Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for July 26

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Welcome to Streaming Wars, your one-stop shop for streaming the waiver wire. Use this column to improve upon your neediest categories.

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Wednesday, July 26.

Let's get to it.

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Agenda

  1. Devers' Day
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

 

1. Devers' Day

Today should mark the major-league debut of top prospect Rafael Devers. The Red Sox opted not to start him yesterday against James Paxton. Devers will likely be shielded from southpaws early on as he gets his feet wet. As with any 20-year-old going up against major-league pitching for the first time, expectations should be tempered, but fantasy owners are understandably excited to see what the kid can do.

 

2. Today's Weather and Updates

Both today and tomorrow are looking good, with near-perfect baseball conditions in most of the country.

 

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Wednesday, July 26

Pitchers to Use

Ian Kennedy struggled in his last outing, but prior to that had turned in four straight quality starts. As usual, Kennedy's inability to limit home runs makes him a high-variance streamer. He has a favorable matchup today at Detroit, though, and there are few appealing options on the wire today.

To wit, I am also forced to recommend a pitcher who has allowed 15 runs over his last three starts. Even for a guy who calls Coors Field home, Jeff Hoffman's splits are extreme. 28 of his 37 runs allowed have come at home, despite an even split in innings. The rookie has been quite good on the road, though, pitching to a 2.45 ERA with 33 strikeouts against only five walks in 33 innings. He'll take on the nonthreatening Cardinals in St. Louis and should be in line for a bounceback performance after getting lit up by the Pirates in his last turn.

Other Targets: Patrick Corbin

 

Pitchers to Exploit

Incredibly, James Shields has been even worse this season than he was in 2016. In nine starts spanning 46 2/3 innings, Shields has hideous ratios (5.79 ERA, 1.63 WHIP), has allowed 12 homers, and currently sits on a 4.2 K-BB% that would rank as the worst among all starters if he had enough innings to qualify. The Cubs have won eight of 10 since the break, averaging nearly six runs per game. So, uh...good luck with that, James.

While the matchup is by no means intimidating - the Athletics are one of the worst-hitting teams in the game - Marco Estrada has been atrocious for the last two months. He's made nine starts since June 1, and completed the sixth inning in exactly one of them. That outing was his only quality start of the bunch, and he walked four batters that day. During this horrid stretch, Estrada has posted a 9.52 ERA and 2.14 WHIP, allowing nine homers and 29 (!) walks in just 40 2/3 innings. It's been a stunning reversal from his first two months, wherein he produced a 78/17 K:BB and excellent ratios (3.15 ERA, 1.11 WHIP).

Other Targets: Anibal Sanchez, Aaron Blair, Andrew Moore, Ervin Santana

 

Homers on the Wire

Randal Grichuk has gone deep in four straight games, and six of his last eight entering Tuesday's action. The Cardinals outfielder has a .957 OPS since being recalled from the minors a month ago. Grichuk's poor plate approach keeps him from being a rosterable asset, but he's good for a couple of these streaks every year.

Matt Chapman has a similar profile to Grichuk, and also happens to be on a streak. He's homered in three straight contests and also had a two-homer game back on July 15. We're dealing with small samples from a rookie here, but Chapman has been whiffing a lot less since the break and boasts a .303/.333/.909 line during that time.

Other Targets: Nicholas Castellanos, Maikel FrancoMike Napoli, Josh Bell, Matt Adams, Lucas DudaPaul DeJong

 

Steals on the Wire

Mallex Smith has predictably regressed at the plate after a torrid start, but he's swiped 15 bags in 19 tries despite playing in only 45 games. With Kevin Kiermaier's return still at least a couple of weeks away, Smith offers cheap speed in a year where that's been particularly tough to come by.

Other TargetsJarrod Dyson, Orlando Arcia, Whit Merrifield, Rajai DavisManuel Margot

 

Skill Positions

With Brandon Maurer headed to Kansas City in the Trevor Cahill trade, Brad Hand looks like the best option for saves in the Padres' bullpen. That's assuming he isn't traded this week as well, though one executive was quoted as saying, "I don't think the Dodgers would ask more for Kershaw than A.J. [Preller] is for Brad Hand." Also reportedly in the conversation is erstwhile flamethrower Carter Capps, who's still rounding into form in the minors.

 

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