Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Wednesday

Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has the right-handed power to present problems for Mariners southpaw Ariel Miranda. Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy baseball may see less fireworks on Wednesday than on July 4 despite the Reds-Rockies series continuing at Coors Field.

Heavily owned pitchers -- headlined by, as we all predicted in March, the Alex Wood-Zack Godley duel -- leave owners spoiled for useful names, but limit a lot of rentals.

When you get down to scrounging for offense, though, don't ignore two former top prospect bats facing some of baseball's biggest pitching machines.


Pitchers to stream

Trevor Bauer (R), 32.9 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Cleveland Indians vs. San Diego Padres: Sure, this start isn't at Petco Park, but with his rediscovered love for his curveball, Bauer should turn this lineup over several times easily. The Friars tie for the highest strikeout rate (25.6 percent) and third-lowest BB/K (0.30) against righties. Both play toward Bauer's effectively wild style.

Tanner Roark (R), 58.1 percent, Washington Nationals vs. New York Mets: His 2017 drop-off continues, allowing 22 earned runs in his last four starts (16.2 frames). However, the Mets may have to draw a lineup card without Yoenis Cespedes (calf) and the scorching-hot Curtis Granderson.

Blake Snell (L), 5.5 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago Cubs: Do we dare start him against the defending champs on the heels of a disastrous return from the minors? It's a bold, contrarian move. Still, he has a good shot to pile up strikeouts against a free-swinging lineup that has most of its recently injured pieces back, but has not performed at an elite level for most of the season. And Wrigley Field helps pitchers most of the time.

Joe Musgrove (R), 3.4 percent, Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves: Musgrove replaces the suspended David Paulino in the rotation. Not only does his turn line up perfectly with the last time he pitched, but that was a seven-inning scoreless gem for Triple-A Fresno, which may get his season back on track. This spot looked better before the Braves activated their new third baseman, Freddie Freeman. However, Freeman is still getting his timing back (1-for-4 last night), the rest of the Braves lineup versus righties isn't daunting, and Musgrove doesn't have to contend with the designated hitter. At the very least, Musgrove should be in play for a win, supported by the prolific Astros offense.

Pitchers to avoid

John Lackey (R), 61.7 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Just don't. The 38-year-old still has good command and control, but his mistakes are more easily punished than his surprisingly sparkling 2016. The Rays boast a 116 wRC+ against righty arms, one of the best marks in the majors. This is your final reminder that they're not a pushover.


White Sox closer David Robertson was placed on the paternity list Monday. In his absence, Tommy Kahnle has the best chance to steal at least one save opportunity. He's helpful in deep leagues without consistent chances, but he'll gain them if the Pale Hose trade D-Rob at the deadline.

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.



Wilson Ramos (R), 29.6 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago Cubs (RHP John Lackey): Right-handed bats have tattooed Lackey to a .492 slugging percentage in 2017, and the still lightly owned masher has already parked two on the year after returning from knee rehab.

First base

Josh Bell (B), 14.6 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Ben Lively): Despite his weak .227 clip, the basically split-neutral switch-hitter has a fine chance to park one in the Phillies' Citizens Bank Park -- which augments home runs -- against Lively. The pitcher has resided around the plate too much over his first six big-league starts, tallying 13 strikeouts in 38.2 innings.

Second base

Scooter Gennett (L), 51.4 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): Here comes another four-homer game! Kidding, but it's hard to pass him up at Coors Field -- assuming manager Bryan Price comes through on his promise to play him even with Zack Cozart back.

Third base

Nick Castellanos (R), 38 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): He's launched half of his 10 homers on the year against southpaws, and done so in just 65 at-bats. Castellanos deserves a BABIP higher than .307 because he scalds the baseball at a 49.1 percent hard-contact rate. He'll tee off on the soft-tossing Blach.


Orlando Arcia (R), 19.6 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Jayson Aquino): Chris Tillman will not make this turn as he's awaiting the birth of his first child. Aquino is getting the call from Triple-A to make this start, and it should be enough to help Arcia, who's 9-for-15 with two homers to begin July.

Corner infield

Lucas Duda (L), 9.5 percent, New York Mets at Washington Nationals (RHP Tanner Roark): Roark has wilted against left-handed batters (.373 wOBA, for one), and Duda has abided by his career-long trend of righty dominance. Reminder: Citi Field is better for hitters than you think, and Duda (eight big flies there) agrees.

Middle infield

Freddy Galvis (B), 10.8 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Gerrit Cole): Cole is one of four pitchers who have allowed the most home runs (13) to left-handed batters. Six of Galvis' eight blasts on the year have come at home against right-handed hurlers. A .188 May has torn down an otherwise promising season; he hit .271 in April and .287 in June, and he's 5-for-12 with a big fly to start the month.


Mallex Smith (L), 18.3 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago Cubs (RHP John Lackey): Second verse, same as the first: Lackey is one of four pitchers who have allowed the most home runs to left-handed batters, and the speedy Smith should take advantage of the Cubs' indifference toward holding runners on.

Jorge Soler (R), 1.7 percent, Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners (LHP Ariel Miranda): Miranda is tied with Derek Holland for allowing the most home runs to right-handed sticks this year (17). Soler has two home runs in 27 at-bats versus lefties, and should be in the lineup in place of black hole Brandon Moss.

Eddie Rosario (L), 5.3 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Parker Bridwell): Rosario's 10 home runs this year have all come against righties, and he thoroughly enjoys Target Field (.323/.378/.600 with nine blasts over 146 plate appearances).

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.