Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Wednesday

Zac Gallen has recorded at least six strikeouts in 6 of his past 7 outings and has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any of his 12 starts. Norm Hall/Getty Images

Scraping together rentals for the head-to-head playoffs or rotisserie final-month chase? Wednesday's schedule leaves us wanting a bit more. Eight teams -- the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays -- get the day off, limiting the talent pool by almost a third of its players.

Luckily, among the remaining 11-game slate lie numerous pitchers worthy of your lineup attention.


Pitchers to stream

Zac Gallen (R), rostered in 27.9% of ESPN leagues, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres: Gallen is still struggling with control (4.55 BB/9), and that 2.79 ERA -- when compared with 3.53 FIP and 4.22 xFIP -- looks a bit too shiny, but the righty has displayed his upside in his first 12 big-league starts with his 10.86 K/9. San Diego's second-half lineup, without Fernando Tatis Jr. (back) and Franmil Reyes (traded to the Cleveland Indians), looks much less formidable, and the club still ranks second with a 26.2 K% against righties this year.

Tanner Roark (R), 22.7%, Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels: In five starts since joining the A's, Roark has spun a 3.30 ERA with a 27:6 K:BB, seemingly enjoying his new environment. The Angels are a top-10 team versus righties with a 106 wRC+, but Roark's team context gives him the edge on this limited schedule day. Tracing back to a visiting start with the Reds on May 9, Roark boasts a 1.93 ERA at Oakland's RingCentral Coliseum in four outings this year.

Michael Wacha (R), 9.3%, St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Francisco Giants: Following a rough return to the rotation Aug. 5, Wacha has rattled off a 3.05 ERA with a 22:7 K:BB in 20 2/3 innings. San Fran remains one of the worst offenses versus righty pitchers (84 wRC+, 26th).

Jakob Junis (R), 15.3%, Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers: Default question down the stretch: Who's facing the Tigers? They do, after all, rank last with a 74 wRC+ against righty pitchers. Junis has endured issues with homers (1.57 HR/9) to fuel his 4.93 ERA. However, he's been a bit better since the All-Star break, posting a 4.14 ERA and 53:14 K:BB in 54 1/3 innings while lowering his walk rate to 2.32 per nine, compared to 3.22 before the midsummer classic.

Pitcher to avoid

Eduardo Rodriguez (L), 91.4%, Boston Red Sox vs. Minnesota Twins: Despite his 3.53 home ERA, any midrange pitcher staring down this Twins lineup should get a downgrade, considering it is ranked second with 127 wRC+ in that split.


Looking to steal a save or two? A few closers could have pitched on consecutive days heading into the third game of a series, so one or more may need to rest. Potential pickups include the Padres' Andres Munoz, the Diamondbacks' Yoan Lopez, the Reds' Michael Lorenzen, the Cleveland Indians' Carlos Carrasco -- yep, glad he's back - and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Pedro Baez.


Catcher: Roberto Perez (R), 7.8%, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Perez is almost an afterthought among fantasy catchers but has 21 homers in 101 games. sure, he's batting .224, but those homers from this erratic position are useful. Nova strikes out just 5.37 batters per nine, giving Perez a better shot to avoid posting a zero in the hits column. Plus, the righty on the mound has allowed 1.44 HR/9.

First base: J.D. Davis (R), 33%, New York Mets at Washington Nationals (RHP Anibal Sanchez): Davis, an underrated hard-contact asset, is batting .300/.361/.511 with a .365 wOBA against righty pitchers. Forget platoons. He's just smoking baseballs. Sanchez typically performs better versus righty batters, but trust the batter here.

Second base: Josh VanMeter (L), 23.7%, Cincinnati Reds vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Aaron Nola): VanMeter is carving out a role for the rebuilding Reds, who ditched Jose Peraza in his favor. Nola is a tough draw, but JVM has hit all six of his homers against righties and has slashed .272/.348/.462 against them and favors his home park (.403 wOBA, .337/.427/.518).

Third base: Miguel Sano (R), 40.9%, Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox (LHP Eduardo Rodriguez): Talk about falling through the cracks: Sano shouldn't be eligible for this article. Sure, his .235 batting average is repulsive, but he's launched 13 homers, driven in 34 runs and mashed an .872 OPS since the All-Star break. Add those to his .367 wOBA versus lefties over the season, and he's a must-add for those looking to play matchups in daily-lineup-change leagues.

Shortstop: Gavin Lux (L), 17.5%, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Antonio Senzatela): A novel recommendation? Not really, considering Lux's brilliant breakout year as a prospect. But this low percentage of fantasy shareholders may be a casualty of football season starting soon. Grab him now and start him against Senzatela, who carries a 6.95 ERA and, despite not working in Coors Field this time, is extremely hittable.

Corner infield: Brandon Belt (L), 11.5%, San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Michael Wacha): It's once again time to pit hitter suggestions against our streamers, an especially fine point due to Wednesday's limited schedule. Belt has hit 13 of his 16 homers against righties and 11 of them on the road. Punctuate this with his .287/.378/.536 triple slash and .380 wOBA on the road versus righty pitchers.

Middle infield: Adam Frazier (L), 26.9%, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Robert Dugger): Frazier typically deserves mixed-league lineup attention against a righty, so here we are. He's hit seven of his eight homers in that split and has enjoyed how PNC Park has played as a hitter's haven in 2019, slashing .303/.369/.457 in 244 plate appearances there. Dugger has already coughed up three big flies in his first two big-league starts.

Outfield: Willie Calhoun (L), 32.1%, Texas Rangers at New York Yankees (Undecided): The early buzz has the Yankees using Chad Green as an opener in front of fellow right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga or Luis Cessa, so this righty-righty combo would play well for Calhoun, who's come around lately with increased playing time while crushing nine homers in August. Lefty power hitters typically do well against middle righty pitchers in the Bronx, after all.

Outfield: Kole Calhoun (L), 44.5%, Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics (RHP Tanner Roark): The less exciting Calhoun still has similar lefty-versus-righty platoon allure (18 homers, .254/.341/.495 in that split). He may also wind up the quietest 30-homer hitter this year, as he's just two away from reaching the milestone.

Outfield: Victor Reyes (S), 1.6%, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (RHP Jakob Junis): The 24-year-old is looking to claw out a long-term role with the rebuilding Tigers, and he's making a solid case by hitting .313 since the All-Star break. For all the positives Junis holds coming into this matchup, he's allowed a .344 wOBA to lefty sticks.