Thursday, June 20, 2013

Which Team to Stream a Pitcher Against: Part 1/2

Streaming pitchers has been a fantasy tool for as long as I can remember. Some owners prefer streaming an entire pitching staff. Others prefer streaming a handful of pitchers throughout the season. Then, there are the lucky few who grabbed Patrick Corbin, Matt Harvey, and Shelby Miller as their last pitchers and will not be forced to stream any of their pitchers.

This article is geared to help focus on potential stream targets. It is hard to guess what a starting pitcher is going to do from one game to the next, especially since the starting pitcher you are considering streaming is on waivers for a reason. One way to try to choose whom to stream is by focusing on the starting pitcher’s next opponent. Most fantasy owners seem to think the Astros and Marlins are the ideal candidates to stream a starting pitcher against. But, is that the case?



The standard format for pitching considers K, W, ERA, and WHIP for starting pitchers. I chose three stats to gauge team offense that could help determine the worst performing offensive teams in MLB, from a fantasy streaming perspective. The three offensive categories I chose were on-base percentage, runs scored, and strikeouts. I focused on the bottom third of the teams in each category and only three teams appeared on all three of the lists: the Pirates, Mariners, and Mets. No one is surprised that these three teams would rank in the bottom of offensive firepower and efficiency, but they may not have been fantasy owner’s number one inclination.

There were plenty of teams that qualified in two out of the three categories; those teams were the Phillies (R and OBP), White Sox (R and OBP), Nationals (R and OBP), Marlins (R and OBP), Yankees (R and OBP), and Astros (OBP and K). The Nationals and the Marlins both ranked second to last and last, respectively, in terms of Runs and OBP percentage.

It is also important to note the teams that rank at the bottom of the league in striking out. There may be a Sunday in a head-to-head league where an owner has a chance to swing the strikeout category, and that category alone. In those cases, it may be wiser to stream a pitcher facing the potent Braves, Red Sox, Athletics, or Indians. Below are the bottom one-third rankings for the three categories I studied, according to MLB.com. Next week I will average all 30 teams by the three aforementioned categories and rank the likelihood a stream against such a team would be wise.

Runs For

21. Yankees

22. Royals

23. Phillies

24. Pirates

25. Mets

26. Mariners

27. White Sox

28. Dodgers

29. Nationals

30. Marlins

On-base Percentage

21. Phillies

22. Pirates

23. Yankees

24. Mariners

25. Cubs

26. Astros

27. Mets

28. White Sox

29. Nationals

30. Marlins

Strikeouts

21. Athletics

22. Padres

23. Reds

24. Mets

25. Indians

26. Mariners

27. Pirates

28. Red Sox

29. Braves

30. Astros

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