Let’s face it — the time for a measured, patient approach to your fantasy season is coming to an end. With just over two months remaining, many gamers now need to get aggressive with their streaming options as they look to make up ground in pitching categories or reach their innings limit. But even with an aggressive approach, there is still room for thoughtfulness.
For those looking to use a starter against a National League squad, here are the details you’ll want to know, and check out the American League edition here.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The only NL team that sits among the top-five in baseball in OPS resides in Los Angeles. The Dodgers are especially scary against righties (.825 OPS) and at home (.835 OPS). They are also among the best in the Senior Circuit at avoiding whiffs.
Summary: Avoid with all streamers.
The D-backs have been better than many observers expected this year, and their success against lefties (.836 OPS) and on the road (.802 OPS) are the biggest reasons. With a .730 OPS at their humidor-impacted home park, they are a reasonable matchup in those situations.
Summary: Avoid with lefties and when they are on the road.
San Diego Padres
Even after adding Manny Machado, the Padres are still a below-average offensive club. Petco Park remains an attractive venue for streaming starters, as San Diego owns a .713 OPS at home vs. a .766 mark on the road. The club is also among the Major League leaders with 1036 strikeouts.
Summary: Target them at Petco Park and with righties.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are one of the best streaming matchups overall (.699 OPS), but they are especially enticing when facing a lefty (.667 OPS) or playing at their offense-inhibiting home park (.647 OPS).
Summary: Stream aggressively, especially for games at Oracle Park.
The least surprising part of this article is that the Rockies are baseball’s best offense at home (.886 OPS) and second-worst on the road (.669 OPS). Their handedness splits are balanced, and they strike out more often than most teams.
Summary: Avoid at all costs at Coors and stream aggressively elsewhere.
The Cubs are generally an offense to avoid, as they own an OPS between .740 and .790 in all the standard situations mentioned in this article. They strike out more often than the average club, but not enough to make up for their potential to ruin a hurler’s day.
Summary: You have to be pretty desperate to target this offense.
The Brewers have minimal handedness splits, but they are much better at their offense-inducing home park (.800 OPS) than on the road (.746 OPS). The club also joins the Padres as the best NL lineups to target in search of strikeouts.
Summary: Come for the whiffs, stay for the road matchups.
St. Louis Cardinals
Although they don’t strike out often (914 times), the Cardinals are generally a fine club to stream against. This is especially true when they are at home (.698 OPS) instead of on the road (.749 OPS).
Summary: A decent streaming option, especially when they are at home.
Owners should target the Pirates with left-handed starters, against whom they own a .666 OPS. The club has fared well vs. righties (.779 OPS) and at home (.778 OPS).
Summary: A great matchup for southpaw streamers.
Not surprisingly, the Reds have been much better at home (.764 OPS) than on the road (.713 OPS). The club has balanced splits against righties and southpaws.
Summary: A reasonable matchup overall, and a preferred one when they are on the road.
The Braves have been dynamite at home (.836 OPS) and merely solid on the road (.758 OPS). In terms of handedness splits, they have been very effective against both sides. Overall, this is one of the top offenses in the National League.
Summary: Completely avoid at home and handle carefully on the road.
The resurgent Nationals have been terrific this season against lefties (.823 OPS) and at home (.813 OPS). Although they haven’t been awful vs. righties or on the road, their sub-.755 OPS in both situations opens up some streaming possibilities.
Summary: Consider them a neutral matchup for righties and when they are on the road. Otherwise, avoid.
The 2019 season isn’t turning out the way the Phillies expected it to, and their offensive struggles on the road (.712 OPS) are a major reason. The club has also been slightly better against lefties than right-handers.
Summary: Target when they are on the road, but otherwise a neutral matchup.
New York Mets
The Mets have been great against left-handers (.806 OPS) but slightly below average vs. righties (.733 OPS). And even though Citi Field isn’t a homer-happy venue, New York has been slightly more effective at home than on the road.
Summary: A neutral matchup overall, but be careful with left-handed streamers.
We finally get to the Marlins, who are the most attractive streaming matchup in the National League. Miami sits last in baseball in overall OPS (.654) and they don’t own an OPS of at least .665 in any of our major splits. They also offer great win potential, as the club sits last in the Senior Circuit by a wide margin.