Amir Garrett, Daniel Norris among top options for weekend streaming starters

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Friday May 5th, 2017

Every week in the Weekend Stream, we’ll give you pitches to add for spot starts designed to 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 fewer.

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.

Shallow

Amir Garrett, Reds (Saturday vs. Giants)

Save one bad start against the Brewers, Garrett has been excellent this year. He has thrown at least six innings while allowing two or fewer runs in four of his five starts, and allowed less than one baserunner per inning pitched in three of those outings. If not for the start against the Brewers in which he allowed nine earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, he’d be among the ERA leaders at this still-early point of the season. Fire him up with confidence in all formats on Saturday.

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Alex Cobb, Rays (Sunday vs. Blue Jays)

Cobb was effective in his last trip to the mound, shutting out the Marlins for six innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out two. From a fantasy standpoint, it wasn’t the best outing because of the lack of whiffs, but it was still easily a net positive for all of his owners. The Blue Jays offense has scuffled for most of the season, and isn’t the daunting matchup it was the previous few seasons.

Medium

Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks (Saturday at Rockies)

Admittedly, you’re going to have to be a bit desperate to roll with Corbin. The Diamondbacks are in Coors Field this weekend, a series sure to produce plenty of fireworks. If you’re in a close fight in your rate categories, you will not want to go down this road. If you aren’t, though, Corbin does bring some strikeout upside to the table, and the Rockies lineup features its fair share of swing-and-miss hitters.

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Chris Tillman, Orioles (Sunday vs. White Sox)

Tillman is set to make his season debut after missing the first month of the year with a shoulder injury. He has one more hurdle to clear, a bullpen session on Friday, but the Orioles are confident he will be on the mound at Camden Yards this weekend. Tillman posted a 3.77 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 1.29 WHIP and 140 strikeouts in 172 innings last year. He could stick on a roster in deeper formats, so he’s worth a look if you’re looking for long-term help in your rotation.

Deep

Daniel Norris (Sunday at A’s)

Norris is coming off his best start of the season, a six-inning, one-run, five-hit, eight-strikeout performance in a win over the Indians. He walked four batters in that game, but it was encouraging to see his strikeout total tick above five for the first time this season. Norris has obvious upside, and deep-league owners aren’t going to find players with his natural ability so readily available. The matchup with the A’s is a positive, as well.

Wei-yin Chen (Saturday at Mets)

Chen has turned in useful fantasy starts in two of his last three trips to the mound, and gets a matchup this weekend with the punchless Mets. He’s not going to strike out a ton of batters, but this is the sort of lineup he can dominate with his finesse stuff. For owners looking to make up ground in the rate categories, Chen is as good a bet as Norris.

Mike Fiers (Sunday at Angels)

As has been the case with Fiers since he broke into the majors in 2012, owners chasing strikeouts will want to take a look at him for a spot start. Fiers is doing that thing he does again this season, posting a 5.68 ERA, 8.30 FIP and 1.54 FIP, but also 25 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. He shouldn’t be on your stream radar if you’re protecting leads in the rate categories, but if you need help in strikeouts and rates aren’t a concern, feel free to give him a spin.

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