Oof. Even with two makeup games caused by last night's rainouts added to Wednesday's fully packed 15-game schedule, that was my reaction when I looked at Wednesday's eligible streamers who are rostered in fewer than 50 percent in ESPN fantasy leagues.
Many the risers I've liked (Carlos Rodon, Max Fried) and finally have a chance to write about (Marco Gonzales, Marcus Stroman) have long been too popular to qualify for this space. Other fast starters, like the Angels' Felix Pena, have significant downside. (I'll get to that.)
Maybe I'll be lamenting that at least one of these three rentals is too heavily rostered in about a month, because they all have a case for staying power.
Pitchers to stream
Anthony DeSclafani (R), 4.3 percent rostered in ESPN fantasy leagues, Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets: When you're recommending a streamer facing Jacob deGrom, you know the options are thin. But the Mets have limped to a .235 wOBA against righties, the league's fifth-worst mark. Despite issues with homers (1.78 per nine) and control (3.91 BB/9), DeSclafani has struck out 9.95 batters per nine, forced a 10.6 swinging-strike percentage, and has refined his curveball.
Merrill Kelly (R), 8.2 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Yankees: The Yankees have survived much of this season of M*A*S*H*, but they've plodded along with a 0.18 BB/K against right-handed hurlers, tied for the third-worst plate discipline. The former Korean League hurler has taken to the humidor-insured Chase Field so far (3.46 ERA in his first two Diamondbacks home starts) and has at least five strikeouts in each of his past four outings.
Chase Anderson (R), 3.5 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies: Quite a conundrum: This one takes place at hitter-enhancing Miller Park, but at least Anderson is catching the Rockies on the road is slightly better. Anderson is working with better velocity than last year (94 mph on his four-seamer) and could at least, like Kelly, give you some whiffs.
The Braves' saves picture has gotten weird over the past few days, with Luke Jackson finishing a closing opportunity Sunday -- with A.J. Minter recording the first out of the inning -- and Jacob Webb doing the deed Monday. Minter probably needed Monday off, so Webb stepped in, but this could be a Minter-Jackson time share, at minimum, with Webb serving as third wheel. Act accordingly wherever you need category help.
Projected game scores
Robinson Chirinos (R), 10.6 percent, Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins (LHP Martin Perez): I was surprised to see Chirinos this widely available, considering his .370 wOBA ranks second among catchers with 80-plus plate appearances. Holding a career .362 wOBA and 124 wRC+ versus lefties, he should be in the lineup, despite AJ Hinch's expressed desire to manage Chirinos' workload. Perez has so far shown fleeting signs of growing as a starter and has posted a 2.87 home ERA this year, he's still walking 4.10 per nine.
Matt Adams (L), 1.2 percent, Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Miles Mikolas): Now that the Carter Kieboom hype has quieted down, shift to another Nats bat. Across 14 1/3 innings' worth of plate appearances, lefty sticks have tattooed Mikolas to a .415 wOBA and .603 SLG. Big City boasts a well-established career preference to face right-handers (.351 wOBA, 121 wRC+), and Ryan Zimmerman's foot injury should allow Adams to continue top-side work for at least the next few weeks.
Adam Frazier (L), 31.3 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Texas Rangers (RHP Shelby Miller): Click all your Pirates. Miller has allowed 1.77 HR/9 and has to work in Arlington. Frazier's career 0.67 BB/K and 110 wRC+ versus righties should put him in lineup consideration in deeper mixed leagues, especially since he's now typically leading off against them.
Yandy Diaz (R), 46.3 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals (LHP Danny Duffy): Known for his loud contact that had been hindered by inability to produce many fly balls, Diaz has turned a corner in the early part of 2019, launching six homers and ticking his barrel rate up to 10.4 percent. As Duffy struggles to work in the strike zone and generate empty swings, Diaz should jump on at least one heater: He has a .499 wOBA against lefties this season.
Chris Taylor (R), 34 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants (LHP Madison Bumgarner): With another left-hander on the hill, Taylor should sneak back into the lineup card. I also recommended Taylor last week, but try finding a useful shortstop that's carried on fewer than 50 percent of rosters these days.
Evan Longoria (R), 24.6 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu): Longoria has given few reasons to play him in most leagues, but his .744 OPS and .206 ISO against southpaws last year shows he can help in a pinch. Also, Ryu has allowed four homers to righty batters, so the playing-time-chewing Longo could actually pay off with more than just token runs and RBI.
David Bote (R), 2.2 percent, Chicago Cubs at Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales): Bote has crept into near everyday work for an evolving Cubs lineup, and he's again posting an attractive walk rate (!0 percent so far) to complement his .279/.371/.525 slash. Gonzales has been near lights-out so far, but despite all his mostly legit gains, he's still working with a 6.80 K/9, which should give Bote a fine opportunity for contact.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (L), 40.4 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Mike Fiers): Bradley has stalled in the early going (.155/.234/.190) but could get a jolt from this righty. JBJ's .329 wOBA versus righties in 2018 wasn't stellar but still topped his figure versus lefties by 77 points. Fiers has been pitching batting practice so far while allowing 1.97 HR/9.
Billy McKinney, 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Felix Pena): Pena's early 3.63 ERA has happened in spite of him giving up 1.61 HR/9, and lefty batters' .452 slugging percentage has been his biggest flaw so far. Thus, the platoon-minded McKinney (six of his career seven bombs have come against righties) and 1B Rowdy Tellez (2.4 percent) get a boost.
Ryan Cordell (R), less than 1 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP David Hess): Had to squeeze in one Pale Hose hitter versus Hess, who holds the highest barrel rate (13.1 percent) of any pitcher with at least 80 batted-ball events. Cordell is starting against righties, given the White Sox's injury problems, and is sneakily posting a top-100 barrel rate of his own (7.1 percent).