Every week in the Weekend Stream, we’ll give you pitches to add for spot starts who can help you chase down a category or two in head-to-head leagues. All of the pitchers we offer will fall under one of three headings. If a pitcher is a stream candidate in “shallow” leagues, it means he has an ownership rate between 35% and 50%. “Medium” translates to pitchers with ownership rates between 21% and 34%, while those under the “deep” heading are owned in 20% of leagues or less.
An endorsement for a pitcher in a shallow or medium league would also apply to the leagues beneath it, but those of you in deep leagues shouldn’t hold out hope that a pitcher with an ownership rate of 40% will be available.
Brandon Finnegan, Reds (Saturday vs. Brewers)
Finnegan has the stuff to do what he did in his first start of the season, striking out nine in seven shutout innings in a win over the Phillies. Unfortunately, he’s not very consistent, as he showed in his second outing, a two-inning, five-walk outing against the Pirates. He surrendered just one run, but couldn’t find the plate. Still, we know he can strike batters out, and he still fanned four batters even in his ugly start against Pittsburgh. He’s one of the best bets on the stream for strikeouts this weekend, but he shouldn’t be kept around in anything but deep leagues.
Jeremy Hellickson, Phillies (Saturday at Nationals)
Hellickson is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Finnegan. If you’re chasing strikeouts, he’s not the pitcher for you. He does live in the zone, however, and has allowed one run in 10 innings this season. He has a tough matchup with the Nationals this weekend, but he shut them out for five innings in his last start, before being removed with cramping in his forearm. That proved to be nothing serious, and he’ll take the ball at full strength on Saturday. If you can deal with the fact that he has a tough matchup, he’s an average streaming option in shallow leagues.
Tyler Glasnow, Pirates (Saturday at Cubs)
Forget about Glasnow’s disastrous first start of the season, in which he allowed five runs on four hits and five walks in 1 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old is one of the most promising young starters in the league, and will have more good days than bad this season. Unfortunately, starts like his 2017 debut are part of the process. Like Hellickson, Glasnow has a brutal matchup this weekend, taking on the Cubs in Chicago. The Cubs strike out a lot, however, and Glasnow can miss bats with the best of them. Wrigley Field also typically plays like a pitcher’s park early in the season, with the wind regularly blowing in off Lake Michigan.
Edinson Volquez, Marlins (Saturday vs. Mets)
Last week we offered Volquez as a stream candidate, and he promptly blew up in our face. It’s only natural that we’re going to run it back, against the same opponent, no less. The Mets got to Volquez for four earned runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings last weekend. It wasn’t a total bust, though, with Volquez fanning seven batters. The bottom line is that the Mets offense is so inconsistent that you can feel comfortable streaming most pitchers against them, especially if you’re chasing categories over the weekend. Volquez remains a strong streaming choice in all leagues where he’s available.
Bartolo Colón, Braves (Sunday vs. Padres)
Like the Mets, the Padres typically are a stream-worthy opponent. At this stage of his career, we’re all aware of what Colón is on the mound. Even in the best circumstances, he’s not going to strike out many batters. He can, however, still take care of business against a lineup like San Diego’s. If you’re chasing wins or rates, he’s one of the best options included in this edition of the Weekend Stream.
Antonio Senzatela, Rockies (Sunday at Giants)
Two starts into his career, Senzatela is making the Rockies happy. The 22-year-old has allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks in 12 innings, striking out 11 batters. He earned the first win of his career in his last trip to the mound, a seven-inning, two-run, five-strikeout effort against the Padres. Senzatela never registered on top-100 prospect lists, and made all of seven starts above the High-A level before jumping to the majors this season. In those seven starts with Double-A Hartford last year, however, he amassed a 1.82 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. Those of you in deep leagues can consider not only streaming him, but keeping him around beyond this weekend to see if he can be a season-long asset.
Charlie Morton, Astros (Sunday at A’s)
The A’s are another team you should always check out when looking for pitchers to stream. Morton is off to a decent start with the Astros, striking out 10 batters in 11 innings over his first two starts. Morton has never been a big strikeout pitcher, and that’s not going to change this season. With the Houston offense at his back, however, he’s as good a bet as a deep-league owner chasing wins can find this weekend.
Hector Santiago, Twins (Sunday vs. White Sox)
Sometimes, all you want when you’re streaming a pitcher is a known commodity. That’s exactly what Santiago is, and that makes him one of the few pitchers typically available in deep leagues who fits that category. Santiago won’t rack up gaudy strikeout totals, but the White Sox are another lineup you can attack on the stream. He’s the least of the deep-league streaming options in this edition of the Weekend Stream, but don’t let that sway you from giving him a spot start. Understand, though, that you can drop him immediately after he takes the ball Sunday.