Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games

Luis Castillo aims to right the ship for the floundering Mariners. Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

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. Game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

For an in-depth look at what to expect in this daily article and how to best use the information, check out our handy primer here.

Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and 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 Wednesday's MLB games

By Todd Zola

  • Wednesday's 15-game slate begins at 1:10 p.m. with the Minnesota Twins hosting the Tampa Bay Rays. Three more matinees follow, in advance of the 11-game evening schedule.

  • There is a decent supply of pitcher streaming options, with Kyle Harrison (10.4% rostered) leading the way. Harrison will take the hill at home in Oracle Park where the San Francisco Giants will host the Cleveland Guardians. Harrison has fanned an impressive 26 over his first 20 1/3 innings, with a reasonable seven walks. The issue for the rookie lefty has been six long balls, but Cleveland sports the lowest home run rate in MLB.

  • Ryan Pepiot (26.8%) ranks next among Wednesday's probable pitchers, but there is risk as Pepiot's sparkling .84 ERA is misleading. The right-hander's 3.88 xFIP and 3.59 SIERA are more indicative of his skills, which include a pedestrian 22.7% strikeout rate. That said, with the league ERA being 4.36, Pepiot still checks in as an above average starter.

  • Lost in the Chicago White Sox disappointing campaign is a solid second half run from Mike Clevinger (16.6%). He's posted a 3.33 ERA and 1.09 WHIP since the break, and that includes surrendering an eight-spot to the Detroit Tigers in four frames to open September. Clevinger fanned 41 with just 12 walks in this 46-inning stretch. On Wednesday, Clevinger will face a Kansas City Royals offense toting the fifth lowest wOBA versus righties into Guaranteed Rate Field.

  • Braxton Garrett (28.8%) continues to impress as he's navigated a second half schedule including two outings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, two facing the Washington Nationals who are playing well lately and one versus the Houston Astros. Despite the high quality of opposition, Garrett has registered a 2.68 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over his last eight outings, albeit with a low 29 punch outs in those 43 2/3 innings. Facing the Brewers in American Family Field will be a challenge, but Garrett should have success against a lineup where he can ramp up his strikeouts.

  • The Colorado Rockies are home all week, with the Chicago Cubs visiting on Wednesday. Southpaw Ty Blach will take the ball for the home team, leaving Christopher Morel (21.8%), Jeimer Candelario (31.2%) and Patrick Wisdom (7.8%) with the platoon edge. Ryan McMahon (25.3%) and Kris Bryant (51.3%) are in play against Jameson Taillon.

Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday

Bullpen usage for Wednesday

By Todd Zola

  • The Atlanta Braves brought in Raisel Iglesias in a save situation for the third straight day on Tuesday night. He delivered on Sunday, but blew the chance on Monday, though did vulture the win. Last night, he blew it again, only to have his offense really and award him a win for the second straight day. Iglesias threw 22 combined pitches over the prior two days heading into last night, then added 24 more. Appearing on three straight days virtually assures he'll miss tonight's series finale with the Philadelphia Phillies, then the Braves have Thursday off so Iglesias should be recovered for the weekend. Atlanta has five former closers serving in setup capacity, with Kirby Yates the likeliest option to handle ninth inning duties today.

  • Alexis Diaz preserved a 5-5 tie with a scoreless bottom of the ninth against the Detroit Tigers, then the Cincinnati Reds pushed a run across in the top of the 10th with Buck Farmer delivering the save. Diaz was awarded the win for his 17-pitch effort. He tossed nine pitches on Sunday, but his usage patterns show 26 total pitches over a three-day period isn't enough to jeopardize his availability for tonight.

  • Emmanuel Clase became the first closer to convert his 40th save of the season last night. The league leader in the department also has the most blown saves with 11. Last night's 13-pitch effort came a day after throwing six in a blown save. Clase pitched on three straight days earlier in the month, and that was with 36 pitches combined over the first two outings, so he can't be ruled out for today's matinee.

  • Devin Williams recorded his 33rd save on Tuesday night, fanning one during his 13-pitch effort, He tossed 13 on Sunday, but since last night's appearance was only his fourth this month, Williams should be available if needed in back-to-back fashion, something he's done numerous times this season.

  • Kenley Jansen was removed from last night's game after throwing 13 pitches. He had yet to record an out and had already surrendered an insurance run to the New York Yankees as they swept a doubleheader in Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox reported their closer is experiencing fatigue as well as dealing with an illness. He's almost assuredly out today and probably tomorrow. Chris Martin and Josh Winckowski are the top options to choose from the club as replacements.

  • Josh Hader didn't pitch last night, but he had a good reason after throwing 43 pitches on Monday. There's a chance he needs another day to recover, though the San Diego Padres have Thursday off. Still, the safe play is planning on someone else to handle closing duties if needed tonight, with Scott Barlow the prime candidate since he hasn't pitched since last Friday.

Best sub-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday

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.

Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday

The BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday

Prop of the Day

Clarke Schmidt 4.5 strikeouts (-130/+100).


  • THE BAT sees Schmidt putting up 3.5 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 27.3% of the time.

  • THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $45.36


  • The Boston Red Sox have three bats in their projected lineup today with a high (over 27%) underlying K% according to the THE BAT X (Connor Wong, Trevor Story, Wilyer Abreu).

  • It may come as a surprise, but fastballs are typically a pitcher's least effective pitch. Schmidt must realize this, because he has used his secondary offerings a lot this year: 76.3% of the time, checking in at the 99th percentile.


  • John Bacon projects as a Hitters Umpire and is likely to be in charge of the strike zone.

  • The No. 4 field in baseball for suppressing strikeouts, per THE BAT, is Fenway Park.

  • The weather report expects the fifth-most suitable hitting weather of all games today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.

  • Schmidt has suffered a sizeable decrease in his fastball velocity over his past three games started, from 93 mph over the entire season to 91.7 mph recently.