Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Repeat after us: "Jhoulys Chacin at Petco? Good from the get-go!" Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

If you're desperately trying to make up ground in the pitching categories as we approach the season's final week, then you'd better buckle up. Saturday's slate is filled with many viable streaming options, so if you have the roster flexibility, feel free to take advantage of the surplus.

Here's a look at the top streaming options for the penultimate Saturday of the regular season.


Pitchers to stream

Hyun-Jin Ryu (L), 38 percent rostered in ESPN leagues, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants: You wouldn't necessarily know it by looking at his high availability percentage, but Ryu has been a valuable fantasy commodity in 2017's second half. Since the All-Star break, he has a 2.36 ERA and 8.2 K/9 over nine starts. More impressive is that Ryu has allowed no more than a single run in six of his last eight outings. He should have no trouble mowing down a Giants lineup that's ranked in the bottom three in baseball versus left-handed pitching (82 wRC+).

Jhoulys Chacin (R), 22 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies: You should all know the drill by now. Starting Chacin at Petco Park is money in the bank. The right-hander has a 1.91 ERA at home this year with a .182 BAA, covering 15 starts and 94 1/3 innings. Chacin has allowed more than three earned runs just three times in his last 20 starts. The San Diego right-hander should have little trouble with a Rockies lineup that is sapped of its powers outside of Coors Field. On the road, the Rockies sport a bottom-five wOBA (.304) with an inflated 24 percent whiff rate.

Robert Stephenson (R), 19 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Boston Red Sox: It may have taken awhile, but Stephenson looks to finally be putting it together. The right-hander sports a 2.52 ERA since Aug. 1 -- and he hasn't allowed a home run in his last 26 2/3 innings. More impressively, in those 26 2/3 innings, he amassed a whopping 38 strikeouts (12.8 K/9). In fact, the 71.2 percent contact rate he has allowed this season is lower than the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Chris Archer. The Red Sox may not whiff much, but they are in the lower third of the league with respect to weighted on-base average versus righties and will be without their designated hitter.

Eduardo Rodriguez (L), 48 percent, Boston Red Sox at Cincinnati Reds: The Red Sox are trying to secure the AL East title with the Yankees nipping at their heels and, lately, Rodriguez has been doing his part to get them there. The young lefty has battled with inconsistency this season, but he's getting hot at the right time. He has posted a 2.55 ERA over his three September starts, with 24 strikeouts in just 17 2/3 innings. On Saturday, he gets an interleague matchup against a so-so Reds lineup that has had very little production in September (85 wRC+).


Hector Neris has been the No. 6 reliever in fantasy over the last month, posting a 2.30 ERA with 10 saves and 18 whiffs in 15 2/3 innings. Still available in 54.5 percent of ESPN leagues, the Phillies closer makes for a nice pickup if you have points to gain in the saves category.

Projected game scores

Note: Noah Syndergaard is going to start the game for the New York Mets, his first appearance since April 30. However, since he's scheduled to pitch only one inning, after which Matt Harvey will come in, we'll leave Harvey in the grid, since he'll pitch the equivalent of starter innings.

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



Robinson Chirinos (R), 38 percent, Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics (LHP Sean Manaea): Chirinos has blasted left-handed pitching to the tune of a .373/.462/.687 slash line this season. Manaea still has long-term potential, but he sports a 6.69 ERA over his last nine starts -- and most of that damage has come from right-handed batters.

First base

Lucas Duda (L), 8 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Jeremy Hellickson): Hellickson is one of the pitchers we'll be targeting today. Take a look at his last three monthly ERA splits: 6.04 in July, 6.55 in August and 9.53 in September. He's a piñata right now, allowing 12 homers over his last seven starts. This is a spot where Duda can thrive, as he has posted an .892 OPS and .309 ISO versus right-handed pitching in 2017.

Second base

Kolten Wong (L), 7 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Gerrit Cole): Cole is a quality hurler, but left-handed hitters have consistently given him trouble. Over the last two seasons, lefty batters facing Cole have combined for a .350 wOBA. He has also allowed a career-worst 32 percent hard-hit rate. This creates a nice opportunity for Wong, who is batting .288/.382/.434 versus righties this season, especially if he bats first or second today -- which he often does when a right-hander is on the mound.

Third base

Chase Headley (B), 14 percent, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Joe Biagini): Headley started the season very strong (.301/.402/.494 in April) and he's closing out 2017 the same manner, batting .317/.354/.467 so far in September. He has done most of his damage from the left side, which is how he'll be facing the right-handed Biagini on Saturday. Biagini is a hurler who can be exploited, as he carries a 6.17 ERA over five starts since joining Toronto's rotation in late August.


Jorge Polanco (B), 40 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): The switch-hitting Polanco draws the platoon advantage against Boyd, one of the worst pitchers on the Saturday slate. Polanco is batting .295/.355/.516 since the All-Star break. Boyd, meanwhile, possesses a 5.03 second-half ERA and is allowing a 38 percent hard-hit rate to right-handed bats.

Corner infield

Brandon Moss (L), 8 percent, Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Covey): Moss doesn't hold much fantasy value outside of AL-only leagues, but the one thing he can still provide is power. The slugger gets a nice power boost going to Guaranteed Rate Field and has a favorable matchup against Covey, who has allowed a bloated .468 wOBA to left-handed bats in 29 frames this season.

Middle infield

Jed Lowrie (B), 36 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Miguel Gonzalez): Lowrie has hit right-handed pitching well all season (.287/.366/.475), but he really turned things on of late. He's batting .362 with a pair of bombs, 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored through his 16 September games. He should continue his hot hitting against Gonzalez, who has surrendered a .371 wOBA to batters from the left side of the plate.


Kevin Kiermaier (L), 45 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Jeremy Hellickson): There's plenty to like about Kiermaier on Saturday. Not only is he batting .291/.353/.507 versus righties this year, but he's hitting .311/.356/.541 since the All-Star break. Kiermaier is in a dream spot against Hellickson, who has a ridiculous 9.37 ERA over his last seven outings.

Nick Williams (L), 30 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (RHP Julio Teheran): Teheran is a hurler we like to attack when he is pitching at home, which is the case on Saturday. While the right-hander sports a 2.84 ERA on the road, it balloons to 6.23 when he's at SunTrust Park. Teheran also has a long track record of being much less effective against lefties. That suits Williams just fine, as he has managed a 40 percent hard-contact rate versus righties, to go along with a .316/.338/.474 slash in September.

Jacoby Ellsbury (L), 32 percent, New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Joe Biagini): Over the last month, Ellsbury has been a top-10 fantasy outfielder, batting .375/.485/.575 with five stolen bases. He draws a favorable matchup against Biagini's 6.17 ERA over his last five outings.

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.