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Streamer's paradise
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - I streamed Chase Whitley on Friday. Yes, it's true.

In a deep 12-team head-to-head league, I used the 24-year-old New York Yankees rookie against the Kansas City Royals, and he delivered.

Whitley threw a career-high seven innings, didn't walk a batter and allowed two runs on five hits to get his first career win in his fifth career start.

Whitley was decent in his first four starts -- he allowed four runs total -- but also not special, lasting no more than five innings in any of them.

But I didn't hesitate to start him against the punchless Royals, who have hit the fewest home runs in the majors this season.

Let's see where Kansas City ranks on my list of the five best teams to stream starting pitchers against.

5) Tampa Bay Rays

Runs scored: 232

Times shut out: seven

Hitter to fear: Evan Longoria

Wil Myers, the 2013 AL Rookie of the Year, was abysmal in the first two months this season and then he fractured his wrist on May 30. Tampa Bay's lineup has some solid hitters like James Loney, Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings, but Longoria is the only one to fear and he has just 16 extra-base hits (six HR) all year.

4) Kansas City Royals

Runs scored: 234

Times shut out: five

Hitter to fear: Alex Gordon

Billy Butler has turned into the right-handed Ben Revere, recording a ground- ball-to-fly-ball ratio of 2.23, one home run and 12 extra-base hits. Former top prospects Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas have hit a combined five home runs and Salvador Perez' average is just .260. Gordon isn't exactly a power hitter, but he leads the team with six dingers and an .816 OPS. The Royals would rank higher on my list, but they have the fewest Ks in baseball and hit a lot of doubles.

3) New York Mets

Runs scored: 244

Times shut out: six

Hitter to fear: David Wright

Free-agent acquisitions Curtis Granderson and Chris Young have batted .207 collectively, and catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud is hitting .180. Lucas Duda has some pop and Daniel Murphy is respectable, but they shouldn't scare fantasy owners away. Like Longoria for Tampa Bay, Wright is New York's best hitter but hasn't provided much pop this season. He's batting .281 with 14 doubles, four home runs and a .721 OPS. New York ranks 28th in baseball with a .233 average and has the third-most strikeouts with 526.

2) Chicago Cubs

Runs scored: 226

Times shut out: eight

Hitter to fear: Anthony Rizzo

Starlin Castro has had a bounce-back season, but he's mired in a 10-for-60 (.167) slump. When Castro isn't hitting, Rizzo (.276, 12 HR, 33 RBI, .894 OPS) is the only hitter opposing pitchers have to worry about. The Cubs have a .231 average, 518 strikeouts and have been shut out eight times, second-most in baseball to the ...

1) San Diego Padres

Runs scored: 191

Times shut out: nine

Hitter to fear: None

Washington Nationals starter Tanner Roark has a 2.91 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP this season, though perhaps it should be noted that he's faced the Padres twice and allowed zero runs on six hits with 19 Ks and one walk in 17 innings against them. He has a 3.73 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP against non-Padres opponents. San Diego uses Everth Cabrera and his .273 on-base percentage as its leadoff hitter and Chase Headley and his .325 slugging percentage to clean up. Seth Smith had a big May, but he's a journeyman who can't hit lefties.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.


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