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 any overnight pitching changes or 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
Bonus baseball! An already busy Monday slate is embellished by an old-fashioned single admission doubleheader between the host Cleveland Guardian and visiting Detroit Tigers. The festivities get under way 3:10 p.m. ET, marking the first action of the day. Aaron Civale gets the ball for the AL Central-leading Guardians. He returned from the IL to face the Tigers in Motown last time out, fanning four with no walks in four innings. Civale should be able to tack on at least one more inning, putting him in play as a streaming option.
As always, doubleheaders offer some players the chance to play two games, though since there is no break in between, many will only start in one end of the twin bill. Even so, the Tigers will probably start a pair of righthanders, giving the advantage to lefty-swinging Guardians. Switch-hitting Jose Ramirez is universally rostered, though Steven Kwan (76% rostered in ESPN leagues) and Andres Gimenez (62% rostered) could be available in deeper leagues, with a solid chance to start the pair. Josh Naylor (55%), Nolan Jones (3%) and Will Benson (less than 1%) will almost assuredly see action in one game, with the possibility of appearing in the other.
Alex Cobb (22%) was the posted child for bad luck early in the season but has pitched to a 3.06 ERA and 1.15 WHIP since May 29, fanning a respectable 61 in those 61⅔ innings. On Monday, Cobb is earmarked to face a mid-pack Diamondbacks offense, making him the slate's top streaming option.
There are a couple of alternate choices, reviewed in order of their Daily Ranking. Josiah Gray (31%) gets a second straight start against the Cubs. Last time out he posted a quality start in Wrigley Field. Gray has had command and control issues, but a 26.3% strikeout rate is a fantasy boon. James Kaprielian (5%) isn't especially dominant, but he draws the Rangers, one of the least dangerous lineups facing righthanders.
Royals southpaw Kris Bubic has pitched better lately, but he's still exhibiting inconsistent command and control. Bubic shows reverse splits with lefty swingers posting a whopping .442 wOBA against him, albeit in just 90 plate appearances. Pitchers are more likely to own their splits, but fewer than 100 chances aren't sufficient to draw tangible conclusions. The main takeaway is don't hesitate to use righthanded Jose Miranda (41%) as a batter enjoying the platoon edge. Miranda has been hammering the ball since the break.
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.
Myles Straw (CLE, CF -- 25%) vs. Hutchison and Garcia
Nolan Jones (CLE, 3B -- 3%) vs. Hutchison and Garcia
Victor Reyes (DET, RF -- 0%) at Civale and Curry
Jeimer Candelario (DET, 3B -- 42%) at Civale and Curry
Harold Castro (DET, SS -- 2%) at Civale and Curry
Kerry Carpenter (DET, CF -- 0%) at Civale and Curry
Jonathan Schoop (DET, 1B -- 41%) at Civale and Curry
Austin Hedges (CLE, C -- 0%) vs. Hutchison and Garcia
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Randy Arozarena (TB, LF -- 92%) at Cole
Willy Adames (MIL, SS -- 89%) vs. Urias
Gavin Lux (LAD, SS -- 73%) at Peralta
J.P. Crawford (SEA, SS -- 71%) at Ohtani
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Yusei Kikuchi Pitching Outs: Over/Under 15.5 (+165/-225)
THE BAT sees Kikuchi putting up 16.3 Pitching Outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 55.3% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $46.43.
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
This game projects for the 4th-best pitching weather on the slate, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
Kikuchi's 94.3 mph fastball velocity this year ranks in the 80th percentile among starting pitchers.
Kikuchi has been unlucky this year, notching a 5.13 ERA despite THE BAT estimating his true talent level to be 4.21 - a 0.92 difference.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Orioles have 8 hitters in the projected batting order that will have the handedness advantage against Kikuchi in this game, which is especially troublesome given his huge platoon split.
Kikuchi has utilized his four-seamer 16.3% more often this season (52.2%) than he did last year (35.9%).