We have a full slate of games on Wednesday and many prospective pitchers’ duals. There are few one-sided itching matchups here, but let’s look at all pitchers owned in over 50 percent of Yahoo leagues that take the mound on Wednesday and explore potential streaming options.
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Fantasy Baseball Starts and Sits Today
Top Tier (over 80% owned in Yahoo leagues)
When it comes to the top tier, we are more so looking for who NOT to start. Under normal circumstances, a pitcher of this caliber would start regularly in most leagues.
Start as Usual
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Corbin Burnes vs. Orioles, Max Scherzer @ Braves, Zach Wheeler vs. Tigers, Logan Webb @ Rockies, George Kirby @ Padres, and Charlie Morton vs. Mets are all over 90% owned and should all be started as usual. Scherzer and Morton are up against each other, but the way they have been performing as of late, neither should be benched, regardless.
Jon Gray (84% owned) vs. Cardinals & Chris Bassitt (88% owned) vs. Astros
At this point, Gray is probably a regular starter if he is on your roster, and that shouldn’t change with a friendly matchup at home vs. the Cardinals. Gray doesn’t have many strikeouts, but he is a safe start with the Ranger’s offense providing run support against a struggling team.
Chris Bassitt is also pitching at home but has a much tougher matchup against the Houston Astros. Bassitt has pitched much better than his overall statistics indicate, which is pretty good, to begin with. A 9-run outing to start the season and a 7-run outing in his last start have ballooned his statistics; more times than not, he is throwing like an ace with a mid-2 ERA. The Astros could be a better matchup for everybody. Still, if there was ever a most desirable pitching matchup, it would be tonight, with reliever Ronel Blanco making his second career start. I also love drastic splits, meaning when one side of a split is terrific, and the other is significantly worse. Here we have a big one with Bassitt and his day/night splits. Bassitt has a preposterously high day-game ERA of 14.59 and a phenomenal 1.17 in night games. Outside of his three-day starts, Bassitt has been one of the best pitchers in the league. I wouldn’t be afraid of the Astros tonight.
This is the one guy in the top tier that I would definitively not play. Although we don’t know the Rays’ starter, they are still arguably the best team in baseball, and Lopez has shown no signs of life in the past month or so, with an ERA of just under 7 in his past four starts. The Luis Arraez trade is looking worse and worse by the day. While I don’t think he will face the same fate as Alek Manoah, facing the Rays in Tampa is not an excellent get-right spot for the struggling right-hander.
Middle Tier (50%-80% owned)
Next, we look at the pitchers owned in 50 to 80 percent of leagues. These guys are still a factor in most leagues despite not being no-brainer starts every week.
Edward Cabrera (55 % owned) vs. Royals
Last week Cabrera owners were graced with a fantastic performance allowing no runs and striking out ten in six innings against the A’s. Well, now he is in another good spot against another bad team. Cabrera has filthy stuff but struggled with control early this season. He is cutting down on the walks and should be able to replicate his last outing against the Royals.
Michael Wacha (73% owned) vs. Mariners
Wacha was just awarded National League pitcher of the month, and rightfully so, going 3-0 with a minuscule 0.84 ERA. Right now, Wacha should be started in all formats each week until further notice. Seattle is also a mess right now, so the matchup is also desirable.
Tanner Bibee (51% owned) vs. Red Sox
Bibee has been solid all season with an ERA well under 3 and racking up the strikeouts lately. There is no reason not to ride the hot hand here. The upside isn’t tremendous, but the Red Sox offense is good but could be better. This is a solid start.
Proceed with Caution
Lance Lynn (64% owned) Yankees
I originally had this as a sit, but with Judge out, the Yankees’ offense is much less intimidating. Also, I noticed the under was hitting like crazy last night in places dealing with this poor air quality problem. I don’t trust Lynn, though, but I couldn’t, in good faith, tell you to sit him after seeing this Yankee lineup get dominated by Lucas Giolito, who, by all stats and logic, seemed like he was in prime position to get lit up. Lynn has been a major disappointment this season for both White Sox fans and fantasy owners but has shown at times this year to look like the pitcher he was last year. That said, the Angels scored 8 runs off of him at home. Too volatile for me, but there is an upside here. Start at your own risk.
Lower tier (Below 50% owned)
Here is where we look for streaming options. The pickings are slim, but here are some potential options.
Roansy Contreras (17% owned) vs. A’s
This guy is the epitome of average. He is serviceable in every category but not good enough at any to be really fantasy relevant. He also isn’t bad enough that he wouldn’t be startable against the A’s. They may have won last night and are playing a bit better overall, but there is still a more probable than not a chance that whoever you start against them will work out in your favor.
Jaime Barria (16% owned) vs. Cubs
The recently converted reliever Barria looked superb in his two starts for the Angels. His velocity and speed are up, and he is coming off of a tremendous one-run performance in his last start against the White Sox. He now takes on the team from the north side, who have been going through some offensive woes as of late. Barria is a solid start but, unfortunately, does not yet have Starting Pitcher eligibility in fantasy, so you would have to use him instead of a reliever, a risk I am not sure I’d be willing to take here. If you are interested in a solid stream option, though, Barria is good.
Here we look at the players rostered in less than 50 percent of the leagues to see if there are any worthwhile streaming options. If you are need of a streamer check these guys out.
Graham Ashcraft (21% owned) vs Brewers
There was a lot of hype to start the season surrounding Graham Ashcraft and initially he was living up to it. He then proceeded to fall off a cliff with multiple disastrous performances which have ballooned his ERA to 5.55. His last start against the Cubs however he showed signs of being the guy we saw in April allowing 3 runs with 6 strikeouts in 6 innings. This isn’t a can’t miss stream play but I like the potential given the opponent and the Reds offense. The Brewers have low key been one of the worst offenses in the league having scored more runs than only the Pirates, Gaurdians, and A’s in May. They have been even worse lately in that department. The Reds offense has been quite frankly incredible these past two weeks or so which bodes well for providing Ashcraft with run support against an unintimidating pitcher in Colin Rea. Ashcraft might not give you stellar numbers here but I think he has a good shot to produce a quality start and a win.
Logan Allen (39 % owned) @ Twins
Those streaming Logan Allen need to keep in mind that he is facing Sonny Gray and the Guardians have a very weak offense so getting a win will no be very likely. Allen is however in line for a pretty solid performance. He has pitched well all year with a 2.72 ERA on the season and is coming off of a win in Baltimore where he had 7 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. The Twins strikeout the most of every team so this is a prime opportunity to rack up some strikeout numbers before the week ends.
Long Term Streamers
Michael Lorenzen (21% owned) @ White Sox
Kyle Bradish (17% owned) @ Giants
Daniel Lynch (4% owned) vs Rockies
If you are desperate for some pitching numbers late in the week, these three options have some upside. Both the Tigers and Lorezen have been having a pretty good season under the radar. He is coming off of a blanking of this same White Sox team in his last start so who is to say he won’t do it again? Bradish has been a formidable option all season and his biggest weapon is his ability to keep the ball in the park which is something the Giants rely heavily on to produce offense. Lynch looked good in his first start of 2023 and the Royals who somehow do great against lefties are in prime position to tee off of Gomber and the Rockies. There is strikeout potential there too.
Biggest Take Aways
So there you have it—Saturday’s pitching matchups. Saturdays are always a good time to try and snag some quality pitching performances before everyone rushes to the free agent pool for Sunday. The three biggest takeaways from this write up should be:
Start: Eury Perez
Sit: Patrick Sandoval
Stream: Graham Ashcraft