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 has been updated with overnight pitching changes and 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 Monday’s MLB Games
By Todd Zola
It’s an abbreviated six-game Monday slate with everything under the lights. The games begin in the Great American Ballpark with rookie fireballer Hunter Greene (29.1% rostered in ESPN leagues) toeing the rubber for the Cincinnati Reds against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. Greene’s 29.1% strikeout rate is outstanding but he’s still raw, with control and command issues leading to elevated walk rates, home run totals and pitch counts. Greene’s strikeouts are enticing, but the Diamondbacks are one of the league’s most patient offenses with the fourth-highest home run rate against righthanders. While some are looking to Greene as a streamer or DFS hurler, consider an Arizona DFS stack or pick from Josh Rojas (37%), Christian Walker (34%), David Peralta (20%), Alek Thomas (14%) and Pavin Smith (6%) as fantasy fill-in bats.
Those looking to get an early jump on pitching don’t have a lot from which to choose, but a pair of AL East starters stand out as fantasy streamers. While much of the attention has been paid to the surging Boston Red Sox offense, their starting pitching has also been on the upswing, including Michael Wacha (34%). The righthander doesn’t pile up punchouts, but he has only yielded more than two runs in an outing once all season. On Monday, he’ll face an Angels lineup fanning at the second highest clip in the league against righthanders, giving Wacha a chance to pad his total. It should be noted Jo Adell (4%) is back with the Halos with Taylor Ward sidelined with a hamstring sprain.
The Toronto Blue Jays have also been playing better ball lately, but just lost Hyun-Jin Ryu to a forearm strain and elbow inflammation. Ross Stripling (1%) is getting the nod to fill the opening. The caveat is while Stripling has been throwing multiple innings from the bullpen, he may not be stretched out enough to throw the five frames necessary to qualify for a win. Jon Gray (51%) and Cal Quantrill (63%) both eclipse the 50% mark usually used to identify fantasy streamers, but with only six games, their availability merits a look as they’re in favorable spots.
Circling back to the Red Sox offense, Noah Syndergaard is on the hill for the Angels, so look for Boston to run. Jackie Bradley Jr. (1%) missed the weekend on paternity with Jarren Duran (1%) taking his spot against righthanders. It’s unclear if Bradley will be back on Monday, but both are in play for steals.
The Cleveland Guardians are also in play for some early week pilfers as they host a Texas Rangers club not adept at controlling the running game. Myles Straw (55%) is the prime target with Andres Gimenez (25%) and Amed Rosario (35%) also in the mix.
One of the best ways to approach a short slate is utilizing the extra pitching spots for relievers, especially those with a chance at a save. Topping the Monday list are Joe Barlow (42%), Mark Melancon (37%), Tony Santillan (1%) and Art Warren (1%).
Starting pitcher rankings for Monday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Tommy Pham (CIN, LF — 36%) vs. Madison Bumgarner
Nick Senzel (CIN, CF — 1%) vs. Bumgarner
Alejandro Kirk (TOR, C — 34%) at Daniel Lynch
Josh Naylor (CLE, RF — 42%) vs. Jon Gray
Kyle Farmer (CIN, SS — 29%) vs. Bumgarner
Kole Calhoun (TEX, RF — 23%) at Cal Quantrill
Mitch Garver (TEX, C — 19%) at Quantrill
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.
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Sunday
Eugenio Suarez (SEA, 3B — 53%) at Cristian Javier
Eduardo Escobar (NYM, 2B — 62%) at Blake Snell
Brandon Nimmo (NYM, CF — 78%) at Snell
Julio Rodriguez (SEA, RF — 82%) at Javier
Mark Canha (NYM, LF — 65%) at Snell
Jeremy Pena (HOU, SS — 71%) vs. Robbie Ray
Adam Frazier (SEA, 2B — 62%) at Javier
Owen Miller (CLE, 2B — 56%) vs. Jon Gray
Jurickson Profar (SD, 1B — 82%) vs. Carlos Carrasco
Eric Hosmer (SD, 1B — 77%) vs. Carrasco
THE BAT X’s Best Stacks for Today
Boston Red Sox at Noah Syndergaard
Arizona Diamondbacks at Hunter Greene
Cincinnati Reds vs. Madison Bumgarner
Prop of the Day
Cal Quantrill pitching outs: Over/Under 17.5 (-185/+130)
THE BAT sees Quantrill putting up 17.0 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 46.2% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $23.72.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Progressive Field has the fourth-highest fence height (on average) in MLB.
Quantrill has added a cutter to his pitch mix this year and has utilized it 39.7% of the time.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Texas Rangers have been the fourth-unluckiest offense in the game this year, according to THE BAT X, meaning they are likely to perform better in future games
Progressive Field projects as the No. 5 venue in the majors for batting average, according to THE BAT projection system.
The weatherman calls for the second-best hitting weather of all games today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
The wind projects to be blowing out to CF at 16.4 mph in this contest, the most-favorable of the day for batters.
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