Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 8/5/12

Welcome to Field Of Streams, a weekly look at some viable and, possibly, some non-viable, streaming options for your fantasy team(s) in the upcoming week. Fantasy leagues are in the home stretch and if you’re in the playoff hunt, it is time to be savvy, get crafty and stream away! All of these pitchers are owned by less than half of ESPN and Yahoo fantasy owners, meaning there is a good chance you will be able to snag ‘em. So without further ado, here’s a look at your best streaming options for the week of 8/6-8/12:

Erik Bedard (PIT) - Yes, THE Erik Bedard! You see, the Pittsburgh Pirates, as hard as it may be to believe for most, are in the playoff hunt. Their offense has been getting it done, so the run support is definitely there for Mr. Bedard. Plus, he gets two starts this week at home; one against the Arizona Diamondbacks and one against the San Diego Padres. Now, against the D’Backs, anything could happen but the Padres are no offensive juggernaut by any means. But if you need further convincing and, you know, stastical backing to support the case for streaming Bedard, well then, okay. Here are the numbers he has put up this year at PNC Park- 2.72 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7.61 K/9 and a 2.99 FIP. So if you are in a daily league and that Diamondbacks game has you nervous, I’d say at least expect great things against the Padres. (8.7% owned in ESPN and 26% in Yahoo!)

Chris Tillman (BAL) - Owned by less than 6% of users in ESPN and Yahoo fantasy leagues, Tillman could be a great pickup this week. Another two start picther, Tillman will take the bump at home against the Seattle Mariners and the Kansas City Royals. Both the Mariners and the Royals are in the bottom four of the AL in runs scored and in the bottom half of the AL in pretty much every other major offensive category. His ERA in his stint time this year is 2.70 and his FIP is 3.57. Now, if you look at the projections for Tillman, his numbers are bound to regress and his K/9 is a bit low for my comfort, but his average fastball has been around 95 MPH and his swing and miss rate is double what it was last year and that is a good sign for the 24 year-old. Sure, Tillman may a bit riskier than others, since his decentness this year is through a small sample size, so proceed with caution. But if you are in a deep or AL-only league, he is worth a look . (2.1% owned in ESPN and 5% in Yahoo!)

Ross Detwiler (WAS) - On the surface, the talented Mr. Detwiler will not blow you away with his numbers; a K/9 just over 6, an xFIP just over 4, a WHIP of 1.21 and a BABIP of .274. BUT, he has two starts this week and the first is against the Houston Astros. At this point there are not a lot of pitchers I would not recommend throwing out there against the Astros. Yes, that was a double negative and it was intended. Stream away against Houston, who as been “Astro”-nomically bad lately. And by lately I mean pretty much all season. Houston won a total of three games in July and in 19 of those 27 games they scored 3 or fewer runs. So grab Detwiler against Houston and enjoy reaping all of the benefits! (17.4% owned in ESPN and 24% in Yahoo!)

Mike Minor (ATL) - Minor has been a major stud lately! Over his last 5 starts he has tossed 31 innings, striking out 27 batters, allowing just 18 hits and 6 earned runs, while allowing only 6 free passes. In July he sported an ERA of 1.98, while striking out just over eight and a half batters per nine innings, with a WHIP of  .73. Now the ERA is bound to rise closer to the low or mid-threes, but the Ks are legit and so is Minor. The only major concern with his start this week is it will take place in Citizen’s Bank Park, but I am pretty sure he is worth the risk. Not only is Minor a good streaming option, but you may want to hold on to him for the stretch run as well.  (49% owned in ESPN and 37% in Yahoo!)

Jeff Samardzija (CHC) - I am honestly a bit baffled that Samardzija is not owned more. Although he is owned by more than 40% in both ESPN and Yahoo!, it’s hard for me to understand how a pitcher rocking a K/9 over 8 can be so widely overlooked. Here’s what Samardzija did in July: 1.91 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 9.82 K/9. Now, I am not saying that will be the norm, by any stretch of the imagaination as his .231 BABIP in July points to a regression down the stretch, but on the season his BABIP is right in line with the league average. Throw in the fact that he will pitch against the San Diego Padres at Petco this week and he becomes a double dip stream dream! (45.5% owned in ESPN and 44% in Yahoo!)

Marco Estrada (MIL) - Well for starters, Marco is facing the Astros (see Detwiler, Ross) this week. But I’m not here to pile on the Astros. In fact I will give the Astros some love momentarliy, so stay tuned for that. As far as Marco is concerned, he had me at his 9.76 K/9 on the season. Boy do I love me some good K/9 numbers! His 3.44 xFIP and 1.13 WHIP ain’t too shabby neither. Needless to say, you gotta like his chances against the lowly Astros. (2.3% owned in ESPN and 8% in Yahoo!)

Bud Norris (HOU) - As promised, time for some Astro love. Astro love? Sounds like a title of some awful SyFy orignal movie, am I right? Sorry, I digress. I have always been a big fan of Bud because of his monster K/9 numbers. Now Bud’s not about to be a Cy Young contender, well, probably ever, but he is a great stream option, especially at home. At the Juice Box he has an ERA of 2.12, a 1.05 WHIP, a 10.61 K/9 and an xFIP of 2.96, which would be Cy Young numbers if it were over a full season. If you have the room to stash him for home starts I would highly recommend it! (29.1% owned in ESPN and 35% in Yahoo!)

Franklin Morales (BOS) - Bobby V. is putting Frankie M. back in the rotation and you should pounce quickly! In his previous short stint as a starter for the Boston Red Sox, Morales was superb apart from a bump in the road against the New York Yankees. In his games started, aside from the Yankees game, Morales allowed four earned runs, struck out 29 batters, allowed just 16 hits and six free passes in 25 innings. That is darned impressive to say the least. Even better news is, he is not facing the Yankees this week, he is facing the Cleveland Indians. Stream him and enjoy! (2.5% owned in ESPN and 9% in Yahoo!)

Lucas Harrell (HOU) - Astro Love 2? Bet you were not expecting a sequel, right? Harrell’s numbers are not impressive to the naked or, for that matter, the clothed eye, but when you dig deeper you find another Astros picther who is far better at home. At home Harrell has an ERA of 2.02, a WHIP of 1.21 and a K/9 of right around seven. Even better are young Lucas’ July numbers. A 3.03 ERA, and a K/9 over nine! Now he does not have the easiest of draws this week against the Washington Nationals, but he fared well against that now potent Pittsburgh Pirate offense not too far back, so I say give him a whirl.  (2.6% owned in ESPN and 8% in Yahoo!)

THE QUALITY START KIDS: Freddy Garcia (NYY), Jake Westbrook (STL) AND Aaron Harang (LAD) These are three picthers that are stream options because they have a favorbale chance at a “W” this week, but will more than likely not put up any eye-popping numbers whilst getting said “W”. All of these guys can be expected to get a quality start, but almost the exact definition of a QS, six innings and three earned runs or so. So streaming them is not without risks. Stream with caution depending on the stats you need. Garcia (1.3% owned in ESPN and 6% in Yahoo!), Westbrook (28.3% owned in ESPN and 29% in Yahoo!), Harang (10.7% owned in ESPN and 21% in Yahoo!)

So there you have it, the first edition of  Field Of Streams pretty much in the books! So what did we learn? 1) Stream against the Astros, unless the stars of Astro Love or Astro Love 2 are involved, B) Ks/9 are your best friends, 4) Erik Bedard still has value and F) there are veterans out there that can still serve a purpose. Good day and godspeed!

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