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Two-Start Pitcher Streamers for Fantasy Baseball - Week 4

dakota hudson fantasy baseball rankings draft sleepers starting pitchers waiver wire

The streaming landscape starts to change a couple of weeks into the season as lightly-rostered players who perform well start to become permanent fixtures on fantasy rosters. There are still a couple of starters out there that fantasy managers haven't fully bought into yet, including the first one on our list for Week 4.

It's advisable to proceed cautiously early in the year, as ratios can become permanently damaged from picking the wrong SP. As sabermetrics begin to stabilize over time, we'll have more confidence in giving pitchers the green light each week.

As a reminder, each week this fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups column will identify starting pitchers expected to make two starts in the upcoming fantasy baseball week, ahead of the Sunday night waiver wire runs for leagues with weekly transactions. This list will be limited to players under 50% rostered in Yahoo! and divided into three sections based on recommendation levels: solid, risky, and dangerous!

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Solid Two-Start Pitcher Streamers

Paul Blackburn, Oakland A's - 42% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs TB, @MIN

Why he hasn't been added in more leagues is a mystery. We've advocated for him enough in our waiver wire section! Blackburn entered the year as a no-name in the fantasy community but his results speak for themselves. He hasn't allowed more than five hits in a game and owns an 18-2 K-BB after four starts. He's worked exactly five innings in every start, so he does get dinged a bit in QS leagues but he's 3-0 so traditional 5x5ers can relax. If he had another successful stretch in Week 4, Blackburn will approach must-add territory in 12-team leagues.

Drew Rasmussen, Tampa Bay Rays - 21% rostered

Scheduled starts: @OAK, @SEA 

Rasmussen dominated Seattle for six innings on Thursday night, striking out nine batters while giving up one walk and two hits. He'll get them again toward the end of the upcoming week after facing Oakland, which is tied for the league lead in offensive strikeouts along with the fourth-lowest team batting average. In Jon Anderson's weekly SP projections model, Rasmussen earns a "Start" recommendation both times. Make him the top priority among all streamers this week.

Dakota Hudson, St. Louis Cardinals - 16% rostered

Scheduled starts: @KC, @SF

Hudson is coming off a second straight solid start of six scoreless (say that six times fast). Granted, it was the D-backs and before that the Reds, but Hudson is at least getting stronger with each appearance this year.

His Statcast metrics make a 2.75 ERA and 1.02 WHIP look like smoke and mirrors.

In reality, he had a rough time his first two starts and has looked dominant the last two times out. The reality for him is, naturally, somewhere in between. He's never been anything close to a strikeout machine but he's also never finished with an ERA above 3.35 across five Major League seasons. Two plus pitching matchups place him high on the confidence interval this week, as long as you can live with subpar K totals.

Bruce Zimmermann, Baltimore Orioles - 13% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs MIN, vs KC

It's graduation week! Zimmermann has moved up from the lower depths of this tiered list to become a recommended streamer in Week 4. He's fresh off an outing vs the Yankees where he allowed four runs to score but saw his ERA lower to 0.93 on the season. That's because they were all unearned thanks to a ridiculous fielding effort by the O's in which they committed five errors. Zimmermann was solid though, only allowing five hits and one walk. It feels like the wheels might come off as soon as he enters the circle of trust, but until proven otherwise roll out Z-Man this week.

 

Risky Two-Start Pitcher Streamer Picks

Steven Matz, St. Louis Cardinals - 46% rostered

Scheduled starts: @KC, @SF

He's got the same matchups as Hudson but he hasn't quite enjoyed the same results this season. Matz has piled up Ks, with 23 in 17 2/3 innings, but he holds a 6.11 ERA. He sandwiched two good starts between his two bad starts but he hasn't been efficient with his pitches and this all comes despite a pretty soft schedule so far. I might take a chance here but would prefer not to check the box score until after the game is done.

Michael Wacha, Boston Red Sox - 14% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs LAA, vs CHW 

Despite two solid starts under his belt, I advise caution here. Wacha will be facing two potent offenses, especially the Angels who have scored 17 runs in their last three games vs Cleveland. The White Sox figured to be one of the best-hitting squads in the league but injuries have left them depleted. Luis Robert is back but Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez remain out. That explains why they've hit .200 against right-handed pitching in 2022, worse than every team other than Cincy and Arizona. Wacha gets a hesitant nod in his first start but could be a sneaky good streamer next Sunday.

Michael Pineda, Detroit Tigers - 10% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs PIT, @HOU

Pineda made his Detroit debut last week with five scoreless frames against one of his former teams, the Yanks. He's lost a few ticks on his fastball and no longer strikes batters out at nearly the same clip as he used to. Instead, Pineda will attack hitters and force them to beat him. This could work out well in his first matchup with Pittsburgh but I'd be hesitant before putting him in a lineup against Houston. The Astros haven't been lighting up the scoreboard this season, batting .204 as a team, but there's always risk when facing the likes of Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, and company.

Chris Flexen, Seattle Mariners - 28% rostered

Scheduled starts: @HOU, vs TB

Flexen is precipitously close to earning the label of "innings-eater" which doesn't make him overly appealing in fantasy. He has logged three QS in four tries but has a record of 1-3 with 15 K in 24 innings. The schedule looks scarier than it really is at this point in 2022, as neither the 'Stros or Rays have been dangerous offensive clubs for consistent stretches. Flexen should be fine this week but may not be enticing enough for those seeking out upside.

Ross Stripling, Toronto Blue Jays - 2% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs NYY, @CLE 

The veteran swingman made two relief appearances before jumping into the rotation to replace Hyun Jin Ryu. He has only gone a total of 13 innings over his last three starts, so the risk isn't too great but neither is the reward. Don't expect a W or high K totals; he could string together a few scoreless frames but if a team gets to him early, like the Yankees with their power hitters, it could blow up in your face. A road game facing the Guardians should be fairly safe although it should be noted that the second-best team AVG vs right-handers this year at .273 over 480 PA.

Jakob Junis, San Francisco Giants - 1% rostered

Scheduled starts: @LAD, vs STL

He hasn't allowed a run in his first two starts but that came against Washington and Oakland. Junis has only walked one batter in 10 innings so far but the Dodgers draw the second-most walks in the majors. Something's gotta give and I'm leaning toward the side of the boys in blue. Junis has been known to cough up the long ball, namely in 2018-19 when he allowed 32 and 31 HR in those seasons with Kansas City. You could consider him on the strength of the second matchup, however, as the Cards' bats are just now starting to wake from the spring slumber.

Tyler Wells, Baltimore Orioles - 1% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs MIN, vs KC

Wells was a lot more interesting when he was in the mix to be the Orioles' closer during spring training. Instead, he's been moved to the rotation where he's still being stretched out. The jury is still out on this 6'8" behemoth as far as fantasy goes. He has a plus slider but has had bad luck with it so far this year, as a .165 BA-xBA can attest to.

The Royals have the second-lowest xBA in the league at .220 and the Twins aren't far behind, ranking seventh-lowest at a .237 xBA. Wells probably isn't good for more than five IP in a given start but that could be said for a majority of pitchers these days.

Bryse Wilson, Pittsburgh Pirates - 0% rostered

Scheduled starts: @DET, @CIN

Wilson barely stays away from the "Stay Away" list only due to the schedule. The Reds and Tigers are 28th and 29th respectively in runs scored this season and the Reds have the highest team strikeout rate. Wilson has had trouble finding the plate (again) this year and doesn't have the strikeout upside to offset any damage done to his ratios. He's best left for NL-Only or very deep leagues but he could get away with a pair of decent performances considering the competition.

 

Stay Away from these Two-Start Pitchers

Marco Gonzales, Seattle Mariners - 22% rostered

Scheduled starts: @HOU, vs TB

If there's one good thing about Gonzales, it's that he doesn't walk a lot of batters. That's pretty much it.

While he posted decent ratios in a shortened 2020 and was solid through the second half of 2021, there simply isn't enough upside here. Gonzales strikes out 19% of batters faced over his career and his K-rate is at 20.5% this season. He gave up 29 taters a year ago and has given up four in his first four starts. That's not good when you have to travel to Houston.

Tampa has been in an offensive funk lately but they've hit lefties well all season, posting the fourth-best team average vs LHP. The risk here isn't worth any potential reward, which I have a hard time trying to conjure.

Jake Odorizzi, Houston Astros - 5% rostered

Scheduled starts: vs SEA, vs DET 

Back in 2019, Odorizzi was an All-Star for Minnesota. He won 15 games, struck out 178 batters, and posted a 3.51 ERA that season. That's pretty much where the story ends, as he's been unrosterable in fantasy ever since. Now, at age 32, Odorizzi is not even recommended as a desperation streamer. Jon Anderson's confidence scores give Odorizzi a 20 and 15 for his upcoming starts. Reminder - that's out of 100 possible points. Even the best pitching staffs have weak links. Look elsewhere.

Erick Fedde, Washington Nationals - 3% rostered

Scheduled starts: @COL, @LAA

Under no circumstances should Fedde be in fantasy lineups this week (if ever). He travels to Coors Field on Tuesday and then finishes the weekend in L.A. against the Angels, who lead the majors in runs scored. As if his career 5.29 ERA (6.00 ERA this season) and 1.49 WHIP (1.56 this season) weren't reason enough.

Vladimir Gutierrez, Cincinnati Reds - 1% rostered

Scheduled starts: @MIL, vs PIT 

Not even a matchup at the end of a four-game series with the Bucs can convince me that Gutierrez is worth rolling out. As exciting as it has been to watch Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo in action, we've seen Vladimir Gutierrez and Reiver Sanmartin get pounded. Gutierrez is 0-4 mostly due to the fact he's walked more batters (15) than he has struck out (11). Until we see a huge turnaround in control, stay away.



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