Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday is chock full of ace power. Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer are all toeing the rubber, with a matchup between Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler serving as the headliner. Rest assured, despite all of the high-end arms slated to take the mound on Saturday, there are still plenty of quality streaming options available for your consideration. The fact that the Twins and Tigers are suiting up for a doubleheader on Saturday's 16-game slate just adds to the number of potential streamers.

Let's take a look.


Pitchers to Stream

Zach Eflin (R), rostered in 46 percent of ESPN leagues, Philadelphia Phillies at Kansas City Royals: Since Eflin was hammered by the Marlins for six runs back in mid-April, he's allowed three or fewer earned runs in four straight outings, including back-to-back starts against the Marlins and Nationals, in which he surrendered just two runs in a combined 16 innings. The strikeouts may be down (6.6 K/9), but he's displaying elite control (1.5 BB/9) and doing a tremendous job limiting hard contact. In fact, Eflin's 24.2 percent hard-contact rate allowed is the best in baseball. The Royals' middle-of-the-road offense doesn't pose much of a threat.

Jeff Samardzija (R), 14 percent, San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds: Samardzija isn't missing the same number of bats he did in his prime, but it's hard to argue with the results this season. The veteran righty holds a 3.16 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in seven starts, including a 1.62 ERA at Oracle Park, where Saturday's game takes place. The fact that Samardzija has benefited from a .225 BABIP while allowing 45.4 percent hard contact suggests some negative regression is coming, but a matchup against a Reds team that's second worst in baseball against righties (71 wRC+) puts Shark squarely in the streaming conversation on Saturday.

Anthony DeSclafani (R), 16 percent, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants: Squaring off against Samardzija is DeSclafani, who has an enticing matchup of his own. The Giants rank 25th in baseball, with a .291 wOBA and an 82 wRC+ against righty pitching. He also gets a significant park upgrade going from Great American Ballpark to Oracle Park. DeSclafani has allowed one or zero runs in three of his past four starts, and his career-best 28.6 percent strikeout rate offers some nice upside against a Giants team that's whiffing nearly 24 percent of the time.


Shawn Kelley had taken over the ninth-inning role in Texas, but things are in flux once again, with the right-hander landing on the injured list with an infection. Manager Chris Woodward has stated that Chris Martin, available in 99 percent of ESPN leagues, will serve as the Rangers' closer for now. However, don't rule out Jose Leclerc eventually reclaiming the closer gig in the future. Speaking of the Rangers, Saturday's tilt will be a bullpen bonanza as Texas will trot out Jesse Chavez to open, then Drew Smyly to work several innings. As they often do, Tampa deploys a familiar duo with Yonny Chirinos following Ryne Stanek in their AL East affair with the Yankees.



Tyler Flowers (R), 3 percent, Atlanta Braves at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Merrill Kelly): Flowers is smashing right-handed pitching this season, putting up a .370/.420/.609 triple slash with all three of his home runs. Meanwhile, Kelly is allowing an .897 OPS to righty bats and is coming off his worst start of a season (7 ER in 4 IP vs. TB).

First Base

Yandy Diaz (R), 49 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees (LHP CC Sabathia): Diaz has shown good power (seven homers) with terrific plate discipline, walking nearly as many times (20) as he's struck out (23). The 27-year-old is hitting .290/.421/.581 versus southpaws, and Sabathia's 5.62 FIP and 4.82 xFIP suggest he hasn't earned his 3.20 ERA.

Second Base

Danny Santana (S), 32 percent, Texas Rangers at Houston Astros (RHP Gerrit Cole): We normally want to avoid hurlers like Cole, but he's been somewhat vulnerable this season, as he's allowed seven homers in his past six starts. For his part, Santana has quietly been displaying an intriguing power/speed combo. He's put up a 1.017 OPS versus righties this season, with three dingers and six steals.

Third Base

Michael Chavis (R), 48 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Seattle Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez): Chavis has been a revelation since his call-up. He's batting .311 with five homers and 12 RBIs over the past two weeks, and he's been particularly deadly against right-handed pitching (.318/.455/.614). Hernandez has been largely ineffective away from Safeco Field this season (6.16 ERA).


Eric Sogard (L), 19 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Sogard's name might not elicit much excitement in fantasy circles, but his current hot streak should make you take notice. He's batting .333/.432/.619 over the past month, with four homers and a pair of steals. And forgive us for not having much confidence in Nova and his 7.04 ERA.

Corner Infield

Jay Bruce (L), 45 percent, Seattle Mariners at Boston Red Sox (RHP Rick Porcello): Bruce may be batting only .186, but we're not here for the average; we're here for the power. The veteran slugger has popped 11 homers this season, seven of which have come on the road. He matches up well with Porcello, who is allowing a .411 wOBA to lefty batters.

Middle Infield

Derek Dietrich (L), 20 percent, Cincinnati Reds at San Francisco Giants (RHP Jeff Samardzija): Dietrich continues to rake. He popped his 10th homer on Thursday and now has a 1.057 OPS against right-handed pitching. Oracle Park is not a great venue for hitters, but we could still see some balls leave the yard against Samardzija, whose 49.1 percent fly ball rate is the third highest in baseball.


Kole Calhoun (L), 20 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dylan Bundy): Bundy is coming off his best start of the season, in which he tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Rays, but don't let that sway you. The right-hander has been one of the most volatile pitchers in baseball the past couple of seasons. His 2.15 HR/9 in 2018 and 2.27 HR/9 this season can attest to that. Calhoun, meanwhile, has been on a tear, as he's produced a 1.010 OPS with four homers and 10 RBIs over the past two weeks.

Christin Stewart (L), 6 percent, Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins (RHP Michael Pineda): The Twins' rotation has been borderline unhittable of late ... that is, everyone in the Twins' rotation except for Pineda. Over his past five starts, he owns a 7.56 ERA with six homers allowed. Stewart is now off the IL and offers big power potential in this matchup.

Franmil Reyes (R), 24 percent, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies (RHP Jon Gray): Speaking of big power potential, Reyes brings his 70-grade power to Coors Field this weekend. That's pretty much all you need to know. In short, expect some fireworks. If Reyes isn't in the lineup, then Hunter Renfroe offers similar power upside in the game's most homer-friendly venue.