Another work week gets underway with a massive Major League Baseball slate featuring 10 games ready to roll for fantasy baseball at DraftKings. Over half of the 10 matchups feature divisional rivals, so there should be some familiar foes going head-to-head early in the week. There are lots of storylines to check out including the season debut of Lance Lynn ($9,600) for the White Sox and the Braves going for their 12th straight win as they visit Washington.
With 20 teams in action on Monday night, there are plenty of injury and lineup situations to keep track of as we approach the first pitch. In order to keep tabs on the latest availability news and player updates throughout the day, install the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). You can also find me on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where I’m happy to answer questions or break down my picks listed below a little further.
Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies ($10,200) – Since he’s pitching for the Marlins, Alcantara’s outstanding season has gone a little under the radar, but he is starting to emerge as a serious Cy Young contender. The 26-year-old has gone 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA and 2.96 FIP with 77 strikeouts in 83 2⁄3 innings. He has allowed only one or zero earned runs in six straight outings with at least 22 DKFP in each of those outings, highlighted by a 45-DKFP performance against the Braves in his most recent road start. He allowed two runs over 6 1⁄3 innings in a win over Philadelphia early in the season and will look to continue that success and pick up another big divisional result in this road outing against the Phillies.
Other Options – Alek Manoah ($9,800), Yu Darvish ($8,400)
Zack Thompson, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,300) – Just to be clear, this isn’t the Zach Thompson who is a starting pitcher for the Pirates or the Zach Thompson who is the author of this article — this Zack Thompson is a 24-year-old rookie lefty who will be making his first MLB start. I’ve been tracking his career for obvious reasons, and he is definitely a pitcher who can contribute at this level. He went 2-2 in his 10 starts in Triple-A this year while striking out 56 in 44 1⁄3 innings. In his MLB debut, he fired four strong innings against the Cubs, allowing one run and three hits while striking out three for 10.6 DKFP. He’s in a good matchup against the Pirates, who have lost six straight games while scoring only 14 runs over that span and have only scored more than three runs one time in their past eight games. At such an affordable salary, he doesn’t have to do much to return value and will allow you to stack up plenty of power across the rest of your lineup.
Other Option – Ian Anderson ($7,700), Chris Archer ($7,100)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles ($5,500) – Speaking of power options, Guerrero went deep on Sunday to help the Blue Jays earn a series win over the Tigers and improve to 4-2 on their road trip before coming home for this series against the Orioles. Five of his 14 home runs this season have come in his 11 games in June, and during that span, he is 12-for-47 (.255) with a .362 ISO and .395 wOBA. He has multiple hits in two of his past three games and is in a great matchup to bring more power as highlighted below in the stacks section.
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants ($5,100) – If you have the salary to pay up at catcher, Perez is definitely a strong option to consider in this matchup against lefty Alex Wood ($8,300) in San Francisco. Perez hit just .191 over the first two months of the season but has found a nice groove over his past nine games, going 12-for-35 (.343) with eight extra-base hits including three home runs, 13 RBI, a .429 ISO and a .482 wOBA. He has hit southpaws well all season, posting a .321 average and .413 wOBA vs. LHP
Other Options – Santiago Espinal ($5,000), Jeremy Peña ($4,300)
Danny Mendick, Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers ($3,500) – Mendick has played well while filling in for Tim Anderson (groin) and has collected exactly 16 DKFP in each of his three most recent games. Over the past 12 games, he has gone 15-for-46 (.326) with two doubles, a triple and a home run for a solid .362 wOBA. As a team, the White Sox are scuffling a bit, but Mendick has still brought solid value production headed into this favorable matchup vs. Rony García ($5,500).
Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers at Houston Astros ($3,400) – Lowe went 1-for-5 with a walk in yesterday’s extra-inning win over the White Sox which snapped a string of four straight games with multiple hits. Over his past 15 games, he has gone 21-for-60 (.350) with four homers, nine extra-base hits, a .300 ISO and .432 wOBA. In Monday’s matchup, the lefty Lowe is on the better side of the splits against Cristian Javier ($9,600), who has allowed lefties to produce a .344 wOBA against him and hit three of the four homers he has allowed this season.
Other Options – Matt Reynolds ($3,300), Ezequiel Duran ($2,400)
Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals ($6,000) – Acuña and the Braves are looking for their 12th straight win as they take on Josiah Gray ($8,900) and the Nationals on Monday. Acuña has helped power that surge by going 14-for-38 (.368) in his past 10 games with four home runs and two stolen bases. Over that span, he has a .368 ISO and .497 wOBA. From his leadoff spot, he’s always right in the middle of the Braves’ offensive production and remains one of the most dynamic producers in the Majors.
Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners ($4,900) – Another dynamic leadoff option, Buxton is almost always worth a look when he’s priced under $5K. He is only hitting .231 on the season but has 17 home runs and a .349 ISO. Six of those home runs have come in his past eight games, and he has hit .345 over that span with a .593 wOBA. In an admittedly small sample size, he has crushed opposing SP Chris Flexen ($6,800), going 5-for-5 with a home run and a walk in their past meetings.
Other Options – George Springer ($5,600), Luis Robert ($5,500)
Jurickson Profar, San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs ($3,700) – While he doesn’t bring the power potential of the above leadoff options, Profar is another batter producing at the top of the order. Since moving to the leadoff spot for the Padres 17 games ago, he has gone 23-for-70 (.329) with four doubles, two home runs, 15 runs scored and 13 RBI. His .388 wOBA and .171 ISO over that span show he brings a little pop but most of his value is due to his counting stats and opportunity to be involved in run production from the leadoff spot.
Tyler O’Neill, St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,300) – The Cardinals have a crowded OF situation after the returns of O’Neill and Dylan Carlson ($3,400) from the IL. After a breakout season last year with 34 homers and a .384 wOBA, O’Neill struggled early this year, but he has gone 8-for-24 (.333) with a double, a home run, a stolen base and an average of 9.7 DKFP per game in his six games since returning. O’Neill brings a very high ceiling for a play priced under $3.5K.
Other Options – Jordan Luplow ($3,500), Taylor Trammell ($2,500)
TEAMS TO STACK
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles – The Blue Jays have smashed 25 homers in their past 13 games while averaging 6.8 runs per game over that span. Now they come home where they have 39 homers in 28 games and they get a great matchup against Kyle Bradish ($6,200), who has allowed 10 home runs in his first eight MLB starts. He has given up 28 runs over 37 2⁄3 innings while allowing righties to crush nine of those 10 home runs and post a .488 wOBA against him. Bo Bichette ($5,600), George Springer ($5,600) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (discussed above) are all the big names that make a lot of sense, but Santiago Espinal ($5,000) and Teoscar Hernández ($5,000) have been actually been hotter lately and come a little cheaper. If you need some value contributors, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($3,500) and even recent call-up Gabriel Moreno ($2,200) are options to consider to round out the HR-hunting stack.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – In his four-year MLB career, Pirates SP Mitch Keller ($7,800) has already faced the Cardinals five times. In the past two seasons, he has given up 11 runs on 18 hits in three starts against St. Louis, including three home runs allowed. Nolan Arenado ($5,200) and Edmundo Sosa ($2,000) each had one of those homers from opposite ends of the salary spectrum. This year, Keller has given up six homers and 29 runs in nine starts, allowing righties to post a .344 wOBA against him. Paul Goldschmidt ($5,800) and Tommy Edman ($5,500) are both red hot and high-salaried, but there are also some great value plays to consider like Dylan Carlson ($3,400), Tyler O’Neil (discussed above), Harrison Bader ($3,000) and Brendan Donovan ($2,900). Overall, there is a lot of upside to like in the Cardinals’ affordable stack as they come home to host the Pirates while battling the Brewers for the lead in the NL Central.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), ConnexOntario 1-866-531-2600 (ONT), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).21+ (18+ NH/WY; 19+ ONT). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/ONT/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions. DraftKings operates pursuant to an Operating Agreement with iGaming Ontario. Please play responsibly.