman, and they're not sure his hit and power will play in the majors. He seems destined for Korea.
2. Today's Weather and Updates
Rain threatens a few venues, but only Minnesota is a postponement risk. Actually, "risk" understates the situation - the Minnesota game will be postponed. The Twins and Mets games might be in trouble tomorrow per my not-so-handy weather map.
3. Tomorrow's Picks - Thursday, April 20th
Thin Thursday is accompanied by 11 games this week.
Pitchers to Use
Tigers lefty Daniel Norris remains weirdly under-owned at only 17 percent. He's gotten away with way too many walks through his first two starts. Aside from the free passes, Norris looks fine. He should post acceptable ratios with a decent chance for victory opposite Erasmo Ramirez. The Rays have been very strikeout prone through the first two weeks.
RA Dickey is a decent volume play as long as all you need is a chance for a win. It won't be a high chance either. He'll face Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. Dickey's knuckle ball has looked good this year. Knuckle balls tend to be very inconsistent start-to-start.
The Athletics are calling upon 32-year-old Cesar Valdez. The former Diamondbacks prospect disappeared into the Mexican League from 2012 through 2015. He re-emerged as a depth piece with the Astros last year. Now he's filling the same role in Oakland. Valdez has posted tantalizing numbers in the minors - solid strikeout rate, a tiny walk rate, and a good ERA. I have no additional information to share.
Other Targets: No grazi
Pitchers to Exploit
The Rays are calling on swingman Erasmo Ramirez for a spot start. There's a reason he's mostly in a multi-inning relief role. The best pitchers generally induce a lot of ground balls or fly balls. Ramirez skews towards grounders, but not enough to produce a lot of soft contact. The result is mushy ratios and an issue with home runs.
Matt Shoemaker was a viable fantasy starter entering the season. Through three starts, he's looked broken. Let's rewind to 2015. He had a similar start to his season. Splitter ball pitchers are prone to losing feel for their top offering. When they don't have another weapon, that leads to disaster. Just as in 2015, Shoemaker will probably recover his splitter later in the season. Until then, target him.
Several regression candidates who have pitched well are on the bump. There's a decent chance at least one of Scott Feldman, Wade Miley, Pat Corbin, or Clayton Richard will continue to pitch relatively well. I'll put my money on Miley or Richard. Individually, they're all likely to regress above a 4.00 ERA. Feldman and Miley face each other at Great American Ballpark. Corbin and Richard are tilting at Petco Park.
With Matt Carpenter banged up, the Cardinals are getting some extra looks at Jose Martinez. The massive first baseman earned a spot on the Opening Day roster even though he (or Matt Adams) are completely extraneous. Despite his size, Martinez is a high contact hitter with middling power. He has enough pop to matter, but he's not a candidate to drop 20 bombs. Visiting Miller Park upgrades his power potential.
The Rays have Steven Souza and Rickie Weeks available. They bat first and cleanup respectively when facing left-handed pitching. Through his first 63 plate appearances, Souza has trimmed his strikeout rate to a palatable 23.8 percent. However, he continues to swing through pitches at his normal rate. I suspect he'll return to his usual numbers before long. You all agree or else he wouldn't be available in 75 percent of leagues.
The Mets also have a small stack opposite Aaron Nola. Michael Conforto is getting starts as the leadoff hitter. Wither Jose Reyes. Neil Walker, Lucas Duda, and Asdrubal Cabrera are available in the majority of leagues too. New York has an answer for any position of need.
Your speed options aren't very potent tomorrow. I suggest going with power or pitching. Of the icy performers available, I'd prioritize Peter Bourjos and Alcides Escobar. Bourjos will bat second versus Norris. Escobar bats down in the order, but he'll face Cashner.
Now it's the Nationals bullpen in turmoil. Blake Treinen is on the outs. There no official word on Plan B. For stability, the club should turn to Shawn Kelley. They've been hesitant about using him as a full inning reliever. Koda Glover is the other obvious choice. Perhaps they'll bite the bullet and go get David Robertson.