You name the fantasy web site and you can find the streaming pitcher help section. ESPN has TMR’s Wandy Line http://espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/story/_/page/TMR130425/matthew-berry-wandy-line-streaming-pitcher-strategy-updated-2013. Head on over to MLB’s Fantasy 411 and Cory Schwartz has his Pitch or ditch blog http://fantasy411.mlblogs.com/. Over at faketeams.com you have the streamer report http://www.faketeams.com/2013/5/11/4321642/the-streamer-report-mothers-day-edition. Have I made my point, or should I keep going?
Okay then, does it work? I have won a league streaming pitchers. However, my long time keeper league decided to use K/9 instead on total Ks when we reorganized 8 seasons ago. This has truly hamper anyone(me) trying to stream pitchers. I love streaming pitchers, not that it has always worked. I enjoy looking at the match ups each day to find the good match up. It is so fun to find that so so pitcher with a great match up and have him whirl a gem. However, for each match up that works out you often have one that does not. Trust me I know. I am a recovering Streamer. Now add in the fact that we are using K/9 in my favorite league. As you might guess, it has not worked as well for me the last couple of years. So, I came into this year pledging not to stream pitchers. I had made it almost 6 weeks before I relapsed.
I have some issues with the concept that the Pros preach. TMR’s Wandy line is a great name. However, the concept is lacking in some ways. There are rarely pitchers just below the Wandy Line available for pick up. You often are looking at guys well below the top 28 to 30 starters TMR suggest are above the Wandy Line. My guess is the ones that are available are often below the top 50. With ESPN showing as of right now 44 SP are 100% owned and 57 SP are 90% or higher. TMR says”Based on ADP, the average ESPN standard league team is composed of six starters and three closers.” That is 60 starters!! Match ups for Pitchers below the top 50 having a good chance of throwing a gem are hard to find. But, if you follow his theory and have good Relievers in your line up you can maximum Wins and K’s for your team. The risk is that you may compromise your ERA and WHIP trotting out pitchers that are below the top 50 while having a 200 start cap. Can those extra relievers on your team counter balance the spike in ERA and whip you will get when that Gem turns into 4.2 innings pitched giving up 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 Earned Runs, and by the way 0.00 K/9. Ya, I am talking about YOU Kevin Slowey.
The Streamer Report at Faketeams.com does do a good job of finding those few pitchers that might be available. Ray Guilfoyle writes the blog and I am sure he finds his share of Gems. I think the problem is if you look at the last few reports over mothers day weekend there are some very crocked numbers in there. How hard are they to bounce back from. His information is good, he is giving you names that you could pick up and I agreed with some of those picks. Unfortunately, agreeing on Slowey can cost you a combined 7 points in ERA, Whip, and K/9.
Before you start streaming or continue streaming, make sure you know your league rules. Total K’s compared to K/9 make a big difference. As do Start limits. If you have a 200 Start limit, you want the best 200 Starts. However, if you play in a no start limit and total K’s league it may work. Even then be careful, as a few bad starts could cost you in the ERA and Whip lines. I have found streaming fun, but I find wining even more fun. If you have a league where you can stream and win great! If not, there may be a way to let all this talk about streaming help you.
With so many Touts pushing their Pitch or Ditch Wandy line Streamer reports they may have opened up a valuable market. It is time to find the hidden value in this the way they would on Wall Street, in Billy Beane’s Office, and in Tampa Bays extra 2%. I am sure that someone if not several teams in your league are going to be streamers. They are going to pick up guys who have a good match up or have a few good starts in a row. When they do they will need to drop a player. Most players they drop will not be helpful to your team. But, someone WILL drop a guy that can help you. Save your Waiver claim or your FAB money for the day when the streamer in your league can’t help himself and drops a quality player to Steam a SP who is pitching against Seattle in Seattle. That start might be a gem, but you might get a good starter who is just outside the top 30 SP.
As for me, I did fall off the wagon and could not resist Slowey this weekend. Lesson relearned! On the other hand, I claimed Mike Minor off waivers this weekend. Someone dropped him to stream another SP. Minor has been outstanding since last years All Star break. I hope Minor can help repair the damage I did to my team when I fell from the wagon.
What do you think? To Stream or not to Stream