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This Week In Streaming Strategy: Week 5

Looking ahead at the matchups that are on the horizon, here's a rundown of scarcely owned players who can provide short-term fantasy boosts...
  • Kyle Kendrick (Yahoo: 25% | ESPN: 23%), Andrew Cashner (27%, 5%), Jonathan Pettibone (1%, 1%), Dillon Gee (7%, 0%) -- What do all four right-handers have in common? Facing a Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins offense within the next week. It's redundant to pick on the Marlins, but this is a group that's hitting .226/.287/.312 as a team. Wade LeBlanc is a career .252/.279/.262 hitter. It's barely a downgrade from the rest of their lineup when he's in. Those matchups are listed in my preferred order, for what it's worth.
  • Cashner, in particular, is a great add for today because he's set to face the Cubs tomorrow. You'll have a hard time finding a widely available starter with that combination of strikeout rate and matchup friendliness.
  • Patrick Corbin (48%, 74%) -- I'm not really sure why Corbin's owned in less than half of Yahoo leagues thus far given his strong start, but he's facing a lame-duck Padres offense that shouldn't give him too many problems. Corbin's not the ace he's looked the part of thus far, but he's gone at least six innings in each outing with two or fewer earned runs in each start. Show him some love, Yahoo managers.
  • David Phelps (6%, 1%) -- Phelps has whiffed 22 hitters in 17 innings so far in 2013 after posting an 8.7 K/9 in 99 2/3 innings last season. On Wednesday he gets to face the Astros, who are making a run at becoming baseball's all-time whiffiest team. Phelps has been killed by a .357 BABIP, 66 percent strand rate and 14.3 percent HR/FB, so there's reason to expect he can outperform the ugly picture painted by his 5.27 ERA.
  • Nick Tepesch (9%, 2%) -- Tepesch and teammate Justin Grimm have been impressive thus far, but it's Tepesch who strikes me as the better play against the White Sox. Tepesch has limited the damage more effectively against right-handed hitter, which combats the Sox two biggest offensive threats in Alex Rios and Paul Konerko. He's also put the ball on the ground at a 57.4 percent clip -- significantly higher than Grimm. Either is likely a reasonable play against the Sox, but I favor Tepesch slightly.
  • Justin Morneau (55%, 60%), Oswaldo Arcia (2%, 1%), Aaron Hicks (3%, 1%) -- The Twins are headed to Cleveland on Friday to face a trio of right-handers -- Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Zach McAllister -- that have struggled against left-handed hitters. Masterson's control woes are nothing new. McAllister is a homer-prone fly-ball pitcher. Jimenez has just been lost against everyone since 2011. Hicks has been lost himself, but he's hitting .263 with a .333 OBP over his past eight games and should see some free passes against a walk-happy staff, which will give him some stolen base opps. Morneau and Arcia should see plenty of men on base in front of them, leading to ample RBI opps against a trio that's weak against lefties.
  • Andy Dirks (2%, 1%) -- Dirks is hitting a whopping .196/.311/.275 on the season, so this is a bit of a leap of faith. If you're in a deep league and in need of an outfielder (that's you, Peter Bourjos owners) or just like to make crazy gambles, Dirks is a career .285/.336/.441 hitter against right-handed pitching, and the Tigers will face plenty of it against the Astros from Thursday to Sunday. Not only that, but the woeful 'Stros have yielded a .909 OPS to left-handed hitters this season. If there's anything that can cure Dirks' slump, it's a four-game set against sub-replacement-level pitching. Dirks did also just club his first homer of the season -- another reason for optimism.
  • Chris Denorfia (5%, 4%) -- Speaking of deep league pick-ups or gambling fliers... Denorfia is a known lefty masher (.317/.382/.456 in his career) that will be getting a run of lefties including Travis Wood, Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Wade LeBlanc in the coming six days. He's been tremendous through 23 games thus far (.316/.373/.447) and could kick contribute in both homers and steals. You could probably do worse than playing those odds.


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