Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades dialy to to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.
Note: This file has been updated with any overnight pitching changes or weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Saturday's MLB games
by Mike Sheets
The Pittsburgh Pirates were arguably the most favorable team to stream pitchers against in 2021, and that certainly hasn't changed yet this season, thanks to a lineup that looks like the worst in the National League. Frankly, almost any hurler starting against the Pirates deserves some streaming consideration and, on Saturday, that enviable position falls to Miles Mikolas (4% rostered in ESPN leagues). After making only nine starts last season, the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander is looking healthy and effective after posting a 2.08 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP over three spring starts. Streaming matchups don't get much better than this.
After trading away Matt Olson and Matt Chapman and losing Starling Marte and Mark Canha to free agency, the Oakland Athletics offense might challenge Pittsburgh's for those worst-in-baseball honors. That makes Kyle Gibson (52% rostered) a prime streaming candidate this weekend. Although Citizens Bank Park is a terrible venue for pitchers and the Philadelphia Phillies defense looks like it's going to be a daily adventure, Gibson has a great chance at picking up a win here.
The Cincinnati Reds lineup should be chock full of left-handed bats with vulnerable right-hander Kyle Wright throwing for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday. Tyler Naquin (4%), Mike Moustakas (17%), and Jake Fraley (1%) are all on the streaming and DFS radar against Wright, who has yet to prove he can handle big-league batters (6.65 ERA in 70 IP). Truist Park isn't as homer-friendly as Great American Ballpark, but it's still a favorable spot for left-handed power.
Gavin Lux (23%) has a clearer path to playing time following AJ Pollock's trade to the Chicago White Sox late last week, and a weekend series at Coors Field presents a great opportunity for the youngster do some early damage. It might be easy to dismiss Lux as a bust, but let's not forget that the former first-round pick is still only 24 years old and was one of the most highly touted prospects in the minors when he hit .347/.421/.607 with 26 homers and 10 steals in 113 games between Double- and Triple-A in 2019. Edwin Rios (0%), who hit .292/.433/.708 with three homers this spring, would be another sneaky option if he finds his name in Saturday's lineup.
He might not be drawing the same hype as Bobby Witt Jr. and Julio Rodriguez, but Josh Lowe (9%) deserves attention in all formats. Recalled after the Tampa Bay Rays dealt Austin Meadows to the Detroit Tigers earlier this week, Lowe possesses a mouth-watering blend of power and speed. That power/speed combo was on full display last season, when he batted .291 with 22 dingers and 26 steals in just 111 games at Triple-A. Against Jordan Lyles and his career 5.21 ERA, Lowe finds himself in a prime spot to fill up the stat sheet.
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Starting pitcher rankings for Saturday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Saturday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Manuel Margot (TB, RF -- 4%) vs. Lyles
Robinson Cano (NYM, 2B -- 3%) at Sanchez
Elias Diaz (COL, C -- 6%) vs. Gonsolin
Yandy Diaz (TB, 1B -- 32%) vs. Lyles
Jeff McNeil (NYM, 2B -- 45%) at Sanchez
Jose Iglesias (COL, SS -- 2%) vs. Gonsolin
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Saturday
Spencer Torkelson (DET, 1B -- 76%) vs. Cease
Avisail Garcia (MIA, RF -- 84%) at Rodon
Jonathan Schoop (DET, 1B -- 79%) vs.Cease
Jorge Soler (MIA, RF -- 88%) at Rodon
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Los Angeles Dodgers at German Marquez
Colorado Rockies vs. Tony Gonsolin
San Diego Padres at Zach Davies
Prop of the Day
German Marquez Strikeouts: Over/Under 3.5 (-160/+120)
PROJECTION: THE BAT sees Marquez putting up 3.0 Strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 41.1% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $29.54.
THE BAT projects German Marquez in the 81st percentile as it relates to his strikeout ability.
German Marquez's 94.3 mph fastball velocity since the start of last season grades out in the 80th percentile among starting pitchers.
Coors Field grades out as the worst stadium in the league for strikeouts, per THE BAT projection system.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (20.7 K%, via THE BAT X) project to have the 4th-least strikeout-heavy lineup today.
Alan Porter projects as a Hitters Umpire and is expected to be in charge of the strike zone in this game.
Given that groundball pitchers are least effective against flyball hitters, German Marquez (50.1% GB% per THE BAT projections) will be a bit disadvantaged in this game with 4 FB hitters in the opposition's projected lineup.