Fantasy daily notes for July 4
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NOTES | PITCHERS | HITTERS
Starting pitcher rankings for Jul 4
GSPitcherOPPERA /
WHIP
71M. Harvey,
RHP, NYM
@LAD3.08 /
1.02
70M. Bumgarner,
LHP, SF
@Wsh2.99 /
1.04
68F. Hernandez,
RHP, Sea
@Oak3.05 /
1.03
66D. Price,
LHP, Det
Tor2.62 /
1.12
66Z. Greinke,
RHP, LAD
NYM1.58 /
0.91
62C. Martinez,
RHP, StL
SD2.80 /
1.23
61S. Strasburg,
RHP, Wsh
SF5.49 /
1.53
60A. Wood,
LHP, Atl
Phi3.17 /
1.38
56M. Pineda,
RHP, NYY
TB4.08 /
1.24
55K. Graveman,
RHP, Oak
Sea3.47 /
1.39
55J. Samardzija,
RHP, CWS
Bal4.56 /
1.32
53C. Buchholz,
RHP, Bos
Hou3.48 /
1.24
52C. McHugh,
RHP, Hou
@Bos4.51 /
1.27
52H. Santiago,
LHP, LAA
@Tex2.58 /
1.13
52C. Anderson,
RHP, Cle
@Pit0.57 /
0.57
50J. Blanton,
RHP, KC
Min3.14 /
1.15
50N. Karns,
RHP, TB
@NYY3.26 /
1.26
49C. Tillman,
RHP, Bal
@CWS5.67 /
1.51
49R. Dickey,
RHP, Tor
@Det4.85 /
1.34
48J. Nelson,
RHP, Mil
@Cin4.48 /
1.30
48D. Hale,
RHP, Col
@Ari5.95 /
1.39
46J. Cosart,
RHP, Mia
@ChC4.12 /
1.26
45J. Locke,
LHP, Pit
Cle4.55 /
1.52
45O. Despaigne,
RHP, SD
@StL4.94 /
1.25
44M. Pelfrey,
RHP, Min
@KC3.81 /
1.44
44P. Corbin,
LHP, Ari
Col-- /
--
44W. Rodriguez,
LHP, Tex
LAA3.91 /
1.43
43D. Roach,
RHP, ChC
Mia10.80 /
2.70
41J. Smith,
RHP, Cin
Mil5.63 /
2.13
39S. O'Sullivan,
RHP, Phi
@Atl5.76 /
1.58
GS: The pitcher's projected "Game Score," from Bill James' original formula, which accounts for past history (three years' worth as well as past 21 days), opponent and ballpark. A Game Score of 50 typically is typically regarded a quality start; anything over 70 is exceptional, anything under 30 poor. An asterisk notes that the game score has been adjusted by the analyst. Opp: The pitcher's opponent for the day. ERA: Pitcher's earned run average. WHIP: Pitcher's average number of walks plus hits surrendered per inning.

Elite

Aces are wild on Saturday, with five hurlers garnering elite status. Tops on the board is Matt Harvey, who nets a Game Score of 71. That said, it's far from an ideal matchup, as the Dodgers are tops in baseball with a .341 wOBA versus right-handed pitching this season. Harvey, of course, is matchup-proof and could be exceptional at any time, but he hasn't whiffed more than six batters in a game since early June and has a tough opponent in Zack Greinke. It might be wise to fade Harvey on Saturday .

Madison Bumgarner's matchup against the Nationals isn't exactly favorable, either, but it's at least more favorable than Harvey's. The Nats rank top-five in the NL versus left-handed pitching (.316 wOBA), so they can certainly do some damage if Bumgarner is off his game. He's rarely off his game, though. In fact, he's averaging nearly 10 K's per start over his past five outings, and the Nationals whiff a decent amount (20.6 percent). If I'm paying for an ace on Saturday, Bumgarner may be my guy.

Calling Felix Hernandez inconsistent isn't something that happens very often, but it's certainly been the case over the past month. While he's surrendered one or zero runs in three of his past six outings, he's allowed a combined 19 runs over the other three games. All told, he posted an un-Kingly 5.52 ERA in June. I still have complete confidence in Felix in seasonal leagues, but he's not the surest DFS bet right now, and the A's, who whiff just 17.2 percent of the time, are not a high-upside matchup.

David Price is nothing but a contrarian play Saturday. Although he pitched his best baseball in June (2.02 ERA), it's difficult to recommend any left-handed pitcher against the Blue Jays right now. They have hammered southpaws to the tune of a .373 wOBA this year, which is 31 points higher than any other team in baseball. (The Tigers are second with a .343 mark.)

A matchup against Harvey means Greinke coming away with a win is far from guaranteed, but that's about the only negative for the Dodgers right-hander on Saturday. There's no way around it: The Mets have one of the worst offenses in baseball. They rank 29th in the game with a putrid .285 wOBA against righties, and they've scored two or fewer runs in nine of their past 10 games. Greinke has posted a sub-2.00 ERA in every month this season. While his 7.8 K/9 rate isn't quite ace-level, he should still rack up the points in this matchup.

Solid

There are a slew of arms who qualify here, including Carlos Martinez, Stephen Strasburg, Alex Wood, Michael Pineda, Jeff Samardzija and Collin McHugh. We'll highlight a few of the more interesting names below.

First up is Martinez, who continues to impress. He sported a 2.18 ERA with 36 whiffs in 33 innings in June, and he should have his way with a Padres lineup that is one of the worst in baseball against right-handed pitching (.291 wOBA). The Padres also strike out 22.5 percent of the time against righties, meaning there's plenty of upside here. Martinez deserves strong consideration in both cash games and GPPs on Saturday.

Wood has been getting better, with a 2.72 ERA and .295 wOBA against in June. While the Phillies do fare better against left-handed pitching, they also strike out more against lefties. Plus, they've scored the fewest runs in the National League this season, so this is an exploitable lineup any way you look at it.

Pineda hit a couple of rough patches in June, but it should be smooth sailing for the right-hander against the Rays on Saturday. The Rays sport a .294 wOBA versus righties this season (second-worst in the AL) and are striking out 21.5 percent of the time (fourth-most in AL). Pineda should provide plenty of bang for the buck.

Streamers

Hot spots

Kendall Graveman, available in 80 percent of ESPN.com leagues, has been on a roll lately. He's allowed two or fewer runs in five straight starts while pitching seven innings or more in each outing. All told, he owns a 2.01 ERA in eight starts since rejoining Oakland's rotation in late May. On Saturday, he faces a Mariners team that is worst in the AL versus right-handed pitching (.290 wOBA). And while Graveman isn't a strikeout pitcher, he could rack up six or seven here, as the M's whiff 22.6 percent of the time against righties.

Hector Santiago is still a free agent in nearly 40 percent of leagues despite holding a 2.58 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 16 games (15 starts) this season. That's good news if you're streaming starters, as the lefty is in a nice spot on Saturday, facing a Rangers team that struggles against left-handed pitching (.297 wOBA) and strikes out more than any other team in the AL (23.9 percent) versus lefties.

Facing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium is no picnic, so starting Nathan Karns on Saturday won't be for everybody. That said, the right-hander boasts a 1.91 road ERA this season and has allowed just four runs in his past four starts combined. He's available in 76 percent of ESPN.com leagues, so there's value if you don't mind a little risk.

Clay Buchholz, a free agent in 40 percent of leagues, is another name to consider. The Astros possess plenty of power and can do damage in a hurry, but Buchholz was lights-out in June (2.21 ERA) and has been no stranger to difficult matchups lately, as he tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre his last time out. With an 8.6 K/9 rate this season, he should also take advantage of the Astros' swing-and-miss tendencies (26 percent whiff rate vs. righties).

Cold streams

Jimmy Nelson has flashed at times this season. However, he's coming off his worst month (5.56 ERA), has struggled on the road this year (4.99 ERA) and is pitching in one of the game's most hitter-friendly environments in Great American Ball Park. The Reds' offense has looked good of late, too, ranking top-three in the NL in runs scored in June.

R.A. Dickey has some streaming appeal in the right matchups, but there's too much risk against a team like the Tigers that carries plenty of thump and hits right-handed pitching well.

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