If you go into Saturday and have followed the advice in this column for the past week, you’re streaming a 2.42 ERA with two wins, two quality starts and 28 Ks in 22.2 IP, which isn’t bad at all. Cobb did not start Friday due to a hamstring injury, and at the time of writing Aaron Ashby did not start today’s game.
- Aaron Ashby W 1, QS 1, ER 1, K 12, BB 2, IP 6
- Devin Schmelzer W 1, QS 1, ER 2, K 4, BB 0, IP 6.2
- Jeffrey Springs W 0, QS 0, ER 2, K 7, BB 1, IP 5
- Adrian Houser W 0, QS 0, ER 1, K 5, BB 3, IP 5
- Alex Cobb, DTD (hamstring)
Total: W 2, QS 2, ER 6, K 28, BB, IP 22.2
What’s Next June 6-12? Jon Gray could serve you well as a two-start pitcher for weekly leagues. However, if you’re interested in speculating on a possible durable commodity, grab Edward Cabrera if he’s still on your disclaimer. He’s worth picking up even if you let him fade against Houston and monitor the results. It’s a safe bet that if he can show consistency against tougher matchups, he’ll stay in the rotation.
Let’s move on to this week’s streamers. Here are the arbitrary rules I’ve set for myself. First, I can only select pitchers who are listed in less than 30% of the Yahoo leagues (this maximizes the usefulness of this article for managers). Second, I absolutely MUST choose a pitcher every day, even though it’s scarier than putting herring on a pizza.
*At publication, I am using probable starters listed on CBS Sports on Saturday, June 4th.
Jon Gray (TEX) at CLE 22%
If I told you a pitcher had a 3.53 xFIP (SIERA 3.64) with 43.5% GB% and both a slider and a changeup with an xBA around 0.200 or lower, how fast would you Jon Guess Gray? And doesn’t it feel like Jon Gray has been around since the ’90s? Jon Gray was a popular sleeper during the offseason, but he suffered a sprained knee in early April that continued to bother him. But on June 1, he knocked out a dozen rays in seven innings. He found success spicing up the zone with sliders down and into righties, changeups low and away, and the high cheese. There aren’t many options I’m comfortable with on Monday, so let’s see if Gray can hold it against the Guardians and consider holding him for later in the week (maybe depending on how this one goes).
Other option: none
Tuesday June 7th
Jose Quintana (PIT) vs. DET 19%
I would single out Ashcraft, but his BABIP (0.200) and LOB% (90.4%) are concerning. Arizona has actually been swinging the racquet a little better over the past two weeks, and the Great American Ball Park has humbled me in the past. I suggest watching Ashcraft to see if he can replicate his success with the slider. Instead, I give you a matchup between the two lowest-scoring teams in baseball. Quintana was successful this year with a 2.32 ERA. However, his expected stats got him over a full point higher. He’s walking fewer racquets (but he’s also had fewer strikeouts). He managed to induce almost 7% more soft contact and he limits the home run ball.
Other option: Graham Ashcraft (CIN) vs. ARI 7% or Mitch White (LAD) at CHW 4%
Wednesday June 8th
Alex Faedo (DET) at PIT 6%
The problem today is that most of the pitchers are owned or the matchup is too scary so this could easily qualify as the best matchup of the day (based on our streaming restrictions). Both teams are bottom in runs scored so it can be difficult to get a win. Faedo was Detroit’s first-round pick in the 2017 amateur draft. He pitched the most innings at Double-A (115.1 innings), averaging 10.46 K/9 and a solid 1.95 BB/9. His ERA this season was 3.90 (3.57 FIP and 2.96 xFIP). He seems to be getting more SwStr% in games where he can confidently throw in his switch more often. You can go down with JT Brubaker, but he struggled against Arizona last time out and puts more men on base via the free pass.
Other option: JT Brubaker (PIT) vs DET 11%
Thursday June 9th
Zach Eflin (PHI) at MIL 20%
If you could sleep through today’s no-wire pitching options, please do. Just keep pressing the snooze button. It’s not a great day to stream EVER. But I won’t complain. I prefer Ashby in this matchup, but if you didn’t pick him last week, he’s now listed in 64% of Yahoo leagues. Despite this, Eflin shut out the Angels in eight innings on June 3. And he’s been solid in most of his matchups this year as long as they’re NOT against the Mets. If we cut out those two starts against the Mets, he actually has a sparkling 2.24 ERA with 38 Ks in 40.2 IP. Overall, he has an ERA of 3.88 (2.53 xERA, 3.05 FIP). Here we go.
Other option: nope
Friday June 10th
Glen Otto (TEX) at CHW 6%
Otto hasn’t ran that many batters since he was in High-A in 2019. He has a 4.58BB/9. Here’s a jug still trying to put it all together. On his last outing, his curveball hit an unearthly 52.2% CSW%. This is the highest we’ve seen in a single game at 23.2% (he tilts the curve by 10% or less on most of his other games). Maybe that’s worth watching. His best game was against the Angels on May 25, where he batted seven and walked just two batters. A key difference is related to these walks. On May 25, he localized the switch to the bottom of the zone for a more frequent hit. Let’s see if he can repeat it here.
Other option: none
Saturday June 11th
Edward Cabrera (MIA) at HOU 22%
With a 43% CSW last week against the Rockies, Miami’s much-touted (but yet to be delivered in the big leagues) pitcher Edward Cabrera is the man to watch this week. He had a 5.81 ERA in 26.1 IP in 2021, meaning many managers will leave him on waivers. It may cost you a spot on your list longer than you’d like, but I’m going to make a really bold move. I pick it up and start it against Houston. For the past two weeks, Houston has ranked 28th in runs scored. This is a small sample. But come on! Are you a fantasy manager or a fantasy mouse? He has a 96 mph transition, and while I’m a little concerned about the speed difference, the movement plays well. In this game against Colorado, here’s every pitch and its CSW%: changeup (45.7%), 4-seamer (47.1%), curveball (42.9%), and the slider (27.8%). Those are fierce numbers, and I, for one, would love to see if he can hold it against the Astros.
Other options: Maybe Jason Alexander (MIL) at WAR 0%
Sunday June 12th
Jon Gray (TEX) at CWS 22%
K rations. That’s the title of today’s pun headline because Chicago doesn’t stand out much. If you found Gray’s Monday start strong enough to hold him, then he’s our guy for Sunday. I will offer some other possibilities below. The former 3rd overall pick of the 2013 draft is set to take on the White Sox, who have struggled offensively this year and finished 27th in runs scored. Like I said, they’re not vulnerable to the strikeout, so we might not be able to bank a few Ks. But there aren’t many strikeout pitchers in today’s waivers anyway.
Other options: Dakota Hudson (STL) vs CIN 14%, Konnor Pilkington (CLE) vs OAK 1%, Adrian Houser (MIL) at WAS 23%
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