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This Week In Streaming Strategy: August 6-12

Remember when Roto Authority's Dan Mennella wrote about his acquisition of Mike Trout in the MLBTR fantasy league?  Back on May 27, Dan dealt Josh Willingham, Santiago Casilla and Will Middlebrooks to some poor sap called "Mystery Team" in exchange for Trout and Alex Gordon. Well, guess who manages the Mystery Team. From that day through August 3, Trout has a whopping 1.081 OPS with 66 runs and 25 steals in 57 games, while Gordon also picked it up and hit .344/.413/.496.  If you can believe it, I'm actually still in second place in this league (in large part because Willingham has hit well enough to keep that trade from being a total debacle) but man, I'm pretty sure I'd be on top if I'd kept Trout's steals and run production in my lineup. Sometimes the sell-high strategy doesn't pay off, folks.

Anyway, now that I've shown evidence of my fantasy incompetence, uh, here are my fantasy streaming picks for the week!

David DeJesus, Bryan LaHair.   The Cubs face right-handed starters in five of seven games this week, so look into giving these lefty bats a couple of spot starts in your lineup if the matchups work in your favor.  DeJesus has posted a blah .730 this season but has a .301/.376/.449 line against righties.  LaHair's collapse since his (unsustainably) huge start has been well-documented but he's still a good play against right-handers, carrying a .917 OPS against northpaws. The one caveat to both DeJesus and LaHair is that either could lose playing time should the Cubs pull the trigger on calling up Brett Jackson this week.

* Lorenzo CainThere is a man, a certain man.  Off the DL, he's hitting well and doing all he can.  Why, who is he?  He's in K.C.  Give him a peek to stream this week as the schedule's his buddy.  Can he hit southpaws?  You know it, boss.  His right-handed line (.333/.379/.375) is mighty fine, facing four lefties won't give him pause.  What is his name?  Lorenzo Cain!  Twenty-three percent of Yahoo fantasy owners are glad he came!

....uh, sorry about that.  I may have the Sight & Sound films poll on my mind this week.  Beyond just as a stream this week, Cain is not a bad pickup for the rest of the season; it looks like he'll be playing virtually every day for the Royals until the end of the season, while Jarrod Dyson may lose one or two starts to Jeff Francoeur per week.

* Ivan Nova.  Yankee Stadium's notorious short porch in right field has long been a boon for the Yankees' left-handed hitters, but it also provides a major challenge for the team's right-handed pitchers.  To wit, Nova, who has a solid 3.32 ERA in 12 road starts this season, as opposed to a 6.16 ERA in nine starts at The Stadium.  Nova is therefore a good streaming play this week as he is scheduled for two road starts.  He's in tough on Monday at Comerica Park against Justin Verlander and the Tigers, though since Verlander has struggled in two starts against the Yankees this season, Nova's "allow one less run than we score" pattern has a good chance of leading to a win.  Things get easier for Nova's second start this week when he faces the injury-ravaged Blue Jays lineup this weekend in Toronto.

* Yu Darvish.  Let's be honest, did anyone REALLY think they would be picking up a top-level ace when they took Darvish in their fantasy drafts last spring?  I think even the most optimistic Yu supporters (the Yu Crew, if you will) would've predicted him to be at best a solid Major League starter in his first season in North America.  Darvish got off to a hot start but, now that the league has made its adjustments, the Japanese right-hander has struggled, posting a 6.52 ERA over his last six starts.  There were a couple of 11-strikeout quality starts amidst those six outings, however, so there's certainly still hope that Darvish can adjust to the adjustments and still be an important arm for the Rangers in their pennant run.  This week, however, Darvish is scheduled to face two of the league's top lineups against right-handed pitching -- the Red Sox are ninth in the majors with a .750 team OPS against righties while the Tigers' .771 OPS is even better, ranking third in MLB.  If Darvish's recent tough outings have made you question your membership in the Yu Crew, you may want to think about benching him this week.

* Ryan Dempster.  Speaking of Texas pichers, welcome to the American League, Mr. Dempster.  After 16 seasons in the NL, Dempster made his first AL start last Thursday and was promptly bombed to the tune of eight runs in 4 2/3 innings.  Now, it was Dempster's first AL outing and it was against the red-hot Angels, so we shouldn't be too quick to judge.  That said, I'll be TOTALLY quick to judge by recommending that you sit Dempster for his start against Boston this week.  Small sample size alert: Dempster has a 10.24 ERA in two career starts at Fenway Park.  With Scott Feldman pitching well and earning a regular turn in the rotation, the Rangers' off-day this week means that Dempster probably won't pitch again until August 13 at Yankee Stadium.  Man, talk about a rough intro to the American League.  By Tuesday morning, Dempster may be calling up the Cubs and telling them he's reconsidered and will now accept that trade to Atlanta.

* Brett Lawrie, Yunel Escobar.  As I mentioned earlier, the Jays' lineup has fallen on hard times due to both injuries and ineffectiveness.  It was little over a week ago that the Jays actually led the majors in runs scored, though they've lost that lead after plating just 15 runs over their last seven games, leading to a 1-6 record over that span.  With Jose Bautista, J. P. Arencibia and Adam Lind all on the DL and nagging injuries forcing Lawrie and Colby Rasmus out of the lineup on Saturday, things aren't looking up for the Toronto nine as they face the Rays and Yankees this week.  Five of those six games are against right-handed starters so if you have Lawrie or Escobar, sit them in favor of better options this week.  Lawrie might be a moot point anyway because of his rib injury but even if he is fit to play, he's only hitting .253/.302/.379 against right-handed pitching this season.  Escobar has been hot lately (.854 OPS over his last 50 PAs heading into Saturday's action) but he's been even worse than Lawrie against righties, hitting just .254/.297/.356 for the season.


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