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What you need to know for Saturday’s MLB Games

By Mike Sheets

  • After getting roughed up by the Baltimore Orioles in his first outing of the season, Andrew Heaney (32% rostered in ESPN leagues) rebounded with back-to-back starts of five innings and zero earned runs allowed against the Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros. While the main issue with Heaney has long been his ability to stay healthy, he’s healthy now and pitching effectively. The early walk rate is high (5.0 BB/9), but he sports an 11.4 K/9 rate, which includes a 10-strikeout effort against Kansas City in his second start of the year. Against an Oakland A’s lineup that registers as one of the worst in baseball, Heaney is a no-brainer streaming option Saturday.

  • Kyle Gibson (17%) joins Heaney in having one of the best matchups of the day. With a 62 wRC+, the Detroit Tigers’ offense is second-worst in baseball behind only the Royals, and the team’s 25.1% K rate ranks bottom five. Gibson doesn’t have overpowering stuff, as this year’s 4.9 K/9 rate can attest, but he has good control and does a solid job avoiding hard contact, which should be enough to hold off the Tigers and give him a decent shot of picking up a win.

  • Everything has been working for Wade Miley (13%) in the early going. The veteran lefty has made three starts, spinning a 1.50 ERA and 0.94 WHIP across 18 innings. In his last outing versus the San Diego Padres, he worked seven scoreless frames while striking out eight and walking none. Many fantasy managers tend to gravitate toward the shiny new toy when surveying the waiver wire, but it’s unwise to ignore the veteran with the track record. Let’s not forget that, prior to 2023, Miley posted a 3.37 ERA in 28 starts in 2021 and a 3.16 ERA in eight starts (nine games) last season, so it’s not like his hot start is coming out of nowhere. The 36-year-old should stay on track against a middle-of-the-road Boston Red Sox offense on Saturday.

  • From an offensive perspective, the Minnesota Twins get one of Saturday’s most favorable draws, as they face off against Chad Kuhl at home. Kuhl has been hit hard in all three starts this season, leading to an 8.59 ERA and 1.70 WHIP over 14⅔ frames, with nearly as many walks (8) as strikeouts (9). Max Kepler (3%), Trevor Larnach (4%), Joey Gallo (8%) and rookie Edouard Julien (3%) all carry the platoon edge against Kuhl on Saturday, making them excellent streamers.

  • There’s been a lot more buzz around the St. Louis’ Cardinals Jordan Walker this season, but it’s been Nolan Gorman (41%) who is making a splash for fantasy managers. Through 17 games, the young slugger is batting .316/.403/.649 with five homers and 18 RBI. According to his Baseball Savant page, his hard-hit rate (57.1%) and barrel rate 19% are both elite. More impressively, he’s cut last year’s K rate from 32.9% down to 23.9%, and he’s walking at a terrific 13.8% clip. Gorman will have his hands full with Luis Castillo on Saturday, but the 22-year-old needs to be rostered in more leagues right now.

Starting pitcher rankings for Saturday

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