On Monday, a new week in the new month begins with six new series on the main slate at DraftKings, starting at 6:40 p.m. ET. The Diamondbacks and Marlins get the action underway from Miami, and there are games spread throughout the evening with the final matchup of the night starting at 9:40 p.m. ET when the Rays roll into Oakland to take on the Athletics. A six-game slate provides some solid options to consider from the dozen teams in action, and you can find my favorite plays at each position and price point listed below.
You can keep up with all the news and updates throughout this Monday in the DK Live app and on Twitter where you can follow DK Live at the handle @dklive. I’m also on Twitter at @ZT_Sports, where you can ask me any questions about these picks, offer alternatives and find more bargain-specific content all season long.
Pablo López, Miami Marlins vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($10,000) – In what should be a potential pitchers’ duel, López and Zac Gallen ($7,600) will go head-to-head in the first game on the slate. Combined, they have allowed two runs in 38 1⁄3 innings so far this season, but I like López as the better play due to his strikeout upside. He hasn’t allowed a run in his three most recent starts while stacking up 17 strikeouts in 18 1⁄3 innings. In his most recent home start, he held the Cardinals to just three hits in seven shutout innings while fanning nine for 36.0 DKFP. López gets the better matchup too since Arizona ranks near the bottom of the MLB in runs per game and is hitting an MLB-worst .181 as a team. They also have the second-most strikeouts behind only the Orioles, so you won't find a hotter pitcher in a better matchup than López against the Diamondbacks.
Other Options – Chris Bassitt ($9,600), Drew Rasmussen ($8,300)
Chris Paddack, Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles ($7,200) – I don’t hate the play of Gallen and López in cash games, but just be aware you’re lowering your ceiling since getting wins from both pitchers is impossible. If you don’t want to do that and still want to play López, consider pairing him with Paddack instead. The former Padres prospect is coming off his best start of the year, which resulted in 19.2 DKFP against the Tigers. He went 5 2⁄3 with six strikeouts while allowing just one run in that outing. He also gets a favorable matchup against the Orioles, who lead the Majors in strikeouts, as mentioned above, and also haven’t scored many runs. He’s still in search of his first win with the Twins, but he should be set up well if he has another strong outing this Monday night.
Other Options – Zac Gallen ($7,600), Jake Odorizzi ($6,200)
Ty France, Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros ($6,000) – The Mariners are a wildly entertaining team to watch stocked with young, exciting talent, and France is carrying their offense right now with an MVP-type start to the season. In his 22 games, France is 29-for-87 (.333) with five home runs, a .207 ISO and a .418 wOBA. He’s been even better with a .453 wOBA over his past 14 games and is locked in as the second hitter in Seattle’s strong lineup. He had six multi-hit games over that 14-game span, so he is regularly finding ways to put up big fantasy games, and the Mariners have a good matchup against Jake Odorizzi ($6,200), who they tagged with eight hits, four runs and a loss in 4 1⁄3 innings earlier this season.
Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees ($5,200) – Bichette is still only batting .214 on the season, but he has been coming around lately and has a great matchup against Jordan Montgomery ($8,100). Part of his lower batting average is that he gets so many at-bats near the top of the Toronto order. He already has 101 plate appearances and has gone 21-for-98 with two doubles, three home runs and three stolen bases to average 6.5 DKFP per game on the season. That average is trending up, though, after he collected hits in seven of his past nine games with a 73.1% hard-hit rate over that span. He has gone 2-for-9 with one of his home runs this year against lefties after posting a .340 average and .405 wOBA against southpaws last season. He also has success in this specific matchup, having gone 2-for-6 with a home run against Montgomery in their past meetings.
Other Options – Anthony Rizzo ($5,500), DJ LeMahieu ($5,200)
Sheldon Neuse, Oakland Athletics vs. Tampa Bay Rays ($3,600) – Neuse has been one of the Athletics' best hitters this season and secured his spot second in the lineup, much like France and Bichette. While he doesn’t have quite that level of production, he seems very underpriced at only $3,600. In his 19 games, he is averaging 8.0 DKFP per contest by hitting .328 with two home runs, three stolen bases and a .388 wOBA. He has hit safely in five of his past six games with an impressive .452 wOBA over that short span. In this contest, he’ll face righty Drew Rasmussen ($8,300), but even though it’s not an opposite-hand matchup, it’s still a favorable one for Neuse, who is hitting .383 with a .459 wOBA against right-handed pitchers this season.
Brian Anderson, Miami Marlins vs. Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,900) – While I’d hesitate to pay up for any hitters in this potentially low-scoring matchup, there is some value plays I like including Anderson, who still checks in under $3K. One of the longest-tenured Marlins at this point, Anderson battled a shoulder injury and was limited last season and started this year a little slow as well. He has been heating up lately, though, with a mini five-game hitting streak with an extra-base hit in four of those contests. He hit his second homer of the season on Sunday, raising his wOBA to .373 along with an impressive 46.9% hard-hit rate.
Other Options – Christian Walker ($3,200), Taylor Walls ($3,200)
George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays vs. New. York Yankees ($5,500) – Springer is always worth a look when the Jays face a lefty, and this season he is 3-for-9 (.333) with a home run and .569 wOBA after hitting .282 with a .401 wOBA against southpaws over all of last season. He was held hitless Sunday but had a run of seven games with hits over his previous eight contests while going 11-for-31 (.355) with four home runs and a .518 wOBA. While the Blue Jays lineup doesn’t quite have the depth to make it into my top stacks, their top three hitters with Springer, Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. ($5,600) are absolutely brutal against lefties, so I think Montgomery is in for a long night.
Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners ($4,600) – Even in a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup, I think Tucker makes sense given how well he has been swinging the bat lately. He went 3-for-4 Sunday which was his third three-hit game in his past nine contests. Over that span, he has gone 16-for-34 (.471) with three doubles, two home runs and a .517 wOBA. Getting him at a lower salary and possibly lower ownership outweighs the downside of the matchup for me.
Other Options – Aaron Judge ($5,800), Byron Buxton ($5,700)
Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros ($3,700) – I hopped on the Rodríguez hype train early in the season and we’re starting to see him deliver on his potential after a slow start. The 21-year-old has done most of his fantasy contributing on the basepaths with nine stolen bases over 21 games, but he’s also starting to deliver some power as he settles into the Majors. He has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, going 12-for-33 (.364) with three doubles and five stolen bases and a .427 wOBA over that span. He connected on his first MLB home run on Sunday as part of a 24-DKFP performance and is now averaging 10.8 DKFP over his past 10 games. He will continue to blossom as he adjusts and has limitless upside due to all the ways he can contribute.
Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles ($3,400) – Kepler started slowly and sometimes sits against southpaws, but he has been heating up and should be poised for a big night due to his matchup (highlighted below). Kepler has gone 10-for-27 (.370) over his past eight games with two doubles and four home runs over that span boosting him to a .572 wOBA. On the season, he has a 42.1% hard-hit rate and .395 wOBA, so there’s plenty to like at under $3,500 for this middle-of-the-order bat with plenty of power potential.
Other Options – Anthony Santander ($2,900), Travis Demeritte ($2,000)
TEAMS TO STACK
New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays – The Yankees and Blue Jays will meet for their second series of the season after splitting their first four games in the Bronx. These two teams are both great offensive squads and share the Major League lead with 31 home runs to this point in the season. The Yankees come in scorching hot having won nine straight and piling up 21 runs in a three-game set in Kansas City. New York has scored at least 10 runs four times in their past seven games with 58 runs total over that span. Ross Stripling ($5,800) has been decent since returning to his role as a starter but gives up way too much contact to have a good chance to shut down the in-form Bronx Bombers. Aaron Judge ($5,800), Giancarlo Stanton ($5,000), Anthony Rizzo ($5,500) and Josh Donaldson ($4,800) bring plenty of power potential, and DJ LeMahieu ($5,200) has been getting on base and scoring runs at a high rate as well. Gleyber Torres ($3,700) and Isiah Kiner-Falefa ($4,000) aren’t as cheap as last week, but they continue to put up good numbers and can be considered as ways to get a piece of an expensive but likely lucrative Yankees’ stack Monday.
Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles – On the other end of the salary spectrum, the Twins lineup is all very affordable with only Byron Buxton ($5,700) and Carlos Correa ($4,600) near the top of the price list. There is high upside in the matchup with righty Tyler Wells ($5,100), who has allowed eight runs in 13 innings including three home runs. He is giving up an attractive .368 wOBA to righties and an even worse .371 wOBA to lefties. Max Kepler (highlighted above) and Luis Arraez ($3,400) are both left-handed hitters who have been surging against righties lately while Ryan Jeffers ($3,200) is a solid affordable solution behind the plate. Gio Urshela ($3,100), Trevor Larnach ($2,500) and even Nick Gordon ($2,100) can also round out your stack as bargain plays that should produce if the lineup goes off.
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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 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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