Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 4

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Welcome back to Streaming Wars, your one-stop shop for streaming and waiver wire advice. Use this column to address your neediest categories.

Below are your pitcher and hitter streaming targets for Thursday, May 4th.

Let's get to it.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantrax have even more fantasy baseball advice columns and videos to help improve your teams. Be sure to also check them out!

 

Agenda

  1. Mar-Win
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

 

1. Mar-Win

Astros utility man Marwin Gonzalez has the following eligibilities on Yahoo: 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, MI, CI, OF. He's missing catcher. After popping two home runs yesterday, Gonzalez also has a respectable .228/.343/.614 line with seven home runs in 69 plate appearances. A .167 BABIP spoils the batting average.

Before you go diving on Gonzalez as the next power breakout, nothing in his profile says this will continue. He isn't hitting more fly balls or making more hard contact. He's always been an extreme pull hitter which can lead to periods of gaudy production.

Feel free to use Gonzalez for his excessive utility. Just don't count on more than 10 home runs over the rest of the season. If you do opt to pick him up, remember to confirm he's in the lineup each day.

 

2. Today's Weather and Updates

St. Louis will be postponed today. It's gon' rain. Thursday has an unusual number of games - 13. Six of them are at risk of postponement. Namely, those located in Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Atlanta, and Cincinnati. Stay indoors Midwesterners.

 

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Thursday, May 4th

Pitchers to Use

You ought to focus on hitters tomorrow. If desperation foists a pitcher upon you, Joe Musgrove is probably your man. He's a command and control righty in the mold of Kyle Hendricks. Like a younger Hendricks, Musgrove has yet to fully hone his craft. He's very much a spot starter for fantasy purposes. Keep half an eye on him, especially his soft contact rate. If the command ever tics up, he could turn into a real asset. It's going to take awhile.

Alternatively, Zack Wheeler versus Jaime Garcia is evenly matched. Garcia is fully capable of turning in a quality start opposite a banged up and inconsistent Mets offense. Don't expect help with ratios or strikeouts. By comparison, Wheeler has flashed real potential. He has a tolerable strikeout rate to go with plenty of ground balls. His command even appears to be half a grade better than in the past. His velocity is down over one mph, but that's to be expected after missing two full seasons.

Other Targets: uh...

 

Pitchers to Exploit

Zach Eflin has a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings (three starts). In the same period, he has a 4.69 FIP due to a fortunate .132 BABIP. The pitch-to-contact righty doesn't avoid hard contact the way you'd expect from a successful low strikeout pitcher. The Cubs should feast. While there aren't any notable Cubbies on the wire, you can at least avoid falling for Eflin's ERA.

Like Eflin, Kyle Freeland has a shiny 2.93 ERA despite unimpressive peripherals. He's facing the Padres so you may be tempted to give him a try. Freeland doesn't induce whiffs or command the ball well. He'll be heading back to Triple-A by mid-June. The only upshot is that Luis Perdomo has struggled too. Perdomo actually has positive peripherals including an above average whiff rate, low walk rate, and 66 percent ground ball rate. He struggles when runners reach base.

On paper, that Rockies-Padres game won't be the highest scoring game. Ubaldo Jimenez is visiting Kyle Kendrick. Jimenez is competing for the title of Worst Pitcher in the Majors. Despite getting the call for a spot start, Kendrick was in the running for Worst Pitcher in Triple-A. Over/under 15 runs?

Other Targets: Tim Adleman, Braden Shipley, Jharel Cotton, Kyle Gibson, A.J. Griffin, Daniel Wright, Ariel Miranda

 

Homers on the Wire

For years, Seth Smith has nourished fantasy owners in search of succor on the waiver wire. He continues to do so while batting leadoff for the Orioles. He faces Kendrick! ! ! So does Hyun Soo Kim if they bother to start him. Poor guy has disappeared despite an acceptable .257/.350/.371 line.

Mitch Moreland is the lone available Red Sock of consequence. Jimenez isn't exactly homer prone. It's not an ideal pairing if you need a bomb.

The Phillies are opposed by John Lackey. He's allowed all the home runs. Brock Stassi has been taking starts against right-handed pitching. He's 0.0 percent owned despite solid power. Aaron Altherr and Michael Saunders are less obscure targets.

I continue to champion Yonder Alonso. He homered again last night. That's five home runs in 80 plate appearances to go with a luck neutral-ish .292/.363/.556 line.

Other Targets: Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker, Yangervis Solarte, Josh Reddick, Nori Aoki, Marwin Gonzalez, Yonder Alonso, Matt Joyce, Max Kepler, Josh Bell

 

Steals on the Wire

Cameron Maybin had a career season with the Tigers in 2016 while battling injuries. Now with the Angels, he's declined from a .383 BABIP last year to .259 BABIP now. His career BABIP is .320. The point is that he'll reach base slightly more often going forward which will help his .211/.317/.296 batting line. Despite a low OBP, he's already swiped four bases. Miranda is a good opponent to exploit.

For pure stolen base goodness, continue using Delino DeShields. He bats leadoff for a good offense. DeShields strikes out too much to be a good long term asset, but there's nothing wrong with milking him for a few steals while he's playing.

Over his last eight games (arbitrary sample alert), Jose Reyes is batting .333/.412/.733 with three home runs, a double, a triple, and two steals. He also has four walks to one strikeout. Don't just stream him, own him.

Other Targets: Ben Gamel, Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot, Alcides Escobar, Hernan Perez, Kolten Wong, Michael Taylor

 

Skill Positions

Keep riding Hedges. He'll have the platoon advantage against Freeland. Tony Wolters is a solid alternative versus Perdomo.

 

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