Another mixed bag with the streamers this past week. If you avoided the Kazmir/Humber showdown, good for you, as it wasn’t pretty. I apologize. If you rode with me on Jarrod Parker and Bronson Arroyo, you came out alright, as they both looked stellar in their respective outings. Not to make excuses, but last weekend’s Friday and Saturday streaming options were straight-up terrible, though being 6-for-12 through three weeks probably hasn’t won me any ardent followers regardless of weekend.
Still, onward we move, to our Friday and Saturday streamers for this week. As always, I’ll try to hit the 50/25/15/5 ownership levels, though some weeks won’t allow for it. This week is one such week where we’re going deep streaming, because the middle-ownership names like Jake Westbrook and Josh Beckett don’t offer a tonne of upside if they’re available.
As for the start-quality metric I’ve been toying with, I’m still playing with it. So far results haven’t been very conclusive, likely because a) starts are a bit fickle/random anyway, and b) we’re dealing with early-season, small-sample values for opponents. I’ll keep playing with it.
Andrew Cashner (0%) – Go out and grab Cashner. No cash puns within, I promise, he’s just a guy who needs to be owned in more than 0.2% of leagues. He should have started the year in the rotation and struggled to go deep in a spot start on Apr. 20, but the talent is absolutely there. Projection systems like him as a K-per-inning, sub-four ERA guy if allowed to start, which curiously hasn’t happened in four partial seasons. He draws the Giants at home, not a terrific match-up but not one that is terrifying either. Trot him out this weekend and then hope they keep him in the rotation where he belongs.
Travis Wood (14%) – Wood has had a tidy start through his first four appearances, getting by mostly with smoke and mirrors and by keeping the ball in the park. His 2.08 ERA should correct closer to his 3.40 FIP or 4.44 xFIP, but I don’t think this weekend, on the road against the Marlins, will be when it happens. Miami is absolutely terrible at the plate, posting a WOBA of just .284 against lefties while striking out 22% of the time. This is a very friendly match-up for someone who deals in mediocrity (although I’m not as confident about Scott Feldman, who is apparently using a map from cartographer Buster Bluth to find the strike zone).
Felix Doubront (7%) – I streamed (and recommended) Doubront in the opening week against the Jays, and he was ho-hum (he counts as an “unsuccessful” for this column despite 6K in 5IP due to the 3ER). Anyway, I feel completely comfortable trotting him back out there this weekend against the Astros, who are striking out at a historic rate. Doubront is whiffing plenty of batters, too, so as long as he can avoid too many free passes he should be just fine. The Streaming Stros Strategy has cooled a bit as the Astros have started to hit but you can still stream against them with decent arms, for which Doubront qualifies.
Wade LeBlanc (0%) – I know it might seem odd, but beneath that 6.27 ERA are some decent peripherals, including a 3.98 FIP. Of much more importance is that LeBlanc draws the Cubs, who have been absolutely anemic against lefties this year – a .271 wOBA, just a 6% walk rate and a 28% strikeout rate. LeBlanc has seen an uptick in both his strikeout and walk rates, so the Cubs could be a good match to help him stabilize the bad while building on the good.
Week 1 Average: 5 IP, 7.08 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 1.7 WHIP, 5.5 K, 1-of-4 successful
Week 2 Average: 6 IP, 3.00 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 1.2 WHIP, 3.8 K, 3-of-4 successful
Week 3 Average: 4.5 IP, 8.11 ERA, 5.32 FIP, 1.9 WHIP, 3.8 K, 2-of-4 successful
Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.