Fantasy baseball daily notes -- Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Saturday's streaming options may seem sparse, but a closer look at Jordan Lyles' recent performances inspires the confidence to start him against the Cardinals. Mark Brown/Getty Images

Saturday features plenty of high-end arms. While the slate is headlined by a matchup between Jacob deGrom and Hyun-Jin Ryu, it also features Zack Greinke, Mike Clevinger, Aaron Nola, Madison Bumgarner, James Paxton, and Jack Flaherty, who has pitched shutout baseball in seven of his last 10 starts. Unfortunately, so many big names leave us without many quality streaming options. As always, though, we'll make the best of it.

Here's a look at Saturday's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues.


Jordan Lyles (R), rostered in 30% of ESPN leagues, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals may be sitting atop the NL Central, but their offense hasn't been doing them any favors of late. Since September 1, the Cards have put up an ugly .297 wOBA and 83 wRC+. This creates an enticing spot for Lyles, who's pitching his best ball of the season. The right-hander has delivered a 2.51 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over his last eight starts, including four straight outings with two earned runs allowed or fewer. The fact that Lyles sports a career-best 9.1 K/9 rate is icing on the cake. On a day where quality streaming starters are hard to come by, Lyles is one of Saturday's best bets.

Anthony DeSclafani (R), 24%, Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks: DeSclafani has been one of the second half's under-the-radar contributors. The righty holds a 3.77 ERA since the All-Star break and is fanning more than a batter per inning. He's also held his opponents to two or fewer earned runs in four of his last five outings. DeSclafani will look to make it five out of six on Saturday. There's little reason to fear a Diamondbacks club that's been below average offensively since the break (96 wRC+) and rather non-threatening against right-handed pitching all season (89 wRC+).

Merrill Kelly (R), 15%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds: There's no getting around it: Kelly is hard to trust. His up-and-down production this season has created headaches for fantasy managers. His monthly ERAs tell the story: April: 3.94; May: 5.70; June: 2.75; July: 6.49; August: 6.84; September: 2.08. Fortunately, as that September ERA suggests, Kelly has been fairly sharp lately, registering a pair of quality starts with a dominant effort against the Padres (81 Game Score) earlier this month. There's still some blow-up potential here, but Saturday's matchup is a good one. The Reds have been league average offensively since the break and have been particularly bad against right-handed pitching (88 wRC+, 24% K rate) in 2019.

Bullpen: Make sure you have a spare pen if you plan on scoring the Indians-Twins doubleheader today as both squads will no doubt empty their benches as well as their bullpen. Minnesota plans on deploying the opener strategy in both contests with Randy Dobnak, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Devin Smeltzer most likely to see work in some capacity. The Indians have Mike Clevinger lined up on his regular day then will counter the Twins bullpen with one of their own, featuring Carlos Carrasco and Hunter Wood. With so much uncertainty all around, no one is especially enticing for fantasy purposes.


Catcher -- Sean Murphy (R), 3%, Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers (LHP Mike Minor): Murphy has been making quick work of big-league pitching since his promotion, batting .333 with four homers in his first 19 plate appearances. He can't keep this up, but he makes for a strong play on Saturday with the platoon advantage and a move to the hitter-friendly Globe Life Park.

First Base -- Daniel Vogelbach (L), 45%, Seattle Mariners vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Cease): Vogalbach is a boom-or-bust slugger, but he finds himself in a "boom" spot on Saturday. Cease owns a 6.53 ERA across 12 starts this season and has had big-time trouble keeping the ball in the park, demonstrated by his 2.0 HR/9 rate.

Second Base -- Kolten Wong (L), 41%, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Jordan Lyles): Wong has led the charge for the Cardinals in the second half, batting .343/.417/.491 over 51 games. He matches up well with Lyles, who has been hammered by lefties this season, surrendering a .370 wOBA.

Third Base -- Renato Nunez (R), 30%, Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers (LHP Daniel Norris): If you're looking for power, this is a good place to get it. Nunez owns a 118 wRC+ and .253 ISO against left-handed pitching, and Norris doesn't do a good job keeping the ball in the park. The Orioles slugger is stuck on 29 homers, and this is a prime spot for No. 30.

Shortstop -- Scott Kingery (R), 36%, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Eduardo Rodriguez): Kingery provides fantasy value with both his bat and legs, and he's showing off his power/speed combo with four bombs and a pair of swipes so far in September. Rodriguez has been on his game of late, but Kingery does most of his damage against lefties, putting up a .301/.322/.584 slash line against them.

Corner Infield -- Nate Lowe (L), 2%, Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels (RHP Jaime Barria): Lowe is barely rostered in ESPN leagues, but he continues to make noise when he's in the lineup, slashing .310/.367/.549 over his last 22 games. The young slugger carries nice upside against Barria, who has been slammed for a 6.80 ERA over his last nine appearances.

Middle Infield -- Wilmer Flores (R), 10%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Anthony DeSclafani): There's a good chance you don't realize just how good Flores has been lately. Over his last 18 games, he's batting .417/.453/.783 with six homers and 14 RBI. He's been in the lineup more often than not lately, so fire him up assuming he gets the nod on Saturday.

Outfield -- Manuel Margot (R), 6%, San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies (RHP Peter Lambert): Margot provides basically free Coors Field exposure on Saturday, as the speedy outfielder features double-digit homer power with 20-plus steal speed, and his matchup against Lambert, who owns a 7.00 ERA at Coors, is too good to pass up.

Outfield -- Mike Yastrzemski (L), 19%, San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Robert Dugger): Dugger is a hurler we want to attack on Saturday. After posting a 7.59 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A, he's unsurprisingly done little to impress in his four big-league starts. He's not missing bats (6.4 K/9), he's allowing too many free passes (4.7 BB/9), and he's giving up loads of hard contact (47%). Needless to say, this is a terrific spot for Yastrzemski, who has a .981 OPS over his last 29 games.

Outfield -- Kole Calhoun (L), 43%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Tampa Bay Rays (RHP Tyler Glasnow): Glasnow is back off the IL, but his first (abbreviated) start back showed that he's still shaking off the rust. Calhoun has big power against right-handed pitching and should take advantage of having the platoon edge in this spot.