Well, this is going to be fun. I thought the MLB DFS regular season was over with this past weekend wrapping things up, but the top teams in the NL Central and NL West had other plans.
With the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, Colorado Rockies and Los Angels Dodgers all tying for the same record in their respective divisions, those four squads will compete in one intense slate of day games on Monday to decide who will win the division and who has to play a wild card game.
This is actually a pretty big deal, as there’s a huge difference in simply getting into a wild card game (which you can lose and bounce you from the MLB playoffs) and being guaranteed an actual series. That is what’s on the line here and the MLB DFS faithful can potentially make some money off of it.
There are a couple different ways to go on this slate, but here’s my favorite team for Monday’s playoff-like atmosphere at FanDuel:
SP: Jose Quintana – Chicago Cubs ($8.4k)
Quintana has owned the Brew Crew all year, posting a 4-1 record with a 2.17 ERA. If this game were at Miller Park I’d be much more interested in stacking the Brewers, but all year along I’ve felt like the Cubs would hold them off and now they get a chance to make that happen at Wrigley Field.
Both teams are still headed to the playoffs, but the Cubs are probably going to win this game and it could be on the heels of a gem out of Quintana. They brought him in to be a viable ace for them and he’s delivered mixed results. This is his chance to redeem himself a bit and slow down a Milwaukee offense that has been scorching hot lately.
If you’re doing cash games, you’re probably going to the Dodgers game for pitching and thinking about stacking Brewers. I’ll entertain fading Milwaukee sticks going into GPPs on Monday, however.
C/1B: Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs ($4.3k)
The Brewers are hot and I can’t fault you for riding the wave, but the Cubs are at home and will have the better matchup no matter who Milwaukee puts on the mound (as of now nobody knows).
I will certainly use a few Cubs bats and it starts with Rizzo, who has power upside and also comes in hot with six hits over his last four contests. In a huge home game to decide the NL Central, I see him showing up big.
2B: Daniel Murphy – Chicago Cubs ($3.5k)
I don’t love 2B today, so I’ll just roll with the Cubs and try Murphy at a decent price. He’s always got some pop in his bat and has been very reliable lately, dropping in 12+ fantasy points in three of his last five games. He’s seeing the ball really well, too, as he’s registered at least one hit in 10 consecutive games.
3B: Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies ($4.3k)
This is too small of a slate to drop in full stacks. You can get away with it, but I’d rather just pick my spots and if that has me stacking by accident, I’m fine with it. I don’t really want to go out of my way to target good pitching at Dodger Stadium today, but I can’t avoid it.
Arenado has monster power and this is obviously a huge game for Colorado. He’s on a tear right now, too, having launched three long balls in his last two games. I’m looking for him to stay hot here, although I don’t exactly want to stack the Rockies against a very good arm in Walker Buehler.
SS: Hernan Perez – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.4k)
I don’t love the idea of targeting my own pitcher, but on a slate this small you have to get a little weird. Cheap exposure to the righties in Milwaukee isn’t a terrible idea, especially since Perez hits southpaws really well. There’s a good chance he starts in this one and hopefully he can do minimal damage so Quintana stays in one piece and he still produces for me.
OF: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.2k)
Targeting German Marquez isn’t ideal. He’s become a strikeout maestro and this is a huge game for the Rockies. That being said, Pederson’s ISO against righties borders on the .300 level, so he’s a fantastic one-off bat to close out this slate.
Also consider Cody Bellinger here and a Dodgers stack isn’t stupid. It’s just tough to see it smashing here.
OF: Charlie Blackmon – Colorado Rockies ($4.1k)
Again, I’m not going crazy with the Rockies in this game – one which could easily be a 2-1 snoozer. I do like Chuck, however, as he mashes right-handed pitching and comes in red hot with a 50-point fantasy outing behind him in his last contest. Hopefully he can keep it rolling in a huge game for the Rockies.
OF: Ian Happ – Chicago Cubs ($2.6k)
Happ doesn’t know who he’s facing yet – or if he’s even starting – but odds are the Brew Crew throws a righty onto the dirt for this huge NL Central clash. That puts Happ and his solid power in play. He’s too cheap to ignore if he’s in the lineup, but as I said, the Cubs are my favorite stack so any exposure to them feels good on this slate.
Obviously take a long, hard look at Javier Baez and Kris Bryant if you’re doing a full four-man stack, while lefties like Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward also deserve your consideration.
Util: Erik Kratz – Milwaukee Brewers ($2.3k)
I’m not enamored with Kratz, but again, you can’t completely ignore the guys your pitcher is facing on a slate this small. Assuming he starts, he’s a nice cheap option and he has solid power against left-handed pitching.
This really isn’t the slate to just stack two teams and hope you strike gold. The pitching is lights out in the Dodgers game and given what’s at stake, it’s quite possible both games end up being pretty low-scoring. I’m just grabbing as many viable bats as I can here and hoping the splits pan out.
I’ll use Perez as a one-off against my own arm, but I’m otherwise not targeting Brewers hard. If you do, make sure you do so from the right side of the plate with guys like Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain and Jesus Aguilar.
I mostly like the Cubs and I’ll mix in some Dodgers and Rockies. These games are going to be intense, so here’s to some great baseball and hopefully some winnings. Enjoy the games and good luck!