Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

After going 5-0 in June, Zach Eflin struggled in July with a 5.40 ERA. Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday brings us a full slate of action that features plenty of notable matchups. The Yankees and Red Sox face off in Game 3 of a four-game set, the Dodgers and Astros meet in a rematch of the 2017 World Series, and Blake Snell returns from the disabled list for a home start against the White Sox. Oh yeah, there are some quality streaming options, too.

Here's a look at the day's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Zach Eflin (R), rostered in 49 percent of ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins: A matchup against Miami is almost always going to get our attention. The Marlins lineup is one of the least-threatening in baseball, ranking dead last in ISO, 27th in wOBA, and 25th in BB/K. This recommendation isn't only about the matchup, however. Eflin has never been a big strikeout guy, but thanks to an uptick in fastball velocity, he's got an 8.5 K/9 this season to go along with strong control (2.1 BB/9). He's also limiting hard contact, as his 28.1 percent hard-contact rate ranks seventh-best in baseball (min. 70 IP). Dating back to June 5, Eflin has a 3.20 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. There's little reason to think he'll have trouble here.

Carlos Rodon (L), 41 percent, Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays: Rodon's last four starts have been nothing short of dominant, as he's posted a 1.88 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP with nearly a strikeout per inning. He's also done a superb job at limiting hard contact (26.2 percent). It's true that the Rays have been formidable against lefties this season (108 wRC+). That said, a .143 ISO that ranks 25th in baseball limits the damage potential, while Tampa Bay's 23.6 percent whiff rate versus southpaws speaks to Rodon's upside here.

Mike Minor (L), 9 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles: It's easy to get stuck on Minor's 4.73 ERA, but he's pitched much better than that of late. He's allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last nine starts, and that includes one outing against Boston and three against Houston. Minor possesses a 3.53 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP since the beginning of June. On Saturday, he matches up with an Orioles team that ranks 25th in wOBA, 25th in wRC+ and 26th in BB%, making the Rangers left-hander a quality bet.

Kevin Gausman (R), 47 percent, Atlanta Braves at New York Mets: Gausman is set to make his Braves debut after the Orioles shipped him to Atlanta earlier this week, and the matchup is quite favorable. The Mets rank 23rd or worse in wRC+ (89), wOBA (.299), and ISO (.151), presenting a cushy landing spot for the 27-year-old right-hander. Gausman has had a rough go of it lately, but moving to the National League should help him get back on track.

Projected game scores



Mitch Garver (R), 6 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Burch Smith): Garver's rostered percentage certainly doesn't reflect it, but he's been smoking hot of late. He's batting .323/.406/.505 over his last 34 games and has been a top-10 fantasy catcher over the past two weeks. The 27-year-old backstop has been even more effective against right-handed pitching (.836 OPS), which sets him up well against Smith, who sports a 7.47 ERA across four starts this season.

First base

Matt Adams (L), 36 percent, Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Matt Harvey): A popular streaming option when a right-hander is on the mound, Adams has a .945 OPS against RHP this season, with 16 of his 17 homers. He has also posted a .320/.387/.650 slash line at home. While Harvey has been mostly effective since mid-June, the fact that he has surrendered five homers over his last two starts shows the damage potential.

Second base

Kolten Wong (L), 2 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Ivan Nova): Wong is set to be activated from the disabled list this weekend after missing time with a left knee injury. He gets an enticing matchup upon his return. Nova posted a 5.33 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in July, and left-handed batters have given him fits (.296/.332/.522). Wong, meanwhile, was starting to heat up last month prior to getting hurt (.309/.350/.491) and did most of his damage (17-of-19 extra-base hits) against righty pitching.

Third base

Ryon Healy (R), 40 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Marco Estrada): While Healy did more damage against left-handers in 2017, it's been the opposite this season. Of his 31 extra-base hits, 23 have come against righties, including 15-of-21 homers. Meanwhile, Estrada has been less effective against righty batters this season, allowing an .861 OPS (.761 OPS allowed to LHH).


Jorge Polanco (B), 7 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Burch Smith): A liability since joining Kansas City's starting rotation, Smith has been a punching bag for left-handed batters this season, surrendering a .312/.365/.538 slash line. This sets things up nicely for Polanco, who has put up a .377/.486/.508 slash line against right-handed pitching since returning from his suspension.

Corner infield

David Freese (R), 3 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. St. Louis Cardinals (LHP Austin Gomber): Batting .355/.412/.597 over his last 22 games, Freese gets the platoon advantage in Saturday's tilt against St. Louis. He also gets to hit at PNC Park, where he has an .870 OPS this season (.744 OPS on the road). Gomber is unlikely to pitch deep into this game, and the Cardinals bullpen is exploitable (4.51 ERA).

Middle infield

Hernan Perez (R), 2 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Colorado Rockies (LHP Tyler Anderson): Perez has quietly been a productive player over the last month, producing a .288/.354/.525 slash line with four homers and three stolen bases. He gets the platoon edge against Anderson in one of the game's most hitter-friendly venues.


Jason Heyward (L), 44 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Walker Lockett): With Joey Lucchesi under the weather, the Padres have summoned Lockett for a spot start. Lockett has pitched 5.2 innings so far this season with the Padres, walking six with just four whiffs. This should be a productive afternoon for the Cubs, with Heyward sitting pretty in the three-hole (the best spot for fantasy production) thanks to the platoon edge.

Willie Calhoun (L), 9 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy): Calhoun has limited big-league experience, but we know from his minor league profile that this kid can hit. While he's yet to really flash at the big league level, he's hit safely in four of his last five games and clubbed his second dinger in Thursday's blowout win against Baltimore. On Saturday, he'll draw the platoon advantage against Bundy. The Baltimore right-hander has allowed three homers in back-to-back starts and has had trouble getting lefty batters out (.862 OPS), which sets up nicely for a big day from Calhoun.

Nick Williams (L), 11 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): With a .213 ISO against right-handed pitching and a .218 ISO at home, Williams -- who hit .311/.386/.511 in July -- makes for an intriguing upside play on Saturday. Urena gets a significant ballpark downgrade in leaving Marlins Park, and his 41.3 percent hard-hit rate allowed doesn't figure to play well at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

Hitter matchup ratings

Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth) as well as ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.

Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.