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

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

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

  • Monday's slate features 10 games with two matinees -- the finale of the Lone Star series with Houston Astros visiting the Texas Rangers and the Milwaukee Brewers hosting the Chicago Cubs. It's too early in the fantasy week to be taking risks, and Drew Smyly (25.1% rostered) is in a rut, but the southpaw does draw a Brewers lineup with a 27.9% strikeout rate facing left-handers, the highest in the league. Milwaukee's .288 wOBA against left-handers is the lowest in MLB, putting Smyly in a favorable spot to rebound. He's playable in traditional fantasy as well as for those looking for some sports betting action over this extended holiday weekend.

  • Braxton Garrett (49.5%) has seen his roster percentage grow by double-digits over the past week. Since giving up 11 runs to the Braves in early May, Garrett has posted a 1.98 ERA and an 0.80 WHIP over 50 innings, covering nine starts. This is usually when we point out how luck has helped his recent success, and it has played a part, but Garrett has fanned an outstanding 64 hitters while issuing just nine walks over this stretch, so there is more than just good fortune in play. Garrett has a home date with a St. Louis Cardinals offense ranking in the middle of the pack in terms of both wOBA and strikeout rate facing southpaw pitching.

  • The Seattle Mariners are developing a solid reputation for developing pitchers. Their latest example is Bryan Woo (10.8%) who was promoted from Double-A earlier in the season. It should be noted that the Mariners generally bypass sending their top arms to Triple-A, since the Pacific Coast League is a renowned hitter's league, and they prefer to develop their pitchers in an environment closer to pitcher-friendly T-Mobile Field. On Monday, Seattle will be on the road, but they'll visit the San Francisco Giants, who also play in a pitcher's park. Woo has fanned 32 in his inaugural 22 2/3 innings, while issuing only six free passes. The Giants' wOBA facing right-handers is a bit above average, but they strike out at an elevated clip. Woo is playable in traditional fantasy, but he is also a candidate for DFS action.

  • After keeping the ball in the yard last season, Martin Perez has reverted to his homer-prone ways. His strikeout rate is also down but, because he's backed by the Rangers offense, Perez sports a 7-3 record. He faces an underproducing, but still potent Astros lineup on Monday. Twelve of the 13 homers Perez has yielded have come to right-handed batters, putting Jose Abreu (60.2%), Jeremy Pena (53.4%), Chas McCormick (1.6%) and Corey Julks (1.5%) in advantageous spots.

  • Targeting Cincinnati Reds bats for their road date with Jake Irvin and the Washington Nationals could pay dividends. Irvin has fanned only 37 in 47 2/3 while being generous with 25 walks. In addition, Cincinnati has the second most steals in MLB while the Nationals have surrendered the third most. Matt McLain (33.0%), Jake Fraley (29.9%), TJ Friedl (19.9%), Will Benson (1.6%) can all run while Tyler Stephenson (43.5%) is in play as a catcher often hitting clean-up.

Starting pitcher rankings for Monday

Bullpen usage watch for Monday

By Todd Zola

  • It wasn't clean, but Alexis Diaz locked down his 23rd save yesterday, though it marked the first time all season he yielded an earned run in consecutive appearances. Diaz threw 23 pitches, just one day after tossing 13. The 36 combined may keep him out of tonight's contest when the Cincinnati Reds open a road series against the Washington Nationals. However, Diaz has pitched in back-to-back fashion multiple times after a similar workload. Especially with Buck Farmer in a rut, and Lucas Sims also experiencing a heavy recent workload, Diaz will probably get the call if needed.

  • Paul Sewald collected a save for the second straight day yesterday, bringing his season total to 16. He was efficient with only 11 pitches needed, but he also threw 17 on Saturday, so the two-day sum of 28 will likely keep Sewald on the bench when the Seattle Mariners visit the San Francisco Giants tonight. Andres Munoz also pitched yesterday, garnering the win, but he used a moderate 16 pitches. Therefore, Munoz should be able to step in as closer if needed.

  • Carlos Estevez needed a hefty 23 pitches to collect his 21st save yesterday. However, he was working with four days of rest, so Estevez should be able to give the club an inning when the Los Angeles Angels visit the San Diego Padres.

  • Emmanuel Clase gave up just one earned run in the entire month of June. Yesterday, he surrendered four runs in the ninth, allowing the Chicago Cubs to tie the contest at six, but the Cleveland Guardians scored twice in the top of the 10th to win 8-6. Clase burned 26 pitches, but was working with two days of rest, so he could be brought back tonight with the Atlanta Braves visiting Progressive Field. Deciding on a hedge is tricky since Sam Hentges has pitched two straight days and four of the last five while Trevor Stephan threw 27 pitches yesterday with 26 more this past Thursday.

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

THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Monday

Prop of the Day

Bryce Elder, Braves, 18.5 pitching outs (+145/-175)


THE BAT X sees Elder putting up 16.9 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 21.7% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $40.44.

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.


  • In the league, the fourth-highest fences are at Progressive Field.

  • Elder has relied on his slider 9.8% more often this year (36.7%) than he did last season (26.9%).


  • The Guardians have been the fifth-unluckiest offense in the league this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to positively regress in the future

  • Progressive Field grades out as the No. 1 field in MLB for walks, per THE BAT X.

  • The weather forecast forecasts the fifth-most suitable hitting weather of all games today, as it relates to temperature and humidity.

  • Elder's fastball velocity has dropped 1.2 mph this season (88.8 mph) below where it was last year (90 mph).