Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Tampa Bay Rays rookie Shane McClanahan makes his third Major League start on Mother's Day, facing the same Oakland A's he made his debut against 10 days prior. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

There is a little of everything on Mother's Day with some of the game's best arms topping the card along with a deep array of streaming options. Batters are a bit thin, though once lineups are announced, there is an excellent chance hitters emerge with many reserves seeing action on Sunday.

Good luck in the final day of the scoring period. Here are the players with favorable matchups, all rostered in fewer than 50% of all ESPN leagues.


Nick Pivetta (R), rostered in 43% of ESPN leagues, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles: As an organization, Red Sox pitchers are working faster and it seems to be helping. With fewer balls in play, taking less time between pitches helps keep fielders sharp as well as keeping the hurler in rhythm. Pivetta has surrendered only one homer in 30 2/3 innings. Lately, he's been especially impressive with 15 strikeouts in his last two starts, spanning 10 innings.

Cole Irvin (L), 33%, Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays: An increase in strikeouts is also fueling Irvin's strong beginning to the season. The lefty enjoyed some success as a minor leaguer with the Phillies, but a lack of dominance held him back at the major league level. Irvin's 23.6% strikeout rate is higher than any mark posted as a professional. Add in an excellent pitching venue with solid defense and Irvin should continue to be a fantasy asset.

Shane McClanahan (L), 22%, Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics: The Athletics are getting their second look at the Rays rookie as McClanahan faced Oakland in his MLB debut. In those inaugural four frames, McClanahan fanned five with no free passes. The rookie has been allowed to throw only four innings in each of his first two starts so don't expect much more this time, but with eight whiffs and just two walks in those eight stanzas, McClanahan is an arm you want, then let the rest just play out.

Dane Dunning (R), 21%, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners: Dunning was initially scheduled to pitch on Saturday but was pushed to Sunday. Here is what my colleague Mike Sheets had to say about Dunning in yesterday's Daily Notes. "It has been an impressive start for Dunning, who has a 3.81 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP over six turns. The 26-year-old righty is missing bats (9.2 K/9), limiting walks (2.2 BB/9), and keeping the ball on the ground (53.7%). Although Dunning's sinker averages just 90.3 mph, he's avoiding bats with his slider and changeup. Whether he can maintain long-term success with middling velocity remains to be seen, but this contest against Seattle doesn't pose much of a threat. The Mariners have been a bottom-10 offense against righties this season, putting up just a .285 wOBA along with a 25.7% strikeout rate."

Tyler Anderson (L), 14%, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs: Throwing fewer fastballs and changeups while relying more on his cutter has Anderson off to his best start since 2018 in Colorado. His 23% strikeout rate is on pace to set a new career high. Home runs used to be a big issue, but since leaving Coors Field, Anderson has yielded only eight long balls in 93 innings, with three coming this season in 33 1/3 innings.

Justus Sheffield (L), 11%, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers: Sheffield is the weakest pitcher of those discussed, but he's facing a below-average offense, especially with a lefty on the hill so if you are desperate to make up pitching points, he's in play.

Bullpen: The Tampa Bay Rays usually distribute saves among several relievers. This season, Diego Castillo as been the chief go-to guy in the ninth, collecting seven saves. Castillo was recently put on the IL with groin tightness. At the same time, reliever Peter Fairbanks was activated and is a candidate to pick up the slack with Jeffrey Springs also in the mix.

For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.


Catcher -- Willians Astudillo (R), 7%, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): Astudillo has fallen into the short side of a platoon role, but when he's in the lineup, he continues to produce. He'll put his modest five-game hitting streak on the line against a southpaw on Sunday.

First Base -- Colin Moran (L), 31%, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Check the lineups as Moran was removed from Saturday's game with what appeared to be a groin injury. If so, it came at a bad time as he's slashing .375/.400/.417 with a steal in May and Hendricks has allowed 39 hits in 29 2/3 innings. If Moran is out, Erik Gonzalez is another option.

Second Base -- Kolten Wong (L), 50%, Milwaukee Brewers at Miami Marlins (RHP Sandy Alcantara): Wong has cooled since first coming off the IL, but he's still a solid fantasy performer and it won't be long before he turns it around.

Third Base -- Brian Anderson (R), 29%, Miami Marlins vs. Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Brett Anderson): Anderson is just one of several righty swing Marlins in a great spot against Lauer. Isan Diaz, Adam Duvall and Miguel Rojas all joining Anderson as being readily available. Anderson hit safely in his first three games since coming off the IL, including a homer.

Shortstop -- J.P. Crawford (L), 5%, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (RHP Dane Dunning): Shortstop is loaded at the top but finding streaming options has been a chore this season. Crawford has slashed .310/.370/.476 over the past two weeks and although he isn't running much, he has the ability to swipe a bag or two.

Corner Infield -- Mike Ford (L), under 1%, New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals (RHP Joe Ross): Ford's chances to make an impression are running out as Luke Voit is due back next week. Ford has not taken advantage of this opportunity but perhaps he'll be motivated to keep from being sent back to the farm while facing a pitcher who has allowed six homers over his prior 15 2/3 frames.

Middle Infield -- Marwin Gonzalez (S), 6%, Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dean Kremer): With Enrique Hernandez on the IL, Gonzalez has been elevated to the leadoff spot. Batting first for the league's highest scoring offense against one of the docket's weakest pitchers is a tasty recipe for success.

Outfield -- Manuel Margot (R), 41%, Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics (LHP Cole Irvin): It may not be apparent by his surface stats, but Margot is pacing towards a career high in wRC+, a good proxy for fantasy production. Further, his Statcast xBA and xSLG suggest his batting average and slugging percentage should be higher. Better days lie ahead.

Outfield -- Kevin Pillar (R), 5%, New York Mets vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Riley Smith): Pillar has been quietly productive on a Mets team struggling to score runs. Jacob deGrom is on the hill so the Mets can use Pillar to build on the .345/.367/.621 slash he's recorded the past week.

Outfield -- Kyle Garlick (R), under 1%, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): The player to really look at on the Twins is top prospect Trevor Larnach as he was called up when fellow rookie Alex Kirilloff was put on the IL. However, while Larnach is a better long-term option, he's lefthanded so Sunday likely belongs to the righthanded Garlick. Garlick has a 1.231 OPS in three games since Kirilloff got hurt.