We’ve got nine series starting Monday night, providing plenty of fantasy baseball options for a solid main slate on DraftKings. The action gets underway a little early at 6:35 p.m. ET, with two games beginning before 7:00 p.m. ET. The games are spread nicely throughout the evening with a trio of games from the West Coast wrapping things up in Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.
Throughout the day, you can keep up with all the news and updates throughout the day in the DK Live app and on Twitter, where you can follow DK Live (@dklive). I’ll also be hanging out on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where I’ll be happy to answer any questions about these picks, offer alternatives and highlight more bargain-specific content all season long.
Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds ($9,300) – Woodruff will be facing the Reds for his second straight start after striking out a dozen batters Tuesday, May 3 on his way to 32.4 DKFP. He gave up three runs and only lasted 5 2/3 innings, but that many strikeouts help cover any blemishes. The Reds did get two wins this weekend vs. the Pirates, but their lineup has been strikeout-prone and lacked much punch all season. Woodruff has an ugly 5.18 ERA on the season but has been rounding into form with 19 strikeouts in his two most recent starts. He still may not be at his very best, but this matchup should set him up for a strong start to begin the week.
Other Options – Carlos Rodón ($10,000), Michael Kopech ($9,500)
Paul Blackburn, Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers ($7,500) – While they haven’t been quite as bad as the Reds, the Tigers have also struggled offensively in the early part of the season. As a team, they’re hitting only .220 with an MLB-low 11 home runs and just 78 runs in 27 games (2.9 runs per game). Blackburn and the Athletics hope to keep them quiet as they continue their road trip with a stop in the Motor City. They’ve dropped nine straight games, and Blackburn looks to act as the stopper and get them back on track. In his five starts, the 28-year-old righty is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 2.09 FIP. He has allowed only six runs in 24 1/3 innings while striking out 23. His 8.51 K/9 rate would be a new career-best, and it has propelled him to 17.4 DKFP per start. Even without much run support, he has posted over 19 DKFP in three of his five starts, so in this matchup, he should be able to return good value under $8K.
Other Options – Julio Urías ($8,200), Austin Gomber ($6,600)
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Guardians ($5,300) – Anderson is 11-for-33 (.333) over his past eight games with a double, two home runs and five multi-hit performances. He’s hitting .337 on the season with a .392 wOBA, four home runs and four stolen bases, and he has been especially effective in his 13 home games. In his career, he has a pair of home against Guardians’ starter Zach Plesac ($7,700), who has gone 1-3 over his past four starts with 16 runs allowed over 20 1/3 innings.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Los Angeles Dodgers ($4,300) – Hayes is still in search of his first home run of the season, but the 25-year-old has established himself as the Pirates’ best hitter and a mainstay in the middle of the lineup. He is hitting .318 with a .365 wOBA and has especially been effective against lefties like Julio Urías ($8,200), who is lined up to start for the Dodgers. Hayes is 9-for-23 (.391) against southpaws on the season with a .445 wOBA. Overall, he has a 48.5% hard-hit rate and has raised that lately with a 66.7% hard-hit rate over his seven most recent games.
Other Options – C.J. Cron ($5,500), Jazz Chisholm Jr. ($5,400)
Daulton Varsho, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins ($3,800) – Finding a catcher with offensive upside can be tricky, especially once you get past the top few names at the position. Varsho does maintain C eligibility, though, even though he has spent more time in the outfield this season. He has typically been hitting leadoff against right-handed pitchers and is hitting .243 against them with three doubles, six home runs and a .381 wOBA. He got Sunday off, but he should return to the lineup against Elieser Hernández ($8,500), who he homered against last week. He comes into the week with a six-game hitting streak and has gone 8-for-23 (.348) with a .506 WOBA and 41.2% hard-hit rate over that span.
Alfonso Rivas, Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres ($2,300) – With Frank Schwindel headed to Triple-A, Rivas looks to be the Cubs’ primary 1B for the time being. The 25-year-old has gone 9-for-31 (.290) in his 13 games with Chicago, including a home run and a .366 wOBA. He crushed the ball in his brief time at Triple-A to start the season, and he looks ready to contribute. Rivas hasn’t had much success against lefties in his limited time in the majors, but he may have to play more against them without Schwindel. Rivas has an excellent approach at the plate and is a plus-defender, so he should stay in the lineup while his bat settles into his new role. He’s a remarkably affordable play if he does lock down the regular starting role.
Other Options – Wilmer Flores ($3,900), Andrés Giménez ($3,300)
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($5,800) – Betts has been heating up after a slow start and extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 2-for-5 performance on Sunday night. In the first eight games of the hitting streak, Mookie went 12-for-31 (.387) with three home runs, a .323 ISO and .479 wOBA. He posted a 53.1% hard-hit rate over those eight games. He’s still hitting only .255 with a .358 wOBA on the season, but he’s been finding his rhythm lately and should have a good matchup with Jose Quintana ($6,100).
Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox vs. Cleveland Guardians ($4,700) – Robert has battled some minor injuries but has started to look dialed in since he returned after missing a week. He has hit safely in seven straight games, going 12-for-29 (.414) with a double and two home runs to average 11.1 DKFP per game. He has five stolen bases on the season but hasn’t run since mid-April while dealing with leg injuries. Robert also has a good career track record against opposing starter Plesac, going 7-for-13 with three doubles in their past meetings. His combination of power and speed give him a high ceiling like Betts, and if he stays healthy he should continue to emerge as a star.
Other Options – Bryce Harper ($5,900), Christian Yelich ($5,000)
Julio Rodríguez, Seattle Mariners vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($3,400) – Rodríguez has averaged 8 DKFP per game over his past 10 contests, posting double-digit DKFP in each of his past two games. The top prospect is hitting only .235 on the year, but his 10 stolen bases have kept him fantasy relevant. He is 12-for-38 (.316) over his 11 most recent games and looks to keep rolling against lefty Ranger Suárez ($9,100), who has been dominant against lefties (.111 average, .131 wOBA) but has allowed righties to hit .338 with a .415 wOBA.
Manuel Margot, Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Angels ($2,900) – Margot has been outstanding for the Rays this season and has posted double-digit DKFP in six straight games, averaging 15.7 DKFP with two home runs and a stolen base over that span. On the season, he’s hitting .325 with a .390 wOBA and is chipping in 7.9 DKFP per game. Margot has settled into the middle third of the order and become an everyday part of the lineup for the Rays, and like many players when they arrive in Tampa Bay, he seems to have stepped up to the next level.
Other Options – Franmil Reyes ($3,600), TJ Friedl ($2,500)
TEAMS TO STACK
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs – The Padres took three of four games from the Marlins to open their homestand, and they’ll continue by welcoming in Kyle Hendricks ($7,300) and the Cubs on Monday night. Hendricks has had two good starts on the season, but he has been knocked around in his other outings, including each of his past two. In those two starts against the White Sox and Brewers, he allowed 10 runs on 14 hits over 10 innings while surrendering two home runs. Four of his six home runs allowed have come to left-handed hitters, who have a .390 wOBA against him, but he has also allowed righties to post a .357 wOBA. Manny Machado ($5,700) has been carrying the offense so far this season, but lefties Jake Cronenworth ($4,700), Eric Hosmer ($4,500), Trent Grisham ($3,900) and C.J. Abrams ($3,900) are on the more favorable side of the splits. It’s also worth noting Ha-Seong Kim ($4,500) and Jurickson Profar ($4,100) have moved up in the lineup and been productive lately.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Miami Marlins – Arizona swept the Marlins last week in Miami and has won five of its past six games. Hernández gave up five hits and five runs in four innings in a loss vs. the Diamondbacks and has allowed seven home runs and 18 earned runs over his five outings this season. Five of those homers have been hit by left-handed hitters, who have a strong .423 wOBA against him. It’s a great matchup for the lefties in the D-Backs lineup, and they’re all remarkably affordable with only Ketel Marte ($4,100) checking in over $4K. Varsho will be a great option, as discussed above, along with David Peralta ($3,500), Josh Rojas ($3,200) and Pavin Smith ($3,100).
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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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