Last week's Thursday slate gave us only nine games. This week, we've got one fewer game on the docket. With so many teams taking the day off, streaming can be difficult, especially on the pitching side. Your team's location in the standings -- and how many points you stand to lose or gain in the ratio categories -- can help you determine the level of risk you should be willing to take when selecting your streaming starters.
Pitchers to stream
Zack Godley (R), 57 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals: Godley owns a 3.32 ERA in 13 starts, and the supporting numbers (3.11 FIP, 3.20 xFIP) say he has fully earned it. He has allowed three or fewer runs in 11 of 13 starts. He's also striking out more than a batter per inning, and his 56 percent ground ball rate continues to climb. He matches up well with a Cardinals club that has been middle of the road against righties.
CC Sabathia (L), 44 percent, New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Dating back to May 16, Sabathia has allowed more than two runs just once in his past nine starts -- and that was in his first start back from the disabled list. All told, he sports a 1.62 ERA over those nine outings. His stuff isn't what it once was, but he has found a way to make it work. Sabathia finds himself in a very appealing spot Thursday, squaring off against the Rays, who sport the highest K-rate in baseball against left-handed pitching (26 percent) to go along with a 91 wRC+.
Trevor Bauer (R), 23 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels: Bauer hasn't exactly been trustworthy this season. Take note of his 5.58 ERA. However, he's still missing lots of bats (10.2 K/9), and his 4.05 FIP and 3.78 xFIP suggest he hasn't pitched as poorly as the ERA indicates. More importantly, he's got a prime matchup on Thursday, facing an Angels team that ranks 29th in baseball with a .302 wOBA versus righties.
Luis Perdomo (R), 5 percent, San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets: Perdomo isn't a guy worth getting excited about, but there are still some things to like. He pitches in a great park, induces tons of grounders (65 percent), and gets a decent matchup against an underwhelming Mets offense. If you remove his one start at Coors Field -- a matchup you wouldn't have started him in, anyway -- he sports a 2.83 ERA over his last six turns.
The ninth inning in San Diego appears to be wide-open following the trade of Brandon Maurer to Kansas City. Brad Hand might be most qualified to handle the closer role, but there's a very good chance that he'll also be dealt prior to the July 31 trade deadline. In addition to Hand, manager Andy Green stated that Phil Maton, Kirby Yates and Carter Capps (who is still in Triple-A) are all in the mix. If you're in the market for saves, this is a situation to monitor over the next week-plus.
Projected game scores
GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. The asterisk (*) means that the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.
Martin Maldonado (R), 5 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians (RHP Trevor Bauer): Bauer is an exploitable hurler when he's not on his game, and Maldonado has swatted nine of his 11 homers against righties this season. Progressive Field isn't a homer-friendly park, but it's still an upgrade over Angel Stadium.
Lucas Duda (L), 9 percent, New York Mets at San Diego Padres (RHP Luis Perdomo): We highlighted Perdomo as a potential streaming option above, but that doesn't change the fact that he's been vulnerable to left-handed batters this season (.379 wOBA). This is a great matchup for Duda, who is batting .254/.368/.556 against righty pitching this season.
Ian Happ (R), 47 percent, Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox (RHP Mike Pelfrey): Happ won't have the platoon advantage here. That said, he's shown more power versus righties (.280 ISO) this season, Pelfrey is one of the worst pitchers on the slate, and Guaranteed Rate Field is a great offensive environment.
Eugenio Suarez (R), 54 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Miami Marlins (RHP Chris O'Grady): It has been only three big league starts, but O'Grady's transition to the big leagues hasn't gone smoothly. The 27-year-old rookie is missing bats, but he's having trouble throwing strikes (6.0 BB/9). Right-handed batters in particular have pummeled him (.417 wOBA) -- and that's where Suarez comes in. He's hit 13 of his 16 homers off righties this year, and he's batting .293/.356/.634 so far in the second half.
Paul DeJong (R), 48 percent, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Zack Godley): DeJong's matchup against Godley isn't particularly favorable, but the shortstop deserves mention for what he's done lately. In 21 July games, he's batting .312 with 15 extra-base hits, including seven homers. Given his high strikeout rate (32 percent) and low walk rate (2 percent), this hot streak is unlikely to continue, but you might as well ride it while you can.
Tyler Moore (L), 0 percent, Miami Marlins vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Robert Stephenson): With Justin Bour sidelined, Moore should see some extra playing time at first base. He's batting .295/.318/.639 against righties this season, and Stephenson has yet to figure out big league hitters. In 67 career innings, he's allowing a .430 wOBA to left-handed bats.
Brandon Drury (R), 41 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Luke Weaver): Drury continues to a popular streaming option when he doesn't have the platoon advantage. He's slashing .291/.355/.476 against righties this season. Weaver, who will be replacing the injured Adam Wainwright in the Cardinals' rotation, is a talented young pitcher, but he's yet to show it at the big league level.
Kyle Schwarber (L), 55 percent, Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox (RHP Mike Pelfrey): It has been a tough year for Schwarber, but this is the type of matchup he can capitalize on. Pelfrey is allowing a .368 wOBA to left-handed bats, and Guaranteed Rate Field inflates home runs.
Bradley Zimmer (L), 11 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angeles (RHP JC Ramirez): Ramirez has done some decent things this season, but handling left-handed batters (.381 wOBA) isn't one of them. Zimmer, who is way more widely available than he should be, offers an intriguing power/speed combo in a highly appealing matchup.
Curtis Granderson (L), 17 percent, New York Mets at San Diego Padres (RHP Luis Perdomo): Granderson has struggled in July, but let's not forget he batted a combined .293/.401/.604 in May and June. He sports a .237 ISO versus right-handed pitching this season, and Perdomo has trouble with hitters from the left side of the plate.
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.