We got a nice weekend break from MLB DFS, which was probably warranted after we got burned by Chris Archer on Friday night. Archer’s weak effort was a bummer, but our hitting wasn’t good to end the week, either. It’s onward and upward as we look to a challenging main slate for Monday. Is it a Chris Sale or bust night on the mound, or are there other avenues to explore?
Let’s take a look at the best team we can piece together without using Sale tonight:
SP: German Marquez – Colorado Rockies ($7k)
We have some strong pitching on the main slate and Chris Sale is the top arm to target by a mile. He’ll give up 2-3 runs at home against a solid Twins lineup, but he’ll be his elite self when it’s all said and done. I love him tonight and I’ll be using him just about everywhere on FanDuel. We can also entertain Carlos Carrasco at home and Jose Berrios in a pitcher’s duel versus Sale.
Carrasco gets the Rangers and Berrios gets the Red Sox, however, so I’m not overly tempted to go there. Cole Hamels also returns from the DL, but he’s at Cleveland against The Tribe and I typically refrain from pitchers in their first games back from injury.
There are a few other options that could be worth cursory glances, but I’m probably either going all in with Sale or paying down for Marquez. Colorado’s starting pitcher has been flat out solid pretty much all year, is in a pitcher’s park and faces arguably the worst offense in the league. He doesn’t have the upside of Sale and some of the other arms, but he is in a good spot to get a win and could easily produce 40+ fantasy points tonight. For the salary relief and high level hitting we’re getting here, this is a path worth taking.
C: Yasmani Grandal – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3k)
We could pay up for Gary Sanchez but I don’t see a reason to given Grandal’s hot play of late and his killer splits against right-handed pitching. He provides a little more value, offers plenty of pop and will be at home against Ricky Nolasco. Nolasco serves up a ton of hard contact on a regular basis and sports a shaky 4.56 ERA on the road.
Another strong value play could be Willson Contreras. The Cubs catcher is even cheaper ($2.7k) and has positive splits against southpaw Gio Gonzalez.
1B: Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.8k)
This is going to be a popular play. Bellinger double-donged last night, is at home and has great splits as he takes on the hittable Ricky Nolasco. Any masher can flat line, but Bellinger is in a great spot and is worth paying up for tonight. Going cheap at pitcher allows us to get him, too. People could go elsewhere here, as well, as Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rizzo are pricier options and Edwin Encarnacion is right below Bellinger.
I love Bellinger here, even if he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. There are other options to consider, of course, with Matt Davidson ($3k) looking like one of the better value plays.
2B: Daniel Murphy – Washington Nationals ($4k)
We’re punting pitcher for two reasons; we get interesting value with Marquez and it gets us reliable bats. Murphy is one of those bats, as he’s at home with great splits against the beatable Eddie Butler. I like Nats in general on this slate, but Murphy is probably one of my favorites.
I also love the value with Brian Dozier, who is a threat to deliver the long ball virtually every time out. He’s actually had a lot of success against Sale, mashes left-handed pitching in general and will be in a hitter’s park at Fenway tonight. We get a HR threat on the cheap here, while 2B isn’t a great position, overall. I don’t mind taking this gamble, regardless of whether or not you use Sale tonight. Dozier is a strong one-off, either way.
3B: Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins ($3.4k)
Per usual, there are a number of directions we can go at 3B. I like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rendon quite a bit on this slate, but much like Dozier, Sano is in a solid spot in a hitter’s park against Chris Sale. He also knows Sale quite well and has awesome splits against southpaws. It could be contrarian to use one or both of these guys tonight and they obviously provide potentially monster upside.
SS: Trea Turner – Washington Nationals ($4.3k)
Turner is pretty pricey on this slate, but I’m curious where else we’re going at SS that makes us feel good. Francisco Lindor and Xander Bogaerts are viable plays, but they face Cole Hamels and Jose Berrios, respectively. I’m not enamored with those matchups, so I’d rather pay up for Turner, who is at home and gets a great splits set up against Eddie Butler. If the Nats face plant tonight in an amazing matchup, so be it.
If I’m not going Turner, I’m probably punting unless Corey Seager (3.8k) can make it back from a hamstring injury. It’s early, though, so we don’t know if Seager is for sure out or what value could open up at SS. For now, I’m fine with spending on Turner, who can rack up fantasy points provided he simply can get on base.
OF: Brian Goodwin – Washington Nationals ($2.6k)
I love targeting cheap Nats that bat high in the order. Goodwin has been mashing, too, sending five long balls out of the park over his last 13 contests. He’s not the most reliable bat, but he’s got a nice hard contact percentage against right-handed pitchers and will be at home against the volatile Eddie Butler. Goodwin is cheap, batting high in the order and could easily serve up another yard shot tonight. He’s worth a try to fit in all the bats we want – especially if you pay up for Sale.
OF: Joc Pederson – Los Angeles Dodgers ($3.4k)
Stacking Nats and Dodgers admittedly isn’t very contrarian, but on a smaller slate I’m not even sure going against the grain is going to be that helpful. Instead, Marquez is hopefully our big contrarian move and our chalk stacks end up doing precisely what we think they’ll do. Pederson should be part of that, as he’s on fire right now (18+ fantasy points in 4 of his last 5 games) and will be at home in a solid matchup.
Jackie Bradley and Andrew Benintendi are in the same price range and have great splits at home tonight. They’re also facing Jose Berrios, but if you want to go a little more contrarian, that’s one route to consider.
OF: Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox ($3.5k)
This is all about discount and hopefully low ownership. Betts is one of the more volatile mashers you can use, as he’s either going to do nothing or double-dong. He’s at home in a hitter’s park, but he shockingly has just one dong at Fenway this year. He also faces a tough righty in Jose Berrios, so this could easily be a bad spot to use him. That being said, Betts can be matchup proof and if other people are going to be off of him, he may not be a bad GPP gamble.