Saturday's action is split down the middle, with eight afternoon tilts and seven games under the lights. It's an intriguing slate. Names such as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander provide some ace power, and there are plenty of lesser-owned options perfect for streaming. Let's have a look.
Pitchers to stream
Luis Perdomo (R), 7 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Perdomo did little to impress with the Padres in 2016 as a Rule 5 pick, but he's showing some encouraging signs early in 2017. The right-hander has posted four straight quality starts, which includes a 3.00 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 26 whiffs in 24 frames. He also sports a staggering 71 percent ground ball rate, the highest in baseball. The Diamondbacks hit right-handed pitching well, but they also fan 24 percent of the time and will suffer a big park downgrade going from Chase Field to Petco Park.
Vince Velasquez (R), 31 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Velasquez has been a disappointment this season (5.63 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). However, this is still a high-upside 24-year-old who is whiffing more than a batter per inning and has significantly boosted his ground ball rate. This skill set is still worth investing in long term. On Saturday, he gets a Pirates team that's one of the worst in baseball against righty pitching (78 wRC+) in a park that's extremely pitcher-friendly.
Matt Andriese (R), 25 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees: The Yankees are generally not a team you want to stream against. After all, no team in baseball has hit right-handed pitching harder this season than the Bronx Bombers (127 wRC+), so the obvious risk caveats apply here. That said, Andriese has been much better than you think, as he owns a 2.61 ERA over his past seven starts with 38 whiffs in 41 innings. He tossed six innings of one-run ball when he last faced the Yankees back in April, and that was in Yankee Stadium. This matchup comes at Tropicana Field, which is a big positive for Andriese.
Zack Wheeler (R), 25 percent, New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Angels: The Mets have been a mess this year, but Wheeler has been a bright spot. The right-hander sports a 2.51 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in his past five outings with nearly a K per inning. He matches up well with an Angels team that ranks bottom-10 in wOBA versus righties since 2016, bottom-five in ISO, and will be without its DH during interleague play.
Corey Knebel's ownership is on the rise, but he's still a free agent in 62 percent of leagues. Sure, it's possible Neftali Feliz will reclaim in the closer gig in the coming weeks. However, it's just as possible that Knebel makes it impossible to remove him from the role. After all, the right-hander sports a 15.5 K/9 to go along with his 0.82 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 22 frames. Those numbers are hard to ignore. Knebel secured his third save of the season Thursday, and there could be plenty more on the way.
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.
Francisco Cervelli (R), 27 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Vincent Velasquez): Although Velasquez has electric stuff at times, he's still allowing a lot of hard contact (35 percent). Needless to say, this is a nice spot for Cervelli, who happens to lead all catchers with a 43 percent hard-hit rate and has collected 11 of his 13 extra-base hits against righties this year.
Matt Adams (L), 1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Jeff Samardzija): Samardzija has been pitching really well recently, but that doesn't change the fact that left-handed batters continue to be a problem. Of the 56 qualified pitchers, Shark is allowing the second-highest wOBA to lefty bats (.397) this season. And this isn't a new issue, considering he owns the third-highest wOBA allowed to lefties (.351) since 2015. Meanwhile, Adams sports a .318/.367/.432 slash against righties this year.
Kolten Wong (L), 1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Jeff Samardzija): We're sticking with the lefty bats against Samardzija theme here. Wong is hitting .280/.368/.450 against righties this year and has registered either a run or RBI in 12 of his last 13 games.
Ryon Healy (R), 23 percent, Oakland A's vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Drew Pomeranz): Healy is a name to consider anytime a lefty is on the mound. The Oakland slugger has roasted southpaws to a tune of a .389/.421/.750 slash line this season, and he's set to square off against a struggling Pomeranz, who has netted just one quality start in his past six turns and is allowing a 35 percent hard-hit rate.
Tim Beckham (R), 21 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees (RHP Masahiro Tanaka): Tanaka just hasn't looked right. He has allowed at least four runs in three straight starts, including eight in just 1⅔ innings his last time out. Interestingly, it's right-handed hitters who have done most of the damage, putting up a .421 wOBA against him. Those reverse splits suit Beckham just fine, as six of his seven homers this year have come off righties. It might also surprise you to learn that Beckham's 48 percent hard-hit rate is sixth best in all of baseball.
Adam Lind (L), 1 percent, Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (RHP Bartolo Colon): Lind is crushing righties this year, sporting a .341/.391/.634 slash against them. It's hard to find a better matchup than Colon, who is constantly around the plate and allows lots of fly balls and hard contact (37 percent).
Devon Travis (R), 13 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Kevin Gausman): Not only is Gausman a rare reverse split pitcher, he's allowing a .366/.425/.594 slash line to right-handed bats, including an MLB-worst .433 wOBA. As luck would it, Travis also has shown reverse splits in his career, making this an especially enticing matchup. Travis has been heating up of late, batting .327 with 12 doubles in 15 May games.
Hunter Renfroe (R), 13 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): Ray may have strikeout stuff, but with that strikeout stuff comes lots of hard contact. In fact, Ray owns the highest hard-hit rate since entering the big leagues (37 percent). That makes Renfroe a high-upside play. The slugger has big-time power and sports a .306/.404/.571 slash against lefties in his short career.
Manuel Margot (R), 43 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): Margot's inclusion here is for similar reasons. Although he doesn't have Renfroe's power, he still has decent pop and boasts a .302/.371/.453 slash line in May.
Ben Gamel (L), 14 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Mike Pelfrey): Pelfrey has had some early success against lefty hitters this year, but we're not buying it. Over the previous two seasons, he allowed the seventh-highest wOBA to left-handed bats and a .324/.401/.473 slash line. Count on the regression coming sooner rather than later. Gamel, who is hitting .308/.423/.508 versus righties and usually finds himself batting second, is a name to target in this favorable matchup.