In my last offering, I suggested using the Rays’ bulk reliever as a streaming option on Wednesday. Jalen Beeks got the call to follow Ryne Stanek as an opener. The outing wasn’t quite was I was expecting or hoping to see from Beeks. He went three shutout innings, allowing four hits but no walks and four strikeouts. He even picked up the win! So why was I disappointed? Well, I thought he could go further into games, maybe pitch five or so innings each outing, and get close to starting pitcher stats while picking up sneak wins. However, looking at his game logs, I see that he’s only gone over four innings twice so far in his usage as a follower. So, while he didn’t get the big outing that I had hoped for, he was still useful, especially in leagues that have start limits. I think he’s still worth using in this role in later opportunities. Now, on to the weekend starters!
Sorry for missing the early part of the week for the Stream Machine. It sucks when you have a busy weekend and you plan out a part of it to write, only for mother nature to decide to try to throw her own curveball at you and send you to another person’s basement for the majority of said time to write. Oh well, at least nothing was damaged from the storms. Let’s jump right into the matchups for this weekend.
Unlike the beginning of the season, I’ve begun to keep a spreadsheet of my pitching matchup’s performances as of Monday. The previous three top options performed, shall we say, strangely at best, with Mike Soroka pitching masterfully and Sandy Alcantara and Felix Pena not so much, although Pena did sneak away with a win. To be honest, the entire pitching landscape has been strange so far this season, with rumors swirling of the ball being juiced again. It’s hard to say how we should take these findings, but hopefully, in the stretch of the full season, these starts will look better than they currently seem. Now, on to the weekend matchups!
So here’s the deal. I had a bad April. Statistically, it was not great. Not only that, but my process was flawed. To try to come up with early season streaming matchups, I tried to use run projection models from FanGraphs. Unfortunately, those did not account for early hot streaks from teams like the Mariners and Twins. They also didn’t take into account various left vs. right or home vs. away strengths and weaknesses, mostly because those were things that projections just couldn’t account for early on. Also, I had significant flaws in the way that my spreadsheet credited teams for different home/away splits when I did try to account for them. Nevertheless, I’m still here, either as a glutton for punishment or as an attempt at redemption. The first month is the hardest month to try to stream anyway. It can only get better from here, right? RIGHT?!? Anyway, here’s the best matchup plays for the first half of the week. Continue reading →
Trevor Richards may have a 5.0 BB/9, but he is currently sporting a 14.7% swinging strike rate (10th in MLB) and a 32.4% o-swing (29th in MLB), which is well above the league average of 29.3%. He also has a 68.2% contact rate, which is the 9th lowest in the league and has yielded 11, 13 and 18 swinging strikes in his last 3 starts. Opposing batters are currently hitting .088 against his changeup, which has resulted in a 23.3% swinging strike rate. Pair this with 2 struggling offenses in the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals, paired with a home pitchers park, Trevor Richards should be in for a solid Week 3.
When you do this type of streaming pitching exercise, sometimes you feel like when you’re right, you’re wrong, and when you’re wrong, it really, really hurts. Sonny Gray pitched beautifully but got no help from his offense (more on that later). The Rays pulled the rug out from under me, moving Chirinos’ start from Saturday to Sunday, with some reports saying he might be used as the bulk reliever. As of this writing, Chirinos has yet to pitch. Crossing my fingers for at least a quality start. Tanner Roark was my second option, and he continued to have a typical Roark “meh” day (5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 4 K, ND). At some point, I plan to post an article with my results so far, probably toward the end of the month. But now, on to the upcoming matchups.
It’s been a rough week for the Stream Machine. Although Julio Urias didn’t end up with the win, he did everything he could to do so, going five innings with no runs and seven strikeouts. It was a solid first start, and you have to be encouraged if you’re thinking about owning him past this one. Kyle Gibson didn’t go Tuesday, getting pushed to Wednesday instead, and he looked good to start but had just about the worst inning anyone could have. Thinking he got Billy Hamilton on a 3-2 count with two outs at the end of the fifth inning, he walked him instead. Obviously frustrated, he proceeded to melt down, ending with 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. Loaisiga, meanwhile, also went Wednesday, ending with 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. With the early season struggles, I’ve learned a few things. One, don’t trust pitchers coming off an injury or major illness. Two, don’t trust Rockies pitchers, PERIOD. Not an official article pick, sure, but I learned just the same.