Fantasy Baseball Week 6 Preview: Pitchers to stream and stolen base strategy
Loyal readers will notice a new addition to this column this week. In addition to detailing the fantasy hitters and starters who could produce stellar results in the coming days, there will now be a section dedicated to those who could provide valuable steals for roto managers.
Let’s dive in:
Matchups to target
White Sox @ Royals
Chicago is set to face four Kansas City starters who each have a WHIP over 1.30. Managers in shallow leagues who have been disappointed by Luis Robert or Andrew Benintendi should keep them in the active lineup for this series. And Yasmani Grandal is a good fit for those who stream catchers.
Mets at Reds
The Mets could collect plenty of base knocks when they travel to offense-inducing Great American Ball Park and face a trio of starters (Luke Weaver, Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo) who each have a WHIP over 1.40. Jeff McNeil (84% rostered) and Starling Marte (92%) are likely rostered in too many leagues but should remain active for this series. Also, Brett Baty (47%) and Mark Canha (13%) belong in most lineups until Friday.
Yankees vs. A’s, Rays
New York hitters should feast during a three-game series against an A’s staff that owns a 7.25 ERA. And the club could add to their offensive totals against Drew Rasmussen of the Rays on Thursday. Gleyber Torres, Anthony Rizzo and Anthony Volpe should be active in all leagues this week, while DJ LeMahieu (78% rostered) and Harrison Bader (37%) belong in most lineups. Finally, Jose Trevino (5%) is a decent option for those who stream catchers.
Giants vs. Nationals, D-backs
The Giants have four games over the next four days, and three of those contests will come against underwhelming starters (Jake Irvin, Patrick Corbin, Tommy Henry). Two of those three hurlers throw from the left side, which makes Thairo Estrada (93%) and Mitch Haniger (59%) very appealing. Finally, Wilmer Flores (39%) and J.D. Davis (16%) can be considered in deep formats.
Matchups to avoid
Red Sox at Braves, Blue Jays at Phillies
Based strictly on volume, hitters on the Red Sox, Braves, Blue Jays and Phillies are poor options over the next four days. Each club plays just two games, while the rest of the league plays at least three games, including eight clubs that have four contests. Toronto hitters are especially unappealing, as they face aces Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.
Padres at Twins
The Twins are throwing three skilled righties (Louie Varland, Pablo Lopez, Bailey Ober) against the Padres. San Diego’s four stars (Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts) can remain active, but the club’s other hitters belong on the bench until Friday.
Orioles vs. Rays
Baltimore is off to a great start this year, but the team’s lineup might struggle to score runs against three Tampa starters (Shane McClanahan, Zach Eflin, Yonny Chirinos) who have logged an ERA below 2.30. The top-four fantasy hitters on the O’s (Adley Rutschman, Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Jorge Mateo) are the only ones who should be active in mixed leagues.
Angels vs. Astros
The Halos should have trouble scoring when they face three Houston starters (Hunter Brown, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier) who each have an ERA below 3.55. Los Angeles hitters who are not named Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout or Hunter Renfroe belong on the bench this week in most mixed formats.
Those who hope to pick up a couple of extra steals this week should target speedsters in these contests.
Brewers vs. Noah Syndergaard (Tuesday): Syndergaard is usually among the MLB leaders in steals allowed, and 2023 has been no exception. Brice Turang (9% rostered) does his best work against right-handers and is the player to stream in this game.
Royals vs. Mike Clevinger (Thursday): Clevinger sits in a tie for second in baseball with nine steals allowed. There isn’t a perfect streamer in this matchup, but Edward Olivares (5% rostered) is one speedy player who has caught my eye.
Phillies vs. Alek Manoah (Tuesday): In addition to posting a 4.71 ERA, Manoah has allowed seven steals. Bryson Stott (65% rostered) is a good candidate to swipe a bag before Manoah leaves the game.
In order, here are my favorite streamers (players rostered in less than 70% of Yahoo leagues) from Monday to Thursday, with their start date and Yahoo roster rate in parentheses.
Tanner Bibee vs. DET (Monday, 48)
Mitch Keller vs. COL (Monday, 65)
Bailey Ober vs. SD (Thursday, 38)
Jameson Taillon vs. STL (Tuesday, 39)
Josiah Gray @ SF (Wednesday, 41)
Brandon Pfaadt vs. MIA (Tuesday, 26)
Brady Singer vs. CWS (Thursday, 46)
Andrew Heaney @ SEA (Tuesday, 56)
Domingo German vs. TB (Thursday, 40)
Mike Clevinger @ KC (Thursday, 27)
Miles Mikolas @ CHC (Monday, 52)
Yonny Chirinos @ BAL (Wednesday, 7)
Louie Varland vs. SD (Tuesday, 5)
Griffin Canning vs. HOU (Wednesday, 6)
Zack Greinke vs. CWS (Monday, 8)
Seth Lugo @ MIN (Wednesday, 38)
Jhony Brito vs. OAK (Wednesday, 9)
Rich Hill vs. COL (Wednesday, 11)
Braxton Garrett @ ARI (Monday, 6)
Peyton Battenfield vs. DET (Wednesday, 2)
Edward Cabrera @ ARI (Wednesday, 52)
Eric Lauer vs. LAD (Tuesday, 20)