The fall equinox is behind us, the days are getting short, football is once again dominating the airwaves, and fantasy baseball playoffs and roto home stretches are going full speed. If you are like me, you may have to resort to frantic streaming of starting pitchers to make up for a disadvantage in innings, wins, strikeouts, or quality starts. Streaming can be a very successful strategy, but only if done carefully. It can often result in awful ERAs, WHIPs, and still losing the wins or QS category.
In addition to identifying the right pitchers from the waiver wire to pick up and start based on their skills, it is important to identify the right opponents. Picking a mediocre pitcher (which most waiver wire guys are going to be) against a high-powered offense can be disastrous. It is easy to overlook, too, that an offense might be terrible overall but dominant against lefties. Or, a team that earned a reputation as the worst offense in baseball suddenly becomes the hottest offense in baseball (see Braves, Atlanta, 1st half vs 2nd half).
For all those reasons, I’ve put together three big tables of offensive performance. The first table is how teams have done in the past 30 days (we don’t care at this point in the season what they did in April). The second one is how teams have done against right handed pitching all season because data sorted by handedness in the past month is not available, unfortunately. The third one is the same, but for southpaws. I know it’s not a perfect match, given that the handedness splits are for the full season, but hopefully you can put it all together to come up with the best streaming starter options.
You’ll of course want to avoid the teams with the highest wOBA (an unadjusted stat that covers all the main offensive stats) and stream against those with the lowest. Hopefully, these lists will give you that extra edge in your playoff matchups or last two weeks of roto.
Team Offense in the Past 30 Days:
Team Offense vs Left-Handed Pitching Full Season:
Team Offense vs Right-Handed Pitching Full Season:
There aren’t too many surprises in these lists. The Red Sox have been the best offense in baseball all season, the Rockies play in a sweet home park for hitting, and the Jays and Tigers have good offenses. The last 30 days list has the Braves, White Sox, and Yankees, when all three of those teams are near the bottom of the league against RHP for the season. They’re all certainly on hot streaks. The Cubs talented offense has been only mediocre lately, so maybe they aren’t the juggernaut they used to be. Ditto for the Orioles. That’s why using the past thirty days can uncover some teams that you wouldn’t have thought of to stream against or avoid.
Looking at the left-handed splits, you see that some teams with overall bad offenses are great against lefties. This includes the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and White Sox. The Cubs just destroy lefties, but are just above average against righties. The Dodgers are extremely vulnerable against southpaws, so through all your lefties at them. The Orioles are another team that dominates righties but struggles against the other side.
The extremes on these lists are the most important. If you’ve got a left-handed streamer, you might start him against the Tigers or Mets, but you should avoid the Dbacks, Cubs, Pirates, and Nationals, for example. Similarly, that same pitcher is a must start against the Dodgers, Orioles, and Reds. Teams like the Phillies are so bad against all pitchers that they are the top streaming target.
You can combine the lists for optimal success. For example, you might want to start a lefty against the Braves because they struggle so much. However, looking at the past thirty days, their offense is on fire and you want to avoid them with any starter.
That’s all I’ve got to discuss about these tables today, but peruse them yourself and make good use of them. Happy streaming everyone! I hope everyone still reading this wins their leagues! Tschus!