• Josh St. Marie

Streaming Hitters for the Week of 4/12-4/18

Last week in this column, I led off by saying stream all your Red Sox. Through four games, the Red Sox have scored a whopping 33 runs for an average of over 8 runs a game, and they still have two incredible matchups left in their schedule in Camden versus Bruce Zimmermann and Jorge Lopez.

The reasoning was simple. The Red Sox have a great offense, they were facing the easiest schedule imaginable, and they were playing in two of the best hitter parks (outside of Coors of course). While I like to take my victory laps, I must admit that streaming the Red Sox was an easy call for everyone. Unfortunately, for this week, there is no such easy call. No situation that is ripe for streaming like the Red Sox last week.

But be not dismayed! I have found the next big streamer for you, and his name is...

Starlin Castro

Even though his name contains the brightest and shiniest thing know to man, Starling Castro isn't exactly a streaming name that gets anyone excited. Well here's the thing... he should. Simple as that. With Carter Kieboom optioned to the alternate site just yesterday, Castro only has to fend off Josh Harrison, who is currently on the COVID-19 IL, to become the Nationals everyday third baseman. Even after Harrison comes back, Castro should have no problem retaining the everyday 3rd base role for the Nationals, because he is better than Harrison in literally anything that involves wielding a bat.

Actually, when it comes to hitting, Castro is better than most waiver wire caliber players in every stat. Take THE BATX (the number one projection system for hitters in 2020), which projects Castro to hit .278 and slug 23 home runs this season! That is quite a valuable addition to any fantasy team. Especially with how hard it is to find batting average on the waiver wire.

According to the weekly chart I put together, Castro is a streamable option in nearly every category (AVG, HR, R, RBI, SLG) except OBP. Castro is only rostered in 8% of leagues, but I expect that to quickly change once Castro and the Nationals get going. As for now, Castro is my stream of the week, and don't be shocked when he continues to be for as long as he is eligible.

Other Streaming Options

Make Sure He is Rostered/Shallow League Option of the Week: Hunter Dozier (42.5% rostered), Outfield/Corner Infield

My original pick, J.D. Davis, has been added to the IL with a wrist injury. Davis's teammate Brandon Nimmo is another shallow league option worth considering. I have Nimmo as the 7th best streaming option this week, the second-best of shallow league options.

However, just ahead of Nimmo is Hunter Dozier. I am nowhere near as excited about Hunter Dozier as I was J.D. Davis, but Dozier is no slouch. Despite hitting in by far the worst ballpark for home runs, Dozier has enough power to hit for 20 plus home runs this season. Unfortunately, the Royals have 7 games in their home run killing ballpark this week. Let's not overlook the fact that 7 games is 7 games, and, while it will be difficult for Dozier to hit a home run, it isn't impossible.

Dozier is facing pitchers who like to give up hard contact and like to give up bombs. At the very least this should translate into multiple extra-base hits for Dozier over the week. Couple that with hitting in the middle of an underrated Royal's lineup, and Dozier could rack up the RBI. Remember his teammates are going to be on base because there won't be many Home Runs hit in Kauffman Stadium. In points leagues and leagues with SLG, Dozier makes a good stream this week.

If you are Desperate for Home Runs: Jay Bruce (4% rostered), Outfield/Corner Infield

For the second week in a row, Bruce grades as the most likely batter to hit a home run. Bruce did in fact hit a home run this week, but he has not done much more outside of drawing three walks. The odd thing about that is Bruce is typically a liability in on-base percentage. I would not bank on him continuing to draw walks. I would, though, bank on him hitting more Home Runs.

Bruce is one of four Yankees to start in all of their last six games. Clearly, the Yankees believe in Bruce, which is enough for me to buy into a player in their offense. If your team needs a boost in power, pick up Bruce, start Bruce, and enjoy another homerun or two this coming week.

If you are Desperate for Batting Average: Luis Arraez (24% rostered), Middle Infield

Arraez's roster percentage is up 14% since last week. It is fairly easy to see why, as Arraez is one of a few batters left in baseball who are essentially guaranteed to hit over .300. Arraez is a lefty, and when a righty is on the mound he gets to lead off for one of the best offenses in the league. If that continues, Arraez may be an elite contributor in more than just batting average. His ability to get hits will surely translate to many runs scored atop the Twins lineup.

Arraez did sit against a lefty on Wednesday, but then started (and hit 9th) against one on Thursday. That is encouraging. The White Sox have 7 games this week and only two against left-handed pitchers. That means Arraez should be leading off in 5 games, and I expect he will play in at least one more. The Twins are also facing the fifth easiest schedule for hitters this week. If you can sacrifice some power, Arraez should provide quite the batting average boost for your team this week. The truth is, Arraez should be able to do that no matter the matchup, no matter the week.

If your roster construction allows it, Arraez is a must add to your team.

The Chart

As always, you can find more hitters to stream in my chart which can be seen below, or found using this link on the tab for "next week". If you follow the link, you will say I added the ability to filter on the chart, should you wish to do that. If you have any questions about the chart, players, or streaming decisions, my Twitter handle is @UTStreamer (my DMs are open). Happy Streaming!