At this point in the real baseball season, teams that are out of the playoff hunt are going to give some starts to young guys to assess their value at the major league level. This makes streaming pitchers during potential fantasy baseball playoff runs even more difficult. Be sure you are checking to see if borderline streamers are matching up against auditioning rookies or rehab cases (yes, I am talking to you Mr. Freddy Garcia). Also, make sure you are taking advantage of (exploiting) all league settings regarding innings pitched or max starts per week if you are in a head-to-head playoff matchup. If you're not doing it, someone else in your league may be and you don't want to leave anything on the shelf at this point.
Let's take a look at who's out there in 50% or so of ESPN leagues for Tuesday, September 23rd:
- Scott Baker (39.9%) @ home vs. White Sox Javier Vazquez (97.8%): Baker got roughed up his last time out at Cleveland (4 ER in 4.2 IP) but has still managed some nice numbers recently (3.52 ERA, 6.16 K/9, 4 QS in 30.2 IP). Ozzie Guillen has already called Javy Vazquez out for his poor performance in important games, so this could get ugly as the Twins and White Sox battle it out for a playoff spot.
- Dave Bush (20.3%) @ home vs. Pittsburgh's Jeff Karstens (2.5%): With the Brewers playoff hopes fading fast, this is one of those streams that could spel trouble. Pittsburgh has nothing to lose by sending Karstens out there every fifth day. Bush has a respectable 4.11 ERA and 1,24 WHIP in his last 30.2 innings pitched and is probably available. Only stream him if you are looking for a win or quality start in a head-to-head playoff matchup and hope for the best.
- Jesse Litsch (18.5%) @ home vs. NY Yankees Mike Mussina (95.6%): With Moose trying to get 20 wins for the first time in his career, you can expect the Yankee bats to come out swinging against Litsch. Litsch is 4-1 with five quality starts in his last 40 innings pitched with a nice 2.25 ERA and a 1.20WHIP. With Shaun Marcum already done for 2009, Litsch could figure prominently into the Blue Jays plans with a strong finish to 2008.
- Scott Olsen (18.2%) @ Washington's Shairon Martis (0%): Olsen has compiled this nice line has last two times out - 13 IP, 2 ER, 5 BB, 11 K, 2 Wins, 2 QS, 1.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP. Martis will continue to get starts for the Nationals and will probably continue to get knocked around (0-3, 6.23 ERA, 1.62 WHIP).
- Wandy Rodriguez (18.5%) @ home vs. Cincinnati's Edinson Volquez (98.6%): In a battle of some rather fruity first names, Wandy streamers should be aware that he is returning from an oblique injury that forced him out of his last start with only one inning pitched. Wandy pitches well at home (3.25 ERA in 12 starts) but Edinson has been dominant on the road (2.53 ERA in 15 starts with 102 K in 92.2 IP).
- Ubaldo Jimenez (29.7%) @ San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (100%): Jimenez would be stream-worthy (2-1, 3 QS, 29 K in 27.2 IP) were it not for the fact that he is facing off against the probable 2008 NL Cy Yound Award winner.
- Tim Wakefield (12%) @ home vs. Cleveland's Cliff Lee (100%): Nothing about Wakefield screams streamable at this point other than maybe his 6-4 record at home with a 3.08 ERA. Cliff Lee has showed no signs of slowing down during his run at the 2008 AL Cy Young award.
Here are the rest of the names of guys auditioning to keep or hoping to acquire starting jobs in 2009:
- Garrett Olson, Baltimore (1.3%)
- Mike Hampton, Atlanta (0.8%)
- Freddy Garcia, Detroit (0.4%)
- Josh Outman, Oakland (0.4%)
- Ryan Feierabend, Seattle (0.1%)
- Dustin Nippert, Texas (0%)
- Alfredo Simon, Baltimore (0%)
- Mitch Talbot, Tampa Bay (0%)