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Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Thursday

Ross Stripling and the Toronto Blue Jays find themselves in a favorable matchup on Thursday. Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday's 12-game slate may be light on aces, but it's heavy on bottom-rung hurlers, which is ideal when you're looking for bats to stream. Of course, there are still a few quality pitchers worth discussing, but Thursday figures to be all about the offense, so be ready to take advantage of the exploitable arms.

Here's a look at Thursday's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in fewer than 50% of ESPN leagues.


Pitching

Rich Hill (L), rostered in 42% of ESPN leagues, New York Mets at Miami Marlins: After dominating in May and part of June, Hill has hit the skids of late, stumbling to a 5.61 ERA over his last nine starts, the last two coming with the Mets. To be fair, Hill has faced some tough competition, as five of those starts came against offenses that ranked top-10 against left-handed pitching. The hope, then, is that a soft landing spot against Miami on Thursday will help Hill get back on track. The Marlins have been a bottom-five offense against lefties this season, and that was with Starling Marte and Adam Duvall, who were shipped off at the trade deadline.

Joe Ross (R), 26%, Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies: While Ross has battled some start-to-start inconsistency, the overall results have been pretty strong over the last month and a half. Over his last eight starts, the right-hander has posted a 2.61 ERA with a 9.9 K/9, holding his opponents to zero earned runs on four occasions. He's matched up with Philadelphia twice during the stretch, allowing zero earned runs over 11 frames. The Phillies still pose a threat, especially considering the 115 wRC+ they have posted over the last month, but Ross remains one of the better streamer options on the slate.

Ross Stripling (R), 14%, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland: Stripling holds an unappealing 4.75 ERA on the year. However, if you remove his three starts against Boston - three starts where you likely wouldn't have started him anyway - that mark drops down to 3.45. Pair that with nearly a K per inning and Stripling is a perfectly competent streaming option in the right spot. The veteran right-hander finds himself in one of those spots on Thursday, squaring off against a middling Cleveland lineup that's whiffing at a 25.1% clip since the All-Star break.

Touki Toussaint (R), 33%, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals: Since Toussaint joined Atlanta's starting rotation, we've witnessed two gems against the Padres and Phillies, and one clunker against the Brewers. In other words, it's tough to know what to expect from the 25-year-old. That said, Toussaint has battled big-time control issues throughout his professional career, so the fact that he sports a 2.1 BB/9 over 17 frames - to go along with his 10.6 K/9 - is an encouraging development, even in an extremely small sample. While it can be tough to trust the righty after the Brewers tagged him for seven runs, the Cardinals offense is not that intimidating, ranking 22nd in baseball with an 88 wRC+ versus righties.

Bullpen:

The Marlins dealt Yimi Garcia to Houston at the deadline, leaving the closer role with a brief vacancy. That vacancy appears to have been filled by Dylan Floro, who secured his third and fourth saves of the season on Monday and Tuesday against the Mets. The 30-year-old righty doesn't necessarily have typical closer stuff. That said, Floro owns a solid 2.64 ERA over 46 appearances this season, and it says something that he was given the first crack at the job. Maybe Anthony Bender or Anthony Bass gets some save chances in the future, but for now, Floro, who is available in 95% of leagues, is the best bet.

For the latest team-by-team closer situations, please consult our Closer Chart.

Hitting

Catcher -- Mitch Garver (R), 34%, Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros (LHP Framber Valdez): Catcher production isn't always easy to find, which really drives home the point that Garver needs to be rostered in more leagues. Not only is he batting .313/.484/.771 with six homers and 14 RBI over his last 19 games, but his quality-of-contact metrics are outstanding, so what he's doing isn't a fluke. Garver gets the platoon edge on Thursday in Minute Maid Park, a favorable venue for right-handed power.

First Base -- Andrew Vaughn (R), 45%, Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Daniel Lynch): Although he doesn't seem to be getting much publicity, Vaughn just continues to hit, slowly but surely raising his overall stat line that was dampened by a rough first couple of months. The last 29 games have seen Vaughn hit .330/.368/.557 with six home runs. A lot of that damage has come against lefties (.318/.408/.612), which puts him in a juicy spot against Lynch on Thursday.

Second Base -- Andy Ibanez (R), 1%, Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Dylan Bundy): Whether in the bullpen or the rotation, Bundy just keeps getting hit. Hard. The right-hander owns a 6.66 ERA across 19 appearances (15 starts) and has, in short, been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season. Needless to say, this is a prime matchup for Ibanez, who is hitting .324/.419/.595 over his last 12 games and has gone yard twice in his last three contests.

Third Base -- Jeimer Candelario (S), 32%, Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP Martin Perez): Candelario has been crushing since the All-Star break, putting up .344/.429/.574 triple slash. The switch-hitter has also been hitting lefties hard, which pairs him up nicely with Perez. The Boston southpaw has been lit up by right-handed batters for a .301/.364/.487 slash line this season.

Shortstop -- Brendan Rodgers (R), 16%, Colorado Rockies vs. Chicago Cubs (RHP Jake Arrieta): Little has gone right for the Rockies this season, but Rodgers has been a bright spot, producing a .288/.345/.529 slash line over his last 28 games. He should boost that stat line in a Coors Field matchup against Arrieta, the owner of a 6.20 ERA and 1.66 WHIP over 18 starts.

Corner Infield -- Abraham Toro (S), 19%, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins (RHP Griffin Jax): It's been quite a week for Toro, who finished July on a tear and has carried his hot hitting into August. The 24-year-old is hitting .407 with five dingers in his last nine games, quickly establishing himself as a mainstay in the Mariners' lineup after they acquired him from Houston a week ago. Toro gets a park boost heading to Yankee Stadium, and it's also noteworthy that he could pick up second-base eligibility soon.

Middle Infield -- Kyle Farmer (R), 36%, Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Wil Crowe): The Reds have Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel due back from the injured list soon, but it's going to be tough to take Farmer out of the lineup. Since the All-Star break, the 30-year-old infielder is batting .426 with three homers, six doubles, and two triples in 15 games. Although there's little in Farmer's track record that suggests this type of production will continue much longer, it should carry on through at least Thursday, when he matches up with Crowe, one of the more hittable arms on the slate.

Outfield -- Jo Adell (R), 11%, Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers (RHP Spencer Howard): The Angels promoted Adell to the big leagues on Tuesday, and he wasted little time making his presence felt. The 22-year-old went 3-for-4 with three RBI, a walk and a stolen base in his season debut. While there's plenty of swing-and-miss in Adell's game, there's big-time power, too. Prior to his promotion, he batted .289/.342/.592 with 23 bombs and eight steals in 73 games at Triple-A. Adell struggled in his stint with the Angels in 2020, but as a former first-round pick with game-changing power, he's worth another look in fantasy leagues.

Outfield -- Rafael Ortega (L), 19%, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies (RHP Antonio Senzatela): The Cubs may have traded away what seemed like half of their team at the trade deadline, but Ortega has at least provided some excitement over the last couple of weeks. Ortega has put up a .438/.481/.813 triple slash over his last 16 games, which was punctuated by a three-homer outburst against the Nationals on Sunday. This is a ride-the-streak situation, with a visit to Coors Field being an added bonus.

Outfield - Adam Duvall (R), 50%, Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals (LHP Wade LeBlanc): Duvall, recently acquired from the Marlins, features big power from the right side, and that has him sitting pretty for Tuesday's bout against LeBlanc. The veteran southpaw has surrendered a .377 wOBA to right-handed swingers this season, and he rarely misses bats, so he won't be able to capitalize on Duvall's primary weakness.