Fantasy Baseball: The top starting pitchers to stream in Week 4

Tampa Bay Rays starter Zack Littell is an ideal streaming candidates this week up against two offenses off to slow starts in the Tigers and White Sox. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

The next few days will be a busy time in the fantasy landscape, as nearly half of teams are at the outset of a seven-game week. This may be a good week to release struggling players who are taking up roster space and instead use the lineup spots to start the process of streaming.

In shallow leagues, the two-start streamers are especially appealing.

Two-Start Pitchers (listed in order of preference)

Zack Littell, 46% (vs. DET, @CWS)

Although Littell has not fully repeated his incredible control skills from last season, he has still produced an excellent 22:5 K:BB ratio across 21 innings. He could be a game changer in fantasy circles this week, as both of his matchups are against offenses that rank among the bottom-six in OPS.

Keaton Winn, 8% (vs. NYM, vs. PIT)

Winn gets plenty of groundballs, and although not overpowering, his career 7.3 K/9 ratio is good enough to warrant streamer consideration. He will benefit this week from making both starts at his pitcher-friendly home park, and the Mets and Pirates each possess middle-of-the-pack offenses. He’s an easy “yes” for streaming in 12-team roto leagues and all head-to-head formats.

Jon Gray, 24% (vs. SEA, vs. CIN)

After struggling in his 2024 debut, Gray has allowed two earned runs across 14.2 innings during his past three starts and threw 1.2 scoreless relief innings on Saturday. He also struck out 16 batters during his past two starts, which raises his ceiling for two home starts against one offense that has thus far been respectable (Reds) and one that has struggled (Mariners).

Lance Lynn, 39% (vs. ARI, @ NYM)

Lynn has been all over the map across four starts. He looked great in two outings, albeit with one coming against the lowly A’s. But he walked four batters in one appearance and gave up three homers in another. The right-hander has a pair of midlevel matchups next week, and the guess here is that his inconsistency will continue. For this reason, his greatest appeal comes in head-to-head leagues.

José Quintana, 15% (@SF, vs. STL)

Quintana has been fortunate to limit scoring (3.05 ERA) in his four starts, as his 16:11 K:BB ratio in 20.2 innings should have led to disaster. I can find some reasons for optimism in his matchups this week though, as both games will come at offense-suppressing parks and the Cardinals offense is off to a slow start. But Quintana hasn’t pitched well enough to be considered in most roto leagues.

Paul Blackburn, 50% (@NYY, @BAL)

After tossing 19.1 scoreless innings in his initial three starts, Blackburn allowed three runs across 5.2 frames last time out. But the right-hander struggles to rack up whiffs and has an extremely difficult schedule this week, which should keep him out of most lineups.

BONUS: Check if these two-start pitchers are still available in your leagues, then add and fire them up this week:

  • Michael Wacha, 58% (vs. TOR, @DET): Wacha has excelled as a member of the Royals (3.75 ERA, 1.04 WHIP), albeit with his two best starts coming against the White Sox. Still, he’s a quality streamer in virtually all leagues for a midlevel matchup against Toronto and a favorable one against a struggling Tigers offense.

  • Reynaldo López, 67% (vs. MIA, vs. CLE): López has appeared in this article for three consecutive weeks, as his starts continue to be pushed back. This serves as a great reminder that when the options are similar, managers should often choose a two-start pitcher with his second scheduled outing on Saturday over one scheduled for Sunday. López thrived in his three starts (0.50 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) and his matchups are favorable, making him a terrific option.

  • Yusei Kikuchi, 66% (@KC, vs. LAD): Based on skills, Kikuchi could top this entire list. After all, he has recorded an outstanding 29:8 K:BB ratio across 21 innings. But his matchups are rough this week, as the Dodgers (4th) and Royals (12th) are both formidable opponents. Still, Kikuchi has pitched well enough to be started in virtually every league.

One-Start Streamers

In order, here are the best streamers for the week, with their start date and Yahoo roster rate in parentheses.

  • Seth Lugo @DET (Friday, 63)

  • Clarke Schmidt vs. OAK (Wednesday, 25)

  • Edward Cabrera vs. WSH (Saturday, 67)

  • Sean Manaea @SF (Wednesday, 29)

  • José Buttó vs. STL (Friday, 33)

  • Casey Mize vs. KC (Saturday, 28)

  • Dean Kremer @LAA (Wednesday, 18)

  • Dane Dunning vs. SEA (Wednesday, 23)

  • Cole Irvin vs. OAK (Saturday, 3)

  • José Soriano vs. MIN (Saturday, 4)

  • Martín Pérez @SF (Friday, 34)

  • Tyler Alexander vs. DET (Wednesday, 1)

  • Reese Olson vs. KC (Friday, 17)

  • Steven Matz vs. ARI (Tuesday, 9)

  • Trevor Williams @MIA (Friday, 8)

  • Mitchell Parker @MIA (Saturday, 9)

  • Graham Ashcraft vs. PHI (Thursday, 18)

Favorable Monday-Thursday hitting matchups

Padres @ Rockies: Padres hitters must be licking their chops to play four games at Coors Field against a staff that ranks last in ERA. Jake Cronenworth (62%) and Luis Campusano (56%) should be started in all leagues, while Jurickson Profar (27%) is a fine streamer in 12-team formats. The Rockies could score often as well, with Charlie Blackmon (12%) and Brenton Doyle (12%) ranking as their best streamers.

Twins vs. White Sox: The Twins offense could finally find a bit of a groove when they face three unimpressive right-handers and southpaw Garrett Crochet, who has cooled after a hot start. Edouard Julien (49%), Ryan Jeffers (35%) and Alex Kirilloff (12%) are excellent streaming options.

Yankees vs. A’s: The Yankees should score plenty of runs in four games at their offense-inducing home park against an A’s staff that lacks high-level hurlers. Most of New York’s top hitters are widely rostered, but Anthony Rizzo (39%) and Alex Verdugo (36%) are waiver wire options to consider.

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