Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Jose Suarez has brought some steady innings to the Los Angeles Angels' rotation lately. Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a full 15-game slate, with the schedule roughly split down the middle in terms of day and night affairs. Two of the National League's Cy Young favorites - Max Scherzer and Corbin Burnes - are both taking the hill on Saturday. We'll also be treated to an intriguing matchup between San Diego's Yu Darvish and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright, as the two clubs battle it out for the NL's second Wild Card spot.

With all 30 teams suiting up, there's no shortage of streaming options, both on the hitting and pitching sides. If you're still alive in the playoffs, you know that every decision you make this week matters, so let's finish strong.

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


Luis Gil (R), rostered in 20% of ESPN leagues, New York Yankees vs. Cleveland: Gil is coming off a rough start against Minnesota (5 ER in 6 IP) and his 5.4 BB/9 is troubling, but there's still plenty to like about the 23-year-old. For one, he boasts elite strikeout potential. After consistently racking up Ks in the minors and posting an 11.7 K/9 in Triple-A, Gil has an 11.5 K/9 through five big-league starts, thanks to a heater he pumps in at 96 mph and a devasting slider. All told, he owns a 2.88 ERA over those five starts, which includes tough matchups against the Red Sox and Blue Jays. On Saturday, Gil gets a favorable setup against a Cleveland offense that's fanning at a 24% clip versus righties.

Nick Pivetta (R), 47%, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles: Pivetta also finds himself in a favorable spot, squaring off against an Orioles team that ranks 23rd in baseball with an 88 wRC+ against righties and a 24.6% K rate. With a 10.0 K/9 this season, the right-hander should be able to take advantage of Baltimore's free-swinging tendencies. After a trio of rough outings in August, Pivetta bounced back with 5 1/3 scoreless frames against a tough White Sox lineup his last time out, and the Orioles will be a much easier assignment for the 28-year-old on Saturday.

Tarik Skubal (L), 29%, Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays: With the first-place Rays on tap, Skubal finds himself with a much more difficult proposition on Saturday. Difficult matchup or not, he belongs on the streaming radar. Dating back to August 1, Skubal has delivered a 3.21 ERA over seven starts with 43 Ks in just 33 2/3 innings. Only once in that seven-start stretch did he allow more than two earned runs. The caveat, however, is that the Tigers have held Skubal to just three frames in each of his last two outings, which obviously limits his appeal. If you're desperate for a win, you're better off streaming elsewhere. Then again, there's nice upside here if Skubal is allowed to go five or more frames.

Jose Suarez (L), 8%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics: Suarez has gotten himself into a nice rhythm, posting a 2.96 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over his last five starts. The 23-year-old doesn't have overpowering stuff, averaging just 92.7 mph on his fastball, but he's still striking out nearly a batter per inning because of his strong secondary offerings. The A's have been above average against lefties this season, so this isn't the easiest of matchups, but the pitcher-friendly confines of Angels Stadium should help Suarez stay out of too much trouble on Saturday.


Dylan Floro is the latest closer who has flown under the fantasy radar for way too long. Over the last month, the Marlins righty has seven saves, which is tied for third most in baseball, along with a 1.93 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. That's enough to make him a top-10 fantasy closer during that stretch. Against the last-place Pirates, Floro, who is available in 83% of ESPN leagues, could get multiple save chances this weekend.

Spencer Howard is slated to start for the Rangers on Saturday against the White Sox, with A.J. Alexy expected to piggy-back as a bulk reliever. Picking up a W will be tough with Lance Lynn taking the hill for the Pale Hose, but Alexy is the better bet if you're trying to steal an extra win.

For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.


Catcher -- Alejandro Kirk (R), 12%, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Bailey Ober): It's hard to get exposure to the Blue Jays' stacked lineup, but Kirk is an easy way to do it. The 22-year-old has put up an .898 OPS with five bombs over his last 17 games, and he'll get to square off against Ober, who has had trouble keeping the ball in the yard. The Jays use a rotation behind the plate, but Kirk is definitely worth scooping up if he gets the nod on Saturday.

First Base -- Bobby Dalbec (R), 28%, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles (LHP Zac Lowther): Dalbec has received a lot of attention in this space lately, but frankly, he's hard to ignore. The young slugger has blasted 12 homers in 46 second-half games, and he's a good bet to bring some more fireworks against Lowther on Saturday. The 25-year-old lefty has been hammered for five homers and 18 runs in just 16 1/3 big-league innings this season.

Second Base -- Garrett Hampson (R), 34%, Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals (LHP Patrick Corbin): Although Hampson isn't getting everyday playing time, he's still drawing semi-regular at-bats, and he's making the most of them. He's hitting .304/.360/.565 over his last 24 games with a nice blend of power (five homers) and speed (three steals). Meanwhile, Corbin has been a pinata for most of 2021, surrendering a .384 wOBA to right-handed swingers.

Third Base -- Yoshi Tsutsugo (R), 7%, Pittsburgh Pirates at Miami Marlins (RHP Edward Cabrera): While rookie Edward Cabrera has a bright future ahead, the early returns haven't been there. Through four big-league starts, he sports a 6.61 ERA with more walks than strikeouts. Needless to say, this is a prime time to fire up Tsutsugo. He's batting .309/.400/.711 with nine dingers and 19 RBI in 26 games since joining the Pirates, and his triple-position eligibility doesn't hurt, either.

Shortstop -- Luis Urias (R), 47%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Justin Steele): Like Tsutsugo, Urias also features eligibility at three different positions, making him that much easier to slide into your lineup and replace an underperforming bat. Urias sports a .373 wOBA so far in August, and he'll get to enjoy the platoon advantage against Justin Steele in American Family Field, a park that's favorable for power.

Middle Infield -- Edmundo Sosa (R), 4%, St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Yu Darvish): Sosa continues to reward the Cardinals for the uptick in playing time, batting .355/.427/.533 over his last 26 games. He won't have the platoon edge in Saturday's matchup versus Darvish, but the 25-year-old has actually been better against right-handers this year. Darvish, meanwhile, has been drilled for a 7.67 ERA over his last 11 starts.

Corner Infield -- Miguel Cabrera (R), 8%, Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays (LHP Ryan Yarbrough): Even at 38 years old, Miggy refuses to fade away. He just keeps on hitting. The future Hall of Famer is batting .290/.360/.479 since the All-Star break, including hitting a blistering .395 so far in September. Based on his 50.9% hard-hit rate, there's no reason to expect him to stop hitting over the season's final weeks.

Outfield -- Brett Gardner (L), 3%, New York Yankees vs. Cleveland (RHP Aaron Civale): Like Miguel Cabrera, Gardner has found a way to eke out some fantasy relevance, even as he approaches 40. Gardner is hitting .292/.356/.492 over his last 23 games, chipping in three homers and a pair of bags. Assuming he draws the start on Saturday, the veteran will have the platoon advantage against Civale, who was tattooed for seven runs in his last start.

Outfield -- Lane Thomas (R), 19%, Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): Is Thomas the latest Cardinals castoff to become relevant in his new digs? Since joining the Nationals, Thomas is batting .306/.397/.528 with four homers and 19 RBI in 29 games while also cementing himself as the club's leadoff man. He should stay on a roll against Freeland on Saturday. Not only has Freeland been vulnerable against right-handed hitters this season, but he's been hammered for 11 runs in his last two turns.

Outfield -- Jesus Sanchez (L), 8%, Miami Marlins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Bryse Wilson): Sanchez's recent power outburst has likely gone unnoticed in many circles, so we'll give him some recognition here. Over his last six games, the 23-year-old has smashed five homers and driven in 10 runs. Sanchez doesn't figure to be slowed down by Wilson on Saturday. Lefty batters have tagged him for a .361 wOBA this season, and he's been slammed for five homers in his last three outings.