The first Monday after the All-Star break is usually one of the busier Mondays of the season and 2018 is no exception. Only four teams have the day off, yielding a generous slate to pore over for options to fortify the empty spots in your lineup.
Let's take a look at the day's top streaming options, focusing on players rostered in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues.
Pitchers to stream
Luis Castillo (R), rostered in 33 percent of ESPN leagues, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals: Not only is Castillo in play Monday, he's the type of pitcher you want to stash in head-to-head leagues as he can be a difference-maker in the playoffs. He's also a good pickup if your pitching statistics need to make up some ground. Unfortunately, there's nothing specific to his numbers portending a reversion to last season's form other than he achieved good numbers a year ago. As for this contest, St. Louis is a league-average offense versus righties, so there isn't too much risk of a disaster.
Jaime Barria (R), 7 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox: The Angels are being cautious with their just-turned 22-year-old prospect, especially considering how injury-riddled their pitching has been the past few years. Even though he isn't likely to toss much more than five innings Monday, Barria is still a strong play against an offense fanning at a 26 percent rate versus righties. Chicago also sports the seventh-worst wOBA in these scenarios.
Joey Lucchesi (L), 14 percent, San Diego Padres at New York Mets: The Mets' splits when facing lefthanders are the worst in the league, both in terms of strikeouts and production. Lucchesi was sent to Triple-A El Paso over the break to stay sharp and he was hit hard by Albuquerque, allowing seven runs with seven hits and four walks in just two innings. Still, based on a solid first half, look for Lucchesi to rebound from that effort back in The Show.
With Jeurys Familia dealt to the Athletics, Robert Gsellman is in line to be the Mets' primary closer. Skills-wise, Gsellman's strikes out nearly one hitter per inning, but control will get him into trouble. While lower-tier teams do generate saves, a combination of pedestrian skills and fewer opportunities isn't enticing -- unless you're completely desperate for saves.
There is also a pair of bullpen games on Monday's docket, thanks to the Rays and Blue Jays. This is old hat for Tampa who will open with Hunter Wood and likely follow with Matt Andriese. Toronto needs a bridge with Marco Estrada not being activated until later in the week, so they'll open with Luis Santos. No one from either club is worth deploying.
Projected game scores
Robinson Chirinos (R), 10 percent, Texas Rangers vs. Oakland Athletics (LHP Brett Anderson): Chirinos is having an off season though he's still displaying some pop. Anderson is rather stingy with the long ball, but when he does surrender homers, it's to a right-handed batter.
Logan Morrison (L), 4 percent, Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays (bullpen game): Morrison is fresh off the disabled list, looking to salvage a rough season through the break. Morrison was showing signs of doing so, at least in terms of power, with a pair of homers in his past seven games. The Blue Jays will likely be parading pedestrian relievers to the hill as they await the return of Marco Estrada.
Neil Walker (B), 1 percent, New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays (bullpen game): Gleyber Torres isn't slated to return until the middle of the week, making the switch-hitting Walker a good option since he'll enjoy the platoon advantage regardless of who is taking the hill for the Rays.
Jeimer Candelario (B), 14 percent, Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals (RHP Heath Fillmyer): This might as well be a bullpen game for the Royals as they're bringing Fillmyer out of the bullpen to fill in for the injured Ian Kennedy. Much like Walker, Candelario is enticing as he's also a switch-hitter on a day the Royals are likely to rely on weak relievers to follow Fillmyer.
Ketel Marte (B), 26 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs (RHP Luke Farrell): In what's become a theme, Marte is yet another hitter adept from both sides of the plate. After starting the post-break festivities a day earlier than the rest of the league followed by a Saturday twin bill, the Cubs need a spot starter. Farrell last worked July 11 so he'll be rested, but still isn't likely to work any more than three or four frames.
Kendrys Morales (B), 10 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins (LHP Adalberto Mejia): Yes, another switch-hitter, but Morales is also featured to point out he's played 12 games at first base, giving him eligibility other than utility in most leagues. The veteran has been hitting the ball hard all season as shown by Statcast, but without the results. That said, a .962 OPS with six homers the past month suggest a reversal of fortune.
Johan Camargo (B), 13 percent, Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins (RHP Jose Urena): Now we're getting close to overkill. This one isn't about the platoon edge, it's about getting some exposure to a pitcher the Braves should be able to hit. Urena doesn't miss many bats, while the Braves are stingy with strikeouts.
Jesse Winker (L), 44 percent, Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Daniel Poncedeleon): Winker's 12-game hitting streak was snapped Sunday. Even so, he's slashing .365/.470/.563 since June 1. Poncedeleon has been pitching well for Triple-A Memphis, though at 26, he's old for the level. Like the Cubs, the Cardinals require a spot starter after playing two more games than the rest of the league coming out of the break.
Kole Calhoun (L), 12 percent, Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Lucas Giolito): Calhoun looks to continue the roll he was on entering the break, compiling a .902 OPS the past month, including a 1.006 mark the past seven games. Giolito hasn't matured as rapidly as hoped, with just 63 strikeouts with 60 walks in 103⅓ frames. Giolito's also homer-prone with a 1.5 HR/9.
Jorge Bonifacio (R), 2 percent, Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers (LHP Francisco Liriano): Bonifacio is still looking to get in a groove coming off his 80-game suspension. Liriano could be the elixir, recording a 6.75 ERA and 1.92 WHIP with 16 walks in 21⅓ innings since re-entering the Tigers rotation.
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.