Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Alek Manoah has recorded 52 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings this season. AP Photo/Julio Cortez

By the time the Saturday games are underway, the dust will have settled on the MLB trade deadline, so we'll have a much clearer picture on the roster construction on all of the teams that have been wheeling and dealing. Until then, we're going to see a lot more roster shuffling, which could obviously impact some of the names below. Either way, there are plenty of potential streaming options to discuss, so let's get to it.

Here's a look at Saturday's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues.


Alek Manoah (R), rostered in 53% of ESPN leagues, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals: Manoah was dropped in some leagues after he landed on the injured list with a minor back injury, but he needs to be scooped back up in leagues where he's available. The young right-hander is set to return on Saturday against a Royals team that ranks bottom-five in baseball with a .305 wOBA in July. For his part, Manoah sports a 2.90 ERA and 11.6 K/9 over his first eight big league starts, striking out at least nine batters in each of his last two outings. The Blue Jays are pushing for a playoff spot, and they figure to rely heavily on the 23-year-old over the season's final two months.

Domingo German (R), 37%, New York Yankees at Miami Marlins: German has battled inconsistency this season, but he's coming off his best start of the year, a seven-inning gem against Boston in which he allowed just one hit and one run with a career-high 10 Ks. He'll get a much easier assignment this time around. Instead of facing the Red Sox's elite offense, he'll square off against the Marlins, who have been well below average against righties and are now without Starling Marte. Better yet, German won't have to face the DH and gets a much more pitcher-friendly environment in loanDeport Park.

Kyle Muller (L), 15%, Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers: It's been only five starts for the 23-year-old southpaw, but the results have been impressive. In addition to a 2.55 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over six appearances (five starts), Muller is fanning 9.5 batters per nine, thanks to his slider and curve, both of which are legit swing-and-miss offerings. He needs to rein in his control (4.7 BB/9), which was also a problem in the minors, but for now Muller's positives outweigh the negatives. Saturday's matchup against Milwaukee is non-threatening, as the Brewers have not fared well against lefties, posting a 96 wRC+ along with a 26.4% strikeout rate.

Cole Irvin (L), 49%, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels: Saturday's matchup against the Angels, one of the toughest teams in baseball against lefties, puts Irvin in a tough spot. As a pitcher who doesn't miss many bats, his margin for error is rather small. That said, Irvin is still finding success without overpowering stuff. He's posted a 3.62 ERA across 20 starts this season, including a 3.02 mark over his last nine turns, thanks to pinpoint control (1.6 BB/9) and limiting hard contact. There's some risk here because of the matchup, but Irvin has done enough to work himself into the streamer discussion.

Bullpen: The Mariners turned some heads when they shipped closer Kendall Graveman to the Astros earlier this week. However, the closer role in Seattle wasn't vacant for long, as the M's acquired Diego Castillo from the Rays on Thursday. Castillo has been terrific this season, posting a 2.72 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 12.1 K/9 across 37 games. He's also notched a career-best 14 saves as Tampa Bay's primary ninth-inning man. Castillo, who is still available in 37% of ESPN leagues, should immediately slide into the closer role in Seattle.

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


Catcher -- Mitch Garver (R), 35%, Minnesota Twins at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Jake Woodford): Garver has wasted no time hitting his stride since coming off the injured list a week and a half ago. In just five games, he's swatted five extra-base hits, including three homers, and knocked in seven runs. If Garver isn't in the lineup on Saturday, teammate Ryan Jeffers, who is batting .348 with two dingers in his last eight games, is a fine pivot.

First Base -- Jeimer Candelario (S), 29%, Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles (LHP John Means): The Tigers offense has been surging over the last month, and Candelario is a big reason why. The switch-hitter is batting .303/.398/.553 over his last 21 games, and a lot of that damage has come against left-handed pitching. Of course, Means is a tough customer from the left side, but he's been roughed up in two starts since coming off the IL, so now is the time to attack him.

Second Base -- Cesar Hernandez (S), 40%, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Triston McKenzie): Moving from the Indians' lineup to the White Sox's lineup gives a nice boost to Hernandez's stock, as he should receive a lot more RBI and run-scoring opportunities. Then again, with 18 homers in 96 games, he was already enjoying his best power season to date. On Saturday, Hernandez gets the platoon edge against McKenzie, who is surrendering lots hard contact. Case in point: his 47.8% hard-hit rate and 12.3% barrel rate allowed both rank in the bottom 6% of MLB.

Third Base -- Patrick Wisdom (R), 26%, Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals (RHP Joe Ross): It's hard to have prolonged success with a 39% strikeout rate, but Wisdom is making it work ... for the time being, at least. The slugger has drilled 16 homers in 56 games, and he's doing it against both righties (.367 ISO) and lefties (.255 ISO), so don't worry about Wisdom not having the platoon advantage on Saturday.

Shortstop -- Jose Iglesias (R), 12%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics (LHP Cole Irvin): Iglesias doesn't get much attention for his offensive skills, but he's been quietly having a solid season with the stick, especially lately. Since July 1, he's produced a .321/.361/.449 slash line. Iglesias is also batting .300 versus lefties this season, putting him in a favorable spot against Irvin on Saturday.

Corner Infield -- Abraham Toro (S), 4%, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (LHP Taylor Hearn): After homering in his last two games as a member of the Astros, Toro went yard in his first two games with Seattle, giving him dingers in four consecutive contests. Toro doesn't have huge power, but he's clearly seeing the ball well right now. Further, as a switch-hitter, Toro will enjoy the platoon edge all game. Hearn pitched well in his last start, but he has surrendered nine homers in 49 innings and isn't likely to pitch deep into the game, exposing Toro to the Rangers weak bullpen.

Middle Infield -- Andy Ibanez (R), 1%, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales): It's been a rough season for Gonzales, who sports an ugly 5.48 ERA and 1.47 WHIP over 13 starts. Right-handed batters have been the real problem, putting up a .432 wOBA against him, which means it's a great time to fire up Ibanez. Not only is Ibanez batting .385/.415/.513 versus left-handers this season, but he's on a mini hot streak, hitting .391/.500/.696 over his last eight games.

Outfield -- Harrison Bader (R), 43%, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Bailey Ober): Strange as it may sound, Bader is looking like the Cardinals' best hitter right now. It may be a small 43-game sample, but the speedy outfielder is hitting .293/.359/.533 with nine homers and six stolen bases. And he's been even better since the All-Star break, producing a gaudy .442/.489/.767 triple slash line. Bader should stay hot against Ober, one of more hittable hurlers on the slate.

Outfield -- Aristides Aquino (R), 1%, Cincinnati Reds at New York Mets (LHP Rich Hill): With a left-hander toeing the rubber for the Mets on Saturday, Aquino has a good chance to be in the lineup. The 6-foot-4 slugger hasn't received a ton of playing time this season, but he's been smacking the snot out of the ball when he makes contact, illustrated by his elite 26.3% barrel rate. Aquino makes for a nice upside play against Hill, who hasn't delivered a quality start since late May.

Outfield -- Myles Straw (R), 25%, Cleveland at Chicago White Sox (LHP Dallas Keuchel): In one of more surprising deadline deals, the Astros dealt their starting center fielder to Cleveland. Straw should continue to play every day in his new home, with one major difference being that he is likely to move up in the order, greatly increasing his number of stolen base opportunities.