<
>

Daily fantasy notes: Pitcher projections and hitter ratings for Sunday

Wade Miley could be an excellent investment for a start on Sunday. Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe we're already just one month away from the All-Star break? Granted, it's a little early this year, but still. Also, keep in mind MLB eliminated the waiver trades after July 31, so now that the draft is in the rearview mirror along with Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel signing, trade talks will likely pick up, resulting in more deals in advance of the deadline.

As for Sunday, hopefully you don't need to make up ground in pitching, as the streaming pickings are slim. As usual, bats are bountiful, though coming with the standard Sunday warning -- make sure they're in the lineup.

Good luck capturing a victory in head-to-head leagues, as well as those aiming to pad stats in category scoring. Here are some suggestions, all available in at least half on ESPN leagues.

Pitching

Wade Miley (L), rostered in 38 percent of ESPN leagues, Houston Astros vs. Baltimore Orioles: A low strikeout rate with a penchant for allowing homers explains why a pitcher sporting a 3.39 ERA and 1.14 WHIP is so widely available. Even with Houston missing several top sticks in its lineup, Miley will be a strong favorite to notch his sixth win, facing a middling Orioles' offense in run-suppressing Minute Maid Park.

Reynaldo Lopez (R), 12 percent, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals: After a promising start to the 2019 campaign, Lopez has hit the skids, posting an unsightly 9.10 ERA and 1.81 WHIP over his previous eight outings. Lopez is in a decent spot to get back on track, drawing a matchup against a Royals offense averaging the fewest runs per game in the league the past month.

Chase Anderson (R), 9 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates: After allowing just four homers in 32 ⅓ innings this season, the Marlins put three Anderson offerings over the fence last time out. Look for Anderson to rebound, as he has fanned 15 with just one free pass over his past 13 frames.

Pablo Lopez (R), 5 percent, Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves: Since the Mets exploded for 10 runs in three innings against Lopez on May 10, the 23-year-old right-hander has rebounded with a 1.99 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, with 20 punchouts and just five walks in those 22 ⅔ innings. The Braves are tough, but Lopez is in a groove and aided by pitcher-friendly Marlins Park.

Bullpen: With Masahiro Tanaka on paternity leave, the Yankees are deploying the old-fashioned parade of relievers with Chad Green the first to get the ball. Green's .421 BABIP and 24 percent home run per fly ball mark are a combo of early bad pitching and bad luck. However, since May 22, Green has posted a 2.45 ERA with 10 strikeouts in and no walks in 7 ⅓ innings, but it's going to take a long time to bring his overall ERA to a respectable level since it was at 13.50 previous to that point. ... As alluded to in the opening, teams looking for back-end bullpen help now need to turn to trades with Kimbrel hooking on with the Cubs. It's simply speculation, but those with Will Smith, Felipe Vazquez, Raisel Iglesias, Brad Hand, Alex Colome, Shane Greene, Ken Giles and Sergio Romo might want to make contingency plans.

Hitting

Catcher -- Mitch Garver (R), 34 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Ryan Carpenter): Since coming off the IL, Garver has fanned an uncharacteristic nine times in 20 plate appearances, though he homered Friday night. Garver sat Saturday, assuring he'll be back in the lineup Sunday, enjoying the platoon edge on Carpenter. While Garver has crushed all pitching, he has been particularly productive against southpaws, recording a 1.200 OPS in that scenario.

First Base -- Yandy Diaz (R), 33 percent, Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox (LHP Eduardo Rodriguez): Diaz is slugging .604 versus lefty pitching, including swatting four homers in just 61 plate appearances against southpaws through Friday's action.

Second Base -- Kolten Wong (L), 40 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Steals continue to be a dwindling commodity in today's fantasy game. Wong didn't get the memo, as he has swiped three bases the past week.

Third Base -- Brian Anderson (R), 23 percent, Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (LHP Max Fried): Fried is in a rut, allowing 18 hits and nine runs over his past two outings, spanning just 9 ⅔ innings. Anderson has led a suddenly productive Marlins offense, slashing .360/.448/.720 the last week, including a pair of homers.

Shortstop -- Didi Gregorius (L), 33 percent, New York Yankees at Cleveland Indians (RHP Shane Bieber): The matchup isn't ideal, but the important thing is Gregorius is back, just in time to fortify a depleted shortstop position, not to mention the Yankees' middle infield. Once he has fully shaken the rust off after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Gregorius stands to benefit from the juiced ball, especially in Yankee Stadium.

Corner Infield -- Colin Moran (L), 2 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Chase Anderson): Moran has been quietly crushing it for the past several weeks, slugging five homers since May 19, driving in 16 runs. All eight of his homers this season have come with a righty on the hill.

Middle Infield -- Brandon Drury (R), 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): Drury has settled into a platoon role, in the lineup against most left-handers. He's taking advantage, hitting safely in six of his past seven games (8-for-24, .333) with one long ball.

Outfield -- Leury Garcia (S), 8 percent, Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals (RHP Glenn Sparkman): Sparkman's surface stats (3.77 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) aren't as encouraging as they might appear, as evidenced by a 5.09 xFIP and 4.98 SIERA. Further, he has fanned just 19 in 30 IP. Garcia continues to lead off for a White Sox lineup averaging the second-fewest runs for the past month. Still, Garcia is in a good spot as a switch hitter in a game likely to involve a weak Royals bullpen.

Outfield -- Cesar Puello (R), 3 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc): After registering a .941 OPS for Triple-A Salt Lake, Puello was called up at the end of May and responded, hitting lefties and righties with equal potency. However, he has fallen into a platoon role, in the lineup against lefties.

Outfield -- Mac Williamson (R), under 1 percent, Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels (LHP Jose Suarez): Simply a speculative play for deeper formats, Williamson was recently acquired by the Mariners after the Giants finally decided to cut bait with a promising but injury-prone outfielder. Williamson is one of the adoptees of the launch-angle approach, though it has failed to manifest at the major league level, with contact the main roadblock. With Mitch Haniger on the shelf, Williamson is in line for another look; perhaps a change of scenery will help. On Sunday, he'll benefit from the platoon edge on a 21-year old southpaw called up with Trevor Cahill placed on the IL with elbow soreness.