MLB Daily Notes: Fantasy rankings for Tuesday

Ryan Schimpf has plenty of power and will take his swings at hitter-friendly Coors Field on Tuesday. AP

Most Tuesdays will offer a 15-game slate, but the early season can be a little wonky as we get into the swing of things so we'll have to settle for just 12. With just a handful of frontline starters, the offensive options are plentiful and we could see some high scoring -- weather permitting.


Looking for a spot starter on Tuesday? Here's a list of potential options still available in most ESPN.com leagues.


Dylan Bundy (Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox, 54 percent): He's just over the 50 percent threshold we like to use for this column, but I had to include him because he's still thoroughly underutilized. With all of the information available to fantasy baseball players in 2017, you don't get to wait for things to stabilize, you have to invest now and ask questions later. Bundy has season-changing talent, so this is absolutely the kind of arm you invest now, even understanding that it could be bumpy. The upside is just too rich. I think you'll drive yourself nuts trying to pick and choose your spots, especially with an AL East pitcher, so I'm inclined to just put him in the lineup even in the perceived tough matchups. The Red Sox have been decimated by a flu bug that is still lingering and could keep a key player or two off for Bundy, but he has the talent to cut through their A-lineup, too.

Joe Musgrove (Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners, 17 percent): Pick on the Mariners while they're scuffling, or beware of a pending breakout as they won't stay down forever? I'm choosing the former with this Musgrove recommendation, though it's not simply because the Mariners aren't hitting. Musgrove battled through his first outing against these same Mariners and despite the lack of a consistent third offering, he handled the lefties in the lineup. There's certainly some risk here (of course, that's why he's on 17 percent of rosters), but I especially like Musgrove in a long-term situation even if he doesn't dominating in Seattle.

Dan Straily (Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves, 10 percent): Straily makes his home debut in Marlins Park, a venue that should help curb a career-long home run issue. Facing the Braves should help that as well. Additionally, their biggest threat -- Freddie Freeman -- isn't automatically a scary matchup for Straily, who has maintained a neutral platoon split throughout his career and actually handled lefties better than righties last year (118-point platoon with lefties at .645 OPS).

Wily Peralta (Milwaukee Brewers at Toronto Blue Jays, 3 percent): Peralta had a big season debut, but you might not have realized that it was a continuation of some success he had to close the 2016 season. After returning from the DL, Peralta had a 2.92 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his final 10 starts of the season, spanning 61.2 innings. Even taking into account the new velocity readings, Peralta is up about about 1 mph over last year. Platoon issues have been a career-long concern for Peralta, but the Jays only start two guys who will bat from the left side, switch-hitters Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak. Bench lefties Ryan Goins and Ezequiel Carrera aren't scaring anyone, either.


Jeanmar Gomez lasted all of week in the closer's role and if that's all they were going to give him, they shouldn't have even put him there in the first place. Joaquin Benoit will be the closer for now, but the 39-year old might not be up for every opportunity right away so keep an eye on Hector Neris, who is definitely the most talented arm in that pen.

Projected game scores

Note: W-L, ERA and WHIP are full-year 2016 statistics. GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. A "*" means that the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.


Let's find one player at each position with less than 50 percent ownership in ESPN leagues in a favorable spot.


James McCann (Detroit Tigers, 4 percent): Since 2014, McCann's .529 slugging percentage against lefties is 22nd (min. 240 plate appearances), better than the likes of Jose Bautista, Nolan Arenado, and Todd Frazier -- all elite power hitters. Meanwhile, Hector Santiago has long struggled to tame righties with a whopping 41 percent of righty hits going for extra bases since 2014. McCann is near-automatic DFS play against lefties and might be poised for some overall power growth which would make him an intriguing No. 2 catcher option in an otherwise shallow pool, especially after Gary Sanchez hit the DL.

First base

Justin Bour (Miami Marlins, 14 percent): Baseball Twitter is going to crush me for going against Bartolo Colon, but I'm just trying to help you win your league. Colon had a sharp platoon split last year with lefties hitting 18 of the 24 home runs he allowed, along with a .216 ISO and .795 OPS. Bour had a quiet first week, but look for him to get going with his first homer of the season -- yep, I'm calling my shot. Well, Justin's shot, actually.

Second base

Ryan Schimpf (San Diego Padres, 8 percent): Schimpf has obscene power, capable of leaving any yard, so of course we want him in the best hitting environment the game has to offer (Coors Field). He has just 287 plate appearances against righties as a big leaguer, but he's put up an All-Star level .899 OPS with 17 home runs (essentially a 35-HR full season pace).


Chris Owings (Arizona Diamondbacks, 27 percent): It feels like Owings has been around for quite a while, but he's just 25 years old and might finally be ready for the breakout that many have tabbed for him the last couple of years. It's a speed-first profile that we've seen with his 51-for-58 stolen base success rate in his career, including a quick 4-for-4 in the first week. He's been swinging it well since Spring Training, too, and while we'd prefer the platoon advantage where we can get it, Owings has been platoon neutral throughout his career.

Third base

Jedd Gyorko (St. Louis Cardinals, 48 percent): A modest opening week paired with the fact that he was a late round pick has many wanting to cut Gyorko already, but that positional flexibility is hard not to keep around for a while longer. For his career, he's done his best work against lefties, though last year it was an outburst against righties that spurred his season. He'll take the platoon advantage into Tuesday's game against Gio Gonzalez, who I actually like this year in the aggregate, but I don't mind going against in a specific matchup.


Gerardo Parra (Colorado Rockies, 15 percent): It's not particularly difficult to recommend a player at Coors Field, but rarely do we have one so widely available. Parra had a disastrous debut season with the Rockies, but he looks healthy and ready to rebound. Oh, and he gets Jered Weaver on Tuesday. Yes, Weaver at Coors. Do you really need any stats? Fine, since 2014 Parra's average is 44 points higher against righties and his slugging percentage jumps 104 points.

Travis Jankowski (San Diego Padres, 7 percent): Leaning on Coors again, though a little different profile than Jankowski's teammate at second base. The thin air no doubt adds to home run potential, but it's the spacious outfield that really fuels run scoring via base hits. His speed component also allows him to deliver value via the stolen base. As far as the long-term goes, the move of Alex Dickerson to the 60-day DL lengthens Jankowski's leash. Jankowski does have a 264-point platoon split favoring his work against righties, but that's a little misleading since it's still only a .693 OPS against them.

Delino DeShields (Texas Rangers, 4 percent): DeShields generated some hype this spring with a 14-for-14 rate on the bases and .323 average in 62 at-bats. And then he became Exhibit 9,293,105 showing how spring stats are misleading as he logged a whopping six at-bats in the opening week. He should at least continue to get opportunities against lefties and Tyler Skaggs doesn't stand out as a must-avoid lefty by any stretch of the imagination. Let's see if DDS can get jumpstarted this week and start running like we saw in the Cactus League.

Hitter ratings

Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's past history (three years' worth, as well as past 21 days) and 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 1-10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. So, 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.