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

Jake Irvin has come up big for the surprising Nationals this season. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

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 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.

Our take on Jake

Washington Nationals RHP Jake Irvin pitched competently as a rookie last season, but he was hardly a fantasy star. The Nationals needed someone to eat innings and Irvin, in his age-26 season, did that as the fifth starter. He started 24 times, giving the team 121 innings with a 4.61 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, and a below-average strikeout rate. He won three games. Let's just say few expected we would be discussing Jake Irvin this season.

Irvin enters Tuesday's home outing with the Diamondbacks as one of the most added pitchers in ESPN standard leagues, averaging 17.6 ESPN fantasy points per start over the past 30 days, which betters all but eight starting pitchers. Irvin has won three consecutive starts, reached six or more innings in five starts, and while his stuff remains average and generates little swing-and-miss, good things happen when one avoids walks, home runs and high exit velocity.

The defending NL champion Diamondbacks, a half-game back of the surprising Nationals in the competitive NL wild card standings, scored 44 runs in six games last week, albeit against the underwhelming pitching staffs of the Angels and White Sox. They likely will not have typical leadoff hitter Corbin Carroll (side) available. Irvin wasn't supposed to be a breakout hurler this season, but it is mid-June, and here we are, enjoying his 3.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Expect his surprising success to continue.

What you may have missed on Monday

By Todd Zola

  • The New York Yankees will be without 1B Anthony Rizzo for at least a month after tests revealed a fracture in his right arm. The club could shift DJ LeMahieu to first with Oswaldo Cabrera playing third base, but they also called up C Ben Rice from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Rice was drafted as a catcher, but his defense is subpar, so he has been learning how to play first base as well as DH. It's unclear how much action Rice will get, though as a left-handed bat, he could serve on the busier side of a 1B platoon. The 25-year-old began the season with Double-A Somerset where he hit .261/.382/.511 over 49 games before being advanced a level. Rice posted a .333/.440/.619 line in 11 games for the RailRiders. Rice has catcher eligibility for fantasy purposes.

  • The middle infield of the Boston Red Sox has been an issue all season. Recently, SS David Hamilton has provided some stability, but he left last night's contest in the fourth inning due to left side discomfort. For the past month, Hamilton has generated a .326/.367/.522 line with 14 steals. His availability for tonight's road date with the Toronto Blue Jays is unclear.

  • Cincinnati Reds OF TJ Friedl was forced out of last night's game in the fifth inning due to a hamstring issue. Friedl laid out for a catch, then came up lame. After the game, manager David Bell deemed the area as "just tight." Friedl should be considered day-to-day.

  • Chicago Cubs OF Mike Tauchman exited yesterday's game in the third inning after hurting his left groin hustling to first on an infield hit. The lefty-swinging Tauchman has quietly posted a solid .772 OPS facing right-handed pitching. If he's forced to miss action, speedy OF Pete Crow-Armstrong is the likely beneficiary.

  • Los Angeles Angels SP Jose Soriano was scratched from last night's start thanks to lower abdominal pain. For the season, Soriano has recorded a 3.48 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, both aided by a .258 BABIP, which is extremely low for a hurler with a 60.1% GB rate. Veteran SP Zach Plesac was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake and delivered a quality start and win with just three earned runs allowed over six innings in the Angels' home win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Plesac gave up four hits, including two homers, while fanning just one. If Soriano misses time, Plesac could stay in the Angels rotation, at least until SP Chase Silseth is ready to return from the IL. Silseth is slated for a rehab start this Friday. He's been out since early April due to right elbow inflammation.

  • The Blue Jays' depleted bullpen is now even thinner with RP Yimi Garcia having been placed on the IL due to right elbow ulnar neuritis. Garcia has been serving as the club's closer with RP Jordan Romano sidelined because of elbow inflammation. Romano played long catch yesterday with the hopes of throwing off a mound tomorrow. In the interim, RP Chad Green will likely handle closing duties. For those wondering, RP Erik Swanson is still struggling for Triple-A Buffalo. Swanson was demoted after posting a 9.22 ERA in 13 2/3 innings to begin the season. Since being sent down, Swanson has registered a 7.11 ERA and a 2.21 WHIP over just 6 2/3 frames.

  • Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies welcomed back SS Trea Turner, who hit second and went 2-for-5 with a run in the club's 9-2 won over the San Diego Padres. Kyle Schwarber crushed a pair of homers, giving him five over the past week.

Everything you need to know for Tuesday

  • More than a few highly rostered pitchers take the mound coming off some ugly outings, but fantasy managers should not be dissuaded. Astros LHP Framber Valdez permitted eight hits and five runs over four innings against the Giants, with one strikeout, but he faces the White Sox. Thumbs up! Philles RHP Aaron Nola allowed 11 hits and eight runs at Fenway Park, one of his worst outings ever, but returns home to face the Padres, a team he has dominated. Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn hasn't reached five innings in his past three outings, but hey, this is a road appearance in Miami. How can you sit him?

  • Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler is someone you can sit, however, since his outing is at Denver's Coors Field. Buehler has a disappointing 4.64 ERA and 1.45 WHIP over seven starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, so even if this was a home outing, trusting him may be problematic. Buehler has a 4.89 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over nine starts and 53 1/3 innings at Coors Field. Sit him, for sure, rely on him next week versus the lowly White Sox, and then go outing to outing.

  • Cubs LHP Justin Steele seeks his first victory of the season at home against the Giants and RHP Logan Webb. While Steele is not winning, he is among the fantasy scoring leaders lately, as he has permitted two earned runs in his past four starts, with a strikeout per inning in that span. Steele was one of the top pitchers in 2023, and he is back to form after missing April with a hamstring injury. The Giants platoon quite a bit, but current Giants are hitting .190/.227/.310 against Steele. Enjoy this pitcher's duel.

  • Betting tip of the day: Yankees LHP Nestor Cortes boasts a 1.77 ERA in home games and that's where he is pitching on Tuesday. Baltimore generally enjoys facing lefties, but current Orioles have hit only .216/.238/.302 against Cortes. Expect a low-scoring affair, as Orioles RHP Albert Suarez has pitched well, too. Take under 8.5 runs (+115) for the game, as well as Cortes for under 2.5 earned runs allowed (-110).

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 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