<
>

Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Carlos Martinez may be toeing the rubber at hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park on Monday, but his projected game score still makes him a good inclusion to your lineup. Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports

Fewer than half the teams are in action Monday, meaning you need to work twice as hard to ensure a full, active lineup. This may mean taking some chances with pitchers, though there are ample hitters in potentially productive spots. With so many teams looking to fill holes, hit the waiver wire early and often.

Here are some names that can point you in the right direction.


Pitching

Pitchers to stream

Junior Guerra (R), 42 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Francisco Giants: Guerra is due an ERA correction as he's benefiting from .175 batting average on balls in play and a ridiculous 98 percent left on base mark, a result of allowing three runs, all coming via the homer. While regression doesn't punch a time clock, it usually comes at the hands of a productive offense. Those riding the Guerra train should hold on tight for one more stop, considering the Giants are one of the weakest clubs in the league against right-handers.

Sean Manaea (L), 50 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Manaea is one of those pitchers you might be taking a chance on as the Blue Jays are getting healthy and beginning to swing the bats. However, they're incurring a huge park downgrade. Manaea is coming off a couple of road gems, stifling the Yankees and Indians, a couple of solid offenses. In those outings, the southpaw allowed one run and seven hits in 14 innings, fanning 17 with just two walks along the way.

Dan Straily (R), 38 percent, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs: Last season, it would be unheard of to stream a pitcher in Wrigley Field. There's plenty of risk here, but the Cubs are just league-average in terms of weighted on-base average at home versus righties. The key will be whether Straily can keep the Cubs in the yard, thus taking advantage of his newfound strikeout prowess, as evidenced by a 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings rate.

Mike Fiers (R), 4 percent, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals: It's never comfortable starting Fiers, as the Astros righty has allowed a whopping 18 homers in just 52 2/3 innings. That's 3.08 homer per nine innings, which is higher than 21 starting pitchers' ERA (with a minimum of 40 innings pitched). On the other hand, Fiers draws the seventh-worse squad in terms of home run rate at home versus right-handers.

Pitchers to avoid

The top two hurlers on the board are both saddled with affairs in hitter-friendly parks, with Jeff Samardzija taking the ball in Miller Park and Carlos Martinez toeing the rubber in Great American Ball Park. However, neither scenario is enough to worry about. Thus, there aren't any upper-echelon hurlers to avoid Monday.

Bullpen

Santiago Casilla is only 24 percent owned in ESPN leagues, in part because the Athletics don't generate many save opportunities, but also because on occasion they'll mix up ninth-inning duties; Casilla has eight of the club's 10 saves. Oakland should be competitive with Manaea on the hill, so if you want to get the week started with a cheap save, check out Casilla's availability.


Projected game scores

GS is the projected game score for the pitcher. A "*" means that the pitcher lacks requisite career major league data to produce an accurate rating; these are the author's ratings.


Hitting

Catcher

Cameron Rupp (R), 4 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (RHP Bartolo Colon): While an argument can be made labeling Colon as unlucky through the first two months, it's akin to having a small diet soft drink with your large extra-cheese pizza with everything on it. In other words, I'm not hesitating to pick on Colon. It's not a sure thing Rupp gets the nod, but that's OK, Andrew Knapp is in play as well. In fact, Knapp is preferred as he has been hitting fifth compared to Rupp sliding into the seven-hole.

First base

Matt Adams (L), 7 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Nick Pivetta): Last season we featured the hitter most likely to hit a home run in this space. As an homage to 2016, Adams is Monday's hitter most likely to go deep, facing a weak righty at home in SunTrust Park.

Second base

Derek Dietrich (L), 1 percent, Miami Marlins at Chicago Cubs (RHP Eddie Butler): Butler isn't especially dominant, so he needs to exhibit pinpoint control and limit hard contact. Thus far, he's doing neither. Dietrich has historically fared well versus right-handed offerings.

Third base

Rio Ruiz (L), 1 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Nick Pivetta): The original plan was for Ruiz to platoon with Adonis Garcia at the hot corner, though Garcia has faced a few right-handers. Whichever Braves third baseman gets the call is in a good spot against Pivetta, who was lit up in three starts earlier in the campaign.

Shortstop

Chad Pinder (R), 2 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP J.A. Happ): Happ hasn't been as sharp as he was last season, while Pinder's power surge has earned him a run at shortstop, at least until Marcus Semien returns.

Corner infield

Ryon Healy (R), 28 percent, Oakland Athletics vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Happ): Healy has been crushing southpaws to the tune of a 1.089 OPS.

Middle infield

Brandon Phillips (R), 35 percent, Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Pivetta): This feels like a productive day for Braves bats, even with Freddie Freeman out. If I'm reading the tea leaves correctly, Phillips, in the two-hole, should be in the middle of things.

Outfield

Josh Reddick (L), 29 percent, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals (RHP Ian Kennedy): Kennedy is a fly ball pitcher, always among the league leaders in homers allowed. Reddick, you know, is good at hitting homers off right-handed pitching.

Odubel Herrera (L), 39 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (RHP Colon): Herrera has been a disappointment, coming off what many thought to be a breakout season. Perhaps facing Colon will be the panacea.

Carlos Beltran (B), 35 percent, Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals (RHP Kennedy): As hot as the Astros' offense has been, it's surprising that there's another power source to pick up and deploy against Kennedy.


Hitter matchup ratings

Notes: Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth, as well as the past 21 days) and 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. So, for example, a 10 is a must-start rating, whereas 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.