Thursday gives us our normal shortened slate, although it is not as sparse as usual, with 11 games on the field. While Jacob deGrom may be the only true staff to take the mound, today’s most exciting matchup Ian anderson against Miami Trevor Rogers, whom we shall discuss more below.
With few No. 1 and 2 starters taking the ground, there are apt matchups that stand out on Thursday, so make sure you take advantage if you have vacancies.
Here’s a look at today’s best streaming options, focusing on players listed in less than 50% of ESPN leagues.
Trevor Rogers (L), listed in 37% of ESPN leagues, Miami Marlins on Atlanta tapper: Rogers was the headliner in Saturday’s Daily Notes, and he gets a nod here again because his roasted percentage has not yet captured his talent. After a so-so debut against the Cardinals, Rogers turned his head at the start against the Mets last weekend, and spun six pointless frames with only three hits allowed and 10 strikes. While the previous first-round fastball peaked at 96.2 mph in 2020, his heater has jumped to the next level this season, recording a maximum velo of 98.2 mph. It’s just a two-start trial, but the fact that Rogers’ four-seater has an MLB-best 51.1% whiff rate while his slider has a 50% whiff rate shows his massive strike-up side. A road start towards Atlanta is no picnic, but this is a skill worth investing in. The 23-year-old’s watch percentage will not stay below 50% much longer.
Rich hill (L), 5%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Rangers in Texas: Even at the age of 41, Hill continues to be relevant. While his 7.20-ERA during his first two starts is ugly, he has beaten better than the ERA suggests, setting up a 9.9 K / 9 and 1.8 BB / 9 over 10 innings. Hill still relies heavily on his basket ball, throwing it 45% of the time in his last outing, so the fact that his fastball is at just 88.5 mph (which is actually a cross from 2020), is not really a concern. There is more risk here than there has been in previous years, but the risk is reduced by a Rangers team that has not hit much this season (78 wRC +, 31.1K%) and is left-handed heavy, which gives Hill the platoon edge against Texas’ most dangerous hitters (David dahl, Joey gallo, and Nate lowe).
Bruce Zimmermann (L), 5%, Baltimore Orioles vs. Seattle Mariners: Zimmermann quietly opened the season with back-to-back quality against Boston, and now he gets a much easier test against a Mariners team that ranks last in baseball with a 49 wRC + against left-handed pitching. Although he does not have overwhelming things, he has found success by advancing in the count and getting turns and misses with his basket ball, a pitch he barely used in his short 2020 test. The concern here is that Zimmermann’s fastball has been hit hard in the first two starts (.482 wOBA), but he should still be able to benefit from the favorable match.
Jacob June (R), 3%, Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays: After opening the season in the bullpen, June threw five rounds of shutout ball against Cleveland in his first start of the year last Wednesday, giving him a perfect 0.00 ERA and 11.6 K / 9 in seven total rounds. The Conservative will get the call back on Thursday, in a square against a Blue Jays line-up that is still without George jumps and Teoscar Hernandez. Junis does not exactly have a fantastic track record, and puts out ERAs well north of 5.00 each of the last two seasons. However, he has added a new cutter to his arsenal, an offer he has spent 23.9% of the time so far and reaped a 54.5% whiff rate, so there is hope for him to maintain some of his success at the start of the season. .
Bullpen: We usually focus on shutters in this room, however Sean newcomer is a relief to keep an eye on, even if he stays in a set-up role. The 27-year-old lefty has been light in the bullpen this season, hitting nine strokes in just 3 1/3 innings. He even picked a save in the second game in a double header last week (when Will Smith was unavailable), showing that manager Brian Snitker is not afraid to use Newcomb in high-impact situations. Newcomb, available in 98% of the leagues, is a candidate to emerge as a relief that helps your relationship and collects Ks, so do not ignore him just because he is not locked into a closer role.
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Catcher – Wilson ramos (R), 26%, Detroit Tigers on Oakland Athletics (LHP Sean manaea): Ramos has been one of the best catches in the imagination so far, yet he is listed in only a quarter of the ESPN leagues. In addition to clubbing his fifth home game of the season on Tuesday, the 33-year-old also owns an absurd 82.4% hard hit rate, which is tops in baseball. He will look to continue his blocking offensive on Thursday, when he gets the squad edge against Manaea.
First base – Renato Nunez (R), 1%, Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics (LHP Sean Manaea): Nunez got the call when Miguel Cabrera landed on the injury list, and he responded by belting two homers in his first three games. Despite being sent down at the start of the season, Nunez beat 31 homers in his final full season in 2019, so this is a big powerbat worth attention as long as he gets playing time.
Second base – Jed lowrie (S), 5%, Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP) Tarik Skubal): After playing in just nine games the last two seasons combined, Lowrie was largely a forgotten man in fantasy circles. However, he has already solidified in the top third of Oakland’s batting order, batting .333 / .417 / .548 with a pair of homers in the first 12 games. The switch-hitting Lowrie matches well with Skubal, who has struggled with his consistency early on.
Third base – Maikel Franco (R), 11%, Baltimore Orioles vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco gonzales): Gonzales has not looked like himself, and struggles to throw a strike (4.4 BB / 9) and also keeps the ball in the garden (4.4 HR / 9). This creates an appealing opportunity for Franco to do some damage. The 28-year-old slugger has good power, strong contact skills and a fantastic home park for offenses.
Shortstop – Willy Adames (R), 12%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Jordan lyles): High-quality quality stoppers can be difficult to find on shortened slate, but Adames provides a good alternative if you have a hole to fill. He has decent power, a little speed, and squares against one of Thursday’s more hitting throwers.
Corner Infield – Phillip evans (R), 1%, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres (RHP Chris Paddack): The Pirates lost their best young hitter when Ke’Bryan Hayes went down, but Evans has filled in admirably. He hits .382 / .475 / .706 with three home runs in 11 games, and his Statcast page backs up his warm start. Given Paddack’s early fights (5.36 ERA), he’s not a pitcher we need to avoid.
Midtmarken – Luis Arraez (L), 30%, Gemini from Minnesota vs. Boston Red Sox (RHP Garrett richards): One of the best pure hitters in baseball, Arraez has lived up to his reputation, hitting .323 with more trips than strikes in the first 10 games. He will carry the peloton advantage against Richards, who has surrendered a lot of high contact in the first two starts.
Utmark – Tim locastro (R), 6%, Arizona Diamondbacks on Citizens of Washington (LHP Patrick corbin): After topping the Sprint Speed charts the last two seasons and currently tied for No. 1 this year, it is safe to say that Locastro is the fastest player in baseball. He has now stolen 29 career bases in the majors without being caught. As Arizona’s leadoff hitter, he has hovered three bags and has even popped a homer for good measure. If you are trying to catch an opponent against steals, Locastro is the perfect pick up.
Utmark – Adam duvall (R), 8%, Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves (RHP Ian Anderson): Things can certainly change quickly in April. Duvall looked relatively lost the first week of the season, hitting .136 / .174 / .318 with a homer. In his last two games, however, he clubbed three bombs and drove in eight races. Duvall is a striped hitter who can do a lot of damage in a short time, and now looks like the time to ride the hot line.
Utmark – Manuel Margot (R), 35%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers (RHP Jordan Lyles): Margot is the type of guy who can hit you a homer and also sweep you a bag, making him a nice streaming option when you need production across the board. The Rays should have no trouble scoring races against Lyles, and Margot should be able to get in on the fun provided he is in the lineup.