Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 15

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

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Monday, May 15th.

Let's get to it.

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Agenda

  1. Bad Trade Offers - In Retrospect
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

 

1. Bad Trade Offers - In Retrospect

I play in a lot of leagues which means I make a lot of trade offers. And I tend to start with ideas and frameworks rather than making a taut offer. Why pay Clayton Kershaw for Mookie Betts if Jake Arrieta and Tony Watson can get the job done? Some fantasy players want their trades to be cut and dried, but I skew in the other direction - we usually have a nice long chat before it's time to press accept. It might have something to do with being a professional fantasy baseball writer...

I searched my inbox for rejected trade offers which I initiated. You'll find a sampling below. Notice a theme?

March 20: I get Travis Jankowski, he gets Matt Harvey
March 28: I get Greg Bird, he gets Tony Watson
March 31: I get Jonathan Villar/Chris Owings, he gets Ryon Healy/Justin Upton/Michael Pineda
April 19: I get Greg Bird, he gets Jose Reyes
April 20: I get Matt Carpenter/Villar, he gets Upton/Kyle Hendricks
April 21: I get Villar, he gets Upton/Jordan Montgomery
April 28: I get James Paxton, he gets Eugenio Suarez

These are all examples of trades in which my offer seemed weak at the time. In retrospect, they all look like really good trades for the other guy. Most of these are attempts to buy low on Villar or Bird. Maybe they rebound or maybe they continue to scuffle. Bird had a Ryan Howard-sized hole in the upper quadrant of the strike zone. I'm as confused as the next guy about Villar. He's gone back to pulling a billion crappy ground balls. He was a spray hitter last season.

At the time of the Paxton offer, he was healthy. His owner is trotting Alex Bregman out at third base. Now Paxton is on TJS watch and my Suarez has continued to rake. Suarez is one of the most underappreciated assets in fantasy baseball.

This is not to say that all of my trade offers turn out this way. I tried to acquire Keon Broxton and Charlie Morton in all of my leagues. Some of the buy-low offers I sent involve waiver wire fodder like Joe Musgrove. The point is that you should take a moment before feeling insulted about a trade offer. Baseball has a way of humbling us all.

 

2. Today's Weather and Updates

The Boston game is looking doubtful. The Astros-Yankees doubleheader in New York is also under threat of rain.

 

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Monday, May 15th

Meager Monday is actually meager this week. We have just eight games to peddle.

 

Pitchers to Use

Surprisingly, there are quite a few pitchers to try. None of them are must-roster types like an Alex Wood, but they all have quality start upside.

Luis Perdomo may be my favorite of the bunch versus a volatile Brewers lineup. Milwaukee hitters have the second highest strikeout rate in the majors, but they also have an above average offense (104 wRC+). Perdomo is in the process of developing swing-and-miss stuff and currently leads the league with a tiny 20.7 percent hard contact rate. His curve ball is elite, but his pitch-to-contact sinker doesn't exactly compliment it. The sinker does generate a ton of ground ball contact. Unfortunately, it's quite hittable. Perdomo is working on discovering a third weapon. Personally, I think he should emphasize a high four seam fastball so his curve can play up. He's a work in progress.

Perdomo is opposed by Chase Anderson. Despite a shiny 2.97 ERA, the Brewer doesn't appear to be any different from the guy who posted a 4.30 ERA in 2015 and a 4.39 ERA in 2016. Perhaps he's sequencing slightly better. Expect over a 4.00 ERA going forward, starting tomorrow. The Padres narrowly trail the Brewers in strikeout rate, and their offense is much less dangerous.

Brandon McCarthy is a cerebral pitcher who knows how to get the most out of his stuff. Apparently healthy, he's thrived through five starts by limiting hard contact. He's visiting pitcher friendly AT&T Park. Although the Giants are not strikeout prone, they also aren't a threatening opponent.

Other Targets: Joe Musgrove, Dan Straily, Zack Godley, Jesse Chavez

 

Pitchers to Exploit

Is it truly necessary to explain why Mike Pelfrey is a bad pitcher? He's never been worse - 2.84 K/9, 3.32 BB/9, and a 5.21 ERA. I'll give him this, he isn't homer prone.

Shockingly, Matt Cain has six solid starts compared to just one disaster. More disasters are on the horizon, starting with the righty mashing Dodgers. His home park could gift him with some outs on should-be homers.

Sadly, Bartolo Colon's goose looks cooked. Better times could be ahead if he can figure out how to strand runners on base. His 55.8 percent LOB% is among the worst in the league. We usually consider LOB% to be a "luck" stat, meaning the pitcher doesn't have much influence over it. There are exceptions, although Colon has a very long track record as a luck neutral pitcher. He's opposed by Mike Bolsinger and the Blue Jays. Bolsinger tends to be  extremely hittable any time he makes a spot appearance in the majors.

Other Targets: Yovani Gallardo

 

Homers on the Wire

I know I said good things about Perdomo, but the Brewers also have some of my favorite hitters tomorrow. Domingo Santana is one of the best sluggers on the block. Do note, he's a ground ball hitter which isn't a good formula for beating a ground ball pitcher. If he does get under one though, it'll fly.

Sean Manaea is back from the disabled list. If there's any rust, look for Danny Valencia and Taylor Motter to post big games. Valencia bats fifth for the Mariners. After an icy start, he's recovered his power stroke. Over his last 61 plate appearances, he has a .357/.410/.625 slash (.410 BABIP). I still prefer Motter and his blend of hard contact and pulled fly balls. He's also a stolen base threat.

If Colon continues to struggle, look for Steve Pearce and Justin Smoak to provide fireworks. May has been kind to Pearce with four home runs in 32 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Smoak may be experiencing a mini-breakout. He's cut his strikeout rate to 20.9 percent - down from 32.8 percent last season. The change looks real. He's continued to produce line drives and hard contact at above average rates. He's quietly emerged as yet another 20 home run threat.

Other Targets: Chris Taylor, Christian Arroyo, Yangervis Solarte, Ryan Schimpf, Hunter Renfroe, Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, Luis Valbuena, Asdrubal Cabrera, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, David Peralta, Steve Pearce, Justin Smoak, Josh Reddick, Derek Dietrich

 

Steals on the Wire

Oh, the power of cold starts. Hernan Perez remains available in the majority of leagues despite a .277/.327/.535 slash - better than he achieved last season. Ignore the first half of April, and he's slashing .333/.386/.667 in his last 83 plate appearances with all kinds of extra base contact. He's even batting third in Ryan Braun's absence. Roster him. Permanently.

Kevin Pillar, leadoff extraordinaire, is probably the next player to climb above 50 percent owned. His power, speed, and average should be owned in every league. While RBI production is typically scarce for leadoff hitters, Pillar is a solid four-category asset. Few of those offer stolen bases.

I've been giving firm recommendations for Jose Reyes. Now I get to back off. With Duda and Cabrera back, Reyes has ceded playing time to T.J. Rivera. It doesn't erase that Reyes has played well lately, and Rivera will eventually be overexposed in the majors. I'd bet on Reyes starting - and thriving - at Chase Field versus Godley.

Snag a share of Cameron Maybin in time to prey upon Pelfrey and the Pale Hose. Maybin is suffering from a .232 BABIP, but he's already stolen six bases despite a pitiful .293 OBP. BABIP regression is imminent.

Other Targets: Denard Span, Manuel Margot, Rajai Davis

 

Skill Positions

It's probably Jett Bandy's turn tomorrow. He's turned into quite the home run threat. Bandy won't maintain a 130 wRC+, but he shouldn't have any problems pummeling deep flies. He's an extreme pull hitter. Petco Park may limit his value on Monday. Austin Hedges is available on the other end of this matchup.

Aroldis Chapman is on the disabled list with rotator cuff inflammation. Regrettably, Dellin Betances is only available in 18 percent of leagues.

 

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