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.
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Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and 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
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
Bullpen usage for Saturday
By Todd Zola
With only two days left in the head-to-head scoring period, optimizing active roster spots is imperative. Here are three closers in danger of needing Saturday off. Ryan Pressly finally garnered his first save of the season last night, but control issues bumped his pitch count to 22. He threw 20 pitches on Wednesday, so the combined 42 over the past three days likely means Rafael Montero will be Dusty Baker’s choice if the Astros have a ninth-inning lead. Montero hasn’t pitched since Wednesday and he already has a save this season.
David Bednar converted his seventh save last night, making it three saves in four days, including the last two straight. Even though he only used eight pitchers to retire the Reds in order Friday night, the cumulative workload probably has him unavailable today. Duane Underwood is the top candidate to step in with top setup men Colin Holderman and Robert Stephenson each pitching the prior two days.
Felix Bautista is flagged as someone with questionable availability after needing 21 to get through the ninth last night. Bautista allowed the Tigers to tie the game 1-1 heading to the bottom of the frame, but his teammates bailed him out with a walkoff win. Bautista pitched on consecutive days earlier in the season, but it was after throwing only 10 pitches in the first game. The Orioles have two off days next week, so they could tax their bullpen this weekend. If manager Brandon Hyde gives Bautista the day off, he’s apt to call on Bryan Baker to lock down a late lead.
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Saturday
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 Saturday
THE BAT X’s Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals, O/U 16.5 pitching outs (-130/+100).
THE BAT sees Greinke putting up 14.2 Pitching Outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 34.5% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $30.94.
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.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
– Mark Ripperger profiles as a Pitchers Umpire and is expected to be calling pitches today.
– Despite conventional wisdom, fastballs are generally a pitcher’s least effective pitch. Zack Greinke has relied on his secondary pitches 12.5% more often this season (71%) than he did last season (58.5%).
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
– The Los Angeles Angelsprojected batting order profiles as the 2nd-best on the slate today.
– The Angels have been the 6th-unluckiest offense in Major League Baseball this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to hit better in future games
– Angel Stadium grades out as the No. 5 park in Major League Baseball for home runs, according to THE BAT projection system.
– This game projects for the 2nd-best hitting weather of the day, as it relates to temperature and humidity.