Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday's MLB games

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. Game odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

For an in-depth look at what to expect in this daily article and how to best use the information, check out our handy primer here.

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

  • Congratulations to everyone advancing to the finals of their ESPN head-to-head leagues. Those playing in rotisserie leagues, let's keep grinding and keep in mind the daily schedule during the last week of the season is in even more flux than usual, so use the increased clarity of this week to limit scrambling next week.

  • Monday's 11-game slate has an early start with a 2:10 PM ET matinee in Kauffman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals hosting the Cleveland Guardians. The remaining 10 contests are under the lights.

  • Even with the abbreviated slate, there are a few favorable options to get an early jump on streaming pitchers with Seattle Mariners rookie Bryan Woo (13.9% rostered) leading the way. In fact, Woo is the second-highest ranked hurler on the slate for his road date with the Oakland Athletics. Other than a start in Cincinnati where Woo couldn't find the strike zone, he delivered a solid second half, keeping the Mariners in all his starts. Last time out, he shut out the Los Angeles Angels for 5 2/3 frames, fanning eight so he's responding to the pressures of a pennant race. The Athletics have the second lowest wOBA and the third-poorest strikeout rate with a right-hander on the hill.

  • The next two options oppose each other and are adjacent in Monday's top-10 highest ranked starters. In a close decision, it's usually best to side with the hurler pitching for a team with something on the line, especially if they're at home. That would seemingly give the edge to Edward Cabrera (8.0%) in his matchup against Jose Butto (0.5%) when the Miami Marlins host the New York Mets. However, we have Butto a nose ahead as he's a better bet to pitch more innings, hence have a stronger chance at a win, not to mention innings are integral to points league scoring.

  • Lost in the Chicago White Sox second half collapse is a strong post break effort from Mike Clevinger (19.2%). Over his last eight outings, Clevinger has 3.43 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 43 strikeouts to just 11 walks and three homers allowed in 42 stanzas. Clevinger may not rack up a bunch of strikeouts on the road against a Washington Nationals lineup who puts the ball in play, but the right-hander should compile innings facing an offense with the second lowest wOBA with a righty on the hill.

  • Time is running out for category leagues to make up ground in stolen bases. Using players capable of swiping a bag to fill lineup holes on Monday and Thursday is a great approach. For the last month, the White Sox, Blue Jays, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Nationals have yielded the most steals. The Cubs and Blue Jays are off (we'll target them on Thursday), leaving three batteries on which to focus.

  • Two of those targets face each other, with Nationals hosting the White Sox. Washington's Jacob Young (0.4%) and CJ Abrams (30.3%) have multiple over the past two weeks. On the other side, the choices are limited to Tim Anderson (31.0%) and Elvis Andrus (1.9%). The Baltimore Orioles open a road series with the Astros, with only Jorge Mateo (14.6%) likely to attempt to run with Justin Verlander starting for the home team.

Starting pitcher rankings for Monday

Bullpen usage watch for Monday

By Todd Zola

  • Devin Williams pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to maintain a 1-1 tie between the Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals in a game eventually won by the Nationals 2-1 in eleven innings. Williams punched out and walked a pair, driving his pitch count to 25. He was working with a day of rest, but had appeared back-to-back on Thursday and Friday. The 51 pitches Williama tossed over the past four days jeopardizes his availability for tonight's road date with the St. Louis Cardinals. Joel Payamps did not pitch yesterday, and with 26 holds and three saves, he's a logical hedge or even replacement for WIlliams. Abner Uribe has moved up the bullpen ladder and is now a late-inning mainstay as he's recorded a save in his last three appearances.

  • With only 11 games on the Monday docket, there are probably lineup holes to fill. The top closer available in more than half of ESPN leagues is Andres Munoz (48.4% rostered). The Seattle Mariners did not call his number yesterday, so he's ready for tonight's trip down the coast to face the Oakland Athletics.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers' duo of Evan Phillips (35.4%) and Brusdar Graterol (6.4%) continue to tag-team the late innings, with Phillips acquiring the majority of the saves. They're in play as a tandem when the Dodgers visit Motown for the opener of an interleague set with the Detroit Tigers. The Philadelphia Phillies are another club splitting eighth and ninth inning duties with Craig Kimbrel (42.5%) garnering two saves and two holds over the last 15 days while Jose Alvarado (12.2%) has notched two saves and one hold. Playing them together is a Monday lineup option.

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.

Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Monday

Prop of the Day

Michael Wacha, Padres,16.5 pitching outs (-125/-105)


THE BAT X sees Wacha putting up 18.9 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 68.9% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the OVER with an expected value of $30.00.

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.


  • The fourth-weakest projected lineup on today's slate in terms of overall batting skill belongs to the Rockies.

  • Petco Park ranks as the No. 25 venue in the league for walks, according to THE BAT X.

  • As far as temperature and humidity go, the third-most suitable pitching weather on today's schedule is expected for this matchup.

  • Wacha's fastball velocity over his last three starts (92.2 mph) has been quite a bit faster than than his seasonal rate (91.2 mph).


  • It may be sensible to expect stronger performance for the Rockies offense going forward, given that THE BAT X sees them as them as the sixth-unluckiest offense in the league.

  • Wacha's 91.2-mph fastball velocity this season is a sizeable 1.3-mph drop off from last year's 92.5-mph mark.