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 Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards 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.
What you need to know for Monday's MLB Games
By Todd Zola
This was originally supposed to be the final Monday of the regular season, but MLB was forced to tack on one of the series lost to the lockout. When the schedule first came out, there were only three matchups on the docket, leaving an open date for most teams to make up games. A Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox tilt has since been added, yielding a four-game slate. Let's review each, with an eye towards fantasy and betting action.
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates get things underway at 6:40 PM ET in PNC Park. Chase Anderson (under-1% rostered in ESPN leagues) gets the ball for the visitors with Roansy Contreras (8%) getting the nod for the hosts. Anderson is coming off a pair of five-inning, one-run efforts against the St. Louis Cardinals and Red Sox. If Anderson can limit those offenses, he must be in play against the soft Pirates lineup. Contreras is a clear-cut streamer, with the caveat his innings are being limited so there's a chance he is removed before he tosses five frames -- although he fanned 10 Yankees in 4 2/3 innings in his last outing. As for hitters, Oneil Cruz (34%), Rodolfo Castro (9%) and Jack Suwinski (1%) are in play for the Pirates with Jake Fraley (6%) being the top streaming option for Cincinnati.
The Atlanta Braves visit the Washington Nationals with the defending World Series champions having a chance to close the gap with the New York Mets as they play their "game in hand." With Spencer Strider out for the regular season, Bryce Elder (2%) is slated to get another start, landing him as the top streaming option for the day. The Nationals will counter with Cory Abbott, putting Braves hitters in a favorable spot, with Vaughn Grissom (46%) and William Contreras (40%) possibly available in 10- and 12-team leagues.
The New York Yankees cross the border to begin a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Both teams will be in the playoffs with the Yankees ticketed for the No. 2-seed and a bye while the Blue Jays are batting for the top wild card spot and home-field advantage for all three games of the Wild Card Series. There isn't much by way off intriguing players to acquire for fantasy with Luis Severino and Kevin Gausman getting the call on the hill. However, in tight scenarios, backing the teams and players with more on the line tends to pay off. In this case, Gausman seems ripe for a contrarian DFS play, as do Toronto hitters.
The Orioles and Red Sox in Fenway Park close out Monday's docket. The game means nothing for the AL playoff picture, but there is fantasy allure with a focus on the road team's hitters. The Red Sox will give another start to Connor Seabold who has struggled in his rookie campaign. Impressive rookie Gunnar Henderson (33%) has been hitting cleanup against right-handers for the Orioles. If you need a steal, Jorge Mateo (27%) is in a good spot to take advantage of Boston's inability to control the running game. Jordan Lyles is coming off a complete game against the Tigers and, even though it has been a disappointing season for Boston, their lineup is still dangerous -- especially in Fenway Park. Triston Casas (3%) has only six hits in his first 46 MLB at bats, but four have left the yard, and Lyles has surrendered 24 homers, tied for the 10th-most this season.
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.
Robbie Grossman (ATL, LF -- 36%) at Cory Abbott
Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday
Matt Chapman (TOR, 3B -- 91%) vs. Severino
Teoscar Hernandez (TOR, LF -- 92%) vs. Severino
Josh Donaldson (NYY, 3B -- 65%) at Gausman
Gleyber Torres (NYY, SS -- 90%) at Gausman
Bo Bichette (TOR, SS -- 100%) vs. Severino
Jonathan India (CIN, 2B -- 69%) at Contreras
Austin Hays (BAL, LF -- 74%) at Seabold
Ke'Bryan Hayes (PIT, 3B -- 66%) vs. Anderson