Fantasy Baseball: 5 Pitchers to Stream for Week 1
Mike Foltynewicz, Atlanta Braves
ESPN ownership: 19.1 percent
Yahoo! ownership: 18 percent
Mike Foltynewicz's mid-90s fastball has made him a mildly trendy draft sleeper for deep-leaguers, and the hard-throwing Atlanta Braves' righty gets his first chance to impress next Saturday against a righty-heavy Pittsburgh Pirates lineup that should play to some of his strengths.
Foltynewicz managed 3.71 expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP) against righties last year, a run better than his mark against lefties. The gains that the Atlanta hurler made on his slider effectiveness in 2016 -- surrendering a .629 on base plus slugging percentage (OPS) against compared to a bloated 1.066 mark in 2015 -- could trouble a Pirates squad that was a bottom-six run producer off of sliders last season (per Fangraphs' linear weight metrics).
Granted, the Atlanta offense is no great shakes itself, but Folty will likely be facing off against either Trevor Williams or Tyler Glasnow, both iffy youngsters who might give the Braves and Foltynewicz a better-than-decent chance to walk home with the win.