Fantasy baseball daily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Monday

Brendan McKay gets a favorable matchup against the struggling Mariners. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a typically abbreviated Monday ledger, there's a decent supply of streaming option for your fantasy rotation. With only a couple weeks left in the regular season of head to head leagues, it's time to pull out all the stops. If you're on the outside looking in with respect to a playoff berth, go down fighting. Good luck this week.

Here's the usual trek through the position, with each available in over half of ESPN leagues.


John Means (L), rostered in 29% of ESPN leagues, Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals: Means has failed to make it out of the fourth inning in his last three outings. Granted, the latter two efforts were against the New York Yankees, but there's also a chance the 26-year old rookie is hitting the wall. The Royals are the perfect test to see if Means has anything left as only the Los Angles Angels are weaker in terms of production facing southpaw pitching.

Zac Gallen (R), 28%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies: As poor as the Royals are against lefties, that's matched by the Rockies ineptitude facing righthanders on the road. Gallen faced Colorado in Coors last time out, escaping with just two runs allowed in four frames, albeit it with nine hits. Look for an improved effort this time from Gallen as he auditions for a spot in the 2020 Diamondbacks rotation.

Brendan McKay (L), 18%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners: Even though they've lost some key lineup pieces, the Mariners remain productive with a lefty on the hill. That said, Seattle fans 25% of the time in that scenario, setting McKay up for a big strikeout game. The Rays two-way rookie spots an impressive 27.4% K%.

Joe Ross (R), 4%, Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates: On the surface, Ross has had a strong August, posting a 3-0 record with a .50 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. However, only 11 punch out to nine free passes warns he's enjoyed good fortune. On the other hand, he hasn't allowed a home and five of those walks came in the first game of the month. Regression is likely coming and is independent of opposition. That said, since the break the Pirates are one of the poorest offenses when a righthander toes the rubber.


Emilio Pagan has been featured a few times in this space but since he's still just rostered in 28% of ESPN leagues, it's worth reinforcing he's been the guy for the Rays lately. For the season, he's recorded 76 strikeouts to just 12 bases on balls in 52 2/3 stanzas.


Catcher -- Austin Nola (R), 5%, Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays (LHP Brendan McKay): Catcher-eligible guys playing a position behind the pitcher are often fantasy gold. A former shortstop, Nola earned catcher eligibility based on his 2018 action. He's been playing a lot of infield for the Mariners, picking up eligibility at first and second. A .310/.360/.517 slash line though Sunday's action has Nola in the lineup nearly every day.

First Base -- Christian Walker (R), 25%, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies (RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez): Walker has reached base at a better clip versus southpaws, but he's slugging more when facing right-handers. In a one-and-done scenario, you're usually looking for a home run, so don't sweat lacking the platoon edge. Besides, Gonzalez is equally magnanimous to both sides of the plate.

Second Base -- Michael Brosseau (R), 8%, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales): The Rays haven't faced many lefthanders lately so Brousseau's playing time has been limited. Even so, he's making good contact when he does play, giving the utilityman a chance to put the ball in play against Gonzales, author of only 116 strikeouts in 152 innings.

Third Base -- Miguel Sano (R), 34%, Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox (RHP Ivan Nova): Sometimes, enjoying the platoon advantage is secondary to other matchup edges. Like Gonzales, Nova doesn't miss many bats, fanning just 89 in 147 2/3 stanzas. This increases Sano's likelihood of making contact, and when the slugger puts the ball in play, good things often ensue.

Shortstop -- Hanser Alberto (R), 7%, Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals (RHP Jorge Lopez): Alberto keeps chugging along, now up to .318 for the season with seven homers and four sneaky bags. Lopez has had a season he'd like to forget but is being given another chance to salvage at least some of it. He's registered a bloated 6.51 ERA and 1.55 WHIP this year.

Corner Infield -- Tommy Edman (S), 15%, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers (RHP Zach Davies): Edman certainly hasn't crushed it though he has provided some stability to an injury-riddled Cardinals lineup as St. Louis has surged into playoff contention. Hidden in Edman's contributions is a perfect 7-for-7 when attempting to steal. Davies ranks as one of the easier arms to run against.

Middle Infield -- Ryan McMahon (L), 15%, Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks (RHP Zac Gallen): Granted, McMahon's current power surge was buoyed by a Coors homestand, but his confidence must be high with five homers the past couple of weeks.

Outfield -- Eric Thames (L), 4%, Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals (RHP Dakota Hudson): Thames has been wielding a hot stick the past couple of weeks, culminating with his game-winning 14th inning two run blast on Friday night. He's been platooning at first with Yasmani Grandal. With Hudson on the hill, Thames and his healthy .898 OPS versus righties will be in the lineup.

Outfield -- Travis Demeritte (R), 1%, Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros (LHP Wade Miley): Demerrite has stealthily held his own since his August 1 promotion. The power isn't there with only one homer, but the 24-year old fly chaser has a sneaky three pilfers while displaying a good eye, important for points-scoring formats.

Outfield -- Bubba Starling (R), 1%, Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles (LHP John Means): With the release of Billy Hamilton, center field looks to be a split between Bubba Starling and Brett Phillips. It's unclear if it will be a strict platoon though Starling should get all the run when a lefty is on the bump. A former top prospect, Starling is aiming for a strong finish so he can now earn post-hype status in fantasy circles.