Saturday's slate is an interesting one. Jacob deGrom is the only hurler who registers a projected game score north of 60, which is the designation for an "elite" start. No other pitcher has higher than a 57. From a streaming standpoint, this can be a good thing. Not only does it provide us with lots of hitters in favorable matchups, but it leaves us with plenty of mid-tier starters who can be part of the streaming discussion.
Here's a look at Saturday's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Ryan Yarbrough (L), rostered in 44% of ESPN leagues, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers: Yarbrough has spent this season going back and forth between being a starter and a bulk reliever, putting up some impressive numbers in the process. He sports a 3.56 ERA and miniscule 0.90 WHIP over 98 2/3 innings. While the southpaw doesn't have overpowering stuff, he thrives with pinpoint control (1.2 BB/9) and an ability to limit hard contact (29%). In just his second start since mid-July, Yarbrough spun 8 2/3 scoreless frames against Seattle on Sunday. He'll take the ball again on Saturday in a prime matchup against Detroit, who sports a pitiful .299 wOBA and 25.5% strikeout rate since the All-Star break.
Anibal Sanchez (R), 22%, Washington Nationals vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Sanchez continues to fly under the radar despite an extremely long stretch of quality work. Dating back to the May 1, the right-hander sports a 2.94 ERA across 16 starts. Only twice during this stretch has he allowed more than three runs in an outing. The Brewers can be pretty dangerous at the hitter-friendly Miller Park, but they're much more vulnerable on the road (.311 wOBA, 90 wRC+), which sets things up nicely for Sanchez on Saturday.
Dinelson Lamet (R), 12%, San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies: This is your upside play for the day. Lamet averages nearly 96 mph on his fastball, possesses a nasty slider, and sports a 12.6 K/9 over seven starts this season. The right-hander is rarely pitching deep into games, but he's allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his past five starts, resulting in a 2.88 ERA during that stretch. While the walks (4.1 BB/9) are a bit of a problem, Lamet can get by because he misses so many bats. Saturday's matchup against Philadelphia may look intimidating on paper, but the Phillies' offense has been highly vulnerable (87 wRC+) in the second half.
Jakob Junis (R), 18%, Kansas City Royals vs. New York Mets: Junis was completely off the fantasy radar after posting a 5.33 ERA in the first half. He's righted the ship since the All-Star break, however. His past seven starts have seen Junis put up a 3.20 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. It's worth noting that he's been relying more on his fastball of late, as he threw it more than 60% of the time in each of his past two outings -- the only times he's topped 60% all season. Junis will look to continue his success against a Mets team that's middle-of-the-road against right-handed pitching.
Anthony DeSclafani (R), 14%, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals: DeSclafani has been stuck in a rough patch, putting up a 5.23 ERA in six starts since the break. However, the Cardinals are a team we want to attack right now. Over the past month, the Cards' offense has been the second worst in the National League behind the Marlins, thanks to a .305 wOBA and 87 wRC+. DeSclafani carries some risk due to his recent struggles, but the prime matchup puts him in the streaming conversation.
Projected game scores
Catcher -- Francisco Mejia (S), 8%, San Diego Padres at Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin): Since the All-Star break, Mejia has finally started tapping into some of his offensive upside, batting a robust .364/.402/.558. The San Diego backstop gets a nice park bump heading to Citizens Bank Park, and the matchup against Eflin, who owns an 8.35 second-half ERA, is highly appealing.
First Base -- Justin Smoak (S), 43%, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Seattle Mariners (Bullpen game): Smoak may be a liability in batting average leagues, but he's an asset in OBP formats. His career-best 16.6 percent walk rate is elite, and with 19 dingers in 98 games, he's still providing power. The Mariners are deploying a bullpen game, but so switch-hitting Smoak will have the platoon edge regardless who's on the mound. Righty Reggie McClain will start with fellow righty Eric Swanson expected to throw bulk innings. Note, the Blue Jays have stated Rowdy Tellez will play frequently down the stretch, often in lieu of Smoak. If he's active, Tellez is also in play, enjoying the platoon edge on McClain and Swanson.
Second Base -- Ryan McMahon (L), 15%, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Hector Noesi): McMahon is one of the easier plug-and-plays of the day. Not only does McMahon have a .385 wOBA in the second half, but he also gets a Coors Field matchup against Noesi, who has allowed 10 runs in 11 big-league innings this season.
Third Base -- Ian Happ (S), 13%, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates (LHP Steven Brault): Happ is never going to provide much in the batting average department, but he hits for power and knows how to get on base, which is still a valuable skill set. Meanwhile, Brault is surrendering a .354 wOBA to right-handed swingers.
Shortstop -- Willy Adames (R), 10%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers (RHP Jordan Zimmermann): Zimmermann is slated to come off the IL and reenter the Tigers rotation despite a 7.13 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 72 innings. This is an arm you want to attack on Saturday, and Adames is a good way to do it. After a disappointing first half, the 23-year-old owns a .350/.435/.550 triple slash line in August.
Corner Infield -- Kyle Seager (L), 23%, Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Trent Thornton): Seager took a while to get going, but he's firing on all cylinders now. He's riding a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .364/.462/.848 in August with five home runs. Fire up him against Thornton, the owner of a 7.65 ERA since the break.
Middle Infield -- Luis Arraez (L), 8%, Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers (RHP Ariel Jurado): Jurado is the lowest-ranked starter of the day, and his pitch-to-contact approach won't do him any favors against Arraez, an elite contact hitter. The 22-year-old is batting .348 this season with a .420 OBP, and he's doing most of his damage against righty pitching (.385 wOBA).
Outfield -- Mike Yastrzemski (L), 11%, San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Taylor Clarke): Fresh off a three-homer night, giving him 16 in only 70 games, Yastrzemski will look for more against Clarke. Considering Clarke has surrendered 15 home runs in just 60 frames, Yastrzemski just may add onto his total.
Outfield -- Jesse Winker (L), 34%, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Miles Mikolas): While Aristides Aquino is getting all the pub in Cincinnati right now, Winker deserves some attention, too. Since the break, he's batting .326/.431/.512 with nearly as many walks (12) as strikeouts (13). Winker does all of his damage against right-handed pitching, and Mikolas has had trouble against lefties this season (.363 wOBA allowed).
Outfield -- J.D. Davis (R), 28%, New York Mets at Kansas City Royals (RHP Jakob Junis): Over the past 30 days, Davis has been a top-15 fantasy outfielder. During that stretch, he's batting .384/.450/.640 with five dingers. Davis won't have the platoon advantage against Junis on Saturday, but it doesn't matter, because he's hammering both righties (.373 wOBA) and lefties (.376 wOBA) equally this season.
Hitter matchup ratings
Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth) as well as 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. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible).