Catchers to Stream for Week 7 (5/13 – 5/19)

Scott Chu takes you through the streaming options at catcher in Week 7.

If you missed out on the cream of the crop at catcher and need help to address the problem, look no further. This article will address your concerns by looking at who might be the best streaming-caliber catchers for the week ahead. This is piece is usually tended to by the expert analysis of Dave Cherman, but I’ll be covering for him for for another week. Don’t worry, he’ll be back soon.

First, we have to rule out any widely owned catcher. For the purposes of this list, that means anyone who has 50% ownership rate or higher. The ineligible catchers are:

Gary Sanchez – (New York Yankees)

J.T. Realmuto – (Philadelphia Phillies)

Buster Posey – (San Francisco Giants)

Willson Contreras – (Chicago Cubs)

Yadier Molina – (St. Louis Cardinals)

Yasmani Grandal – (Milwaukee Brewers)

Wilson Ramos – (New York Mets)

Omar Narvaez – (Seattle Mariners)


Reviewing Last Week


In weeks past, Dave 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.


Robinson Chirinos – (Houston Astros): He played in five games this week and went 5-19 with 2 HR, 5 runs, and 5 RBI. As we hoped, he took full advantage of the weak pitching he faced and I hope you were able to benefit from the .385/.579/.846 line. The most surprising part, honestly, was that he only struck out twice.

Jonathan Lucroy – (Los Angeles Angels): I picked Lucroy as a streamer because I thought he’d play a lot and take advantage of bad pitching. He played less than I hoped (four games), and did OK, going 3-16 with a HR, 2 runs, and 2 RBI. I truthfully thought he’d do a little better, but slashing .214/.313/.500 as a catcher is pretty decent in these dark times.

Chris Iannetta – (Colorado Rockies): The good news? He had at least 1 extra-base hit, run, and RBI in every game he played this week. The bad news? He only played twice. I really thought they’d get him in more against all those lefties, but going 3-9 with a double, home run, 2 runs, and 3 RBI ain’t bad, especially when it comes with 3 walks and just 1 K.

Dave’s Streaming Record: 7-6

Scott’s Streaming Record: 2-0-1 (because it’s hard to call two games played a win)


Quick Thoughts from Week 6


Two fairly widely owned catchers in Buster Posey and Mike Zunino went down, which is a major bummer. I expect Posey to be back for the second half of next week, but Zunino will be out for at least a month. He’s probably droppable in all 10- to 12-team formats. I might drop him in deeper leagues as well, depending on how much IL space I have.

La Tortuga is back, baby! He finally returned to action today (Sunday) and was put into the leadoff spot against lefty Daniel Norris. I’ve been consistent and noisy about my love for what Willians Astudillo brings to the table and still consider him a potential top-six catcher going forward. Mitch Garver has been a nice surprise, but he’ll struggle to play more than three-to-four games per week while Astudillo and Jason Castro are healthy; with the massive amount of success the Twins have gotten from their platoon behind the dish, I’d be surprised to see anything change. Astudillo is the one I want for both skills and playing time.

Carson Kelly, finally out from the shadow of Yadier Molina, has been giving us a taste of why he was so highly regarded as a catching prospect. Since April 26, he’s hitting .292/.414/.667 with 2 HRs, though the playing time has been a tad sporadic. The Diamondbacks want him to be something, so he’ll continue to get every opportunity. Those in need of a catcher in deep keeper and dynasty formats may want to look into his services.


This Week’s Streamers


Robinson Chirinos – (Houston Astros): I’m doubling down! This week, the Astros will face the Tigers and Red Sox three times each and will face some less-than-intimidating arms for four of those contests in Ryan Carpenter, Tyson Ross, Rick Porcello, and a pitcher to be named later. Matt Boyd and Chris Sale are also on the schedule, but at least Chirinos has a platoon advantage in those tough matchups.

Martin Maldonado – (Kansas City Royals): I’ve admittedly never felt good owning or recommending Maldonado, but his schedule isn’t very scary: Shelby MillerMike Minor, and Lance Lynn on the front end, and Matt Harvey, Griffin Canning, and Tyler Skaggs for the weekend. He only has one extra-base hit this month, but he should find a couple more during the week. If nothing else, you know he’s going to play a ton for the Royals.

Willians Astudillo – (Minnesota Twins): I saved the best for last. Soft schedule? CHECK. He’ll see Tyler SkaggsFelix Pena, and Trevor Cahill for the first three games followed by Erik Swanson, Felix Hernandez, Marco Gonzalez, and Yusei Kikuchi. Playing time? CHECK. He should play, at a minimum, three times (against the three lefties) and probably once or twice more to fill in at 3B or OF (or maybe C). In those three against southpaws, I also expect him to be at the top or middle of the lineup—a rare honor for a catcher who’s available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues and 85% of ESPN leagues. Talent? ONE MILLION CHECKS. None of these seven pitchers have the stuff to make Astudillo swing and miss, because no one has that kind of stuff. He’s going to put his bat on the ball several times this week—there are very few catchers who we can honestly say that about who are available on waiver wires. Add him. Start him. Love him.

(Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here at Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor of Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and co-host of the Hacks & Jacks Podcast on the PL Podcast Network, and 4x FSWA Award nominee for Best Fantasy Baseball Podcast. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad of three, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

2 responses to “Catchers to Stream for Week 7 (5/13 – 5/19)”

  1. David says:

    Ok so just to clarify, apart from a week to week basis, you prefer Astudillo to Chirinos?

    I love the lineup in front of Chirinos. He just seems to be producing easily esp. for guys like me in a 10 teamer that just finally picked up a catcher.

    So in a 10 teamer as of today for ROS, you are going with Astudillo or Chirinos?

    Out of curiosity? How do you rank your top 10 c?

    • Scott Chu says:

      Great question, David.

      1. Yes Willians over Chirinos because I believe in the playing time. In a 10-team league, Chirinos is right on the edge of keeping vs streaking. I’d probably keep Astudillo.

      2. I’m not sure I have a top 10 set in stone at the moment. I’ll think on it! Hit me up again on this week’s Batter’s Box or Statcast piece.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login