There's one final weekend before fantasy baseball halts for the All-Star break, so here's some pitchers to help you enter the break with a victory.
It’s the weekend, meaning it’s your last chance to flip categories in head-to-head leagues. This week, Bette Marston, who’s filling in for Michael Beller, will provide you with the best pitchers to stream in shallow, normal and deep leagues. Pitchers with availability rates of 50%-70% are considered streamers for owners in shallow leagues. A pitcher available in 71%-89% of leagues falls in the normal section. Anyone available in 90% of leagues or more is a deep streaming option.
Here are Bette’s picks for this weekend:
Mike Bolsinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (Friday vs. Brewers)
We touted Bolsinger as a normal stream last week, and we’re promoting him again (this week, in the shallow category, since his ownership has understandably swelled), because a home game against the Brewers is exactly what fantasy owners looking to stream a pitcher should take advantage of. Bolsinger was unimpressive in a great matchup against the Mets his last time out, but he sports a 3.09 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 69 innings pitched this season. If he can keep it together against the Brewers, he may warrant keeping on your roster for another start after the All-Star break.
Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs (Friday vs. White Sox)
In his last two starts, Hendricks thumped the Marlins and the Mets, giving up eight total hits and striking out 12 in the two games. He’ll take the mound with a 3.82 ERA and 1.15 WHIP this weekend, when the Cubs face their cross-town rival White Sox. Count on Hendricks to once again deliver against one of baseball’s weakest offenses.
Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks (Friday @ Mets)
It’s no secret that the Mets have struggled to hit this season, so pretty much any pitcher who faces them can be deemed a worthy streaming option. Anderson has a 3.71 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP with 60 strikeouts this year, making him plenty useful to struggling lineups. Anderson is right on the cusp between Normal and Deep, so chances are, he’s available in your league.
Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers (Saturday @ Padres)
Yes, Colby Lewis got knocked around by the Angels in his last outing, but he’ll take the mound this weekend in the pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres team that has only scored 14 runs in the last week. Things are already looking up for the veteran pitcher’s start, who has a 4.83 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings this season.
Andrew Heaney, Los Angeles Angels (Sunday @ Mariners)
Heaney has only started three games this season, but it sure didn't look like it when he only gave up two earned runs and struck out five in Coors Field last week. He should have a great opportunity to carry the Angels into the All-Star break on a high note when he takes the mount against the offensively struggling Mariners on Sunday.
Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants (Saturday vs. Phillies)
This is strictly a “take advantage of the Phillies’ awful hitting if you’re desperate” recommendation because Vogelsong has had some awful outings recently. The veteran, who was ejected after four innings in his last start against the Nationals for arguing with the umpire, has a 4.10 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP on the season. But Philadelphia sits at No. 27 overall in runs scored this season, so betting against them seems like a good decision.
Manny Banuelos, Atlanta Braves (Sunday @ Rockies)
Through his first two major league starts, Banuelos has given up one earned run (a homer by Jonathan Lucroy) and struck out eight, putting his ERA at 0.82 and WHIP at 0.92. The Braves rookie will be taking the mound Sunday in Colorado, which is no easy task, but Atlanta hopes that he can carry the Braves into the All-Star break on a high note; owners should ride him while he’s still hot.