Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Braves pitcher Jaime Garcia is on quite a roll, but remains available in around 70 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It's a heavy afternoon slate on Saturday, with 12 of the day's 16 games (the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins are playing two) taking place during the day. For streaming purposes, there aren't as many intriguing names as you'd normally like with a full slate, but we'll make do.

Here's a look at the day's top streaming options.


Pitchers to stream

Jaime Garcia (L), 30 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins: Garcia has been on a roll. During his past five starts, he's posted a 1.49 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. He doesn't miss many bats (6.2 K/9), which limits his upside, but he gets tons of grounders (57 percent) and lots of weak contact (24 percent). The Marlins have handled lefties well this season (108 wRC+), so the matchup isn't ideal, but Garcia is pitching at the top of his game right now.

Zack Godley (R), 34 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies: Godley has been a pleasant surprise for Arizona this season and seems to have secured a spot in the starting rotation going forward. He sports a 2.44 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in seven starts, and has yet to allow more than three runs in any outing. Strikeouts aren't a big part of Godley's game (7.3 K/9), but he gets by with an elite ground ball rate (62 percent). His matchup against the Phillies, who can't hit righties (84 wRC+) and whiff at a 23 percent clip, is very favorable.

Kyle Freeland (L), 38 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants: Most of the time you avoid hurlers when they pitch in Coors Field. That's not the case with Freeland, who sports a 3.50 ERA and .305 wOBA allowed at Coors this season. In fact, the last time the southpaw pitched at home and gave up more than three earned runs or did not last at least six innings was all the way back on April 12. This is a prime matchup against a Giants team that ranks last in baseball in runs scored and also ranks dead last in hard-hit rate and wOBA versus lefties.

Jesse Hahn (R), 10 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees: The Yankees have one of the best offenses in baseball, so Hahn is recommended only for those in deep formats. That said, the right-hander has pitched well since returning from the disabled list (2.45 ERA in two starts) and has done a nice job limiting hard contact this season (29 percent), which will obviously be important in a matchup against the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees will also suffer a huge park downgrade going from Yankee Stadium to the Oakland Coliseum, one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors. Truth to be told, the Yanks have been far less lethal on the road (106 wRC+) this season than they've been at home (136 wRC+).

Pitcher to avoid

Rick Porcello (R), 85 percent, Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros: Porcello hasn't pitched as poorly as his 4.67 ERA suggests, but there are still red flags. He's allowing more fly balls than ever before (41 percent), and his 43 percent hard-contact rate is the second-worst mark in baseball. Not a good combination. Against an Astros team that's smashing right-handed pitching (121 wRC+), there's reason to be nervous.


Is it time to take Fernando Rodney seriously? It's still hard to get past that 5.11 ERA, but he's actually been one of the best closers in fantasy in the past month and a half. Since May 2, the right-hander owns a perfect 0.00 ERA in 14 2/3 innings, with 14 strikeouts and 12 saves. In those 14 2/3 innings, he's allowed only two hits. We all know the risk involved. At this point, though, Rodney deserves to be owned in more than just 52 percent of leagues.

Projected game scores

GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. A "*" means that the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings. A 50 typically earns the pitcher a "quality start" by this measure, while a 70 is considered a dominant start.



Tony Wolters (L), 1 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Matt Cain): Wolters may not be a big run producer, but he can still hit. He's batting .293 with a .402 OBP against right-handers this season, and he's taken advantage of the Coors Field bump (.370/.442/.500). With Matt Cain and his 5.22 ERA on the mound for the Giants, Wolters is an obvious plug-and-play at the catcher position.

First base

Josh Bell (L), 14 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Jake Arrieta): The peripherals indicate that Arrieta has pitched better than his 4.68 ERA. However, the fact of the matter is that his velocity isn't what it was in 2016, and he's allowing significantly more fly balls and hard contact this season. This helps explain why he's on pace to allow 27 homers this year after allowing only 26 in 2015 and 2016 combined. He's also been vulnerable to left-handed batters, who have put up a .366 wOBA against him, which makes Bell an intriguing option on Saturday.

Second base

Jed Lowrie (L), 43 percent, Oakland A's vs. New York Yankees (RHP Masahiro Tanaka): Lowrie is a frequent target when he's facing a righty, and that's the case again on Saturday with Tanaka on the mound. The Yankees hurler owns a 6.23 road ERA this season and is a allowing a .361 wOBA to left-handed batters. Lowrie, meanwhile, is hitting .312/.383/.548 against righties this season.

Third base

Yuli Gurriel (R), 32 percent, Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox (RHP Rick Porcello): Most of the time we focus on hitters with the platoon advantage. That's not the case with Gurriel, who's batting .306/.335/.506 against right-handed pitching. He's also been particularly hot of late, sporting a .326 batting average with three bombs and 10 RBI in 11 June games. Fire him up against Porcello, who is allowing a .319/.347/.495 slash line to righty bats in 2017.


Andrelton Simmons (R), 52 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Jake Junis): Simmons is best known for his defense, but he's been a valuable fantasy contributor this season. He currently ranks eighth among shortstops on the Player Rater, one spot ahead of Corey Seager. Simmons is batting .306/.351/.466 against right-handed pitching this season, and he has a tasty matchup against rookie Jake Junis, who has struggled in his transition to the big leagues (4.67 ERA, 1.79 WHIP).

Corner infield

Taylor Motter (R), 6 percent, Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (LHP Martin Perez): Motter sports a career OBP that's 67 points higher against left-handed pitching, and he gets park upgrade while trading in Safeco Field for Globe Life Park. That puts him in a nice spot against Perez, who has surrendered a career .283/.347/.430 slash line to righty batters.

Middle infield

Brandon Phillips (R), 34 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Jeff Locke): Saturday's matchup against Locke sets up really nicely for Phillips. Not only is the veteran second baseman crushing so far in June (.339/.361/.492), but he's also hitting .327/.363/.467 at SunTrust Park. Locke hasn't pitched much this season since he just recently returned from the DL, but he's allowed a .280/.342/.440 slash line to right-handed hitters in the previous three seasons.


David Peralta (L), 28 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Jerad Eickhoff): As long as Peralta remains widely available, we'll keep recommending him against low- and mid-tier righties. Peralta is slashing .320/.370/.471 against righty hurlers, while lefty bats continue to give Eickhoff fits (.370 wOBA). Although Citizens Bank Park isn't as hitter-friendly as Chase Field in terms of overall offense, it's more favorable for left-handed power.

Delino DeShields (R), 8 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Yovani Gallardo): Gallardo has shown reverse splits in 2017, as right-handed batters have blasted him for a .407 wOBA. As it happens, DeShields has also hit better against righties this season, making him a great option if you need help in the stolen base department. In 10 June games, the speedster has already swiped six bags.

Derek Fisher (L), 9 percent, Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox (RHP Rick Porcello): Fisher was called up to the big leagues earlier this week after hitting .335 with 16 dingers and 13 steals in 60 games at Triple-A, and he responded by going 2-for-3 with a homer and a pair of walks in his debut. He's a dynamic talent who could stick around long term if he continues to hit. His matchup against Porcello on Saturday should help him do just that. Aside from Daniel Norris, no qualified pitcher is allowing more hard contact this season than Porcello (43 percent).

Hitter matchup ratings

Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth, as well as the past 21 days) and 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. So, for example, a 10 is a must-start rating, whereas 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.