If you missed out on the cream of the crop at catcher and need help to address the problem, look no further. This article will address your concerns by looking at who might be the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead.
First, we have to rule out any widely owned catcher. For the purposes of this list, that means anyone who has 50% ownership rate or higher. The ineligible catchers are:
Gary Sanchez – (New York Yankees)
J.T. Realmuto – (Philadelphia Phillies)
Buster Posey – (San Francisco Giants)
Willson Contreras – (Chicago Cubs)
Yadier Molina – (St. Louis Cardinals)
Yasmani Grandal – (Milwaukee Brewers)
Wilson Ramos – (New York Mets)
Omar Narvaez – (Seattle Mariners)
Some of you may recall that Mitch Garver and Robinson Chirinos were on the list last week. While they’re still above 50% on Yahoo, I’m switching to FantasyPros consensus rankings, where Garver is at just 45%. So he’s now eligible on here again.
Reviewing Last Week
In weeks past, I outlined guidelines for determining a streaming “win” and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.
- Batting average is king. When we stream a catcher, we’re not expecting multiple home runs, so a guy hitting .275 is helpful and I’ll consider that a plus. Anything over .300 is a super plus and a near-automatic win. That said, we have to keep in mind the number of plate appearances—under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
- Home runs have a major impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s almost a guaranteed win, unless the catcher batted under the Mendoza line. However, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs if other factors are there.
- Counting stats (R+RBI) are the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher anyway. They’re a nice bonus.
Austin Hedges – (San Diego Padres): 2/14, 2 RBI
Oof. Hedges isn’t getting the playing time I was hoping he would, as he got rushed back into the lineup after his ankle injury. He drove in two in Friday’s marathon game vs the Rockies, but the rest of the week has been rough. He could theoretically salvage it today, but this is an L.
Roberto Perez – (Cleveland Indians): 3/9, 3 R, 2 RBI
Perez has only started two of the four games so far this week, making his contribution to your overall stats minimal. He should start today too, so he could make another contribution to your counting stats if you hold with him. He’s been red hot at the plate and the R+RBI definitely help, along with a .333 AVG.
Tony Wolters – (Colorado Rockies): 4/15, 4 R
After consultation with Austin Bristow, I’m gonna call this a W because a .267 AVG doesn’t hurt, but the four runs definitely help.
Elias Diaz – (Pittsburgh Pirates): 3/19, R, 2 RBI
I love Diaz, but this is rough. He will likely have better weeks ahead, but I’m sorry I steered you wrong with this one.
Dave’s Streaming Record: 11-9
Scott’s Streaming Record: 4-3-2
Quick Thoughts from Week 10
Last week, I expressed concern about Omar Narvaez’s playing time in light of Tom Murphy’s power surge and then Narvaez started four straight games. The reports of Narvaez’s death were greatly exaggerated.
We have a “baseball trivia” section of our discord server, where it was revealed that the second highest OPS against left-handed pitchers belongs to… Carson Kelly. He’s slashing .385/.467/.846 against lefties but only .211/.283/.389 against righties. So we’ll keep a close eye on Kelly for streaming purposes, but this week, he faces all righties, so we’re gonna give him a hard pass.
Robinson Chirinos is red hot with 5 HRs and 14 RBI over the last two weeks, despite his .235 AVG. He’ll never be a high AVG guy, but the power could be here to stay; grab him if he’s still out there.
I was very hesitant of Travis d’Arnaud’s power streak last week and he responded by going 2/12 with a double. He didn’t suddenly become a star.
This past week was the week of all weeks for Brian McCann: .294, 3 HRs, 7 RBI, including a two-run walk-off single off Hector Neris. I don’t fully expect him to continue hitting so well, but he seems to have seized the 1A role to Tyler Flowers‘ 1B in Atlanta, as he’s started seven of the last 12, and that’s with Flowers starting the last two (including today). For what it’s worth, McCann has 104 PAs vs righties, slashing .308/.369/.519 as opposed to his 14 PAs vs lefties, slashing .133/.176/.200. McCann could be a sneaky play in righty-heavy weeks.
This Week’s Streamers
Christian Vazquez – (Boston Red Sox): Welcome back, Christian. After a lost 2018, Vazquez reappears on the streaming list, along with his .289/.330/.476 slash line. He’s also got 8 HRs so far, which matches his total from the last two seasons combined. While I expect issues in the early part of the week in Minnesota, the Red Sox offense, in general, is heating up and Vazquez could certainly benefit. After that, the Sox come back home to take on the Jays. While Vazquez hits better against lefties than righties, there’s still plenty here for Vazquez to feast.
Roberto Perez – (Cleveland Indians): LET IT RIDE. An astute commenter pointed out that Statcast loves what Perez is doing this year and Perez has spoken to the psychological benefits of being the everyday starter. On top of that, Perez starts his week off with four games in Texas, one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball this year. Yes, he’ll get Mike Minor, but Perez is hitting lefties particularly well, so it may not be such a terrible thing. After that, he gets three starts at home vs the Tigers.
Mitch Garver – (Minnesota Twins): I’m expecting that most of you can’t just stream Garver, as he’s probably owned in any kind of deep league, but I fully expect him to completely rake this week. Why? Because Garver is facing three lefties in David Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Danny Duffy. Why is that such a big deal? Garver slashes .389/.488/.750 against lefties. He’s also slugging .662 against righties, so I believe in the other games as well. I expect Garver to sit against one of Jakob Junis and Duffy because the Duffy start is a DANG.
(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)