Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Wednesday

Oscar Mercado has four home runs to go with four stolen bases in his first 27 games as a big leaguer. Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Wednesday's full 15-game slate includes a doubleheader between the Washington Nationals and Phillies. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox (at Chicago Cubs), Detroit Tigers (at Pittsburgh Pirates) and Houston Astros (at Cincinnati Reds) lose their designated hitter with trips to National League parks.

That comes into play with my first streamer pick.



Trevor Williams (R), 22.4 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers: This is slated to be Williams' return from a stint on the injured list, but he couldn't ask for a softer landing for resurfacing: Detroit ranks last with a .281 wOBA versus righties, and given their lack of power, they'll probably have trouble elevating Williams' hard-sinking stuff.

Chris Bassitt (R), 18.2 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles: Facing the Orioles? You get a click. Bassitt isn't listed merely for his opponent, though. His shaky 3.68 BB/9 aside, his home park has the favorable foul territory and distance to the fences to suppress any club, and Baltimore's lackluster lineup should fall flat.

Matt Strahm (L), 19.4 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Though they're solid versus lefties, the Brewers, for all their punch, are a more middling offense away from Miller Park. Strahm has a 5.60 ERA at home that hides a solid 21:4 K:BB. I expect that ERA to dip eventually, especially as he regains form after a recent injured list stint. Pick him up for the long term -- and if you're chasing stats in your head-to-head league, roll with him here.

Tyler Mahle (R), 6.4 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. Houston Astros: Want even more risk-reward? If Jose Altuve (hamstring) returns, bump him off the list. If Altuve is still sitting, throw Mahle into your lineup. He's been a sneaky stream for Great American Ball Park outings with his 3.10 home ERA, and the Astros lose the DH in the NL road trip.


The Blue Jays expect Ken Giles (elbow inflammation) to return this weekend, so the dance of acquiring Daniel Hudson or Joe Biagini could end soon.

Also, the Reds brought in Michael Lorenzen to complete a save against the Astros on Monday, picking up the slack of Raisel Iglesias -- well, moderate slack; he had walked the leadoff batter but retired Alex Bregman. It's evidence that manager David Bell still isn't locked into Raisel Iglesias for every save opportunity. If the Reds slip out of their currently distant contention for a wild-card spot, Iglesias could be gone, but we may have to deal with a Cincinnati committee anyway.

Projected game scores


Catcher -- Mitch Garver (R), 46 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Eduardo Rodriguez): Again, keep an eye on who's actually behind the plate for Kyle Gibson as Garver caught all 16 innings of last night's marathon, but Garver belongs in any fantasy lineup when he stares down a lefty. He's blistered them to the tune of a ridiculous .494 wOBA.

First Base -- Ronald Guzman (L), 1.2 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Adam Plutko): Plutko has allowed 3.09 HR/9 in his four starts. Guzman typically favors righty pitchers (.340 wOBA, .810 OPS), and Rangers home games in Arlington should increase optimism for offense.

Second Base -- Kolten Wong (L), 38.1 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at/vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Trevor Richards): Hidden beneath another less than helpful clip (.242), Wong has ticked his walk rate up more than 2 percent from last year to 9.8. Richards owns just a 1.86 K/BB to lefty bats, compared to 2.94 for righties, so Wong may successfully work his way on base more than once.

Third Base -- Yandy Diaz (R), 42.7 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (LHP CC Sabathia): Auto-start Diaz against a southpaw (.453 wOBA in that split, compared to a still solid .341 versus righties). Sabathia's farewell tour has doled out gifts to righty batters (.384 wOBA, .571 slugging percentage).

Shortstop -- Enrique Hernandez (R), 32.2 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Drew Pomeranz): Hernandez has eroded since a hot start to the season, and he's slept his way through June (.160/.173/.240 in 52 May plate appearances), but the Dodgers should continue trotting him out most of the time. And he's stayed true to form in performing better versus southpaws (.258/.343/.449 in 102 plate appearances). Pomeranz has yielded an absurd .395 wOBA with a .305/.392/.545 line to righty sticks.

Corner Infield -- Garrett Cooper (R), 14.6 percent, Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon): Cooper is all but locked in as a starter in some form for a Marlins Quad-A club that's going through several injuries, and he's made gains against righties (.341/.433/.500, with a 12.4 percent walk rate in 97 plate appearances). Ponce de Leon spun two solid outings (2.00 ERA in nine innings), but I'm going to fade his chances to continue that, considering he had seven walks compared to 10 strikeouts.

Middle Infield -- Brock Holt (L), 1.2 percent, Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kyle Gibson): Gibson typically runs through opponents at home (2.45 ERA), but lefties are slugging a decent .450 against him, and though he doesn't boast much power, Holt is slashing .371/.450/.543 in the past 15 days and boasts a .778 OPS against righties.

Outfield -- Kole Calhoun (L), 34.7 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Aaron Sanchez): Calhoun has an .881 OPS on the road versus righties, and Sanchez's 3.86 home ERA isn't enough to draw me away from Halos bats at this point. They're starting to sizzle, especially with Justin Upton back from the injured list.

Outfield -- Josh Reddick (L), 28.1 percent, Houston Astros at Cincinnati Reds (RHP Tyler Mahle): Reddick's power potential hasn't been a true fantasy asset, but he's contributing with a .300 batting average and a solid .341 OBP. Mahle has again had trouble quieting lefties (.366 wOBA this year).

Outfield -- Oscar Mercado (R), 11.3 percent, Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers (LHP Joe Palumbo): Mercado has proven to be one of the more unheralded successes of the recent "FAAB-apalooza," rattling off a .304/.355/.480 line with four homers and four steals -- the final stat being a reason the speedster could make ample noise in the second half with an undisputed starting job.