Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Fernando Romero has 14 punchouts in 11.2 scoreless innings this season. Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire

Break out the pink bats as MLB celebrates Mother's Day. Sunday is once again Ohtani Day, with the rest of the slate featuring two of the American League's best in Corey Kluber and Luis Severino. Elsewhere, Luis Castillo looks to continue recent improvement, while Dylan Bundy hopes to shake off an early-week disaster.

Here's a look at the day's most interesting streaming options, focusing on players rostered in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Fernando Romero (R), rostered in 37 percent of ESPN leagues, Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels: So far, so good for the Twins rookie, but now he gets a real test, facing the Angels on the road. Nothing against Romero's first two opponents, the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals, but the Halos are second only to the Boston Red Sox in terms of production versus right-handers. Still, 11.2 scoreless frames with 14 whiffs is an impressive beginning to a major league career. Romero walked six, so control will be key when facing the Angels, who have crushed righties over the past week.

Drew Pomeranz (L), 33 percent, Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays: Pomeranz is still looking to get in a groove after getting a late start to the season. Last time out versus the New York Yankees, he tossed six frames with six strikeouts but also allowed a pair of solo shots. The Blue Jays are the fifth-weakest lineup in the league against lefties, giving Pomeranz the platform to get back on track.

Ivan Nova (R), 26 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants: Strikeouts are usually an afterthought for Nova and his 7.5 K/9. However, things could be different this time, facing a Giants squad fanning at a 26 percent clip against right-handers for the season, including 33 percent the past week.

Jeremy Hellickson (R), 17 percent, Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks: Hellickson's 2.28 ERA and 0.87 WHIP will obviously increase, but the landing might be softer than expected, as he's not the punching bag some perceive. As anticipated, the humidor has transformed Chase Field into a pitcher's park, which in part explains the Diamondbacks' fourth-lowest weighted on base average in the league with a righty on the hill.

Pitchers to avoid

Dylan Bundy (R), 71 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays: I'm usually aggressive, rarely sitting a talented arm, especially against a lesser offense. However, in this instance, discretion is the better form of valor, as Bundy not only imploded earlier in the week against the Kansas City Royals, but also surrendered five homers in his previous two efforts. Those in weekly leagues deploying Bundy for what appeared to be a favorable two-start opportunity have no choice but to cross their fingers. Daily league players can play it safe and leave him on the pine.


Don't read into the Angels' not using Keynan Middleton in a save situation on Friday night. He threw 22 pitches on Thursday, his first game back from elbow inflammation, so they were being cautious. In fact, with Justin Anderson and Jim Johnson combining to blow the lead and game, Middleton's return to the closing role is solidified and perhaps accelerated. The catch is Middleton's control, which was spotty both in a rehab outing and on Thursday.

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.



Yan Gomes (R), 6 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Danny Duffy): The veteran lefty is going to try working exclusively from the stretch to simplify mechanics and hopefully return to form. Duffy has always had issues with homers to right-side swingers, allowing 46 of 50 homers since 2016 to those with the platoon edge. Gomes has some pop and hits seventh, which is higher than most catchers available for pick-up.

First base

Ryon Healy (R), 36 percent, Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Healy has been a mainstay in this space, and while we try to mix it up, there's no sense in getting cute on Sunday, the last day of many head-to-head matchups. Hardy will be coming out of the bullpen, filling in for the disabled Jordan Zimmermann. Speaking of which, after Saturday's twin bill, the Tigers' bullpen will likely be taxed, furthering Healy's case.

Second base

Sean Rodriguez (R), under 1 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Derek Holland): Rodriguez broke out of an early-season slumber with a 2-for-4 effort on Friday night. Whether he continues hitting remains to be seen. What is definite is he's facing Holland, a soft-throwing southpaw with seven homers allowed in 35 innings on his 2018 ledger, so Rodriguez is in a favorable position to build on Friday night.

Third base

Jedd Gyorko (R), 5 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres (LHP Clayton Richard): Gyorko has hit fifth the past few times the Cardinals have been opposed by a lefty starter. With three homers in 15 at-bats against southpaws this season, it's easy to see why.


Brandon Crawford (L), 13 percent, San Francisco Giants at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Ivan Nova): Crawford has hit well for a couple of weeks, pushing him up to sixth in the Giants' order. Nova is especially vulnerable to lefty swingers, allowing a wOBA over .360 without the platoon edge the past three seasons.

Corner infield

Miguel Andujar (R), 49 percent, New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics (LHP Brett Anderson): Andujar and fellow freshman Gleyber Torres are holding their own at the bottom of the Yankees' order. Both are options facing the journeyman southpaw Anderson, who is coming off a shellacking administered by the Houston Astros last time out.

Middle infield

Johan Camargo (B), 2 percent, Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): Comargo continues to get the bulk of the work at shortstop while Dansby Swanson is on the shelf. He's not hitting for power or running, but he is getting on base, walking six times the last week, a stealth attribute for points leagues. If Ryan Flaherty is in the lineup, he's also an option against Urena, who usually permits opposing batters to put the ball in play.


Daniel Palka (L), 2 percent, Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Let's call on ESPN research associate Kyle Soppe to lend a hand with Palka. Soppe notes seven of Palka's 11 hits versus right-handers have been of the extra base variety. Soppe suggests this could be important, as Hendricks has allowed eight homers in his past six outings. Hitting fifth, Palka is in a good spot to do some damage.

Carlos Gonzalez (L), 27 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Freddy Peralta): With Brent Suter forced to start Saturday's game after Chase Anderson was placed on the disabled list, the Brewers are summoning 21-year old right-hander Peralta from Triple-A Colorado Springs for what's likely a "one and done" before he heads back down to the farm. Gonzalez has been platooning with Noel Cuevas in right field, batting clean-up with a right-hander on the hill. He's been quiet thus far in 2018, but could be coming out of his slumber with multiple-hit games in both of his last two starts.

Jake Marisnick (R), 1 percent, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Matt Moore): Marisnick often plays against southpaws, but with George Springer possibly out again on Sunday after being hit on the elbow by a pitch on Friday, Marisnick could be moved to the two-hole, a spot occupied by Derek Fisher on Saturday when he filled in for Springer. I'd be remiss not to mention Yuli Gurriel is also a strong option. Gurriel has been discussed multiple times this week. He's not hitting homers, but he's driving runs in from the cleanup spot.

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.