Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Trevor Cahill is pitching for his sixth team since 2014. Getty Images

Sunday's options were the worst in recent memory with respect to unearthing helpful pitchers to stream. Monday is the exact opposite as there are at least eight viable options-- twice the number we usually highlight. There's also a deep supply of hitters, some of which may have longer-term utility. Some of the reason for the plush inventory is a complete holiday slate, including a double-header.

Remember, many of the Memorial Day affairs are matinees, so be sure to set your rosters early. Here's some of the top options to start your fantasy week off in a strong manner.


Pitchers to stream

Trevor Cahill (R), rostered in 24 percent of ESPN leagues, Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Cahill's surface stats are due to see a correction, but the underlying metrics portend a soft landing. Tampa Bay's offense has been better than perceived against right-handers but is still mid-pack and shouldn't pose much of a threat on the road.

Caleb Smith (L), 23 percent, Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres: Fantasy managers covet strikeouts. Perhaps if Smith pitched in a higher-profile locale, he and his 11.9 K/9 wouldn't be so widely available. Look for another big strikeout game facing a Padres lineup fanning at a 26 percent clip against southpaws.

Lance Lynn (R), 14 percent, Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals: It's more anecdotal than statistical, but the crazy April which the Twins endured could well have interfered with Lynn's routine. Being a veteran -- and a one-time Tommy John recipient -- Lynn could have been thrown off by the frequent postponements as well as the trip to Puerto Rico. Perhaps he's just now getting into a groove. Facing a weak Royals lineup is a great way to test out this theory.

Brandon McCarthy (R), 12 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets: The Mets are averaging just 3.1 runs in May, ahead of only the Diamondbacks. McCarthy has rebounded nicely from an early May rut, fanning 13 in his past two outings, spanning 11.2 innings.

Adam Plutko (R), 6 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox: Maybe it's a hot streak, or perhaps Plutko has figured something out. After a solid spot start with the Indians in early May, the 26-year old righty has followed up that outing with a pair of strong efforts for Triple-A Columbus. He was recalled last week, holding the Cubs scoreless in six frames, albeit while issuing four free passes. At a minimum, Plutko is a good choice for those in search of a streaming W.

Brock Stewart (R), 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Stewart isn't stretched out enough to go very deep into this game, but he doesn't have to do so in order to be useful. The Phillies are one of the league's worst offenses when a right-hander is on the hill, carrying a generous 26 percent strikeout rate in that scenario.

Eric Lauer (L), fewer than 1 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Miami Marlins: The Padres are rich with pitching prospects, and while Lauer may not be one of the front-end candidates, he's certainly considered to be a part of their future. A combination of injuries and under-performing by the San Diego rotation pressed Lauer into MLB action before he was ready. As such, there will surely be bumps in the road. That said, in his last outing he held the Nationals to one run in six frames. That's encouraging. He's in a good spot against the Marlins -- one of the league's weakest teams when facing a southpaw -- to make it two straight solid efforts.

Max Fried (L), fewer than 1 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets: Fried was overmatched last season in four big-league starts and hasn't been much better in four relief appearances with the Braves this season. However, the lefty had a dominant Arizona Fall League campaign and has since looked better at Triple-A. Most importantly, his initial 2018 start comes against a Mets club ranked dead last in wOBA versus southpaws.


Despite A.J. Minter and Daniel Winkler both breathing down his neck, Arodys Vizcaino continues to get the ball in the ninth inning for the Braves. With a twin-bill on the Monday docket, grabbing Minter or Winkler isn't a bad idea just in case the Braves are in a position to sweep and don't want to tax Vizcaino.

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.



Chris Iannetta (R), 5 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Andrew Suarez): The Rockies are home for six games this week, three against southpaws. This not only makes Iannetta a good play on Monday, but if you can keep him around, he'll be in play often this week.

First base

Mitch Moreland (L), 34 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Aaron Sanchez): Moreland is on the verge of lifetime membership into the streaming club. He's even playing against southpaws -- at least for now. On Monday, he draws Sanchez, who hasn't been the same despite seemingly having recovered from his blister woes. His velocity is down, lowering his punch-out count and with more walks than in his salad days.

Second base

Ben Zobrist (B), 25 percent, Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Chad Kuhl): Like Moreland, Zobrist is a frequent visitor to this section of Daily Notes, but it's hard to ignore a switch-hitter at the top of a productive lineup, especially one this routinely available.

Third base

David Freese (R), fewer than 1 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs (LHP Mike Montgomery): The Cubs needed a fill-in for Yu Darvish who was recently put back on the DL, this time for triceps tendinitis. Montgomery is the lucky winner of this unofficial lottery, although his longest appearance out of the bullpen this season is 3 IP. The Pirates could have a productive day with a lineup at full strength that should include both Josh Harrison and Starling Marte.


Wilmer Difo (B), fewer than 1 percent, Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles (RHP Alex Cobb): Difo will very likely be in the lineup, especially since the Nationals will be able to use a designated hitter in this "natural rivalry" -- an interleague affair. He has been in a little bit of a skid recently, but has shown signs of getting back on track over the weekend, carrying a modest three-game hitting streak into Camden Yards.

Corner infield

Wilmer Flores (R), 2 percent, New York Mets at Atlanta Braves (LHP Max Fried): With two games on the docket, the Mets and Braves are both prime targets on Monday -- especially those with a chance to play both ends of the doubleheader. Flores has been playing against all pitchers of late but is especially dangerous against lefties. As for his teammates, consider Brandon Nimmo against Brandon McCarthy. Nick Markakis, Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo are all in play Monday for Atlanta, along with the catchers from both squads.

Middle infield

Jason Kipnis (L), 17 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Dylan Covey): Kipnis has relatively poor numbers, but his underlying metrics portend better days on the horizon. His plate skills are in line with his career norms, and he is posting a hard-hit rate well above the league average. Kipnis seeks to break out against one of the lowest-ranked hurlers on the board.


Tyler O'Neill (R), 40 percent, St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers (LHP Brent Suter): With Dexter Fowler ailing and possibly in need of a trip to the DL, O'Neill and Harrison Bader continue to see a lot of action. O'Neill has been taking advantage of his opportunity, slugging three homers over the past week.

Socrates Brito (L), fewer than 1 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Homer Bailey): With Steven Souza Jr. on the shelf, Brito was summoned as a fill-in and should see fairly regular playing time. His .323/.365/.437 for Triple-A Reno may not carry over to The Show, but the Diamondbacks can use any help they can get. They've been averaging an anemic 2.4 runs/game this month. If they can't muster more offense when facing one of the league's worst starters, then they're really in trouble.

Mac Williamson (R), 8 percent, San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies (RHP Chad Bettis): Williamson is back after a stay on the DL for a concussion. The outfielder spent some time working with swing guru Doug Latta in the off-season. Latta previously made news as the man behind Justin Turner's reworked power stroke. Williamson gets to try out the new approach in Coors Field -- a huge step up from AT&T Park.

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.