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What you need to know for Wednesday’s MLB Games
By Todd Zola
As has been the case all season, there are a handful of Wednesday matinees, with the first contest in Philadelphia with Kyle Gibson taking the ball for the home team, to be opposed by Pablo Lopez of the visiting Miami Marlins. Neither hurler fits the streaming mold, but the Detroit Tigers entertain the Chicago White Sox just a few minutes later, with Alex Faedo on the hill for the hosts. Faedo (4% rostered in ESPN leagues) is one of the few bright spots for a struggling Tigers club. He has only fanned 28 batters through 37 innings but is worth a play for those looking to get over the midweek hump with a pitching boost. Also in play as a spot starter is Sean Hjelle (under 1%), who will be recalled by the San Francisco Giants to face the visiting Kansas City Royals.
A couple of right-handers are slated to return on Wednesday, with one making their 2022 debut. But first, Sonny Gray will be back on the rubber for the Minnesota Twins. Even though he didn’t have any rehab starts, Gray merits an active lineup spot on the road against the Seattle Mariners. In St. Louis, Jack Flaherty takes the hill for the first time this season after missing two-plus months with shoulder inflammation. Flaherty made two rehab starts for Triple-A Memphis, throwing a total of seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. Like Gray, Flaherty is safe to start immediately as he draws the non-daunting Pittsburgh Pirates lineup.
Coors Field will be a popular spot for batters with Konnor Pilkington and the Cleveland Guardians taking on Austin Gomber and the Colorado Rockies. Oscar Gonzalez (6%) has been hitting fifth with a left-hander in the hill. Not only is he set up to be part of a DFS or a standalone play, Gonzalez is the slate’s top hitter to pick up as he’s posted a .931 OPS over 16 games. Owen Miller (51%), Myles Straw (48%) and Amed Rosario (39%) are also in play for Cleveland.
Braves right-hander Spencer Strider is an excellent option against the Nationals this week, as he continues to pile on the strikeouts and provide a decent comparison to a certain White Sox hurler. Video by Eric Karabell
The Atlanta Braves are fantasy-friendly on both sides of the ball with Spencer Strider (24%) getting the call on the road against Erick Fedde and the Washington Nationals. Strider fanned eight last time out against the Pirates while the Nationals sport the fifth-lowest strikeout rate facing right-handers. Despite his limited track record as a starter, Strider is in play as a streamer, as well as an intriguing play to beat his strikeout prop. As for hitting, Atlanta will be without Ozzie Albies for an extended stretch with Orlando Arcia the likely replacement. Arcia only carries allure in NL-only fantasy formats, but whoever moves up to the five-hole in the Braves lineup should enjoy a marked increase in RBI chances. Marcell Ozuna, William Contreras and Adam Duvall are the likely beneficiaries there.
Another intriguing youngster with strikeout potential is Caleb Kilian (2%) who returns to the majors for a home date with the San Diego Padres. Kilian fanned six Cardinals in his MLB debut on June 4. He was returned to the minors where he punched out six (albeit in just 3 2/3 innings) for Triple-A Memphis as Toledo touched him up for three runs on seven hits. The Padres are formidable, but if Kilian can throw strikes, he’s a high-reward option as a spot starter or DFS play.
Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Wednesday
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.