Streaming Wars: Waiver Wire Targets for May 8

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Welcome back 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 Monday, May 8th.

Let's get to it.

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Agenda

  1. A Murder of Injuries
  2. Today's Weather and Updates
  3. Tomorrow's Picks

 

1. A Murder of Injuries

It's still the weekend so let's kick things off with a goofy poll. A group of geese is a gaggle. Monkeys form a troop. When a bunch of lions hang out, they're called a pride. What word should we use to describe a cluster of injuries?

We all knew the 10-day disabled list would increase the number of players placed on the shelf. However, I feel like we were under-prepared for the full effect of the new rule. In one league I commission, I am considering adding an additional pair of disabled list slots to deal with the issue. It may be time for fantasy baseball leagues to move from two to four disabled list slots as the default setting.

 

2. Today's Weather and Updates

San Diego has a rare rain day on tap for Sunday. The game could be postponed. Tomorrow should be a beautiful day for baseball.

 

3. Tomorrow's Picks - Monday, May 8th

Pitchers to Use

Let's start with Joe Biagini since he's usable in a very unusual way. The Toronto reliever is making a spot start as the Blue Jays try to survive an injured rotation. Biagini isn't stretched out. We're looking at a three inning start. He absolutely will not earn a win, but there's a decent chance you'll get good ratios. He won't face anybody more than twice. These spots starts always have an extra element of risk since the pitcher's routine is based around relieving.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every damned time, and you must be Kendall Graveman. At the start of every season, Graveman looks to be on the cusp of a breakout. He's already back to boring ol' Kendall. Although I'm much less enthused about owning him, his matchup against a probably Mike Trout-less Angels offense is usable.

Alex Wood's ownership has climbed to 27 percent. This may be your last chance to acquire him cheaply. The southpaw uses a funky delivery to keep hitters uncomfortable. He has a high strikeout and ground ball rate coupled with a tolerable walk rate. His velocity is up two mph. He's an automatic start in all formats. Wood should receive run support against the Pirates. Keep an eye on how the Dodgers handle today's rainout - Wood could be bumped.

Nick Martinez is a boring spot starter quality arm. He doesn't record strikeouts and allows home runs by the bushel. However, you may wish to give him a look opposite Jered Weaver at Petco Park. It's a friendlier venue for pitchers than his normal stomping grounds, and there's a good chance he'll leave the game with a big lead.

Other Targets: Adam Conley, Blake Snell

 

Pitchers to Exploit

I've received a lot of questions about Antonio Senzatela. A 2.84 ERA over six starts - including some Coors Field appearances - will do drum up fantasy interest. Do yourself a favor, sell or divest now. He's a fastball-slider guy without any true weapons. Regression is going to hit him like a Mack truck. His success can be traced to a low hard contact rate. However, pitchers who can actually control quality of contact usually have a high soft contact rate. That's not the case for Senzatela. He's just been lucky.

I can't believe Rookie Davis is making another start. Perhaps it's because he held the Pirates scoreless in five innings last week. It's not like it was a good outing (three walks, two strikeouts), and it was only the first time he reached the fifth frame. Davis looks like a pitcher, but he doesn't have any of the weapons necessary to retire major league sluggers. The Yankees are going to destroy him.

Kevin Gausman has a history of pitching poorly through the first half of the season. He's off to his worst start ever. Gausman has been hit and homer prone while struggling with his command. His 5.81 K/9 and 5.23 BB/9 don't play in the majors.

The Pirates have tried to use Trevor Williams as a long reliever. He has been... not effective. In 24.1 career innings, Williams has a devilish 6.66 ERA with 7.77 K/9 and 4.44 BB/9. He's been plagued by home runs. Load up on Dodgers.

Other Targets: Nate Karns, Ricky Nolasco, Jered Weaver

 

Homers on the Wire

Yonder Alonso hit two more home runs yesterday. He's now up to 12 percent owned. Are you familiar with the concept of "the tipping point?" If not, google it. Alonso's long past of crappiness has thus far dissuaded most owners from taking a chance on Alonso. He's been the sixth best first baseman, and he's an easy top 15 guy over the rest of season. He should be owned in all but the very smallest leagues. Alonso will face Ricky Nolasco. Of lesser interest are Matt Joyce and Jed Lowrie.

Logan Morrison is the seventh ranked first baseman. He's just 11 percent owned. While Alonso's power outburst can be tracked back to a new swing and 40 percent hard hit rate, LoMo's burst of over-the-wall power is unsupported by a change in peripherals. Continue to aggressively stream him. He'll see Nate Karns. Colby Rasmus has been back a few days. His only hit in 11 plate appearances was a home run.

I'm recommending three Texas outfielders today. A fourth, Nomar Mazara, is too widely owned to recommend as a streamer. However, since the Rangers are visiting a National League park, they'll have to bench one of their outfielders. I'd bet on it being Delino DeShields or Shin-Soo Choo. It would be unfortunate if Choo takes a seat since his lefty swing and ground ball tendencies make him a big home run threat against a fly ball pitcher like Weaver. Carlos Gomez is also a threat to ambush a Weaver fastball over a wall.

You don't have to be hitting as well as Aaron Hicks to be a power option in Cincinnati. The Yankees are using Hicks most days, although he's still too frequently the odd man out in the outfield rotation. He's hitting a ridiculous .355/.468/.710 with 50 percent more walks than strikeouts. Chase Headley is alternative to take advantage of a small park.

Other Targets: Yangervis Solarte, Ryan Schimpf, Hunter Renfroe, Andrew Toles, Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham, Scott Schebler, Wilmer Flores, T.J. Rivera

 

Steals on the Wire

The Jose Reyes hit barrage continues. Since late April, he's slashing .349/.408/.674 in 49 plate appearances. He has five walks and one strikeout during the streak. Asdrubal Cabrera is the latest Met to hit the skids. Reyes will take over at shortstop. He's 30 percent owned.

Brett Gardner went on a power binge last week. You probably missed him at his best, but he remains a speedy runner with fluke power upside. The Yankees are visiting another park for children. They'll face a Double-A quality pitcher.

The injury bug has bitten deeply into the Cardinals lineup. Kolten Wong has been pressed into leadoff duties for the Cardinals. St. Louis is facing a lefty so we may instead see Aledmys Diaz lead off on Monday. Either way, Wong is one of the few options available for steals. He should much more widely owned than he is - just 10 percent.

Other Targets: Delino DeShields, Manuel Margot, Kevin Kiermaier, Michael Taylor

 

Skill Positions

The Tigers ninth inning situation is coming to a head. Francisco Rodriguez blew another save and now has a 6.35 ERA on the season. The main issue is easy to spot - an elevated fly ball rate combined with his typically high HR/FB ratio. He'll probably be fine going forward, but a couple more blown saves could force a switch. Frankly, there aren't any other ninth inning relievers in that bullpen. Justin Wilson is the closest thing if you're looking to speculate.

Austin Hedges has a matchup against a homer prone pitcher. They're both fly ball guys. In other words, don't be surprised if Hedges hits the ball too high.

If you need a shortstop Didi Gregorius is slashing .344/.382/.406 through 34 plate appearances. Don't expect a repeat of his fluke 20 home runs season, even with help from Yankee Stadium. Even so, he's a viable power threat at Great American Ballpark.

 

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