Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Dakota Hudson has been nothing but quality over his last eight starts, making the St. Louis starter a solid streaming candidate on Saturday. AP

Saturday brings us the usual 15-game schedule, but this slate features something we haven't seen before. For the very first time, an MLB game will be played in Europe, with the Red Sox and Yankees squaring off in London for a two-game series. While London Stadium features a shorter distance to straightaway center field (385 feet) than any MLB stadium, it should be balanced by the extreme amount of foul territory -- which is also more than any big-league park here at home. At the very least, this overseas matchup adds a little extra excitement as we continue the daily grind of streaming starters.

Here's a look at the day's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in under one-half of ESPN leagues.



Dakota Hudson (R), rostered in 26% of ESPN leagues, St. Louis Cardinals at San Diego Padres: Hudson just keeps on rolling, and fantasy managers might as well keep riding the wave. The 24-year-old right-hander has delivered eight straight quality starts and has posted a 2.48 ERA over his past 10 outings. The fact that he's pairing questionable control (3.9 BB/9) with a lack of swing-and-miss stuff (6.3 K/9) creates some doubt about how long he can sustain this success but, for now, his extreme ground-ball approach (61.7%) is getting the job done. On Saturday, Hudson travels to pitcher-friendly Petco Park to square off against a Padres club that sports a 23rd-ranked .290 wOBA against righties, along with an MLB-worst 26.4% K-rate.

Tyler Skaggs (L), 47%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics: After an ugly May that featured a 5.29 ERA in six outings, Skaggs has rebounded a bit in June. The southpaw has put up a 2.08 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP over his last three starts, allowing just one home run in his last four turns. The Athletics have been tough on left-handers this season, as demonstrated by a .355 wOBA that ranks in baseball's top five, so this matchup certainly isn't favorable. However, Skaggs is doing enough right now to warrant a look.

Homer Bailey (R), 6%, Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays: I cringe a little bit just writing Bailey's name here, so those with weak stomachs need not apply. Having said that, the right-hander has now surrendered just one run in his last three starts combined, including 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball against the red-hot Twins offense his last time out. There's nothing in his pitch mix or velocity numbers that suggest a sudden change, so fantasy managers would be wise to exercise caution here. Still, streaming Bailey against the Blue Jays -- one of the worst teams in baseball against righties (.292 wOBA, 25.2% K-rate) -- could pay dividends.

Austin Voth (R), 1%, Washington Nationals at Detroit Tigers: The 27-year-old Voth impressed on Sunday in his first start of the season, holding a dangerous Braves offense to just two runs in six innings. He got plenty of swings-and-misses with his 94 mph fastball, notching seven strikeouts and zero walks on the afternoon. We need to see more before we'll know if there's something here, but there's little risk throwing Voth out there on Saturday against a Tigers team that can't hit right-handed pitching (an MLB-worst .282 wOBA versus RHP).

Pitchers to avoid

Rick Porcello (R), 69%, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees: I'm steering clear of Porcello here. The right-hander has a 4.75 ERA in June, which includes getting roughed up the Yankees when he last faced them on June 1 (5 ER in 4 2/3 IP). Even with Giancarlo Stanton sidelined yet again, this New York lineup is downright lethal. Add in the potentially hitter-friendly confines of London Stadium, and there's just too much risk here for my taste.


Liam Hendriks was one of the most popular waiver-wire targets this past week, but he's still available in 80% of ESPN leagues. The right-hander is 2-for-2 in save opportunities since Blake Treinen landed on the IL with a strained right shoulder. Shoulder issues can be tricky, so don't rule out Hendriks having some long-term value. Hendriks has certainly looked the part of a dominant late-inning reliever in 2019, thanks to a 1.42 ERA and a 11.0 K/9 across 37 appearances.

Projected game scores


Catcher -- Carson Kelly (R), 2%, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants (LHP Drew Pomeranz): Pomeranz generated some attention with his 11-strikeout performance his last time out, but this is still a guy with a 6.79 ERA on the season who is allowing a .313/.392/.580 slash to right-handed batters. This is a great time to fire up Kelly, who is pounding lefties this season with a .395/.490/.814 slash.

First base -- Albert Pujols (R), 11%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics (LHP Brett Anderson): Pujols is more of a low-end fantasy option these days, but he's still a quality run producer, on pace for 26 home runs and 82 RBI. The future Hall of Famer gets the platoon advantage against Anderson, who pitches to contact and doesn't have much room for error.

Second base -- Brandon Lowe (L), 44%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Adrian Sampson): After sputtering a bit in May, Lowe has bounced back with a strong June, hitting .280/.349/.533 across 75 at-bats. Better yet, he's still pummeling right-handers to the tune of a .379 wOBA, which matches him up well with Sampson.

Third base -- Todd Frazier (R), 2%, New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (RHP Julio Teheran): Frazier has largely been forgotten in fantasy circles, but he's put up a .960 OPS over the last month, including seven homers in June. After cruising in May and early June, Teheran is highly vulnerable right now, as he's been drilled for 13 runs in his last eight innings of work.

Shortstop -- Didi Gregorius (L), 51%, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (RHP Rick Porcello): Gregorius has been slow out of the gate, which is why his rostered percentage is still hovering around 50. He should get going soon and the London series, which features what appears to be a very homer-friendly park, is a good place to start.

Corner infield -- Garrett Cooper (R), 15%, Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin): Eflin has a 3.26 ERA this season, but he's constantly around the plate and doesn't miss an overwhelming number of bats -- which can occasionally lead to outings like his last one against the Mets (5 IP, 6 ER, 3 HR). If Eflin is not sharp on Saturday, Cooper and his .417 wOBA versus RHP will make him pay.

Middle infield -- Keston Hiura (R), 7%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Jordan Lyles): The Brewers finally righted a wrong on Thursday by recalling Hiura to the big leagues. The rookie proved he could handle major league pitching .281/.333/.531 in his first big-league stint, and on Saturday he gets the platoon edge in one of the game's premiere hitting environments.

Outfield -- Oscar Mercado (R), 29%, Cleveland Indians at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Andrew Cashner): Mercado has started to really flash. He's settled into the No. 2 spot in Cleveland's batting order, and is batting .307/.358/.464 with four homers and six steals since his promotion. The rookie could really fill the stat sheet against Cashner, one of the day's lowest-ranked starters.

Outfield -- Alex Verdugo (L), 26%, Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): Let's get some Coors Field exposure, shall we? Gray has been pitching well of late, but Coors will get you eventually (just ask Walker Buehler, who was hammered for 13 hits and seven runs on Thursday). Verdugo, who has put up a .903 OPS over the last two weeks, should continue his hot hitting in this spot.

Outfield -- Jorge Soler (R), 42%, Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Marcus Stroman): Soler continues to do nearly all of his damage against same-sided pitching. He's blasted 17 of his 21 homers off right-handers, and 30 of his 38 extra-base hits overall. Stroman does a good job of keeping the ball in the park, but that's partly offset by the fact Soler will get a significant park boost by going to the Rogers Centre.