Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Wednesday

Edinson Volquez is on quite the roll as of late. Will he keep it going against the A's on Wednesday? Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

One of baseball's hottest pitchers toes the rubber Wednesday -- and I'm not talking about must-start arms Corey Kluber or Michael Pineda.

Meanwhile, fantasy players should consider adding two middle infielders who may have figured things out at the plate, as well as a talented outfielder who may find more playing time soon.


Pitchers to stream

Edinson Volquez (R), 39.2 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Miami Marlins vs. Oakland Athletics: The right-hander followed up his June 3 no-hitter with another gem, giving him four straight quality starts, during which he's spun a 1.29 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 28 frames. An ironic reason for the surge, perhaps: an injury. Volquez said his recently sore ankle has steadied his delivery so he doesn't leap toward the plate. Perhaps he'll carry over this development when healthy. The A's, by the way, have the third-highest strikeout rate (24.7 percent) against righties.

German Marquez (R), 13.2 percent, Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Though Marquez was tagged in his last two starts away from Coors Field, PNC Park is a dream road trip, and its inhabitants own the fifth-lowest home weighted on-base average (wOBA), at .310.

Francisco Liriano (L), 8.8 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Tampa Bay is saddled with the third-highest strikeout rate (26.7) against southpaws this year and the league's highest, 25.8 percent, since the start of 2016. Liriano again should dampen the Rays: He's fanned 11 in 8 2/3 innings this year.

Pitcher to avoid

Ervin Santana (R), 96.1 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners: Big Erv's 2.20 ERA and fairy-tale .154 opponent BABIP are teetering on collapse, and the M's are showing renewed life at the plate.

Julio Teheran (R), 76 percent, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals: He looked fine in his last start June 9, but a tilt against the Nationals (.340 wOBA against RHP) is not the time to test that progress unless it's a deep-league or a DFS contrarian play.

Matt Shoemaker (R), 64.1 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees: Angel Stadium favors pitchers, but Shoemaker faces the hot Michael Pineda and lethal Yankees lineup. He should be owned for the logical hope that he'll turn things around, but keep him benched for this turn.


Will the Nationals acquire a closer long before the July 31 deadline? Koda Glover (back) is sidelined. Shawn Kelley has allowed eight home runs in 16 1/3 innings. The previously effective Matt Albers blew a four-out chance Monday. Who gets the next chance? Albers? Blake Treinen again? Enny Romero? Should you care? Washington should find someone outside the organization (paging David Robertson), and fantasy owners should be careful counting on any existing Nats relievers.

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.



Tony Wolters (L), 3 percent, Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): #KuhlStoryBro, say left-handed batters, whose .434 wOBA against Chad ranks second in the majors.

First base

Matt Adams (L), 13.3 percent, Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark): The vet arguably has enjoyed one of fantasy's biggest value bumps since Atlanta acquired him to fill in for Freddie Freeman (wrist). Adams has the platoon advantage (.281/.331/.509 vs. RHP in 124 plate appearances this year, with six of his seven homers), and Roark has faltered following his 2016 breakout.

Second base

Jose Pirela (R), 6.7 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds (LHP Amir Garrett): With a five-game hit streak and two-game homer streak, Pirela has made a case for significant playing time for a desperate club since arriving from Triple-A El Paso. The hitter-haven Pacific Coast League inflates his numbers a bit, but the 27-year-old has a new leg kick on his swing. Garrett already has allowed 16 home runs in 2017.

Third base

Wilmer Flores (R), 5.9 percent, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Mike Montgomery): While he'll often take a seat against righties, Flores obliterates southpaws. After all, he's tagged them at a .412/.417/.647 pace with a monstrous .443 wOBA in 34 appearances this year (along with an excellent .360 wOBA for his career). Montgomery is vulnerable while he transitions from the bullpen.


Orlando Arcia (R), 5 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Mike Leake): It may be ambitious to recommend him against one of baseball's most pleasant mound surprises, but like Pirela, Arcia has altered his approach in the box, making his stance more compact. His six-game hit streak and 10-for-31 start to June say the fix is working.

Corner infield

Nicholas Castellanos (R), 42.1 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Taijuan Walker): Considering he has three home runs in four games, the buy-low window for Castellanos may have already slammed shut, but he remains widely available. In his scheduled return outing from the DL, Walker, who hasn't been embattled with homers this year but has a known history of it, may be more prone to missing his spots.

Also, if Ryan Zimmerman (back) sits again, consider the Nationals' Adam Lind (1.4 percent) against the Braves' Julio Teheran, who's allowed a frightening .391 wOBA against lefty bats.

Middle infield

Joe Panik (L), 19.8 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Jason Hammel): Deep-league players can press this Panik button, considering his .775 OPS against righties. Hammel has done fine against lefty opponents but has posted his worst swinging-strike rate (8.5 percent) since 2013. Enter the contact-inclined Panik.


Hunter Renfroe (R), 20.7 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds (LHP Amir Garrett): Keep the anti-Garrett stack going. In 2017, Renfroe ranks 14th in the majors with a .435 wOBA (minimum 60 plate appearances) against southpaws.

Jason Heyward (L), 23.5 percent, Chicago Cubs at New York Mets (RHP Matt Harvey): He's again let down overly aggressive investors, but all five times he's cleared the fence came against a RHP. Lefty opponents have touched up Harvey for a .291/.366/.489 line with a .362 wOBA since the start of 2016, and the hurler still isn't right after his return from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

Jake Marisnick (R), 0.7 percent, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Andrew Cashner): With Josh Reddick (concussion) likely hitting the disabled list, Marisnick could draw more starts. He has pelted RHP more effectively this year (.304/.385/.696 in 52 plate appearances, with all six of his homers). The talented 26-year-old deserves a speculative pickup. Perhaps it's only been lack of opportunity that has kept him on the fantasy outskirts. For Wednesday, Cashner is one of fantasy's biggest regression candidates: His 3.17 ERA will not last, considering he has just a 10.6 percent strikeout rate.

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.