Monday features an 11-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Kyle Gibson, Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers ($9,000) — When in doubt, target the Tigers. Against right-handed pitching, Detroit has a 89 wRC+, .302 wOBA and a .151 ISO, but that’s not all — they have second-worst strikeout rate (26.7%). Gibson faced the Tigers in his last start before the All-Star break. The good news is that he struck out seven; the bad news is that he allowed five earned runs. Those runs should have never happened, but the Rangers failed to end the sixth inning with a double play and Gibson was tagged with a 7.11 ERA in that contest despite having a 3.03 xFIP and allowing 22% hard contact. Hopefully this time around, the Rangers play better defense, or Gibson simply does the job himself and strikes the Tigers out.
Other Option: Shohei Ohtani ($8,700)
Caleb Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,600) — Most of the time, Smith is a player that DFS players stack against because of his propensity to allow home runs. Over his career, he has allowed a 35.6% hard contact rate, 51.5% fly ball rate and 1.7 HR/9. This might be the one time all season that Smith is a decent value play. Against left-handed pitching, the Pirates have a .129 IS0 (worst), 27% hard contact rate (worst) and a 31.7% fly fall (second-worst). It’s doubtful that Smith’s home run problems will hurt him against a weak hitting Pirates lineup in Arizona — Statcast ranks Chase Field as the third-hardest park to homer at this season. Also, the Pirates .294 wOBA and 83 wRC+ rank dead last against lefties.
Other Option: Nick Neidert ($4,000)
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Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals ($5,100) — The Cardinals will be lucky to get two innings out of right-hander Jake Woodford ($4,800) before the worst bullpen in baseball takes over (5.00 xFIP). Contreras leads all NL catchers with 14 home runs, and he’s heating up after a slow start against right-handed pitching. Since June 1, Contreras has a .360 wOBA, .247 ISO and a 130 wRC+. In July he’s been even hotter with a .455 wOBA, .238 ISO and a 189 wRC+.
Other Option: Mike Zunino ($4,600)
Jorge Alfaro, Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals ($2,800) — Jon Lester ($6,300) is struggling against right-handed batters — .421 wOBA, .239 ISO, 2.2 HR/9 and a 12% K rate. A pitcher has hit rock bottom, when DFS players are stacking Marlins against them. It’s really bad when Jorge Alfaro and his .257 wOBA seem reasonable, but he’s cheap and Lester is that bad.
Other Option: Max Stassi ($3,900)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox ($6,300) — The best hitter in baseball versus right-handed pitching is not a lefty, it’s Vlady (.479 wOBA, .374 ISO and a 207 wrc+). Nick Pivetta ($7,900) is allowing a 45% fly ball rate, 34% hard contact rate and a 62% strand rate to right-handed batters. Vlad should do a lot of damage in this spot.
Other Option: Pete Alonso ($5,900)
Jesús Aguilar, Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals ($3,900) — Getting out of the pitcher friendly park in Miami will be good for Aguilar because there is a significant disparity between his home/away splits. At home, he has a .294 wOBA, .123 ISO and a 93 wRC+, but on the road, his numbers spike to the tune of a .392 wOBA, .298 ISO and a 146 wRC+. Not only will he get a couple of at-bats against Jon Lester, but he’ll also face a Nationals bullpen that struggles with right-handed batters. Their 4.42 xFIP vs. RHB is the seventh-worst in baseball.
Other Option: Christian Arroyo ($2,900)
Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,200) — paying up for a Diamondback seems less than ideal, but this matchup is worth the price of admission. Chase De Jong ($6,900) is possibly the worst pitcher on the slate. Against right-handed batters, his line is off the charts bad — .383 wOBA, .271 ISO, 43% hard contact rate, 1.7 HR/9, 17% K rate, 11% BB rate and a 44% fly ball rate. It’s difficult to find enough Arizona batters to stack against him, but Escobar will do (.220 ISO vs. right-handed pitchers).
Other Option: Marcus Semien ($5,800)
Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets ($4,400) — The Mets’ pitching staff is reeling after allowing six runs to the Pirates on Sunday and nine runs on Saturday. It will likely only get worse when they start Jerad Eickhoff ($5,000), a washed-up pitcher with home run problems, in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball. Since June 1, India has a .404 wOBA and a 152 wRC+, and he’s been even hotter in July — .436 wOBA and a 173 wRC+.
Other Option: Tommy Edman ($4,300), David Fletcher ($4,200)
J.D. Davis, New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds ($4,800) — The Mets lose another player to the IL everyday, but at least they got Davis back. On Saturday, he homered twice, and he’ll look to add to that tally in his trip to Great American Ball Park. In 40 at-bats, Davis has a .514 wOBA and a .300 ISO against right-handed pitching. While Vladimir Gutierrez ($7,400) often avoids getting blown up, he walks the very fine line between chaos and order. Against right-handed batters, he is allowing a .341 wOBA, .211 ISO, 43% hard contact rate and 1.6 HR/9.
Other Option: Rafael Devers ($5,800)
Patrick Wisdom, Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals ($4,200) — He cooled off after a very hot run following his promotion to the big leagues, but he’s starting to heat up again. Wisdom has homered in two of his last five games. Even after cooling off, Wisdom has a .391 wOBA, .355 ISO, 147 wRC+ and a 54% hard contact rate in 45 games. His 39% K rate is awful, but most of his at-bats will come against a Cardinals bullpen that ranks fourth-worst in strikeout rate (22.1%).
Other Option: Eugenio Suárez ($3,700)
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays ($5,400) — The Red Sox bats are not cheap, but this is a great stacking opportunity. Ross Stripling ($8,500) has been below average against left-handed batters, but he has been terrible in 46 innings against right-handed batters — .345 wOBA, .229 ISO, 2.1 HR/9 and a 45% fly ball rate. While Bogaerts is a little better against left-handed pitching, he hits for more power against right-handed pitching due to his increased fly ball rate. One of the knocks against Bogaerts in DFS is that he lacks home run upside because he is a line drive hitter, but against a fly ball pitching righty, Bogaerts has a good chance to hit a home run. In six at-bats against Stripling, Bogaerts has one homer.
Other Option: Bo Bichette ($5,500)
Miguel Rojas, Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals ($4,000) — There are several Marlins quietly going about their business and having good seasons. Overall, Rojas’ numbers are down this year, but not against left-handed pitching — .407 wOBA, 161 wRC+ and an 11% K rate. Last season, the 32-year-old magically started hitting lefties for the first time (.590 wOBA in 39 plate appearances). He should be able to pad his numbers against Jon Lester on Monday night’s slate.
Other Option: Kyle Farmer ($2,700)
Yordan Álvarez, Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians ($5,600) — A Houston stack against J.C. Mejia ($6,100) will likely be popular on Monday night. In 16 innings against left-handed batters, Mejia has a .404 wOBA, .257 ISO, 35% hard contact rate, 17% K rate, 2.2 HR/9 and a 51% fly ball rate. In short, he’s not ready to face major league hitters, especially lefties. Alvarez has a .370 wOBA, .257 ISO and a 140 wRC+ versus right-handed pitching.
Other Option: Joey Gallo ($5,500), Juan Soto ($5,800)
Jarren Durran, Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays ($2,300) — The Red Sox called up one of their top prospects after changes to his swing resulted in a .398 wOBA, .291 ISO and a 143 wRC+ in 46 games in Triple-A. Ross Stripling has been better against left-handed batters than right-handed batters, but he’s still not that great — .202 IS0, 1.6 HR/9 and a 46% fly ball rate.
Other Option: Jesse Winker ($4,200)
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