Catchers to Stream for Week 4 (8/17 – 8/23)

Who are the top streaming options in week 4?

Catcher is a barren wasteland. Unless you’ve got one of the top catchers, you’re left guessing as to what to do with the position. This article looks at the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead.

First, we have to rule out any widely owned catcher. For purposes of this list, it means anyone >50% owned (according to Yahoo). The ineligible catchers are: Gary Sanchez, JT Realmuto, Willson Contreras,  Mitch Garver, Yasmani Grandal, Will Smith, Salvador Perez, Travis d’Arnaud, Christian Vazquez, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Carson Kelly.

On top of that, I’m avoiding certain situations until playing time becomes clearer. Those situations include the Padres (Austin Hedges/Francisco Mejia) and the Nationals (Kurt Suzuki/Yan Gomes). Last week, this list included the Braves, but Travis d’Arnaud is suddenly starting every day, which explains his massive boost in ownership.

I love watching the fluctuation in the size of the list above each week. Last week, we had dropped to a season-low of 9 players, but we’re back up to 11, as some begin to move on from Sanchez and Garver’s slow starts.


Reviewing Last Week


Last year, I outlined guidelines for determining a streaming “win” and I’ll leave these up here each week as a reminder.

  1. Batting average is king. When we stream a catcher, we’re not expecting multiple home runs, so a guy hitting .275 is helpful and I’ll consider that a plus. Anything over .300 is a super plus and a near-automatic win. That said, we have to keep in mind the number of plate appearances—under 10 PA diminishes that boost.
  2. Home runs have a major impact. If you get two homers from the catcher position, it’s almost a guaranteed win, unless the catcher batted under the Mendoza line. However, a catcher can still be a streaming win without home runs if other factors are there.
  3. Counting stats (R+RBI) are the lowest stat consideration because you’re not expecting them from your catcher anyway. They’re a nice bonus.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Texas Rangers4/20, 3 R, SB

Man, if he bopped one big fly, got one more hit, or stole one more base, I’d comfortably call this a win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. This is my last week with IKF on the catcher streaming register and that makes me sad… I need a new crown prince.

Omar Narvaez, Milwaukee Brewers: 1/16

I warned you not to do this, but I likely shouldn’t have recommended it in the first place.

Austin Nola, Seattle Mariners: 4/20, R, HR, RBI

Without a few extra counting stats, I’m gonna take the L on this one. The playing time is still top-notch and he’s hitting 5th, so he should come out the other side unscatched.

Dave’s Streaming Record: 1-8

It’s been a rocky start for catcher streaming. This week should be better.


Quick Thoughts from Week 2


I write this hoping you’re all proud Salvador Perez owners, as he is mashing to the tune of .329 with 4 HRs so far and 4 multi-hit games in his last 10. He’s also hitting 3rd and 4th in the lineup and playing every day… at catcher. What more could you want?

The Dodgers just recalled Keibert Ruiz, placing Will Smith on the IL in a corresponding move. To give you a bit of a breakdown on Ruiz, his main calling card is his hit tool; Fangraphs gives him a 70 grade future hit tool which should make him a factor in fantasy lineups for years to come despite his 35 grade game power. I’m not sure how great he’ll be in this campaign, notably because we don’t know that he’ll just step right into the 1C role that Smith held down. I’m recommending him for streaming though, in case the Dodgers do trust him.

Roberto Perez is set to return from the IL on Tuesday! Get him back in your lineup, especially those of you who are streaming.

The Texas Rangers placed Robinson Chirinos on the 10-day IL, recalling Jose Trevino who will split time with Jeff Mathis. Neither is worth your attention.

I love the production from Pedro Severino thus far, but Chance Sisco continues to split playing time. Buy in at your own risk.

If Tony Wolters can’t deliver more than 3/13 with 3 RBI in a full week in Coors, you really can’t trust him ever.

Perhaps I should’ve seen this week coming from Martin Maldonado. He plated 7 runs with 2 HRs and 5 runs scored… but he still hit just .210 on the week. Those are both of his HRs this year and with just 21 HRs over the last two seasons, it’s near impossible to predict when that week will come. I’ll keep a closer eye on Maldonado, but his continued dance with the Mendoza line will keep him likely out of consideration.

Last week, we talked about Max Stassi. Since then he’s gone 0/7. Don’t overreact to small samples. Yes, I know 0/7 is a small sample. It should matter about as much to you as the first two weeks did. Not much? Precisely.


This Week’s Streamers


Keibert Ruiz, Los Angeles DodgersThere’s definitely risk here, as we have no idea how the playing time will divvy up between him and Austin Barnes, but there’s still a lot of room for upside. First off, the Dodgers have seven games, which is always a bright spot for catcher streaming. Second, they get a littany of juicy matchups, starting with Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, Taijuan Walker, and Yusei Kikuchi of Seattle, followed by a trio of Rockies, but not German Marquez.

Martin Maldonado, Houston Astros: I know. I just got done saying that it’s impossible to predict Maldonado’s hot weeks and this reeks of trying to ride the coattails of last week. But what if I told you the ‘Stros play a pair in Coors? Yes, one of those games is against Marquez, but being in Coors should mitigate those results a bit. Add onto that two games vs Colorado in Houston and a trio of games vs Garrett RichardsZach Davies, and a struggling Chris Paddack. For a guy who performs a little better vs lefties, it’s unfortunately to get only one lefty (Kyle Freeland), but the rest should provide enough opportunty for him to deliver.

Roberto Perez, Cleveland Indians: Could Perez return as my prodigal son like he was last year? I don’t think so, mostly because as soon as a catcher I love begins to heat up, they get taken away from me. I expect that process to start this week with games against Derek Holland and Trevor Williams in Pittsburgh followed by games against Michael Fulmer and Matthew Boyd and a mystery starter (Casey Mize, perhaps?). There’s nothing in there that worries me. I just hope he’s back and healthy this time.


Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcommr on Twitter)

Dave Cherman

Across the Seams Manager, also a former player and umpire and New York-based lawyer who spends his free time studying advanced statistics and obsessing over fantasy trades. Will debate with you about most anything.

2 responses to “Catchers to Stream for Week 4 (8/17 – 8/23)”

  1. Can’t Stop Backstop says:

    Just lost Will Smith. I know he’s not a streamer-Carson Kelly is available. So is Roberto Perez and Keibert Ruiz. What’s the right move?

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