Streaming is a time-tested approach prized by fantasy owners of all stripes. Categories in head-to-head leagues can often come down to the thinnest of margins, making the weekend a crucial time to think about streaming pitchers. Below are this weekend's best options -- all owned in 30 percent or less in either Yahoo!, CBSSports or ESPN leagues as of Thursday night. With most teams resetting their pitching rotations this weekend, streamable pitchers are few and far between.
Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
Salazar was decent in his return to the Cleveland rotation earlier this week, allowing one run on six hits and three weeks while fanning six in a win over the Twins. The three walks came in succession, but he was able to wiggle off the hook and not surrender a run that inning.
He is scheduled to take the ball Sunday against a Royals team that does hit well for average, but doesn’t do much else. Kansas City’s .373 slugging percentage ranks 24th in the league. It also ranks 23rd in wOBA (.304) and weighted runs created plus (90). While they don’t strike out a ton, the Royals are still a team that Salazar can exploit. Go ahead and kick the tires on him this weekend.
Collin McHugh, Houston Astros
McHugh is slated to return from the DL on Sunday against the Marlins. He last pitched on July 6 before being forced to the shelf with a finger injury. He looked good in his last rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing one run on three hits and walk with five strikeouts in five innings.
While he had struggled a bit before hitting the DL, he was racking up the whiffs with impressive consistency in his last six starts. Going back to his June 8 outing against the Twins, he has 39 strikeouts in his last 32 1/3 innings. The Marlins have the second-highest strikeout rate in the majors at 23.2 percent. McHugh makes a great streaming option this weekend, especially if you’re chasing strikeouts.
Jeremy Hellickson, Tampa Bay Rays
After missing the first three months of the season after having elbow surgery in January, Hellickson made his first start of the year just before the All-Star break, allowing one run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Royals. While those numbers don’t seem special on the surface, he had good command in the start, walking just one batter and throwing 13 first-pitch strikes to the 20 batters he faced.
Hellickson may never reach the heights projected for him when he first entered the league, but he has always been a reliable fantasy option as a No. 4-type starter. Now that his elbow appears sound, he’s a guy that you don’t just want to stream this weekend, but rather keep around for a while. He’ll take the ball Saturday against the Red Sox, who have shown some life of late. Still, if you need the help this weekend, Hellickson is a solid option.