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This Week In Streaming Strategy

Barry Zito, Chad Gaudin -- Your weekly "well they're facing the Marlins..." starters are Zito and Gaudin, neither of which is a name that inspires much confidence. However, Zito will be facing the Fish in San Francisco, where he has a 2.06 ERA compared to a ghastly 11.28 mark on the road (I assume Giants fans drink a lot when Zito starts away from AT&T Park). Adding Gaudin feels dirty, but this is a guy who has a 3.85 ERA and 3.71 FIP over his past 117 innings against Major League hitters, and there's what? Two of those in the Marlins lineup? There are far worse spot-start options, and in deep leagues where the pickings are slim, Gaudin should be widely available.

Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham -- This pair of White Sox righties will square off against an all-to-hittable lefty in the form of Scott Diamond on Thursday before jetting off to Kansas City to face baseball's most homer-prone pitcher (Jeremy Guthrie) and Wade Davis, who is surrendering the highest opponent line-drive rate of any pitcher in baseball this year. That's a terrific stretch of opponents for Konerko and Beckham, who are hitting .444 and .350, respectively, over the past week. It's crazy to think that Pauly Konks is a streaming option, but he's available in more than 50 percent of ESPN Leagues and 44 percent of Yahoo leagues. Snatch him up!

Nolan Arenado, Tyler Colvin -- Steer clear of this tandem for Thursday and Friday, as they'll be facing Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg. From there, however, two of their next three games come against homer-prone hurlers Dan Haren and Ryan Dempster, with Ross Detwiler and his .307/.349/.436 opponents' batting line sandwiched in between. Colvin's playing time will depend on the health of other Rockies outfielders, but Arenado (who should be more widely owned than he is anyway) should see action in all three.

Alex Colome, Roberto Hernandez, Chris Archer -- The Yankees have the worst OPS of any team in baseball this month (as of this writing), and the Rays will trot out three guys who can miss bats and induce ground-balls. Archer was a consensus Top 100 prospect this season, while Colome ranked 83rd on Keith Law's Top 100 and had a strong MLB debut last month. Hernandez's ERA is ugly, but he has a 50 percent ground-ball rate and 3.25 K/BB ratio. xFIP pegs him for a 3.52 ERA, if he had a league-average homer-to-flyball ratio. Archer's command problems likely make him the riskiest of the trio, but if you're on the ropes at the end of a head-to-head matchup, the upside for a big start is there.

Stephen Fife -- If you're in a really deep league or just love getting good performances out of random names (who doesn't?!), Fife will face an incredibly depleted Padres lineup Thursday. The Friars are sans Everth Cabrera, Yonder Alonso, Cameron Maybin, Jedd Gyorko and Carlos Quentin for the time being (though Quentin could return). There isn't a lot to be afraid of in that lineup, and Fife has a 3.74 ERA with a 62 percent ground-ball rate in his brief MLB stint this season. Don't get fooled by the 8.7 K/9, though. Fife's swinging strike rate is just 5.7 percent and he has a paltry 6.7 K/9 in his minor league career. There's quality start upside here though.

Regrettably, the Jeff Baker Experience has been put on a temporary hiatus due to a sprained thumb. Baker sustained the injury while high-fiving a teammate (no, seriously) which should only go to show how truly awesome he is. When he's back from the DL, lefties beware, and fantasy owners perk up. He's still hitting .386/.491/1.000 against lefties with eight homers in 53 plate appearances. Jeff Baker, you guys.


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