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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’s 16-game slate features a double-header between the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins. As always, twin-bills present daily streamers with the opportunity to maximize plate appearances by finding players who will start both games. As a team without many stars, the Marlins have a slew of players who are widely available in ESPN leagues. In fact, every batter in Miami’s lineup is rostered in under 33% of leagues. Two names to consider are JJ Bleday (2%) and Charles Leblanc. Bleday, who will get the platoon edge in both matchups, is batting .409/.500/.682 over the last week, and Leblanc is quietly hitting .429/.444/.629 in the 10 games since his promotion.

  • Saturday also marks the return of Lance McCullers Jr. of the Houston Astros, who has been sidelined since last year’s playoffs due to a forearm injury. The right-hander made four starts in his rehab assignment and topped out at 86 pitches in his last outing, so he shouldn’t be on an overly restrictive pitch count. While there’s always some risk in starting a pitcher coming off a serious injury, the Oakland Athletics provide a soft landing spot, so it’s okay to go ahead and insert McCullers into the streaming discussion this weekend. Available in nearly 50% of ESPN leagues, McCullers registered a 3.16 ERA and a 10.3 K/9 across 28 starts in 2021, so he has the potential to be a difference-maker down the stretch, making him a high-priority pickup.

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Though Lance McCullers Jr.’s performance during his rehab stint wasn’t attention-grabbing, he gets an extremely soft matchup in his return to the Astros’ rotation, facing the light-hitting Athletics. Video by Tristan H. Cockcroft

  • Reid Detmers has clearly turned a corner since his most recent promotion from Triple-A, but the fantasy community has yet to fully get on board, as he’s still rostered in just 42% of ESPN leagues. Since getting the call in early July, Detmers has allowed no more than a single earned run in four of his five starts, culminating in a 1.16 ERA over this stretch. More noteworthy is the fact that his strikeout rate has jumped to 11.0 K/9, compared to just 7.5 over his first 12 starts of the season. Thanks in part to a revamped slider, the 23-year-old left-hander is a different pitcher right now. Even against a Minnesota Twins lineup that has been above average against lefties this season, Detmers is a strong play.

  • Speaking of lefties who aren’t rostered in enough leagues, Jesus Luzardo (33%) is back from the IL and has looked good in two starts, allowing just two runs over 12 innings with 11 strikeouts and just one walk. His velocity is down a tad, which is mildly concerning, but the upside — particularly in the strikeout department — is still considerable. Luzardo certainly isn’t a “must start” against a tough Braves offense on Saturday, but he is a guy who could provide a lot of value down the stretch.



Starting pitcher rankings for Saturday

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