Fantasy Baseball: Target These Offenses When Streaming Pitchers
Michael Florio from RotoExperts.com tells you how to succeed when streaming pitchers in Fantasy Baseball.
So much of Fantasy Baseball is trying to predict the future. However, you cannot do so without looking back at the stats. I decided to look back at the season so far to see how teams have fared against left-handed and right-handed pitchers to find the best teams to exploit when streaming pitchers. In order to do so, I used three key stats. As you will see below, I used wOBA, K-rate and Hard Hit rate. I picked these three because wOBA and Hard Hit rate will show teams that struggle to do damage against a specific handed pitcher. For those two, I used the 10 teams that rank in the bottom of the league. I then used K-rate, as it shows teams that can be used to compile strikeouts, which are very valuable in both season-long leagues and DFS. For this, I used teams that rank in the Top-10, or those most frequent to strikeout.
|Rank||wOBA||K-rate||Hard Hit Rate|
|1||Phillies, .272||Padres, 24.3 percent||Phillies, 26.3 percent|
|2||Braves, .283||Rays, 24.3 percent||Angels, 26.7 percent|
|3||Dodgers, .290||Pirates, 24.2 percent||Royals, 27.7 percent|
|4||Indians, .305||Mets, 23.8 percent||Giants, 27.7 percent|
|5||Yankees, .305||Phillies, 23.8 percent||Reds, 28.7 percent|
|6||Reds, .307||Astros, 23.5 percent||A’s, 29 percent|
|7||Astros, .309||Brewers, 23.5 percent||Braves, 29.2 percent|
|8||Cardinals, .310||Marlins, 23.4 percent||Indians, 29.7 percent|
|9||Mariners, .312||Twins, 23.1 percent||Yankees, 29.8 percent|
|10||Orioles, .313||Rockies, 23.1 percent||White Sox, 30.2 percent|
Looking at the table above there are numerous teams that owners can exploit by using lefties against them. Some teams, like the Phillies, may seem like an obvious team to pick on. However, there are some that would often go under the radar, such as the Indians, Yankees, Mets and Astros.
Indians: Of the Indians active hitters that have seen at least 30 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers, only Francisco Lindor (.321) is batting over .300. Lindor and Napoli have three homers each, no one else has more than two. Lineup regulars Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall all are hitting .250 or lower against southpaws. They can be exploited.
Left-handed pitchers facing the Indians in the coming weeks include: Brian Flynn, Gio Gonzalez and Rich Hill.
Yankees: The Yankees may not strike out a ton against lefties, but they sure don’t hit them very well.
There are really only two hitters to fear in the current Yankees lineup against lefties. They are, Didi Gregorius, who is batting .370 against them, and Carlos Beltran, who is batting .330 with seven homers. No one else is batting over .300. In fact, Starlin Castro hits the highest average of the rest of the regulars at .260. Jacoby Ellsbury, Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Brian McCann, Mark Teixeira, and Chase Headley all trail that mark.
Left-handed pitchers facing the Yankees in the coming weeks include: Madison Bumgarner, Dallas Keuchel, Drew Smyly and Blake Snell.
Mets: The only place the Mets are on this chart is in K-rate. However, they have the 11th lowest wOBA against southpaws at .314. Yoenis Cespedes (.396) and Wilmer Flores (.321) crush left-handed pitching. Current lineup regulars James Loney and Curtis Granderson, hit below .250 against lefties, while Michael Conforto hits .091 against them. Owners in need of strikeouts can stream lefties against the Mets.
Left-handed pitchers facing the Mets in the coming weeks include: Adam Conley, Jaime Garcia, Tyler Anderson and Jorge De La Rosa.
Astros: This may be the most surprising team on the list. All season it seems like the Astros either light up a pitcher, or get shut out. However, they are in the bottom third of the league in wOBA against lefties and also in the Top-10 in K-rate. Besides Jose Altuve (.348) who can hit any pitcher, no Astros player with at least 20 plate appearances against lefties is batting over .273. In fact, big bats in the lineup such as Carlos Gomez (.241), Evan Gattis (.239) and Carlos Correa (.218) really struggle against southpaws. There is some risk here, as the Astros have a lot of power, but it could be a great, lesser-owned play, to stream lefties against Houston.
Left-handed pitchers facing the Astros in the coming weeks include: Dillon Overton, Tyler Skaggs, C.C. Sabathia, Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris.
|Rank||wOBA||K-Rate||Hard Hit Rate|
|1||Braves, .282||Brewers, 26.2 percent||Braves, 26.8 percent|
|2||Padres, .289||Rays, 24.5 percent||Yankees, 27.4 percent|
|3||Reds, .296||Padres, 24.5 percent||Phillies, 27.8 percent|
|4||Phillies, .299||Astros, 24.2 percent||White Sox, 28.8 percent|
|5||A’s, .301||DBacks, 23.3 percent||Pirates, 28.9 percent|
|6||Rays, .302||Cubs, 23.1 percent||Rangers, 29.1 percent|
|7||White Sox, .304||Orioles, 22.5 percent||Royals, 29.4 percent|
|8||Yankees, .306||Mets, 22.5 percent||Marlins, 29.7 percent|
|9||Brewers, .307||Reds, 22.3 percent||A’s, 30 percent|
|10||Twins, .309||Tigers, 22 percent||Reds, 30.6 percent|
There are some teams that struggle against right-handed pitchers just like they do lefties. However, the ones that stand out here include the Padres, White Sox, Brewers and A’s.
Padres: The Padres not only strike out a lot against righties, but they have the second lowest wOBA. No Padres player is batting over .300 against right-handed pitchers. In fact, only Travis Jankowski (.296) has an average higher than .275. They certainly have some pop, but are an all or nothing team, especially against righties.
Right-handed pitchers facing the Padres in the coming weeks include: Carlos Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Tanner Roark, Max Scherzer, Joe Ross, Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez, Dan Straily, Homer Bailey and Anthony DeScalfani.
White Sox: The White Sox lineup has disappointed this year, and a large reason for that are their struggles against right-handed pitchers. While they have pop, key cogs in their lineup cannot hit for average against righties, like Todd Frazier who is hitting .213 against them, albeit with 19 homers. This is an all or nothing lineup that can be exploited.
Right-handed pitchers facing White Sox in the coming weeks include: Felix Hernandez, Mike Pelfrey, Michael Fulmer, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, Jason Hammel, John Lackey, Ricky Nolasco, Jose Berrios and Ervin Santana.
Brewers: The Brewers strike out over 26 percent of the time against right-handed pitchers. That number is off the charts. Only Jonathan Lucroy (.326) and Ryan Braun (.302) bat over .300 against righties. The Brewers have some hitters that can hit for power against righties, such as Lucroy, Braun, and Chris Carter, and hitters that can cause havoc on the bases like Jonathan Villar. However, that strikeout rate is too hard to pass up.
Right-handed pitchers facing the Brewers in the coming weeks include: Jameson Taillon (twice), Jason Hammel, John Lackey, Zack Godley and Archie Bradley.
A’s: The A’s have one hitter to really fear against righties and that is Josh Reddick (.347). Stephen Vogt is batting .295 with eight homers, while Danny Valencia is batting .280 with seven homers. The A’s have a lot of power against righties, as Khris Davis has 18 homers, and Marcus Semien has 10 against them. However, the A’s also have numerous starters who struggle to hit for average off righties. Add in that they may start sitting their veterans and this becomes an even more appealing matchup to stream against.
Right-handed pitchers facing the A’s in the coming weeks include: Doug Fister, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Lohse, Yu Darvish, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin and Corey Kluber.
Stream vs Righties and Lefties:
This is not surprising, but owners really can stream pitchers on any night against the Braves, Phillies and Reds. All three are in the bottom six in wOBA against both lefties and righties. Not only that, but the Phillies and Reds are each in the bottom third of hard hit rate against both. For those looking for strikeouts though, the Braves are the least appealing matchup of the three. They are not in the Top-10 in strikeout rate against either lefties or righties. The Reds are ninth against righties, while the Phillies are fifth in that category against lefties.
Owners chasing strikeouts: Those in need of some punch outs should look to stream against the Mets, Padres and Rays. All three teams rank in the Top-10 against both lefties and righties. In fact, the Padres and Rays are in the Top-3 for strikeout rate against both LHP and RHP. Both teams strike out nearly a quarter of the time. These are definitely matchups to exploit, as strikeouts not only are a valuable category in Roto leagues, but they lead to points in head-to-head formats and DFS contests.
All stats entering Tuesday July, 19. Projected rotations are subject to change.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter, @MichaelFFlorio
Image via Getty
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