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

Carlos Rodon projects as one of the top fantasy pitchers on Tuesday's MLB slate. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

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 ESPN BET, and fantasy advice is geared toward ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

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.

AL East starting pitcher battle

The Baltimore Orioles won 101 games and the AL East a season ago, while the Boston Red Sox finished with 84 losses and in last place, so as these teams open a key three-game series on Tuesday (start time 2:10 p.m. ET), perhaps each club has something to prove. The Orioles blew late leads Saturday and Sunday in Pittsburgh, as the Pirates took the series. The Red Sox have won six of seven games, and surprisingly boast a league-leading 1.49 ERA through 10 games. Their starters have a 1.53 ERA.

Each team sends its ace to the mound, though the aces look quite different. The Orioles traded for former NL Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes in February, and Burnes has permitted only three earned runs over his first two outings, striking out 14. Many believe he will pitch well enough this season to contend for another Cy Young award. Meanwhile, Boston's Brayan Bello and his career 4.41 ERA started Opening Day for Boston. He faced the Orioles twice his first two years, permitting six runs in 10 1/3 innings.

While the pitching matchup favors Baltimore, and the young Orioles lineup averages more runs per game than their Massachusetts foes, this is an interesting Red Sox lineup off to a good start. Offseason acquisition Tyler O'Neill leads the league with five home runs and a 308 OPS+, and he has scored 12 runs. Fellow OF Jarren Duran continues to establish himself as indispensable, hitting .349 with six stolen bases. Nobody should worry about infield stalwarts Rafael Devers (.219) and Triston Casas (.237). They will hit.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora thought he would have Trevor Story (shoulder) and Vaughn Grissom (hamstring) as his potent middle infield, but Story is out indefinitely, though Grissom may debut soon. Speedy SS David Hamilton hit ninth Sunday, blasting his first big league home run. He is more known for stealing 59 bases last season, and 71 the year prior. Look for Hamilton to platoon with Pablo Reyes, with Enmanuel Valdez an option when Grissom returns. O'Neill seems settled in the No. 3 lineup spot, and he remains available in more than 50% of ESPN standard leagues.

What you may have missed on Monday

By Todd Zola

  • Mookie Betts appeared at shortstop for the 10th time this season last night, adding SS eligibility in standard ESPN leagues. Betts was already eligible at second base and outfield, but now his team managers have even more roster flexibility. Betts is off to a stellar start with a .375/.508/.792 line through Monday's action. He leads the Los Angeles Dodgers in home runs with five and in stolen bases with a pair.

  • Framber Valdez was scratched in advance of yesterday's wraparound finale between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. Valdez reported feeling soreness in his elbow while playing catch. He returned to Houston and will be examined today. Blair Henley was summoned from Triple-A Sugar Land to make the start, but he gave up five runs in just 1/3 IP. However, Henley was spared the loss with the Astros bullpen shutting out the Rangers for the rest of the game and their offense rallying for 10 runs, led by homers from Yordan Alvarez and Victor Caratini. If Valdez is unable to return this week, the Astros will need another spot starter since Justin Verlander is slated for another rehab outing this weekend. The veteran pitched three innings with Sugar Land on Sunday, giving up six earned runs on seven hits and a walk, but he did fan six hitters.

  • The Los Angeles Angels rotation is a little thinner with Chase Silseth having been placed on the IL due to right elbow inflammation. Silseth was a deep-league sleeper during draft season. His early results were mixed as he surrendered six runs on eight hits and two walks in eight frames, but he also punched out 12 in that span. Long reliever Jose Soriano will take over Silseth's spot in the rotation. Soriano was vying to start in the spring, and with two efforts of 3 IP to open the season, he'll probably be able to work five frames when he takes the hill tomorrow.

  • CJ Abrams missed his third straight game on Monday as a bruised left pinky continues to keep him sidelined. The Washington Nationals are hopeful Abrams can return today, but with a west coast game against the San Francisco Giants on the docket, his availability will not be known until well after most lineups have locked.

  • It was Jorge Lopez -- and not Edwin Diaz -- capturing the save for the New York Mets last night. Diaz logged a save on Sunday and, even though he pitched on consecutive days last Thursday and Friday, the club opted to give Diaz the night off rather than having him appear four times in five days. Diaz has looked sharp so far, recording eight strikeouts with just one walk and one hit allowed in five scoreless stanzas, but it makes sense to keep his workload in check after he missed all of last season.

Everything else you need to know for Tuesday

  • Yankees LHP Carlos Rodon earns the distinction of being the highest-rated pitcher of the day, over Phillies RHP Zack Wheeler and Dodgers RHP Tyler Glasnow, because he gets a home outing against the lowly Marlins. The Marlins started 0-9 before beating the Cardinals on Sunday. Rodon won neither of his first two starts this season, throwing 9 2/3 innings against the Astros and Diamondbacks (each on the road), issuing five walks versus seven strikeouts. In other words, Rodon still does not look like the dominant 2021-22 version of himself. Perhaps a meeting with the Marlins fixes all.

  • The first Tuesday game is not Orioles-Red Sox, but rather the Tigers and Pirates in a 12:35 pm ET getaway attraction, as the teams end a quick two-game series, with each club off on Wednesday. Tigers RHP Casey Mize bears watching, though he looked rusty in his season debut against the Mets (and first big-league appearance since April 2022), permitting five hits and three runs over 4 1/3 frames. Mize, the top pick in the 2018 amateur draft, is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, but probably not a wise streamer considering his first outing and the fact the surprising Pirates entered Monday averaging 5.90 runs per game, fourth in baseball.

  • The final Tuesday game to start features Cubs prospect Ben Brown either making his starting debut or handling a bulk relief role at San Diego. The Cubs still lack an official rotation replacement for injured LHP Justin Steele (hamstring), but Brown, who tossed four solid innings in relief last week against the Rockies, seems likely to get another chance. Brown struck out 100 hitters (and walked 51) over 72 2/3 innings as a swingman for Triple-A Iowa last season, relying on his slider and curveball over an average fastball. Fantasy managers in deeper formats should be interested. RHP Joe Musgrove, who struggled in his first two starts this season but won his third outing, goes for San Diego.

  • Betting tip of the day: Cardinals RHP Sonny Gray (hamstring) makes his 2024 debut versus the Phillies on Tuesday, but he is not expected to pitch deep into this game, with a cap near 65 pitches. That means more work for the Cardinals bullpen, which went into extra innings on Monday. Still, perhaps that is not a bad thing. Cardinals relievers rank 10th in baseball with a 3.87 FIP. Phillies relievers have a 3.63 FIP. Zack Wheeler should be stingy with runs, so take under 7.5 total runs (-115) here.

It's not too late to start a free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday. Come and join the fun!

Starting pitcher rankings for Tuesday

Reliever report

To get the latest information on each team's bullpen hierarchy, as well as which pitchers might be facing a bit of fatigue and who might be the most likely suspects to vulture a save or pick up a surprise hold in their stead, check out the latest Closer Chart, which will be updated every morning.

Best Sub-50% rostered hitters for Tuesday

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 Tuesday

THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Tuesday