Given how rough pitching has been this season, I'm pleased to inform everyone that it's a rich pitching slate Tuesday, with several potential pickups even beyond the three I've highlighted.
Some options in the middle to low tiers are starting to assert themselves and could be longer-term holds as well. The hitting is more of a mixed bag, particularly at the middle-infield slots, though part of that is because those positions are deep so most teams already have a strong option there anyway.
Pitchers to stream
Zach Eflin (R), rostered in 46 percent of ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets: It's a rich day for streaming starters. I considered including Domingo German (56 percent), Jeff Samardzija (8 percent), Homer Bailey (4 percent), Pablo Lopez (3 percent) and Spencer Turnbull (3 percent), but settled on these three, starting with Eflin. He was walloped in Miami of all places (6 earned runs in four innings) and has allowed just three earned runs in 18 innings outside of that. He fanned only two in Colorado, but I'm not going to quibble when he survived Coors with six solid innings (3 runs, 2 earned). Eflin gets another crack against Miami on Sunday, so I'd consider holding him beyond this start if he does as expected.
Frankie Montas (R), 25 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers: Montas has traded in some strikeouts for a greatly improved walk rate, compiling a 2.70 ERA in his first four starts, including two strong outings against Houston. It's a worthy trade if he can keep the ratios strong and cut down his 22 percent HR/FB rate. The Rangers are a sneaky-solid offense, but getting them away from home certainly cuts into their effectiveness.
Luke Weaver (R), 10 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates: After getting pushed around by the Dodgers in his debut, Weaver has allowed just five earned runs in 16⅓ innings of work (2.76) with 21 strikeouts against just three walks. A 14 percent swinging-strike rate has fueled his 17 strikeouts over the past two starts, during which he has just one walk. The former top prospect might have found his footing with his new team and definitely merits consideration for the longer term, particularly with a two-start setup this week (Sunday vs. the Cubs). His roster rate should be higher, so buy now while he's widely available.
The Nationals have a comical 7.41 bullpen ERA, and that could rise substantially with a series in Colorado. Perhaps the most shocking part is that Sean Doolittle (0.90 in 10 IP) and Kyle Barraclough (1.23 in 7⅓ IP) have both been fantastic, but that gives you an idea of how just horrific that rest of their guys have been so far. The lowlights include Trevor Rosenthal's 40.50 ERA in six outings (2 IP) and Tony Sipp with a 10.80 ERA in five innings.
Projected game scores
Mitch Garver (R), 13 percent, Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros (LHP Wade Miley): A pair of two-homer games already have Garver within two homers of his 2018 total of seven in 335 plate appearances. Obviously neither his .429 BABIP nor his 46 percent HR/FB rate will sustain, but the wasteland that is catcher makes Garver a worthy option, especially in two-catcher leagues. He has clubbed all five of his homers against righties, but he could draw the start Tuesday over left-handed Jason Castro.
Ryon Healy (R), 53 percent, Seattle Mariners at San Diego Padres (LHP Nick Margevicius): Healy has done his best work against lefties for the bulk of his career, but he dipped down to just a .631 OPS against them last year, thanks in large part to a .239 BABIP. He has only 17 PA against them so far this year, so I'm putting virtually no weight in his .782 OPS (though it's perfectly acceptable if he maintained at that level). Margevicius has an insane .188 BABIP against righties thus far and that just cannot sustain. More important, four of the nine hits he's allowed to right-handers have gone for extra bases. I'm calling my shot with Healy here: He's going yard.
Brandon Lowe (L), 36 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Homer Bailey): Lowe smacked six homers in 148 plate appearances last year. He already has six in 82 PA this year, riding an insane 38 percent HR/FB rate. That won't hold, but he is absolutely smashing the ball, with a 52 percent hard contact rate, including seven barrels. He had 10 last year. Bailey has been pitching really well and was a consideration for one of the streamers of the day, but he's far from unbeatable, of course.
Hunter Dozier (R), 28 percent, Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays (Bullpen game): Dozier is an early season breakthrough, garnering lots of attention not only for his results (.304 average, 6 HRs), but also for the believable changes underneath the performance. He's cut his strikeout rate 8 points to 20 percent while more than doubling his walk rate to 15 percent (plus 9 points). He has always hit the ball hard, this year it's turning into early results. I'm personally buying this beyond just a Tuesday spot start and could absolutely seem him an all-formats guy in short order. Buy!
Garrett Hampson (R), 11 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Washington Nationals (LHP Patrick Corbin): I can't pretend Hampson has been any good this year, but I'm trying to get a piece of a Coors Field game for a Tuesday spot start and he's the most readily available. Corbin isn't exactly the most favorable matchup, either, but again, the pickings are slim to find an available player in Coors. Perhaps Hampson could be your punt play in a DFS lineup.
Yonder Alonso (L), 9 percent, Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner): Alonso is off to a slow start against righties with just a .587 OPS, but there are few pitchers better to get right against than one Andrew Cashner. Cashner allowed an .852 OPS against righties last year, the equivalent of Giancarlo Stanton, and has just one season under that mark in the past four. He's holding them to a .600 clip thus far, but I'm betting there's a severe correction in the very near future, perhaps at the hands of not only Alonso but also his teammates Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson.
Tommy La Stella (L), 4 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees (RHP Domingo German): Why does La Stella have six homers already? I don't know ... and you don't, either. Sure, a juiced ball explains some of it, but it's still patently absurd. All six have come against righties en route to a .974 OPS, and while I very much like German, I needed a middle-infield pick. Perhaps German stifles La Stella, but a reliever serves one up to the 30-year-old journeyman infielder later in the game.
Clint Frazier (R), 44 percent, New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Chris Stratton): Frazier has absolutely made the most of his opportunity and I'm somewhat surprised that he's on just 44 percent of rosters given the vast injuries suffered by the Yankees. His playing time is cleared for the foreseeable future, and it won't be impeded when guys return if he continues to mash. He is demolishing righties with a .365/.375/.692 line, including five of his six homers. Good luck, Stratton!
Dwight Smith Jr. (L), 27 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Smith has been an early-season revelation for the O's, netting an .839 OPS with four home runs and three stolen bases in 98 plate appearances. The 26-year-old is building on a nice spring (1.082 OPS, 5 HRs, 2 SB) and has batted lower than the 3-spot just three times in 21 games, and it was the 5-spot all three times. Nova allowed an .835 OPS or higher to lefties each of the past four seasons, so get all your lefty Orioles in the lineup.
Jeff McNeil (L), 57 percent, New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin): McNeil has picked up right where his 2018 left off, and he's earning more playing time thanks to a surge against lefties (1.292 OPS). We are obviously more focused on his work versus righties for this outing, but if he does garner a full-time role, his roster rate should continue to climb. The power development will be key to just how valuable he can be as it seems like mostly empty batting average right now. He had an eight-homer/19-stolen base full season in 63 games last year.