Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

After a slow start to his 2018 season, Ian Kinsler has picked things up in a big way over the past week -- and his Sunday matchup against Doug Fister and the Texas Rangers should only help that cause. Harry How/Getty Images

The first Sunday in June presents the normal array of matinee affairs, with the finale of a four-game set between the Red Sox and Astros being the featured contest under the lights. Pitching isn't ideal for those needing a last-minute boost, though there are a few options. Hitters are more plentiful as you manage those categories on the last day of the fantasy scoring week.

Here are some suggestions so you can end the week on a high note, all available in at least half of ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Tyler Skaggs (L), rostered in 44 percent of ESPN leagues, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers: This could be a big strikeout day for the Angels southpaw, as the Rangers carry a healthy 25 percent strikeout rate against lefties into Angels Stadium -- and Skaggs has fanned more than a hitter an inning this season. Also in Skaggs' favor is the big park downgrade incurred by the Texas offense.

Kyle Gibson (R), 20 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Cleveland Indians: To present Gibson's case, let's call to the stand ESPN Research associate Kyle Soppe. Soppe points out the Indians rely heavily on the long ball to score, while Gibson is one of the best in the league at keeping the ball in the yard. He also notes Gibson has been especially effective versus righty swingers, which should help him control at-bats against Edwin Encarnacion. Finally, Soppe reminds us that Francisco Lindor is better from the right side, while this matchup will have him hitting left-handed.

Nick Kingham (R), 16 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals: This is a rematch of Kingham's MLB debut game, in which he held the Cardinals scoreless over seven innings with nine strikeouts while allowing just one base runner -- a Paul DeJong single that broke up a perfect game in the seventh. Obviously, expecting a repeat performance is optimistic, but the rookie should be able to turn in another quality effort while facing a lineup below average when a righty toes the rubber.

Brent Suter (L), 7 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox: The axiom is never to chase wins. There are two problems with that line of thinking: Sometimes in order to win the week in head-to-head scoring, you need to troll for a win. Plus, the notion that wins aren't predictable isn't true -- there's just more variance than other stats. With that as a backdrop, Suter is in a decent spot if you're desperate for a win, facing a weak offense while being opposed by a lesser arm in Dylan Covey. With Corey Knebel back, the already strong Brewers bullpen is even better, which would allow Suter to go five and fly -- entrusting Josh Hader and friends with a lead.

Pitchers to avoid

Alex Wood (L), 88 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies: The Rockies aren't as productive as they've been in recent seasons, but Coors is Coors and the likes of Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and the recently activated DJ LeMahieu are capable of turning it around at any moment.


If you've been relying on Brad Brach and other Orioles relievers for saves, hopefully you have Plan B at the ready as Zach Britton is close to making his 2018 debut. He may not jump right into the closer's role, but Baltimore will surely want to showcase him as a trade chip as the non-waiver trade deadline is less than two months away.

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.



Chris Iannetta (R), 11 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Alex Wood): Iannetta has taken advantage of a homestand that's featured some opposing southpaws, sporting a 1.114 OPS over the past week. Look for it to continue, as he faces another left-hander on Sunday.

First base

Justin Bour (L), 45 percent, Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Matt Koch): Koch has failed to strike out a single hitter in two of his past three outings. A hitter of Bour's caliber is certainly in play, as are fellow infielders Miguel Rojas and JT Riddle. Note that Riddle, a natural shortstop, has been playing the hot corner for Martin Prado, as they switched places on the disabled list.

Second base

Ian Kinsler (R), 33 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Doug Fister): It could be time to pick up Kinsler in deeper formats. The veteran was no doubt dropped after a sluggish opening to the 2018 campaign. However, he's posted a 1.204 OPS the past week -- including a pair of long balls. This run has him back on top of a potent Angels lineup, which is likely to hand Fister some damage.

Third base

Max Muncy (L), 5 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (RHP Chad Bettis): Last season, no one believed Chris Taylor was for real. This isn't to suggest Muncy will end up with similar results, but he is platooning at first base, with a neat .847 OPS to boot. Oh, yeah, and this game is at Coors Field against a guy with a 7.06 ERA at home.


Scott Kingery (R), 20 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants (RHP Dereck Rodriguez): Baseball is a game of adjustments, especially for youngsters. Kingery appears to be getting back on track with hits in six of seven games through Friday's action. His counting stats are still low, but as long as he continues to get on base, runs and RBIs will follow.

Corner infield

Ji-Man Choi (L), under 1 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Covey): The Brewers are in the midst of a couple of interleague series in American League parks, allowing Choi to get in the lineup as designated hitter. He has some pop, as evidenced by a .600 SLP in limited action, so clicking him in against one of the worst pitchers in the league could prove fruitful.

Middle infield

Brad Miller (L), 2 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez): Miller has been dropped in the order, putting him in a better spot for RBIs while not significantly denting his run potential. Hernandez has had trouble with lefty swingers over the past few seasons. Leadoff may not be ideal for run production, but it boosts steals. Mallex Smith has been at the top of the Rays' order lately, making him the top choice on the board if you need steals to close out the week.


Aaron Hicks (B), 43 percent, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Alex Cobb): A downtick in performance was to be expected as Cobb moved from Tropicana Field to Camden Yards. Even allowing for a slow start after signing late, what we've seen from Cobb is even worse than anticipated. The concerning thing is that there's isn't anything to point to that would portend a turnaround. This could be another long (or is that short) day for Cobb, facing a dangerous Yankees lineup. That's where Hicks comes in.

Alex Gordon (L), 5 percent, Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Daniel Gossett): Overall, Gordon is just another guy. However, compared to being one of the worst position players in MLB a year ago, he could be in the running for Comeback Player of the Year -- especially if he stays hot. Gordon carried a modest eight-game hitting streak into Saturday's contest, over which he's slashed .382/.400/.471.

Brian Goodwin (L), 1 percent, Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (RHP Anibal Sanchez): Fresh off the disabled list, it's unclear how the Nationals plan to deploy Goodwin, as he's competing with Michael Taylor for playing time in center field. Check the lineups, and if Goodwin is active, he's in play against a pedestrian starter.

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.