Saturday brings us a super-sized 16-game slate, with the Mets and Nationals squaring off for a double-header. Knowing how to manage double-headers when streaming is important. Certainly, going with a player who starts both games is a great way to maximize production. However, under the current rules, a player who starts only one half of a double-header actually puts you at a disadvantage, because you're getting only seven innings' worth of at-bats instead of the typical nine. In other words, choose your double-header streamers carefully.
With that in mind, here's a look at Saturday's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in roughly 50% or fewer ESPN leagues.
Alek Manoah (R), rostered in 52% of ESPN leagues, Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles: Manoah's roster percentage is just barely above 50%, despite his having looked very impressive in his first four big-league starts. The 6-foot-6 righty has a 2.66 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and a 9.3 K/9 across his first four turns, which includes matchups against the Red Sox, Yankees, and White Sox -- so he's thriving even against stiff competition. Manoah's competition won't be quite as stiff on Saturday, when he faces off against an Orioles club that's been inept versus right-handed pitching, ranking last in the American League with an 82 wRC+ and a 24.9% strikeout rate. This could very well be one of the last opportunities pick up the former first-round pick.
Patrick Sandoval (L), 13%, Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers: If Sandoval's roster percentage is any indication, his recent stretch of success has gone largely unnoticed. The left-hander's last five starts have seen him post a 2.77 ERA (with back-to-back quality starts in the mix) and a 10-K performance against Seattle earlier this month. Saturday's tilt against Detroit is another high-upside matchup. Not only have the Tigers been the worst team in baseball against left-handed pitching (77 wRC+), but they're also fanning at a nearly 30% clip. If Sandoval is going to deliver another double-digit strikeout performance this season, this is the matchup most likely for it to happen.
Logan Gilbert (R), 29%, Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays: The excitement surrounding Gilbert slowly dissipated after he allowed a combined seven runs over his first two starts, spanning 6 2/3 innings, but the rookie is now starting to show why he was one of the game's most highly touted prospects. Over his last four starts, the 24-year-old has delivered a 2.49 ERA with 22 Ks in 21 2/3 frames. Armed with a 95-mph heater and a slider with a 38.1% whiff rate, Gilbert is quickly becoming fantasy relevant. The Rays will present him with a difficult test on Saturday, but if he gets through this one mostly unscathed, it will be all systems go for the young right-hander.
Josh Fleming (L), 12%, Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners: After spinning four hitless innings as an opener last Sunday against Baltimore, Fleming gets the starting nod this Saturday against Seattle. The southpaw doesn't have dominant stuff, but he's found success by controlling the strike zone and inducing a lot of weak ground balls. That success should continue against a Mariners lineup that has been exploited by left-handed pitchers all season.
Bullpen: The Tigers are going with a bullpen game on Saturday, with Wily Peralta serving as the opener. Even with a Mike Trout-less Angels lineup on tap, this is a situation to avoid for streaming purposes.
Oakland's bullpen has been a source of frustration this season, as manager Bob Melvin has "mixed and matched" in the ninth inning, giving both Lou Trivino and Jake Diekman consistent save opportunities. However, it appears as though Trivino has finally emerged as the top guy. The right-hander has secured each of Oakland's last five save opportunities, with Diekman working in a setup capacity. Trivino has also been unscored upon in each of his last 15 appearances, lowering his ERA to 2.18. Diekman might still see the occasional save opportunity, but Trivino (available in nearly 50% of leagues) looks to now be a much better fantasy asset than just a few weeks ago.
For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.
Catcher -- Sean Murphy (R), 35%, Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees (RHP Domingo German): Thanks to a spot in the heart of Oakland's batting order, Murphy's 35 RBI are second in baseball among catchers. He won't have a platoon edge against German, but he's actually fared much better against righties (.842 OPS) this season than when facing lefties (.586 OPS). The backstop also gets a nice park upgrade, trading in the Oakland Coliseum for Yankee Stadium.
First Base -- Bobby Bradley (L), 12%, Cleveland at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Wil Crowe): Bradley possesses big-time power, and he's wasted little time showing it off, clubbing four homers in his first 10 games since being promoted from Triple-A. Meanwhile, Crowe has had a difficult time keeping the ball in the park, leading to a 6.75 ERA over nine games (eight starts).
Second Base -- Christian Arroyo (R), 3%, Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals (RHP Brad Keller): Arroyo has never shown much offensively at the big league level, but he's been displaying some nice pop of late. Over his last 13 games, he's produced a .908 OPS with four home runs and 14 RBIs. This power outburst will likely be short-lived, but he finds himself in an appealing spot on Saturday, squaring off against Keller, who has given up 11 earned runs over his past two starts, spanning 10 1/3 innings.
Third Base -- Jon Berti (R), 6%, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Jake Arrieta): The good news is that Berti is batting .341 with a .431 OBP over his last 14 games. The bad news is that he hasn't stolen a single base in that stretch, getting thrown out on both of his attempts. Still, Berti's elite sprint speed ranks in the 99th percentile, so he should keep running and start contributing some steals soon.
Shortstop -- Jonathan Villar (S), 37%, New York Mets at Washington Nationals (LHP Jon Lester): Villar has a good chance at starting both games in Saturday's double-header. Not only is he the Mets' leadoff man, but his positional flexibility gives him multiple ways to get into the lineup. For his part, Lester has been hammered by right-handed swingers this season, surrendering a .308/.371/.515 line against those hitters.
Corner Infield -- Joey Votto (L), 37%, Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres (RHP Miguel Diaz): Since returning from the injured list, Votto has clubbed three homers and driven in 12 runs in just nine games. The power production isn't surprising considering that the veteran's Statcast page is painted red. Votto is no longer the batting average contributor he was a few years ago, but power and strong on-base ability is still a solid skill set, especially in OBP leagues.
Middle Infield -- Brendan Rodgers (R), 9%, Colorado Rockies vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Adrian Houser): It feels like a prerequisite to get some Coors Field exposure, and Rodgers is a great way to get it. The 24-year-old is batting .293/.388/.537 so far in June with three homers and 11 RBI in 14 games. While Houser holds a 3.62 ERA this season, his 47.4% hard-hit rate allowed is by far a career-worst and ranks in the bottom 8% of MLB. Rockies hitters should get their licks in.
Outfield -- Jesus Sanchez (L), 8%, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Jake Arrieta): Sanchez got the call earlier this week after hitting .349/.400/.634 with nine homers and 28 RBI in 33 games at Triple-A. He's yet to get going with the Marlins, but this is still an exciting young bat worth some attention. Saturday's matchup against Arrieta, who is allowing a .374 wOBA to left-handed batters, is a great opportunity for Sanchez to start doing some damage.
Outfield -- Ian Happ (S), 45%, Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Pablo Lopez): Happ has been a big disappointment this season, but it hasn't been all bad. In addition to a career-best 13.1% walk rate, his 47.1% hard-hit rate ranks in the 85th percentile. Plus, he's chasing fewer pitches out of the zone than ever (23.7%). Happ's matchup against Lopez isn't a great one, but he'll have the platoon advantage at Wrigley Field, where he has a career .238 ISO.
Outfield -- Jorge Soler (R), 48%, Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Martin Perez): It's tough to justify a roster spot for Soler, who is hitting just .185/.289/.337 on the season. Despite the ugly stat line, he is actually making strong contact. His 92.8 mph average exit velocity (92nd percentile), 12.9% Barrel rate (82%), and 51.1% hard-hit rate (89%) are all high-end marks. If Soler keeps stinging the ball with this much authority, he's due for some better fortune. A matchup against Perez, who has been blasted for 11 runs in his last 3 1/3 innings, is a great place to start.