Tuesday's pitching slate is made up of boom-or-bust types with very little in between. It could yield a host of high scores on the DFS landscape if the aces do what they're supposed to and the back-end starters allow runs at their normal clip. Even with three streaming options, there are still several arms to choose from for our lineup of bats.
Let's kick off the week with some names available in at least 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Pitchers to stream
Nick Pivetta (R), rostered in 24 percent of ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies at Baltimore Orioles: Pivetta bounced back from his worst start of the season (1 IP/6 ER at Washington) with five shutout innings against the Giants, including seven strikeouts. He's had fewer than five strikeouts just three times this season. The Orioles are ill-equipped to expose Pivetta's heavy platoon split all that much with just two lefties in the regular lineup, including Chris Davis and his .527 OPS. Pivetta has allowed an .849 OPS to lefties and just a .571 to righties. His 33 percent strikeout rate against righties will make life tough on the Orioles lineup.
German Marquez (R), 6 percent, Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres: Marquez has been the quintessential Colorado streamer: good on the road, terrible at home. His one good home start was against the very same Padres he faces on Tuesday and it was cut short due to an ejection after allowing just one hit in three scoreless innings. On the road, Marquez hasn't posted a Game Score lower than 55, putting together a 1.96 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 23 innings of work. The Padres are 29th against righties in both OPS (.648) and strikeout rate (27 percent).
Jack Flaherty (R), 10 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Minnesota Twins: Flaherty is set to make his third MLB start of the season after a very successful five-start run in Triple-A in which he struck out 33 percent of the batters faced and walked just six percent. Flaherty's 11 percent walk rate in the majors has been his biggest flaw, but a 7 percent minor league mark shows his upside. Flaherty might also benefit from a fatigued Twins team that has played 23 of the past 24 days and is coming off an extended road trip. Additionally, their .719 OPS against righties is just 19th in the league.
All five of the AL Central teams are in the bottom 10 of reliever ERA with the Royals coming in dead last (5.76), the Indians at 28th (5.26), the Twins at 26th (4.87), the White Sox at 24th (4.73), and the Tigers 21st (4.48).
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.
Mike Zunino (R), 47 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Mike Minor): Zunino has struggled against lefties so far this year (although it's been a mere 24 plate appearances), but his power is undisputed with a remarkable .263 ISO since the start of 2016. Minor has shown a major platoon split in his return to the rotation with a 318-point platoon split and all six of his homers allowed against righties.
Justin Bour (L), 46 percent, Miami Marlins vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Alex Wood): Taking on a lefty-lefty matchup isn't usually the most fruitful option, but Bour's power plays against anyone. Last year, he popped six homers against southpaws with a .235 ISO in 96 plate appearances. They were in fact the first six lefty-lefty homers of his career, but he's heating up with four homers in his past 10 games. Even if this isn't the best individual matchup for Bour, he's worth considering as a longer term hold.
Alex Blandino (R), under 1 percent, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): Despite Scooter Gennett hitting southpaws very well this season, the Reds have been using Blandino when facing a lefty starter. Furthermore, they're hitting him second in the order. Blach is stingy with the homers, but that's OK, you're looking for Blandino to put the ball in play against a soft-tosser with a 12 percent strikeout rate, then be driven in by the rejuvenated Cincinnati meat of the order.
Wilmer Flores (R), 2 percent, New York Mets vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Jaime Garcia): Flores has been playing regularly at the hot corner, so there'll be no rust after spending time on the bench while waiting for his chance against a lefty. Garcia has allowed eight homers in 35 innings.
Matt Duffy (R), 5 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals (RHP Ian Kennedy): Duffy is getting back to his previous heights as he's finally healthy. He's always been better against righties and this year is no different with a .354/.388/.494 line and both of his homers. Kennedy is still a home run machine and allows them indiscriminately. Five of his seven allowed this year have been against righties.
John Hicks (R), 2 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Josh Tomlin): Hicks continues to snare the lion's share of at-bats at first base while Miguel Cabrera is out. To be honest, you want as many Tigers as you can round up with Tomlin on the hill. The veteran righty has allowed a ridiculous 23 long balls in just 25.2 frames.
Daniel Descalso (L), 11 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Jhoulys Chacin): Descalso only hit .229 in April, but eight of his 16 hits went for extra bases. More hits are falling in May with a .344 AVG and seven of his 11 hits going for extra bases. Though he is a part-time player, the D-backs aren't afraid to slot him in the middle of the lineup with the bulk of his plate appearances coming in the second, fourth and fifth spots. Chacin is allowing a .299/.413/.468 line to righties with 13 walks and just six strikeouts.
Daniel Palka (L), 2 percent, Chicago White Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Williams): Palka's power is unquestioned with nearly 30 homers per 600 plate appearances and a .225 ISO in the minors. All three of his MLB homers have come against righties in his 14-game run with the White Sox. Williams hasn't shown a huge platoon split this year or over his career, but he has just a 16 percent strikeout rate against a 10 percent walk rate. His 90 mph fastball is unlikely to overpower Palka.
Enrique Hernandez (R), 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins (LHP Wei-Yin Chen): Hernandez is an established lefty destroyer with a 257-point platoon split over his career, so even though he's off to a slow start against southpaws this year, he's an easy play against Chen. After a passable season debut, Chen has been terrible in back-to-back starts, allowing 13 runs in just seven innings of work including five homers allowed, six walks and just three strikeouts.
Harrison Bader (R), 1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jose Berrios): Bader's running hot with an .898 OPS over his past seven games. Three of his seven hits have gone for extra bases while scoring six runs and driving in three. This is a better matchup than it appears to be at first blush as Berrios has struggled severely over his last four starts, especially against righties. He's allowed a 1.127 OPS with just a meager 10 percent strikeout rate versus right-handers.
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.