A throng of fourth and fifth starters toe the bump Tuesday, with a couple teams likely running a bullpen game too. This offers plenty of streaming hitter opportunities and should also make for an interesting DFS day, with many stack options available and thus plenty of unique lineup configurations.
We have a couple hitters you should consider holding onto beyond Tuesday, but all three spot starters should be treated as one-and-done.
Pitchers to stream
Clay Buchholz (R), rostered in 39 percent of ESPN leagues, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: Yes, this the same Buchholz who posted a 12.27 ERA last year. In fairness, it was just seven innings of work, but the 33-year-old veteran has returned with a killer cutter that is driving his success. He's posted a 1.88 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 24 innings. The Pirates are around league average against righties in terms of OPS, but they are among the best in limiting strikeouts against them at just 19 percent (third-lowest). His .215 BABIP and 95 percent left-on-base rate will both regress substantially, but there's a lot of wiggle room to remain a useful arm, and this will be a nice test to see where we're at with Buchholz.
Jake Odorizzi (R), 33 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers: The main requirement to use Odorizzi? Make sure he's not facing the Indians or Yankees. Those two teams have put up 16 earned runs against him in just 13 innings while the rest of the league has also put up 16, but in 55 innings. The Tigers are 27th in wOBA, 25th in ISO and dead last in walk rate against righties.
Chris Stratton (R), 17 percent, San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins: Stratton's had an up-and-down season with a 2.32 ERA through his first five starts, an 8.59 through his next five, and then a 3.60 over his past three. He's also fanned 16 in those past three after logging just two strikeouts in 10 innings before that. The Marlins are an anemic offense with the 30th wOBA, ISO and home-run total against righties.
The Tampa Bay Rays will have a bullpen game Tuesday, with righty Austin Pruitt lined up for the middle innings. Fellow right-hander Ryne Stanek will be the opener. There's no need for the Rays to try to use opposite-handedness, as the Jays can really mix their lineup at the top, especially with switch-hitters Yangervis Solarte, Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales regularly slotting in the top four slots.
The San Diego Padres will also run a bullpen game with southpaw Matt Strahm getting the bulk of the work, but he probably won't pitch enough to qualify for a win, as his longest outing is just 2.1 frames (his last time out).
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.
Tyler Flowers (R), 4 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler): Kurt Suzuki might draw the start here, but either is streamable. Both enjoyed unexpected breakouts last year and have picked up where their 2017s left off. Flowers only recently returned from injury, but he's off to a fast start, with an .843 OPS and three homers in 93 plate appearances. Jason Vargas was originally scheduled to go for the Mets here, but he's being skipped in favor of Wheeler so it's a much tougher matchup, but both Flowers and Suzuki have found success regardless of the pitcher quality.
Max Muncy (L), 36 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Bartolo Colon): This is one of the most amazing stories of the season, with Muncy looking like a completely different player so far. In 2015-16, Muncy put up a meager .611 OPS with five homers and 17 RBIs over 245 plate appearances. In 152 PA this year, he's obliterating pitchers with a blazing-hot .272/.395/.616 line, including 12 homers and 28 RBIs. He has altered his swing to tap his power and in the process has become the latest reclamation Dodger. There's almost no way he continues at this clip, but there's a lot to believe in this breakout and as such, he should be on more than 36 percent of ESPN rosters.
Yolmer Sanchez (B), 22 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Adam Plutko): Sanchez is a switch-hitter, but has a substantial advantage against righties with a .779 OPS and six of his MLB-best seven triples. He's not a high impact, but he does a bit of everything and getting a look at Plutko gives him a good chance to do some damage, as Plutko carries a 159-point platoon split with lefties at .921 OPS for his career.
Derek Dietrich (L), 20 percent, Miami Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Chris Stratton): Dietrich earned some deep league credibility coming into the season as he appeared to have a full-time role after some impressive work from 2015-17. A slow start in April (.647 OPS) put him on tons of waiver wires only to see him turn it around with a .976 OPS and five homers in 111 plate appearances since May 1. He does his best against righties but has shown enough power against lefties to stay in the lineup even as the opposition brings in southpaw relievers.
Daniel Descalso (L), 5 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Williams): He's been a regular entrant in our Tuesday lineups thanks to an offensive surge and multi-positional eligibility. He's smashing righties at a .922 OPS clip, with five of his seven homers, while Williams is worse against lefties with a .758 OPS and just a 1-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Yonder Alonso (L), 42 percent, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): Alonso hasn't been able to replicate his 2017 power surge, but even this lesser version is better than anything we'd seen prior to 2017. His 11 homers are already the second-highest total of his career and he's been solid against righties at .801 OPS and eight of the homers. One thing Shields has done well -- at least relative to his 2015-17 work -- is limit homers a bit with a 1.1 mark (1.8 in '15-17), but six of the 10 have come against lefties.
Ehire Adrianza (B), under 1 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Our Hail Mary play is Adrianza, who's riding an obscene .480 BABIP against lefties to post a .343/.410/.543 line in 39 PA. Of course that BABIP will come down, but we're not betting on the long term, we just need one more great game!
Teoscar Hernandez (R), 38 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (Bullpen game): Hernandez has quietly picked up where his strong September left off. He's handled both righties and lefties en route to an .839 OPS with 10 homers and three stolen bases. He has a near-even home-run split, with six against righties and four against lefties, so a multi-pitcher bullpen game from the Rays shouldn't be a major issue for Hernandez.
Scott Schebler (L), 20 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals (RHP Ian Kennedy): Whether it's Schebler, Jesse Winker or both, you want them in your lineup against Kennedy, the HR machine. Half of the 34 hits for lefties against Kennedy have gone for extra bases, including five homers. Schebler's had a bit of a reverse platoon this year as his .789 OPS against righties is 108 points lower than his work against lefties, but he has a career .228 ISO against righties with 41 of his 50 homers.
Alex Gordon (L), 4 percent, Kansas City Royals vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Sal Romano): Gordon has very quietly been capable against righties, with a .304/.351/.449 line and all five of his home runs. His season line is weighed down by a .404 OPS against lefties, but that's not our problem Tuesday with Romano on the bump. Romano is allowing a .333/.404/.543 line against lefties with nearly as many extra-base hits (17) as strikeouts (21).