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Note: This file has been 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 Todd Zola
There are only three matinees on Saturday's 15-game docket, beginning in the Bronx with a meaningless game between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. Well, meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. Aaron Judge feels otherwise as he continues to chase history. Not only is Judge on home run watch, but he's battling Boston's Xander Bogaerts and the Minnesota Twins Luis Arraez for the batting crown. If Judge comes out on top, he'll be the first to achieve the AL Triple Crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012. As for fantasy implications, starting pitchers Nick Pivetta and Domingo German are both risky, but neither offense is currently in a groove. It comes down to team context and needs, noting today's streaming slate is nearly vapid.
Speaking of which, heading the list of pitchers available in more than half of ESPN league and in a comfortable spot is San Francisco Giants righty Alex Cobb (34% rostered in ESPN leagues). That said, Cobb is on the road in the desert, facing an Arizona Diamondbacks club with a heavy lefthanded hitting lineup that has come together over the second half. Still, Cobb has been matchup proof as he's posted a 1.57 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with 28 strikeouts in 28 2/3 over his last five games. They have all been against teams with playoff aspirations at the time they played (two against the Los Angeles Dodgers and one each facing the Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves).
The next best option to plug for a spot start is Reid Detmers when the Los Angeles Angels visit the Minnesota Twins. Detmers began September with a pair of subpar efforts against the playoff bound Houston Astros and Cleveland Guardians, but the southpaw rebounded last time with a solid outing facing the tough Seattle Mariners lineup, limiting them to one run in six frames. On Saturday, Detmers squares off with a Twins lineup sporting a generous 28% strikeout rate facing lefthanders over the past month along with a weak .288 wOBA in that span.
The best of the rest are Wade Miley (7%) at Pittsburgh, Erick Fedde (1%) at Miami and Davis Martin (1%) at home against the Tigers. On paper, Miley is the best option, but the Chicago Cubs lefty was lit up earlier in the week by the Miami Marlins. Neither Fedde nor Martin are reliable, but of you're desperate, they face lesser offenses.
Saturday's six-pack of batters in a favorable spot to fortify a lineup begins with Elvis Andrus (44%) and Gavin Sheets (4%), a pair of Chicago White Sox, stepping in against Drew Hutchison. Jake McCarthy (43%) is particularly alluring for those needing steals as he's swiped 19 in 22 tries. Triston Casas (3%) takes aim at the short porch in Yankee Stadium with Sam Haggerty (1%) and Kerry Carpenter (1%) rounding out the sextet.
Starting pitcher rankings for Saturday
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.
AJ Pollock (CHW, LF -- 23%) vs. Hutchison
Yoan Moncada (CHW, 3B -- 47%) vs. Hutchison
Austin Nola (SD, C -- 8%) at Kuhl
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Saturday
Teoscar Hernandez (TOR, LF -- 91%) at Rasmussen
The BAT X's Best Stacks for Saturday
THE BAT X is 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.
Prop of the day
Joe Ryan Pitching Outs: Over/Under 17.5 (-175/+130)
THE BAT sees Ryan putting up 16.8 Pitching Outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 45.0% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $26.59.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
The weatherman calls for the second-best pitching weather of all games today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
Ryan is an extreme flyball pitcher (44.9% FB% per THE BAT projections) and should be aided by pitching in the No. 23 HR venue in MLB in this matchup.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Angels have been the unluckiest offense in MLB this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to hit better the rest of the season.
Chad Whitson grades out as a Hitters Umpire and is expected to be in charge of the strike zone today.
Target Field projects as the No. 8 stadium in Major League Baseball for walks, via THE BAT projection system.
The wind projects to be blowing out to RF at 10.3-mph in this match-up, the best of the day for batters.