Back at it for this Monday! This slate provides a pitching doozy in Milwaukee and quite a few favorable matchups for some prolific offenses. Nine games in total are set to begin at 7:05 EST, so be sure and check your lineups an hour before lock. The weather looks like it will cooperate, and there should be no cause for concern. So let’s get to this!
Top SP: Corbin Burnes, MIL ($10,400 DK, 11,100 FD) vs MIA
The top SP for today’s slate is Corbin Burnes, and rightfully so. He has all the stats we are looking for in a high upside arm: 0.37 ERA that’s backed up by a 1.00 xERA and 47.1 K-BB% and still hasn’t walked a batter. To add injury to insult, he squares off against the Miami Marlins. The fish put up pedestrian numbers vs. RHP—25% strikeout rate and 80 wRC+. This is a very favorable spot for Burnes to light up the scoreboard.
With stats this dominate, everybody and their plus one will be playing Burnes-especially in cash games. An alternative option that could outduel Milwaukee’s ace is Trevor Rogers. The matchup could swing in Rogers’ favor due to the Brewers striking out over 32% of the time. I can’t fault anyone goes with Rogers as a leverage play for their SP1.
Value SP: Shohei Ohtani, LAA ($7,700 DK, $9,100 FD) at TEX
Shohei Ohtani is a straight-up wildcard play for your value SP. In his two outings this season, Ohtani has failed to reach the sixth inning but strikes out batters at an alarming 34%. He has a big, big, and I mean big problem, however—the walks. Giving 26% of batters a free pass to first base is not ideal. On top of the walks, Ohtani gets hit quite hard on pitches in the zone. If you put that all together, his sparking 1.04 ERA has an underlying xERA of 5.31 that backs up our wildcard statement. Oh, wait! He also draws the Rangers, who are striking out at a 30% clip vs. RHP.
Skills though. We are chasing those gaudy strikeout skills and the ability to keep opposing teams from crossing home plate. Speaking of skills, the second option for a valued arm is Jose Urquidy. Urquidy has the advantage in salary between the two arms but has yet to put together an outing reminiscent of 2020. The pitch velocities are down a tick, and so is all of his horizontal movement. However, if he regains last year’s form, we could see a big game. This makes Urquidy a fun play in any GPP format.
Honorable Mention: Jose Urquidy, ($8,200 DK, $6,700 FD) vs SEA.
1B/2B Max Muncy, LAD ($4,700 DK, $3,100 FD) vs CIN
Max Muncy stands out from the pack, and especially when plugged into second base. Batting average aside, Muncy is a perfect player for DFS purposes. He walks (15.6% career BB-rate), and he is demolishing RHP, as shown by his .619 SLG% and 1.101 OPS in 2021. His ability to walk and hit the ball hard are not the only reason to select Muncy; there is also his opposition. Tyler Mahle is in terrific form to start the year, so plenty of people will fade Muncy due to the tough matchup. Stick with it, though, and gain some leverage by rostering him.
3B Alex Bregman, HOU ($5,000 DK, $3,800 FD) vs SEA
It takes a hefty salary to roster Alex Bregman, but he has the makeup to be a slate-breaker today. For starters, southpaws rarely stand a chance when pitching to Bregman. In a little over 600 career plate appearances vs. LHP, Bregman’s rocking pitchers to the tune of a .280 ISO and 1.103 OPS. And when he isn’t crushing the ball, Bregman walks nearly more than he strikes out (89:87 K/BB). Toss in his matchup against Justus Sheffield, and everything tilts in Bregman’s direction. Sheffield puts up a 5.77 ERA with a .453 xwOBAcon, which basically indicated an enormous amount of loud contact being made against him.
Value Batter: Dylan Carlson, STL ($3,300 DK, $2,900 FD) vs PHI
The sportsbooks still aren’t recognizing Dylan Carlson for how good he is. Advantage us! Carlson was a value when he was moved into the lineup at fifth, and now he is getting shakes in the two-hole. YES! The Cardinals’ stud prospect is rocking a .309/.407/.559 slash line with a .966 OPS. And all that with a salary under $3K on FanDuel? Let’s all keep shaking our heads to the bank until his salary adjusts to where it should be.
Top Stack: Atlanta Braves vs CHC (RHP Zach Davies)
The world sees Matt Harvey in Camden Yards and smashes every Yankee into their lineups. We see it, so let’s stay off the chalk and try to outscore everyone with a different stack.
The Atlanta Braves started cold but came around in the last few weeks. Even with the slow start, the Braves tout a team .192 ISO and .420 SLG. Quite a few are still dragging them down even. Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley could be an interesting GPP play because of the poor showing to start the year. Neither will likely be rostered too heavily and come at a slightly discounted price. If you can find space, the obvious hitters available will be hard to roster due to the price: Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña.
Let’s not forget the opposing pitcher, Zach Davies. He is four games into his 2021 debut season with the Cubs and still carries a WHIP over 2.00-yikes! That’s a problem, a big problem. His 8.80 ERA is slightly higher than the 7.00 xERA. Insert crooked face emoji. One last disastrous point, Davies’ K-BB% is -1.3%. Yes, he is walking more batters than striking them and giving up tons of quality contact. This is a major stack attack!
Honorable Mentions: NYY at BAL (Harvey), SF vs COL (Gomber).
Featured image by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)