Today's slate looks really gross for pitching on the surface, but with summer ending the winds have shifted in Chicago so we get the heavy winds blowing in that we have seen much of since April and May. On the hitting side, we get some exploitable pitchers and Coors Field, so there's plenty of appeal to today's streaming options.
If you haven't yet read my primer on how weather can give you a MASSIVE edge in fantasy baseball, be sure to check that out now, as it will help provide context for my player evaluations each week.
Here are Tuesday's choices to bolster your fantasy squad, with everyone available in at least half of all ESPN leagues.
Alec Mills (R), rostered in 4% of ESPN leagues, Chicago Cubs vs. Minnesota Twins: It may not look it on the surface, but this matchup is fantastic. Mills faces a below-average Twins offense that is losing a DH going into the National League. More importantly, though, there are 15-20 mph winds blowing in today in Wrigley, which is a *massive* number. That's like 50 mph in any other park. Mills is your top stream and he's almost universally available.
Griffin Jax (R), 2%, Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs: On the other side of Wrigley is Jax, who gets that positive AL-to-NL shift, getting to face a pitcher instead of DH. And again, most importantly, he gets that absurd Wrigley wind. He also faces a Cubs offense that is well below-average since their deadline fire sale and is one of the most strikeout-prone offenses in baseball.
Paul Blackburn (R), 1%, Oakland Athletics vs. Seattle Mariners: Blackburn doesn't offer much in the way of strikeouts, but the ratios should be solid enough for a deep streamer today against a bottom-10 Mariners offense in one of the top pitchers' parks in baseball.
Dallas Keuchel (L), 50%, Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers: Keuchel hasn't looked great this year, but he's still a serviceable enough pitcher. Like Blackburn, he won't get you strikeouts, but he goes deep into games and can get you seven innings of good ratios when things break right. He sets up well for that possibility against a bad Tigers offense. There's even a bit of strikeout upside given how much the Tigers whiff.
Bullpen: With that Wrigley wind, the Cubs/Twins game is absolutely the best pitching environment today and the place you should look if you're streaming relievers. If you're hoping to get a save out of the deal, Rowan Wick (rostered in 8% of ESPN leagues) is the way to go. The Twins bullpen faces the weaker and more strikeout-prone offense, though, so if you'd rather someone on that side, Jovani Moran (sub-1%) and Caleb Thielbar (sub-1%) are your best choice.
For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.
Catcher -- Daulton Varsho (L), 17%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Atlanta Braves (RHP Jesse Chavez): The Braves haven't announced who will follow Chavez, but it's likely to be Touki Toussaint. Both right-handers have been struggling down the stretch and Varsho is sneakily one of the better hitting catchers in baseball. At home in a solid park, on a day where catcher is thin, he's a strong option.
First Base -- Ryan O'Hearn (L), under 1%, Kansas City Royals at Cleveland (RHP Cal Quantrill): O'Hearn only plays a couple times per week, but this is a strong spot if he's in the lineup. He gets a big park upgrade and a below-average opposing pitcher. If he's not in the lineup, Hunter Dozier likely will be and would be a good option as well.
Second Base -- Garrett Hampson (R), 36%, Colorado Rockies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (LHP Julio Urias): Coors is the premier offensive spot on this slate. Unfortunately most Dodgers won't be available, but there's a good chance Hampson is. He's led off the last four days and is one of the top options at any position.
Third Base -- Brad Miller (L), 8%, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Chris Ellis): Ellis is one of the bottom-three pitchers on this slate, and Miller ought to be higher-rostered than he is. He's older and boring, but he has legitimate power and plays in a great park for it.
Shortstop -- Willy Adames (R), 48%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Jake Woodford): Adames' roster percentage dropped while he was on the IL, so grab him now while you can. His breakout this year is looking fairly legitimate, and is worth a pickup despite lacking the platoon edge. A player doesn't own his splits until much later in his career, but early on, Adames has handled right-handers much better than southpaws.
Corner Infield -- Colin Moran (L), 6%, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Tyler Mahle): The Pirates get a monster park upgrade, going from one of the worst parks in baseball for lefty power to one of the absolute best. Mahle is a formidable opponent, but between the platoon advantage, the park, and the underrated talent, Moran is a strong stream.
Middle Infield -- Jazz Chisholm Jr. (L), 48%, Miami Marlins vs. Washington Nationals (LHP Josh Rogers): Lefty-on-lefty isn't ideal, but Jazz should be rostered in more leagues given his strong power/speed combo, and Rogers projects as the weakest pitcher on the slate.
Outfield -- Harold Ramirez (R), 1%, Cleveland vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Daniel Lynch): Ramirez has been starting most days of late but the rostership hasn't picked up at all. Today he gets a weak lefty that he'll hold the platoon advantage against in a great park for hitting. It feels weird, but he's the top outfield option.
Outfield -- Max Kepler (L), 53%, Minnesota Twins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Alec Mills): The Wrigley wind is brutal, but this is a thin day for outfielders, and the combination of Kepler's talent on Mills's talent is projected to win out enough to make him one of the stronger choices.
Outfield -- Joc Pederson (L), 41%, Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Luke Weaver): Weaver has gotten crushed in two starts off the IL (one against the lowly Rangers without a DH), and the Braves are a near-elite offense. Joc will hold the platoon advantage and get a minor park upgrade against a struggling hurler.