Daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Although Felix Hernandez isn't what he once was, he still offers some upside for Monday's slate. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Twenty-five weeks down, one to go. Congratulations to everyone winning their head-to-head championship. Some head-to-head leagues aren't finished, along with rotisserie leagues. Daily leagues are down to seven chances to make up ground. We'll be here all week, guiding you through to the end.

Monday's schedule has a couple of quirks. First, the Royals and Yankees play a makeup game in the Bronx, with an early first pitch at 1:05 p.m. ET. Then, over in Queens, the Braves and Mets play an old-fashioned, single-admission doubleheader, beginning at 4:10 p.m. ET.


Pitchers to stream

Felix Hernandez (R), 46 percent ownership in ESPN leagues, Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics: Don't take anything for granted. Okay, Hernandez isn't the guy he used to be, but he's still worth a shot, even if he throws only five frames. O.Co. Coliseum is a great place to pitch, and the Athletics fan at an elevated rate.

Collin McHugh (R), 38 percent, Houston Astros at Texas Rangers: McHugh is another hurler not likely to be available if it weren't the last week. The Astros are still playing for the American League top seed, so he'll be backed by the regular lineup and isn't likely to hit the showers early. By the numbers, McHugh is doing a good job keeping the ball in the yard, along with punching out a hitter an inning for the past month.

CC Sabathia (L), 36 percent, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals: This is a big game for the Yankees, if they have designs on winning the division, and even though he's not the dominant force he once was, I'll take Sabathia against a lesser offense with something to play for. The Royals have some righty swingers capable of doing damage, but the big lefty should be able to neutralize Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

Seth Lugo (R), 3 percent, New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves: I don't love this matchup -- consider it "best of the rest" on an abbreviated slate. Lugo is scheduled for the opener of the twin bill, so he'll likely draw the regular Braves lineup, leaving Chris Flexen probably facing some reserves. Both are right-handed, so using normal platoon partners isn't an option. Lugo isn't dominant, but he hasn't been beating himself with walks or homers.


As was just discussed, the Braves and Mets each have two chances for saves, making Arodys Vizcaino and AJ Ramos intriguing pickups. Vizcaino is available in 58 percent of ESPN leagues, while Ramos is more heavily owned, on the wire in just 38 percent.

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.



Christian Vazquez (R), 15 percent, Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays (LHP Brett Anderson): Vazquez is the regular catcher for Pomeranz, so he'll almost assuredly be in the lineup. A hot September has him hitting higher in the order, too. I'd consider Vazquez, enjoying the platoon edge on a weak lefty, even if my normal catcher doesn't have the day off.

First base

Justin Bour (L), 41 percent, Miami Marlins at Colorado Rockies (RHP Tyler Chatwood): Bour isn't a fly ball hitter, per se, but he certainly hits enough of them to take advantage of Coors Field. Chatwood has struggled at home, and this'll be your best chance with Bour in Colorado; lefty Tyler Anderson takes the ball for the Rockies on Tuesday and Jon Gray pitches on Wednesday.

Second base

Yoan Moncada (B), 47 percent, Chicago White Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Ricky Nolasco): If I recommend Moncada one more time this month, he'll ask for a restraining order. Hopefully his ownership will edge over the 50 percent threshold before my next shift. The fact is, this isn't the time to get cute -- Moncada has been very productive this month.

Third base

Luis Valbuena (L), 2 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): If you're still following baseball, you know the deal. Shields gives up more homers than anyone, so you want as many Angels as you can muster if you need a power boost down the stretch.


Ketel Marte (B), 2 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants (RHP Johnny Cueto): Of all the positions, shortstop has been the most difficult to stream this season. I'd like Marte a lot more if he's hitting second, but the D-Backs have been bouncing him around. Since coming off the disabled list, Cueto's proclivity for giving up base runners has been consistent, as he sports a 1.55 WHIP during that stretch (and a 1.42 WHIP for the season).

Corner infield

Greg Bird (L), 10 percent, New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Jake Junis): Bird is another option if you're chasing power. Junis has been stingy in that regard as of late, but Bird has demonstrated he's capable of taking anyone deep, especially in Yankee Stadium.

Middle infield

Johan Camargo (B), 2 percent, Atlanta Braves at New York Mets (RHP Seth Lugo): A nice way to pick up some extra at bats is landing on a hitter playing both games of the doubleheader. I don't know for sure Camargo with pull double duty, but with his position flexibility, he's as good a bet as any.


Nick Williams (L), 29 percent, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals (RHP A.J. Cole): Williams. Along with Odubel Herrera, give Phillies fans something to look forward to next year and beyond. It remains to be seen if either will hit well enough to be full time players, but both can handle righty throwers.

Gerardo Parra (L), 34 percent, Colorado Rockies vs. Miami Marlins (RHP Odrisamer Despaigne): Even though power isn't Parra's game, it's surprising he hasn't hit one out since August 18. With the Rockies ending the season with a seven-game homestand, he's solid pickup, not just for Monday but for the duration of the season.

Brandon Nimmo (L), 3 percent, New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves (RHP Lucas Sims): Because the Braves are starting lefty Max Fried in the nightcap, fewer Mets will play both games. So instead of trying to figure out who might, I'll end with the hitter with the nicest matchup, Nimmo hitting third against a weak right-hander.

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.