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Top Two-Start Pitcher Streamers & Sleepers for Week 18


The 2015 MLB Trade Deadline has come and gone. We now know what teams are in it to win it this year, and who is already looking towards next season and beyond. With all the trades happening, this makes seller teams like the Braves, Reds and Orioles that much more of a better team to stream an opposing pitcher.

These pitchers are projected to pitch twice in week 18 and are owned in less than 50% of Fleaflicker and Yahoo leagues.

Editor’s Note: RotoBaller’s fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups list is updated every single day. Our awesome writers bring you analysis on hot or emerging starting pitchers, and also all other fantasy positions. You can also download our waiver wire iPhone app for free, and easily stay updated.

Jesse Chavez, SP, OAK

8/3 vs BAL, 8/8 vs HOU

So let’s ignore the fact that Jesse Chavez has a 5-10 record on the year with the Oakland Athletics. I’ll spare you the Brian Kenny #KillTheWin campaign, but the point that his record does not reflect his production this year is true. He has a 3.53 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a 99/31 K/BB rate, and was a trade candidate for Oakland before the trade deadline. Still in the Bay area, Chavez should have a nice week with two plus matchups. He is home for both starts, and has much better home numbers than on the road, with a 2.33 ERA and 2.79 FIP at the O.Co stadium.

Chavez starts the week off against the Orioles, who have not been very productive offensively. Baltimore had the 25th best wRC+ throughout July, as well as the third highest K% against right-handed pitching at 22.5%. One of the two teams with a higher K% against righties is Houston at 24.6%, which is the worst in baseball this season. The first place Astros are a tough matchup for Chavez, but I have confidence in his home numbers and in him having a quality outing.

 

Tom Koehler, SP, MIA

8/3 vs NYM, 8/8 @ATL

I understand certain leagues aren’t deep enough to own every sleeper starter, but there’s no reason Tom Koehler isn’t owned in more than 17% of Yahoo leagues. The righty has been as reliable as you can expect, with an 8-7 record, 3.38 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and an 82/40 K/BB rate with 12 quality starts. In his eight starts the past two months, he has gone at least six innings in every start, giving up two runs or less in six of those outings. Based on that alone, he is worth streaming heading into the month of August, not just for his two starts this week.

The Mets are a surprise contender this year, and it’s no secret it is because of their stellar pitching. Their offense has been below average to say the least, especially against righties. Their .295 wOBA against right handers is the 5th worst in the league this year, and their .670 OPS is fourth worst in baseball. Going from a trade deadline buyer to a seller, the Braves are also not a major offensive threat. They have a league worst .109 ISO this year, and the third lowest OPS at .675.
 

Matt Cain, SP, SF

8/3 vs ATL, 8/8 vs CHC

Three time All-Star Matt Cain has obviously dealt with serious injuries the past few seasons. Injuries to his hamstring, elbow, and most recently his flexor tendon have limited him to just 20 starts the last two seasons. This year, he has not returned to the Matt Cain of 2012, but he has still been a serviceable starter. Since joining the team in early July, he has a 2-2 record with a 4.50 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and a 23/7 K/BB rate. If you take out his rocky first outing, he looks much better at 3.52, 1.13 and 21/3, respectively. His velocity has slowly been rising after starting the year conservatively, and could be in for a good week in his two starts.

Yes, I am picking on the Braves this week. Cain also has the benefit of facing the Braves, opposing Mike Foltynewicz, whose 5.04 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 60/20 K/BB ratio make him not only one of the worst two start pitchers this week, but also an easy win for Cain even if he doesn’t have his best stuff. The Cubs? Despite being a playoff contender with two months left in the season, they are still a below average offensive team. They have a K% of 24.3%, the highest in the NL and second only to Houston, and their 86 wRC+ is third worst to only the Marlins and Phillies. Cain could benefit from this and come out with two nice starts this week.

 

Patrick Corbin, SP, ARI

8/4 @WAS, 8/9 vs CIN

The Diamondbacks have not been good this year, and that was expected. However, they have managed to somewhat hang around, and have been playing near .500 baseball this year. Another former All-Star who recently returned from injury, Patrick Corbin just came back from Tommy John Surgery that kept him out all of the 2014 season. Since his return, he has 2-3 record with a 3.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 29/5 K/BB rate. Now unlike Cain, who has seen his velocity decline since his return, Corbin has increased his velocity. Last we saw his fastball in 2013, he averaged at 91.8 MPH. While it has only been five starts for Corbin, he is now at 92.3 MPH. A nice sign to see out of him, where so many pitchers who go through TJ surgery never return to form.

Corbin starts the week in Washington, where the Nationals are actually a below average team at home. Their .693 OPS and 89 wRC+ at home are far cries from their road numbers, at .716 and 98, respectively. Bill James’ park factor suggests that Nationals Park is unfavorable for hitters, which obviously works for Corbin. The complete opposite is true for the Reds, Corbin’s second opponent. Their home numbers show an 18.3 K%, .779 OPS, .174 ISO, .338 wOBA and a 112 wRC+. Those are great home numbers, but the Reds are much worse away from Great American Ballpark, shown by their 19.4 K%, .671 OPS, .131 ISO, .293 wOBA and 84 wRC+. I was shocked how big of a drop this was, and immediately picked up Corbin in all of my leagues to stream for this week. I suggest you do the same.

 

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