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Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 24

By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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 Wednesday, May 24th.

Let's get to it.

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  1. More Comments About Vetoes
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks


1. More Comments About Vetoes

We discussed vetoes yesterday. And now, here's my bluntest, hottest take on the topic. You should quit any league that regularly uses a veto feature. If vetoes are needed, it means you're in a bad league. Either your leaguemates/commissioner are curtailing the best part of fantasy baseball, or the quality of competition is painfully unbalanced.

The issue is usually one of quality. For a so-called competitive league, the answer is simple. If an owner is consistently hemorrhaging value in unconscionable trades, they need to be replaced ASAP. Bad owners ruin leagues in multiple ways. Their inability to compete in any category hands a bunch of points to the top teams. Think about a typical 12-team 5x5 roto redraft* league. If the best team has over 100 points, your league may have a problem. If multiple teams are over 100 points, there's definitely a serious issue with non-contenders. The issue is exacerbated if the baddies also make lopsided trades with the best teams.

If it's just a friendly league with family or work colleagues, then the answer is to just accept that it isn't a serious league. Slash the entry fees and have some fun. Vetoing trades - even lopsided ones - only serves to alienate owners.

*I emphasize the redraft setting because keeper leagues are usually going to have a big imbalance between the best and worst teams. It's a natural result of the format.

Here's what a competitive league should look like at this point in the season. I'm commissioner of this league. I've spent years getting the owner mix up to snuff and tinkering with the rules. I'm glad to see it finally paying off over the last few seasons. As we get deeper into the year, we'll start to see more spread between the best and worst teams (this is a keeper).

2. Today's Weather and Updates

Rain, rain, go away. The biggest risk is to the Mariners-Nationals game. They have a 50 percent chance of rain nearly all day. A short distance north, Baltimore is likely to play. The Cubs game will start, but it might not finish.

On Wednesday, the forecast doesn't look good for Cleveland, Chicago, or Atlanta.


3. Tomorrow's Picks - Wednesday, May 24th

Pitchers to Use

I've been waiting for this day to come. Charlie Morton is 51 percent owned. And not a single other soul is a worthy streamer. Erasmo Ramirez may be able to help with your rates. He managed 5.1 innings in his first spin through the rotation. He coughed up just two runs on six hits and one walk (five strikeouts). Another five inning outing may even give him a chance at victory. In the past, his stuff hasn't held up well in a second or third time through the order.

Other Targets: Oh boy


Pitchers to Exploit

Chris Tillman has a solid 3.52 ERA through three starts. His 3.03 FIP and 4.59 xFIP aren't that bad either. The extremely concerning part is his velocity - it's down three mph from past years. Consider him to be highly volatile until the heat returns.

Robert Gsellman is back in the rotation. He hasn't started since May 13. I'll be honest, I kind of just assumed Mr. Met stabbed him in the kidney or whatever it is that's waylaid every other Mets pitcher. Gsellman had a nice two inning outing on May 20. His velocity played way up in relief. Maybe he'll get back on track versus the Padres. Obviously, I have my doubts.

Like Tillman, Matt Garza has positive results in a small sample of work. He's never managed to maintain anything like his current 1.82 BB/9. Once he's walking more hitters - something that will probably happen immediately - he'll be a 4.50 to 5.00 ERA pitcher. Tiny Miller Park is a tough home venue.

A couple millennia ago, Jarred Cosart was a well-regarded Phillies prospect. Now, the 27-year-old is a sixth starter for an abysmal Padres team. Cosart continues to suffer from a combination of mediocre command and hittable stuff. On the plus side, he has shown some small signs of improvement while maintaining a high ground ball rate. He's always done a good job limiting hard contact with his cutter. If he can become comfortable with his new slider, he may be a viable starter. We're weeks from him having enough confidence in that new offering.

Other Targets: Edinson Volquez, Lisalverto Bonilla, Trevor Bauer, Jason Hammel, Sam Gaviglio, Tyler Chatwood, Jeremy Hellickson, Martin Perez, Trevor Williams, Julio Teheran, Matt Moore, Daniel Norris, Ricky Nolasco


Homers on the Wire

This season, there always seems to be one guy who doesn't belong on the waiver wire. With Yonder Alonso still at 52 percent owned, it's time to bang the drum for Lonnie Chisenhall. The lefty swinger has been around for awhile, doing nothing of particular import. Last year, he started to hit more fly balls, a trend that's carried into this season. He's also hitting the ball harder than normal, although there's a decent chance we're looking at a small sample fluke. In 107 plate appearances, Chisenhall already has six home runs. His career high is 13. A 20 home runs season combined with a .275 average could prove quite valuable in all but the shallowest leagues.

Lucas Duda loves fastballs and Cosart is pretty predictable about throwing them. He's also a low ball masher.

I'm not convinced we're looking at anything more than a homer binge from Justin Bour. There's no evidence otherwise in the data. In fact, he might be worse than in past seasons due to an increase in swinging strike rate. For now, ride the wave just in case there's something going on that isn't captured by the usual peripherals.

Justin Smoak is 49 percent owned. Pick him up for this series at tiny Miller Park. Unlike Bour, Smoak has a noticeable change in his peripherals - a sharp increase in contact rate within the strike zone.

Other Targets: Max Kepler, Kennys Vargas, Justin Smoak, Jed Lowrie, Matt Joyce, Derek Dietrich, Scott Schebler, Tommy Joseph, Chris Young, Ryan Schimpf, Hunter Renfroe, Yangervis Solarte, Logan Morrison, Colby Rasmus, Matt Adams


Steals on the Wire

I'm really bored with these stolen base options. Do I really need to explain them all again? None have particularly desirable matchups with the exception of Jose Reyes. Reaching base versus Cosart could be a challenge since they're both ground ball guys. However, once on, Austin Hedges has been among the most preyed upon catchers in the league.

I guess I like Michael Taylor's matchup versus a soft-tossing righty. If he's ever going to make contact, it's against somebody throwing under 90 mph. He gets frisky on the bases, probably because he's rarely aboard.

Other Targets: Jarrod Dyson, Taylor Motter, Ben Gamel, Freddy Galvis, Adam Frazier


Skill Positions

Jett Bandy should be the Brewers' choice versus a sinkerballer like Marcus Stroman. Check who start tonight though. Austin Hedges is in a nice spot versus Gsellman. I also noticed I've failed to draw appropriate attention to Cameron Rupp. He's slashing .314/.364/.549 in his last 55 plate appearances (.419 BABIP).


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