This might not be a full slate, but this six-game slate has plenty of studs and duds taking the mound. DFS players can pay up for big days, and they can also cash in on the value plays that take advantage of bad pitchers.
Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Joe Musgrove, San Diego Padres vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($10.200) - His follow-up to the no-hitter was a let down, but that can be expected after a 112-pitch outing. His stuff wasn’t particularly worse vs. the Pirates; he just had some trouble with the left handed bats. Musgrove will face a handful of lefties in the Milwaukee lineup, but they strike out a lot and the ones that don’t, do not have much pop in their bats. Milwaukee is striking out 26.8% of the time this season (sixth-worst in all of baseball) and their wRC+ is 78 (third worst). Musgrove is striking out 35.8% of the batters he faces. The math seems pretty simple.
Other Options – Brandon Woodruff ($9,000)
Dylan Bundy, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers ($7,700) - It’s all about strikeouts. Always has been and always will be. There might be cheaper options that pitch better games, but Bundy has the K upside. Last season, his K rate was 27%; this season it’s at 28.6%. Texas has the third highest K rate in baseball (28.4%). Unfortunately, there’s a reason why Bundy is this cheap. He struggles against left-handed batters (5.14 career xFIP and an 18.2% K rate). Texas can stuff its lineup full of lefties, but the good news for Bundy is the Rangers aren’t hitting right handed pitching this season (.290 wOBA, 86 wRC+, 30.6 K%)
Other Options – Jack Flaherty ($8,500)
Will Smith, Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners ($4,700) - Since the beginning of last season, Smith has been smashing left handed pitching (.439 wOBA, 361 iso, 180 wRC+). Justus Sheffield struggled in his first start and bounced back in his second, but that was vs. the Orioles. Sheffield has allowed a lot of contact, but his superior groundball rate has helped him get through innings. It’s hard to believe a pitcher with an 8.9% swinging strike rate is going to be able navigate the Dodgers lineups.
Other Options – Yadier Molina ($4,400)
Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals ($3,700) - Today’s pick for a cheap catcher home run isn’t that cheap. However, Zunino has a lot more power than most of the cheapies and he’s facing a flyball pitcher in Danny Duffy (career 42% flyball rate). The park isn’t home run-friendly, but Zunino has a .250 ISO against left-handed pitching since the beginning of last season.
Other Options – Chadwick Tromp ($3,000)
Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers ($5,100) - Kohei Arihara’s traditional numbers look fine, but his advanced stats reveal a major weakness: seven barrels in three games. Somehow, he’s only allowed one home run, but that won’t last long. Walsh’s four home runs are tied for the most among first baseman.
Other Options – Shohei Ohtani ($4,600)
Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies ($3,400) - Stacking San Francisco against Chase Anderson frees up a lot of cash, but the best bet is to chase a one-off home run. Anderson gives up home runs like they’re going out of style, and Belt is a power hitter with the platoon advantage.
Other Options – Yandy Diaz ($3,500)
Chris Taylor, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Seattle Mariners ($4,700) - When in doubt, roster a Dodger. Second base isn’t a great spot Monday, so why break the bank? Against lefties this season, Taylor has a .459 wOBA, .357 ISO, 190 wRC+ and 44% hard contact rate. That’s inflated by a small sample size, but his career numbers against lefties are slightly above average.
Other Options – Whit Merrifield ($5,400)
Tommy La Stella, San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies ($4,000) - Someone on the Giants is taking Chase Anderson yard — maybe two of them. La Stella has a .402 wOBA against right-handed pitching this season, but his ISO is lacking (mainly due to most of his success coming at home in San Francisco). La Stella may not be the best bet for home runs, but doubles, runs and RBI are in play.
Other Options – Jake Cronenworth ($3,800)
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers at Seattle Mariners ($5,500) - It does not appear he is cooling off anytime soon. Turner’s numbers look fake — .599 wOBA, .500 ISO and 279 wRC+ — but they’re real. The hot streak will end, but it won’t end against a left-handed pitcher because he’s always hit left-handed pitching.
Other Options – Evan Longoria ($4,500)
Mike Brosseau, Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals ($3,600) - He seems a little too cheap for a third baseman with a .360 wOBA and a 214 ISO. Since the beginning of last season, Brosseau has a .431 wOBA, .327 ISO and 183 wRC+, to go with a has 44% hard-hit rate against left-handed pitching. The opposing pitcher, Danny Duffy, isn’t a gas can, but those numbers will definitely work at this price.
Other Options – Brock Holt ($3,700)
Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies ($3,900) - Chase Anderson had a couple good seasons, but he’s always had problems with home runs (1.42 HR/9). Since the start of last season, that number has ballooned to 2.7 HR/9. Nothing has changed for Crawford; he’s still hitting for power against right-handed pitching (.276 ISO in 2021 and .241 ISO in 2020).
Other Options – Trea Turner ($5,400)
Willy Adames, Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals ($3,600) - In 19 at bats vs. left-handed pitching this season, Adames has a .316 ISO. He’ll face a flyball pitcher in Danny Duffy. Stacking the Rays doesn’t make sense against the lefty, but chasing a cheap home run is worth a shot.
Other Options – Jordy Mercer ($3,200)
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers ($6,000) - As mentioned earlier, Kohei Arihara has a barrel problem, and Trout has a barrel solution. Trout already has seven barrels this season. One in four of his batted balls are barrels. His HardHit% is 64.3%. Find a way to afford him.
Other Options – Bryce Harper ($5,400), Mookie Betts ($5,900)
Alex Dickerson, San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies ($3,800) - This is the cheapest way to attack Chase Anderson. Dickerson is struggling this season, but he does have two home runs against right-handed pitching. Last season, Dickerson had a .395 wOBA and a .279 ISO against right-handed pitching. It’s a home run pitcher in a homer un park and a hitter that’s supposed to mash in this spot.
Other Options – Justin Upton ($3,700), David Dahl ($3,400)
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