Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Jon Jay has been helping fantasy teams ever since joining the D-backs and is worth a look on Sunday. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

This isn't the Sunday slate, it's the Streamday slate. There are no less than eight featured options. Better yet, the schedule is devoid of many aces, or even very good arms, so those in head-to-head leagues have a real chance to make up ground. Hitting is a mix of fresh and familiar faces, all in a great spot to finish the fantasy week on a high note.

Good luck to everyone looking to wrap up a victory this week or simply hoping to add to their category totals. Here are some players to consider, all available in at least half of all ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Joe Musgrove (R), rostered in 47 percent of ESPN leagues, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds: Musgrove's conversion back to starter continues to be fruitful, but realize his 3.25 FIP/3.83 xFIP is more indicative of what to expect than his current 2.16 ERA after four starts. That said, the Reds aren't likely to awake the regression monster, as they're a bottom-third offense with a righty on the hill and are on the road in a park significantly less hitter-friendly than their home digs.

Andrew Heaney (L), 46 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics: Jinxes are a myth, right? Let's hope so as while injuries have again depleted the Angels staff, Heaney has taken the ball every five ... err ... six days all season. The southpaw has been roughed up twice in his past three outings with the middle one being a one-hit shutout of the Royals. While he'll be hard-pressed to repeat that effort, Heaney does square off with an Athletics lineup posting a weak .303 weighted on-base average (wOBA) and generous 24 percent strikeout clip versus southpaws.

Chase Anderson (R), 42 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Anderson's velocity, both average and maximum, has been down all season. However, while his last start featured a still lower average velocity, his max was a season high, rivaling the level exhibited last season. He has a chance to build on that facing a Phillies lineup carrying a low .313 wOBA along with a league-worst 27 percent strikeout pace versus righties into Miller Park.

Clay Buchholz (R), 39 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets: After four solid outings, Buchholz finally hit the skids last time, getting roughed up by the Pirates. The veteran is in a good spot to rebound, facing the offensively challenged Mets. So far in July, the Mets have hit 10 homers, scoring 20 runs. By himself, Paul Goldschmidt has seven long balls while crossing the plate 17 times this month.

Daniel Mengden (R), 38 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels: Mengden has hit a rut in June after crushing May. This is part and parcel to a very good, but not great pitcher working with mediocre (92 mph) velocity. The Angels hit right-handers well, so only deploy Mengden if you're behind and need the extra push to take down the week.

CC Sabathia (L), 34 percent, New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Sabathia continues to do his thing, keeping the Yankees in the game before handing the ball to the bullpen. On paper, the Rays won't pose much of a problem, as they sport a below-average .314 wOBA and above-average 24 percent strikeout rate with a lefty on the hill. However, much of that was posted previous to their recent infield shuffle. Still, Sabathia is in a good spot.

Trevor Richards (R), 1 percent, Miami Marlins at Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles weren't expected to contend, but it was supposed to be due to poor pitching and not an anemic offense. Unfortunately, both are the case, as Baltimore's bats are second from the bottom against right-handers while fanning one-quarter of the time in that scenario. Richards is a pedestrian pitcher, but he did punch out 10 Dodgers in just 4.7 frames earlier this month.

Caleb Ferguson (L), fewer than 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants: This one's for the bottom-scrapers as Ferguson has really struggled since being promoted in early June. The allure is facing a middling Giants offense, without Evan Longoria.


The Rays are lined up for their standard bullpen day, with Austin Pruitt working the majority of the innings. Since those stanzas will be in Yankee Stadium facing one of the top offenses in the game, there's no fantasy appeal.

It appears the Padres may also deploy a series of relievers, with Matt Strahm kicking things off. The Braves crush southpaws, so Strahm is a risk, even for those able to slot him into an RP spot, hoping for points from innings and whiffs.

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.



Kevan Smith (R), 1 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Sundays can be tricky when looking for a backstop, as many regulars get the day off. With Omar Narvaez being a lefty swinger, chances are Smith will get the nod. Not only does he enjoy the platoon edge, Smith usually hits from the 5-hole, much higher than most catchers. Frequent visitor to this space Matt Davidson is also in play, hitting cleanup for the Pale Hose.

First base

Luke Voit (R), under 1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Jose Quintana): With Jose Martinez on paternity leave, Voit has been summoned from the minors. He'll likely get the start at first, possessing the platoon edge over an improving, but still not typically sharp, Quintana. Voit is a patient hitter, known more for contact than power, but he has a little pop, already homering once since being called up earlier in the week.

Second base

Rougned Odor (L), 32 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): The "he's been unlucky" label begins to ring hollow more than two months into the season, but as ESPN Research associate Kyle Soppe points out, Odor continues to hit the ball with authority, much of it in the air, with less-than-desirable results, especially in terms of power. Gray has the stuff to dominate, but he's been inconsistent, even on the road.

Third base

Colin Moran (L), 9 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Anthony DeSclafani): I wanted to find a different Pirates player to highlight, since Moran has been featured a few times recently, but the way the position fleshes out, he gets the nod again. As a team, the Bucs should be in good shape, facing a hurler still getting his sea legs after missing the first two months of the season. Plus, Moran (hitting cleanup) will also face a below-average bullpen once DeSclafani exits.


Ehire Adrianza (B), 2 percent, Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Indians (RHP Shane Bieber): The primary beneficiary of Miguel Sano's demotion is Adrianza, as Eduardo Escobar will likely continue to grab the run at the hot corner. Adrianza hits towards the bottom of the order, which is less of an issue in the American League, especially for someone adept at stealing bases. During the past two seasons, Adrianza has been successful on 11 of his 12 attempts at base thievery.

Corner infield

Ryan McMahon (L), 2 percent, Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers (RHP Yovani Gallardo): You know your pitching is thin when you need to give Gallardo a call. With this interleague contest being contested in an American League venue, McMahon will likely be a member of the welcoming committee.

Middle infield

Niko Goodrum (B), 3 percent, Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): It's not clear Goodrum will be in the lineup after getting Saturday off. It could have been just a day to clear his head after slumping lately or perhaps the Tigers want to give call-up Ronny Rodriguez a longer look than his last foray to the majors. The bottom line is this is a rare chance to seek out Tigers hitters, facing Shields and his penchant for allowing the long ball.


Josh Reddick (L), 35 percent, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals (RHP Brad Keller): The formula is simple. When the Astros are facing a lefty, pick up Yuli Gurriel. When a righty is scheduled to take the hill, click in Reddick.

Jon Jay (L), 23 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. New York Mets (RHP Zack Wheeler): Hitting ahead of the red-hot Goldschmidt, pitchers won't mess around with Jay. He's done a nice job setting the table against right-handers all season, first with the Royals and now with the Snakes.

Tyler Naquin (L), 1 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Jake Odorizzi): Let's give Lonnie Chisenhall a break from this space to highlight Naquin, recently recalled and playing center field, pushing Greg Allen to the bench. Long-term, Bradley Zimmer is still expected to be the guy, but since he's not only in the minors but hurt his shoulder earlier this week, Naquin will be holding down the fort. If you need some late-week pop, Chisenhall is the call. For a steal or two, it's Naquin.

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.