Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily 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 will be 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
Saturday brings us a super-sized 17-game slate, with the Atlanta Braves getting a doubleheader against the New York Mets, and the Los Angeles Angels playing two against the Seattle Mariners. In leagues with daily moves, finding players likely to be in the starting lineup for both contests is key to maximizing your at-bats and potential production. With two right-handers scheduled to go for the Mariners, left-handed Angels bats Jared Walsh (73%), Mickey Moniak (0%), and switch-hitter Luis Rengifo (4%) -- who is batting .349/.384/.508 over his last 33 games -- are all good bets to draw two starts on Saturday. For the Braves, take a look at Michael Harris II (62%), Eddie Rosario (44%) and Orlando Arcia (1%).
After showing some rust when he first came off the IL, Nick Lodolo (14%) has looked sharp in back-to-back starts, allowing just one earned run over 12 frames with 16 strikeouts. He was particularly impressive in his last start against the Baltimore Orioles, as he generated a whiff rate of at least 29% for all three of his pitches (sinker, curve, changeup). Against a Milwaukee Brewers club that's been well below average against lefties (88 wRC+) this season, Lodolo is a great streaming option on Saturday.
Nathan Eovaldi draws a favorable start against the Kansas City Royals, but it's worth noting that he's been working with diminished velocity of late. While the right-hander is averaging 96.2 mph on his heater this season, he's been sitting below 95 mph over his last five starts. He sports a 5.92 ERA in those five outings, though most of that damage came in a hideous start against the Toronto Blue Jays (9 ER in 2.2 IP). In his last appearance, he actually limited the Houston Astros to two runs (zero earned) over 6 1/3 innings, so the dip in zip hasn't been completely detrimental. Still, it's something to monitor going forward.
Fantasy managers in need of stolen bases should have perked up with the Texas Rangers' call-up of Bubba Thompson on Thursday. In 80 games at Triple-A, Thompson hit .303/.355/.474 with 13 home runs and a whopping 49 stolen bases. The 24-year-old should get regular playing time in the Rangers outfield, making him worth at least a speculative pickup to see whether or not he can hit big-league pitching. Thompson, a former first-round pick, is rostered in literally 0.0% of ESPN leagues at the time of this writing, so it's safe to say that he's still flying under the radar.
The Washington Nationals were unsuccessful in unloading Patrick Corbin at the trade deadline, so he'll finish out the season with the Nats, getting pummeled every fifth day. There's no sugar-coating Corbin's season. The left-hander has a gaudy 6.57 ERA over 22 starts, including a 10.29 mark over his last five turns. Do yourself a favor and get some exposure against Corbin when the Philadelphia Phillies square off against him this weekend. While most of the Phillies' big bats are already rostered, Alec Bohm (39%) is still available in more than half of ESPN leagues. Not only is he locked in as the team's No. 3 hitter, but he's batting .349/.388/.585 versus lefties this season.
It's never too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.
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.
Abraham Toro (SEA, 2B -- 1%) vs. Barria and Detmers
Adam Frazier (SEA, 2B -- 42%) vs. Barria and Detmers
Miguel Rojas (MIA, SS -- 5%) at Smyly
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Saturday
Travis d'Arnaud (ATL, C -- 70%) at David Peterson
Eduardo Escobar (NYM, 2B -- 61%) vs. Max Fried
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Andrew Heaney Strikeouts: Over/Under 5.5 (-105/-125)
THE BAT sees Heaney putting up 4.5 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 31.2% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $29.74.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Heaney projects as the 20th-best pitcher in the league when estimating his strikeout ability, per THE BAT.
Dodger Stadium projects as the No. 6 ballpark in the league for strikeouts, according to THE BAT projection system.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
THE BAT X expects Heaney to be limited in this game, projecting a maximum of 75 pitches.
The Padres (19.2 K%, according to THE BAT X) project to have the third-least strikeout-heavy lineup today.
Nic Lentz profiles as a "hitters umpire" and is expected to be in charge of the strike zone in this game.
The weatherman calls for the fourth-best hitting weather of all games on the slate, as it relates to temperature and humidity.