It’s time to get another work week started, and Major League Baseball is ready to continue a great start to the season with more great series getting underway on Monday. The Padres and Mets face off in New York in a battle of preseason favorites to start the eight-game main slate on DraftKings at 7:10 p.m. ET, and the final game of the night is an NL West rivalry game between the Giants and Dodgers in San Francisco. The featured slate truly stretches from coast to coast with a nice variety of games sprinkled throughout the window.
As always, make sure to keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player 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 as the season continues.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $350K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and lineups, download the DK Live app. You also can follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.
Luis Castillo, Seattle Mariners at Chicago Cubs ($9,600) – Castillo has been brilliant in his first two starts of the season, allowing just three hits in 11 2/3 shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. He got the win in his most recent start vs. the Angels and finished with 26.4 DKFP after producing 24.9 DKFP in his first start of the season vs. the Guardians.
Castillo and the Mariners will be on the road in Wrigley to start the week, and Castillo should be very familiar with the opponent from his time in the NL Central. In his career, he is 4-2 with a 3.56 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in eight starts at Wrigley. Last season, he struck out 11 Cubs in six shutout innings in his only start at the Friendly Confines. Given his outstanding form and favorable matchup, I’ll take him as my top stud on this slate by a narrow margin over Max Scherzer ($10,400), and the extra savings of almost $1K is a nice bonus to spend in other spots.
Other Options – Max Scherzer ($10,400), Julio Urías ($9,400)
Bryce Elder, Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds ($6,600) – Elder didn’t make Atlanta’s rotation out of Spring Training, but he looked strong in his first start of the season after being called up following injuries to Max Fried (hamstring) and Kyle Wright (shoulder). Elder went six shutout innings vs. the Cardinals last Wednesday, allowing two hits and three walks while striking out six.
He’ll need to sharpen his command if he wants to stick in the crowded and talented Braves rotation, but he gets another start before Wright returns Tuesday. The Reds aren’t a pushover, but they do rank in the top 10 in K% this season, which gives Elder a good ceiling for a pitcher so affordable. He also gets the backing of the strong Braves offense, so I like the youngster Elder on Monday.
Other Options – Wade Miley ($7,700), Graham Ashcraft ($7,000)
Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants ($5,800) – Freeman and the Dodgers dropped three of four games in their weekend set vs. the Diamondbacks but will hope this trip to the ballpark by the Bay helps them get back on track. Freeman has started the year with his normal, steady production. He has hit safely in seven of his past eight games to raise his average to a robust .421 (16-for-38) with four doubles, one home run, a .485 wOBA and a .184 ISO. He has averaged 9.9 DKFP per game on the season and produced 13.25 DKFP in his four games in Arizona to start this road trip. He also has a great history against Giants SP Logan Webb ($7,400), going 10-for-20 (.500) in their past head-to-head matchups with a home run.
Corey Seager, Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals ($4,800) – Seager’s departure was just before Freeman joined the Dodgers, but both can be good building blocks for your Monday night lineup. Seager had a great spring but looked to be off to a slow start for a second straight season before putting together an impressive weekend. In Chicago against the Cubs, Seager went 4-for-10 with three doubles and 10 DKFP per contest. He gets a great matchup on Monday as the Rangers return to Arlington to face another former Dodger, Zack Greinke ($5,800). Seager is 8-for-21 (.381) with three home runs in his previous career meetings with the Royals’ veteran.
Other Options – Paul Goldschmidt ($5,900), Nolan Arenado ($5,200), Marcus Semien ($5,100)
Evan Longoria, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($3,500) – Longoria has gotten off to a fantastic start to his first season in Arizona, although he has been platooning with Josh Rojas ($4,600), who has also been playing well. With lefty Wade Miley ($7,700) starting for the Brewers in the first game of this series, Longoria should get the start, though, especially since he has gone 10-for-39 (.256) with three homers against Miley in their past meetings. In his five games this season, Longoria is 6-for-14 (.429) with two homers and a .603 wOBA. He has multiple hits and a home run in each of his two most recent starts, and he’s worth a shot at this nice salary on Monday.
Brice Turang, Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,400) – The Brewers have been getting good work from their 23-year-old rookie, who is hitting .304 (7-for-23) after nine games in the Majors. He has a double and a home run, leading to a .392 wOBA. He’s also added a pair of stolen bases to average 7.6 DKFP per game. He’s in a good matchup (more below) to return value at this very affordable price and can have a big game by producing with either his power or his speed.
Other Options – J.D. Davis ($2,900), Ha-Seong Kim ($2,700)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels vs. Washington Nationals ($6,100) – The Angels get a great matchup (more below) to start the week, and Trout is an option to consider on just about any slate. He’s started the season with his usual brilliance, going 11-for-31 (.355) with 10 walks as teams try to avoid him. He has hit safely in eight straight games after going 0-for-4 on Opening Day and is coming off a great series vs. the Blue Jays, in which he posted 16, 22 and 12 DKFP. Trout has a .517 wOBA and .355 ISO so far this season and is 5-for-7 (.714) with a double and a home run against lefties. Last year, he hit .310 against southpaws with a .441 wOBA and .328 ISO. He’ll be in a great spot to start the week against Patrick Corbin ($5,400).
Hunter Renfroe, Los Angles Angels vs. Washington Nationals ($4,700) – Renfroe is also a nice option to consider in that same matchup after also finding success vs. Toronto. He had multiple hits and a home run in each of his two games over the weekend, logging 23 and 28 DKFP. One of his two homers this year has come against lefties, and he historically crushes left-handed pitchers like Corbin. In fact, he’s 6-for-21 (.286) with a pair of home runs against Corbin in the past.
Other Options – Ronald Acuña Jr. ($6,300), Julio Rodríguez ($5,800), Taylor Ward ($5,300)
Stone Garrett, Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Angels ($3,100) – On the other side of that matchup in Anaheim, the Nationals have some interesting value plays against lefty José Suarez ($6,900). Garrett should start against the southpaw and has made an immediate impact since being called up from Triple-A. In his three games, he has gone 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles and a home run. Garrett flashed some interesting upside in Arizona last season, posting a .360 wOBA, four home runs and three stolen bases. He signed as a free agent with the Nats this offseason and is a nice value if he hits second in the lineup against lefties as expected.
Alec Burleson, St. Louis Cardinals at Colorado Rockies ($2,900) – Another young hitter expected to hit second on Monday night is Burleson, who is in a premium run-production spot in a great lineup at Coors Field. Getting him under $3K is surprising since he’s off to a solid start to the season. In his six games, he’s 7-for-22 (.318) with three doubles and a home run. He doesn’t bring much speed but did hit .331 with 20 homers in Triple-A last year. His teammate, Jordan Walker ($3,000), got plenty of deserved hype this spring and early in the season, but if Burleson is in a better lineup spot and comes a little cheaper, he’s a strong option to consider in this matchup against German Márquez ($8,500).
Other Options – Jurickson Profar ($3,700), James Outman ($3,500), Garrett Mitchell ($2,600)
Los Angeles Angels vs. Washington Nationals – Any time Corbin starts for the Nats, the opposite team has become an elite stack. The veteran lefty had a 6.31 ERA and 4.84 FIP with 27 home runs allowed in 31 starts last year. This season, he’s continued to get crushed, allowing 10 runs and a pair of home runs in nine innings over his first two starts. Trout and Renfroe both make sense since they feast on lefties and come in hot, but you could definitely round out your Angels in the Outfield with Taylor Ward ($5,300) and also add some solid value with Anthony Rendon ($3,900), Brandon Drury ($3,600) and Luis Rengifo ($3,300).
Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks – The Brewers have gotten off to a hot start and are 7-2 after taking five of six games on their home stand against the Mets and Cardinals. They’ll head to Arizona for this game against Zac Gallen ($7,100). Gallen was outstanding last season but has struggled in his first two starts this year, allowing 10 runs on 13 hits in 10 2/3 innings. Most of the damage against Gallen has been done by right-handed hitters, who have a .547 wOBA against him with a pair of home runs. Even last year, he was better against lefties, so this looks to be a spot to ride the reverse splits. Willy Adames ($5,200), William Contreras ($4,000) and lefty Christian Yelich ($4,800) are the only hitters priced at $4K or more for the Brew Crew, so they make a great value stack overall. Even though Turang is a lefty, you can go with him as a bargain, along with Brian Anderson ($3,000), Garrett Mitchell ($2,600) and Joey Wiemer ($2,300).
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $350K Relay Throw [$50K to 1st]
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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.