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

Miles Mikolas pitched seven shutout innings his last time out and gets the Royals on Tuesday. David Kohl/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 Caesars Sportsbook, and fantasy advice is geared towards ESPN 10-team leagues with standard scoring.

For an in-depth look at what to expect in this daily article and for how to best utilize the information contained within, check out our handy primer here.

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.

What you need to know for Tuesday's MLB games

By Derek Carty

  • If you have Twins ace Joe Ryan, if he's on your team, you should strongly consider benching him today. He'll be facing an elite and low-strikeout Astros offense and projects for just a 28% chance of a win with a 4.59 ERA.

  • THE BAT X projects two offenses to score 6+ runs today: the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Aside from Miguel Vargas (25% rostered in ESPN leagues), there aren't a ton of available and appealing L.A. options, but Boston has several, including Justin Turner (62% rostered), Raimel Tapia (0%) Jarren Duran (15%) Triston Casas (28%) Enrique Hernandez (8%) and Connor Wong (1%). They're at home in Fenway against the weakest pitcher on the slate in Ben Lively and make for great streaming choices.

  • If you're looking for home runs specifically, Boston may not be your best choice. With 85-degree temperatures, the Cardinals project as one of the best home run matchups against the contact-heavy Zack Greinke. Lars Nootbaar (25%), Paul DeJong (14%), Brendan Donovan (21%) and Alec Burleson (0%) are all widely available.

  • The Rangers are in a strong stolen base spot today against Alex Faedo. Marcus Semien (100%) and Adolis Garcia (95%) are unlikely to be fantasy options to add, but keep an eye on their stolen base prop odds. For fantasy, Bubba Thompson (1%), Leody Taveras (2%), Robbie Grossman (2%) and Josh Smith (less than 1%) could be worth streaming if you need to pad your steals.

Looking to start a free fantasy baseball league? Come and join the fun of ESPN's brand new standard scoring format.

Starting pitcher rankings for Tuesday

Bullpen usage watch for Tuesday

By Todd Zola

  • Last night was a rare blip for Ryan Pressly as he failed to convert a save for the first time in 11 chances. Pressly racked up a healthy 27 pitches in the process, giving him 37 thrown over the past three days which renders him questionable this evening when the Twins try to take another game in Houston. Bryan Abreu has thrown 48 pitches since Saturday, so, like Pressly, Abreu could use a night off. Rafael Montero is still unreliable, leaving last inning duties to Hector Neris and Ryne Stanek.

  • Carlos Estevez yielded a homer to Eloy Jimenez. but he was still able to deal yesterday, saving his 13th game in the Angels' 6-4 road win over the White Sox. However, Estevez threw 18 pitches on top of the 14 used on Saturday. The total of 32 flag Estevez as potentially unavailable tonight. Other closers have been brought back in similar scenarios, though there isn't precedent for Estevez being used in back-to-back games in this situation. Chris Devenski also pitched yesterday, but he needed 10 pitches to collect his fifth hold and could fill in for Estevez. The reliever to track in Anaheim is rookie Ben Joyce who made his debut last night. Joyce threw 12 pitches, 11 of which registered triple digits. He earned a hold and should continue to see late-inning duty, with an eye on the closer role down the line.

  • A couple of new entries top the list of teams we project with the best chance to win over the next three days. First up is Toronto, as the Brewers visit Rogers Centre for a three-game set. Both teams had Monday off, so Toronto closer Jordan Romano and the rest of the Blue Jays bullpen is well rested. However, with Yusei Kikuchi and Alek Manoah slated to start the first two games, the bullpen could be busy in a hurry. Erik Swanson is the chief target for holds and strikeouts, followed by Yimi Garcia and Tim Mayza.

  • The Diamondbacks make the list by virtue of hosting the Rockies for a three-game set. Co-closer Andrew Chafin (13.9% rostered) will probably get the night off after pitching the last two days. However, Miguel Castro is well-rested and has compiled three saves, a win and a hold over his last six appearances. After a rough start to the season, Scott McGough has settled into a setup role, leading the club with 10 holds.

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

Prop of the Day

Ben Lively, Cincinnati Reds: Strikeouts prop is set at 3.5 Ks (-116/-110).


THE BAT sees Lively putting up 2.7 strikeouts in this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 36.1% of the time. THE BAT believes there is positive value on the UNDER, with an expected value of $24.23.


  • In terms of temperature and humidity, the forecast calls for the second-most favorable pitching conditions of all games on the slate today.

  • The wind projects to be blowing in from RF at 8.1 mph in this matchup, the fourth-most favorable of the day for pitchers.


  • THE BAT X projects Lively to throw 75 pitches in this game (second-fewest on the slate), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.

  • The Red Sox (20.4 K%, via THE BAT X) are projected to have the fourth-fewest strikeout-prone set of batters today.

  • Per THE BAT projection system, Fenway Park is ranked as the 25rd venue in the majors for strikeouts.

  • The Red Sox have seven bats in the projected offense that will have the handedness advantage against Lively today.