As per usual, Monday brings us a fairly light slate. We have eight games on tonight’s main DraftKings slate which still provides ample opportunity to get our week started on the right note. Let’s get to it!
P – Gerrit Cole (HOU) – $12,600 vs. LAA
Cole is still simply dominating the opposition which has me throwing him in this lineup without any hesitation. He’s actually coming off his “worst” start of the season, throwing seven shutout innings, while giving up five hits and two walks, the former the most he’s given up in any start this year. He also only struck out five. The fact a seven-inning shutout is the worst start for Cole speaks to how dominant he’s been so far. He brings a 0.96 ERA and a 39.8% strikeout clip into tonight’s home start against the Angels.
P – Masahiro Tanaka (NYY) – $8,800 vs. MIN
I’m loving this play tonight. Not only do I expect Tanaka to get plenty of run support for the win at home, I expect him to a have an excellent night on the mound. That may be a head-scratcher as Tanaka has been torched for 12 earned runs over his last 10 innings. That said, the Twins own a 26.6% strikeout rate as a team against right-handed pitching this season while ranking 20th in batting average and 21st in OBP against righties. With his healthy 24.5% strikeout rate intact, let’s not be afraid to use the talented righty tonight.
C – Austin Barnes (LAD) – $3,000 vs. MIA
I’m loving me some right-handed Dodgers bats against the lefty Jarlin Garcia of the Marlins tonight. Barnes comes to us at a ridiculously attractive price considering how well he hit lefties in 2017. Barnes clobbered southpaws to the tune of a .257 ISO and .886 OPS last season and is off to a 3 for 10 start against them in 2018. I will gladly take the lefty-masher at this price tonight.
1B – Tyler Austin (NYY) – $3,300 vs. MIN
I am going to stack the Yankees tonight at home against the Twins for one big reason. Jake Odorizzi is an extreme fly-ball pitcher, with a 47.3% fly-ball rate last season. Yankee Stadium can therefore be a launching pad tonight. Austin hit lefties much better than righties in a very small sample last year, but has hit three homers against righties already this season with a .367 ISO and .967 OPS against them to boot. It should also be noted that Odorizzi is a reverse-splits pitcher who is worse to righties than he is lefties, something that also benefits Austin in this matchup.
2B – Kike Hernandez (LAD) – $3,300 vs. MIA
Hernandez should slide to either the cleanup spot or the three-hole for tonight’s matchup, and considering how he hits lefties I’m very okay with that. Hernandez has a pair of pinch-hit homers this season, although both came against righties. He hasn’t hit lefties well as of yet in 2018, but clobbered them for a .309 ISO and .946 OPS in 2017. He’s right in the heart of this stack so let’s roster Kike at a very attractive price.
3B – Miguel Andujar (NYY) – $2,800 vs. MIN
Here’s a real nice value play tonight as part of this four-man Yankees stack. Andujar has been excellent in the early going, putting together a .308 average with a pair of homers, both of which came over his last four games. He has a six-game hitting streak going entering play tonight, with at least two hits in five of those six including yesterday when he went 4 for 4 with two doubles against the Blue Jays. He has nine extra-base this over his last six games, so let’s feel very good about this play at this price.
SS – Didi Gregorius (NYY) – $4,900 vs. MIN
Although I mentioned Odorizzi is better against lefties, I do not mind Gregorius one bit in this stack. Gregorius is absolutely mashing in the early going this season, putting together a .333 average, .444 ISO and a 1.229 OPS against right-handed pitching alone. He also brings a six-game hitting streak into action tonight and went 1 for 3 with a homer in yesterday’s game. Against the fly-ball pitcher, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gregorius test the short porch in right field tonight at Yankee Stadium.
OF – Aaron Hicks (NYY) – $3,500 vs. MIN
The switch-hitting Hicks will also hit from the left side against Odorizzi tonight, but as part of this stack and at this price I have no problem with that, especially at Yankee Stadium. Hicks is hitting .290 in the early going, but has clobbered righties for a .318 average, .273 ISO and 1.055 OPS on the young season. He hit righties for a powerful .214 ISO and .816 OPS in 2017, so let’s look for some more power from the outfielder tonight.
OF – Chris Taylor (LAD) – $3,600 vs. MIA
Back to the Dodgers. I love Taylor at this price tonight out of the leadoff spot for Dave Roberts’ club. He owns a powerful .217 ISO against lefties in 2018, a year after posting a solid .188 ISO and .837 OPS against them in 2017. He hit 21 homers and stole 17 bases last season, so I will look for that power/speed combo to show itself in a very favorable matchup tonight.
OF – Matt Kemp (LAD) – $3,700 vs. MIA
Kemp is loving life back in Dodger blue. He’s off to a real nice .321 batting average on the young season with a trio of homers and 10 RBIs. In 17 at-bats against left-handed pitching, all Kemp has done is post a .471 batting average, .294 ISO and a 1.291 OPS. The veteran actually didn’t hit lefties well at all in 2017, which appears to be a complete anomaly as he has a career .321 average, .223 ISO and .926 OPS against lefties, much better than his numbers against righties. I have real high hopes for this four-man Dodgers stack tonight.
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