A handful of aces are on the mound Tuesday with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and David Price going, though we're down one with Lance McCullers Jr hitting the DL. The talent drops off quickly on the mound after that, leaving a lot of opportunity for streaming bats and/or putting together a healthy DFS lineup.
Pitchers to stream
Tyler Chatwood (R), 14 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Chatwood has shown himself to be a strong road-only option the last couple years and it doesn't get much better than going to PNC Park. This year he has a 2.53 ERA on the road, going over six innings per start. Since 2013, he has a 2.41 ERA on the road, second to only Clayton Kershaw (2.22) on the road (min. 150 IP). Meanwhile, the Pirates are 22nd in wOBA against righties this year, so it's a park and lineup advantage for Chatwood.
Jharel Cotton (R), 6 percent, Oakland Athletics at Miami Marlins: Cotton hasn't been good this year, but he's been better since his recall and this matchup sets up well for him, if for the stadium alone. The Marlins are also 22nd in wOBA against righties since the start of 2016. They could be without Giancarlo Stanton, too, though he is expected to be OK after being hit in the wrist on Sunday. Cotton does have a 13 percent swinging strike rate in his last five starts, after just an 8 percent mark in five April starts. He seems to be getting the feel back on his stuff, particularly the changeup, and if he can limit the walks, there's a good shot at a quality start here.
Ty Blach (L), 30 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals: I'm skeptical of what Blach has done thus far, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP despite a meager 10 percent strikeout rate and underwhelming stuff. That said, this is a solid matchup to stay hot. Blach has a 1.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and .190 BAA in 36 innings at home while the Royals are 25th in wOBA against lefties.
Pitcher to avoid
Gerrit Cole (R), 91 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies: He's been an absolute nightmare for four straight starts yielding a 10.71 ERA and 2.28 WHIP in the 19.3 innings of work. I just have a hard time finding a glimmer of hope in what Cole is doing right now. Meanwhile, the Rockies have the 12th-best wOBA on the road this year; they aren't the rollover of previous years.
Projected game scores
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. A 50 typically earns the pitcher a "quality start" by this measure, while a 70 is considered a dominant start.
Alex Avila (L), 49 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Zack Greinke): I said last week that Avila will remain my pick here as long as the Tigers are facing a righty and he's reasonably available. He's still under 50 percent and while the Tigers are facing a tough arm in Greinke, it is a righty and Avila has taken on all righties this year (.343/.461/.686 line with nine homers in 128 PA).
Logan Morrison (L), 43 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Marco Estrada): Another platoon guy, Morrison has trounced righties to the tune of a .250/.360/.577 line with 14 homers in 186 PA. Estrada actually holds a reverse platoon as lefties have a .668 OPS off him, compared to a .792 for righties. Estrada did hold Oakland homer-less, but he had allowed eight in his previous six starts before that, including one to Morrison back on May 6.
Chase Utley (L), 2 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians (RHP Trevor Bauer): Utley isn't dominating this year, but his .260/.352/.431 line is more than capable and it's paired with a career-best 89 percent contact rate. Bauer is getting pummeled by lefties with a .292/.353/.557 with a 39 percent hard contact rate.
Yunel Escobar (R), 10 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees (LHP CC Sabathia): Escobar has a .300/.367/.399 line against lefties from 2014-16 and he's been even better this year with a .420/.442/.480 line (admittedly fueled by a .488 BABIP). Righties have hit all nine of the homers Sabathia has allowed this year and 17 of the 18 extra-base hits. You're looking for some base hits here, not really a power surge. Escobar has hit .333 after a rough April (.234).
Andrelton Simmons (R), 45 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees (LHP CC Sabathia): Simmons has had an offensive surge this year, but it has come mostly against righties. That said, he continues to make great contact against lefties and a meager .220 BABIP has held back his numbers. I already highlighted Sabathia's issues with righties, so we're doubling down with Simmons and Escobar.
Hernan Perez (R), 22 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Lance Lynn): I didn't buy Perez's out-of-nowhere season last year, but he's been even better this year with improved contact and power. A lot of his improvements have come against righties with a strong .282/.311/.542 line and eight homers in 151 PA. He only hit 13 home runs all of last year and already has nine this year.
Chris Taylor (R), 45 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians (RHP Trevor Bauer): Taylor has definitely come back down to earth, but I still see a productive option here. He mixes good patience to cancel some of his big strikeout issues while offering both punch and speed. As far as keeping Taylor long term, keep an eye on the walk rate as a major indicator for him. When he starts to chase too much and lose his patience, he goes in the tank.
Josh Reddick (L), 27 percent, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Nick Martinez): Reddick has always done his best work against righties and this year is no different. All six of his homers have come against right-handers. He has upped his contact and cut his chase rate and he's done all it especially well at home with a .319/.332/.462 line.
Ben Gamel (L), 6 percent, Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson): Gamel is mashing righties to the tune of a .330/.409/.443 line and he has established his playing time with the Mariners. He has a 32 percent hard contact rate and he's chasing at just a 22 percent clip. Gibson is allowing a .317 batting average on the year and 12 of the 32 hits he has allowed have gone for extra bases.
Matt Joyce (L), 1 percent, Oakland Athletics at Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): Joyce hasn't done much against righties this year, but there's just no way a .187 BABIP will continue and despite the .181 AVG, he still has seven homers in 179 PA. I'm still willing to bet on his 215-point platoon split against righties with a .794 OPS in 2,865 PA.
Hitter matchup ratings
Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth, as well as the 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 to 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, whereas 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.