SleepersMay 22, 2011

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Sleeper Watch - 13 comments

By David Bay

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you have survived the rapture and can enjoy the rest of the baseball season. Much to the dismay of predictors, the only dangerous earthquake on Saturday came courtesy of Prince Fielder when he jaunted around the bases in Milwaukee. One wonders what the believers will preach about now, but that’s neither here nor there. We’ve got five streamers to sort through and likely a limited amount of time before the next end of the world is scheduled, so let’s get to it.

Earlier this week we were treated to fantastic outings by our Mariner streamers, Jason Vargas and Doug Fister. They were able to dominate the Angels, combining for 15 innings pitched and only one earned run. Our good fortune ran out on Thursday and Friday, as Tyson Ross was injured after only eight pitches and Jake Arrieta got lit up for six earned runs. On Saturday, Joel Pineiro was having a great outing, throwing six shutout innings until a three-run homer in the seventh ruined his line, and his win was lost when the Angels bullpen allowed an inherited runner to score. How quickly a great stream can turn into a poor one. We’ll look to Padres starter Tim Stauffer to finish out our week with a strong outing on Sunday, and hope he can turn a good week into a great one.

Now real fun begins, picking some streamers for next week. I’ll take you through about mid week with some options so if you have a weekly league you can plan ahead, or just get the jump on anyone else who might plan on streaming a pitcher.

Monday: Jason Vargas (SEA) @ MIN – 10%

As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Vargas provided one of our best streams of the year in his last outing, striking out a career high nine batters in his seven shutout innings. Normally, Vargas is only a streaming option when pitching in spacious Safeco Park, but not this season. In 2011 he’s taken the stream show on the road, posting a 1.99 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 22.2 innings away from home. In addition to his great road numbers, he gets to face the Twins, who happen to have the worst offense in baseball thus far. With all those factors combined, Vargas is a good bet to perform well in Minnesota.

Other Options: Bartolo Colon (NYY) vs TOR, Carl Pavano (MIN) vs SEA

Tuesday: Kyle McClellan (STL) @ SD – 47%

McClellan has continued to be solid all year long, and the Cardinal offense has helped him compile a 6-1 record. He was excellent in his last turn, throwing eight innings of two run ball against Houston. In his last three starts he is 2-1 with a tidy 2.86 ERA and has averaged over seven innings per outing. Tuesday presents many good streaming options that are likely to perform as well as McClellan, but he has the best chance to win due to the aforementioned Cardinal offense, giving him the edge.

Other Options: Doug Fister (SEA) @ MIN, Charlie Morton (PIT) vs ATL, J.A. Happ, (HOU) vs LAD, Jonathon Niese (NYM) @ CHC, Chris Narveson (MIL) vs WAS

Wednesday: Erik Bedard (SEA) @ MIN – 17%

Bedard was nearly selected as my streamer last Friday when he pitched in San Diego. His eight shutout innings and nine strikeouts had me regretting my decision all weekend. In an effort to avoid that again, Bedard will make his second streaming sleepers appearance of the season when he faces the Twins on Wednesday. Prior to the gem he threw in his last outing, Bedard was already showing signs of returning to his dominant self. In his last four starts he has a 1.66 ERA and 24 strikeouts. Look for that dominance to continue against Minnesota, and if you’re looking for a full time SP3, think about picking up Bedard, who has ace talent when he’s healthy.

  • Let me know what you guys are thinking for streamers early in the week, who do you like, if anyone? If you’re employing the streaming strategy, how’s it going so far? I know it’s working very well in my league. Also, I’ve have updated statistics and analysis for you on the Wednesday edition of Streaming Sleepers, so look forward to that.
David Bay has a BA in Economics from San Jose State University and has been playing fantasy sports since 2004. You can keep track of his work on his blog,, or on the forums under the username BayBear. He enjoys long walks on the beach, Sabermetrics, and situational hitting.
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13 Responses to “Streamers 5/22”

  1. jippja01 says:

    Although you didn’t post him, I like Vance Worley on Tuesday vs. the Reds. I had both Colon and Vargas on my roster on Monday and neither turned out well – oh well, that happens occassionally. Colon and Vargas have both given me big points this year. This is my first year ever playing fantasy baseball (but not my last) and I have been utilizing the streaming pitcher. I am the only team in my league who is 6-1 and have sole possession of first place. I am in a big league (12 teams) with 9 pitcher slots so often the streaming pitcher for the day is already owned but I definitely appreciate your other options that you post!

  2. User avatar BayBear says:

    I’m right there with you on Colon and Vargas. I have them both on one of my teams and have dug myself quite a whole already this week. At least we’ve got some time to recover. I’m also in the same boat with you, as mine is a 14 team league, but that just makes it more rewarding when you stream a guy no one would think is useful. As for Worley, I like him in general, but his match up worries me. The Reds are a very talented offensive club, and it’s easy to give up some gopher balls at Citizens Bank in Philly. Who knows though? He could surprise us. I’d rather go with Morton or Happ if available though.

  3. jippja01 says:

    What about Nick Blackburn? He has settled down the past 4 starts after recovering from 3 consecutive pretty disastrous starts. He’s facing the Mariners offense which isn’t the most potent offense in the league…but unfortunately his run support will also have to come from the Twins. It’s always difficult to know whether or not to stream someone who will not likely receive much support. The Twins are also hitting against Fister who has been great recently.

  4. User avatar BayBear says:

    If Fister is available you could try both him and Blackburn, hedging your bets in a sense. I like Blackburn against the Mariners and at home, I’m actually going to stream him since my pitching is such a disaster already this week. As for streaming someone with low run support, I try to ignore it since wins are basically luck for a pitcher. It’s only one out of the five statistical categories, so I try not to chase them. It’s too much of a crap shoot since bull pens blow wins all the time.

  5. jippja01 says:

    Fister isn’t available in my league (he was, but I hesitated yesterday to pick him up and someone else grabbed him) and neither is Morton. Today I’m streaming Worley (we’ll see) and Happ. I already had Vargas and Colon on my roster so didn’t have to “use” a stream transaction on a pitcher yesterday, allowing 2 today – our league allows 7 transactions/week and I always use them all and have more than double the number of transactions than the next highest person in my league. Ogando continued to score big points for me yesterday. I keep reading all of these things saying to sell high on him but it’s difficult because his luck seems to not run out.

  6. dansweet says:

    Any thoughts on streaming Gee vs. Coleman on Wednesday?

  7. User avatar BayBear says:

    Fister not being available worked out pretty well since he ran into trouble in the 7th. Luckily I grabbed Blackburn instead and got his CG win on the other side. It looks like Worley did a good job limiting the damage, but the result is about what I expected.

    As for Gee, I’ve seen a bit of him but haven’t researched him much. If he were at home I’d like the stream a bit more since you never know when the wind could be blowing out. I’d say go for it if Bedard is owned though.

  8. User avatar BayBear says:

    Oh, on Ogando, I know a lot of people are expecting him to regress, but I’m not one of them. Will his ERA be under 2.00? No, that’s pretty much impossible. But I can see him being around or below 3.50 when it’s all said and done. People knock his fly ball rates and low HR/FB %. It’s kind of funny that they don’t realize what type of pitcher he is. Ogando is a flyball pitcher, and extreme one at that. He throws a mostly straight fastball at 95 mph, which is going to get a lot of flyballs, but most of them will be catchable. Even if he starts giving up some home runs they shouldn’t be too damaging since he has a low walk rate. If you can get someone worth more that a 15W 3.50 ERA 175K pitcher, go for it. If not, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your great waiver wire pickup.

  9. jippja01 says:

    And oh how I have been enjoying those fruits! Well, yesterday certainly didn’t go as planned. Your prediction of Worley’s performance was much more on par with what manifested as opposed to my overestimation. Happ was able to score a few points for me. Chacin had a less-than-stellar performance but what hurt the most was Ryan Madson’s outing. Would you drop him and pick up Axford? Contreras is returning from the DL shortly – do you think a closer by committee is a possibility in Philly or do you think they will stick with Madson (or even give the role back to Contreras)?

  10. dansweet says:

    Bedard was money tonight. Thanks for doing this series! Will you be posting today’s in time for us to make transactions for tomorrow?

  11. User avatar BayBear says:

    Jippja01- I would definitely go get Axford immediately. He has a lot more job security than the other two and more talent to boot. He had a rough start to his season, but has only allowed two earned runs in his last 10 appearances (10 IP). He also strikes out a lot more batters than the other two, which is a plus.

    Dansweet- I’m not sure why today’s edition hasn’t been posted yet, I submitted it last night. I’ll look into it. Just in case, I picked Ryan Vogelsong for Thursday, with Joel Pinero and Jeremy Guthrie as options.

  12. dansweet says:

    Thanks for leaving the comment. I’d been eyeing Guthrie as Vogelsong and Piniero are owned in my league.

  13. User avatar BayBear says:

    No problem, I’d feel pretty good about streaming Guthrie. Humber is also an option, but I like Guthrie a bit more.


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