Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Friday's MLB games

Bryan Woo of the Seattle Mariners takes the hill. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

For an in-depth look at what to expect in this daily article and for how to best utilize the information contained within, check out our handy primer here.

Note: This file has been updated with any overnight pitching changes or weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.

What you need to know for Friday's MLB Games

By Todd Zola

  • The last Friday of the regular season features the standard 15 games, all evening affairs. Over half of the contests have some level of playoff implications, be it securing a playoff berth, or improving seeding. Action begins at 6:35 PM ET. With the late start comes a late deadline for player pickups. With rotations and lineups in even more flux than usual, it's prudent to monitor the news and hopefully take advantage of opportunities others may miss.

  • Bryan Woo (15.5% rostered) is slated to take the hill at home when the Seattle Mariners entertain the Texas Rangers, with the playoff fate of both teams on the line. The rookie right-hander has hit a rut, including yielding four homers to the Rangers in his last outing, but he's one of the reasons the Mariners have postseason aspirations. Woo has fanned 88 in 84 innings, and before his last effort, the 23-year-old had been frugal with the long ball. Deploying Woo is a risk as the Texas offense has picked it up down the stretch, but Woo still lands as the top ranked streamer based on his season-long body of work.

  • The Philadelphia Phillies have clinched the top wild card in the National League, so there is nothing on the line when they visit the New York Mets. However, they of all teams understand the importance of heading into the playoffs on a positive note, so expect a strong effort from Taijuan Walker (32.6%). The veteran hasn't pitched as well as his 15-5 record indicates, but he's stabilized the back end of the Phillies rotation with Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola leading the way up front. Walker handled the Mets well in his last outing, yielding just two earned runs in six frames, punching out four with just one free pass. Even though the rematch is on the road, the Mets are a below average offense and have struck out more lately.

  • There may be nothing in play but pride when the Los Angeles Angels host the Oakland Athletics, but Angels starter Chase Silseth (4.3%) would like to make a statement heading into next season. Silseth was emerging as a solid starter with a 1.59 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in four efforts after joining the Angels rotation after the break. He fanned 31 while walking just five in that 22 2/3 innings span, but then he struggled in his next start and was hit in the head by a throw in the ensuing effort. Silseth spent the next month on the 7-day concussion IL, though he did make two rehab starts with Triple-A Salt Lake in advance of his return to the major league roster. Silseth threw 60 pitches in his last rehab start, so he should be able to hurl at least five frames on Friday. The Athletics enter the contest with the third lowest wOBA and third highest strikeout rate facing righties.

  • The rule of thumb is avoiding pitchers facing a team with something on the line, but Nick Pivetta (23.7%) warrants consideration when the Red Sox visit the Baltimore Orioles. Pivetta has recorded a 3.08 ERA and 0.91 WHIP so far in September, with 33 strikeouts to only four walks in 26 1/3 stanzas. The Orioles have fanned at an above average 24.2% clip this month, and are vulnerable to the curve ball, which benefits Pivetta.

  • The chances are remote, but the Minnesota Twins can still finish with a first-round bye, so they will be playing their regulars in Coors Field. The entire Twins lineup is available for pick up against Colorado Rockies southpaw Ty Blach. In order of priority, they are Donovan Solano (0.9%), Jorge Polanco (50.2%), Kyle Farmer (2.4%), Michael Taylor (0.6%), Ryan Jeffers (1.0%), Willi Castro (7.7%), Edouard Julien (4.3%), Matt Wallner (1.6%) and Trevor Larnach (0.4%).

Starting pitcher rankings for Friday

Bullpen usage watch for Friday

By Todd Zola

  • David Bednar garnered his 38th save last night, doubling last season's previous career high. He tossed 24 pitches, two days after throwing nine. He's already worked in back-to-back fashion three times this month, and the Pittsburgh Pirates host the Miami Marlins with significant playoff implications for the visitors, so Bednar will likely be ready if called upon this evening.

  • Raisel Iglesias collected his 32nd save last night, bringing him within two of his personal best, set in 2019 and matched in 2021. He's pitched on an "every other day" basis for his last five appearances, but it isn't clear if that is by design or happenstance. With only 10 pitches thrown last night, and 27 spanning the last three days, Iglesias should be available tonight, but the Atlanta Braves may choose to avoid his working on consecutive days in advance of the playoffs. Keeping Iglesias active along with picking up Kirby Yates should cover the likeliest save recipients, with also a chance of capturing both a save and a hold.

Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Friday

Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.

Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Friday

THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today

Prop of the Day

Joe Ryan, Twins, 5.5 strikeouts (-140/+105)


THE BAT X sees Ryan putting up 5.1 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 40.1% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $22.82.

Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.


  • The Rockies have four batters in today's projected batting order with a high (i.e. over 27%) underlying K% (Jones, Ryan McMahon, Elehuris Montero, Brenton Doyle).

  • Ryan will have the handedness advantage over six opposing batters in today's game.


  • THE BAT X projects Ryan to throw 80 pitches in this game (fifth-fewest of all pitchers on today's slate), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.

  • Coors Field ranks as the No. 30 field in the league for strikeouts, per THE BAT X.

  • A correlation exists between high heat and more offense (and fewer Ks), and this game is projected to have the second-highest temperatures on the slate at 81 degrees.

  • Ryan's fastball velocity over his last three starts (90.7 mph) has been considerably worse than than his seasonal rate (91.7 mph).