Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Nationals starter Max Scherzer has an optimal matchup on Sunday against the Giants. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The top pitcher in each league will take the hill Sunday as Max Scherzer and Corey Kluber are slated to close out the fantasy week. If you aren't fortunate enough to have either on your roster, there are a few options to help make up some ground late. There's also a nice array of bats to aid on that side of the ledger.

Good luck to those playing in head-to-head leagues. Here are some readily available players in favorable spots to help in all formats.


Pitchers to stream

Nathan Eovaldi (R), rostered in 20 percent of ESPN leagues, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners: Since returning from the disabled list, Eovaldi has been his own opening act, tossing a total of 11 innings with a modest eight strikeouts but only two walks. His velocity is at its usual 97 mph, so he should get more punchouts. The Mariners are an average offense versus righties, so don't expect a dominating performance, but something similar to Eovaldi's first two outings will suffice.

Clayton Richard (L), 19 percent, San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins: Sometimes you chase wins, other time strikeouts. If you play in a head-to-head roto-scoring format, occasionally you need to chase ratios. If that's the case, Richard is your guy. He's a ground ball machine, and as ESPN research associate Kyle Soppe notes, the Marlins are among the league leaders with respect to hitting balls on the ground. Grounders go for hits more than fly balls, but the Padres' defense is solid.

Nick Tropeano (R), 7 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins: There's risk here as Tropeano is still searching for consistency after missing all of 2017, but he has shown enough to stream facing a Twins lineup that defines league average against righties.

Brandon Woodruff (R), 1 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies: Don't sweat Woodruff's 6.05 ERA in 19 frames with the Brewers so far, his 3.71 xFIP suggests it's small-sample noise. Woodruff's return to the majors comes at a good time as he draws a Phillies club averaging fewer than three runs per game over their last 10 contests.

Pitcher to avoid

Zack Godley (R), 63 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies: To be honest, Godley should probably be on your bench even if he wasn't lined up for a Coors affair. There's still plenty of season left, but one of the industry's big breakout candidates is heading the disappointment list. While he's apt to pitch better, it's viable to drop him in mixed leagues with 12 or fewer teams.

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. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Zack Godley): It could be Tony Wolters in this spot, in which case he's in play too. Iannetta's allure lies with his patience as Godley's walk rate is, well, ungodly high at 11.2 percent, translating to a healthy 4.57 BB/9. This makes Iannetta even better in OBP or points formats.

First base

Yuli Gurriel (R), 29 percent, Houston Astros at Texas Rangers (LHP Matt Moore): Moore generally doesn't serve up many homers, but he does give up a bunch of hits resulting in a lot of runs. This feeds into Gurriel's strength as he's more of a gap hitter than big power guy.

Second base

Brock Holt (L), 3 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Reynaldo Lopez): With Dustin Pedroia back on the shelf and the club trying to keep Eduardo Nunez's knees healthy, Holt has been seeing most of the run at the keystone, hitting in the top five of the order. Lopez continues to outpitch his peripherals, though the regression monster enacted a bit of revenge a couple starts ago versus Cleveland. Unfortunately, unless he improves a 6.1 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9, Lopez is due even more correction.

Third base

Colin Moran (L), 10 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Hendricks is a very good pitcher but not dominant enough to avoid, especially if the hitter in question is a contact hitter with a bit of power. Moran is carrying a solid 15 percent strikeout rate into Wrigley Field, so he's likely to put the ball in play. A .145 ISO isn't overwhelming, but it's sufficient to take advantage of Hendricks' uncharacteristically high 1.5 HR/9.


Ketel Marte (B), 9 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): The Diamondbacks are using an infield rotation, so be sure to check the lineup. That said, Marte sat on Saturday and usually plays against righty pitching. He has hit well lately, posting a 1.417 OPS the past week.

Corner infield

Jose Miguel Fernandez (L), Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins (RHP Fernando Romero): Note to those in ESPN leagues, Fernandez isn't yet available for pick up, but he's worth tracking for when he is listed. He's in line to see the at-bats Shohei Ohtani was getting, plus a few more. Granted, at 30 years old in the great hitting environment of Salt Lake, his Triple-A numbers shouldn't be taken at face value, but he was slashing an impressive .345/.412/.562 for the Bees when summoned to the majors.

Middle infield

Jose Pirela (R), 18 percent, San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): Pirela is another option in play because of his ability to put the ball in play against a pitcher not known for missing many bats. Pirela doesn't display marked platoon splits, meaning Pirela's juicy top-of-the-order spot is the driving force of the matchup.


Michael Taylor (R), 23 percent, Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Derek Holland): With Adam Eaton back, it's unclear how the Nationals will distribute playing time. However, with a lefty on the hill and Eaton doing a lot of running Saturday, there's a good chance Taylor is in the lineup.

Dustin Fowler (L), 6 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Brad Keller): When Fowler was called up, he was put in the 9-hole. However, it was clear once he got acclimated, he'd be moved up the order. A 1.138 OPS the past week has Fowler hitting leadoff. It shouldn't be long before the ownership percentage of the dual power-speed threat goes above single digits in ESPN leagues.

Lonnie Chisenhall (L), 1 percent, Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (RHP Artie Lewicki): Fresh off the disabled list, Chisenhall is still shaking off some rust, but it shouldn't be long before he returns to his usual job of hitting righties hard.