Stream Team: Milwaukee’s Best
Before we get to the weekend picks, let’s review our streamers. Monday Middle Man Edinson Volquez rebounded from two first-inning runs to go six strong innings and pick up a win in San Diego. Wild Card Kyle McClellan also pieced together six great innings, allowing one run while also earning a win. The Stream Team star of Monday was definitely Ace Clayton Kershaw, as he went 6.2 innings without allowing a run while picking up seven Ks and a win. Factor in McClellan’s win for our Roto Stream Team and we got the week off to quite a good start.
The big performance on Tuesday came from Middle Man Tommy Hanson, who threw seven shutout innings for a win. Wild Card and Roto Stream Team pick Brian Duensing allowed only two runs through six innings but couldn’t secure the win, while Ace Tim Lincecum was unusually ordinary.
Moving to Wednesday, Ace Roy Halladay went the distance for a win, striking out nine and allowing two ninth-inning runs. Our other two FanDuel streamers fell flat (Ian Kennedy and Carlos Zambrano), but you can’t pick winners every time, right? We managed to post good numbers with our Roto Stream Team pick, as Travis Wood went 6.2 innings while allowing one run and striking out five. Wood is an excellent long-term pickup if available in your roto leagues.
Finally we come to Friday. Ace Hiroki Kuroda and Wild Card Brandon Beachy turned in forgettable five-run performances while Middle Man Chris Narveson saw his start pushed back to Friday after some inclement weather earlier in the week. That was definitely a streaming day to forget, so let’s do just that, turning the page on the past to find some weekend values.
Ace: Roy Oswalt, PHI vs. FLA ($6,900). Oswalt is a rare true ace that can be picked up at a great value, as his price falls in between Jon Garland (making his 2011 debut) and Brett Cecil. With Oswalt’s 2-0 record, 2.25 ERA and matchup against Javier Vazquez and the Marlins, he’s a must use on Friday. If you need to pinch pennies on your Ace for the $1K Friday MLB Hit and Run, go with Matt Cain at $6,700 instead.
Middle Man: Chris Narveson, MIL at WAS ($5,200). We wanted to run Narveson out there yesterday but his start was pushed to Friday instead. While Randy Wolf got to dominate the Pirates on Thursday, Narveson will look to continue his scoreless streak (13 innings and counting) in Washington. Ride his hot streak and take advantage of this discounted price.
Wild Card: Zach Britton, BAL at CLE ($3,600). The Indians opened the season better than anyone could have expected (eight wins in 12 games), but the same could also be said about rookie Zach Britton. The young Orioles pitcher has picked up wins in his first two starts while allowing just one run through 13.2 innings. His ability to induce ground balls should continue to keep his run totals low and give his team the chance to earn him a win.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Chris Narveson, 2. Zach Britton, 3. Luke Hochevar, 4. Aaron Harang, 5. Wade Davis.
Ace: Clayton Kershaw, LAD vs. STL ($7,500). We picked him in his last start and he didn’t disappoint, shutting out the Giants for the second time this season. Even with the Cardinals starting to heat up, we have to take Kershaw at this price for our ace selection.
Middle Man: Edinson Volquez, CIN vs. PIT ($6,200). The Reds pitcher has turned in two wins in a row and is coming off his first quality start of the season. He’s always posted great numbers against the Pirates, including a 2.32 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in five career starts and 32 Ks in 31 innings.
Wild Card: Kyle McClellan, STL at LAD ($2,600). Let’s just go ahead and make Saturday’s picks a repeat of Monday, with top options Kershaw and McClellan facing each other in Los Angeles. The converted reliever walked four batters in his last start, so he’ll have to work on control moving forward to remain a great fantasy option. This should be a low-scoring night-cap on Saturday.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Jeremy Guthrie, 2. Kyle McClellan, 3. Jason Hammel, 4. Anibal Sanchez, 5. Jeff Niemann.
Ace: David Price, TB vs. MIN ($8,500). Both Price and Jon Lester should make for quality Sunday buys, but I’ll go with Price after the Minnesota offense lost starters Tsuyoshi Nishioka and more importantly, Joe Mauer. Price sports a 3.92 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and a 12:4 K:BB ratio in 20.2 innings this season, and he owns Minnesota historically, with a 1.69 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, a .197 batting average against and a 26:8 K:BB ratio.
Middle Man: Jeff Francis, KC vs. SEA ($5,700). Francis seems to be enjoying life outside of Colorado, posting a 2.61 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through his first three starts while striking out 13 batters. Each of his first three performances have been quality starts and have only featured one free pass per start. He should continue his strong start against the punchless Mariners offense.
Wild Card: Chris Young, NYM at ATL ($4,100). Young has allowed just one run in each of his first two starts, and while he received a no-decision his last time out, he was masterful on the mound, allowing just one hit and two walks through seven innings. Young looks like he could be a quality pickup for the entire season, and we’ll see if he can outduel Tommy Hanson on Sunday.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Jeff Francis, 2. Chris Young, 3. Michael Pineda, 4. Alexi Ogando, 5. Mike Leake.