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

Javier Assad of the Chicago Cubs has a 1.49 ERA entering Tuesday. David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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.

A Cub we can no longer ignore

Chicago Cubs RHP Javier Assad enters his Tuesday home start with Atlanta boasting a cool 1.49 ERA, third lowest in baseball, yet he remains available in 50% of ESPN standard leagues. One may ask the pertinent question of what more does Assad need to do to attract fantasy managers? OK, so he is a bit fortunate to have an ERA this low, but his FIP is a solid 2.94. Assad has permitted no more than two earned runs over each of his nine starts. Why would start No. 10 be different?

Sure, the mighty Atlanta Braves lineup may be scaring some potential investors away, but Assad tamed this lineup on the road in his most recent outing, tossing six scoreless frames and striking out seven to earn his fourth victory. The Braves entered their Monday doubleheader with the Padres averaging 4.64 runs per game, down from last season's 5.85 mark, as OF Marcell Ozuna is the lone lineup member producing big numbers. Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson and Austin Riley are underachieving.

You will not find Assad among the top-10 starting pitcher fantasy points leaders due to relatively tepid volume and strikeout rate, but he does have more points than Zac Gallen, George Kirby, Joe Ryan and myriad others who are rostered in nearly every league. Nearly a third of the season is over and one of the ERA leaders remains readily available. It isn't all luck. Assad's fastball is not special, but he keeps hitters off balance with a cutter, slider and curveball. It is well past the time to add Assad, even against Atlanta.

Meanwhile, the Cubs should get a key piece of their lineup and defense back on Tuesday as SS Dansby Swanson is ready to return from an injured list stint due to a sore knee. Swanson's current numbers hardly excite, but he has a track record of success, having reached 20 home runs and 80 RBI in each of the past three seasons, and he contributes stolen bases. Swanson is available in 35% of ESPN standard leagues, and likely to turn his ordinary statistics around soon.

What you may have missed on Monday

By Todd Zola

  • The Detroit Tigers had to go to their bullpen early last night after Reese Olson was struck on the hip by a 102-mph line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals 2B Michael Massey with two outs in the third inning. Olson wasn't sharp before leaving, having yielded five hits and two runs (one earned) with a walk and two strikeouts. The Royals prevailed 8-3 with Chris Stratton notching a four-out save. He entered the game in the bottom of the eighth with two outs to preserve a five-run lead. He inherited a bases-loaded situation and, since the tying run was on deck, it was indeed a save scenario. If Olson must miss his next start, it could be filled by SP Kenta Maeda, who threw 53 pitches in a rehab effort last night.

  • The Tampa Bay Rays placed SP Zach Eflin on the 15-day IL due to a sore back. The issue is reportedly similar to an injury Eflin experienced last season that required a two-week absence, though Rays manager Kevin Cash indicates that this time it could be longer.

  • On the field, Rays SP Taj Bradley opened last night's game against the Boston Red Sox by fanning eight of the first nine hitters. However, the Red Sox clubbed three extra-base hits in the fourth inning, including a home run from 3B Rafael Devers for the sixth game in a row.

  • Red Sox SP Garrett Whitlock felt soreness in his right elbow yesterday and has been diagnosed with ligament damage. He's seeking another opinion, but it's best to plan on an extended absence.

  • Milwaukee Brewers SP Joe Ross was forced out of last night's outing after only one inning due to lower back strain. He was placed on the 15-day IL after the game. Brewers 3B Joey Ortiz was hit in the foot by a pitch in the fourth inning. Even though he finished the game, Ortiz had X-rays after the game. They were negative, but he is still considered day-to-day.

  • The Brewers used seven relievers in their 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Miami Marlins. The Marlins took advantage of C Gary Sanchez being behind the plate by collecting four stolen bases. Marlins SP Ryan Weathers continued to pitch well with a seven-inning quality start. He yielded two runs (one earned) on only two hits, with three walks and eight punchouts.

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers reported that SP Emmet Sheehan underwent an internal brace procedure on his right elbow, avoiding Tommy John surgery. This allows him to come back around the 2025 All-Star break. The club also announced that closer Evan Phillips was heading out on a rehab assignment, with the expectation he will return to the Dodgers in about a week.

  • San Diego Padres 2B Xander Bogaerts had to leave the first game of yesterday's doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves after landing heavily on his left shoulder diving for a ground ball in the third inning. Initial imaging came back negative, but Bogaerts missed the nightcap and is awaiting further evaluation.

Everything else you need to know for Tuesday

  • The fellow with the No. 2 ERA in baseball also pitches Tuesday, as Philadelphia Phillies LHP Ranger Suarez puts his 8-0 mark on the line against the Rangers. (Cubs LHP Shota Imanaga is first with a 0.84 ERA.) Suarez averages 20.9 ESPN fantasy points per outing, tops among all starting pitchers, and he is rostered in nearly every league. As with Assad and Imanaga, Suarez is unlikely to keep his ERA this dominant all season, his .215 BABIP the seventh-best among qualified starters. Still, enjoy this fun ride.

  • Milwaukee Brewers LHP Robert Gasser has won his first two big-league starts, and goes for No. 3 at Miami against the Marlins, not exactly a fearsome offense. Gasser is not a particularly hard thrower, and he relies heavily on his slider to tame right-handed hitters, throwing it 37% of the time so far. Gasser piled on the strikeouts in the minor leagues, and this is a prime streaming opportunity in a pitcher's park. Fantasy managers should be more interested. The Brewers may not be committing to Gasser for the rest of the season yet, but if he keeps thriving, they will.

  • Padres RHP Joe Musgrove is slated to return from his IL stint due to a sore elbow to face the Reds, but fantasy managers may want to wait and see how he performs first. Musgrove, once a top-20 fantasy starter, has a 6.37 ERA and 1.51 WHIP, though three of his past four outings before hitting the IL were quality starts. We know what Musgrove, 31, used to be, but whether he can resume pitching at a high level or not - and stay healthy - is another matter.

  • Betting tip of the day: Chicago White Sox LHP Garrett Crochet leads all of baseball in K/9 and is a close second in strikeout percentage (behind only Tyler Glasnow), so even though the Blue Jays are overly right-handed, I like Crochet for over 6.5 strikeouts (+230). In fact, Toronto LHP Yusei Kikuchi is 24th in strikeout percentage and the White Sox don't hit much.Let's also take over 6.5 strikeouts (+110) for him as well. Expecting a rather low-scoring affair, we'll also take under 7.5 runs (-135).

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.

Hitting report

Plan ahead in fantasy baseball with help from our Forecaster projections. Each day, we will provide an updated preview of the next 10 days for every team, projecting the matchup quality for hitters (overall and by handedness) as well as for base stealers.

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