Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Tuesday

Rafael Devers hasn't been a name that's come up often this season but he makes sense against the Blue Jays. Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire

There are a mere three big arms going Tuesday (Chris Sale, Zack Greinke, and Mike Foltynewicz) leaving the rest of the slate wide open and allowing you to go any number of ways. I showed restraint and didn't jump on the game at Coors Field, but it's always a strong fallback if you don't like one of the guys I recommend.

As always, I try to include a couple names who are worth keeping beyond Tuesday and have done so again this week, including once against recommending an impressive former top prospect from the Royals.


Pitchers to stream

Shane Bieber (R), rostered in 38 percent of ESPN leagues, Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Rays: Don't get too hung up on the 4.63 ERA that Bieber has been toting thus far. His 3.13 FIP points to a better pitcher than we've seen. I don't think he's as good as that FIP because he's just been too hittable, but he's also better than the ERA thanks to a strong 20 percent K-BB rate. He put up five shutout innings against the Rays two starts ago before a four-run sixth, so if he can dodge the meltdown inning, a quality start is very plausible against a Rays offense with the 25th-ranked ISO and sixth-highest chase rate.

Nick Pivetta (R), 30 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals: The uber-volatile Pivetta is always a risky start, but the upside remains strong. He has a 4.10 ERA in his past seven starts, but 11 of the 17 earned runs during that time have come in two starts. Let's roll the dice!

Marco Gonzales (L), 32 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres: Gonzales is slated to return in time for this start. Gonzales has seen his ERA surge over the past two months, but that's been due in large part to shellackings against elite offenses (5-plus ER at the Yankees, at Boston and versus Houston), and I'm not going out on a limb when I saw that the Padres aren't in that class. Gonzales has a 3.49 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 90⅓ innings against sub-.500 teams. The Padres are 20th in wOBA against lefties in the past month along with a 25 percent strikeout rate.


The Angels and Twins are gracing us with bullpen games, neither of which offers any fantasy interest, except perhaps for streaking hitters on the opposing teams. The Angels will "open" with Jim Johnson, while the Twins will do the same with Tyler Duffey.

Projected game scores



Kurt Suzuki (R), 41 percent, Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants (LHP Andrew Suarez): Suzuki has an .835 OPS against lefties this season and has a strong .211 ISO since the All-Star. He has hit homers in each of his past three starts and has a 1.050 OPS in the past month. Righties are smacking Suarez to the tune of a .288/.341/.501 line this season, making Suzuki and all Braves righties worth a look Tuesday.

First base

Ryan O'Hearn (L), 9 percent, Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Covey): Covey will get the spot start, making O'Hearn a great play. O'Hearn is clubbing righties with a 1.275 OPS and eight homers in 81 plate appearances. Covey has been working out of the bullpen after being exposed as a starter earlier in the season.

Second base

Jeff McNeil (L), 15 percent, New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Jeff Brigham): McNeil has quietly been a key batting-average asset down the stretch, with a .340 mark in 164 PA since his late-July call-up. He's hitting .407 in his past 23 games (19 starts) with 10 multi-hit games. There isn't a lot else around the batting average, but when you're collecting hits at this clip, I'll take the "empty" average.

Third base

Rafael Devers (L), 45 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Ryan Borucki): Devers hasn't panned out as expected this year, and he recently dipped below the 50 percent roster rate we use to select players. This is more of a play against Aaron Sanchez (Wednesday's starter), anyway. He's been hit hard for 14 runs and 24 hits in three starts since returning (14⅓ IP), and lefties are absolutely obliterating him with a .907 OPS and .185 ISO on the season. Jump on him now despite a lefty on the mound so you can take advantage of Sanchez and then four more righties the rest of the week.


Adalberto Mondesi (B), 15 percent, Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox (Dylan Covey): We usually go just one per team, but I'm doubling on Royals just to hype Mondesi yet again. He's rocking a 20 HR/60 SB pace in his 55 games of work this year, and while that kind of statistical pacing is dangerous, even halved it would make for a very useful middle infielder. The sub-.300 OBP is not-so-great and will catch up to him if it holds firm over a full season, but there's plenty of talent here. I just don't understand how he's still on only 15 percent of rosters.

Corner infield

Ryon Healy (R), 31 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Bryan Mitchell): Healy hasn't hit lefties like he did in the past two years (.880 OPS) thanks to just a .216 average, but he's still popped six homers in 142 plate appearances (similar to his seven in 144 last year) so I'm open to running him against southpaws. Joey Lucchesi's .199 ISO against righties makes it an easier decision, too. If the Mariners can get someone on base ahead of Healy, there could be even bigger trouble, as Lucchesi has a .296/.339/.487 line in those situations.

Middle infield

Joey Wendle (L), 46 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Shane Bieber): Wendle is what McNeil fans dream of him becoming. He's been on fire since July 1, with a .333/.385/.513 line, five home runs and seven stolen bases in 220 PA. He doesn't quite have McNeil's average, but there's a lot more to go with his thanks to a second-half power surge. Wendle has quietly pushed him into the top 20 second basemen on the player rate despite spotting the league three months of a .646 OPS.


Hunter Renfroe (R), 47 percent, San Diego Padres at Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales): One thing I might do next year is chart my Daily Notes picks over the course of the season so I know who my true favorites end up being, but off the top of my head, I feel like I've recommended Renfroe against lefties at least four or five other times in 2018. Like Healy, he has experienced a batting average dip against them compared to previous years (.254 after .317 in 2016-17), but he remains a power force with a .213 ISO.

Adam Frazier (L), 16 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Miles Mikolas): I wonder how many people realize that Frazier has reeled off a .347/.400/.602 line with five homers in the second half (130 PA) all while carrying dual eligibility at OF and 2B. Mikolas has come back to earth a bit in his past five starts (4.60 ERA), with lefties doing a good bit of that damage: .371/.371/.600 in 71 PA. I never give too much credence to batter vs. pitcher numbers, but it's worth noting that Frazier is 5-for-12 against the righty, with four extra-base hits this year, too.

Niko Goodrum (B), 12 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros (LHP Framber Valdez): Goodrum is heating up again, and his work against lefties is playing a role with a .320 average and .433 OBP in the past month (30 PA). There is no power behind it, with all eight hits being singles, but I still like this setup. This continues his season trend. Goodrum has a .287 average and .364 OBP against lefties with a solid 20 percent strikeout and 11 percent walk rate in 121 PA for the entire year. The Tigers offense is running hot of late, too, with 56 runs in the past 10 games.

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.