Aaron Civale, Albert Suarez, David Peterson and More

Aaron Civale, Albert Suarez, David Peterson and More

Let’s take a look at the likely starting 11s that are common in fantasy leagues on Thursday and have good matchups.

BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 28: Baltimore Orioles pitcher Albert Suárez (49) throws a pitch during the Texas Rangers – Baltimore Orioles MLB game at Orioles Park at Camden Yards on June 28, 2024 in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire)

July 11: Head to your local grocery store and grab a Slurpee and a hot dog for lunch, and hey, why not do the same for dinner! In the baseball world, the All-Star break is four days away, giving players and fans alike a chance to clear their heads and have some fun before the final stretch of the season.

After a light day for broadcasters yesterday, we have a stronger group today, despite fewer games on the schedule. That’s the way it is in baseball: sometimes there are too many options, sometimes there are too few, and sometimes it rains.

Let’s take a look at Thursday’s likely starters (According to are players that are common in fantasy leagues and have good matchups and generate streaming value. Most stats and rankings are taken from: MLBFull publisher rankings are listed at the bottom.

Milwaukee Brewers – Pittsburgh Pirates

Civale appeared frequently here when he pitched for the Rays, but his first act with the Brewers was a rough introduction: He faced the Dodgers, where he allowed three home runs but had eight strikeouts in a no-decision. Civale’s strikeout rate was above average for the season and his career, while his walk rate is below average for both 2024 and his career.

The Pirates are a much softer landing spot than L.A., as Pittsburgh hitters rank in the bottom 10 of essentially every major offensive statistic, while ranking fifth in most innings pitched. The outfielder leads the team with 104 hits, 17 home runs and a . 280 batting average, and the shortstop has slashed his electrifying style 75/14/. 247 in those same numbers, but no one else on the team has made a big and/or consistent impact.

Civale is a mid-level pennant with potential. His strikeout work matches the Pirates’ weakness well, and the matchup is right for him to get his first win in a Brewers uniform (though he’ll definitely have something to say about that).

Cleveland Guardians @ Detroit Tigers

Howard has yet to make an appearance for Cleveland, having recently come over from the Giants and designated for assignment. There’s not much to get excited about with his arrival; Howard’s career numbers include below-average strikeout and walk rates and a near-7.00 ERA. His best hope is that Cleveland’s pitcher’s paradise will help him produce average results, but I’ll have to see before I believe it.

Detroit follows the script of most of the teams listed here, ranking in the bottom 10 in many offensive statistics but closer to 20 than 30 in most of those areas. Still a good matchup, but they don’t provide as much relief as their area mates on the south side of Chicago, for example.

Howard is a low-level streamer. Until we see more, he should be considered a backup-level pitcher or worse, and if you’re desperate for an arm, he’s better suited for the last spot in your lineup.

Los Angeles Angels-Seattle Mariners

The Mariners are the opposite of the Tigers: They’re at the bottom of the league in most of those important statistics, ranking in the bottom three in runs, hits, batting average, batting percentage and OPS. Oh, and they’ve been struck out 60 more times than any other team.

Kochanowicz makes his big league debut in this game. It’s certainly exciting for him, but I don’t share his enthusiasm. He hasn’t made an appearance above Double-A, and Kochanowicz has a minor league ERA near 5.50 with well under a strikeout per inning.

Kochanowicz can’t be anything more than a sub-par streamer. There’s no reason to expect good results outside of Seattle’s own incompetence.

New York Mets-Washington Nationals

Peterson has faced the Nationals twice this season, with mostly positive results: 13 combined innings with only four runs allowed, but also only four strikeouts and three walks. His season numbers match that low strikeout rate with a walk rate nearly two percentage points higher than average; Peterson isn’t helping himself (though his career K% is much better).

Washington has a few pieces that could form the core of the next playoff team. I wrote yesterday that both of their best position players () and pitchers () came via trade, and despite having less than 50 innings, they have very high potential. However, the rest of the roster is mediocre, so the rest of 2024 is likely to be tough.

Peterson is a low to mid-level streamer. His lack of strikeouts is concerning, but he has produced good results and this matchup gives him another quality outing.

Baltimore Orioles-Chicago Cubs

The series is 2-0 between the last-place Cubs and the first-place Orioles, but Chicago beat Baltimore 4-0 yesterday after winning the first game 9-2. It may be tempting to stay away today, but I’m betting on the numbers for this game all season long. The Cubs’ batters rank seventh in most strikeouts, while ranking in the bottom 10 in home runs, batting average, batting percentage and OPS.

Suarez continues his successful return to the majors by holding a sub-3.00 ERA in 11 starts and seven relief appearances. His strikeout rate is below average, especially considering his time in the bullpen, but he is just below average in walks. Suarez has allowed 12 hits, just two runs, eight strikeouts, and one walk in his last two starts.

Suarez is a mid-level broadcaster here. The matchup could have been better, but he delivered the ball well and has a chance to make a quality debut in this match.

Thursday Streamer Rankings

  1. Aaron Civale, Mother-in-Law
  2. Albert Suarez, BAL
  3. David Peterson, New York
  4. Spencer Howard, CLE
  5. Jack Kochanowicz, LAA

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