The following is a transcript of a segment from this week's Fantasy411 podcast, hosted by MLB.com lead fantasy writer Fred Zinkie and national editor Matthew Leach. To hear the rest of their discussion, subscribe to the Fantasy411 podcast by clicking here.
Leach: The Mets, particularly their lineup -- and it's funny, if you talk to people who cover the Mets throughout the year, they were really excited about the rotation, obviously they loved the rotation. But people I spoke to early in the year thought the Mets really were going to live or die with their offense. There were some questions about Yoenis Cespedes, and I was talking to somebody who covers them and I said, 'Look, they can't afford to lose this guy.' And the response was, 'No, that's the one guy they can afford to lose.' They really like the offense, but they worry about if something goes wrong with the rotation. That is decidedly no longer the case. The Mets lineup has just been devastated by injuries. and in some cases by underperformance. But it is not anything like they hoped it would be, and where we're going with this is -- and I kind of want to use this to open a sort of bigger question -- as we continue to go through the year and teams start to get a little more stratified, the bad teams start playing the kids, and the good teams start focusing more on getting their best lineups out there every day. To what extent are you targeting the Mets in particular, with opposing starting pitchers in fantasy? And who else are you targeting, or avoiding, either way, because again, we were avoiding the Astros earlier in the year, and I don't think that's the case right now. As we get down to these final small, small margins, how are you looking at matchups, and beyond the Mets, who are you kind of targeting for starting pitchers over the final five weeks?
Zinkie: Yeah, that's a great question, and the reason I wanted to bring up the Mets was that they don't fit the process for figuring out who you want to stream against. When I look at teams I want to stream against, I look at teams that haven't scored many runs this year, or teams that haven't scored many runs in the second half or have a really low, whether it's OPS or whatever stats you want to use against lefties or righties. And the Mets, though their offense hasn't been great, they are 18th in the Majors in runs scored, so on the surface they're not really a big streaming target, when you look at losing Cespedes, losing Michael Conforto, trading away Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, they're not the offense that they were at all. And now I think they're one of the most attractive streaming targets, right there with the Padres, the Giants, the Phillies. The Blue Jays have become a pretty attractive streaming target -- they're in last place in the AL in runs scored, their pitching's a bit of a mess right now. The White Sox are a good streaming target. The A's and the Angels are both great streaming targets for left-handed starters more so than right-handed starters; you can kind of see those splits coming out a little bit. The teams I'm avoiding a lot right now more are the Cubs, the Orioles have been really high-scoring in the second half. And the A's right now are a decent streaming target -- one of the things I'm looking at when targeting teams are teams that strike out a lot.