Fantasy Baseball Weekend Preview: Streamer rankings and two available saves sources

James McArthur #66 of the Kansas City Royals
James McArthur looks poised to wrest some saves away from the competition, so fantasy managers should go get him. (Photo by Reed Hoffmann/Getty Images) (Reed Hoffmann via Getty Images)

Although there have been plenty of pitcher injuries in 2024, the pool of available streamers remains plentiful. Managers in roto leagues should continue to be aggressive with their streamers during April, as another wave of ailments to hurlers could leave us with few reliable options by the summer months.

On the hitting side, this is a great weekend to target players from the Blue Jays and Nats.

Matchups to Target

Blue Jays vs. Rockies

Toronto should score early and often against a Rockies pitching staff that currently owns a 6.57 ERA. With Colorado set to start right-handers on Friday and Saturday, lefty swingers Daulton Varsho (47%) and Cavan Biggio (10%) are good options. Isiah Kiner-Falefa (1%) is eligible at multiple positions and warrants consideration in deeper formats.

Nationals @ A’s

Oakland has had a respectable start to the season in the pitching department, but the guess here is that they will not be able to make it last. An inevitable downturn could start against the Nats this weekend, and at the very least, Washington should reach base often enough to add to their league-leading steals total. Keibert Ruiz (55%) is a good streamer in one-catcher formats, while Trey Lipscomb (4%) has earned the 3B job and is an option in 12-team leagues.

Phillies vs. Pirates

Managers in deep formats could get creative by streaming some right-handed hitting Phillies against Pirates lefties Bailey Falter (career 4.80 ERA) and Marco Gonzales (career 4.12 ERA) on Friday and Saturday. The options include Whit Merrifield (21%), Johan Rojas (6%) and Edmundo Sosa (0%).

Matchups to Avoid

Angels @ Red Sox

Los Angeles has terrible timing, as it will play their second series of the young season against a red-hot Red Sox staff that leads the Majors in ERA. Aside from Mike Trout and Taylor Ward, all Angels hitters should be benched in mixed leagues.

Brewers @ Orioles

Milwaukee will face three effective right-handed starters and a solid relief corps this weekend. Aside from Christian Yelich, Jackson Chourio and William Contreras, Brewers batters belong on the bench in shallow leagues.

Astros vs. Rangers

The possession of effective starting pitchers is just one of the reasons that both the Rangers and Astros are among the best teams in baseball. They will each send a solid group of starters into their series this weekend. Star players on both squads need to stay in the lineup, but I would go with option B if you have reservations about a marginal player such as Jeremy Peña or Leody Taveras.

Marlins vs. Braves

The Marlins are unlikely to get their season on track when they face three effective Atlanta starters and a deep Braves relief corps. Jazz Chisholm Jr., Jake Burger and Luis Arraez are the only Miami position players who should be anywhere near fantasy lineups.

Seeking Saves

The following two men are available on the waiver wire and could earn a save this weekend.

James McArthur (Kansas City Royals), 38% rostered

Although he has not been dominant, McArthur (5.40 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) has pitched well enough to take the closer’s role away from Will Smith, who is off to an abysmal start. With the Royals playing winning baseball (8-4 record), there may be plenty of save chances for McArthur in the coming days.

Aroldis Chapman (Pittsburgh Pirates), 47% rostered

Chapman has been among the most effective relievers in baseball this year (0.00 ERA, 0.23 WHIP, 8:1 K:BB). Meanwhile, closer David Bednar has been scored on in three of five outings and was booed heavily when leaving the field on Tuesday. It’s too early to recommend Chapman as a long-term saves option, but he might receive some opportunities during an upcoming four-game series in Philadelphia if Bednar is awarded a brief reprieve.

Streaming starters (Yahoo roster rate in parentheses)

  • MacKenzie Gore @ OAK (Saturday, 43%)

  • Sean Manaea vs. KC (Friday, 43%)

  • Michael Wacha @ NYM (Friday, 61%)

  • Spencer Turnbull vs. PIT (Saturday, 38)

  • Tyler Wells vs. MIL (Friday, 43)

  • James Paxton vs. SD (Sunday, 38)

  • Dean Kremer vs. MIL (Saturday, 24)

  • Reese Olson vs. MIN (Sunday, 21)

  • Gavin Stone vs. SD (Saturday, 46)

  • Louie Varland @ DET (Sunday, 32)

  • Javier Assad @ SEA (Sunday, 18)

  • Steven Matz @ ARI (Friday, 7)

  • Paul Blackburn vs. WSH (Friday, 16)

  • Luis Gil @ CLE (Saturday, 30)

  • Clarke Schmidt @ CLE (Friday, 18)

  • Bowden Francis vs. COL (Saturday, 2)

  • Tyler Anderson @ BOS (Sunday, 17)

  • Trevor Williams @ OAK (Sunday, 2)

  • Kenta Maeda vs. MIN (Friday, 30)

  • Jake Irvin @ OAK (Friday, 1)

  • Graham Ashcraft @ CWS (Sunday, 9)