Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Saturday is your last chance in 2018 to try and catch some fantasy value from Steven Matz. AP

It's the final weekend of the regular season, and as luck would have it, Saturday brings us a supersize slate, with the Astros and Orioles suiting up for a doubleheader. For fantasy managers trying to scrape together every ounce of production they can get out of their lineups, consider taking a shot on Baltimore players, who are more likely than Houston players to start both games. Aside from Adam Jones (78 percent rostered), every other Orioles batter is available in at least 50 percent of leagues.

Here are the day's top streaming options, focusing on players, like those from the Orioles, who are rostered in less than one-half of all ESPN leagues.


Pitchers to stream

Steven Matz (L), rostered in 31 percent of ESPN leagues, New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins: Matz has been dealing of late, posting a 2.82 ERA and a 10.1 K/9 over his past seven starts. He gets a soft landing spot for his final outing of the season, a home tilt against Miami. The Marlins rank dead last in ISO (.121) and wOBA (.290) and second to last in wRC+ (84). Matchups don't get any better than this.

Nathan Eovaldi (R), 29 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees: Eovaldi rarely works deep into games, and it's unclear whether he'll receive his normal workload, with the Red Sox gearing up for the postseason. That said, his strikeout upside keeps him in play. Over his past six appearances (five starts), Eovaldi has 28 K's in 24 innings, including a 10-strikeout performance against Baltimore his last time out. There's obvious ratio risk against a dangerous Yankees lineup, but with only two days left in the fantasy season, it's an acceptable risk if you're seeking strikeouts.

Ryan Borucki (L), 20 percent, Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays: After an ugly August (6.59 ERA), Borucki has bounced back with a strong September, delivering four straight quality starts, a 1.98 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 27⅓ innings. The 24-year-old southpaw will look to finish the season strong when he takes on a Rays team that's been tough on lefties, putting up a top-five wRC+ (105) against them. On the bright side, the Rays' 24 percent strikeout rate against lefties is third highest in baseball, making this a high-upside spot for Borucki.

Anibal Sanchez (R), 46 percent, Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies are limping to the finish line, producing a 24th-ranked 84 wRC+ over the past month to go along with a 24.3 percent whiff rate. This creates a great opportunity for Sanchez, who's been lights out of late. Over his past seven starts, the Atlanta right-hander has a 2.72 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning. In fact, he faced this same Phillies team his last time out and spun five innings of one-run ball.

Wade Miley (L), 41 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Detroit Tigers: The Brewers have locked up a playoff spot, but with the division title still within their grasp, they'll be attacking this weekend series with Detroit with everything they've got. That means Miley should get his normal workload -- great news for streamers. The lefty lacks upside because of his inability to miss bats, but he sports a 2.31 ERA over his past 12 starts and has a good chance of picking up a win.


The Orioles may have a small win probability against the Astros, but with Saturday's doubleheader, Baltimore closer Mychal Givens has a better chance than normal for a save opportunity. Over the past month, Givens holds a 2.25 ERA and an 0.42 WHIP with five saves, ranking him as a top-12 reliever in that time frame. He's still available in 83 percent of ESPN leagues.

Projected game scores

GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. The "*" symbol means the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.



Mike Zunino (R), 18 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Adrian Sampson): Zunino is a poor hitter with below-average on-base skills, but his bat does carry plenty of thump, which is why he still has some fantasy relevance. Plus, he's been on a tear of late, batting .324/.395/.559 over the past two weeks. Zunino will look to muscle up against Sampson, who's allowing a .320/.414/.680 slash line to right-handed batters.

First base

Ryan Braun (R), 46 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Daniel Norris): The Brewers secured a playoff spot this week, and Braun did his share to get them there. He's been surging over the past week, producing a .294/.400/.824 triple slash with three dingers and seven RBIs. He draws the platoon advantage against Norris, who has posted a 4.81 ERA across five September starts.

Second base

Adam Frazier (L), 13 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Michael Lorenzen): Frazier has been an under-the-radar producer for the Pirates, cruising to .314/.367/.547 since the All-Star break. Not only has he slashed .296/.370/.498 against RHP this season, but he also gets to enjoy a significant park upgrade by going to Great American Ball Park.

Third base

Colin Moran (L), 3 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Michael Lorenzen): Like his teammate listed above, Moran has been a quiet but steady contributor, particularly against right-handed pitching. Moran has produced a .293/.352/.426 line against right-handers in 2018, which matches him up well with Lorenzen. While the Cincinnati right-hander has a 3.35 ERA this season, left-handed batters have gotten the best of him (.291/.397/.427).


Ketel Marte (B), 19 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres (RHP Jacob Nix): Marte's skill set doesn't make headlines, but he's established himself as a nice little player who can hit for some pop and steal the occasional bag. Over the past 13 games, Marte has hit .333/.381/.718 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Nix, who has a 6.81 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP in eight big league starts, has not yet proved that he can get big league hitters out.

Corner infield

C.J. Cron (R), 23 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Ryan Borucki): Borucki has pitched well of late, but Cron is just way too tempting when he has the platoon advantage. The Rays slugger has blasted lefties to the tune of a .306/.377/.542 slash this season. Cron is sitting on 29 homers and surely would like to pop No. 30 over the weekend.

Middle infield

Marcus Semien (R), 43 percent, Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels (LHP Tyler Skaggs): After a strong first half, multiple DL stints have derailed Skaggs' season. In six second-half starts, he holds a 9.31 ERA. In other words, Skaggs presents an enticing matchup for Semien, who has homered three times in his past five games.


Joc Pederson (L), 23 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants (RHP Dereck Rodriguez): Pederson is a popular target whenever he has the platoon advantage, and that's the case again on Saturday. The Dodgers outfielder sports an .886 OPS versus right-handed pitching and has cracked four homers over the past two weeks.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (L), 21 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (RHP Domingo German): With home field for the wild card decided in their favor, the Yankees are transitioning Lance Lynn into the relief roll he'll occupy in the playoffs. German makes the spot-start, though he's not likely to work more than a handful of innings before giving way to Lynn. German has appeared for the Yankees only once in September, sporting a 5.55 ERA from his earlier stint as a starter. Lynn has been up-and-down since joining the Yankees. While he's allowed fewer than three runs in each of his past three starts, he had allowed five-plus runs in three of his previous four outings. German's inexperience and Lynn's volatility create an intriguing matchup for Bradley, who hits right-handed pitching well and has put up an .807 OPS over the past month.

Daniel Palka (L), 20 percent, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson): If you're looking for home-run upside, this is it. Palka has clobbered 25 of his 27 homers against right-handed pitching this season, eight of them coming in the past month. Gibson, meanwhile, has surrendered eight homers in his past six outings.

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.