Monday is a busy travel day in MLB as only 14 teams will be in action, all under the lights. Despite there being only seven games, there are some intriguing pitching streaming options. There are some solid hitting choices as well, lined up to help fill the inevitable holes in your lineup due to the abbreviated schedule.
Something to keep in mind when choosing hitters is they may not check all the usual boxes (facing weak pitcher, good lineup spot, platoon edge and good hitting park). Not to mention, our protocol is to choose 10 hitters facing 10 different pitchers, so there may be some candidates facing a better pitcher, or lacking the platoon edge, etc.
The other tip on a short slate is to make your moves as early as possible since the demand for hitters and pitchers to stream will be high with so many players with an off day.
Tyler Skaggs (L), rostered in 48 percent of ESPN leagues, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins: Looking at a pitcher's BABIP (batting average on balls in play) and deeming him lucky or unlucky is no longer next-level analysis. Therefore, the fact Skaggs has carried a high BABIP throughout his career isn't just bad luck. Sure, there's likely an element of misfortune, but despite better-than-average strikeout and walk rates, Skaggs allows too much solid contact. Still, pitchers with his underlying skills usually pitch to better than a 4.70 ERA. Considering the potency of the Twins' lineup, Skaggs is risky, but on a short slate, he's in play.
Brad Peacock (R), 31 percent, Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers: Peacock rebounded from a pounding inflicted by the Twins by fanning 12 Royals last time out. Although Peacock will be hard-pressed to match that outing, the Tigers fan more versus righties than the Royals.
Reynaldo Lopez (R), 13 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians: Lopez has authored five quality starts in his past six outings, in large part because he's allowed only three homers in that span, spanning 29 frames. On paper, the Indians won't offer much resistance as they'll bring the second-lowest wOBA (weighted on base average) into Guaranteed Rate Park.
Jonathan Loaisiga (R), 2 percent, New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles: With James Paxton on the sideline, Loaisiga gets at least one, maybe a couple of starts, beginning with a great matchup against the Orioles. The righty has struggled so far, even at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but he carries a solid prospect pedigree. If nothing else, the Yankees will be favored over a weak Baltimore club so expect the Yankees to ask Loaisiga for five frames, then they'll tag in their bullpen.
If the Yankees will be happy with five and fly from Loaisiga, it makes sense for Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Tommy Kahnle to be picked up in points leagues or even rotisserie leagues as they'll fill an open roster spot at minimal cost.
Catcher -- Josh Phegley (R), 18 percent, Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners (LHP Yusei Kikuchi): It's been only 48 1/3 innings, but to open his career, all five homers Kikuchi has surrendered have come courtesy of right-handers, while all 10 free passes he's issued have been to batters from the right side. Phegley has a .980 OPS versus southpaws to open the 2019 campaign.
First Base -- Daniel Vogelbach (L), 47 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics (RHP Mike Fiers): Vogelbach is in a tailspin while Fiers is coming off a no-hitter. Remember, history is a better predictor than small samples and Vogelbach has plus power facing righties whereas Fiers is vulnerable to left-handed pop.
Second Base -- Tommy La Stella (L), 19 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins (RHP Jose Berrios): Based on personal research, Berrios' average fly ball distance renders him more susceptible than most pitchers to the juiced ball. On the other end, La Stella's average fly ball distance has skyrocketed, helping to explain nine homers this season after smacking 10 for his career entering the season.
Third Base -- Gio Urshela (R), 4 percent, New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP David Hess): With Miguel Andujar able to occupy the designated hitter spot, Urshela's time as a regular is extended. Though, posting a .929 OPS the past three weeks, featuring a 1.029 mark the past week could have something to do with it as well.
Shortstop -- Ronny Rodriguez (R), 4 percent, Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros (RHP Brad Peacock): Injuries to Niko Goodrum and Jordy Mercer paved the way for Rodriguez to play regularly and he has responded, carrying a 1.044 OPS into Sunday's action. As the Tigers exhibited last season with Goodrum, they'll ride the hot hand, sometimes for the entire season. Neither Harrison nor Mercer will be part of the next Tigers contender, why not give Rodriguez an extended audition?
Corner Infield -- C.J. Cron (R), 32 percent, Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels (LHP Tyler Skaggs): As is the case with most righty swingers, Cron is more effective with a southpaw on the hill. Thus far this season, Cron is feasting on lefties, slashing a healthy .421/.429/.947.
Middle Infield -- Aledmys Diaz (R), 1 percent, Houston Astros at Detroit Tigers (LHP Matthew Boyd): With Jose Altuve on the IL, Diaz should see regular playing time. At minimum, he'll play against lefties. Boyd appears to be taking the next step, but Diaz is a former regular, so he's seen good pitching and handled it in the past.
Outfield -- Bryan Reynolds (S), 1 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): Injuries have opened up playing time for Reynolds and he's taking advantage, posting an .846 OPS with most of the damage against southpaws. Ray can be tough, but he's walked 93 in his past 167 1/3 innings.
Outfield -- Charlie Tilson (L), 1 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Indians (RHP Shane Bieber): Tilson has been playing regularly, but with Leury Garcia leaving Sunday's game after a collision with the outfield fence, Tilson may assume the leadoff spot, a good place to be.
Outfield -- Jarrod Dyson (L), 3 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (RHP Nick Kingham): Kingham is especially vulnerable to lefty hitters. Dyson is known for his legs, not muscle, but he's still in a great spot atop the Diamondbacks' lineup, in line to get on, steal and score.