Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Tuesday

Vince Velasquez's ability to miss bats bodes well against the Diamondbacks. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday's slate is a mix of stars and duds on the mound. Plus, there's a game at Coors so everyone's attention will be there with regard to DFS, meaning you will have to get creative to veer from the herd.


Pitchers to stream

Ian Kennedy (R), rostered in 23 percent of ESPN leagues, Kansas City Royals vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Kennedy had his first tough start of the season last time out, allowing six runs (four earned) thanks to a pair of homers allowed, but he had a 1.00 ERA in his first three starts, going exactly six innings in all three. Kennedy has always been a solid strikeout arm and the Brewers have the league's highest strikeout rate since the start of 2017. Thankfully he gets the Brewers at home instead of at Milwaukee, too, so his chronic home run issue shouldn't be as big of a problem.

Brandon McCarthy (R), 12 percent, Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds: The Athletic's Eno Sarris notes McCarthy has added a slider to his arsenal, with encouraging results. The pitch is harder, and breaks a little less than his curve, giving hitters something else to think about. The last thing the Reds need is something else to think about as they sit in the bottom five when it comes to wOBA versus righties.

Vince Velasquez (R), 15 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Speaking of former prospects trying to regain some status, Velasquez is off to a nice start. He was knocked around in his debut (seven runs allowed, four earned), but has reeled off three quality starts since then, totaling a 2.41 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 19 innings. The Diamondbacks are no pushovers, but Velasquez at his best handles anyone. He can miss bats, limit walks and get relatively deep into games.

Projected game scores

GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. The "*" symbol means the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating. These are the author's ratings.



Kurt Suzuki (R), 27 percent, Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Sal Romano): Suzuki is doing his best to show that last year was no fluke as he continues to dominate at the dish. Last year's success was heavily influenced by his work against lefties (1.191 OPS), but this year he's crushing righties with a 1.071 OPS and all three of the homers he has this year. As rough as catcher can be to fill, I'm surprised that Suzuki is so widely available.

First base

Yonder Alonso (L), 40 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Tyler Chatwood): Chatwood doesn't have a major platoon split (56-point OPS split for his career) over his career, but he's a walk machine who consistently has traffic on the bases, which should be good for a middle-of-the-order bat like Alonso. The Indians first baseman had a fantastic .900 OPS against righties last year with 23 homers. He hasn't caught fire yet this year (.727 OPS, 2 HR), but his plate skills are still strong and he remains a worthy stream against righties.

Second base

Adam Frazier (L), 3 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann): A whopping 44 of Frazier's 45 career extra-base hits have come against righties, yielding an ISO that is 126 points higher than his work against lefties. Meanwhile, Zimm allowed a .291/.336/.477 line against lefties in 2015-17 and it's been even worse so far this year at .314/.368/.514. Consider any Pittsburgh lefty against Zimmermann.

Third base

Jeimer Candelario (B), 16 percent, Detroit Tigers at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): Yes, I'm going against one of my recommended pitchers, but part of that is just acknowledging that not everyone goes directly down the list and uses every single guy. Plus, it's not like Candelario's having a solid day precludes Kuhl from doing the same. Candelario has done his best against righties with a .929 OPS and nine of his 10 extra-base hits. He has batted second in every game this year, too.


Marcus Semien (R), 27 percent, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers (LHP Cole Hamels): My weekly Oakland Athletic! Semien is a known lefty-destroyer and he's done nothing to change that reputation this year. His OPS was 108 points higher against lefties during 2015-17. He's toting a .321/.400/.536 line against them this year and has batted first or second in every game so far. Hamels has allowed an MLB-high seven homers so far this year, all to righties.

Corner infield

C.J. Cron (R), 8 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Alex Cobb): Cron has actually hit righties just as well as lefties throughout his career and while he's had a sharp platoon split favoring his work against lefties this year, I have to get someone in against Cobb. He has been trounced in both of his starts this year after missing spring training and I'm not sure there's any reason to believe he's going to turn it around quickly ... if at all.

Middle infield

Howie Kendrick (R), 17 percent, Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): Kendrick smacked lefties to the tune of a .322/.390/.511 line last year. He's batted fifth or higher in the bulk of his games so far this season and his 35 percent hard contact rate is the second-highest of his career. Blach loves allowing contact with a meager 11 percent strikeout rate for his career and has always had a sharp platoon split favoring righty hitters with a .290/.340/.471 line.


Jason Heyward (L), 10 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Josh Tomlin): Did you know that Heyward has a .900 OPS against righties this year? The much maligned outfielder is holding his own with the platoon advantage and gets a great opportunity to further that against Tomlin. Lefties are doing whatever they want against Tomlin so far this year with an eye-popping 1.460 OPS, albeit in just 23 plate appearances.

Dexter Fowler (B), 49 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets (LHP Steven Matz): Fowler hit .293 against lefties from 2015 to '17 and though he's a horrid 1-for-18 against them so far this year, we're going to #trusttheprocess here. He still leads off regularly and his plate skills (K and BB rates) are the same as his career marks. Matz has allowed an .828 OPS to righties this year with five homers and five steals. Perhaps Fowler can deliver a combo meal (1 HR, 1 SB) and jump-start his season numbers a bit.

Curtis Granderson (L), 12 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox (RHP Rick Porcello): Granderson continues to excel against righties which keeps him in the lineup against them, often atop the order. He has a .907 OPS and both of his homers against righties so despite the playing-time crunch among OF in Toronto, he should remain a fixture versus righties. Porcello is off to a great start this year, but just last year allowed an incredible 21 homers to lefties in 427 plate appearances.

Hitter matchup ratings

Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth), as well as ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.

Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.