Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your daily source of waiver wire and streaming advice.
Below are some pitcher and hitter streamer targets for Thursday, April 6th, which can be applied for DFS games as well.
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- Thin Thursday
- Today's Weather and Updates
- Tomorrow's Picks
1. Thin Thursday
Tomorrow notwithstanding, most Thursdays feature 10 or fewer games. It's the perfect opportunity to stream for success. Even the best constructed roster will have fallow spots on these days. In roto leagues, your goal is to stay on pace with your games played and innings pitched caps. These usually account for a few off days. In most head-to-head formats, it's your job to throw as much volume as possible into the meat grinder.
Even if you aren't interested in streaming every day, make sure you visit us on Wednesdays and Sundays to get picks for the thinnest days on the schedule.
2. Today's Weather and Updates
Owners in same-day waiver leagues may wish to view yesterday's column.
Three games are postponement risks today. St. Louis and Chicago are set to see rain all day. They're both afternoon games. The night game in Cincinnati might clear up after a lengthy delay. Keep an eye on the weather reports. If you have the redundancy, you'll want to replace Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox, and Tigers right away.
3. Tomorrow's Picks - Thursday, April 6th
It's the first thin Thursday! Except, well, it's not so thin with 12 games on the docket. Let's take a closer look.
Pitchers to Use
By some improbable twist, Daniel Norris is just 14 percent owned on Yahoo despite possessing at least as much upside and hype as somebody like Jharel Cotton. The Tigers lefty performed well last season with the help of a velocity boost. He's opposed by the White Sox and their one-half of a major league lineup. If today's game is rained out, Norris may get bumped.
It's been strange eons since Brandon McCarthy last helped a fantasy team. The Dodgers seem to believe he's back in form. When he was last healthy, he produced plus strikeout rates, low walk rates, and a disappointing ERA. Until he proves otherwise, the only reason to use him is to target an easy win versus the Padres.
If you need strikeouts in your head-to-head matchups, Blake Snell is a volatile solution opposite the Blue Jays. The Rays are hosting which should help Snell keep the ball in the yard.
Pitchers to Exploit
If the Cincinnati game is rained out, it'll delay our chance to exploit Clay Buchholz and Rookie Davis. Luckily, that involves at least a few overlapping players like Scott Schebler. If Buchholz and Davis do get to make their 2017 debuts, they're both big meltdown risks. Davis was slaughtered in a brief trial at Triple-A. While he was better at Double-A, he doesn't induce strikeouts and has middling command. Buchholz finished 2016 on a high note. He's an incredibly streaky pitcher.
There's a chance Chad Kuhl is an outright ownable pitcher. The righty is one of those under-the-radar types who has just enough command, stuff, and feel for pitching to survive in the majors. Pick your spots right, and he'll earn you wins without blowing up rates. A visit to Fenway is not one of those spots.
Ready to do an owl impression? Antonio Senzatela. The righty won a spot in the Rockies rotation after injuries/illness ruined plans A and B. He's a fastball-slider guy who's expected to be a reliever in the future. He missed a chunk of 2016 with shoulder inflammation. Look for a short start in Milwaukee.
Homers on the Wire
There's a whole stack of Mariners on the waiver wire in most leagues. Mitch Haniger has the highest ceiling and lowest floor of the bunch. The club has used him as the second hitter thus far, giving him a path to run production. He also has 20-25 home run power with enough speed to take 10 bases. Leonys Martin and Danny Valencia bat sixth and seventh. Martin represents something like the median outcome for Haniger while Valencia is always a solid bet for a home run.
Sure, we don't have much or any reason to respect the Padres roster. However, their lineup is deceptively solid, especially for fantasy purposes. Yangervis Solarte has reprised his role as the Padres cleanup man. He's only 16 percent owned. That's free run production with acceptable power. One-third of leagues have caught on to Ryan Schimpf. The diminutive, extreme fly ball hitter could pop 30 home runs while ruining your batting average.
Steals on the Wire
Denard Span is day-to-day with hip tightness. Gorkys Hernandez filled in as the leadoff man versus southpaw Pat Corbin, and he'll likely do so again with Robbie Ray on the bump tomorrow. Ray has electric stuff coupled with questionable command and control. He'll frequently post big strikeout numbers while allowing sharp contact. He's the less visible version of Michael Pineda. Hernandez has decent speed. Last season, he stole 20 bases in 503 Triple-A plate appearances.
Leadoff man Rajai Davis is an automatic play versus mid-tier lefties like Tyler Skaggs. Davis should be a staple off the wire this year. He'll likely regress from the adequate power numbers he displayed last season. He's still a 30 to 40 steal threat. It's unfortunate that he doesn't offer a high average or OBP.
Another leadoff man, Travis Jankowski, is worth consideration versus McCarthy. The righty functions best as a command and control guy. During the rare periods he was healthy last year, his command was completely absent. A repeat of those struggles could help Jankowski and others reach base.
I discussed my interest in Jett Bandy's batted ball profile yesterday. If he sits today, he'll start tomorrow. If he starts today... well, he might sit. Padres catcher Austin Hedges offers a similar ceiling including 20 home run power. He doesn't have the same support from his home park or a hefty fly ball profile.