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We’ve got eight games on tonight’s FantasyDraft slate, so let’s get this Monday started right with some lineups! Make sure your squads are set before 7pm eastern.
Must Play SP: Carlos Carrasco, CLE ($23,100) at BAL
In his last three starts, Carrasco has been just about untouchable, with seventeen strikeouts to just three walks. He’s allowed only three earned runs in his last 22 innings, and Cookie’s got his easiest matchup of the year on Monday against the Orioles. The Orioles lineup has been pitiful against right-handed pitching this season, posting a .269 wOBA, which ranks them third-to-last in all of baseball. They also strike out the third-most frequently against righties at 26.7% of the time. I like Carrasco over Gerrit Cole or any other starter on Monday.
Honorable Mention: Masahiro Tanaka, NYY ($16,900) vs MIN
Value SP: Walker Buehler, LAD ($11,100) vs MIA
It’s happening!!! Dodgers top prospect Walker Buehler is set to make his first major league start on Monday against the Marlins. Buehler tore through his three triple-A starts this season with a 29.7% K-rate, 7.4% walk-rate, and a 2.08 ERA. Look for Buehler to rely primarily on his fastball, which touches 99 MPH, and his curveball, which has nice horizontal drop. He’s also got an advanced slider, as well as a changeup that he may mix in. Buehler got lit up in his eight relief appearances last season, but he’s easily got the stuff to be a productive major league starter. If nothing else, he’s facing the second-worst lineup in the majors, the Marlins, who are even worse than the O’s with their .268 wOBA versus righties and a 24.8% K-rate. Buehler has a ton of upside for this start, but you should always use caution in a scenario like this, so I’m recommending Buehler for GPPs.
Honorable Mention: Mike Leake, SEA ($12,900) at CWS
Padres third baseman Christian Villanueva is off to an absolutely ridiculous start, slashing .355/.444/.774 with seven home runs. He even batted third for San Diego on Sunday, hitting between Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer. Villanueva has the ultimate opportunity to hit some more homers as he goes to Coors Field, the most hitter-friendly park in the league. If he continues this kind of power output, Villanueva is going to have a monster day. I have no idea why he’s so cheap, as most of his teammates have been properly price-adjusted for Coors. Regardless, I’m taking advantage of the price.
Honorable Mention: IF Joey Gallo, TEX ($8,500) vs OAK (Cahill)
OF Mitch Haniger, SEA ($7,500) at CWS (RHP Miguel Gonzalez)
Money Mitch has homered in his last three games, bringing his season total to seven, and is now second in the American League in RBI with 22. With the way he’s playing, Haniger’s at least $2,000 cheaper than he deserves to be. He’s been moved up to the Mariners two-hole, which puts him in a great spot for opportunities at both runs and RBIs. To top it off, White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez has been abysmal this season, posting a 12.41 ERA in three starts. His last time out, he gave up eight earned runs to the Athletics.. Gonzalez has a 2.92 HR/9 this season, so don’t be surprised if Haniger makes it four games in a row with a dinger.
Honorable Mention: OF Matt Kemp, LAD ($7,400) vs MIA (Garcia)
Nobody’s ever doubted Brantley’s talent, it’s been his health that has held him back the past few seasons. Right now, though, Brantley is healthy and locked in at the plate. He’s batting .400 over the last week with a 1.050 OPS out of the Indians cleanup spot. Remarkably, he’s got just a 4.7% K-rate this season, so he’s constantly putting the ball in play. That’s a good strategy at Oriole Park, a fantastic hitting environment. Opposing starter Kevin Gausman has had his fair share of struggles this season, posting a 5.57 ERA through four starts. Brantley’s price is only going up from here, so buy in while you still can.
Honorable Mention: IF Marcus Semien, OAK ($6,900) at TEX (Moore)
Top Stack: Mariners at White Sox (RHP Miguel Gonzalez)
I didn’t want to harp on Gonzalez too much in one post, but this stack is just too good to miss. Almost every Mariners hitter feels too cheap to me, even without considering the matchup. You can supplement Mitch Haniger ($7,500) with two buy-low bats in Nelson Cruz ($8,000) and Robinson Cano ($7,300). Dee Gordon ($8,100) and Jean Segura ($7,600) are both great investments as well. In a strong hitter’s park, the Mariners lineup should have a huge day against one of the worst starters on Monday’s slate.
Honorable Mention: Braves at Reds (Romano)