Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Saturday

Casey Mize is trending in the right direction in his second MLB season. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Saturday's full slate offers multiple intriguing matchups. The headliner is Game 2 of the much-anticipated three-game bout between the Dodgers and Padres, with Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish ready to square off. We also get to witness Sonny Gray and Kwang-Hyun Kim making their season debuts after missing the first two weeks with injuries. With every team suiting up, there are plenty of streaming possibilities, so let's dive in.

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


Huascar Ynoa (R), rostered in 30% of ESPN leagues, Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs: Ynoa fired five scoreless frames against Washington in his first start of the season, and he followed that up with six innings of one-run ball with 10 Ks against the Marlins on Monday. In 12 total innings, the 22-year-old has racked up 15 strikeouts with just five hits and walks two allowed. Sure, it's a tiny sample, but those are numbers worth paying attention to. Ynoa is averaging 96.6 mph on his fastball, which is up two ticks from where he sat in 2020 (94.8 mph), and he maxed out at 100 mph on Monday, so he has the stuff to overpower hitters. He also features a wipeout slider that has a 43.9% whiff rate. Against a Cubs offense that's been the worst in baseball over the first two weeks (59 wRC+), Ynoa is a top-end streamer for Saturday's slate.

Casey Mize (R), 29%, Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics: As a former No. 1 overall pick, there's been plenty of excitement around Mize in his young career. Last season's 6.99 ERA over seven starts dampened some of the enthusiasm, but he's started 2021 off on the right foot. Mize has allowed just one run over his first two starts, which includes seven shutout innings against Houston his last time out. While he's not missing as many bats as we'd like (7.4 K/9), he's showing increased velocity this season, with his four-seamer averaging 95.3 mph (compared to 93.7 mph in 2020). There could still be some growing pains for the young righty, but he should be able to hold down an Oakland offense that's been virtually non-existent versus right-handed pitching so far this season (76 wRC+, 28.2 K%).

Aaron Sanchez (R), 3%, San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins: Sanchez has held his own in his first two starts, allowing just two earned runs over 10 frames. It'd be nice to see him recapture some of the velocity he's lost over the last couple of years, as he's currently sitting just 91 mph with his fastball, but he's finding a way to make it work. His control has been sharp (0.90 BB/9), and he's getting a ton of grounders (61.3%). On Saturday, Sanchez matches up well with a Marlins offense that's done very little damage against right-handed pitching (86 wRC+) over the first two weeks.

Dane Dunning (R), 18%, Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles: Dunning has made a strong first impression with the Rangers, surrendering just one run over his first two starts with an 11.0 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. He's not pitching deep into games, as the Rangers didn't let him go past 71 pitches in either start, but he should get a longer leash as the season progresses. Dunning doesn't necessarily carry a super high ceiling, but he does have some nice strikeout upside against the Orioles, who sport an MLB-worst 29.6% K rate.

Bullpen: It appears there's been a changing of the guard in Seattle's bullpen. In the first game of Thursday's double-header against Baltimore, Rafael Montero entered in the sixth inning, while Kendall Graveman got the nod in the seventh to nail down the save opportunity. Given Montero's recent struggles, Graveman should continue seeing save chances. Once a below-average starting pitcher, Graveman has been thriving in the bullpen, thanks in part to the three mph he's added to his fastball. He's a free agent in 96% of ESPN leagues.

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


Catcher -- Carson Kelly (R), 17%, Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals (RHP Erick Fedde): Fantasy managers have been slow to take advantage of hot-hitting backstops, and Kelly is a perfect example. He's batting .440/.531/.760 with two homers and the same number of walks (6) as strikeouts (6) through the first two weeks. Kelly should stay hot against Fedde, one of the worst hurlers on the slate.

First Base -- C.J. Cron (R), 55%, Colorado Rockies vs. New York Mets (LHP Joey Lucchesi): Cron's rostered percentage has been tanking because of his slow start, but this is a perfect opportunity for him to get on track. He gets the platoon advantage at Coors Field, where Lucchesi owns a career 5.56 ERA in five starts.

Second Base -- Josh Harrison (R), 3%, Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Luke Weaver): Harrison has been hitting everything in sight, putting up a .533 batting average (8-for-15) with a home run and five RBIs in his first five games while batting in the heart of Washington's order. Although Weaver was sharp his last time out, he's already having trouble keeping the ball in the park (2.1 HR/9), which his something he struggled with in his disastrous 2020 campaign.

Third Base -- Travis Shaw (L), 20%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Cahill): Surprisingly, Shaw has far and away been Milwaukee's best hitter this season, producing a .297/.366/.568 triple slash with three dingers and 12 RBI in 11 games. American Family Field caters to left-handed power, putting Shaw in a prime spot against Cahill, who has been tagged for eight runs in nine innings this season.

Shortstop - Luis Urias (R), 5%, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Trevor Cahill): Urias may be hitting just .129 this season, but he has an amazing 27.9% walk rate, which ranks best in baseball. With a blend of power and speed, Urias is a sneaky option in OBP leagues and leagues that award points for walks.

Corner Infield -- Renato Nunez (R), 3%, Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics (LHP Cole Irvin): With a 7.45 ERA in his first two starts, Irvin may not be long for Oakland's starting rotation, as Mike Fiers is due back soon. That makes this a prime opportunity to attack the 27-year-old lefty. Nunez possesses plenty of thump and is off to a hot start with two homers in five games.

Middle Infield -- Jazz Chisholm Jr. (L), 19%, Miami Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Aaron Sanchez): Chisholm is quickly establishing himself as one of baseball's most exciting young players. Not only is he flashing an intriguing mix of power and speed with two homers and three steals, but he's also walking at a 20% clip in the early going. The opportunity to invest will be closing soon.

Outfield -- Jesse Winker (L), 44%, Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Triston McKenzie): Winker feels like somewhat of an underrated asset. He bats leadoff against righties in a strong lineup, has tremendous on-base skills, and possesses plenty of pop. McKenzie's control has been non-existent in his first two appearances (7.0 BB/9), so Winker is a good bet to get on base multiple times on Saturday.

Outfield -- Hunter Renfroe (R), 8%, Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox (LHP Dallas Keuchel): There's no deep analysis needed here. Renfroe is a bopper who gets the platoon advantage on Saturday in a hitter-friendly park. So if you're primarily looking for home-run potential, this Red Sox slugger has it.

Outfield -- Austin Slater (R), 2%, San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins (RHP Sandy Alcantara): After primarily playing against lefties in 2020, Slater is getting more reps against right-handed pitching this season. While he's yet to really get going at the dish, his 61.1% hard-hit rate ranks in the 94th percentile, so he should start encountering some better fortune soon. Slater has both double-digit homer and steal potential, so he's a name to monitor if he starts heating up.