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Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 17

By dbking on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "_MG_9144") [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Wednesday, May 17th.

Let's get to it.

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


1. Danger!

This is your periodic warning that streaming pitchers is a dangerous and risky activity. Brandon McCarthy had a very favorable pairing against the Giants last night at AT&T Park. He allowed six runs in 5.2 innings. Interestingly, he had a 1.78 FIP and 2.67 xFIP for the evening. In other words, the poor results didn't really match the inputs.

The danger of using pitchers is not limited to waiver wire streamers. Chris Archer and Carlos Carrasco are top 10 starters - even after last night when they combined to allow 12 runs in 8.2 innings. Welcome to baseball.


2. Today's Weather and Updates

Minnesota may see passing storms today and tomorrow. They'll probably play. Much of the Midwest is supposed to be very windy on Wednesday. Keep an eye on directionality.


3. Tomorrow's Picks - Wednesday, May 17th

Pitchers to Use

Matt Garza is back? Nah, can't be. While his results through four starts pass a smell test - 7.23 K/9, 1.90 BB/9, 2.66 ERA, and 3.69 FIP - his velocity is down and his stuff is mediocre. He's never posted a sub-2.00 BB/9 either. Once the walks return, so too will his over-4.00 ERA. Despite the pending regression, Garza has a solid matchup at pitcher friendly Petco Park versus the third-most strikeout prone offense.

Joe Biagini is stretched out enough to toss a full outing. In two starts, he's allowed just one unearned run in nine innings. Biagini isn't Alex Wood. He won't suddenly transform from good bullpen guy to must-roster semi-ace. His numbers will decline as a result of these longer outings. Hitters will figure out how best to exploit his tendency to fill the strike zone. However, the Braves make for a soft target so long as he avoids Freddie Freeman. His opponent, Mike Foltynewicz, is also usable against a shattered Blue Jays roster.

My standard operating procedure for German Marquez is to use him on the road where Coors Field can't ruin his day. He's coming off a dominant eight-inning, three-hit start versus the Cubs at Coors. He tallied eight strike outs and allowed no runs. So much for SOPs. Like the Rockies most successful pitchers, Marquez piles up ground balls while limiting hard contact. He'll face the Twins in Minnesota. Keep an eye on the weather in case it pushes back his start.

Other Targets: Miguel Gonzalez, Matt Shoemaker


Pitchers to Exploit

Jose Urena is one of those guys with a shiny ERA and bad results. He's basically the poor man's version of J.C. Ramirez. Urena throws a 96 mph fastball. It's a surprisingly terrible pitch. He also throws a slider and change, and he's gaining confidence in those offerings. His success to date - a 1.98 ERA (4.30 FIP) with 4.61 K/9 and 2.30 BB/9 - can be traced to using the offspeed stuff over 40 percent of the time. Unfortunately, they're merely average pitches with low whiff rates.

Matt Harvey is visiting Chase Field where ground ball pitchers go to die. The Mets' Dark Knight is in free fall without a utility belt. His command has taken a step back, and he's no longer inducing whiffs. On the plus side, he's still generating a lot of soft contact. Strangely, he's also allowed a career worst hard contact rate. Hitters are either miss-hitting or hammering the baseball. This shows up in his .244 BABIP and 2.25 HR/9. In Arizona, grounders tend to convert to hits and home runs fly.

Other Targets: Josh Tomlin, Ubaldo Jimenez, Christian Bergman, Jhoulys Chacin


Homers on the Wire

A few days ago, I wrote that Hunter Renfroe would join the homer barrage before long. He's hammered a pair of homers in his last two games. He also has two doubles in his last four games. The bat may be waking up. He'll face Garza. Consider Ryan Schimpf as an all-or-nothing alternative. If you prefer a high floor, Yangervis Solarte usually does something.

Lately, the Phillies have been turning to Tommy Joseph as their cleanup hitter. This might strike you as surprising if you haven't paid attention to his recent results. Since the start of May, he's slashing .400/.512/.886. I like to compare Joseph to Jay Bruce. He's a volatile hitter capable of carrying an offense over a brief hot streak. He's also prone to some icy slumps. Stick with him in deeper formats. He's opposed by Martin Perez.

I'll be honest, I kinda forgot Justin Bour existed for a few weeks there. His recent hot streak is worth a mention here even if I wouldn't snag him for a start versus Lance McCullers and the Astros bullpen.

Other Targets: Domingo Santana, Nick Franklin, Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, Luis Valbuena, Brandon Moss, Kennys Vargas, Max Kepler, Scott Schebler, Ian Happ, Jeimer Candelario, Shin-Soo Choo, Mitch Moreland, Justin Smoak, Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera, Neil Walker, Josh Reddick, Nori Aoki, Yuli Gurriel, Logan Morrison, Colby Rasmus


Steals on the Wire

Hernan Perez and Kevin Pillar are finally over 50 percent owned. That's roughly all the speed threats I actually like.

With Carlos Gomez landing on the disabled list for the next one or two months, Delino DeShields' job security is rock solid - even when visiting a National League park. His role atop the lineup is less certain. The Rangers have realized Choo's high OBP trumps DeShields' blazing speed.

Kevin Kiermaier isn't delivering on his offensive potential. He's even struggling in the field (-1.2 UZR). Smells like he's hurt to me. Kiermaier is still stealing bases at a 25 swipe pace. He also has a hint of power and a career best 10.6 percent walk rate.

Other Targets: Jarrod Dyson, Ben Gamel, Taylor Motter, Kolten Wong, Michael Taylor, Jose Reyes


Skill Positions

It's probably a Jett Bandy day. Both Brewers catchers have lost offensive momentum in recent weeks.


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