Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Over his past six outings, Harvey has recorded a tidy 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, doing it with control and command. Associated Press

A card without many streaming options got a little better with Saturday's postponements pushing Vince Velasquez to Sunday. It also makes all Phillies and Nationals hitters a little more desirable.

Here are the standard pitching and hitting recommendations, all available in at least half of all ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Nick Pivetta (R), rostered in 34 percent of ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres: Pivetta's 4.58 ERA is a bit misleading. Not only was most of the damage inflicted in a handful of outlying starts, his 3.76 FIP and 3.41 xFIP speak toward pitching into a bit of misfortune. After Friday night's effort, Jake Arrieta may not agree, but for the season the Padres have been readily handled by righty pitching as evidenced by their league-worst weighted on base average (wOBA) versus right-handers, along with a generous 26 percent strikeout rate in that scenario.

Matt Harvey (R), 31 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: Over his past six outings, Harvey has recorded a tidy 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He's doing it with control and command, walking just seven with no homers allowed over those 34 frames. Strikeouts are scant, however, with just 25 in that span. For those chasing a few extra whiffs, the Pirates fan at a below-average clip. For everyone else, Harvey's in play with a good chance of his fifth win in his last six outings.

Vince Velasquez (R), 23 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres: There's nothing inspiring about Velasquez's 4.39 ERA. However, it's being inflated by one blowup outing against the Brewers in early June (10 ER in 3.2 IP). If you remove that one start, the right-hander has a satisfying 2.52 ERA over his past 11 starts, with a 10.6 K/9. Velasquez has only one double-digit-strikeout game this season, but he's a good bet to flirt with his second one on Sunday.

Jake Odorizzi (R), 23 percent, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals: Against another offense, Odorizzi's inconsistency would be an issue, but against the flailing Royals, it's worth taking the chance the good version shows up. With a 9.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9, Odorizzi tends to throw a lot of pitches, so he won't normally pitch deep into the game. He's homer prone, with a 1.4 HR/9, though the Royals are third from the bottom in terms of homers off righties.

Antonio Senzatela (L), 1 percent, Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks: Senzatela's making the list reflects the paucity of streaming options. He's making his third start of the season after working out of the bullpen in April before being sent to Triple-A. Senzatela will be coming off the disabled list for this outing, having left his final effort before the break with blister issues. The Diamondbacks have improved from their early-season doldrums, but they're still not overly threatening. There's ample strikeout potential to deploy Senzatela if you need a boost in the category.


Early indications are Brandon Morrow won't be out for long with biceps inflammation on his throwing arm, but with his health history, nothing is certain. Initial usage patterns suggest Carl Edwards Jr. is the primary candidate to grab the Cubs' saves, with Pedro Strop and Steve Cishek in the mix.

Projected game scores



Manny Pina (R), 1 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Alex Wood): This is as much a note to point out Pina is off the disabled list and back as the Brewers' primary backstop as it is a recommendation. That said, Wood has been vulnerable to righty swingers, surrendering all 12 of his homers to that side of the batter's box.

First Base

Joe Mauer (L), 8 percent, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals (RHP Brad Keller): Mauer is ideal for points leagues, facing a raw rookie issuing a healthy 27 free passes in his inaugural 63.1 frames.

Second Base

Jason Kipnis (L), 16 percent, Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers (RHP Yovani Gallardo): After an anemic start to the 2018 campaign, Kipnis is slashing a reasonable .269/.365/.487 since June 1. It's an unfortunate indictment of the Rangers' pitching depth that they're forced to keep Gallardo employed, as the veteran has registered a 6.75 ERA with a 1.43 WHIP in his five starts since returning to Texas.

Third Base

Jedd Gyorko (R), 7 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (LHP Jose Quintana): Quintana spun consecutive six-inning efforts heading into the break, though he fanned only seven with five walks in those 12 innings. With 14 homers allowed in 97.2 innings, the lefty is pacing to set a career high in that area, with right-handers doing the bulk of the damage. Gyorko historically hits lefties well, boasting a 1.006 OPS against them this season.


Enrique Hernandez (R), 27 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Brent Suter): Curiously, Hernandez has handled right-handers better than lefties this season. It remains to be seen how he'll be deployed with Manny Machado around, but based on Hernandez's track record, his playing time against southpaws should be safe.

Corner Infield

Steve Pearce (R), 4 percent, Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers (LHP Brent Suter): If Mitch Moreland and Pearce were one player, it would be a switch-hitting Brandon Belt. For reference, Belt is rostered in 77 percent of ESPN leagues. That's a roundabout way of saying Pearce is nearly automatic against lefties, while Moreland is almost always in play facing righties.

Middle Infield

Aledmys Diaz (R), 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner): Cashner has tossed at least six stanzas in six of his past seven outings. However, over those 40.1 innings, he whiffed only 27 while issuing 12 walks with five long balls. The righty spent the break on the disabled list nursing a neck sprain but is slated to be activated in advance of Sunday's contest. Diaz has come out of the break swinging well, with a pair of multihit games.


Jesse Winker (L), 38 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Ivan Nova): With Scott Schebler sidelined, Winker's playing time will see an uptick, though his recent play has warranted near full-time status, as he takes an 11-game hitting streak into Saturday's action. He's getting on base at a 57 percent clip over that span, perfect for points leagues.

Brandon Nimmo (L), 31 percent, New York Mets at New York Yankees (RHP Masahiro Tanaka): With 10 homers in just 188 at-bats versus right-handers, Nimmo is in great shape to add to that against Tanaka and his 1.9 HR/9.

Mallex Smith (L), 11 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Trevor Richards): Kevin Kiermaier was earmarked for this spot, but he's out until at least Monday after receiving a cortisone shot for his knee on Saturday. Smith will be the pivot, based on his stolen base potential. League-wide, steals are down, without anyone distancing themselves from the field atop the leaderboard. As such, the category in roto leagues is bunched more than normal. Someone like Smith could help gain points quickly. He swiped a bag Friday night against the Marlins and won't hesitate to try again if given the opportunity.