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We’ve got almost half of the league playing tonight, with seven games on our FantasyDraft slate. Make sure to get your lineups in by 7pm eastern.
Must Play SP: Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($26,700) at SD
With a smaller slate, Strasburg is the only true fantasy ace taking the mound tonight. That’s why I’m fine with spending a big chunk of my payroll to get him, particularly in cash games. Strasburg has a 28.6% K-rate with just a 5.8% walk-rate this season and has put up double-digit strikeouts in two of his last three outings. Stras would be worth starting against just about any team, so he’s even more valuable in arguably the easiest matchup for a pitcher – at San Diego. The Padres .290 wOBA versus righties ranks them 27th, while their 28.0% K-rate is the highest mark in baseball. Additionally, Petco Park is one of the most pitcher-friendly environments in the league. Strasburg has a rare combination of upside and floor on Monday, which is why he’s a must-start if you’ve got the budget room.
Honorable Mention: Kyle Hendricks, CHC ($18,400) vs MIA
Value SP: Michael Fulmer, DET ($15,400) at TEX
In six outings this season, Fulmer has given up more than two earned runs in a start just once. While his strikeout numbers haven’t been great, Fulmer’s been better as of late, striking out 14 batters in his last 12 innings. He should have no issues facing a depleted Rangers lineup that’s ranked 24th in wOBA versus right-handed pitching with their .303 mark. They also strike out at the third-highest rate, 25.9%, so Fulmer does have a bit of upside. On a night where it’s tough to find quality pitching, Fulmer is a solid investment.
Honorable Mention: John Gant, STL ($8,100) vs MIN
IF Brandon Belt, PHI ($8,300) at PHI (RHP Zach Eflin)
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has been on fire this season, posting a .300/.423/.560 line with six homers. Additionally, he’s walking at a career-high 16.3%, and he’s got an insane 212 wRC+ against righties. The Giants cleanup hitter should have another big day against Phillies starter Zach Eflin, who put up a 6.16 ERA in 11 starts last season, and is making just his second major league start of the year. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is an extreme hitter’s park, so Belt should have the opportunity to rack up lots of RBIs.
Honorable Mention: IF Matt Adams, WAS ($8,300) at SD (Ross)
OF Nicholas Castellanos, DET ($8,300) at TEX (LHP Matt Moore)
Castellanos is slaughtering left-handed pitching this season to the tune of a 251 wRC+. Rangers starter Matt Moore has been an absolute disaster this year (just as he has been for a few years now) and has a 7.67 ERA after giving up 10 earned runs in four innings his last time out against the Indians. The ball is going to be flying well on a hot night in Texas, making it even more probable that Castellanos produces well, and he’s in a great spot batting third for the Tigers where he can score some runs and knock in some RBIs.
Honorable Mention: OF Odubel Herrera, PHI ($7,800) vs SF (Samardzija)
Value: IF Justin Bour, MIA ($6,600) at CHC (RHP Kyle Hendricks)
Justin Bour’s price still hasn’t adjusted, as he’s still way too cheap for the kind of hitter he is. Bour has a 120 wRC+ this year with six homers, and it’s not like he’s been slumping lately – he’s got a .934 OPS in his last 15 games. Bour’s matchup against Hendricks might not seem too friendly on the surface, but Hendricks has some underlying peripherals that make his success look suspect. He’s got a 5.31 FIP, due to a 1.96 HR/9 as well as just a 19.2% K-rate. Hendricks is also running an unsustainable 94.2% LOB rate with a .223 BABIP. Hendricks has regression on the way, and Bour should be able to help with that.
Honorable Mention: OF Albert Almora Jr., CHC ($6,700) vs MIA (Garcia)
Top Stack: Mets at Reds (RHP Homer Bailey)
Homer Bailey is a pumpkin that you can take advantage of on Monday by loading your lineups with Mets hitters. Bailey has a 13.1% K-rate with a 1.83 HR/9, good for a 5.67 FIP along with his 4.81 ERA. Yoenis Cespedes ($8,600) and Jay Bruce ($7,600) are your top options, while Michael Conforto ($6,800) is an outstanding buy low choice. You can get many of the Mets hitters for cheap on Monday, making them a fantastic value stack.
Honorable Mention: Astros at Athletics (Anderson)