Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your daily source of waiver wire and streaming advice.
Let's talk pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Friday, April 7th, some of which can be applied to DFS games as well.
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- Weekend Hiatus
- Today's Weather and Updates
- Tomorrow's Picks
1. Weekend Hiatus
Streaming Wars is a five days per week column. I'll be taking off every Friday and Saturday. Weekends always offer full slates, making them among the least important days to stream. I still recommend scanning through the wire for upgrades.
Owners in Head-to-Head leagues will be playing for specific categories. Now is the time to target them. If you're protecting ERA and WHIP, focus on improving your offense. If you've already lost the pitching rate stats, target wins and strikeouts. Similarly, chase after run production, home runs, and stolen bases as needed. Sometimes it's better to defend a lead than address a deficit.
2. Today's Weather and Updates
The Pirates-Red Sox game has already been postponed. Rain also threatens Cincinnati, Oakland, and Washington D.C. All three games will probably happen. The Phillies-Reds contest is the most likely to be postponed of the bunch.
Oakland and New York might be getting some rain tomorrow per this largely unhelpful weather map.
3. Tomorrow's Picks - Friday, April 7th
Pitchers to Use
Let's start with Shelby Miller. I very much do not recommend using him against the Indians at Chase Field. However, his velocity spiked this spring, and he still carries name value. If Miller is on your waiver wire and you don't need a streamer for tomorrow, it would make sense to stash him. Just to see how the start goes.
The issue with tomorrow's pitchers is that they're all high volatility plays. Brett Anderson is opposed by the Brewers, a team that will haunt fantasy owners all season. Since they strike out so often, it makes sense to frequently exploit the Milwaukee lineup. The club also has explosive upside due to their array of power bats and league best speed. As for Anderson, it's hard to form any solid expectations. The southpaw is always hurt, but he's often solid in his brief flashes of pitching lucidity.
The Tigers have one-half of an offense, especially if Justin Upton remains sidelined. Eduardo Rodriguez could post over a strikeout per inning. He's opposed by Michael Fulmer so there's no guarantee of run support.
Pitchers to Exploit
I'm a big fan of Matt Andriese the reliever. He could be the Rays answer to Chris Devenski. I have less faith in Andriese's ability to start. His stuff is half a grade worse, and it's not well-suited to facing the same hitters more than once or twice. The Blue Jays lineup remains capable of exploding without warning. On the plus side, Tropicana Field should help Andriese avoid home runs.
The ghost of Matt Cain is scheduled to start tomorrow, although there is a small chance he's bumped in favor of Madison Bumgarner. Cain supplies an excellent opponent for the Padres deep stable of solid hitters. While the San Diego roster is gross as a whole, the offense consists of seven fantasy quality bats (and Erick Aybar).
Southpaws Kyle Freeland and Amir Garrett are making their major league debuts. Those usually go poorly, except when they go well. Freeland's chances for success are minimal. The Rockies are hosting the Dodgers at Coors Field. Even with the Dodgers expected struggles versus lefties, he's probably doomed. Garrett is a well-regarded prospect whose minor league results are unimpressive. He is opposed by a tenacious Cardinals lineup.
Homers on the Wire
Rickie Weeks is apparently a cleanup hitter versus left-handed pitching. That's how the Diamondbacks used him last season, and it's where he batted versus CC Sabathia on Tuesday. He'll face Francisco Liriano tomorrow. Liriano's changeup often helps him to produce reverse platoon splits.
Robbie Grossman bats second for the Twins when they face lefties. Derek Holland is a decent pitcher. Just when you think he's reliable, he'll melt down. And as soon as you call him a scrub, he'll twirl a gem. Guaranteed Rate Field massively buffs home run rates.
While the Brewers probably want Eric Thames to start against righties AND lefties, Jesus Aguilar gave them a pleasant problem this spring. The former Indians farmhand appears to have implemented the popular power adjustments. The Brewers now have to decide which first baseman to prioritize. Fortunately, they bat from opposite sides so a straight platoon works. For now.
Matt Joyce should enjoy facing a mediocre righty at hitter friendly Globe Life Park. Joyce generally bats first or second for the Athletics. He's a low average, high OBP bat with above average power.
Steals on the Wire
Fly ball pitcher Josh Tomlin matches up poorly with ground ball hitter Chase Owings. Put another way, Owings is in an excellent place to mash Tomlin. A home run and/or multiple stolen bases are on the table.
Tyler Saladino bats leadoff for the White Sox. While he doesn't possess game breaking talent, a guarantee of four to five plate appearances increases the odds he'll steal a base on any given day.
After a couple ugly blown saves, it's time to look at Sam Dyson's handcuffs. Matt Bush, a popular non-closer during draft season, has been working the eighth innings. He'll be first in line to replace Dyson.
The Athletics are running a true committee. They're using Ryan Madson against the toughest outs like Mike Trout. Santiago Casilla, Ryan Dull, and Sean Doolittle may split as many as 50 percent of the saves. Doolittle is far and away the best reliever in that bullpen.