Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Friday

Mitch Moreland faces a rookie right-hander who has struggled with surrendering the long ball. Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Friday's pitching slate is deep with 22 of the 30 probable pitchers checking in with a projected game score of 50 and higher. The marquee matchup features the top two teams in the American League East squaring off, as Domingo German leads the New York Yankees into St. Petersburg for a weekend set with Tyler Glasnow and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Despite the extent of quality arms on the ledger, a handful are still available in at least half of ESPN leagues, ripe for steaming. There are also ample hitters in favorable spots to reinforce any lineup holes on the offensive end.

Good luck this weekend.


Pitchers to stream

Frankie Montas (R), rostered in 47 percent of ESPN leagues, Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians: For the season, the Indians are the second-lowest-scoring team in the league. The return of Francisco Lindor hasn't helped much, as the Tribe are still the sixth worst since the shortstop was activated on April 20. Montas' 2.75 ERA is artificially low, as illustrated by a 3.83 xFIP and 4.00 SIERA, but -- especially at home -- he's in good shape versus the anemic Cleveland lineup.

Julio Teheran (R), 41 percent, Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks: Over his career, Teheran has held righty swingers to a stingy .268 weighed on base average (wOBA), while left-handed batters have crushed to a .339 mark. David Peralta poses a threat, as do switch-hitters Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar, but in total, the Diamondbacks are less intimidating from the left side than most teams.

Jake Odorizzi (R), 37 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers: The Tigers tote the sixth-lowest runs per game into Target Field for a weekend set with the AL Central-leading Twins. Odorizzi has pitched well, but his 2.78 ERA is in line for a correction, especially since he's administered only two homers in 35 2/3 frames. Regression likely will wait, as only the Miami Marlins have hit fewer long balls than Detroit.

Clay Buchholz (R), 2 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox: Coming into the season, the White Sox were expected to be one of the lower-scoring teams in the leagues. While they're not the '27 Yankees, the South Siders are mid-pack, tallying an above-average 4.8 runs per game. Buchholz hasn't been sharp, especially on the road. File this under "Break glass in case of emergency." It's not an ideal setup, more like the best of the rest for those needing to dig deep.


Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier get the attention, but Brandon Workman has quietly curved his way into a prominent role in the Red Sox's bullpen, posting a team-leading seven holds heading into Friday's action. There's no indication he's usurped Brasier as the ninth-inning option when Barnes is used earlier, but Workman has pitched better lately and could see some save chances.



Mitch Garver (R), 37 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers (RHP Tyson Ross): Garver is the fourth-ranked backstop on the ESPN Player Rater. He's playing over his skis, but his skills are solid, he's hitting in a good spot in a potent lineup and will continue to face some weak AL Central pitching staffs. To be honest, Garver is probably better than your regular catcher, even in ESPN standard leagues.

First base

Mitch Moreland (L), 18 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Erik Swanson): Moreland is hitting only .209, but 15 of his 23 knocks have gone for extra bases, including 10 homers. Swanson has allowed five homers plus five two-baggers in just 23 2/3 frames.

Second base

Garrett Hampson (R), 6 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres (LHP Eric Lauer): The Rockies have several moving parts, especially with a lefty on the hill. And if the field conditions are poor, Daniel Murphy may sit against a southpaw, clearing the way for Hampson and Mark Reynolds to man the right side of the infield. Both are in play with the platoon edge on Lauer.

Third base

Renato Nunez (R), 10 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Trevor Cahill): Sometimes, platoon splits are less important. For his career, Nunez has slugged better against right-handers. Cahill has been slightly better with the platoon edge, but he is still vulnerable to righty swingers, especially in hitter-friendly Camden Yards.


Freddy Galvis (S), 16 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Covey): Galvis has cooled since returning from a hamstring injury in late April. Still, he's in play against Covey, one of the weakest arms on Friday's ledger, followed by a soft bullpen, against which the switch-hitting Galvis will enjoy the platoon edge the whole game.

Corner infield

Kendrys Morales (S), 13 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Cody Anderson): Be sure to check lineups, but Khris Davis left Wednesday's game after aggravating a hip he initially hurt crashing into a fence playing outfield in an interleague affair. Davis would no doubt like to take hacks against Anderson, who'll be making his second start since being pressed into the rotation. Like Galvis, Morales would be in a great spot since he'd be favored with the platoon edge against the inevitable parade of middling relievers, and Anderson will not pitch deep into the game.

Middle infield

Jed Lowrie (S), 15 percent, New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Pablo Lopez): Lowrie is in line to make his season debut, perhaps at third base, as Todd Frazier is doing nothing to warrant playing time. Lowrie likely won't play every day right away, but he'll probably see the lion's share of action at third, pushing Frazier into a reserve role.


Odubel Herrera (L), 47 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Kansas City Royals (RHP Homer Bailey): Not many Phillies are available for pickup, with Herrera on the verge of eclipsing the 50 percent plateau utilized in this space. Once more, he's in line to face Bailey, the lowest-ranked arm on Friday's card, and likely will scoot past the cutoff, so hurry before it's too late.

Alex Verdugo (L), 37 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals (RHP Anibal Sanchez): A.J. Pollock's elbow infection opens playing time for Verdugo, a highly regarded prospect the Dodgers refused to deal in the offseason. The 22-year-old rookie is taking advantage, slashing .344/.386/.570 in 101 plate appearances through Wednesday's action.

Kole Calhoun (L), 16 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dan Straily): Calhoun continues to hit for a low average, albeit with good pop, as he's blasted eight homers with seven doubles. Camden Yards will do Straily no favors, as he has surrendered eight homers in only 23 stanzas.