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Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 22

Welcome to Streaming Wars, your one-stop resource for streaming the waiver wire. Use this column to improve upon your neediest categories. We're back after taking an extra day off last Thursday.

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Monday, May 22nd.

Let's get to it.

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  1. Buying High in 2017
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks


1. Buying High in 2017

I've always been attracted to this concept of buying high. The goal is to target poorly regarded players who have made real, meaningful changes. Like Yonder Alonso. Nobody is comfortable treating him as a top 10 first baseman. If his owner also happens to have a guy like Joey Votto, he may want to cash in on Alonso. It's possible he could be acquired for a core performer like Adam Duvall. That leaves you plenty of room to profit with very little downside.

I arrived at this topic today because Corey Dickerson is in full on monster mode. Check him out going oppo-boppo on an up-and-away pitch. He followed it up by golfing a moon ball. He's in mash mode. Now is a great time to acquire him while his owner thinks he's selling high. He's going to keep crushing the baseball.

Be careful how liberally you apply this concept. The league is littered with breakouts this season. Practically everybody fantasy relevant is a breakout of some kind. As great as it is to acquire an Alonso or Dickerson, you may have the option to simply add a Justin Smoak or Colby Rasmus. Sometimes, the free option is better from a roster management perspective.


2. Today's Weather and Updates

Rain could affect Minnesota and Cincinnati today, but it's a fairly low risk. The Northeast - Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York - may be a wash out tomorrow. That represents a full third of the slate.


3. Tomorrow's Picks - Monday, May 22nd

We're cooking with nine games on Meager Monday. Assuming they all avoid the rain clouds.


Pitchers to Use

When hunting for a little extra ratio help, a relief ace making a spot start can provide succor. You won't earn a win from Brad Peacock. However, he may provide a big strikeout rate with minimal damage allowed. Peacock's 2017 breakout has me completely confounded. All the usual suspects - velocity, pitch usage, and command - have remained steady. I have no explanation why it suddenly looks like he has five near-elite pitches. When this happens - especially over just 16.1 innings - it smells an awful lot like luck. His batted ball data sure looks fluky. He's allowed only 9.1 percent line drives (league average is roughly 21 percent), and his 36.4 percent soft contact rate is practically unprecedented. Since we have no explanation for this batted ball success, I'll predict full regression. Peacock could still be useful over a three inning start.

J.C. Ramirez sits at 17 percent owned. We do have an explanation for his success - he scrapped his terrible four seamer for a merely bad sinker. He also buffed the usage of his plus slider without surrendering more walks. That's the real difference maker. Ramirez is opposed by the Rays - a sneaky tough assignment.

The other option is Mike Foltynewicz. After starting the season down a couple tics on the radar gun, his velocity has climbed close to where he sat in 2016.  Strikeouts are still curiously absent from most of his starts. His success in 2016 was predicated on 8.10 K/9. He's quite mediocre if he continues to post 6.91 K/9. He remains slightly homer prone.

Other Targets: n/a


Pitchers to Exploit

The Twins will be short staffed due to a doubleheader on Sunday. They'll turn to Adam Wilk for the bailout. The soft tossing lefty doesn't belong in the majors. He could fuel a homer binge for the Orioles. He's opposed by the Unbalded one.

When the Rockies acquired Jeff Hoffman as part of the Troy Tulowitzki swap, they hoped he could adapt to pitching at altitude. I'm not sure I see the necessary ingredients for success. Their best success stories generate a lot of soft contact. Lucky for Hoffman, he's pitching at sea level tomorrow at Citizen's Bank Park. The Phillies aren't a difficult assignment either, although they are full of surprises.

Josh Tomlin looked like he was on a roll for a moment there. On May 6 and May 12, he combined for 15 innings, 10 strikeouts, and only two runs allowed. Then he collapsed by allowing six runs in 2.1 innings on May 17. Tomlin remains homer prone. He's completely reliant on posting a low BABIP. Right now, he's sitting on a painful .364 BABIP. The Reds and tiny Great American Ballpark present a challenge.

Other Targets: Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Feldman, Ty Blach


Homers on the Wire

Tommy Joseph is a fly ball hitter. Hoffman is a ground ball pitcher. Advantage: Joseph. Hoffman also has a (very brief) history of allowing hard contact in the majors.

Although Scott Schebler has increased his fly ball rate, he's still a ground ball hitter. That doesn't make for a great matchup versus Tomlin. However, if he does lift a ball, it'll probably fly out of that puny park.

Trey Mancini is an auto-start any time a bad lefty is on the agenda. His performance has declined precipitously now that he's playing most days. He hasn't homered since May 8, a span of 33 plate appearances. Mancini doesn't actually show any signs of platoon splits. We just know to use him against lefties because he'll definitely be in the lineup.

Ian Happ is still sitting on the waiver wire in around 60 percent of leagues. Happ is murdering the baseball despite an unsightly 19.6 percent swinging strike rate (but only 23.1 percent strikeouts). It's interesting to see so many whiffs coupled with a solid punch out rate. Happ is opposed by Blach at Wrigley Park. Lately, the wind has been blowing out.

Other Targets: Kennys Vargas, Max Kepler, Logan Morrison, Luis Valbuena, David Peralta, Brandon Drury


Steals on the Wire

I may be jumping the gun with this recommendation. Freddy Galvis batted second on Saturday, with Odubel Herrera moving down to the five slot. Galvis the two-hole is an interesting streaming option given his speed and surprising power. He's a low average and OBP bat.

Bradley Zimmer stole his first base. He's going to steal more. The power and speed option has way too much swing-and-miss to his game. I don't expect him to stick around in the majors for long. Until then, he's a solid Byron Buxton clone, offering power, speed, and Ks. Speaking of Buxton, he's also on the wire opposite Jimenez.

Other Targets: Joey Rickard


Skill Positions

Closerland is massively unstable at the moment. I'm grabbing shares of Darren O'Day, Ryan Madson, Trevor Rosenthal, Brad Hand, James Pazos, and Koda Glover.


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