After a holiday weekend, we find ourselves back at it for a seven-game slate. Monday is exceedingly top-heavy in starting pitching, and we get a better look at batters with erroneous salaries. With the decisions on starting pitching a little more obvious, we need to dig deeper to find the hidden values to optimize our payday. The first set of games don’t open up until much later in the evening, and the weather looks to be accommodating, so expect all games played!
Top SP: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($10,700 DK, $11,000 FD) at PHI
deGrom, deGoat, same thing. The only true ace on the slate is Jacob deGrom. To roster deGrom will mean you have to pay over $2000-$3000 more than the highest-priced arm. So we ask ourselves, is it worth it? Yes, 100% without a doubt, yes. With deGrom comes strikeouts, innings pitched, and very few walks or hits. If you can’t take my word on deGrom, check out our own Nick Pollack’s Opening Day article entitled “Is Jacob deGrom actually good?”
Honorable Mentions: Nope.
Value SP: Adrian Morejon, SD ($8,100 DK, $5,900 FD) vs SF
After spending most of 2020 in the bullpen, Adrian Morejon earns a spot in the starting rotation. This exciting young southpaw leans heavily on a 96-mph fastball and then pulls the string on batters with a devastating splitter. That combo plus a new slider from last season produced a 31.6 K%, with only a 5.1 BB%. Let’s hope Morejon is stretched out and ready to give up five-plus innings of strikeout heavy work.
SS Francisco Lindor NYM ($4,800 DK, $3,700 FD) at PHI
This play feels like an absolute steal, based on the low salary cost. At only $4,800, Lindor is the seventh-highest priced shortstop. In no way should Joey Wendle ($5,000) have a higher salary than Lindor. Last year he didn’t live up to monumental expectations, but he does boast a career .833 OPS and three straight seasons with a hard-hit rate over 40%. Lindor will be planted in the sweet spot of the New York Mets lineup and all the opportunities to put up massive DFS points. Start him with confidence and use the saved salary to pay up somewhere else.
OF Austin Meadows, TB ($4,400 DK, $3,500 FD) at BOS
Austin Meadows had a miserable 2020 season with a bout of COVID mixed in. Oddly, he hit the ball as hard as he did in 2019 but produce much worse results. Meadows still boasts a .858 career OPS and .236 ISO over nearly 1000 plate appearances. So now let’s get down to 2021, where Meadows is back leading off for the Rays and already crushed two souvenirs into the bleachers. He looks to be back into form and has a very comfortable matchup against Nick Pivetta. Forget last year’s results and let Meadows get you the green!
Value Batter: 1B Yuli Gurriel, HOU ($3,700 DK, $2,800 FD) at LAA
Often the forgotten man in Houston is Yuli Gurriel. Mainly due to the other well-known commodities like Alex Bregman, José Altuve, and Carlos Correa. This is terrific news for smart DFS players. He hits in the same lineup as some mavens but costs significantly less. We may only be a few games into the 2021 season, but Yuli has already mashed eight hard-hit balls (batted balls over 95-mph), which is only one off the MLB lead.
Stack the New York Mets? But they never score runs when Jacob deGrom starts. Well, the new regime brought in loads of talent to surround the already steady nucleus. The addition of Francisco Lindor and James McCann should provide added firepower to the lineup. Making his way back from overseas is southpaw Matt Moore, who had torrid command issues throughout his career. His first start back in the MLB is against a team that was 14% better in terms of wRC+ than league-average when facing a left-handed pitcher before the new arrivals. It’s going to be a rough day for Moore, so roster as many Mets as you can!
Honorable Mentions: TB at BOS (Pivetta); CHC vs MIL (Anderson).
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)