Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Over his last eight outings, Steven Matz has a 2.70 ERA and a .211 BAA. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday is "Ace Day," with seven hurlers with at least a 60 Game Score, signifying "elite" status: Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Luis Severino, James Paxton, Blake Snell, Charlie Morton and Robbie Ray. Ray's inclusion in this group might feel a bit off, given his 4.89 ERA, but a matchup against the light-hitting Padres gives him the bump.

Here's a look at the rest of the day's slate, highlighting the most interesting streaming options in ESPN standard leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Steven Matz (L), rostered in 27 percent of ESPN leagues, New York Mets vs. Tampa Bay Rays: When you're in the business of streaming starters, there are certain matchups that are worth targeting on an almost daily basis. The Rays, who rank 20th in BB/K, 21st in wOBA and 28th in ISO, are one of these matchups. In the case of Matz, we also get a hurler who's pitching at the top of his game. If you remove his Coors Field outing -- an appearance in which you wouldn't have started him -- the lefty has surrendered three or fewer runs in nine of his last 10 outings, culminating in a 2.41 ERA in that span.

Kyle Gibson (R), 31 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles: Sticking with the "prime matchup" theme, we come to Gibson, who finds himself in a great spot, squaring off against the Orioles at home. Baltimore has been one of baseball's worst offenses this season, ranking 29th in BB/K, 28th in wOBA and 29th in wRC+. Over his last 13 starts, Gibson sports a 3.39 ERA with nearly a strikeout per inning. While Baltimore does have a few bats that can hurt you (Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo), Gibson has done a good job keeping right-handed batters in check this season, holding them to a .298 wOBA.

Matt Harvey (R), 19 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs: Harvey's velocity has returned, and with it, so has the righty's effectiveness. After averaging 93.1 mph on his fastball back in May, he's now averaging 95.5 mph. That's the largest velocity spike in baseball over that time. Harvey's last three starts have seen him post a 1.47 ERA with 14 strikeouts and only two walks in 18.1 innings. It's hard to completely buy into the right-hander as a fantasy-relevant starter after he had posted an ERA of 4.86 in 2016 and 6.70 in 2017, but the newfound velocity is certainly encouraging. While Harvey's road matchup against the Cubs is less than ideal, he did hold them to only two runs in six innings in late June.

Mike Fiers (R), 8 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers: Despite pitching for a bad team, and being largely ignored in fantasy circles, Fiers has quietly been putting up fantasy-relevant numbers over the last month-plus. Over his last seven starts, he has a 2.68 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and he's allowed just two runs over his last two starts (15 innings). While his strikeout rate is down from recent seasons (6.6 K/9), he's a good bet for at least a handful of whiffs against the Rangers, who sport a 25.3 K-rate against right-handed pitching, the worst mark in the American League.

Projected game scores



James McCann (R), 9 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Cole Hamels): McCann has a career .240 ISO against left-handed pitching and should tee off against Hamels. Not only has the Texas lefty allowed a .227 ISO to right-handed batters, but he's given up a 44.1 percent hard-contact rate. He is also coming off two starts in which he's surrendered 11 earned runs in 10 innings to the White Sox and Padres -- two of the worst offenses in baseball.

First base

Yonder Alonso (L), 35 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Edwin Jackson): Jackson has pitched incredibly well in his first two starts this season, surrendering just three runs across 12 2/3 innings (2.13 ERA) with 13 whiffs and zero walks. However, after posting a 5.21 ERA last season and a 5.89 mark in 2016, I'll need to see more before buying into the veteran right-hander. Alonso, meanwhile, is batting .341/.391/.488 over his last 10 games and sports a .349 wOBA against righty pitching in 2018.

Second base

Rougned Odor (L), 39 percent, Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers (RHP Mike Fiers): Slowly but surely, it appears Odor might be turning a corner. Since June 16, he's batting .296/.371/.519 with three homers and four stolen bases. While he's pitched well of late, Fiers has been vulnerable to left-handed bats this season, allowing a .213 ISO to that side of the plate.

Third base

Johan Camargo (B), 15 percent, Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Aaron Wilkerson): Over the last two weeks, Camargo been scalding-hot, putting up a .370/.426/.611 slash line. He has a good chance of keeping things going against Wilkerson, pressed into starting after Brent Suter was disabled with forearm tightness. Wilkerson was called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs where he had an impressive 2.08 ERA, especially in light of the favorable hitting environment. However, he walked 17 and only fanned 29 in 34.2 innings for the Sky Sox, suggesting he's likely to struggle against major league hitters.


Paul DeJong (R), 47 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants (RHP Jeff Samardzija): More than anything, this is a public service announcement that DeJong is scheduled to be activated from the DL on Friday and is rostered in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues. The 24-year-old shortstop brings elite power to the position, clubbing 33 homers in 149 big league games. A matchup against Samardzjia, who is making his first start since returning from a shoulder injury, could pay big dividends.

Corner infield

Yuli Gurriel (R), 45 percent, Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): Gurriel is one of the rare hitters you want to target when he doesn't have the platoon advantage. Over 231 games, he's produced a .305/.332/.449 triple slash against right-handed pitching. Shields has been surprisingly effective of late, but count on regression kicking in soon.

Middle infield

Brad Miller (L), 2 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Atlanta Braves (RHP Anibal Sanchez): Since being picked up by the Brewers, Miller is batting .343/.410/.600 in 11 games. He's a great fit for Miller Park, one of the best parks in the majors for left-handed power. While Sanchez has been surprisingly effective this season, he's dealing with a career-high 41.8 percent fly-ball rate, which won't play well in Miller Park.


Michael Taylor (R), 29 percent, Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Wei-Yin Chen): While Juan Soto has drawn most of the attention over the last month or so, what Taylor has been doing shouldn't be ignored. Dating back to June 2, Taylor is batting .347/.382/.458 with 10 stolen bases. On Saturday, he draws the platoon advantage against Chen, who's been knocked around by right-handed hitters this season (.305/.379/.516).

Joc Pederson (L), 34 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Deck McGuire): When a right-hander is on the mound, Pederson has become somewhat of a must-play. He's banged 12 homers in his last 26 games to go along with a .289/.365/.842 slash line. He's unlikely to be held in check by McGuire, who has served up a combined five homers in his last two MLB outings, spanning just 7.1 innings.

Scott Schebler (L), 26 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs (RHP Tyler Chatwood): Schebler doesn't always do damage, but when he does, it's against right-handed pitching. He produced a .266 ISO against righties in 2017, and he's put up a .228 ISO against them this season, with 21 of his 26 extra-base hits coming with the platoon advantage. Against Chatwood and his 8.1 walk rate, Schebler is in a favorable spot on Saturday.

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.