Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Saturday’s MLB games

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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.

Note: This file will be 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 Saturday’s MLB Games

By Mike Sheets

  • Saturday is “Shane Baz Day” as the young right-hander is set to make his 2022 debut after being sidelined nearly three months following arthroscopic elbow surgery in March. In four rehab starts at Triple-A, Baz looked like his normal self, posting a 1.38 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 13 frames. He managed 4 1/3 innings on 79 pitches in his final start, so he should be good to go five innings this weekend against the Minnesota Twins. Available in over 25% of ESPN leagues, Baz (who has the stuff to be a full-blown fantasy ace) should be rostered in 100% of leagues. The window to get him is closing rapidly.

  • MacKenzie Gore (77%) is already rostered in the majority of ESPN leagues, but it’s surprising that he’s not even more universally rostered. All he’s done across nine appearances (eight starts) is post a 1.50 ERA with a 1.06 WHIP and a 10.7 K/9. Just once in those nine outings did Gore give up more than two earned runs. Frankly, the 23-year-old is pitching like a borderline ace. Now Gore draws a Colorado Rockies offense that’s largely dormant away from Coors Field with an 80 wRC+. He’s a great DFS anchor on Saturday and he’s an immediate pickup if he’s still on the waiver wire in standard leagues.

  • Hunter Greene (34%) may have an ugly 5.40 ERA over 11 starts, but that doesn’t tell the full story. While the 22-year-old is still battling some start-to-start consistency, he’s also flashing some dominance. Over his last six turns, Greene has put together a 3.67 ERA with an 11.3 K/9. He has also surrendered no more than a single earned run in three of his last five starts, including seven shutout innings of one-hit ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks his last time out. The former No. 2-overall pick gets a tough test against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, but if he can get through that outing unscathed, he may be worth keeping around for the long-term. Not many arms on the waiver wire carry this type of upside.

  • Fantasy managers have been understandably slow to roster Christian Walker (35%) because of his .200 batting average. Then again, it’s hard to ignore his power production. Walker ranks top five in baseball with 15 home runs, and the Statcast metrics support the power breakout. His 47% hard-hit rate ranks in the 86th percentile, while his 16.6% Barrel rate is in the 96th percentile. On Saturday, Walker draws the platoon edge against Ranger Suarez and gets a massive park boost at Citizens Bank Ballpark, making him a strong streamer if you need corner-infield help.

  • After throwing a three-hit shutout against the Los Angeles Angels his last time out, Michael Wacha (44%) now holds a 1.99 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over nine starts. Although those impressive numbers are hard to ignore, much of Wacha’s success this season has been done with smoke and mirrors. Not only is his 17.4% strikeout rate a career low, but he’s also riding a career-high 83.8% LOB% and a crazy-low .188 BABIP, suggesting some heavy regression is around the corner. It may be tempting to scoop up Wacha and stream him against the Seattle Mariners, but caution is warranted.

Starting pitcher rankings for Saturday

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