Streaming is an art form few have mastered to perfection. It’s a wonderful strategy that, if done properly, can and will lead to success more often than not. Let’s face it – no matter how perfect you think your team may be (maybe it is!) there will be days some of your players will have off or are facing unfavorable matchups. And there is a chance your draft did not go so well – so streaming players is one way to tilt the scale a bit. Whether it’s a points or roto league – streaming the right players in the right matchups can potentially pull you away from the pack.
Hello! You all get two writers for this article! As Eliezer alluded to, streaming is a crucial part of the game. Streaming can win to success whether it be on the pitching side or the hitting side. When streaming there are so many different avenues and facets to explore when it comes to making a decision. Now when it comes to streaming early in the season these acquisitions become a little more important. This is where we could potentially find some early breakouts.
Build A Crew and Leave Some Room
I’m going to make this simple enough: keep a roster spot or two free for streaming.
Or let me put it this way:
You are the landlord. Your players are your tenants. The production is the pay. No production, out they go.
That one or two spots you kept free? Think Airbnb. Hi, bye, maybe see ya later.
Please remember that a short-term “rental” should excel in the right matchups. Just don’t get too attached after one good performance.
I streamed Nick Gordon and he gave me a wonderfully timed 3 hit performance (3-4 with a Grand Salami). I thought about holding him, but after taking a quick look at his stat cast page I moved on thankfully; because Nick went on a brutal 2-25 stretch (2 RBI) in his next 9 games.
Leaving a roster spot open to stream helps you churn players to achieve the counting stats you need. By open, I mean drafting a player with solid matchups to start the season and then putting them back on the wire once that matchup is over.
This is where things could get tricky though. If you drafted a player due to an easy schedule and they performed well, is it because of the matchup and it’s time to stream again? Or is it because they are actually good? This is where underlying metrics come in, only hold onto a player who shows some kind of substantial plan otherwise you might hold on too long and get burned.
How to start your season off right
Stay ahead of the curve by looking early at team schedules, ballpark factors, and pitching matchups.
Any trips to Coors should be an automatic stream for a hitter (duh). The same goes for teams in other hitter-friendly ballparks.
Pitching matchups will be slightly tougher to gauge early on due to the fact that most of the early-round pitchers will be dominating the slate. If you can – try to stick with the bats at first. Hitters won’t obliterate your ratios with one horrific start.
Hitting can be a bit easier, look at the ballpark they are playing in and check left and right-handed splits. Streaming hitting is highly suggested, especially to start the season.
Pitching is a bit tougher because of the potential blow-up potential. As Eliezer said, hitters can’t obliterate you in ratio categories the way pitching can. Pitching we don’t know who is truly good or bad to start the season (although we like to think we know) and streaming early can hurt you. It hurt me last season with Brad Keller (I still stand by my decision!). Instead, hold off a start or two on pitching and look for key changes in K-BB%, velocity, and pitch mixes to spot potential breakouts which could lead to good streams.
Eliezer & Michael
Teams with favorable ballpark matchups in week one this season (should it begin on time) feature several interesting options:
Cardinals (pitchers) vs. Pirates, vs Cubs
Braves (pitchers) vs. Marlins
Guardians (pitchers) vs Royals
Cubs (hitters) vs. Reds, Pirates vs. Reds
Cardinals (hitters) vs. Pirates
Blue Jays (hitters) vs. Orioles
Phillies (hitters) vs. Nats
These are some of the more hitting/pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball over the past few years. I’d start by looking at who wasn’t drafted and put those players on your watch list before you finish reading this piece.
Players like Matt Vierling, Yuan Yepez (if he makes the ballclub), Jose Barrero will all be low rostered players who should warrant your attention in the first week.
Does anyone remember the great Tyler White or Yermin Mercedes? These were two early-season wonders who may have jump-started a season for some lucky owner who took a shot at streaming them (hopefully holding short term).
Summing it up
Draft well my friends, but if the draft does not go as planned – know this: it is not the end. Many championships are won on the wire. Knowing when to pounce – and cut – is all-important in fantasy baseball. Take the extra step, do the research, and win your season.
Streaming at the start of the season can literally make or break your team. So many pitchers like Carlos Rodon and even Robbie Ray were on the wire to start the 2021 season. Whether you are successful at streaming to start the season or not just remember one thing, keep on grinding!
Thanks for reading!