Wednesday offers a standard full slate, beginning with a 4:10 PM ET afternoon affair as the playoff-bound San Diego Padres entertain the Los Angeles Angels. The marquee pitching matchup features a pair of AL Central aces likely to see a lot of each other the next few season with Lucas Giolito leading the Chicago White Sox into Progressive Field to take on Shane Bieber and the Cleveland Indians.
There's bad news for those aiming to make up pitching points with limited streaming options. Even the batters are tenuous with so many quality arms on the hill. However, that won't stop us from presenting the usual array of players in favorable spots, all available in over half of ESPN leagues.
Nathan Eovaldi (R), rostered in 35% of ESPN leagues, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles: Eovaldi is finishing the season strong, allowing just three earned runs over his last 17 innings, fanning 17 with just one walk in that span. After hanging in early, the Orioles have been reeling lately, including sporting a generous 25% strikeout rate facing righties in September.
Zach Eflin (R), 21%, Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals: Through his first eight starts, Eflin pitched into some bad luck, posting much better peripherals than suggested by his ERA and WHIP. Last time out, the correction began with seven shutout innings in Buffalo against a strong Blue Jays lineup battling for a playoff berth. Eflin has a chance to close the season on an up note, facing a Nationals club using the last week to audition some youngsters for a 2021 roster spot.
Jamie Barria (R), 5%, Los Angeles Angels at San Diego Padres: The Padres are one of the best teams with a righty on the hill, but this is the time to take chances. Barria is risky, but a 3.26 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 27 punch outs in 30 1/3 innings exemplifies reward as well.
Wes Benjamin (L), fewer than 1%, Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks: Eovaldi and Eflin are both solid streaming candidates. Benjamin is for those desperate for a win. The 27-year old lefty has serves as the bulk reliever lately but should be able to last the five frames required for a victory. For the season, the Diamondbacks are the second worst offense facing southpaws and will counter Benjamin with Alex Young and his 5.44 ERA.
Bullpen: Matt Barnes failed to convert his last save opportunity against the Yankees but before that he secured four straight. The Red Sox closer is available in 73% of ESPN leagues and could pick up a couple more saves down the stretch.
For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.
Catcher -- Martin Maldonado (R), 24%, Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (LHP Nick Margevicius): Maldonado has excelled with the platoon advantage, slashing .316/.435/.526 against southpaw pitching. Meanwhile, Margevicius has allowed six homers in 35 1/3 innings, four to righty swingers.
First Base -- Mitch Moreland (L), 26%, San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Jaime Barria): When in doubt, check to see if Moreland is facing a righthander. Barria has quietly pitched well but Moreland's track record against lefthanders speaks for itself.
Second Base -- Luis Garcia (L), 6%, Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Zach Eflin): The 20-year old infielder is demonstrating he's not overmatched, enjoying a robust .350/.361/.467. As the slash line indicates, plate patience needs work, but the rookie is making frequent contact and hitting the ball hard.
Third Base -- Willi Castro (S), 8%, Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins (RHP Kenta Maeda): Castro is another young infielder looking to make a strong impression heading into next season. After starting out slow when called up in early August, Castro has slashed .357/.396/.536 playing mostly shortstop with a little time at the hot corner.
Corner Infield -- Brandon Belt (L), 24%, San Francisco Giants vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Ryan Castellani): It would have been fun to see if Belt could maintain his production for a full 162-game campaign as he's pacing for a career year with a .975 OPS, more than 100 points higher than his next best mark.
Middle Infield -- Nick Ahmed (R), 14%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Wes Benjamin): Ahmed has been on a tear, hitting safely in nine of 10 games heading into Tuesday's slate. During that stretch, he's posted a robust .368/.385/.500 line.
Outfield -- Kevin Pillar (R), 31%, Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants (RHP Logan Webb): Pillar is also closing out 2020 on a heater, with hits in eight straight and ten of 11 through Monday's action. His decimals are a glorious .375/.390/.500 in the previous 11 games.
Outfield -- Jackie Bradley Jr. (L), 15%, Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP Dean Kremer): Since batting for a season low .211 in early August, Bradley Jr. has turned it on stroking .306/.381/.514 with four steals over the past 31 games.
Outfield -- Manuel Margot (R), 13%, Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets (RHP Michael Wacha): The platoon-heavy Rays have been playing Margot virtually everyday as they're impressed with his improved defense. He's been contributing offensively with 12 steals in 15 attempts, always pertinent when facing the Mets.