Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Thursday

New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German is facing a Kansas City Royals team Thursday that has fared well against righties. Should you use him anyway? Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday's 10-game slate is light on ace power. Of the 20 starting pitchers scheduled to take the mound, only Washington's Patrick Corbin comes in with a Game Score higher than 56. That's good for us, though. Fewer aces means more starting pitchers to choose from, along with better matchups for our hitting streamers.

Here's a look at the day's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN.com leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Michael Soroka (R), rostered in 5 percent of ESPN leagues, Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Soroka was called up last season at the tender age of 20 years old, faring admirably before being shut down for the season in May with irritation in his throwing shoulder, The good news is that there was no structural damage, but the top prospect did lose some valuable development time. Soroka is one of several young Atlanta arms looking to make a name for himself, though this may be a case of "one and done" with Mike Foltynewicz returning. The Diamondbacks have been league-average against righties this season, sporting a 99 wRC+ with a 22.7 percent K rate, so this isn't a matchup to fear.

Michael Pineda (R), 26 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays continue to sputter along as one of the worst offenses in the American League. Their 75 wRC+ ranks third worst in the AL, while their 29.5 percent strikeout rate against righties is second worst in baseball. Meanwhile, Pineda is whiffing a batter per inning, limiting walks (1.2 BB/9) and has yet to allow more than three runs in a start this season. In a quality matchup like this, there's every reason to expect another streamer-worthy outing from the Minnesota righty.

Domingo German (R), 42 percent, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals: The Yankees have been dealt blow after blow on the injury front, but German is doing his part to help stabilize the team's starting rotation. Across three appearances (two starts), he owns a 1.38 ERA with a 9.7 K/9 and a low 20.7 hard-contact rate allowed. The Royals have actually fared well against right-handed pitching this season (110 wRC+), but this still isn't a lineup that I'm shying away from. Fire up German on Thursday if he's available in your league.

Ivan Nova (R), 2 percent, Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers: This one has more to do with the matchup than anything. The Tigers' offense has been dreadful this season, sporting an ugly 63 wRC+ against right-handed pitching with an inflated 27.3 strikeout rate. Nova is far from an exciting fantasy option, but he throws strikes, limits hard contact, and keeps the ball on the ground, which should be enough to deliver a quality start against such a dormant lineup.


The Rays will send right-hander Hunter Wood to the hill for his first "open" of the season for Thursday's contest against Baltimore. Southpaw Ryan Yarbrough is lined up to follow, a role he thrived in last season, amassing 16 wins -- with several coming in this capacity, where he doesn't have to throw the five innings necessary to qualify would he have been a standard starter. Yarbrough is in a great spot to vulture another victory as the Rays' 14-4 record is the league's best. Meanwhile, the Orioles are one of the poorer offenses in the league.

Projected game scores



Yan Gomes (R), 11 percent, Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Drew Pomeranz): Pomeranz was hammered by righty batters last season (.301/.401/.546), and things haven't improved so far in 2019 (.333/.391/.548). This opens up a nice opportunity for Gomes, who hit .288/.363/.477 against southpaws in 2018. Should Kurt Suzuki draw the start here instead, he makes for a quality play too.

First base

Justin Bour (L), 6 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez): After a slow start, Bour has picked things up over the past week, putting up a .955 OPS. He's a platoon bat who has produced a .270/.365/.504 triple slash against righties over the past three seasons, and Hernandez, who sported a 6.97 road ERA in 2018, is less effective against lefty batters.

Second base

Niko Goodrum (S), 16 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Goodrum is off to a nice start, batting .289/.407/.489 during his first 14 games. He typically fares better when he has the platoon advantage, but he should get some good licks in against Nova, who pounds the zone and doesn't have overpowering stuff.

Third base

Hunter Dozier (R), 6 percent, Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees (RHP Domingo German): Dozier is batting .343/.400/.657 against right-handed pitching this season, and he gets a nice park bump going to Yankee Stadium. German has been effective this season, but walks have been a problem and Dozier has posted strong walk rates across his professional career.


Garrett Hampson (R), 10 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin): Hampson is finally getting the chance to play regularly. He's started each of the past six games and has batted second in the last five. On Tuesday, Hampson popped his first homer of the season and swiped his first bag. This is a skill set to bet on, especially when it's playing at Coors Field.

Corner infield

Christian Walker (R), 17 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Atlanta Braves (RHP Michael Soroka): Walker is making the most of his playing time with Jake Lamb on the shelf. He's posted consecutive three-hit games with a homer in each, and he's now batting .294/.368/.667. Walker squares off against rookie righty Soroka on Thursday, and all of the slugger's damage has come against righty pitching (.357/.400/.857) this season.

Middle infield

Willy Adames (R), 13 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner): Adames was slow out of the gate, but over his past eight games he's batting .448/.529/.655 with four extra-base hits. It doesn't get much better than a matchup against Cashner, who put up a 5.29 ERA over 28 starts in 2018 and is heading down the same path so far in 2019.


Franmil Reyes (R), 12 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Tanner Roark): Reyes isn't guaranteed to be in the lineup with San Diego's glut of outfielders. However, he possesses top-end power that makes him an intriguing play whenever he's on the lineup card. Roark has pitched decently so far this season, but he's allowing lots of hard contact (39.1 percent) and 67 percent of the batted balls he's allowing are fly balls or line drives.

Leury Garcia (S), 5 percent, Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers (RHP Tyson Ross): The switch-hitting Garcia has cemented himself as the White Sox's leadoff hitter. Though Garica fares better against southpaw pitching, Ross historically struggles with lefty swingers.

Clint Frazier (R), 23 percent, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Homer Bailey): Bailey entered this season with a 6.29 ERA over his previous 44 starts, and he currently owns a 5.29 ERA across three starts this season. Now he heads to Yankee Stadium. In short, Bailey is a guy you want exposure against whenever he's on the mound. In 31 at-bats against righties this season, Frazier is batting .323 with three bombs and 10 RBIs.

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).