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

Sonny Gray has been very productive despite his limited number of innings. Megan Briggs/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 will be 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.

Sonny days

Back in March, there were several fantasy relevant pitchers with health concerns. Fantasy managers had to make tough decisions. Those rolling the dice on Tyler Glasnow and Chris Sale have been rewarded, at least so far. Kevin Gausman appears to be rounding into form, but Walker Buehler is still trying to get in a groove. Initially, it appeared those hoping Kyle Bradish and Bryan Woo would be fine were smiling, but Bradish is out with a sprained UCL and Woo is nursing a forearm issue. The imaging report specifically referenced no new damage, suggesting there is some prior damage, ostensibly not serious enough to prevent Woo from pitching through it.

In early March, St. Louis Cardinals starter Sonny Gray incurred a mild hamstring strain. Early in draft season, it wasn't clear when Gray would make his 2024 debut, but toward the end it was known he'd begin the season on the 15-day IL. Perhaps it was easier to take a chance on Gray because he wasn't dealing with an arm issue, but those willing to wait for Gray to be ready made the right decision.

Gray hasn't completed enough innings to be ranked among the qualified pitchers, but if he did, his 33.0% strikeout rate would be fourth-best and his 25.7% K-BB% would be fifth-highest. Gray's ERA estimators deem his 3.01 ERA about half a run too high, as he has been unfortunate with a low 69.2% left-on-base mark. That said, expected ERAs are based on the displayed skills level, and Gray will be hard-pressed to maintain his current marks for the rest of the season. Even so, Gray portends to be one of the better starters over the final three and a half months.

Suggesting dealing for Gray is easier said than done, unless it's a keeper or dynasty scenario. Gray is 34 years old and has a checkered injury past, so there's a chance he could be available if he's on a fantasy team ripe for a rebuild.

What you may have missed on Sunday

By Todd Zola

  • There was a double dose of devastating news from the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday, led by SS Mookie Betts being diagnosed with a broken bone in his left wrist after being hit by a 97.9 mph fastball. Betts will not need surgery, but he isn't expected back until after the All-Star break. In the interim, backup SS Miguel Rojas will fill in. Following up yesterday's note about Yoshinobu Yamamoto, an MRI revealed he has a right rotator cuff strain. Manager Dave Roberts indicated that Yamamoto would pitch again this season, but like Betts, it won't be until after the All-Star break. Yamamoto's spot in the rotation will be taken by SP Bobby Miller, who is slated to come off the 15-day IL later this week.

  • New York Yankees 1B Anthony Rizzo left last night's game after hurting his right wrist while bracing a tumble as he crossed first base. Rizzo left in the top of the seventh inning, with INF DJ LeMahieu sliding over to play first base and 3B Oswaldo Cabrera manning the hot corner. If Rizzo misses action, expect more of the same.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks OF Corbin Carroll is slated for an MRI on his side today. Carroll left yesterday's contest in the seventh inning after he was seen grimacing following making a throw. The club is off today, so Carroll is questionable when the Diamondbacks head to the nation's capital for a series with the Washington Nationals, beginning tomorrow. If Carroll is out, OF Randal Grichuk is likely to see regular action.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays were without SS Bo Bichette again yesterday as he missed his second straight game with right calf discomfort. Manager John Schneider indicated Bichette is improving but is still questionable tonight when the club commences a three-game home set with the Boston Red Sox.

  • Let's finish with some good news as two veteran hurlers could make their 2024 debuts this week. The New York Yankees are leaving Wednesday open for SP Gerrit Cole to be activated from the 60-day injured list. In his third rehab effort, Cole threw 70 pitches for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, fanning 10 in 4 1/3 innings. The club is contemplating whether Cole needs another rehab start to further build up his stamina, or if he's ready to join the big league rotation and be under a pitch limit.

  • The Texas Rangers have already decided that, following Saturday's rehab effort, SP Max Scherzer will be reinstated from the 60-day injured list later this week. The club wants him to throw a bullpen session today or tomorrow, and barring no setbacks, Scherzer's return will be official.

Everything else you need to know for Monday

  • Gray is the highest-ranked pitcher on Monday's nine-game slate. He'll take the hill in one of the three games kicking off at 6:40 p.m. ET. Opposing pitcher Braxton Garrett (31.5% rostered in ESPN leagues) is the third-highest overall starter and the top streaming option. The Miami Marlins host the Cardinals in what portends to be a low-scoring affair. Garrett is another pitcher who was hurt in the spring, so his 2024 was delayed until early May. He's coming off a pair of subpar outings, with his ranking driven by his success last season. In leagues with games starts or innings restrictions, it's best to look elsewhere, but otherwise Garrett is in play.

  • Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cristopher Sanchez (17.2% rostered) is listed one spot below Garrett. Sanchez is pitching better than Garrett, but he's appearing at home against the San Diego Padres in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. Sanchez is also coming off a rough outing where he yielded four runs on four hits to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. However, Sanchez has a 1.48 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with a palatable 20 strikeouts and frugal three walks in 24 1/3 frames over his four prior outings. Despite the tougher draw, Sanchez gets the nod over Garrett.

  • My favorite streaming option is Texas Rangers SP Jon Gray for his home date with the New York Mets. The concern is Gray's recent workload has been limited. Gray came off the IL and threw a 2 1/3 inning relief outing, then started against the Los Angeles Dodgers on three days of rest, so he only completed three innings. On Monday, Gray will be back on four days of rest, so he should be able to throw his usual 90-plus pitches. He's enjoying a solid season with 63 punch-outs to only 19 walks with just three homers allowed in 62 1/3 stanzas.

  • Another lower-ranked, but viable spot starter is Javier Assad (43.1%). The Chicago Cubs host the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game set. Assad has 37 strikeouts over his last 31 1/3 innings, but he has also walked 16 with six homers. The Giants' walk rate is average and their home run rate is below average.

  • Even with a less potent lineup than usual, the Colorado Rockies are dangerous at home. They're in the middle of a 10-game homestand, with seven games at Coors Field this week. The club is without regular C Elias Diaz, rendering backups Jacob Stallings and Hunter Goodman as juicy pickups, though it may not be clear which us starting on a given day. Injuries to the outfield increases the allure for Jake Cave and Charlie Blackmon.

Betting Tip of the Day: It's going to be warm, with the wind blowing out in the City of Brotherly Love tonight when the Philadelphia Phillies host the San Diego Padres. Randy Vasquez will be on the hill for the visitors. He's surrendered eight homers in 38 1/3 innings, including half in cavernous Petco Park. Citizens Bank Park is going to play small this evening, so I'm taking the over on Phillies OF Kyle Schwarber for 2.5 total bases (+140).

It's never 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 Monday

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 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

Best Stacks for Today