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What you need to know for Monday’s MLB Games

By Todd Zola

  • Set those alarms, west coasters. Patriots Day is celebrated in Boston with the running of the Boston Marathon along with an 11:10 AM start in Fenway Park. This may be a proud tradition in New England, but having to set lineups so early, especially out west, is not as well received. You can be sure Shohei Ohtani will have an early wake-up call as he and the Angels wrap up their four-game set in Beantown. Brayan Bello is slated to come off the IL and make his 2023 debut. The second year righty threw six frames in his only rehab start. Bello is a promising starter, but he’s been overly reliant on his change-up. He’s working on expanding his repertoire but trusting him against a lineup including Mike Trout and Ohtani is risky.

  • The other 12 games on the slate are evening affairs. The top-ranked spot starter on the docket is Alex Wood (3.8% rostered in ESPN leagues). Wood will take the hill in loanDepot park, to be opposed by Jesus Luzardo. It’s a tough match-up as Luzardo is showing signs of finally attaining ace status, but Wood squares off with the lowest scoring team in MLB.

  • Facing the Oakland Athletics has been an early season elixir for a few struggling starting pitchers. Hayden Wesneski (4.9%) has a chance to follow suit when the Cubs open an interleague set in RingCentral Coliseum. Wesneski was pounded for seven runs in 1.1 innings last time out at home versus Seattle, but at least only two were earned. Still, he yielded five hits and four walks. Oakland fans at an above average clip while walking less than league average.

  • The scenario for Hunter Gaddis (.7%) isn’t ideal, as it’s best to stream pitchers at home, but like with both Wood and Wesneski, a lesser opponent tips the scales in the pitcher’s favor. The Guardians take the short trip to Detroit for an AL Central affair. Gaddis will need to step up with Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale both on the IL. He’s been hit hard by the Mariners and Yankees, two solid lineups, but he held the Athletics scoreless over six frames. Look for a similar effort against the Tigers, whose wOBA is the lowest in the league. Plus, Detroit sports the American League’s highest strikeout rate.

  • Monday marks the beginning of a three-game set in Coors Field with the Rockies entertaining the Pirates. Right-handed batters from both clubs are licking their chops with southpaw Kyle Freeland and Rich Hill slated to take the hill. With another lefty, Austin Gomber, scheduled to pitch for Colorado on Wednesday, focusing on the Pirates means you can use a pickup again in two days. Carlos Santana (18.1%), Ke’Bryan Hayes (15.6%), Andrew McCutchen 16.7%), Rodolfo Castro (.9%) and ex-Rockie Connor Joe (.6%) should all be in your crosshairs.

Starting pitcher rankings for Monday

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