Tuesday, July 23, 2024
AnalysisMLB

Fantasy Baseball: Hitters to Stream in Week 12 (6/21-6/27

This post will mark the beginning of a weekly fantasy baseball series where I will give at least one player owned in under 20% of leagues at each position to stream for the week. There is a lot of variance in how hitters are scored which makes it hard to choose what hitters are best, but I will give advice about which scoring systems a player would be more or less valuable in.

Catchers: 

Mike Zunino: Zunino is having a very good year for a catcher with a .334 wOBA and a 117 wRC+, which makes it surprising to see him owned in fewer than 20% of leagues. However, Zunino’s fantasy value is dragged down by a 40% strikeout rate, which is almost double the league average rate. Almost all of Zunino’s value comes from his power that allows him to slug .507 despite a .193 batting average. So far this year, Zunino has a barrel rate of 27.7%, absurdly high relative to the league average rate of 6.5%. The Rays have a relatively easy schedule this week with three games against the Red Sox and three games against the Angels. If you need a catcher and your league doesn’t penalize strikeouts a lot, Zunino is a good option.

First Base:

Wilmer Flores: There are not a lot of good options to stream at first base for this week, but I think Wilmer Flores is your best bet, especially if your league penalizes striking out. Flores has been an above-average hitter over the past three years with a 114 wRC+ and .340 wOBA in that period, but his defense and the playing time questions that came with it usually drag down his fantasy value. However, due to Evan Longoria’s injury, Flores should see regular playing time. Flores’s production has been down somewhat this year partly due to a .258 BABIP and a 4.4% barrel rate, but he has lowered his whiff rate resulting in a very low K% while maintaining a high BB%. The Giants only have 5 games this week but 3 of them are lefties, which Flores has historically hit better against. 

Second Base:

Brad Miller: Miller has quietly put up strong seasons at the plate for the past three years and, although his playing time is limited, he should get a decent amount of points for your team, especially in on-base leagues. This week he has two games against the Nationals where he will face Max Scherzer and Eric Fedde, and then he plays four games against the Mets. While the Mets have had great pitching this year and I would usually try to avoid players who are set to face Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker, the Mets pitching staff is full of question marks and they have two doubleheaders this week. The Mets bullpen will be heavily taxed going into the series and the Mets don’t have set starters for Friday’s doubleheader. While Miller will have to face some aces which you should avoid in daily leagues, he should also get some opportunities to face weak pitching this week which you should take advantage of.

Shortstop:

Willy Adames: Out of all the streams for this week, Adames is the one I like the best. While in Tampa Bay, Adames was a very good hitter on the road but had trouble seeing at Tropicana Field which dragged his stats down. His trade to the Brewers this year means that he won’t be dragged down by his time at home and he has shown how good of a hitter he can be. In his time with the Brewers this year, he is slashing .292/.352/.521 with a 24.8 K%. That K% is still below average, but it’s much better than the strikeout rates he put up with the Rays. He also has a very good schedule this week with three games against the Diamondbacks and three more against the Rockies.

Third Base:

Abraham Toro: There aren’t a lot of good options at third base which is why I had to choose Toro. With Alex Bregman injured, Toro will likely get a lot of playing time at third base and, although he has been a poor hitter in his career, he has had a good year so far due to a decreased whiff rate. The thing that makes Toro valuable is that the Astros have a great schedule this week with three games against the Orioles and then four games against the Tigers who will be without arguably their best starter this year in Spencer Turnbull. Toro will be in a potent Astros lineup where he should pick up his fair share of RBIs and runs and help your fantasy team in those categories. 

Outfield:

Willie Calhoun: Calhoun isn’t having that good a year so far, slashing .242/.311/.379. However, he is doing a good job of limiting his strikeouts. His 12.4% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career and he is still walking at a decent rate. The Rangers play seven games this week against the Athletics and Royals, which should give Calhoun a lot of opportunities to get points even if his rate stats aren’t impressive. 

Trevor Larnach: Unlike Calhoun, Larnach has a high strike-out rate which hurts his value in some leagues. However, he walks a lot (11.7 BB%) and he has a lot of power (14.5 barrel%). If you are in a league that values walks and doesn’t punish strikeouts too much, I would recommend not only starting Larnach this week but also keeping him on your team permanently. Larnach was a top prospect going into this year and he has proven that he can hit at the big league level slashing .267/.380/.431. This week, Larnach has two games against the Reds where he will face Tyler Mahle and Wade Miley, followed by four games against the Indians where he will face J.C. Mejia, Cal Quantrill, Aaron Civale, and Eli Morgan. The only question I have about Larnach is whether he will get enough playing time as the Twins get healthy, but I think that his performance so far has earned him an everyday role.

Patrick Bowe

I am a Mets fan who takes an analytical approach to baseball and evaluating players. I prefer to focus on small details instead of broad generalizations.