A strong slate of arms toe the slab on Tuesday, meaning some of our matchups will be against stars.
Of course, the upshot is that it's a good day to stream arms, because some of the good ones are widely available. There is some longer-term viability throughout Tuesday's picks, so even if you don't love their matchup, consider keeping them for the week before deciding their fate for your team.
Pitchers to stream
With his thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in the rearview mirror, Ross is once again healthy and looking a lot like his 2013-15 self -- or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. His velocity is down a couple of ticks, and he isn't inducing ground balls at the same clip, but his 16 percent K/BB rate is a career best. Ross has always had a platoon split, with lefties finding more success off him, and this year is no different. But that's what makes this matchup so good, as only Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich are regular lefties in the Marlins' lineup.
Dan Straily (R), 7 percent, Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres:
Obviously, if you're chasing wins, it's hard to use both starters in a given game -- or really use any Marlins or Padres starters in the first place -- but we're just looking for some quality innings. Straily's full-season numbers won't impress you (a 2 percent K/BB rate is all you need to know on that front), but it has been five starts, and so opening with a pair of bad ones is still doing a lot of damage. He has a better-but-still-not-great 10 percent K/BB rate in his past three starts, but that ignores the hit suppression in those starts yielding a 1.06 WHIP. Straily's biggest weakness is the long ball, and the Padres have the fewest homers against righties this year (26).
Freeland has done his best work at Coors Field over the course of his 216 career innings. He has a 3.30 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 106 home innings. He has allowed more than three earned runs just twice in 10 starts this year and has a sparkling 2.01 ERA over his past six starts. The Giants are about average against lefties, with a .316 wOBA that slots 16th in the league. There's always some nervousness using a Rockies starter at home, but they actually have some legitimate arms, making it a much more viable gambit than in past years.
Projected game scores
GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. The "*" symbol means the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.
Perhaps the change of scenery has spurred Mesoraco, as he has popped four homers in his 14 games with the Mets. It's more likely just a hot run, but let's pretend he just loves New York! All five of his homers on the season have come against righties, so while he's hitting only .219 vs. them, he is at least showing some big power. It's difficult to find two viable catchers to hang on to full time, let alone slotting someone in on a spot start, so while Mesoraco is a flawed hitter, he's the best of a poor pool.
Remember last season when a new first-base star would pop up on the waiver wire almost weekly? Justin Smoak, Yonder Alonso, Logan Morrison, Josh Bell, Mark Reynolds, and Trey Mancini were a few. Even Cody Bellinger was an unknown who didn't have a clear path to playing time at one point. This season, Aguilar is carrying the mantle of free-agent gold for an otherwise down year at the position. He's smashing both righties (.970 OPS) and lefties (1.032) and finding more playing time as a result. Wacha has shown a substantial platoon split with righties hitting 291 points better at a .776 OPS.
I've been tracking Robertson since first featuring him in a previous iteration of the Daily Notes, and I still see an intriguing bat. He opened the month on a cold streak but has gotten back on track over his past 10 games with a .294/.432/.500 line in 44 plate appearances. His power has come against lefties, but his .287/.421/.402 (yes, the OBP is higher than the SLG) isn't terrible.
The Candyman is back, getting on base in five of his 13 plate appearances over the weekend including a two-homer game on Saturday. Candelario has done well from both sides of the plate, and the switch-hitter has been a bright spot on the rebuilding Tigers in his second year.
Pinder has decimated lefties for the A's this season, posting a .326/.408/.535 line in 49 plate appearances with five extra-base hits out of his 14 total hits against southpaws. As great as Snell has been, he does have a sharp platoon split. Part of that is just his absolute decimation of lefties (.378 OPS), but righties are 324 points better at .702. This sets up as a good matchup for Pinder, especially since most will look to avoid facing Snell.
Guzman has put up only a .726 OPS against righties this season, but 10 of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases, yielding a solid .208 ISO. Power has been Guzman's key asset thus far, and the 23-year-old gets a chance to put it on display against Hernandez. It is hard to watch Hernandez languish through a 5.58 ERA, but that's where his skills are right now, and it's hard to see it getting much better. Lefties have a .768 OPS against Hernandez, which was lower than I expected, but Guzman will go 1-for-4 with a homer and three strikeouts.
Brandon Crawford (L), 50 percent, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland):
Crawford stole Didi Gregorius' mojo for the month of May, hitting .443/.480/.682 with 4 HR, 14 R and 20 RBIs in 98 plate appearances. He has six total homers on the year, including four against lefties, which is already more than the three he hit against them all last year. Freeland does better in his lefty-lefty matchups, but we've got Crawford's success and Coors Field working for us here.
A pitching recommendation can't be the only mention of a game in Colorado, so here's our chance at some Coors-fueled offense. Cargo has been bad this season, and that's crystallized by the fact that his 4-for-4 game on Sunday boosted him to only a .700 OPS on the season. Samardzija is getting torched by lefties this year, with a .960 OPS and four homers in 71 PA. He also allowed 15 runs in 11 innings at Coors Field last season, and his 1.6 HR/9 and 1 percent K/BB this year don't offer hope at improving those numbers.
We're going against a handful of quality arms on Tuesday, but that's just the slate we've got. Hicks has a .946 OPS over his past 50 PA and was in the midst of a breakout season last year when injuries once again derailed him. He has an .816 OPS against righties since the start of 2017 after consistent struggles with them for most of his career. Morton is absolutely crushing lefties with a .449 OPS and 40 percent strikeout rate in 125 PA. Hicks is more of a long-term play anyway, so while this isn't a great setup, you can consider keeping him on the roster well beyond Tuesday as long as he continues to hit.
Granderson is a full-scale platoon bat at this point and continues to handle righties. This season, he's at .250/.386/.444 against righties with four homers in 132 plate appearances. He has only 15 PA against lefties. Porcello has allowed a .450 SLG to left-handers this season, and he has actually had a really big issue with leadoff hitters (1.062 OPS), so Granderson could jump on Porcello right out of the gate.
Hitter matchup ratings
Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth), as well as 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. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while 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.