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Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Julio Urias faces a Giants offense that lacks familiar names and big bats. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

It's a fairly full slate for a Monday with only four clubs getting the day off after the first weekend of the season. It's a good day for finding pitchers to stream as most clubs are into the back end of their rotation. Usually, only pitchers with a projected game score lower than 50 are featured, with the assumption anyone logging at least 50 is a viable candidate. However, early in the season, pitchers who should be rostered in more leagues will be highlighted to make sure they're on your radar.

For those new to daily fantasy leagues, Monday and Thursday are the slates to put in extra work since your active lineup probably has holes with teams not playing. Don't worry: The Daily Notes team has your back, offering an array of choices to keep your squad at maximum production.


Pitching

Pitchers to stream

Matt Strahm (L), rostered in 31 percent of ESPN leagues, San Diego Padres vs. Arizona Diamondbacks: Strahm is the first of the hurlers with a promising projected game score, checking in at 54. So far in his career, Strahm has bounced between the bullpen and rotation, with injuries curtailing his development. The Padres have a treasure trove of starting pitching on the farm, so Strahm's long-term role is unclear. However, he's being afforded a golden opportunity to establish that he can be a rotation staple. The southpaw sits in the low 90s. Even as a reliever, he fashioned four pitches, so the transition to full-time starter shouldn't be taxing. Stahm benefits from a juicy home matchup against an already middling offense, further weakened after Steven Souza Jr. was lost for the season.

Julio Urias (L), 29 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants: Urias is ranked just below Strahm with a 53 game score. If it weren't for an inning limit, Urias would be populating more teams. That said, it's still unclear how the Dodgers intend to manage the former top pitching prospect in the game. What is clear is they prefer for Urias to empty the tank at the big league level and not essentially waste innings on the farm. There aren't many cases of pitchers coming back from anterior capsule surgery to get a feel for Urias' future prognosis, but for now his velocity is back to pre-injury levels, boding well for strikeouts. He's in a particularly attractive spot Monday, facing one of the softest lineups in the league, at home in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium.

Domingo German (R), 5 percent, New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers: German's game score is right at the 50 cutoff. His stuff grades higher; he just doesn't have the experience to warrant a higher ranking, at least not yet. Fanning 102 in 85.2 frames last season is an example of what he can do and is one of the primary reasons the young righty is being called upon to hold the fort while Luis Severino and CC Sabathia are on the shelf. German draws a middle-of-the-road Tigers lineup that dodged a bullet over the weekend as Miguel Cabrera played on Sunday after being hit in the hand by a pitch Saturday.

Caleb Smith (L), 4 percent, Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets: Smith represents the largest dichotomy between projected game score and ESPN league availability. In part due to the lack of front-line options on the card, Smith lands as the second-best option on the ledger. The lefty is squaring off against a potent Mets offense. However, the affair is in run-suppressing Marlins Park while many of the visitors' better hitters are lefty swingers, giving the platoon edge to Smith.

Bullpen

In the first of what will be many occurrences, the Rays are trotting out the proverbial opener, with Ryan Yarbrough the likely primary pitcher. Yarbrough thrived in this role last season, collecting a handful of wins throwing fewer than five innings, helping an impressive 16-6 record. For all it's fantasy frustration, the ability for the "follower" to get a win in this fashion is a huge boon. Further, the Rockies historically struggle on the road versus lefties, though it's obviously too early to get a feel for how they'll fare this season.

Projected game scores


Hitting

Catcher

Austin Barnes (R), 10 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants (LHP Drew Pomeranz): After usurping the catcher gig from Yasmani Grandal down the stretch the past two seasons, all he must do is hold off Russell Martin for the lion's share of playing time behind the dish. Admittedly hyperbolic, Barnes' skill set is somewhere between that of J.T. Realmuto and Buster Posey. This isn't to say he'll ever attain that level, but he's a batting average guy with a bit of power and speed. With the platoon edge on a shaky Pomeranz, Monday is a day for Barnes to approach those comps.

First Base

Tyler White (R), 14 percent, Houston Astros at Texas Rangers (LHP Drew Smyly): White displaced Evan Gattis late last season, playing a lot of first base and designated hitter. Houston has stated they're going to play musical chairs at the DH spot, though there's an excellent chance White will be in the lineup whenever a lefty is on the hill. Smyly is coming off a season in which he allowed 32 homers in 175.1 frames, and now he's working in one of the better home run venues in the league. White knocked 12 out of the yard in just 237 plate appearances last year.

Second Base

Brad Miller (L), under 1 percent, Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Veteran journeyman Miller landed in Cleveland as the Indians infield is devoid of Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor to open the 2019 campaign. The platoon splits favor Miller, especially since Nova allows a lot of contact.

Third Base

Eduardo Nunez (R), 8 percent, Boston Red Sox at Oakland Athletics (RHP Aaron Brooks): The last time most saw Nunez, he was crashing into walls and falling down dugout steps against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 Fall Classic. After an offseason of healing, the veteran is looking spry. The Red Sox haven't established how they'll handle second base with Dustin Pedroia still out, but even if Brock Holt draws the start, both are in play against the mediocre Brooks.

Shortstop

Tim Beckham (R), 50 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Chris Stratton): Beckham is the early-season leader in colorful bat flips, which is another way of saying he's off to a scorching start. He doesn't enjoy the platoon edge on Stratton, but the newly acquired right-hander isn't especially dominating with the platoon edge.

Corner Infield

Justin Bour (L), 12 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners (RHP Felix Hernandez): It's not apropos since this tilt is in newly named T-Mobile Park, but for the season, Bour is a latent source of power as Angels Stadium is now favorable for lefty mashers with the home run line lowered in right field. That said, the ball is carrying more than normal early in the Pacific Northwest.

Middle Infield

Richie Martin (R), under 1 percent, Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays (RHP Sean Reid-Foley): As a Rule 5 pickup, Martin should be on the Orioles' 25-man roster for the duration of the season. After the Orioles picked up Alcides Escobar, it looked like Martin was earmarked for reserve duty, but then the Orioles did the right thing, releasing Escobar. Facing the raw Reid-Foley, Martin is a deep-league special.

Outfield

Billy McKinney (L), 1 percent, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles (RHP David Hess): McKinney begins the season on the strong side of a platoon, hitting at or near the top of the Blue Jays' lineup. Facing one of the weaker arms on the slate, this is a sweet spot to be in.

Kevin Kiermaier (L), 11 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Chad Bettis): Kiermaier is hitting lower in the lineup than previous seasons. However, in the American League, hitting lower in the order isn't as detrimental for stolen bases.

Mark Canha (R), under 1 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox (LHP David Price): The Red Sox pitchers are obviously behind, by design, as Alex Cora limits starters' innings in the spring. As such, don't be scared to use opposing hitters until they show they're up to speed. That said, a team like the Athletics may play the platoon game and take Canha out against a righty reliever.

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).