The Mets lost. The White Sox won.
Going into Sunday's games, we could have had anywhere from zero Monday games to two. Turns out we have one -- the Tigers and White Sox will make up a previously rescheduled doubleheader. Oh, and there's more. With the Twins winning Sunday to remain a half-game up on the White Sox, that means if the Sox beat the Tigers, there could be an additional single-game playoff for the AL Central crown Tuesday.
Obviously, with an extra game (or two) at your disposal, any Tigers or White Sox player (or maybe even Twins player) suddenly becomes a fantasy option. The only categories that can negatively be affected at this point are ERA, WHIP and batting average, and if your standings in those categories are set in stone, you basically have an opportunity to "free roll" with any available players with games to play. Don't forget to include relievers in that, too; Scott Linebrink, Matt Thornton and Octavio Dotel are all quality middle relievers for the White Sox with the potential to offer some last-minute pitching help or a vulture save the next day or two.
Matchup for Monday, Sept. 29
All times are ET.
Placido Polanco, 2B, Tigers (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Hitters: Placido Polanco has Gavin Floyd's number, with eight hits in 21 at-bats, including two walks, one home run and two other extra base-hits. The question is whether Polanco can suit up.
Pitchers: Gavin Floyd has had his worst months in August and September, his only two months with a 4.00-plus ERA. He has allowed 12 home runs in 11 starts, and facing a quality offense against which he has a mediocre 14-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio against this season in four previous starts, there's little reason to hope for a good performance Monday.
Hitters: If Polanco is out, Ramon Santiago likely will get the start at second base, considering he has home runs in consecutive games. It can't really hurt to start him; he has four hits with four runs scored in those two games. Matt Joyce is hitting only .171 in just 41 September at-bats, but he has a decent 18-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio, suggesting he's not totally lost. More importantly, he's a lefty with some pop. He has hit 12 home runs in 212 at-bats against righties, and Gavin Floyd allows a .490 slugging percentage when facing southpaw batters. A home run in hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field wouldn't be too surprising.
Pitchers: Freddy Garcia's first two starts have been a mixed bag as he returns from shoulder surgery. He went five innings while allowing just two hits and zero earned runs against the Rangers -- in Arlington -- but then allowed a whopping three home runs to the Royals, who have hit the fourth fewest homers in the majors. The White Sox have hit 28 more home runs at home than any other team in the majors and are one of the best offensive teams at home, so chances are Garcia will hurt your ERA, at least. He has nine strikeouts in 10 innings, so he might be of some help in that category, but if you're protecting your ratios, don't bother. Aquilino Lopez has only six appearances in September, but he normally pitches multiple innings and has 15 strikeouts in 12 innings this month. Bobby Seay has six strikeouts in his past three appearances (4 2/3 innings), but he has allowed 10 baserunners and three runs as well, so he's strictly a desperate option for strikeouts.
In yet another twist, Chicago has a fairly strong chance of storms, with a 40 to 50 percent, likely after 3 p.m.
Adam Madison is a fantasy baseball analyst for ESPN.com