Another great week of regular season fantasy baseball begins with seven new series getting underway on Monday night. The main slate on DraftKings gets started at 6:40 p.m. ET in order to include the early games in Tampa and Miami where the Rays and Marlins host the Astros and Cubs, respectively. There are several intriguing matchups to monitor including the top two SP going head-to-head in Milwaukee where Max Scherzer ($10,900) will make his return from the injured list. Coors Field is also in play as the Rockies welcome in the Giants for the first matchup in their four-game set.
Make sure to monitor the starting lineups and the latest injury news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks.
Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($9,700) – With Scherzer returning from the IL and Corbin Burnes ($10,600) in a tough matchup, I think it makes sense to pass on those top two arms over $10K and target Kershaw instead. Not only does he come a little cheaper, but he put together a strong outing with seven shutout innings against this same opponent last week on his way to 28 DKFP and his eighth win of the season. He only needed 82 pitches to get through those seven innings in Arizona, and he has had a remarkable bounce-back season when he has been healthy, posting a 2.44 ERA and 2.65 FIP with an average of just over a strikeout per inning across his 18 starts. Kershaw will hope to continue Arizona’s struggles against southpaws, as this season they have only a .293 wOBA and 86 wRC+ as a team against lefties.
Other Options – Kyle Wright ($8,800), Luis Garcia ($8,300)
Wade Miley, Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins ($6,600) – There’s a sharp dropoff in upside once you dip below $8K in the SP market on this slate, but Miley stands out as a strong play in a favorable matchup in Miami. Miley missed almost three months with a shoulder issue but has looked good in two starts since returning, allowing three earned runs across nine innings while striking out 11 and posting 14.6 and 16.3 DKFP. The veteran lefty will face the Marlins, who have an MLB-worst .261 wOBA and just a 68 wRC+ against southpaws this season. Miami also has the highest strikeout rate vs. LHP at 27.9 K%, so this should be a spot for Miley to post another strong showing. With such a low salary, he doesn’t have to dominate to be a strong value play, but he still has that potential as he showed with a 31.2-DKFP performance earlier this season against the Pirates.
Other Options – Edward Cabrera ($7,500), Tyler Wells ($6,100)
Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,000) – Muncy has hit safely in 11 of his past 12 games, going 16-for-49 (.327) with three doubles, four homers, 12 RBI and a .439 wOBA. He struggled early in the year and has been limited by injury, so his overall numbers are low, but he has found a nice groove coming down the stretch. He’ll start the week with a matchup against Merrill Kelly ($8,100), against whom he has gone 10-for-23 (.435) with a home run in their previous meetings.
Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants ($4,800) – McMahon has homered four times in his past eight games, going 8-for-27 (.296) with a .482 wOBA. He usually hits leadoff for the Rockies and has thrived at Coors Field, where he has 12 of his 17 homers this season, a .361 wOBA and a 104 wRC+. He is definitely on the right side of the splits against Jakob Junis ($5,900), who has allowed lefties to post a .346 wOBA against him this season while holding righties to just a .286 wOBA.
Other Options – Trea Turner ($5,500), Pete Alonso ($5,100)
Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays ($3,600) – Gurriel doesn't typically bring top-tier power like the most expensive 1B, but he is a consistent producer who can offer some salary relief, so you can pay up in other spots. The 38-year-old veteran has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, going 13-for-38 (.342) with two doubles, a home run and a .353 wOBA. He and the Astros have won seven of their past eight games and have been one of the best offenses in the Majors so far this month. Houston has clinched, but this is still a key series against the Rays, who are still in the middle of the tight AL Wild Card race.
CJ Abrams, Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves ($2,000) – Abrams seems to be figuring things out at the MLB level after a slow start with San Diego before being traded to Washington as a key part of the Juan Soto trade. Abrams’ season numbers are still underwhelming, but he has gone 16-for-50 (.320) over his past 13 games with three doubles, two triples, one stolen base and only three strikeouts. He has actually hit better on the road than at home and makes a solid play at the minimum against Kyle Wright ($8,800), who has given up significantly more production to lefties like Abrams than to righties this season.
Other Options – Garrett Cooper ($2,600), Zach McKinstry ($2,500)
Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays ($6,300) – Alvarez has been on fire for the past month, going hitless just twice in his past 19 games while going 25-for-71 (.352) with eight doubles, six home runs and a .483 wOBA. He has five of those home runs in his past five games and double-digit DKFP in seven straight contests. The 25-year-old lefty is locked in right now and the top-priced OF with the highest ceiling on this slate without Aaron Judge.
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals ($4,800) – The 21-year-old rookie has been excellent for the Braves after making the jump from Double-A earlier this season. Over the past month, he has hit .351 with six home runs, two stolen bases, a .441 wOBA and a 186 wRC+. He has averaged 10.6 DKFP per contest over his 14 games in September and continues to be an affordably priced key contributor to the Braves’ late-season surge.
Other Options – Mookie Betts ($6,100), Kyle Tucker ($5,200)
Yonathan Daza, Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants ($2,900) – Daza remains under $3K despite going 15-for-38 (.395) since returning from the IL. He only has one homer during that 10-game span but has scored nine runs and driven in six while posting a .451 wOBA. Especially coming home to Coors where he has a .331 average and .353 wOBA, Daza is a strong value play to consider and can make a nice mini-stack with McMahon at the top of what is expected to be a productive Rockies lineup.
Alex Call, Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves ($2,300) – Call is another part of the Nats’ youth movement after selling at the trade deadline. The 27-year-old rookie has gone 12-for-42 (.286) with a double, a triple, a stolen base and three home runs in his 14 games this month. Call had 11 homers, six stolen bases and a .404 wOBA in Triple-A Columbus with the Guardians before joining the Nationals, and he should continue to get a long look coming down the stretch as Washington tries to figure out if he fits into their future plans.
Other Options – Aledmys Díaz ($3,700), David Peralta ($3,100), Jose Siri ($2,400)
TEAMS TO STACK
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – The Dodgers are definitely a spendy stack, but they have been on a roll for much of the second half and have the highest wOBA of any team in September while scoring the second-most runs this month behind only the White Sox. Muncy (discussed above) isn’t the only Dodger bat with good history against opposing starter Merrill Kelly: Mookie Betts ($6,100) is 7-for-20 (.350) with three career homers, Trea Turner ($5,500) is 6-for-17 (.428), Freddie Freeman ($5,600) is 6-for-14 (.429) with a home run, Will Smith ($5,200) is 7-for-19 (.368) with a home run and Justin Turner ($4,700) is 9-for-23 (.391). With all those impressive numbers for the Dodgers against Kelly, it isn’t surprising that the righty is 0-8 with a 5.81 ERA and 1.605 WHIP in his 11 career starts against Los Angeles. It has been even worse at Dodger Stadium, where Kelly has a 6.84 career ERA and has given up six home runs and 19 runs in 25 innings of work. Gavin Lux ($3,600) and Joey Gallo ($3,300) or Trayce Thompson ($2,600) can offer a little salary relief, but all the Dodgers’ big bats have been rolling, so they’re all worth considering if you can find a way to squeeze them under your salary cap.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers – The Tigers will give Tyler Alexander ($5,200) another start even though the lefty has not managed to get through more than five innings in any of his past four starts and allowed seven home runs and 20 runs in 17 innings over those outings. The Orioles can sometimes struggle against southpaws, but switch-hitters Adley Rutschman ($5,100) and Anthony Santander ($4,900) can form a solid core to a stack with Austin Hays ($3,100) often sliding up into the leadoff spot against lefties. Ramon Urías ($3,000), Ryan McKenna ($2,000) and Jesus Aguilar ($2,400) are solid value options on the favorable side of the split against Alexander who has given up 10 of his 14 home runs allowed to righties along with a .360 wOBA.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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