Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 4.28-5.4

Here are the stats so far through two-and-a-half trips through:

7-2 record
3.22 ERA
8.8 K/9
2.7 K/BB
1.17 WHIP

This week’s bunch is a pair of left-handers and one righty, and has brought about a potential semantics change for this column. It can be very difficult to find pitchers with three ownership figures in the sub-50 percent range, so it’s the opinion of the author that two out of three should suffice. If any grievance should be felt on this, feel free to air it in the comments section below. Thank you. -BW

Onto this week’s picks:

LHP Tyler Skaggs – 16.8% ESPN/23% Yahoo!/72% CBS (40% start) – v. CLE, v. TEX

Skaggs is off to a fine start (3.21/3.78/3.90) despite seeing his strikeouts lag behind early, likely because he has tightened up some of the other parts of his game. The groundball bump has been fantastic (45.2 percent career | 58.3 percent 2014), and the left-hander has also shaved down his walks and home runs per nine to very comfortable levels. A three miles per hour bump to the fastball (89.2 ‘13 –> 92.0) never hurt anything either.

Neither of these lineups will be a walk in the park (Rangers fifth in team wOBA, Indians 15th), but Skaggs is a good play independent of that, and may not be available in many leagues for much longer.

LHP Jon Niese – 5.3% ESPN/10% Yahoo!/56% CBS (31% start) – @PHI, @COL

Not a single thing about Niese jumps out at anyone watching the lefty, whether it’s live or reading the boxscore or stat sheet later on. The lefty works with a high-80s fastball — which he’ll cut and run for added unpredictability — a curve, and a changeup. None of the pitches jump off the screen either; his curve and cutter have their moments, but he doesn’t blow anyone away. Even his peripherals are like the 120/80, 98.6 degrees of the baseball world: 6.7 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, and typically groundball rates and a WHIP right around league average or slightly above.

In fact, Niese might be one of the more underrated pitchers in the game, which is insane considering he pitches in New York (redacted) City of all places. As for this week, these offenses are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. Colorado leads baseball in wOBA as an offense — better have the groundball stuff working that night, JON — while Philadelphia is in the bottom 10.

RHP Tyler Chatwood – 3.5% ESPN/4% Yahoo!/27% CBS (19% start) – @ARI, v. NYM

Chatwood and Niese both pitch on Tuesday, so it would stand to reason that the pair will in fact lock horns late in the week, creating some sort of paradox should you heed this typically awful advice. Or maybe just an inherently watchable Mets-Rockies game? Who even knows.

Chatwood’s tour of duty as a mostly groundballer — at times very, very good at it — in Colorado has had more uneven results than expected since coming over for Chris Iannetta. There’s been one bad season, one good season, and then this season which has been quite nice. Overall it has resulted in a 4.02 ERA (good), 5.7 K/9 (less good), 3.6 BB/9 (less less good), and 1.47 WHIP (will someone please think of the children). The main attraction for Chatwood this week is that he gets the Diamondbacks (a cover your eyes bad .291 team wOBA) and the Mets (somehow worse at an MLB-low .274). He should be a sneaky good start.

In the event that you’re interested, here is the updated spreadsheet.

We know you play in all sorts of leagues. So to help you fine-tune the analysis you’d like to read, we’ve added three tags to the categories on the right: Roto, Head to Head, and Daily Fantasy Update. Use these to get the information that is most relevant to your leagues!

We hoped you liked reading Stream, Stream, Stream: 2x SP 4.28-5.4 by Brandon Warne!

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In addition to Rotographs, Warne writes about the Minnesota Twins for The Athletic and is a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Warne, or feel free to email him to do podcasts or for any old reason at brandon.r.warne@gmail-dot-com

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