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.
Allen Webster, Red Sox – After Boston shipped out Jake Peavy, Jon Lester and John Lackey before Thursday’s traded deadline, Webster locked up what should be a permanent spot in the rotation for the rest of the year. Webster, the No. 88 prospect heading into the season according to Baseball America, had a 3.10 ERA, 3.91 FIP, 1.24 WHIP and 100 strikeouts against 44 walks in 122 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket this year. In his first start with the Red Sox, he allowed two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Rays. He fanned four batters but struggled with his command, issuing five free passes. There’s a lot of upside here, and the Red Sox should see what they have in the 24-year-old. He takes the ball Saturday against the Yankees and is a strong stream play this weekend.
Miguel Gonzalez, Orioles – While Gonzalez hasn’t typically been worthy of fantasy attention during his career – this season hasn’t been much different – he has thrown the ball well of late. In his last four starts, he has allowed six runs in 29 2/3 innings, which translates to a 1.82 ERA. He isn’t a huge strikeout guy and that has held true, as he has just 17 strikeouts in that stretch. He’ll take the mound Saturday against the Mariners, which should be a good matchup. The Mariners are a surprise contender, but that’s largely due to their pitching staff. They’ve hit just .244/.298/.372 with a .296 wOBA and 88 weighted runs created plus this year. Gonzalez is a strong bet to keep it rolling over the weekend.
Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks – Cahill began the year as a starter, but was sent to the bullpen after allowing 18 earned runs in his first 17 2/3 innings. He earned his way back into the rotation after putting up a 3.04 ERA, 3.22 FIP and 27 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings as a reliever. In three starts since re-entering the rotation, he has allowed nine runs and fanned nine batters in 15 innings. The results aren’t exactly encouraging, but he’s still striking out nearly a batter per inning over 56 1/3 frames this year. That makes him a good stream target for owners in need of strikeouts when he starts Sunday against the Pirates. While Pittsburgh doesn’t strike out a lot relative to the rest of the league (20-percent K-rate), Cahill is the most prolific strikeout pitcher going this weekend that is likely to be available in your league.