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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.
What you need to know for Monday's MLB Games
By Todd Zola
July 4 festivities begin early on Monday with an 11:05 AM ET start in the nation's capital with the Miami Marlins visiting the Washington Nationals. Braxton Garrett (1%) is a streaming option for the visitors as his 5.24 ERA is inflated due to an unlucky .411 BABIP and an unfortunate 67.2% left on base mark. The Nationals could be without Juan Soto who left Sunday's game early after an apparent leg injury.
The holiday slate is much busier than a typical Monday, so there are plenty of options to spot with two of the best candidates squaring off in Camden Yards. Dane Dunning (8%) gets the call for the Texas Rangers while the Baltimore Orioles give the nod to Dean Kremer (10%). Both righthanders face an offense with a wOBA against righties in the bottom third of a league as well as an above average strikeout rate.
The Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers play a pair in Motown. There is a plethora of fantasy implications as all four starters merit streaming. Righty Zach Plesac (54%) is a better option for the Guardians than lefty Konnor Pilkington (1%) as the Tigers lineup against righthanders is one of the weakest in the league. Detroit will send a pair of righties in Alex Faedo (1%) and Garrett Hill (1%) with Faedo the more accomplished, hence better option against an offense without much power, but also a unit that doesn't fan much.
Batters in the twin bill are also fantasy-worthy since they have a chance for extra at bats. Exciting rookie Riley Greene (28%) tops the list for the Tigers, along with Robbie Grossman (35%), Spencer Torkelson (48%), Jeimer Candelario (42%), Willi Castro (1%) and Eric Haase (2%). Andres Gimenez (44%) leads the way for the Guardians. He's joined by Josh Naylor (43%), Steven Kwan (38%) and Owen Miller (39%).
Another contest with a pair of intriguing starters is an NL Central affair with southpaws Eric Lauer (66%) and Justin Steele squaring off as the Milwaukee Brewers host the Chicago Cubs. Lauer has been in a rut, and the Brewers lefty draws a Cubs lineup sitting a sneaky 11th in wOBA against southpaws. Early in the season, this would have been a no-brainer start for Lauer, but now it's defensible to keep him reserved if protecting ratios is needed. Steele has fanned 14 over his prior 10 2/3 innings and will face the 10th worst lineup with a lefty on the hill.
It's not too late to start another free fantasy baseball league. Leagues drafted this week will start scoring fresh the following Monday.
Starting pitcher rankings for Monday
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.
Josh Naylor (CLE, RF -- 43%) at Hill and Faedo
Miguel Cabrera (DET, 1B -- 6%) vs. Pilkington and Plesac
Andres Gimenez (CLE, 2B -- 44%) at Hill and Faedo
Myles Straw (CLE, CF -- 32%) at Hill and Faedo
Jonathan Schoop (DET, 1B -- 41%) vs. Pilkington and Plesac
Jeimer Candelario (DET, 3B -- 42%) vs. Pilkington and Plesac
Robbie Grossman (DET, LF -- 35%) vs. Pilkington and Plesac
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Connor Joe (COL, LF -- 63%) at Urias
Brendan Rodgers (COL, 2B -- 61%) at Urias
C.J. Cron (COL, 1B -- 97%) at Urias
THE BAT X's Best Stacks for Today
Prop of the Day
Taijuan Walker Pitching Outs: Over/Under 17.5 (-175/+125)
THE BAT sees Walker putting up 15.6 pitching outs for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 37.1% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $41.50.
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.
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE OVER
Taijuan Walker was firing on all cylinders in his last game started and allowed no earned runs.
Walker has utilized his change-up 15.5% more often this year (29.6%) than he did last season (14.1%).
FACTORS THAT FAVOR THE UNDER
The Cincinnati Reds have been the sixth-unluckiest offense in Major League Baseball this year, according to THE BAT X, and are likely to hit better going forward
Great American Ball Park projects as the #1 ballpark in the league for home runs, via THE BAT projection system.
Hot weather is strongly correlated with more offense (and fewer Ks), and the weatherman calls for the highest temperatures on the slate today at 91 degrees.
Taijuan Walker has a large reverse platoon split and will be disadvantaged facing 6 same-handed bats in this matchup.