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Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 16

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 Tuesday, May 16th.

Let's get to it.

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


1. Buxtonian

Byron Buxton is making all the plays in center field. Check out this one. For the billionth consecutive season, Buxton was overhyped as a fantasy asset. He's simply not a good hitter right now. His glove is enough to keep him on the field. He'll have the space he needs to figure out how to hit major league pitching.

I'm reminded of Jackie Bradley Jr. If you don't recall, he was once a glove only center fielder with tantalizing potential at the plate. All of a sudden, he figured out how to access his in-game power without selling out for too many strikeouts. Keep watching for the switch to flip. In the interim, let others suffer through the pain.


2. Today's Weather and Updates

We should be go for all eight games today. Detroit could be stormy tomorrow. Nothing else stands out as a risk.


3. Tomorrow's Picks - Tuesday, May 16th

Pitchers to Use

Last time out, J.C. Ramirez allowed five runs before recording his fourth out. He settled down to finish seven innings. It's a great sign to see a pitcher adjust from a rough start. Ramirez has the strikeouts and ability necessary to post fantasy relevant stats. His fastball remains below average, but he's continued to increase the usage of his plus breaking ball. He hosts a weak White Sox lineup.

Beyond Ramirez, the options all require a helping of antacid. Wade Miley at Matt Boyd offers some upside for a quality start with decent ratios. I much prefer the Miley side of the equation. Baltimore has a quality back end to their bullpen and a ton of thump in the lineup. In other words, Miley is more likely to get run and relief support. Boyd is a semi-ground ball pitcher who's prone to allowing hard contact. Don't write off the suddenly full strength Tigers.

Jimmy Nelson is visiting Clayton Richard at Petco Park. Nelson has the easier end of the matchup versus the strikeout prone, low offense Padres. Richard also faces a strikeout prone squad, but he's a pitch-to-contact sinker specialist. The Brewers have a couple fly ball hitters who could lay into him - most notably Eric Thames. Remember when he was briefly available as a waiver wire bat?

Other Targets: nah


Pitchers to Exploit

Don't be fooled by Kyle Freeland's 2.93 ERA. He's not a reliable fantasy asset. His success can be traced to a 65.9 percent ground ball rate and 26.2 percent soft contact. Both are among the top such rates in the league. I anticipate regression. His lack of strikeout stuff coupled with a high walk rate ensures too many baserunners. He's probably a solid major league pitcher not unlike Jaime Garcia. Just don't plan to get roto value.

Derek Holland is one of the luckiest pitchers in the majors. He's held opponents to a .217 BABIP despite allowing more hard contact than ever. Regression looms in the form of a 4.71 FIP and 5.13 xFIP. You may think it's a good idea to try him versus the Angels. I recommend going with an alternative.

Zach Eflin's pitch-to-contact approach has worked through five starts. He's averaged over six innings per outing with a 2.81 ERA, .235 BABIP, and 4.78 K/9. I highlight the BABIP because he does nothing to suggest he'll post a below average rate. One of these days, his opponent will BIP him to death. Could be the Rangers.

Other Targets: Chad Kuhl, Tom Koehler, Zach Eflin, Bronson Arroyo, CC Sabathia, Jason Hammel, Tommy Milone, Chase De Jong, Ty Blach


Homers on the Wire

Trey Mancini starts whenever the Orioles face a lefty. It's getting to be the top must-pick power play on the waiver wire. Mancini won't maintain his ludicrous HR/FB ratio, but he may be fully capable of maintaining a 30 home run pace. At the very least, keep going to the well until the scouting report catches up to him.

The Cubs lineup is banged up, opening the door for Ian Happ and Jeimer Candelario to audition. Happ is making the most of his opportunity, going 3-for-8 with a home run and a double. He made short work of Triple-A pitching. Candelario also dominated at Triple-A, but he's having difficult adapting to the majors. Including a short trial in 2016, he's just 2-for-28 in the majors.

Once again, I'm drawn to a few Athletics. Jed Lowrie has buffed his fly ball and hard contact rate while maintain his typical low strikeout rate. He could be sneaky valuable while healthy. Matt Joyce is showing some life too.

Other Targets: Chris Taylor, Domingo Santana, Ryan Schimpf, Hunter Renfroe, Yangervis Solarte, Brandon Drury, Mitch Moreland, Jorge Soler, Chase Headley, Scott Schebler, Carlos Gomez, Shin-Soo Choo, Logan Morrison, Colby Rasmus


Steals on the Wire

Delino DeShields will face a contact-oriented righty. His biggest issue is strike outs. It's a great opportunity for him to get on base and swipe a bag or three. He has seven steals in 91 plate appearances.

Alcides Escobar has reclaimed the top spot in the Royals lineup. How he accomplished this is a mystery. He's slashing .193/.221/.252 with no steals. But if he does get on base, we know both he and the Royals like to run.

Stop messing around and pick up Hernan Perez. He's 47 percent owned, has eligibility everywhere, and is outperforming his breakout 2016 numbers. He only has two steals to date, but he'll reach 15 by the end of the season.

Other Targets: Manuel Margot, Jarrod Dyson, Taylor Motter, Cameron Maybin, Michael Taylor


Skill Positions

Austin Barnes is seeming more and more action versus left-handed pitching. Blach is thoroughly exploitable, although you shouldn't look for a home run at AT&T Park. Other catch options include Manny Pina (probably and Austin Hedges at Petco Park. Jett Bandy is actually the better matchup if the Brewers ever figure out their actual strengths as hitters.


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