Fantasy Baseball
Mike Sheets 22d

Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Sunday

Fantasy, Fantasy MLB, MLB

Sunday features day baseball and plenty of it. Fourteen of the day's 15 games are daytime affairs, with only the Yankees and Red Sox playing under the lights. It's a slate with multiple intriguing pitchers to stream, as well as plenty of bats to give your lineup a boost. For many fantasy managers, the season is on the line, so let's finish strong.

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


Pitching

Shane Baz (R), rostered in 19% of ESPN leagues, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Miami Marlins: Baz, one of the game's top pitching prospects, was as advertised in his big-league debut on Monday versus Toronto, firing five innings of two-run ball against perhaps the most dangerous lineup in baseball. He fanned five and walked none in the outing, relying on a 97 mph fastball and a filthy slider that he threw 40% of the time and generated a 50% whiff rate. The 22-year-old managed just 65 pitches in his debut, and it's possible the Rays limit his pitch count again on Sunday. Still, it's tough to ignore the young right-hander in a matchup against the Marlins, who have been a bottom-five offense since the All-Star break, posting an 86 wRC+ and an inflated 26.1% K rate.

Jake Odorizzi (R), 22%, Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics: Odorizzi is scheduled to come off the injured list on Sunday after missing nearly two weeks with a mid-foot sprain. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a 2.90 ERA over his six previous starts. Although the A's present a somewhat difficult test on Sunday, they are less dangerous against right-handers, and the Oakland Coliseum is much more favorable to pitchers than Minute Maid Park.

Wily Peralta (R), 14%, Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals: On one hand, there's not much exciting to be found in Peralta's profile. He's not missing bats (5.6 K/9), he's not doing a great job limiting walks (3.5 BB/9), and his 3.04 ERA is not backed up by his 4.47 xERA or 4.84 xFIP. On the other hand, Peralta continues to have success on the mound. He owns a 2.41 ERA over his past eight starts, which includes seven shutout frames against a tough Rays lineup his last time out. There's risk of regression here given the sketchy peripherals, but a matchup against Detroit is relatively non-threatening.

Josh Rogers (L), 8%, Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds: Like Peralta, Rogers has found success despite shaky peripherals. He boasts a 2.16 ERA and 1.00 WHIP across four starts, surrendering a combined three runs over his past 19 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old southpaw doesn't have overpowering stuff, as his heater sits at just 90.5 mph, but he's shown solid control and has done a good job limiting hard contact. While Great American Ball Park is not kind to pitchers, the Reds have been the worst team in the National League against left-handed pitching this season, so the matchup overall is quite favorable.

Bullpen: The Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball right now, and their bullpen has been a factory for holds over the past couple of weeks. Over the past 15 days, Luis Garcia and T.J. McFarland are tied with an MLB-best six holds, while Genesis Cabrera is right behind them with four. All three arms are available in at least 95% of leagues, making them prime targets if you play in a league with holds or saves+holds.

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

Hitting

Catcher -- Travis d'Arnaud (R), 44%, Atlanta Braves at San Diego Padres (RHP Joe Musgrove):
The Braves are still trying to hold off the Phillies in the NL East, so d'Arnaud should continue playing close to every day down the stretch. The Atlanta backstop offers nice power from the catcher position, and Musgrove is in a bit of a funk, as illustrated by his 5.09 September ERA.

First Base -- Bobby Dalbec (R), 34%, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (LHP Jordan Montgomery): Dating back to Aug. 8, Dalbec is batting .333 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs in 36 games. Thanks to his recent home run tour, he's also been a top-five fantasy first baseman over the past month, according to the ESPN Player Rater. On Sunday, the Boston slugger gets the platoon advantage at Fenway Park, where he owns a .909 OPS and .296 ISO this season.

Second Base -- Tommy La Stella (L), 10%, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies (RHP Antonio
Senzatela):
If you're looking for some Coors Field exposure (aren't we all?), La Stella is a good way to get it. In addition to doing nearly all of his damage against right-handed pitching this season, he's also put up a .363 wOBA so far in September. Meanwhile, Senzatela, the lowest-ranked pitcher of the day, is much less effective against lefty swingers.

Third Base -- Jeimer Candelario (S), 40%, Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Kris Bubic): Candelario has been an underappreciated fantasy asset for some time now. His numbers don't exactly jump off the page, but he's produced a .910 OPS since the All-Star break, showing nice power and a strong walk rate. Candelario gets the platoon edge against Bubic, who has struggled away from Kauffman Stadium (5.58 ERA).

Shortstop -- Gavin Lux (L), 45%, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Humberto Mejia): With Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor both sidelined with injuries, Lux is finally getting everyday playing time. The 23-year-old is making the most of it, batting .444/.535/.639 with a homer and nine RBIs in 11 games. Once regarded as one of the top hitting prospects in the minors, Lux finds himself in a great spot on Sunday, facing off against Mejia, who sports a 7.20 ERA over three starts this season.

Corner Infield -- Yandy Diaz (R), 12%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Jesus Luzardo):
Luzardo has a bright future, but this has been a lost season for the 23-year-old. He owns a 7.01 ERA over 23 games (16 starts), and right-handed batters have tagged him for a .401 wOBA. Needless to say, this is a great time to fire up Diaz. The 30-year-old has raked against lefties this season, putting up a .297/.376/.459 triple slash against them.

Middle Infield -- Brendan Rodgers (R), 26%, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Kevin Gausman): The past 26 games have seen Rodgers hit .301/.319/.522 with six home runs and 19 RBIs while serving as the Rockies' everyday No. 2 hitter. He'll look to stay hot on Sunday against Gausman, who has been blasted for a 5.04 ERA in the second half. Plus, more Coors Field exposure is never a bad thing.

Outfield -- Bryan De La Cruz (R), 6%, Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays (RHP Shane Baz): De La Cruz hit .324/.362/.518 in 66 games at Houston's Triple-A affiliate, and he hasn't missed a beat since the Marlins acquired and promoted him to the big leagues. He's batting .311/.373/.457 over 49 games with the Marlins, and based on his availability in 94% of ESPN leagues, most fantasy managers haven't noticed. The 24-year-old has cemented himself as Miami's No. 3 hitter, and he's an intriguing bat that should provide some value over the season's final week.

Outfield -- Harrison Bader (R), 14%, St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (RHP Keegan Thompson): The Cardinals offense has been the best in baseball over the past two weeks, and Bader has played his part. The speedy outfielder is prone to hot and cold stretches, but he's batting .333/.371/.583 in September, with multi-hit efforts in three of his past four games. Thompson, one of the lowest-ranked hurlers on the slate, will have his hands full on Sunday.

Outfield -- Corey Dickerson (L), 8%, Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins (RHP Griffin Jax): Dickerson hasn't provided much offense in September, but Sunday's matchup puts him in a favorable spot to do some damage. Not only has Jax been hammered for a 6.13 ERA in the second half, but he's surrendered a .370 wOBA to left-handed batters.

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