Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Thursday

Evan Longoria has a .333 batting average and 1.037 OPS at Coors Field during the past three seasons. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Thursday's 10-game slate provides us with a fine crop of streaming options on the pitching side, as the available arms carry a nice mix of talent and favorable matchups. On the hitting side, the options are less enticing. Still, with 10 teams out of action, that means most fantasy squads have plenty of holes to plug, so we'll make the best with what we've got.

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


Luke Weaver (R), rostered in 38 percent of ESPN leagues, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves: Weaver has been on quite a roll. After allowing five runs (four earned) in his first start of the season, the right-hander has allowed three or fewer runs in five straight outings. In those five starts, Weaver holds a 2.65 ERA with a 10.9 K/9, ranking as the No. 11 starter pitcher on the ESPN Player Rater. That includes a seven-inning, one-run performance against the Rockies in Coors Field his last time out. If Weaver can shut down the Rox at Coors, then a home matchup against the Braves shouldn't scare you.

Michael Wacha (R), 18 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: Wacha has been hit hard of late, sporting a 7.32 ERA over his last four starts. However, it's important to note that, in those four outings, he's squared off against the Dodgers, Brewers, Nationals and Cubs. Three of those four teams rank in the top eight in the majors in runs scored. Wacha finds himself in a much more favorable spot on Thursday, matching up with a Pirates club that ranks 22nd in baseball with an 86 wRC+ and a .151 ISO that ranks 25th.

Chris Bassitt (R), 20 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Cincinnati Reds: Bassitt gets an enticing draw on Thursday, as he's set to square off against a dormant Reds offense that's one of the worst in baseball against righty pitching, ranking 26th with a 77 wRC+, a .291 wOBA and a 24 percent strikeout rate. In three starts this season, Bassitt has a 2.12 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 22 K's in 17 frames. Across-the-board regression is coming, but there's still plenty of reason to invest in this tasty matchup.

Wade Miley (L), 11 percent, Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers: You wouldn't know it from his low rostered percentage, but Miley has been remarkably consistent this season. The southpaw owns a 3.20 ERA across seven starts, and he's yet to surrender more than three runs in a single outing. Of course, there's no strikeout upside here, as Miley is whiffing just 5.3 batters per nine this season. Then again, with the Astros' loaded lineup backing him up, there's a good chance to pick up a win against a Rangers team that's been held in check by left-handed pitching season (83 wRC+, 26.6 K%).


We spend so much time in this space highlighting uncertain closer situations, but the reality is that there are multiple closers still widely available on the waiver wire. Perhaps the most noteworthy name is Alex Colome, who is a free agent in 55 percent of ESPN leagues. The right-hander has seven saves, a 1.80 ERA, a 0.73 WHIP and is striking out more than a batter per inning. Firmly entrenched in the ninth-inning role for the White Sox, Colome deserves more respect than he's getting.

Projected game scores



Jonathan Lucroy (R), 22 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers (LHP Ryan Carpenter): Lucroy isn't the fantasy stalwart he used to be, but he's still a quality streamer against one of the day's worst starting pitchers. Carpenter is allowing a .365/.402/.662 triple slash against right-handed batters, and Lucroy has already popped four homers after hitting just four dingers in 415 at-bats in 2018.

First Base

Matt Olson (L), 57 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Tanner Roark): Olson's rostered percentage exceeds our 50 percent threshold, but he deserves some attention after he was activated from the injured list on Tuesday. While his power might not fully return immediately after coming back from a hamate bone fracture, Olson is still an impact bat that needs to be on more rosters. He gets the platoon advantage against Roark, who has been hammered by lefties this season (.350/.458/.583).

Second Base

David Bote (R), 3 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Trevor Richards): Bote won't have the platoon advantage here, but that's OK. He sports an .869 OPS against righties this season (.739 OPS vs lefties), with eight of his 10 extra-base hits. Richards, meanwhile, owns a 4.76 career ERA away from Marlins Park.

Third Base

Evan Longoria (R), 23 percent, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): As usual, you'll want some Coors Field exposure if you can get it. Longoria is a career .344/.386/.781 hitter at Coors with five homers and 17 RBI in 15 games. He gets the platoon advantage against Freeland, the owner of a 7.94 home ERA in 2019.


Jose Iglesias (R), 2 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Oakland Athletics (RHP Chris Bassitt): Iglesias has been red-hot, batting .313/.345/.446 over the last month and .354/.380/.521 over the last two weeks. His batted-ball data suggests this won't last long, but he's a reasonable play on a day without many standout options at the shortstop position.

Corner Infield

Ryon Healy (R), 37 percent, Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees (LHP J.A. Happ): This is a favorable spot for Healy, who gets the platoon edge as well as a big park upgrade going to Yankee Stadium. Yankee Stadium has not been kind to Happ, who has a 7.65 ERA in four home starts this season.

Middle Infield

Neil Walker (S), 2 percent, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Yu Darvish): Darvish is highly volatile right now. Not only is he walking a whopping 7.4 batters per nine innings, but he's managed just one quality start in seven tries. The switch-hitting Walker has done all of his damage against righty pitching this season, putting up a .284/.369/.459 triple slash against them (.091/.286/.091 vs. lefties).


Raimel Tapia (L), 4 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Derek Holland): Our second Coors Field participant, Tapia was scheduled to hit fifth last night before the contest was postponed. He fares better with the platoon edge, but has held his own versus southpaws, posting a playable .845 OPS in that scenario. Holland isn't to be feared, plus there's a good chance Tapia will face a right-handed reliever or two.

Clint Frazier (R), 39 percent, New York Yankees vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Mike Leake): Frazier is fresh off the IL and is ready to see his rostered percentage rise again. The rookie is batting .303 with six bombs and 17 RBI in 19 games and has been particularly lethal against righties (.323/.333/.613). Leake, meanwhile, is allowing tons of hard contact (44.9 percent) and has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard.

Melky Cabrera (S), 4 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Michael Wacha): The Pirates offense has been stagnant, but Cabrera has been doing his part. The Melk Man has been raking, batting .344/.382/.500 this season, with a .317/.368/.429 line against righties. He matches up well with Wacha, whose 6.0 BB/9 and 5.17 ERA show his volatility.

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).