Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday's MLB games (2024)

  • Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday's MLB games (1)

    Todd Zola, FantasyJul 1, 2024, 11:47 AM ET

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    • Writing on fantasy baseball game theory and player analysis since 1997
    • Winner of the 2013 Fantasy Sports Writer's Association Best Baseball Article

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.

Houston no longer has a problem

Entering June, the Houston Astros were in third place in the AL West, eight games under .500 and 6.5 games behind the first-place Seattle Mariners. Through Saturday's action, the Astros climbed to .500, leapfrogging the Texas Rangers into second place. The Astros shaved three games off the Mariners' lead to a manageable 3.5 games behind.

Through May, the Astros averaged 4.34 runs per game. In June, the club added almost a full run to average 5.25 runs per game.

The pitching also has improved. The Astros' starting pitchers recorded a 4.77 ERA through May 31, then improved to a 3.40 mark in June. The main boosts to the rotation came courtesy of SP Spencer Arrighetti and Monday's SP, Hunter Brown.

Through his first nine outings, Brown posted a 7.71 ERA and 1.93 WHIP. His 22.9% strikeout rate was palatable, but a high 11.7% walk rate was an issue. Brown was snake bit with a .298 BABIP and 64.7% left-on-base mark, along with a bloated 22.2% HR/FB level. A 4.12 xFIP and 4.31 SIERA portended a better month. Brown's turnaround began in late May. Over his last seven efforts, Brown has a sparkling 1.47 ERA and .88 WHIP. His luck turned around with a .230 BABIP and 95.9% left-on-base mark, but he also pitched better. Specifically, brown increased his strikeout rate to 29.1% while dropping his walk rate to 6.7%. His HR/FB checked in at a league average 11.1%.

While it's unclear if there is a cause and effect, Brown has cut back on four-seam usage, instead throwing more sinkers. He has also traded a few sliders for cutters.

Brown began the season rostered in 89.8% of ESPN leagues. On May 28, it was a season-low 38.9%. It has been on the rise since, sitting at 69.8% prior to Monday's road date with the Toronto Blue Jays. Even so, it's worth checking to see if Brown is available; you could be picking up June's AL pitcher of the month.

What you may have missed on Sunday

  • Los Angeles Angels OF Taylor Ward left yesterday's game after being hit in the helmet by a 93-mph fastball in the ninth inning. The removal was deemed precautionary. The Angels are off today, so Ward's availability for tomorrow's road date with the Oakland Athletics may not be clarified until tomorrow.

  • Texas Rangers SS Corey Seager was held out of the ESPN Sunday night game with a sore wrist. Seager was hit by a pitch on Saturday night, and even though X-rays were clean, the Rangers opted to give Seager a day, plus today's off day to heal. The Rangers are back in action tomorrow when the San Diego Padres visit Arlington. The news isn't as optimistic about 3B Josh Jung. The club is sending Jung to a specialist today for an examination of his surgically repaired wrist. Jung has lingering soreness, so the Rangers want further evaluation.

  • Baltimore Orioles 1B Ryan Mountcastle also missed last night's contest as he was feeling under the weather. The righty swinger would have been in the lineup with the Texas Rangers starting southpaw SP Andrew Heaney. The Orioles could have used Mountcastle as Heaney dominated with 10 strikeouts in seven frames, leading the Rangers to an 11-2 win. Mountcastle and the Orioles are off today, but the hope is he'll be available tomorrow when the club opens a series in the Pacific Northwest against the Seattle Mariners.

  • Speaking of the Mariners, C Mitch Garver was hit on the wrist by a pitch yesterday. X-rays came back negative, but he's slated for follow-up evaluation today.

  • Toronto Blue Jays 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left yesterday's game in the eighth inning. He was hit in the right hand by a pitch in the third inning but stayed in until being replaced by a pinch-hitter. The Blue Jays were trailing the New York Yankees 8-1, so the move was precautionary. Post-game X-rays were negative. Guerrero's availability for today's home matinee with the Houston Astros isn't clear.

Everything else you need to know for Monday

  • There are only six starting pitchers scheduled Monday, and two will take the hill at Coors Field with Bryse Wilson and the Milwaukee Brewers visiting Austin Gomber and the Colorado Rockies. With such a small slate, it's best to act immediately and pick up as many Brewers and Rockies bats as you can. The prime Brewers targets are Rhys Hoskins (29.3% rostered in ESPN leagues) and Jackson Chourio (23.0% rostered). Both are right-handed batters, thus will enjoy the platoon edge on the southpaw Gomber. Leading the way for the Rockies are Ryan McMahon (61.9% rostered), Charlie Blackmon (7.6% rostered), Nolan Jones (40.8% rostered) and Michael Toglia (2.1% rostered). Keep in mind that the Rockies will be home for seven games this week, so not only are you getting an early jump on Monday, but you're also getting a head start on fortifying your lineup for the week.

  • The top-ranked fantasy spot-starter is New York Mets SP David Peterson (2.5%). This is the first of seven road games for the Mets this week, and they are averaging the most runs per game while away from home. Peterson will face the Washington Nationals, whose lineup will feature OF James Wood's MLB debut. Peterson has an impressive 14 strikeouts over his last 10 1/3 innings, but he has walked eight in that two-game span. It's a favorable matchup for Peterson since the Nationals are one of the least patient teams in the league and they fan at an above average clip versus lefties.

  • Considering the circ*mstances, it's not surprising that the next best streaming option will oppose Peterson. Taking the hill for the Nationals will be MacKenzie Gore (26.2% rostered). Gore has been snake-bit with a .359 BABIP, which explains his bloated 1.39 WHIP. Gore has fanned more and walked fewer than last season. The tricky aspect of this outing is the opposition. As mentioned, the Mets are the top road team in the league. However, some of that is noise. Perhaps this sets Gore up better for props and as a pitcher for DFS GPP purposes.

  • Betting tip of the day: A limited three-game Monday slate narrows down the choices, but a Coors Field game with favorable hitting conditions makes it easier. The Colorado Rockies are sending southpaw SP Austin Gomber to the hill, rendering the right-handed contingent of the Milwaukee Brewers as the target batters. I prefer the safer "total bases" route over betting on a home run. Both William Contreras and Willy Adames are righty swingers. Contreras is the better hitter, but Adames is an extreme fly ball guy. Let's go with Adames over 2.5 total bases (+140). I'm tempted to double up and do the same on Contreras (+145).

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.

  • Rhys Hoskins (MIL, 1B -- 29%) at Austin Gomber

  • Joey Ortiz (MIL, 2B -- 18%) at Austin Gomber

  • Ezequiel Tovar (COL, SS -- 33%) vs. Bryse Wilson

  • Charlie Blackmon (COL, RF -- 8%) vs. Wilson

  • Brenton Doyle (COL, CF -- 18%) vs. Wilson

  • Nolan Jones (COL, LF -- 41%) vs. Wilson

  • Jackson Chourio (MIL, CF -- 23%) at Gomber

  • Elias Diaz (COL, C -- 10%) vs. Wilson

  • Brendan Rodgers (COL, 2B -- 3%) vs. Wilson

  • Blake Perkins (MIL, RF -- 2%) at Gomber

Worst over-50% rostered hitters for Monday

  • Francisco Alvarez (NYM, C -- 52%) at MacKenzie Gore

  • Lane Thomas (WSH, RF -- 64%) vs. David Peterson

  • Brandon Nimmo (NYM, CF -- 90%) at Gore

  • Bo Bichette (TOR, SS -- 77%) vs. Hunter Brown

  • CJ Abrams (WSH, SS -- 92%) vs. Peterson

  • George Springer (TOR, RF -- 68%) vs. Brown

  • Pete Alonso (NYM, 1B -- 98%) at Gore

  • Yainer Diaz (HOU, C -- 87%) at Yariel Rodriguez

  • Brice Turang (MIL, 2B -- 77%) at Gomber

  • Jose Altuve (HOU, 2B -- 100%) at Rodriguez

Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday's MLB games (2024)
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