On yet another 15-game Wednesday, the Baltimore Orioles lose the designated hitter as they travel to New York to face the Mets, but the Milwaukee Brewers gain the "extra" batter, which continues to provide a temporary solution to their logjam on offense.
Which sleepers rostered in fewer than 50 percent of leagues should fantasy baseball players use?
Pitchers to stream
Zack Wheeler (R), rostered in 7.5 percent of ESPN leagues, New York Mets vs. Baltimore Orioles: Wheeler's 5.14 ERA may drive some away, but his 3.88 FIP says he should be better than that. Wednesday presents a ripe opportunity for the owner of a 9.16 K/9 and a career-best 63.4 first-pitch strike percentage to take a step toward that FIP. The Orioles carry the majors' highest swinging-strike rate (12.9 percent) and the lowest BB/K (0.30), meaning scroungers who can ignore ratio risks and merely need to pile up the strikeouts should ride with Wheeler.
Jake Odorizzi (R), 35.7 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox: Odo's fly ball problems have led to yet another crippling HR/9: 2.0 through his first 12 starts, tied for the fourth-highest mark, and he's allowed five in his past three outings. That hides that Odorizzi churned out a 2.43 ERA in his previous six outings, and though the White Sox got to him in their last meeting, the right-hander recorded eight punchouts in that one. The Pale Hose, after all, are tied for the fifth-highest strikeout rate (24.7 percent).
Clay Buchholz (R), 20.4 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants: In each of his first three major league starts since April 11, 2017, the resurgent righty has given up just one run. His latest in that trio encompassed seven innings and featured nine strikeouts. If a pitcher is listed to work at AT&T Park, he should at least have rental appeal. Despite their secretly stellar .337 wOBA at home, the Giants must go into this one without Brandon Belt, and that thins out their lineup.
Blake Parker wrapped up the Angels' victory Monday to register his fourth save of the season. The Justin Anderson save from Sunday looks to be only because Parker needed rest, and several lefty bats were due up. Parker is held on a roster in just 24 percent of ESPN leagues. That's way too low for such a skilled arm who's now in the lead to close.
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.
Blake Swihart (B), 0.5 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): With Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts on the disabled list, Swihart has managed to find his way into the starting lineup four times in the past six games, and none of those starts have come behind the plate. You're playing every other Red Sox bat against the overachieving Hardy (2.82 ERA, 4.88 xFIP in 22.1 innings as a starter), so it makes sense to go here while digging deep for a backstop.
Max Muncy (L), 6.9 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Williams): The 27-year-old has embraced the launch-angle revolution, and eight of his big flies have come in the platoon advantage, as well. Williams, on the other hand, is the newest member of Team Negative Regression (7.80 ERA in his past three assignments after a 2.72 in his first nine).
Zack Cozart (R), 45.6 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Ian Kennedy): It's been a down season for the versatile Angel, and he recently missed time with forearm tightness. Cozart is active again, though, and this is a favorable spot for him to rediscover his groove. Cozart's production against right-handers (.242/.323/.403) dwarfs that versus lefties (.188/.250/.33). Kennedy's .367 wOBA given up to righty bats is the league's ninth-highest mark.
Matt Duffy (R), 7.8 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Washington Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark): Duffy's .367/.403/.475 line in his first 129 plate appearances against righties so far always puts him in play as a deep asset in these matchups. Roark has enjoyed a fine season but still has more trouble with left-handed hitters (.311 wOBA).
Chris Davis (L), 10.1 percent, Baltimore Orioles at New York Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler): Davis has basically been a black hole this season, but at least he's one of few left-handed bats in a righty-heavy lineup. Desperate players could give him a one-day trial, considering Wheeler has allowed the 10th-highest hard-contact rate to LHBs (43.1 percent), per Fangraphs.
Josh Harrison (R), 43.8 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Caleb Ferguson): The Dodgers are expected to call up Ferguson for Wednesday's assignment, and he's been impressive in the minors this season with a 1.53 combined ERA between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. Still, Harrison typically prefers to face southpaws (.772 career OPS), and getting hacks at one in his first major league start could be a sneaky source of quality stats.
Scott Schebler (L), 11.6 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): Having all but locked himself in as one of the preferred options in Cincinnati's rotational outfield, Schebler is riding a four-game hit streak into Tuesday in which he's gone 6-for-12 with two homers and three RBIs. This clash with Gray isn't at Coors Field, but the righty has still allowed a .358 wOBA to LHBs this year.
Yairo Munoz (R), 8.3 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Wei-Yin Chen): In 10 games since getting an opportunity to fill in for the sidelined Paul DeJong, Munoz is 15-for-40 (.405/.450/.595) with two homers and 10 RBIs. He's 3-for-14 against southpaws this season, but RHBs have tagged Chen for a .389 wOBA and a 2.35 HR/9 across 108 plate appearances.
Gerardo Parra (L), 4.4 percent, Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Sal Romano): Paul Sporer recommended Carlos Gonzalez for Tuesday, and while that tag still applies, I'll focus on Parra, who'll hopefully -- at lowest -- bat sixth (his lowest point in his past 11 starts). Rockies bats don't always scream at you in road matchups, but Parra & Co. get to take cuts against Romano, who's surrendered the fourth-highest wOBA to LHB (.405).
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.