Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets takes the mound on Monday -- weather permitting, of course. Juan Salas/Icon Sportswire

Apparently, Mother Nature doesn't play fantasy baseball. What a weekend! Monday brings with it a new week, hopefully with more clement weather. Unfortunately, cold and rain in Boston has resulted in the annual 11:05 AM ET Patriot's Day affair being cancelled.

The rest of the card offers a nice selection of pitchers and hitters, so you can start the week strong. As always, be sure to check for updates as changes are made to the schedule.


Pitchers to stream

Reynaldo Lopez (R), rostered in 39 percent of ESPN leagues, Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics: Lopez takes the hill on seven days' rest, following a weekend of weather-induced postponements. Last time, he held the Tigers to one unearned run in seven innings, fanning five but also walking five. Despite Oakland's slow start in terms of record, the A's are in the top half of the league in terms of runs scored, so this will be a good test for Lopez as he aims to show the potential the White Sox saw when they acquired him from the Nationals.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (L), 8 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres: If Ryu were assured of a full season's worth of starts, he'd be a much more popular hurler. His history is pitching well between injuries, hence the widespread availability. The Padres don't pose much of a threat, ranking in the bottom third with regard to runs scored. With Robbie Erlin likely returning for the Padres, Ryu should get plenty of run support.

Brent Suter (L), 3 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds: Suter catches the Reds at a good time, with the notoriously slow-starting Joey Votto and injuries resulting in a sluggish start, near the bottom of the league in runs scored. Suter won't pile up strikeouts, but he limits walks and keeps the ball in the yard.


Alex Claudio picked up a save on Saturday. This isn't a sign that the former Rangers closer has regained the job, but rather an indication that Texas won't hesitate to play matchups when warranted. Keone Kela is still the closer, with the ability to handle lefty swingers, but on occasion, Claudio could still be called upon to retire left-handers. Especially in leagues scoring holds, keep an eye on Chris Martin. The lanky righty spent the past two seasons in Japan. So far, he has whiffed eight with just one free pass in 7 2/3 stanzas.

Projected game scores

GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. The "*" symbol means the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.



Russell Martin (R), 23 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals (LHP Danny Duffy): For the second straight season, Martin is slow out of the box. However, he continues to hit out of the five-hole, much higher than most catchers. This helps keep him useful, increasing runs and RBI chances.

First Base

Colin Moran (L), 25 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP German Marquez): Moran has been a frequent visitor to this space. We try not to repeat the same player too often, but on a shorter Monday docket, sometimes there won't be a choice. Moran's hit tool has never been in question. The question has been defense and whether his power will develop. The Bucs are giving him a chance, albeit mostly against righties. Marquez is off to a rocky start (pun intended), allowing 22 men on base in just 12.2 innings.

Second base

Jonathan Villar (B), 24 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Luis Castillo): It's early, but Villar is looking more circa 2016 than last season. This isn't to say he'll reproduce those numbers, but his playing time looks to be assured, at least for now. Castillo has been sluggish to begin the campaign, likely due to cold conditions affecting his changeup. This will be in a dome, but it's still worth taking a shot on Villar as the Reds struggle to keep the running game in check.

Third base

Kyle Farmer (R), fewer than 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (LHP Robbie Erlin): Farmer will be picking up some extra playing time at the hot corner while Logan Forsythe is sidelined. He can also catch, which is something to track because there is a chance of a double-switch, getting Farmer one game closer to catcher eligibility.


Pat Valaika (R), fewer than 1 percent, Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates (LHP Steven Brault): This is for the deepest of leagues: With Nolan Arenado still serving his suspension, look for Valaika at one of the corner infield spots. He's incurring a huge park downgrade but does have a little pop versus right-handers.

Corner infield

Adrian Gonzalez (L), 8 percent, New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (RHP Jeremy Hellickson): Hellickson is set to make his 2018 debut, bumping A.J. Cole from the rotation. After posting a surprisingly effective 2016 season, Hellickson struggled last year, fanning fewer hitters while allowing a hefty 35 homers in 164 innings. Gonzalez, and fellow lefty swinger Brandon Nimmo are both in prime lineup spots, aiming to take advantage of the platoon edge.

Middle infield

Marcus Semien (R), 26 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Reynaldo Lopez): My first thought was to check Jed Lowrie, but he's finally hit the 50 percent threshold for inclusion, though he's still available in a lot of leagues. Semien hits at or near the top of the order, regardless of the opposing pitcher. He's off to a slow start, fanning 23 times in 69 at bats, but has a hit in 14 of 16 games played so far. The hits are a result of an improving hard hit rate, suggesting that if Semien's contact reverts to normal levels, he has a good chance of propelling his average upward. Lopez's ratios are impressive, but 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 innings says Lopez better improve his skills to maintain them.


Carlos Gomez (R), 9 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Martin Perez): As usual, making contact is an issue for Gomez. When he hits the ball, good things still happen, as five of his 10 hits (through Saturday) have gone for extra bases. Perez sports one of the lower strikeout rates in the league, putting Gomez in good position to put the ball in play.

Nicky Delmonico (L), 2 percent, Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics (RHP Daniel Mengden): It'll be interesting to see if the timing of the White Sox is affected by the team's long layoff. Delmonico has settled into the five-hole against right-handers, sporting a nice .862 OPS early.

Aaron Hicks (B), 37 percent, New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins (LHP Caleb Smith): If you rank players on a per-plate-appearance basis, Hicks excels. The problem is he can't avoid injuries. Well, he's healthy now, so take advantage, especially facing a weak arm at home.

Hitter matchup ratings

Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth), as well as ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.

Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible); a 1-2 is poor, 3-4 is fair, 5-6 is average, 7-8 is very good and 9-10 is excellent.