Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Wednesday

Adam Wainwright follows up an impressive month of June with a favorable matchup in Seattle. Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire

Wednesday brings us a super-sized 16-game slate with plenty of intrigue. The Tigers and White Sox are suiting up for a double-header, and one of those games will feature the major league debut of Dylan Cease, one of Chicago's top pitching prospects. We will also be treated to another edition of the Subway Series at Citi Field, highlighted by the return of Domingo German, who missed most of June with a strained hip flexor.

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


John Means (L), rostered in 47% of ESPN leagues, Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays: Means, who was recently named to the AL All-Star team, returned from the injured list last week and picked up where he left off by tossing five scoreless frames against Cleveland. Since the beginning of May, the 26-year-old sports a 2.34 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in nine starts. Means' 3.95 FIP and 5.12 xFIP suggest his ERA is due for some negative regression, but it's hard to argue with his start-to-start consistency. He hasn't allowed more than three runs in any of his last nine outings. You should feel good streaming him against a Rays team that's been below average against lefties, putting up a .309 wOBA and 26.6% strikeout rate.

Eric Lauer (L), 8%, San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants: Lauer is quietly in the midst of a pretty impressive stretch. Since getting tagged for eight runs in Coors Field back on May 10, the southpaw owns a 2.82 ERA over his last eight starts, allowing only run earned run in six of them. Lauer isn't missing many bats (6.9 K/9) and he's allowing too much hard contact (42.4%), so it's hard to fully buy in here. Then again, you don't have to fully buy in to stream him against San Francisco. After all, the Giants are the worst team in baseball versus lefty pitching, sporting a .271 wOBA and 67 wRC+. The fact that Lauer has a 2.66 ERA at Petco Park this season (compared to a 6.49 ERA on the road) doesn't hurt, either.

Mike Leake (R), 14%, Seattle Mariners vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Leake doesn't exactly feature an exciting skill set. His pitch-to-contact approach has gotten him in trouble with the longball this season (1.9 HR/9), which has made him susceptible to some blowup outings. However, the veteran's inclusion here is more about his opponent. Simply put, the Cardinals offense bottomed out in June. The Cards put up an MLB-worst .277 wOBA and now are without Marcell Ozuna, who had been the team's biggest contributor this season. Leake might be boring, but he looks like a worthy streamer in this favorable spot.

Adam Wainwright (R), 7%, St. Louis Cardinals at Seattle Mariners: After posting an ugly 6.44 ERA in May, Wainwright bounced back with a strong June, securing a 2.96 ERA with 25 K's across 24 1/3 innings in four starts. The right-hander's inconsistency this season makes him somewhat volatile, but Wednesday's matchup isn't too intimidating. While the Mariners have fared well against right-handed pitching this season, their lineup carries much less thump without the recently traded Edwin Encarnacion and the injured Mitch Haniger.

Dylan Cease (R), 8%, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers: I don't love relying on a rookie making his first big league start, but a matchup against the Tigers and their MLB-worst offense (75 wRC+) lessens the risk a bit. While control issues at Triple-A (4.2 BB/9) are a bit concerning, Cease possesses big swing-and-miss stuff to go along with a strong ground ball rate. The White Sox have made it clear that the 23-year-old will stick in the big-league rotation even after this start, so even if you want to take the wait-and-see approach with his debut, it still might be worth scooping him up as a potential long-term investment.


It looks like Blake Treinen could return from the injured list as soon as Wednesday after missing time with a strained right shoulder. It's unclear whether he'll immediately step back into the closer role, as Liam Hendriks, who was 2-for-2 in save opportunities, has actually been much more effective this season. Even so, it stands to reason that Treinen will be back working the ninth inning eventually. When that happens, Hendriks' fantasy value will be relegated to holds leagues.


Catcher -- James McCann (R), 34%, Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Daniel Norris): The catcher position is a fantasy wasteland, but McCann has been one of this season's surprising contributors. He's batting .319/.376/.514 on the season, including .321/.406/.571 against left-handers. Even if McCann starts only one game of Wednesday's double-header, chances are it'll be against the southpaw.

First Base -- Tyler White (R), 4%, Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies (RHP Peter Lambert): White's inclusion here is all about getting some exposure to the Astros lineup at Coors Field. He has done little at the plate lately, but Coors is playing friendlier than ever and rookie Peter Lambert has not been immune (9.95 ERA in three starts). Even Hyun Jin-Ryu and Walker Buehler weren't able to escape unscathed over the weekend, allowing a combined 14 runs in 9 2/3 innings. Fire up White in what's sure to be another high-scoring affair on Wednesday.

Second Base -- Scooter Gennett (L), 49%, Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Jhoulys Chacin): Gennett is back from the injured list after missing three months with a groin tear, but his rostered percentage hasn't rebounded yet. This is a good time to grab him while you can. Gennett pounded righties to the tune of a .375 wOBA in 2018, and Chacin has been hit hard all season long, as he's posted an ERA north of 5.00 in every single month.

Third Base -- Yandy Diaz (R), 35%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles (LHP John Means): We like Means as a streamer, but Diaz is close to an auto-play whenever a lefty is on the mound. Diaz is batting .324/.405/.581 with a .405 wOBA versus southpaws, and he hit a robust .338/.386/.500 in June. He's an easy plug-and-play option on Wednesday.

Shortstop -- Garrett Hampson (R), 6%, Colorado Rockies vs. Houston Astros (LHP Wade Miley): Hampson is another way to get some exposure to the Coors Field game. The 24-year-old is eligible at multiple positions, has the platoon edge against Miley, and, most importantly, has been in the starting lineup each of the last six days. Hampson's ability to provide value with both his bat and his legs makes him an intriguing streamer in this spot.

Corner Infield -- Colin Moran (L), 4%, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Yu Darvish): Darvish continues to be a liability. While he's still missing plenty of bats and has reined in his control over his last few starts, he's still being hit hard, as he's allowed seven homers over his last four outings. Moran, meanwhile, has bopped all 10 of his homers this season against righties. He also sports a .309/.364/.536 triple slash at PNC Park this season.

Middle Infield -- Brian Dozier (R), 50%, Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Sandy Alcantara): It's taken way longer than expected, but Dozier has finally gotten going. After posting a .630 OPS in April and a .689 OPS in May, he bounced back with a .896 OPS in June, including 13 extra-base hits in 24 games. On Wednesday, Dozier gets an appealing matchup against Alcantara, who has questionable control and allows lots of contact.

Outfield -- Alex Verdugo (L), 37%, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Merrill Kelly): Verdugo could see his playing time take hit when A.J. Pollock returns, but for now he's settled in as the Dodgers' No. 2 hitter, and that's an extremely valuable place to be. The 23-year-old is batting .311 with nine homers, four steals, and 37 RBI in 251 at-bats, and on Wednesday he gets the platoon edge against Kelly, who has struggled away from home this season (4.99 ERA).

Outfield -- Kole Calhoun (L), 33%, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers (RHP Ariel Jurado): Calhoun isn't helping you in the batting average department, but he is providing plenty of pop. He's already clocked 17 homers in 2019 after hitting no more than 19 each of the last three seasons. The Angels outfielder gets the platoon advantage against Jurado on Wednesday, along with a big park upgrade at Globe Life Park.

Outfield -- Tyler O'Neill (R), 2%, St. Louis Cardinals at Seattle Mariners (RHP Mike Leake): We highlighted Leake as a streaming option above, but that doesn't mean we can't attack him, too. The soft-tossing righty has had trouble keeping the ball in the park this season (1.9 HR/9), and while O'Neill has plenty of limitations in his game, power isn't one of them.