Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Carlos Rodon may be volatile, but he could be worth the risk Saturday as a streaming option in fantasy. Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

The good news is that Saturday brings us a whopping 17-game slate, with doubleheaders in the Dodgers-Padres and Mets-Astros series. The bad news is that, somehow, even with the expanded schedule of games, the pool of quality streaming pitchers feels thin. The fact of the matter is when you limit yourself to hurlers who are less than 50 percent rostered, you're going to run into days when the quality is lacking. Such is life when you play the streaming game.

Here's what we're looking at with Saturday's slate:


Pitchers to stream

Carlos Rodon (L), 48 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Rodon may be a volatile fantasy starter, but Saturday's matchup against Tampa Bay looks awfully enticing. Not only are the Rays a bottom-10 team against left-handed pitching (88 wRC+), but their 26 percent whiff rate versus southpaws is the highest in the American League. Rodon has encountered some speed bumps this season, but he sports a 3.07 ERA over his last six starts with a 9.0 K/9 rate. The 24-year-old has racked up double-digit K's on three occasions this season, and that's certainly in play here in this matchup.

Dan Straily (R), 50 percent, Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies: He hasn't been flashy, but Straily has quietly been putting together a career year. His 8.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 rates are both career bests, as is his 12 percent swinging strike percentage. Against a Phillies club that sits in the bottom five against righties (87 wRC+), and whiffs at a 24 percent clip, Straily is one of the day's better streamers. The Phillies will also suffer a ballpark downgrade going from Citizens Bank to Marlins Park.

Kyle Gibson (R), 4 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals: Sometimes a streaming recommendation has more to do with the opponent than the skill of the pitcher -- and that's certainly the case here. After all, it's hard to get past Gibson's 5.59 ERA and 6.6 K/9 over 23 starts. On the other hand, the Royals were the worst offensive team in the AL in August (86 wRC+), so this matchup can't get much better. Plus, despite Gibson's dreadful seasonlong numbers, he looked to be at his best in August, pitching to a 3.90 ERA with 28 whiffs over 27 2/3 innings. Don't expect a miracle here, but if you need the innings, this is a rare spot where Gibson might be usable.


Giants manager Bruce Bochy is content with riding Sam Dyson in the ninth inning for the time being, but don't rule out Mark Melancon returning to the closer role soon. Melancon has made six straight scoreless appearances since returning from the disabled list, striking out two in each of his last three outings. After signing a four-year contract over the offseason, the 32-year-old veteran will be reinserted into the closer role eventually. Melancon has slipped below the 50 percent rostering threshold, so now's a good time to secure his services.



Wilson Ramos (R), 27 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox (LHP Carlos Rodon): Ramos is a guy to target whenever he has the platoon advantage. He hit .291/.326/.482 against lefty pitching from 2014 to 2016, and he has continued that trend by batting .293/.341/.439 against southpaws this season. Rodon has been pitching better of late, but he's still allowing a .219 ISO to righty batters.

First Base

Mike Napoli (R), 15 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Ricky Nolasco): Nolasco is allowing a bloated .393 wOBA to right-handed hitters. He has also surrendered 32 homers this season, tied for second-most in baseball. In other words, Napoli, who is on pace for 34 dingers, is a great upside play on Saturday.

Second Base

Howie Kendrick (R), 36 percent, Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Brandon Woodruff): Kendrick won't have the platoon advantage here, but he has pummeled all kinds of pitching in 2017. He has managed a .335/.380/.482 slash line versus right-handed pitching and is batting .330/.373/.500 since the All-Star break. Woodruff may have a 1.62 ERA through three starts, but a 4.09 FIP and 5.25 xFIP tell a more complete story.

Third Base

Joey Gallo (L), 49 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Ricky Nolasco): Gallo, one of the best home run hitters in baseball, slammed 11 homers in 20 August games. Meanwhile, Nolasco is on pace to allow 39 homers, and heads to a park that inflates left-handed power. Set it and forget it.


Jorge Polanco (B), 33 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Ian Kennedy): Polanco has been blazing hot. He hit .378/.413/.694 in August, and the Twins have rewarded him by moving him up to either the third or fourth spot in the order most nights. There's no reason to expect him to slow down against Garcia, who recorded a 5.04 ERA and 1.55 WHIP as a 28-year-old for Triple-A Omaha.

Corner Infield

Steve Pearce (R), 9 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (LHP Wade Miley): Miley is surrendering a .366 wOBA to right-handed hitters this season. He also has a sad 5.03 ERA in the second half. Pearce has a track record of crushing southpaws, and Camden Yards is a great park for power.

Middle Infield

Kolten Wong (L), 21 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants (RHP Chris Stratton): AT&T Park is one of the best pitchers' parks in the game. However, it's unseasonably warm in the Bay Area, adding carry to lofted balls. Wong has been hitting in the upper part of the order lately and should be there again, enjoying the platoon edge.


Kevin Pillar (R), 25 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (LHP Wade Miley): Miley is allowing a .297/.385/.470 slash to righty batters this season. He also has been increasingly inefficient, averaging 18.5 pitches per inning in August. Pillar, meanwhile, is batting .317/.366/.525 versus left-handed pitching in 2017.

Bradley Zimmer (L), 13 percent, Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann): My only regret here is that there aren't more low-owned Cleveland players to target against Zimmermann. The right-hander has been obliterated of late, allowing seven runs in three of his last four starts, and lefty swingers have put up a .379 wOBA against him. Zimmer has been in a bit of a funk, but this is exactly the type of matchup that can jump-start his bat.

Kole Calhoun (L), 39 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers (RHP A.J. Griffin): Look for Calhoun's production to benefit from the revamped Halos lineup. Today, he owns the platoon advantage with a park upgrade on a righty, who has allowed 17 homers in only 63 1/3 innings this season.