Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Michael Fulmer's sophomore season has seemingly hit a wall. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The good news for Saturday is that it brings with it the usual full slate of games. The bad news is that a full slate doesn't always mean a plethora of great streaming options. Today's group of pitchers is definitely lacking, to say the least. There's not a sure thing in the bunch, and the potential upside isn't all that appealing, either. Of course, with so many questionable pitching options, the bats should be booming to start the weekend.


Pitchers to stream

Jerad Eickhoff (R), 27 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants: Eickhoff has seemingly turned a corner after posting a combined 5.83 ERA in May and June. Over his last five starts, the right-hander owns a 2.83 ERA, with only one home run allowed. On Saturday, he heads to AT&T Park -- one of the game's most pitcher-friendly venues -- to face a Giants team that is second-worst in baseball (81 wRC+) against right-handed pitching. Amid of a group of questionable options, Eickhoff is one of the day's stronger plays.

Collin McHugh (R), 30 percent, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics: McHugh may have a 4.88 ERA since coming off the DL and rejoining the Astros rotation, but things aren't as bad as they appear. The righty's ERA is inflated thanks to a blowup against the White Sox early last week. We obviously can't completely discredit that outing, but in three of his last four starts he's allowed two or fewer runs. He's also striking out more than a batter per inning, with a career-best 12.8 swinging strike percentage. That's enough to pique my interest against an Oakland team that has been striking out 24 percent of the time in August.

Jake Odorizzi (R), 43 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners: It's been a frustrating season for Odorizzi, who just can't seem to keep the ball in the park. Among hurlers with 100-plus innings, his 2.06 HR/9 is the worst in baseball. As a result, it should go without saying that Odorizzi carries some risk into Saturday's matchup with Seattle. The good news is that the right-hander also owns a 3.00 ERA and a .156 BAA since the break. Given his homer problems, it's worth noting that the Mariners rank in the bottom third of the league in terms of ISO versus right-handed pitching. Odorizzi isn't the day's top streaming option, but there's still potential value here in deeper formats.

Robert Stephenson (R), 1 percent, Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves: I can't outright recommend Stephenson as a streaming option on Saturday, but the former first-round pick is a name to at least watch closely for deep leagues. The 24-year-old came off the disabled list earlier this week, and Saturday's start against the Braves is a favorable one. Since the beginning of August, Atlanta's offense has tanked, ranking No. 27 in baseball with an 82 wRC+. While Stephenson has yet to have any prolonged success in the majors, he did pitch well in his last start prior to going on the DL (5 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Pirates). He also showed improved control at Triple-A before his most recent call-up, while still fanning more than a batter per inning. If the improved control sticks, Stephenson might be interesting down the road.


Cam Bedrosian has secured saves in each of his last three appearances and now appears to be firmly entrenched as the Angels' ninth-inning man. He sports an 11.6 K/9 and hasn't allowed an earned run since late July. Owned in only 23 percent of ESPN leagues, Bedrosian looks like a valuable commodity for the stretch run.

Pitcher to Avoid

Michael Fulmer (R), 88 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: This looks like a good time to give Fulmer a seat on your bench. The right-hander has posted a 7.89 ERA and 1.66 WHIP over his last six starts, and his declining strikeout rate (down from 20.4 percent last season to 17.1 percent in 2017) means there isn't much upside here. Against a Dodgers team that ranks fifth in the league with a .336 wOBA versus righty pitching, Fulmer carries lots of risk.



Tucker Barnhart (B), 16 percent, Cincinnati Reds (RHP Julio Teheran): This is an obvious spot to attack Teheran, who has a 7.07 ERA at home and is allowing a .218 ISO to left-handed batters. Barnhart is hitting .277/.340/.400 versus righties this season and sports an .817 OPS so far in August.

First Base

Mike Napoli (R), 15 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox (LHP Derek Holland): Napoli sports an enormous .301 ISO versus lefties this season, as 10 of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases. He also owns a .248 ISO at home, where 19 of his 33 hits have gone for extra bases. Needless to say, this looks like a gimme matchup against Holland, who is allowing a .404 wOBA to righty bats, the second-worst mark in baseball.

Second Base

Kolten Wong (L), 15 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): It's always good to get some left-handed exposure whenever Kuhl is on the mound (.362 wOBA). On Saturday, that exposure is Wong, who is batting .323 since the All-Star break and hitting .299/.393/.448 versus righties for the season.

Third Base

Brandon Drury (R), 26 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jose Berrios): At times this year, Berrios has been dominant. Unfortunately, he's looked more like a batting practice pitcher over the last couple of months. Dating back to July 1, Berrios has posted a 6.28 ERA and a .301 BAA. This creates an appealing spot for Drury, who prefers same-side pitching (.280/.346/.455).


Adeiny Hechavarria (R), 1 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Ariel Miranda): Hechavarria may not be known for his offensive prowess, but he does have a 35 percent hard-hit rate against southpaws this season. He also batted .289 against lefties from 2014-16. That profile should suit him just fine against Miranda, who possesses a 7.23 ERA since July 1, and is surrendering a .240 ISO to righty batters.

Corner Infield

Rhys Hoskins (R), 17 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants (LHP Ty Blach): This is a great opportunity to start Hoskins, who gets the platoon advantage against a soft-tossing lefty. The 24-year-old slugger clubbed 29 home runs at Triple-A and already has three dingers in his first seven big league games. Meanwhile, Blach has allowed a .476 slugging percentage to right-handed batters in 2017 and is coming off one of his worst outings of the season.

Middle Infield

Tim Anderson (R), 10 percent, Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers (LHP Martin Perez): Anderson has been a big fantasy disappointment this season. He can still be used against lefties, however, as he is hitting .314/.331/.483 against them. For his part, Perez is surrendering a .309/.371/.504 slash line to right-handed bats.


Carlos Gomez (R), 34 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Chicago White Sox (LHP Derek Holland): The matchup against Holland is too good to not use multiple Rangers hitters. The lefty is allowing a .303/.396/.566 slash to right-handed bats this season and owns a sad 8.76 ERA since July 1. Gomez, meanwhile, is batting .306/.376/.567 at Globe Life Park this season.

Seth Smith (L), 1 percent, Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP JC Ramirez): Since 2014, Smith has a .374 wOBA versus right-handed pitching. If that weren't enough, Ramirez is allowing a .376 wOBA to left-handed batters this season, including a .262 ISO and a 44 percent hard-hit rate.

Carlos Beltran (B), 23 percent, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Kendall Graveman): Beltran can still swing it, even at 40 years old. The veteran switch-hitter is batting .305/.327/.453 in the second half and gets a tasty matchup against Graveman, the lowest-ranked hurler of the day thanks, in part, to a 7.20 road ERA.