Happy Monday! We’ve got a seven-game slate for this Monday that includes seven LHP and seven RHP on the mound. Not only are we blessed with so many southpaws, but Robbie Ray will toe the rubber in a challenging matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays. On the flip side, three teams are projecting to score more than the rest. Lastly, the weather looks terrific for baseball, and we shouldn’t expect any issues. Good luck!
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
Outside of the Yankees (6.1 IRT), Astros (5.45 IRT), and Atlanta (5.25 IRT), the rest of the slate is relatively scarce for projected runs. With fewer games going on today, it’ll be challenging to stay away from parts of those games. What this will mean is expect most plays from those three teams heavily rostered. So, when you’re making stacks, try to keep it to a four-person and spread your lineup between a couple of teams. Example: four-person stack from NYY and three from PHI, then smash a one-off from Oakland. Don’t just play a five-person stack using NYY and three from ATL; that’ll be too chalky for any GPP tonight.
The GREEN tier is only two—Robbie Ray and Framber Valdez. While neither started the season with an “ace” tag attached to them, both have been terrific for most of the season. Heck, Ray might win the Cy Young and has been a set-it-and-forget-it type of DFS SP1. However, today’s matchup is against the top-scoring team in the MLB. Tampa comes with worlds of thump but plenty of Ks to make Ray’s top salary worth it.
Valdez falls in this tier because he piles up the innings and collects his share of Ks. Fortunately, he gives a little bit of savings compared to Ray and has a much easier opponent. This is going to draw much more roster% his way. If you choose Valdez over Ray, you’ll need to get much more different in your stack approach. Otherwise, your lineup will look like everyone else.
The YELLOW tier is an exciting group. Ynoa draws a juicy matchup against the sputtering D-backs and is primed for a big day. I almost want to move him into the green tier, but he isn’t throwing enough pitches consistently. Atlanta could easily be keeping him back from going more than six innings. However, he has immense upside on a slate this small.
Freddy Peralta and Sean Manaea were dynamos a little over a month ago, but the MLB season is a drain, especially after a shortened 2020. The overwhelming number of innings has taken a toll on these two arms. Milwaukee is limiting Peralta, making his chances of having that enormous DFS point total hard to project. Oakland is still fighting hard for a spot and needs Manaea to keep tossing gems. His 100-plus pitches in the last two starts is a good sign, and I like his discounted salary, but there is a bit of risk.
Ranger Suárez is severely under-priced. The field knows this, just like you and I do. His matchup provides plenty of strikeout potential, and he’s thrown over 90 pitches in four of his previous five starts. This is going to be many people’s SP2 so that they can save salary. If you’re riding with the Ranger, you’ll need to mix it up and get different elsewhere.
The RED tier is the untrustables. Let’s start with Shane Baz, a complete wildcard play that could dominate one of the top lineups in the MLB or get blown out. Your guess is as good as mine, and for that reason, I could get there in a GPP where I’m using a very chalky stack.
John Means lives in the zone too much and gives up the occasional HR. Oddly, the walks keep creeping in his outings as well. If this weren’t a seven-game slate, he would be entirely off my list. However, because Baltimore lets him work deep enough into games and at a discounted salary, why not?
Nestor Cortes uses all that deception to keep teams off-balanced enough to get by. He draws the easiest matchup on the slate against a team that isn’t hitting for much power and strikes out a ton. Let’s see if he can keep it up! Although, I wonder when the league will figure him out, and we see a meltdown.
New York Yankees (vs. RHP A.J. Alexy)
- The jury is still out on Alexy because we haven’t seen much at the MLB level to judge him. One thing we do know, he gives up waaaaaaay too much hard contact to right-handed bats. A .260 ISO and .340 xwOBA is wretched—even if it comes with a 25% K-rate. Let’s think for a moment, do the Yankees have any power hitters from the right side of the dish? Core stack targets: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sánchez, and Joey Gallo.
Atlanta Braves (at RHP Humberto Mejía)
- Much like Alexy, we haven’t seen much of Mejía-only 66 plate appearances in two years. However, the takeaway has been that he gives left-handed bats trouble (33% K-rate and 2.24 SIERA). But again, small sample size. Mejía gets walloped by both sides of the dish, making him a perfect target to stack against. Get all the power you can in that stack today. Targets: Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall.
Philadelphia Phillies (vs. LHP John Means)
- The matchup against Means will favor right-handed bats. He is allowing a .220 ISO and .380 xwOBA to anyone batting from the right side. Additionally, left-handed bats are making good contact (.360 xwOBA) and striking out at a higher rate with less power. The stack I’ll be chasing is the heart of that lineup, especially Andrew McCutchen (.350 ISO and .440 wOBA vs. LHP). Consider also grabbing Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto, and Freddy Galvis (if he leads off). I am avoiding Bryce Harper today since he is so pricey.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the “value hitters” or “punt plays” are meant to be players under $3300 on DK and under $3100 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Due to the slate size, we are stretching the threshold slightly.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)