Monday features an eight-game main slate starting at 7:10 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees at Texas Rangers ($10,900) - There isn’t an asking price too high for Cole in this matchup. His K rate is 40.8% and his walk rate is 1.8%; that is a staggering differential. He is in the zone and DFS players should simply click his name and move on to other positions. The Texas offense has come to life of late, but they’re no match for Cole.
Other Option: Walker Buehler ($10,000)
Yusei Kikuchi, Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers ($7,800) - It doesn’t get much worse than the Tigers’ stats against left-handed pitching (56 wRC+, .247 wOBA, .067 ISO and 34% K rate). Kikuchi isn’t a household name, but his stats are solid (3.25 xFIP, 27% fly-ball rate and 25.6% K rate). He seems as safe as they come, and the Tigers always offer upside.
Other Option: Jon Gray ($7,500)
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Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals ($5,000) - This slate does not feature a catcher in a perfect spot, so paying up will not be popular. This is a perfect example of that. Contreras is smashing left-handed pitching (.427 wOBA, .351 ISO, 171 wRC+ and 44% hard-contact rate), but Lester has held right-handed batters in check in a small sample size. If anyone can hit Lester, it would be his former catcher.
Other Option: Mitch Garver ($4,800)
Yermin Mercedes, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($4,600) - He may not be a true value play, but as always, there is a steep fall off at the catcher position. DFS players get what they pay for, and bargain catchers tend to score goose eggs. Mercedes has hit since day one, and he draws a favorable matchup against J.A. Happ (.221 ISO against right-handed batters) on Monday.
Other Option: Tom Murphy ($2,600)
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jose Abreu is not in the lineup for Monday’s game vs. the Twins.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($5,400) - He suffered a nasty collision on Friday, but Abreu didn’t even miss a game. In fact, he homered in the very next game. Abreu has a .429 wOBA, .379 ISO and a 183 wRC+ against left-handed pitching this season. Happ has been decent in 2021, but he has a 5.81 xFIP and a 48% fly ball-rate when facing right-handed batters.
Connor Joe, Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres ($2,400) - He got called up last week and has been the popular punt every day. He’s not in Colorado this time, but his price is still low. In the minors, Joe was a consistent hitter with above-average power. The matchup is tough, but that is part of the discount.
Other Option: Mike Ford ($3,900)
Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox ($5,100) - Even with Byron Buxton out, there are still plenty of right-handed Twins bats to play against Dallas Keuchel. But this isn’t a slam dunk; Keuchel has been solid against right-handed batters since the start of last season. However, every play cannot be perfect, and Polanco has been good against left-handed pitching this season (.374 wOBA and .271 ISO), as has his supporting cast (107 wRC+).
Other Option: DJ LeMahieu ($5,300)
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,500) - Madison Bumgarner is getting by, but it will not last much longer. Left-handed batters have a 62% fly-ball rate against Bumgarner, but somehow the the hard-contact rate is a microscopic 15%. His career hard-contact rate to lefties is 26%, and he is far from the pitcher he once was. Regression is coming, and it’s bringing an onslaught of home runs with it.
Other Option: Jake Cronenworth ($4,200)
Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,100) - Bumgarner is hardly allowing any hard contact to left-handed batters, but he is giving up a lot of hard contact to right-handed batters (44% hard-contact rate). Turner is up to his normal lefty mashing ways this season (.384 wOBA, .227 ISO, 146 wRC+ and 44% hard contact).
Other Option: Anthony Rendon ($5,200)
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,500) - Casey Mize owes me money. Mize has allowed a .359 wOBA, .213 ISO and 1.7 HR/9 to left-handed batters this season, yet Kansas City managed only three hits against “Cy” Mize in his last start. Maybe a Seattle stack is too much, but a solo Seager play seems suitable (.367 wOBA, .292 ISO, 143 wRC+ and 46% hard-contact rate vs. right-handed pitching).
Other Option: Miguel Andujar ($2,800)
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($5,300) - His numbers against left-handed pitching aren’t great this season, but the sample size is small. Last season, Anderson had a .606 wOBA and a .551 ISO against left-handed pitchers. But, that’s a small sample size, too. If the truth is somewhere in between, then Anderson is still pretty good versus lefties, and Happ is nothing to write home about.
Other Option: Javier Baez ($5,700)
Niko Goodrum, Detroit Tigers at Seattle Mariners ($4,000) - Kikuchi is a good pitcher, but he’s not a pitcher that must be avoided. Goodrum has been above average against left-handed pitching, and if he gets on base later in the game, he has stolen-base potential (six stolen bases).
Other Option: Danny Mendick ($2,600)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Texas Rangers ($5,600) - Any Yankee will work against Jordan Lyles, but the power hitters are the preferred plays. Lyles is allowing an average exit velocity of 91.6 mph with a 19-degree launch angle. Hard-hit fly balls are typical from pitchers that do not get ahead or induce batters to chase pitches outside of the zone. The ball might as well be on a tee for Judge Monday.
Other Option: Nelson Cruz ($4,900)
Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers ($3,000) - Mize still owes me money! Kelenic is the No. 4 prospect in baseball. To some, he’s No. 1 — Seattle waited to call him up in order to keep him under contract for an additional year. Kelenic got called up for the start of Seattle’s last series, and his first hit was a home run. He struggled in his other at-bats, but Mize will help Kelenic get right.
Other Option: Kyle Garlick ($2,400)
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