Fantasy baseball Weekend Primer: Stream Kazmir, Wood, Nova
Notable nuggets on the upcoming weekend action that could swing your fantasy baseball matchup:
• It's hard to believe or overstate the return Scott Kazmir has made this season. The last time we saw him for any significant time in the majors, he was sputtering to a 5.94 ERA and 5.83 FIP in 150 innings for the Angels in 2010. The baseball community essentially wrote him off before the Indians took a shot on him this offseason. He has given the playoff contender 105 strong innings, posting a 4.11 ERA, 4.06 FIP and 93 strikeouts. His 7.9-percent walk rate would be a career best if he can maintain it the rest of the season. Most importantly for our purposes in this column, he'll take the ball against the woeful Marlins on Sunday. He's widely available. If you need someone, he's the best option out there.
• Alex Wood slotted into the Braves' rotation after Tim Hudson suffered a season-ending ankle injury, and his first start in Hudson's place (which was his second of the season) wasn't pretty. He bounced back on Tuesday, though, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings and striking out seven in a win over the Rockies. That's a tiny bit of good news when considering him as a stream option this weekend. The better news is that he starts on Sunday night against a Phillies team that ranks 19th in park-adjusted offense this season. Not only is this a great matchup, but if you're on the fence about streaming someone on Sunday, you have to love the flexibility Wood gives you in the Sunday night game. By the time that game starts, you'll know for sure whether or not you need him in your lineup.
• Finally, Ivan Nova has been hot of late, registering a 2.03 ERA and 3.07 FIP in 31 July innings, a stretch covering four starts. He fanned 29 batters in the month, and opponents hit just .188/.260/.268 against him. He gets the Padres on Saturday. Grab him and get him active.