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Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Tuesday

Aaron Altherr's typically favorable spot in the lineup against a left-hander makes him an appealing option. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Tuesday offers a throng of big arms going, but that limits the number of avenues to streaming hitters as you aren't likely to strike it rich going against Luis Severino, Carlos Martinez, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, and pitchers of that ilk.

Don't fret, though. We still put together a nice lineup and even have a couple guys who might be worth keeping beyond Tuesday's spot start.


Pitching

Pitchers to stream

Luis Castillo (R), rostered in 53 percent of ESPN leagues, Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets: Castillo finally gave his proponents (like yours truly) something to smile about with a big 6 IP/2 ER outing that included seven strikeouts against Milwaukee. It came on the heels of his absolute worst start (1 IP/5 ER at MIN), an outing that spurred a rash of Castillo cuts that dropped his roster rate down to 53 percent. That's a little over our 50 percent threshold, but I wanted to highlight the intriguing righty. There's still a ton of talent here with major strikeout upside, and despite an unquestionably rough start with a 7.01 ERA, he just hasn't been bad enough to completely run away.

Sean Newcomb (L), 36 percent, Atlanta Braves at Tampa Bay Rays: Newcomb is coming off his best start of the season with seven shutout innings of two-hit ball against the Mets. He also logged eight strikeouts against just a single walk. In fact, he has 7-plus strikeouts in four of his last five starts and has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last five. Newcomb is smothering lefties (.154 AVG) and missing a ton of bats against righties (30% K rate). Newcomb has excelled on the road, too, with a 2.22 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 24 innings. The Rays aren't an easy matchup for lefties (.802 OPS in 2nd-highest), but Newcomb rises above matchups when he's rolling like this.

Jeremy Hellickson (R), 3 percent, Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres: He's run off a 3.00 ERA through four starts and the only negative factor in his profile is the strikeout rate. However, that's where San Diego comes in. Their 28 percent strikeout rate against righties is the league's highest and their .658 OPS is third-worst. The Padres just make any starter a potential spot-starter. As long as Hellickson doesn't let Eric Hosmer beat him, there isn't a ton of trouble in this lineup. Christian Villanueva has done almost all of his work against lefties, and Franchy Cordero, while exciting, isn't enough to deter streaming against San Diego.

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.


Hitting

Catcher

Yan Gomes (R), 7 percent, Cleveland Indians at Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Wade Miley): Hitting southpaws is Gomes' specialty in an otherwise limited batting profile, though he is off to a decent start against all pitchers this year. He had a 204-point platoon split last year and hit eight of his 14 total homers against lefties despite 139 fewer plate appearances than against righties. He's striking out a ton this year at 35 percent, but also has a career-high 40 percent hard hit rate so it seems he is selling out for power. In the past two seasons, Miley has allowed the most homers to righties (46) and the second-highest batting average (.297).

First base

Ryon Healy (R), 37 percent, Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Marcus Stroman): Healy has shown a reverse platoon in his 16 games so far this year with a .863 OPS and four homers against righties compared with just a .538 OPS and one homer against lefties. Just since returning from the disabled list, Healy has popped five homers in 40 plate appearances and gone hitless just twice in the 10 games. Stroman has actually been worse against lefties, but his 2.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio against righties is career-worst and well off his 4.0 coming into this season.

Second base

Wilmer Difo (B), 10 percent, Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres (LHP Clayton Richard): The only pitcher allowing a high average against righties? Richard, Difo's opponent on Tuesday, who has allowed a .310 since 2016. Difo is hitting best against righties this year, but he's always excelled against lefties throughout his career with a .278/.324/.451 line. Richard is getting pummeled by righties again this year to the tune of a .302/.386/.534 line.

Third base

Luis Valbuena (L), 7 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): Our Coors pick for the day! Valbuena carried a .237 ISO against righties from 2015-17 and while he's off to a slow start against them this year, I'm still willing to take a shot in a great environment. Gray has allowed a .241 ISO and 10 extra-base hits (out of 22 total hits) to lefties this year. Meanwhile, he's been brutal in three home starts this year with a 7.31 ERA and 1.63 WHIP in 16 innings.

Shortstop

Nick Ahmed (R), 16 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Rich Hill): Took a shot on Ahmed last week against Kershaw and he did get a base hit, but he's been hitless in 22 plate appearances since so here's hoping Hill can bring him out of his funk. Ahmed put up a 1.078 OPS against lefties last year, but a .214 BABIP against them so far this year has yielded just a .697 OPS. Hill will be making his first start since April 14 and after six shutout innings in his season debut, he's allowed 10 runs in nine innings over his last two. Righties are carrying a .902 OPS against him with seven of the 13 hits going for extra bases (4 2B, 3 HR).

Corner infield

Colin Moran (L), 12 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago White Sox (RHP Lucas Giolito): Moran hasn't gotten going on the road at all yet, but this just might be the pitcher and environment to jump-start him. A .233 road BABIP won't last so he will get better on some level sooner than later, but Giolito offers the chance at a big day. Moran has a .787 OPS against righties while Giolito is allowing an .869 to lefties.

Middle infield

Kolten Wong (L), 3 percent, St. Louis Cardinals v. Minnesota Twins (RHP Jake Odorizzi): This is more of a play against Odorizzi than it is a play for Wong right now. Wong is sputtering against righties with a meager .200 AVG and .685 OPS in 78 plate appearances, but Odorizzi has allowed six homers in 66 plate appearances to lefties en route to an .891 OPS. Wong's plate skills are intact from last year with a 14 percent strikeout rate and 9 percent walk rate, but a .242 BABIP has cast a pall on his entire body of work to date. He's not this bad, especially against righties.

Outfield

Aaron Hicks (B), 28 percent, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Drew Pomeranz): Hicks has spent the bulk of his career being better against lefties, including a career-best .903 OPS last year, but a .133 BABIP is smothering his numbers through a mere 19 plate appearances so far with a .334 OPS. Pomeranz has struggled against righties to start the season with a 1.071 OPS and while the .400 BABIP will come down, it's not just a bunch of singles squirting through the infield as evidenced by the .318 ISO.

Aaron Altherr (R), 7 percent, Philadelphia Phillies v. San Francisco Giants (LHP Derek Holland): Altherr has carried a neutral platoon split throughout his career, but enjoyed a power surge against southpaws last season with a .266 ISO and eight of his 19 total homers. The Phillies aren't afraid to slot him into the middle of the order, either, with two-thirds of his plate appearances coming in the fourth or fifth spots. Holland has a massive platoon so far this year with righties knocking him around for an .814 OPS (compared with just .404 for lefties). Just over 65 percent of the 23 hits he's allowed to righties have gone for extra bases including five homers.

Alen Hanson (B), 7 percent, San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Aaron Nola): Let's play the hot hand. Hanson has been on fire in seven games since being called up with seven hits, four going for extra bases. He's already shown off his speed with a pair of stolen bases, too. He could be worth holding onto beyond Tuesday for some extra speed while Joe Panik is on the disabled list. Panik could miss upwards of two months to thumb surgery, offering enough runway for Hanson to deliver double-digit SBs.

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.