Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Friday

Mariners right-hander Mike Leake enters June trending in the right direction. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Wow, Friday kicks off June. It seems like just yesterday we were saying, "It's too early." Well, there are obviously four months of baseball left, but it's not too early to take stock of your fantasy team. Maybe it's time to move on from that underperformer or make a trade to address a deficiency.

Still, the best way to stay ahead of your competition is sage, day-to-day management, and we're here to help. Friday's pitchers won't dazzle with strikeouts, though they should limit runs and keep their team in the game. Hitters are dotted with some forgotten and now reemerging names.

Here's a look at the day's most intriguing streamers, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Mike Leake (R), rostered in 11 percent of ESPN leagues, Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Leake is coming off a pair of solid efforts, allowing just two runs in the combined 14 2/3 innings. However, as alluded to, he fanned only five along the way. The Rays aren't pushovers, as they check in 10th in terms of weighted on base average (wOBA) versus right-handers. However, they're only 23rd in runs scored, giving Leake a chance to pick up a win as the Mariners likely face Sergio Romo as the opener with Austin Pruitt as the follower.

Jaime Barria (R), 7 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers: Barria has been a key cog in the Angels' ability to stay with their six-man rotation. His 7.2 K/9 isn't special, but he doesn't walk many, trusting his excellent defense to get the job done. On paper, Barria draws a great matchup, facing a Rangers club toting a weak .321 wOBA and generous 26 percent strikeout rate versus righties into Angels Stadium.

Tyler Mahle (R), 7 percent, Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres: In deeper leagues, Mahle has been a disappointment. It's not like he was expected to contend for the NL Cy Young award, but league average ratios were certainly fair anticipations. Instead, Mahle totes a bloated 4.76 ERA and 1.41 WHIP into Petco Park. However, he opposed an offense with the third-lowest wOBA and second-highest strikeout pace with a righty on the hill.

Clay Buchholz (R), 6 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins: With just five punchouts in his two outings spanning 11 frames, Buchholz is heading toward turning into a pumpkin. However, there's likely ample pixie dust to get him through one more effort, at home against a Marlins squad carrying the second poorest wOBA versus right-handers into the desert, along with an above-average strikeout rate.


A murky situation in Pittsburgh is now even more unclear after Thursday night's comeback win by the Cardinals. Felipe Vazquez was removed from last Sunday's game with a sore forearm. After resting Monday, he pitched both Tuesday and Wednesday -- hitting 98 mph on the radar gun. Then on Thursday, when asked to work for a third consecutive day, Vazquez imploded, allowing five runs (four earned) to the Redbirds without recording an out.

Assuming he's healthy, Vazquez will obviously get a game or two off, with the chance he's actually lost the closer role. The Pirates could be reticent to turn to setup man Michael Feliz, as he's surrendered nine earned runs over his last four appearances. That leaves Edgar Santana and Richard Rodriguez, with Santana having the edge based on usage. He has six holds, compared to zero from Rodriguez.

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.



John Ryan Murphy (R), 1 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Elieser Hernandez): Hernandez's surface stats look great, but there's reason to be concerned, as dictated by his 4.44 xFIP. The Diamondbacks had, by far, the league's worst offense in May but showed some signs of life at home versus the Reds to close out the month. Murphy has quietly taken over as the main catcher, though he's still sharing time with Alex Avila and Jeff Mathis. With three homers the past week, Murphy is in play if he's behind the dish on Friday.

First Base

Matt Skole (L), under 1 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Chase Anderson): Skole has been filling in for the injured Matt Davidson, batting fifth in a lineup quietly effective against right-handers. Anderson has been in a season-long rut, sporting better numbers than his underlying skills portend. He has been working on his mechanics, so there's hope, but it's also a great spot to play Skole, a 28-year-old career minor leaguer until he was given his first taste of the Show last week.

Second Base

Devon Travis (R), 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Travis is back in the majors, mostly out of need, as he was hitting poorly for Triple-A Buffalo. That said, he has hit safely in five of seven games since his recall. Hardy has pitched well in two starts since being moved to the rotation, but he's still a below-average hurler.

Third Base

Jeimer Candelario (B), 26 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Jaime Garcia): Be sure to check the news, as Candelario left Thursday's game after being hit on the wrist with a pitch. If he's able to play, he has been hitting third in a Tigers lineup beginning to awake from a season-long slumber and about to get Miguel Cabrera back. Candelario will likely be dropped a few pegs in the order but will still be in play, as he's showing the power many scouts prophesized, clearing the fence eight times so far.


Orlando Arcia (R), 14 percent, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox (LHP Hector Santiago): Like Travis, Arcia is back in the bigs out of necessity, as Tyler Saladino is on the shelf. Hopefully, even a short visit to the minors served as a wake-up call to the disappointing sophomore. Facing one of the worst pitchers on the slate could be the elixir to get him going. An interleague affair in an AL park helps mitigate hitting low in the order.

Corner Infielder

Cory Spangenberg (L), 1 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Tyler Mahle): If you're streaming Spangenberg, you'll want to look elsewhere, but otherwise, Spangenberg is in a great spot to take advantage of Mahle's struggles with lefty swingers.

Middle Infielder

Logan Forsythe (R), 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (LHP Tyler Anderson): On Friday, Forsythe will likely be in the lineup, enjoying the platoon edge on Anderson in a Coors game. However, if you want to be ahead of the curve, the Dodgers face a pair of righties over the weekend, meaning Max Muncy should be playing. Last season, it was Chris Taylor providing the Dodgers a much-needed spark. This time around, it's Muncy.


Scott Schebler (L), 13 percent, Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres (RHP Walker Lockett): Not only is Schebler in a favorable spot against a righty making his 2018 debut, the Reds reported they're ending the outfield rotation with Jesse Winker the odd man out. This is likely better news for Adam Duvall, who becomes an everyday player again. It's also good for Alex Blandino, as he has been hitting leadoff the past couple of games.

Brandon Nimmo (L), 21 percent, New York Mets vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Tyler Chatwood): To be honest, Nimmo should be highlighted every time he's facing a righty, so we'll feature him only when the spot is too good to overlook. Facing a guy with more walks (45) than strikeouts (44) in 48 1/3 innings is such an occasion.

Gerardo Parra (L), 5 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (RHP Dennis Santana): This one is going to require some lineup monitoring as the Dodgers haven't formally announced Santana as the starter. Alex Wood was initially earmarked for this start but has been pushed to Sunday in order to give him a few extra days of rest after leaving his last start with leg cramps. Santana was set to debut on Sunday, thus is the logical switch, though there's some talk of the Dodgers waiting for the Rockies to post a lineup. If Colorado runs with their top-heavy group of lefties, the Dodgers may counter with a lefty "opener" and then bring Santana in later. Regardless, expect Santana to be one of a few relievers the Dodgers deploy. Since the majority of those arms will be right-handed, Parra and Ryan McMahon are the Colorado targets in what could be a high-scoring affair.

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.