Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Tommy Joseph got off to a slow start this season, but he may be picking up steam. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday offers an interesting pitching slate, as there's little at the top, not much at the bottom, and a whole lot in the middle. Only three hurlers check in with a projected Game Score of 60 or above, while just five land below 48. This not only lowers the number of potential streamers but also lessens the number of hitters in favorable matchups, since there aren't that many weak arms to target.

However, Sunday is the day managers tend to give their reserves some playing time, which often unearths chances to take advantage of a strong matchup for those paying attention to lineups as they're announced.


Starting pitching

Tyler Skaggs (Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals, 5 percent owned in ESPN leagues): Once Skaggs learns to throw strikes and let his defense do its thing, we're looking at a possible midrotation to front-end starter. However, walks and homers are still an issue. Playing to his favor is that the southpaw holds the platoon edge over most of the Royals' best hitters.

Jharel Cotton (Oakland Athletics vs. Houston Astros, 32 percent): Cotton has one of the best changeups in the league, despite having barely 40 major league innings worked under his belt. This could come in handy against the free-swinging Astros, known for their boom-or-bust approach to at-bats.

Antonio Senzatela (Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants, 11 percent): Last season, using Rockies pitchers on the road became a thing. Add Senzatela to the list. The rookie isn't overmatched and is generally around the dish, averaging 95 mph on his heater. The Giants are a move-the-line offense, especially with Buster Posey sidelined, reducing the chance of a disaster outing.

Wily Peralta (Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds, 10 percent): This isn't for the faint of heart or those aiming to protect ratios. But if you're looking for some wins and whiffs, or play in a points league, Peralta lines up well. He's opposed by Sal Romano and a tired bullpen, as the hosts had to pick up Brandon Finnegan, who worked only one inning on Saturday. For the season, the jury is still out, but thus far, Peralta is throwing harder, inducing more whiffs. Control will be key.


Let's stay with the Brew Crew, where Neftali Feliz is available in just under half of ESPN leagues. The fireballing righty is averaging 98 mph on his fastball, touching triple digits on occasion. His setup crew, featuring Carlos Torres, Corey Knebel and Jacob Barnes, is getting the job done as his bridge to the ninth. Peralta is in a good spot to entrust his mates with a lead; if you need a save to put you over the top, check on Feliz's availability.

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.



Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics (49 percent): We're inching closer, but until Vogt's ownership eclipses the 50 percent plateau, it's Pavlovian to look his way, especially on Sunday, when backstops often sit in favor of their backup. Vogt is in a strict platoon, so he'll almost assuredly enjoy the platoon edge on Charlie Morton.

First base

Tommy Joseph, Philadelphia Phillies (30 percent): Joseph is off to a slow start, fanning at a 32 percent clip. To be fair, a lot of that was early, as he whiffed five times in the first two games of the season. Joseph is warming up, as he has an extra-base hit in each of his past two games. He draws Gio Gonzalez, who's off to a strong start but is historically vulnerable to power-hitting righties.

Second base

Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Red (5 percent): This comes with the "check lineups" warning as Gennett has been playing against a lot of, but not all, right-handers. Yesterday, he played left field, giving Adam Duvall a day off. Gennett has sneaky pop, facing Peralta in his former digs, Miller Park.

Third base

Yandy Diaz, Cleveland Indians (2 percent): Diaz continues to fill in at the hot corner, while Jason Kipnis is out. Sunday, Diaz draws Matthew Boyd, a promising but still inconsistent southpaw. Third base could be a stronger position than first this year, making it harder to find available help, since many are using a third baseman in the corner infield or utility spot on their fantasy rosters.


Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox (25 percent): Though he hasn't displayed it yet, Anderson has the speed to threaten 30 steals. He's facing a lefty in Hector Santiago, though the Twins' southpaw can be run on.

Corner Infield

Mitch Moreland, Boston Red Sox (17 percent): Moreland is wearing out Fenway Park, knocking several of his nine doubles off the wall. Look for more of the same with homer-prone Alex Cobb on the hill for the visiting Rays.

Middle Infield

Chris Coghlan, Toronto Blue Jays (less than one percent): Coghlan is manning the hot corner north of the border but qualifies at second base. Coghlan will square off with Dylan Bundy, who's off to a good start, but as mentioned, third basemen in a favorable spot are hard to come by, so we're digging deep.


Matt Joyce, Oakland Athletics (1 percent): Joyce has been hitting first or second versus righties. Sunday, he'll face Morton and his newfound 95 mph fastball. For his career, Joyce is sporting a weighted on-base average over .400 versus the old No. 1.

Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins (29 percent): We'll wrap up Sunday's notes with a couple of Twins fly-chasers facing James Shields, beginning with Kepler. The lefty has been sitting in the 5-hole with a righty on the hill, putting him in a great spot to do some damage against this homer-happy righty.

Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins (2 percent): Lineup stacking is a ploy popular in DFS play when you're looking to take advantage of a weak hurler, giving your lineup an additive effect. The same tactic can be used in seasonal play if you're looking to make up ground. Rosario hits further down in the order, but if you're looking to pile on an incendiary arm, pairing Rosario with Kepler could reap dividends.