The pitching slate on Tuesday is tough for streamers, but it's balanced out by a robust group of available hitters. One of the best catchers in baseball over the last month-plus is still available, though his roster rate has finally jumped up. There are a few quiet breakouts who have been freely available all year, but now have a locked-in path to playing time, making them great pickups.
Chase Anderson (R), rostered in 15% of ESPN leagues, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates: Anderson has been great over his last eight starts, posting a 2.55 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 42 ⅓ innings. He hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of the starts and yet he's just 2-0 in that run. Part of that is because he averages just over five innings per start during this run, but the offense and bullpen have also failed him. Since the All-Star break, the Pirates have just a .299 weighted on base average (wOBA) against righties, good for 25th.
Andrew Cashner (R), 17%, Boston Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: Since coming to Boston, Cashner has put up a brutal 6.94 ERA in four starts and his 5.62 FIP isn't much better. He had a 3.83 ERA/4.27 FIP in 17 starts with Baltimore before the trade and even those who were suspect of him maintaining a sub-4.00 ERA still thought he could post something around a 4.50 ERA. His BABIP has soared from .256 to .370 and his HR rate is up to 1.5 per nine, too. So why am I recommending someone struggling so much? The Royals. They are 24th in wOBA against righties this year with a .307 mark and their .154 ISO is 27th. This is a good opportunity for Cashner to right the ship a bit.
Daniel Norris (L), 2%, Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox: This is the longshot play of the day. Norris has thrown well of late with a 1.76 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in his last three starts, striking out 16 against just four walks. The White Sox have actually saddled Norris with a 6.00 ERA in three starts, but their .313 wOBA and 25% strikeout rate against lefties make them ripe to go against.
Projected game scores
Catcher -- Travis d'Arnaud (R), 45%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Trent Thornton): OK, TdA is finally jumping in roster rate after sitting at 15% last week, but he's still widely available for those in need of a primo catcher. He is just 5% from the 50% threshold we try to stay within so I guess this could be the last week I can include him. d'Arnaud hit a homer against David Price for us last Tuesday and he's been one of the hottest hitters in baseball since June 1st, hitting .313/.390/.632 with 13 HR in 164 PA.
First Base -- Renato Nunez (R), 37%, Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees (Bullpen game): One of the first things I look at on the schedule every Tuesday is whether or not the Orioles are facing a lefty so I can include Nunez. He has an .876 OPS and 11 HR in his 144 PA against southpaws this year. Only five hitters have more HRs against lefties. The Yankees will open with righty Jonathan Holder before turning it over to lefty Nestor Cortes. Nunez still has a useful .217 ISO and 14 HR against righties this year, too.
Second Base -- Keston Hiura (R), 50%, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates (LHP Steven Brault): Only three second basemen have been better than Hiura over the last month-plus (Jose Altuve, Danny Santana, and Ketel Marte) as the rookie is hitting .322/.400/.600 in 130 PA with 6 HR and 6 SB since being recalled from the minors. Brault is a left-hander with a major platoon split. Righties have an OPS 230 points higher, sitting at .837 in 212 PA.
Third Base -- Gio Urshela (R), 17%, New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Asher Wojciechowski): Urshela just keeps going. The surprise breakout got off to a fast start in April and May (.872 OPS) before a June Swoon (.682), but he's actually played his best ball since July 1st: 1.060 OPS and 6 HR in 90 PA. He is torching righties to the tune of a .332/.382/.543 line on the year with 8 of his 12 total homers.
Shortstop -- Donovan Solano (R), under 1%, San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals (RHP Anibal Sanchez): The 31-year old journeyman has very quietly come out of nowhere to hit .343/.374/.496 in 147 PA for the Giants. While he has done his best work against lefties (.933 OPS), he still has a capable .811 mark against righties. Shortstop is deepest position on the diamond this year so finding someone who is producing and widely available isn't easy which is how I landed on Solano. Frankly, I just wanted to make everyone else aware of how well he's been hitting in his small sample of work.
Corner Infield -- Mark Canha (R), 7%, Oakland Athletics at Chicago Cubs (LHP Jon Lester): Canha has already matched his 2018 home run total (17) in 119 fewer plate appearances (292) and a recent injury to Ramon Laureano has cleared a path for Canha to get regular playing time and continue his breakout season (.901 OPS). He's hitting a bit worse against lefties (.236), but a big part of that is a .226 BABIP. He still has a .360 OBP and .486 SLG in the 86 PA against them.
Middle Infield -- Cavan Biggio (L), 9%, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (Bullpen game): Biggio is hitting just .213 on the season, but he's been a solid power-speed combo in his 57 games as a rookie (9 HR/8 SB). He's on a full season pace for 26 HR and 23 SB so if you can absorb the batting average, he will add to the bottom line. Surely his .270 BABIP will eventually go up, but he's likely to remain a batting average risk for the foreseeable future.
Outfield -- Corey Dickerson (L), 39%, Philadelphia Phillies at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Mike Leake): Dickerson was a lowkey pickup for the Phillies and now he's leading off against righties. OK, that might overstate it a bit as he's only done it once, but his .372 OBP is a good fit there. He's only played 46 games this year due to injury, but his .564 SLG is the second-best of his career.
Outfield -- Willie Calhoun (L), 11%, Texas Rangers at Cleveland Indians (RHP Zach Plesac): Calhoun has bounced between Triple-A and the majors, but he should stick around this time. The 24-year old prospect has hit .283/.321/.551 in 134 PA with 8 HR and 24 RBI. He seems to have a lock on the leftfield job and even though he can't field all that well, the bat needs to be in the lineup.
Outfield -- Adam Duvall (R), 23%, Atlanta Braves at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jose Berrios): Sometimes I remind myself that Duvall has two 30-homer seasons in the majors. He's been stuck in Triple-A this year, but an injury to Nick Markakis and the struggles of Austin Riley have cleared a path. He's been on fire in his nine games thus far, clubbing five homers with a gaudy .400/.421/.886 line. Of course he won't maintain that rate, but he was raking in Triple-A, too, and he should remain a heavy power source. He hit 29 HR in 94 games at Triple-A and could feasibly hit 17-20 HR the rest of the way.
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).