Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games (2024)

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          Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games

          7dMike Sheets

          Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games

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          Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games (2)
          • Mike Sheets

          Jun 26, 2024, 12:10 PM ET

          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 ESPN BET, and fantasy advice is geared toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

          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.

          Spencer, for hire

          The Philadelphia Phillies, currently sitting eight games up in the NL East, placed Taijuan Walker on the injured list Sunday with right index finger inflammation. With a 5.60 ERA and 1.49 WHIP across 10 starts, the right-hander obviously hasn't been a fantasy asset this season. His rotation replacement, however, does carry some fantasy appeal.

          After spending the last seven weeks in the bullpen, Spencer Turnbull is scheduled to rejoin the Phillies' starting rotation on Wednesday against the Detroit Tigers. Although the 31-year-old has struggled a bit as a reliever, holding a 4.26 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 19 relief innings, he was terrific as a member of the rotation earlier in the season. Through six starts, Turnbull delivered a 1.67 ERA and 0.84 WHIP while fanning 28.3% of the batters he faced (compared to a 23.5% K% out of the bullpen).

          It's rare to see a pitcher show more dominance as a starter than a reliever, so it's fair to expect Turnbull's strikeout rate as a starter to come down a bit. However, we also shouldn't discount what we saw from the right-hander in the rotation. Turnbull has been a different pitcher in 2024, relying heavily on a sweeper (a new pitch he introduced back in April) that he's throwing 32% of the time. According to PitcherList.com's PLV metric, the sweeper grades out as the righty's best pitch.

          For fantasy purposes, Turnbull, who is available in 86% of ESPN.com leagues, makes for a quality streaming option on Wednesday against Detroit, his former team. Since the beginning of June, the Tigers rank 25th in baseball with an 86 wRC+, fanning 24.1% of the time, the seventh-highest K% in MLB. Because he's been pitching in long relief, hurling three frames his last time out, he shouldn't be on too strict of a pitch count on Wednesday. Enjoy the soft-landing spot against Detroit and go from there.

          What you may have missed on Tuesday

          By Todd Zola

          • Needing rotation depth, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired veteran SP Dallas Keuchel from the Seattle Mariners for cash considerations. While the deal isn't official just yet, Keuchel lines up to start today when the Brewers host the Texas Rangers in a matinee.

          • The San Francisco Giants are in a similar situation, thus have summoned SP Hayden Birdsong to make his debut at home against the Chicago Cubs. Just 22-years-old, Birdsong began the season with Double-A Richmond, posting a 2.05 ERA with 61 punchouts in 48 1/3 innings. Birdsong was promoted to Triple-A Sacramento where he registered a 5.00 ERA over two starts, spanning just nine frames. As opposed to Bellozo who is more organizational depth, Birdsong is a legitimate prospect.

          • Rangers 3B Josh Jung's right wrist was examined and it was revealed he's dealing with lingering soreness after being surgically repaired earlier this season. The club hopes the inflammation won't delay his return too long, but they no longer expect him back this weekend. The Rangers also reported that SP Max Scherzer has a sore thumb following his 2024 debut on Sunday, but he's still scheduled to make his next start on Friday.

          • The Cincinnati Reds announced that 1B Christian Encarnacion-Strand will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist. They also reported that SP Nick Lodolo was placed on the 15-day IL thanks to a blister on his left hand. His replacement is SP Graham Ashcraft, who was called up to pitch today at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds also stated that 3B Noelvi Marte will join the club tomorrow, his first day eligible to return after serving out his 80-game suspension.

          Everything else you need to know for Wednesday

          • The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals had their Tuesday game postponed due to bad weather, so the teams will play a day/night double-dip today. The Braves initially intended to send Chris Sale to the Busch Stadium hill today but will instead take advantage of the 27th man and call up SP Bryce Elder to handle the nightcap. Yesterday's starter Reynaldo Lopez will work the opener. The Cardinals will deploy Kyle Gibson and Matthew Liberatore. The Braves will be without SS Orlando Arcia for the first game, and likely the second as well. Arcia left Monday's game due to dizziness, so the club is being cautious.

          • The depleted Miami Marlins rotation gets a boost today with the promotion of Valente Bellozo from Triple-A Jacksonville. Bellozo started the season with Double-A Pensacola. In five games (four starts) after his promotion, Bellozo recorded a 5.66 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP over 20 2/3 innings. He fanned a respectable 18 but walked eight while surrendering seven homers. Unfortunately, the Marlins depth has been thinned and they have nowhere else to turn for today's road date with the Kansas City Royals.

          • Mariners OF Luke Raley is a late scratch from today's early game with the Tampa Bay Rays. He'll be replaced by 2B Ryan Bliss, while Dylan Moore shifts from the keystone to left field.

          • Andrew Abbott (20% rostered in ESPN leagues) also gets a soft-landing spot-on Wednesday, squaring off against a Pittsburgh Pirates offense that's been one of the worst in baseball in the last month. Over the last 30 days, the Bucs sport a 75 wRC+ (29th in MLB) with a 25.5% K% (28th) and a 6.4% BB% (26th). For his part, Abbott has a 3.40 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 15 starts this season, holding opponents to three earned runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts. While the drop-in strikeout rate (from 9.9 K/9 in 2023 to 7.4 in 2024) has been discouraging, he still shouldn't have trouble keeping the Pirates at bay.

          • A date with the Chicago White Sox is nearly always a prime spot for potential streamers, and that's the case again on Wednesday, with Gavin Stone (47%) getting the privilege of taking the hill against MLB's worst offense. The Pale Hose rank dead last in baseball in both wRC+ (77) and wOBA (.277), and their strikeout rate in June (24.9%) is bottom-five. Stone, meanwhile, remains available in more than 50% of ESPN leagues despite owning a 3.04 ERA and 1.20 WHIP across 14 starts. Although he's failed to generate many swings and misses at the big-league level (19.1% K%), limiting his upside, Stone has been very consistent. He has racked up at least five innings in 10 straight starts, which has helped him take advantage of the Dodgers' offense behind him, as he has secured a team-high eight wins.

          • Wyatt Langford's early struggles, along with an IL stint, led to many fantasy managers understandably cutting bait on the youngster. It might be time to scoop him back up, though. The 22-year-old is slashing .340/.389/.600 over his last 14 games with a pair of homers, 16 RBI, and six stolen bases. During that two-week stretch, Langford has been the sixth-best player in fantasy baseball, according to the ESPN Player Rater. It's time to take another chance on the former first-round pick, who is rostered in just 43% of ESPN leagues. Langford's Texas Rangers take on Colin Rea and the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

          • Arizona's Ryne Nelson is coming off a couple of nice outings against weak offenses, but that doesn't change the fact that it's been a rough campaign for the right-hander. His ERA and WHIP across 13 appearances (12 starts) are sitting at 5.18 and 1.51, respectively, and he's surrendering a .362/.406/.567 triple slash to right-handed batters. With Nelson taking the bump against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, there are plenty of bats to consider. Carlos Correa (68%), Ryan Jeffers (55%), Willie Castro (31%), Carlos Santana (16%), Byron Buxton (13%), and Jose Miranda (4%) are all in play here, whether as streamers or as a DFS stack.

          • Betting tip of the day: On Wednesday, take Nathan Eovaldi OVER 5.5 strikeouts (even) for his road matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers. Sporting a 9.6 K/9 rate, the right-hander has eclipsed five strikeouts in six of his last eight starts, and the Brewers whiff at an above-average rate (22.9%).

          It's never too late to start a free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday. Come and join the fun!

          Starting pitcher rankings for Wednesday

          Reliever report

          To get the latest information on each team's bullpen hierarchy, as well as which pitchers might be facing a bit of fatigue and who might be the most likely suspects to vulture a save or pick up a surprise hold in their stead, check out the latest Closer Chart, which will be updated every morning.

          Hitting report

          Plan ahead in fantasy baseball with help from our Forecaster projections. Each day, we will provide an updated preview of the next 10 days for every team, projecting the matchup quality for hitters (overall and by handedness) as well as for base stealers.

          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.

          • Alec Burleson (STL, LF -- 23%) vs. Bryce Elder and Reynaldo Lopez

          • Brendan Donovan (STL, 2B -- 37%) vs. Elder and Lopez

          • Jarred Kelenic (ATL, LF -- 11%) at Matthew Liberatore and Kyle Gibson

          • Nolan Gorman (STL, 2B -- 18%) vs. Elder and Lopez

          • Masyn Winn (STL, SS -- 13%) vs. Elder and Lopez

          • Max Kepler (MIN, RF -- 11%) at Ryne Nelson

          • Tyler O'Neill (BOS, LF -- 48%) vs. Yariel Rodriguez

          • Ryan O'Hearn (BAL, 1B -- 34%) vs. Carlos Carrasco

          • Matt Carpenter (STL, DH -- 0%) vs. Elder and Lopez

          • Jake Fraley (CIN, RF -- 2%) vs. Luis Ortiz

          Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Wednesday

          • Lane Thomas (WSH, RF -- 58%) at Dylan Cease

          • Cal Raleigh (SEA, C -- 71%) at Ryan Pepiot

          • Jeff McNeil (NYM, 2B -- 50%) vs. Luis Gil

          • Anthony Volpe (NYY, SS -- 86%) at Sean Manaea

          • Jeremy Pena (HOU, SS -- 50%) vs. Ryan Feltner

          • David Fry (CLE, C -- 65%) at Grayson Rodriguez

          • Christopher Morel (CHC, CF -- 61%) at Hayden Birdsong

          • Dansby Swanson (CHC, SS -- 57%) at Birdsong

          • Ryan McMahon (COL, 3B -- 62%) at Spencer Arrighetti

          • Alex Verdugo (NYY, RF -- 68%) at Manaea

          THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Wednesday

          • Philadelphia Phillies at Keider Montero

          • Texas Rangers at Colin Rea

          • Cincinnati Reds vs. Luis Ortiz

          Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Wednesday's MLB games (2024)
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