In what could be the oddest day of the season, there are only four Monday games on the docket -- and one is an interleague matchup, with the Los Angeles Angels spending what was supposed to be a travel day in Wrigley Field by taking on the Chicago Cubs. The other three games are in West Coast cities, so there are no scheduled contests in the usual 7 p.m. ET slot.
Even with the scant slate, there's a trio of stream-worthy starting pitchers. Apologies, but with only eight teams in action, it's necessary to double up with a couple of hitters on the same team. The rule of thumb is highlighting hitters on 10 different teams.
With so many lineup holes, it's a good idea to make moves as early as possible to get the pick of the litter. Here are some ideas to point you in the right direction.
Corbin Martin (R), rostered in 7 percent of ESPN leagues, Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners: Since impressing in his first start, Martin has been disappointing. He could be pitching for his spot in the majors. Homers have been his main issue, which, on paper, doesn't bode well against a Mariners club near the top of the league in homers. However, Seattle has been in a rut the past couple of weeks and will likely be without Jay Bruce, as the veteran lefty bat will either be traded or on hug alert.
Eric Lauer (L), 6 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies: Lauer has rebounded nicely from a disaster in Coors with a 1.50 ERA and .83 WHIP in his ensuing three outings, a modest 14 strikeouts but no walks and just one homer in 18 frames. The Phillies are a middling offense versus lefties and are incurring a big park downgrade on the road in Petco Park.
Wade LeBlanc (L), 2 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros: The last spot comes down to Trevor Cahill and LeBlanc with Cahill drawing the Cubs. The Astros and Cubs are both sturdy offenses, but with so many injuries in Houston, LeBlanc gets the nod. Over the past two weeks, the Astros are the second-lowest-scoring team in the league.
Pedro Strop is currently on a rehab assignment but is close to returning to the majors, likely to be thrust right back into ninth-inning duties. The Cubs profile as a team likely to generate a healthy number of save chances and is available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
Projected game scores
Robinson Chirinos (R), 23 percent, Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc): In today's landscape, a .244-hitting catcher with seven homers is useful. In fact, Chirinos checks in a respectable 13th among fantasy backstops. On Monday, he enjoys the platoon edge on a mediocre southpaw.
David Freese (R), 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks (LHP Robbie Ray): The Dodgers have backed off their platooning a bit, though Freese still plays against most southpaws. An underdiscussed trait for points leagues is the ability to draw a walk. Freese is walking at a 19 percent clip, while Ray has issued a generous 35 free passes in just 62 2/3 innings.
Luis Rengifo (S), under 1 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs (LHP Jon Lester): With Zack Cozart and Andrelton Simmons out, Rengifo has been playing regularly. Since being recalled on May 21, he's getting on base at a 37 percent clip, crossing the plate seven times while driving in six.
Kyle Seager (L), 26 percent, Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros (RHP Corbin Martin): Seager is still knocking the rust off after a long injury rehab, posting a paltry .515 OPS since debuting for the season on May 25. That said, it's only a matter of time before the veteran gets going, as he has swatted at least 20 homers for seven straight seasons.
Addison Russell (R), 4 percent, Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Angels (RHP Trevor Cahill): The Cubs are still settling on a way to get everyone's bat in the lineup, so Russell might be on the bench. If so, Daniel Descalso is an option. Russell's been hitting with power, popping three out of the yard the past week.
Scott Kingery (R), 8 percent, Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres (LHP Eric Lauer): In the "these things always seem to work out" vein, Kingery has been playing a lot of center field for the Phillies. Considering he's slashing .347/.388/.573, it's understandable why the Phillies want to keep his bat in the lineup.
Jack Mayfield (R), under 1 percent, Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (LHP Wade LeBlanc): With Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz all out, Mayfield is filling in, mostly at shortstop. The Astros offense has been in a malaise, maybe facing LeBlanc will be the elixir.
Franmil Reyes (R), 48 percent, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies (RHP Aaron Nola): In the spirit of highlighting a player from every team, Reyes gets the call for San Diego despite facing a rejuvenated Nola. Even so, Nola has had issues with homers, and Reyes has the power to take anyone deep.
Jarrod Dyson (L), 10 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (RHP Walker Buehler): For his career, when Dyson received extended playing time, even in a platoon, he eventually gets exposed. Maybe that will be the case again this season, but to date, he's getting on base at a 36 percent clip with an efficient 12 steals in 14 attempts.
Cesar Puello (R), 2 percent, Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs (LHP Jon Lester): Eight hits, including two homers and a double in three games since being promoted have earned Puello playing time, especially with a lefty on the hill.
Hitter matchup ratings
Hitter ratings account for the opposing starting pitcher's history (three years' worth) as well as ballpark factors. "LH" and "RH" ratings account only for left- and right-handed batters, respectively.
Weighted on-base average (wOBA) is the primary statistic used in the calculation. Ratings range from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the best possible matchup, statistically speaking, and 1 representing the worst. For example, a 10 is a must-start rating, while a 1 should be avoided (if possible).