Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Thursday

Trevor Bauer enters Thursday with 160 strikeouts in 138 innings this season. David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday's action serves as an early preview of some of the arms that could be traded before the July 31 trade deadline. Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Bauer, and Matthew Boyd are all scheduled to toe the rubber on Thursday, and it's possible that one or more of them could find themselves on a different team in the coming weeks.

In addition to those three big-name hurlers, here's a look at the top streaming options for Thursday's 12-game slate, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50% of ESPN.com leagues.


Dakota Hudson (R), rostered in 26% of ESPN leagues, St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds: We've been repeatedly featuring Hudson in this space over the last few weeks, and there's no reason for us to stop now. The young right-hander has now allowed three or fewer earned runs in 15 straight starts, leading to a 3.05 ERA over that stretch. There's still plenty in Hudson's profile that makes us skeptical, as he's not missing many bats (6.7 K/9) and his control is lacking (4.1 BB/9). Even so, he's worth trusting against a Reds team that ranks 28th in baseball with an 82 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.

Ross Stripling (R), 47%, Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies: After getting roughed up in his previous two starts, Stripling rebounded his last time out, tossing five innings of one-run ball against Boston with seven K's and zero walks. Let's not forget that this was a guy who held a 3.39 ERA and 10.1 K/9 across 21 starts in 2018. He could be a big-time contributor in the second half. On Thursday, Stripling draws a Phillies squad that's been middle-of-the-road offensively over the last month, putting up a .315 wOBA and 93 wRC+.

Tanner Roark (R), 15%, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Roark is coming off a disastrous outing at Coors Field, but forget about that; you wouldn't have started him there anyway. Prior to the Coors outing, Roark posted a 2.88 ERA over his previous four outings with 23 strikeouts and just three walks in 25 frames. What's most noteworthy here, however, is the matchup against St. Louis. The Cardinals' offense has bottomed out over the last month, ranking dead last in baseball with a .287 wOBA, which creates an ideal streaming opportunity for Roark.

Dinelson Lamet (R), 7%, San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins: Lamet's results have been a mixed bag since he returned from Tommy John surgery. While he's allowed seven runs in 10 innings across his first two starts, he's also struck out 14, showcasing the huge strikeout upside we witnessed back in 2017. Command is typically the last thing to return following Tommy John surgery (not that Lamet's command was very good to begin with), so he remains a high-risk, high-upside streamer. However, against the Marlins, who sport an MLB-worst .285 wOBA and 25% whiff rate, the upside on Thursday is very tantalizing.


Catcher -- James McCann (R), 43%, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals (RHP Brad Keller): McCann has been better against lefties this season, but he's also hammering righties (.306/.351/.480), so we still feel comfortable giving him the nod here without the platoon advantage. Keller, meanwhile, owns a 5.26 ERA over his last five starts.

First Base -- Garrett Cooper (R), 15%, Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Dinelson Lamet): Cooper is another hitter who is doing just fine without the platoon edge. He sports a .944 OPS versus right-handed pitching, including a 46.2% hard-hit rate. As noted above, Lamet has big upside, but he has blowup potential, too.

Second Base -- Michael Chavis (R), 45%, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Thomas Pannone): Chavis has battled inconsistency this season, but he's still a dangerous bat in a strong lineup in a park that favors offense. Pannone is just up from Triple-A after posting a 6.18 ERA for Toronto before the break.

Third Base -- Jake Lamb (L), 13%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Zach Davies): It's been slow going for Lamb since he returned from the IL. However, he's getting on base (.414 OBP in July), has popped two homers in the past week, and he's sporting an impressive 44.8% hard-hit rate. A turnaround could be coming soon.

Shortstop -- Freddy Galvis (S), 17%, Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox (LHP Chris Sale): With five earned runs allowed in each of his last three starts, Sale is looking vulnerable right now. The switch-hitting Galvis is batting .349/.383/.674 so far in July, making him a nice hot-hand play at a thin position.

Corner Infield -- Ji-Man Choi (R), 2%, Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (RHP Domingo German): Choi should see plenty of chances to take advantage of the short porch in right field with a double-header in the Bronx. German is a tough matchup but the Yankees are using a bullpen game for the nightcap.

Middle Infield -- Keston Hiura (R), 20%, Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Merrill Kelly): Since getting recalled from Triple-A in late June, Huira is batting .321/.390/.585 with four homers, nine RBIs and three steals in 15 games. The rookie certainly deserves to be rostered in more than 20% percent of leagues. He makes for a quality pickup on Thursday, but once you pick him up, do yourself a favor and keep him around.

Outfield -- Ramon Laureano (R), 44%, Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson): Speaking of players who should be rostered in more leagues, Laureano is playing out of mind right now, yet he's still available in more than half of ESPN leagues. Over the last month, he sports a 1.043 OPS with nine homers, 21 RBIs, and three steals. The No. 6 fantasy outfielder in that span, Laureano is currently on pace for 31 dingers and 19 stolen bases.

Outfield -- Jorge Soler (R), 45%, Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox (LHP Ross Detwiler): Soler just continues to mash. He's up to 25 homers on the season and is cruising so far in July with a .351/.455/.676 triple slash line. Soler has a good chance to muscle up against Detwiler who has allowed 11 homers in 43 innings for Triple-A Charlotte, along with three more in 14 1/3 frames for the White Sox.

Outfield -- Josh Reddick (L), 26%, Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Matt Harvey): Reddick doesn't get much recognition in the Astros' loaded lineup, which makes him widely available for streaming purposes. He owns a .291/.356/.452 slash line against righties the last three seasons and matches up well with Harvey, who has surrendered a .399 wOBA to lefty swingers in 2019.