Look for our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings, hitter upgrades and downgrades daily to help you make smart fantasy baseball lineup decisions and for MLB betting tips. MLB game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.
Note: This file has been updated with overnight pitching changes and weather-related game postponements, along with the addition of the latest MLB game odds as of the indicated time of publication.
What you need to know for Monday's MLB Games
By Todd Zola
Only nine games are on Monday's docket, with the first games beginning just after 7:00 PM ET. Even with the abbreviated schedule, there are a handful of options for those looking to get a head start with pitching in their fantasy leagues. Two of the top options are squaring off in the slate's final game with the Orioles' Tyler Wells (14% rostered in ESPN leagues) taking the hill in T-Mobile Park against rookie George Kirby (29% rostered) and the Mariners. Kirby has started his career with five quality starts in his first nine starts and faces a weaker lineups, so he's preferred. However, Wells is in play in deeper leagues with three quality starts of his own over his prior three efforts. Kris Bubic (2%) and Erick Fedde (2%) are also in play, though they both carry risk. Both righthanders enjoy home field advantage against lesser lineups with Bubic and the Royals entertaining the Rangers and Fedde and the Nationals hosting the Pirates.
The marquee series of the early portion of the week features the soaring Red Sox heading north to face the Blue Jays. However, Jarren Duran and Tanner Houck will not be making the trip. With Enrique Hernandez suffering a setback during rehab, Jackie Bradley Jr. will cover center field while Christian Arroyo and Franchy Cordero will man right field. This leaves first base to Bobby Dalbec. Look for Alex Cora to play matchups in the late innings with John Schreiber named closer by Alex Cora.
Speaking of saves, short slates are perfect for adding a low rostered closer or two to your lineup. Joe Barlow (43%) is the chief option with Martin Perez starting for the Rangers against the Royals. If Lucas Giolito can get back on track, Kendall Graveman (15%) and Joe Kelly (1%) have been used to replace Liam Hendriks. Jorge Lopez's rostership has been on the upswing, but he's sill available in a tad over half of all ESPN leagues.
Given the primary purpose of each day's notes is discussing what you need to know for that day's action, looking ahead never hurts. Not only does Colorado play six home games this week, four of the probable starters are southpaws. Some potentially available righthanded hitters to consider rostering for the homestand include Connor Joe (61%), Brendan Rodgers (55%), Randal Grichuk (49%), Jose Iglesias (6%) and Yonathan Daza (2%).
It's not too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.
Starting pitcher rankings for Monday
Best Sub-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Best and worst hitters from the day are generated by THE BAT X, a projection system created by Derek Carty using advanced methods like those used in MLB front offices, accounting for a variety of factors including player talent, ballparks, bullpens, weather, umpires, defense, catcher pitch-framing, and lots more.
Steven Kwan (CLE, CF -- 36%) vs. Gray
Cesar Hernandez (WSH, 2B -- 12%) vs. Yajure
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Harrison Bader (STL, CF -- 50%) vs. Lopez
Trevor Story (BOS, SS -- 97%) at Gausman
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (TOR, LF -- 86%) vs. Seabold
Tommy Edman (STL, 2B -- 99%) vs. Lopez
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Tyler Anderson Pitching Outs: Over/Under 17.5 (+100/-130)
THE BAT sees Anderson putting up 13.5 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 24.3% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $44.15.
Note: Expected Value is a measure of how good a bet is, factoring the probability that it will win versus the odds the book is providing. If you were to wager $1.00 100 times on a bet with an Expected Value of $25, you would win some and you would lose some, but in the end you would expect to come away with $25 in profit on your $100 investment.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
The Colorado Rockies projected offense projects as the second-worst of all teams on the slate.
Tyler Anderson has used his change-up 9.3% more often this season (33.8%) than he did last year (24.5%).
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
Coors Field projects as the No. 1 stadium in the game for batting average, per THE BAT projection system.
High temperatures are strongly correlated with more offense (and fewer strikeouts), and the weatherman calls for the second-hottest temperature on the slate at 82 degrees.
Anderson is an extreme flyball pitcher (38.4% FB% via THE BAT projections) and will be disadvantaged pitching in the No. 3 HR venue in the majors in this game.