Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday’s MLB games

Fantasy baseball pitcher rankings, lineup advice for Monday’s MLB games

April 12, 2023

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 Monday’s MLB Games

By Todd Zola

  • The first full week of the regular season is a rare Monday with a full 15-game slate. There are two matinees, each being the home opener for the hosts. The Brewers entertain the Mets at 2:10 PM ET, followed by the White Sox welcoming the Giants at 4:10 PM ET for an interleague tussle.

  • The slate offers mostly fourth and fifth starters, so the RST% (Rostership percentages) are generally low. Even so, it’s early in the week, so it’s best to show some discretion when selecting streamers. Many of those comprising today’s schedule will have a second start next weekend, when you have a better idea what is needed to win the matchup in head-to-head formats.

  • Using the Starting pitcher rankings for Monday as a guide, Hunter Brown is the day’s top streaming target. He’s ranked sixth overall as the Astros host Matthew Boyd and the Tigers. Brown was going to be part of the Houston rotation at some point of the season regardless, but with Lance McCullers out until at least mid-May with a forearm strain, Brown’s services were needed from the jump. He debuted last season, starting two of his seven appearances. Brown fanned 22 in 20 1/3 innings, but he also walked seven. How soon Brown hones will control with drive his success, though that is less worrisome facing the light-hitting Tigers.

  • Anthony DeSclafani and Zach Plesac follow Brown on the list and with rostership levels below 2%, both are in play for those wishing to be a bit aggressive early. Next in the rankings is Reid Detmers, who deserves more than pitch and ditch treatment. In fact, with his tough road matchup against George Kirby and the Mariners, it’s viable to pick up Demers as a stash. The 23-year-old southpaw spent part of the offseason at Driveline, adding several ticks to his fastball and slider. If Detmers can combine the added velocity with the control he exhibited in the minors, he has a chance to be a front-end starting pitcher

  • Rounding out a lush group of steaming candidates are Michael Kopech, Drew Smyly and Michael Grove. Simply by virtue of being slated for several starts in the Dodgers rotation, Grove is interesting. Initially, the 26-year-old righthander was going to begin the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, but with Ryan Pepiot out at least a month with an oblique strain, Grove was summoned. Keeping the ball in the yard is his primary issue, but with Monday’s NL West tilt with the Rockies in Dodgers Stadium, homers are less of a concern.

  • Last season, there were 55 stolen bases over the first 150 games. This year, teams swiped 49 bags in just 70 games. With the new rules governing pickoffs, and bigger bags, it will be obligatory to track team tendencies, both for compiling steals and being an easy team on which to run. The Baltimore Orioles lead MLB with 10 steals in their first two games against the Boston Red Sox. Sure, it’s only one series, but it is clear Baltimore will look to run, and Boston will struggle controlling would-be base stealers.

  • Next up for the Orioles are the Texas Rangers, who yielded the second most pilfers in MLB least season. Jorge Mateo already has four bags and is available in 90% of ESPN leagues.

  • Boston hosts Pittsburgh in interleague play. Ji Hwan Bae started at second in the Pirates opener. He’s going to be in the lineup a lot and can run as evidenced by already collecting a pair of steals. Bae is only rostered in 3% of ESPN leagues.

  • 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 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.

  • Nico Hoerner (CHC, SS — 49%) at Connor Overton

  • Andrew Benintendi (CHW, LF — 29%) vs. Anthony DeSclafani

  • Cody Bellinger (CHC, CF — 34%) at Overton

  • Max Kepler (MIN, RF — 5%) at Johnny Cueto

  • Jesse Winker (MIL, LF — 28%) vs. Carlos Carrasco

  • Jonathan India (CIN, 2B — 46%) vs. Drew Smyly

  • Eric Hosmer (CHC, 1B — 2%) at Overton

  • Andrew McCutchen (PIT, LF — 15%) at Kutter Crawford

  • TJ Friedl (CIN, LF — 2%) vs. Smyly

  • Carlos Santana (PIT, 1B — 20%) at Crawford

Worst Over-50% Rostered Hitters for Monday

  • Hunter Renfroe (LAA, RF — 66%) at George Kirby

  • Jordan Walker (STL, 3B — 52%) vs. Charlie Morton

  • Kyle Schwarber (PHI, LF — 99%) at Nestor Cortes

  • Anthony Volpe (NYY, SS — 57%) vs. Taijuan Walker

  • Tommy Edman (STL, 2B — 95%) vs. Morton

  • Alec Bohm (PHI, 3B — 67%) at Cortes

  • Nick Castellanos (PHI, RF — 84%) at Cortes

  • Corbin Carroll (ARI, LF — 90%) at Ryan Weathers

  • Matt Chapman (TOR, 3B — 82%) at Brady Singer

  • J.T. Realmuto (PHI, C — 99%) at Cortes

The BAT X’s Best Stacks for Monday

  • Chicago Cubs at Connor Overton

  • Milwaukee Brewers vs. Carlos Carrasco

  • Pittsburgh Pirates at Kutter Crawford

Prop of the Day

Johan Oviedo strikeouts: Over/Under 4.5 (+115/-155)


THE BAT X sees Oviedo putting up 3.0 strikeouts for this matchup on average, while projecting him to exceed his player prop total 21.0% of the time. THE BAT X believes there is positive value on the UNDER with an expected value of $46.56.


  • Cold weather is strongly correlated with less offense (and more whiffs), and the weatherman calls for the third-lowest temperature of all games today at 52 degrees.

  • Oviedo’s 95.6 mph fastball velocity since the start of last season ranks in the 93rd percentile among SPs.


  • THE BAT X projects Oviedo to throw 73 pitches in this game (least of all pitchers on the slate), considering both his underlying tendencies and the matchup.

  • The Red Sox (20 K%, per THE BAT X) project to have the third-least strikeout-heavy lineup today.

  • Fenway Park profiles as the No. 25 field in the game for strikeouts, per THE BAT X projection system.

  • The wind projects to be blowing out to left at 13.6 mph in this game, the best of the day for batters.

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