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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
An already action-packed Monday schedule is embellished by a day-night doubleheader in Citizens Bank Park with the Philadelphia Phillies hosting the Atlanta Braves with the opener at 1:35 p.m. ET. Every club but the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers will play under the lights.
One of the many impressive rookie pitchers is the slate's top ranked streamer with Gavin Williams (11.5% rostered) and the Cleveland Guardians visiting the San Francisco Giants. Williams' control hasn't been sharp lately as he's walked nine over his last 15 1/3 innings. For the season, the Giants walk rate is above average, but they've been one of the least potent offenses with a righty on the hill for the past month, with one of the reasons being a below average walk rate.
The next highest ranked streamer may be a surprise, but Jose Quintana (10.2%) has quietly pitched well for a Mets team playing out the string. Quintana's 3.00 ERA over nine starts is artificially low as he's only fanned 39 in 54 innings, but averaging six innings a start is noteworthy, especially in today's landscape. The veteran southpaw isn't likely to pad his strikeouts against an Arizona Diamondbacks club that puts the ball in play, but even so, the lineup sports the 11th lowest wOBA with a lefty on the hill.
Reid Detmers (28.8%) has righted the ship following a pair of August disasters where he surrendered seven runs in consecutive games, yielding five homers in those 6 1/3 innings. Since, Detmers has allowed just one long ball in four starts, covering 23 frames. On Monday, the Los Angeles Angels with try to play spoiler in T-Mobile Park in the opener of a series with the Seattle Mariners. Detmers lines up for a productive effort, facing a lineup with the second highest strikeout rate with a lefty on the hill over the last month.
It's early in the fantasy week to play hunches, but there is a narrative for Josiah Gray (11.1%) to turn things around with the hopes of finishing the season strong. It's been an inconsistent season for the 25-year-old right-hander as he's teased a breakthrough on a couple of occasions, only to take a step back. He's been in a late-season rut, but the Washington Nationals have given Gray some extra rest prior to his Monday road date with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gray draws a nice spot for a rebound, drawing the offense with the 10th lowest wOBA and 11th highest strikeout rate facing righties since the break.
Doubleheaders are a great place to target batters since they have a chance to double up on their production. The key is identifying the hitters with the best chance of playing both ends. The Braves are coasting to the NL East crown and are closing in on the top seed in the senior circuit, so they could give their bench players some work. This hurts the appeal of Orlando Arcia (32.4%) with lefty swinger Nicky Lopez a logical candidate to play one of the games since both will be against right-handed hurler. Eddie Rosario (15.8%) is a tougher call since he'll enjoy the platoon edge in both contests. However, Atlanta may opt to give Kevin Pillar some action.
The Phillies are more likely to play their best, especially since they have an off day on Thursday. The caveat is most of the potent Philadelphia lineup is rostered, with Brandon Marsh (9.5%) and Jake Cave (0.2%) the best candidates of those available in more than half of ESPN leagues to play a pair.
Starting pitcher rankings for Monday
Bullpen usage watch for Saturday
By Todd Zola
The Toronto Blue Jays summoned Jordan Romano in the top of the ninth with a 5-2 lead over the Kansas City Royals. Romano loaded the bases with one out, but retired the next two hitters to escape with his 34th save. Romano's pitch count was an elevated 28, which came on top of 29 tossed on Friday. Romano has pitched three times in four days often this season, but not with such a heavy workload heading into the potential back-to-back scenario. Jordan Hicks (7.1%) didn't pitch yesterday, so he's the likely fill-in closer for the Blue Jays on Monday when they host the Texas Rangers.
Camilo Doval captured his 37th save on Sunday when he sealed the deal in the San Francisco Giants 6-3 home victory over the Colorado Rockies. Despite allowing a hit, Doval needed just 12 pitches, giving him 28 over the past three days. However, usage patterns show Doval will be available if needed tonight when the Giants entertain the Cleveland Guardians.
Not only did the Milwaukee Brewers ask Devin Williams to maintain a scoreless tie in the bottom of the ninth in the Bronx, he was also preserving a no-hitter after starter Corbin Burnes left following eight no-hit frames. Williams came through, but the New York Yankees ended up winning 4-3 in 13 innings. Williams tossed 13 pitches, but he hadn't appeared for over a week so he's ready if needed tonight when the Brewers host the Miami Marlins.
A split doubleheader in the City of Brotherly Love puts the bullpens of the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves in the spotlight. With two chances to collect a save, Phillies closer Craig Kimbrel (41.4% rostered) is the top pickup. Jose Alvardao has settled in as the top setup man while chipping in with the occasional save. For the Braves, closer Raisel Iglesias worked yesterday, but since he only threw seven pitches, he's in line to close one, but probably not both or today's contests. Kirby Yates and A.J. Minter have been handling setup duties, with Yates more likely to inherit ninth inning duties in the nightcap if Iglesias pitches in the opener.
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.
Orlando Arcia (ATL, 2B -- 32%) at Walker and Lorenzen
Jake Cave (PHI, LF -- 0%) vs. Morton and Wright
Brendan Rodgers (COL, 2B -- 10%) vs. Jordan Wicks
Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Monday
Josh Bell (MIA, 1B -- 61%) at Brandon Woodruff
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Jesus Luzardo O/U 5.5 strikeouts (+110/-140)
THE BAT sees Luzardo putting up 6.1 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 58.4% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $22.56.
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
When estimating his strikeout ability, Jesus Luzardo projects as the 19th-best SP in the league right now, per THE BAT.
Luzardo has averaged 93.9 adjusted pitches per start this year, ranking in the 79th percentile.
The weather forecast predicts the most suitable pitching weather of all games on the slate today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Milwaukee Brewers have eight batters in the projected batting order that will have the handedness advantage over Luzardo in this matchup, which is especially problematic given his large platoon split.
Playing on the road typically diminishes pitcher stats in all categories due to the lack of home field advantage, which should be the case for Luzardo today.