Opening Day Streaming Option: Clay Buchholz


Mar 12, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) throws pitches during a spring training baseball game at McKechnie Field. The Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Streaming pitchers has become a big part of fantasy baseball. For those of you who don’t know what streaming is, it’s a strategy based on adding a new pitcher every day and then dropping them after the start. One pitcher to stream when the season begins is Boston Red Sox Opening Day starter Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz struggled last season, 8-11 with a 5.34 ERA and 1.386 WHIP in 170.1 innings. He looked to have turned things around this spring. He finished with a 2.84 ERA and 22 strikeouts in five starts. As a result, manager John Farrell has named Buchholz the Opening Day starter against the Philadelphia Phillies.  

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Buchholz is very inconsistent, unpredictable from year-to-year. He posted a 1.74 ERA in 16 starts in 2013, but the year before he had a 4.56 ERA. While I wouldn’t own Buchholz for a full season, using him as a spot-starter could benefit your team.

Buchholz’s first matchup couldn’t be better. The Phillies batters had a collective 1356 hits (20th), 125 home runs (21st), a .242 batting average (24th), .302 OBP (25th), .363 SLG (28th). I could go on and on. The point is, the Phillies offense is one of the worst in the league. Looking at the Opening Day roster, things don’t look to be getting much better for the team.

Obviously, all of the starting pitchers you drafted won’t be pitching on the first day. So, why not drop your 25th-round pick in order to begin the season on the right foot? He won’t get you eight, nine or 10 strikeouts in a game, but allowing just two runs over seven innings is likely. If you play in a league that uses quality starts instead of wins, Buchholz’s value increases.

Buchholz is currently owned in just 27.2 percent of ESPN leagues. Again, owning Buchholz over a full season could do more harm than good. However, streaming Buchholz for every good matchup can be an advantage you need to put you into the playoffs.