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Fantasy Baseball Weekend Preview: Substantial streaming should send you to success

This weekend’s matchups are more polarizing than usual, which means that those who stream heavily are likely to get ahead. Some of the top offenses are slated to face subpar pitching staffs, and there are a few teams who will have the misfortune of tangling with their opponents’ best hurlers.

On the pitching side, there are a handful of terrific streamers, with a few others who can be utilized in head-to-head leagues.

Matchups to Target

Yankees vs. White Sox

Not only do the Yankees get to spend their weekend playing at their offense-inducing home park against a team that sits 24th in ERA, but they also have the benefit of facing the White Sox's three weakest starters, all of whom throw from the right side. Lefty hitter Alex Verdugo (50%) has been regularly hitting out of the cleanup spot and therefore is the top player to target. Oswaldo Cabrera (51%) is another option and has the benefit of being eligible at four positions. Finally, those who roster Anthony Rizzo should get him into their lineup.

Braves vs. Padres

Atlanta’s offense hasn’t found its top form to this point in 2024, but it still ranks sixth in baseball in OPS. Although Yu Darvish is a formidable foe on Saturday, the team faces weaker right-handers during the initial two games of the series. Unfortunately for streaming managers, most of the Braves hitters are already rostered. Still, Travis d’Arnaud (43%) is a good catching streamer. Jarred Kelenic (18%) is an option in deep leagues.

Royals vs. A’s

Kansas City will square off with three mediocre Oakland starters. The Friday and Sunday matchups are against southpaws, which makes Nelson Velázquez (6%) the best streamer. Another righty hitter, Hunter Renfroe (5%), can be considered in deep leagues. It may also be a good weekend to sit Michael Massey or MJ Melendez, who tend to sit or hit low in the lineup against lefties.

Rangers vs. Angels

The Rangers should have an effective weekend against a starting trio of Tyler Anderson, Patrick Sandoval and José Soriano, and a bullpen with a league-worst 5.17 ERA. With two of the hurlers throwing from the left side, switch-hitter Leody Taveras (25%) and righty swinger Ezequiel Durán (10%) are streaming options.

Matchups to Avoid

Orioles vs. Mariners

Baltimore leads the majors in homers and ranks fifth in OPS, but they will find life difficult against three outstanding Seattle right-handers. Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman need to stay in all lineups, but the rest of the team’s hitters should be evaluated more closely than usual.

Cardinals vs. Red Sox

The Cardinals are unlikely to enjoy a high-scoring weekend against three Boston starters who each own an ERA under 3.50. St. Louis doesn’t have a healthy hitter who has been a top-200 fantasy player in 2024, which makes me want to bench all of them for this series.

Nationals @ Phillies

It’s hard to recommend many Washington hitters against three effective Philadelphia starters (Zack Wheeler, Cristopher Sánchez, Aaron Nola). C.J. Abrams needs to remain active, and those in 12-team leagues can consider Luis García Jr. and Jacob Young because Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto surrenders plenty of steals.

A’s @ Royals

Oakland hitters have outperformed expectations, but this is not the weekend to add them, as they will face a solid starting trio of Cole Ragans, Seth Lugo and Brady Singer. I would lean towards benching all of the A’s, although Brent Rooker will squeak into some lineups.

Seeking Saves

SHALLOW LEAGUE SPECIAL: James McArthur (Kansas City Royals, 65%)

McArthur remains available in shallow leagues and has an excellent chance to produce a save or two when Kansas City rolls out their three best starters against an A’s team that has exceeded expectations in the early portion of the season but still lacks talent overall.

Trevor Megill (Milwaukee Brewers, 44%)

Megill is clearly the Brewers' closer and should be rostered in at least 75% of leagues. The right-hander should make an appearance or two during a weekend series in Houston that seems destined to have some close games.

Seeking Steals

Leody Taveras (Texas Rangers, 25%)

The Rangers have few base-stealing threats, which is a shame for this weekend’s schedule because Logan O’Hoppe has allowed more steals than any other catcher. Aside from superstar Adolis García, Taveras has the best chance of picking up a couple swipes in this series.

Streaming Starters

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

Christian Scott @MIA (Friday, 39)

Dean Kremer vs. SEA (Saturday, 45)

Sean Manaea @MIA (Sunday, 26)

James Paxton vs. CIN (Friday, 37)

Chris Paddack @CLE (Sunday, 21)

Michael Lorenzen vs. LAA (Sunday, 12)

Simeon Woods Richardson @CLE (Friday, 10)

José Soriano @TEX (Sunday, 6)

Bryce Elder vs. SD (Saturday, 17)

Kyle Gibson vs. BOS (Friday, 30)

Keaton Winn vs. COL (Sunday, 7)

Logan Allen vs. MIN (Saturday, 18)