Monday offers up a tough slate in daily fantasy baseball, as the top shelf pitchers come out to play and don’t leave much breathing room for elite hitting.
Even worse, aces like Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander cost so much that even taking a dive with a weak second pitcher at DraftKings may not guarantee you the team you covet.
Matters are only complicated when you look at Max Scherzer’s struggles against the Atlanta Braves or the fact that only one of Sale and Verlander can get a win today (they’re facing each other).
Chasing value at the pitcher position would normally seem like a solid secondary route, but with very little reliability existing today, it looks like the pickings may be slim. If you’re in need of value, however, we’ve got our eye on a few options that may be able to help you out of a jam.
Here’s our top value pick for each major position at DK to help you win big on Monday:
SP: Matt Andriese – Rays ($5.7k)
There isn’t a ton to write home about when it comes to Andriese, who bombed in his last trip to the mound and does face a dangerous Orioles team today. However, he’s been slightly better at home than on the road this year, delivered a respectable outing the last time he faced Baltimore and does sport a decent 7.69 K per 9 innings.
None of that is going to blow you away, but the value at pitcher is scarce tonight and it’s always worth considering a capable pitcher against Baltimore when they’re on the road. Tampa Bay’s park is pitcher friendly and the Orioles are prone to slumping when they’re not at home.
This isn’t a foolproof value dive, but it’s one of the better options on the night if you plan on also paying up for a stud ace.
C: Stephen Vogt – Athletics ($3.3k)
Normally we want to use pitchers facing Oakland, but tonight the Athletic draw Jered Weaver, who no longer has a passable fastball and gives up long bombs left and right. Weaver has actually delivered two strong fantasy performances in a row, but given his rocky 2016, we know it’s only a matter of time before he gets rocked again.
It’s true that Oakland isn’t exactly a murderer’s row for hitting, but they do present power problems and this may be the ideal matchup to test some of their mashers out. The one that stands out the most is Vogt, who actually is one of the few Oakland hitters that is both cheap and also sports positive splits. He can be erratic (as can all Athletics) but catcher is a bit inflated tonight, so he’s a nice punt, as well.
Luckily this isn’t a sulking Vogt we’re looking at. He’s been surprisingly reliable lately, notching a hit in seven of his last eight contests. If he can turn one of those into a bomb tonight, he’ll pay off instantly.
1B: Stephen Cardullo – Rockies ($3k)
Anytime you can get a cheap bat that offers upside in Coors, it’s worth a dive. Cardullo isn’t a shot in the dark, though, as the rookie has mashed two homers in his last five appearances and is batting an elite .357 so far this year. His splits aren’t old enough to tell us much and Matt Moore can be a problem, but he’s worth the shot if he starts tonight.
Luckily Cardullo also has positional versatility, so you can switch him to outfield and consider some other interesting cheap options at first base like John Jaso, Josh Bell and Pedro Alvarez.
2B: Nick Franklin – Rays ($3.8k)
The Athletics are one stack I like today, provided the value and splits make sense, but another one that goes away from the grain a bit are the Rays. Franklin gets that going, as you can use him here at second base our in the outfield and he offers favorable splits against a volatile righty in Ubaldo Jimenez.
Jimenez seems super due to implode after merely getting by in each of his last two starts. The Rays aren’t a powerhouse offense, but they’re at home and can actually connect on the long ball when the situation is suiting them. Franklin has been pretty hit or miss, but he’s registered a hit in each of his last five starts. He’s starting again at home today with a positive matchup, so there isn’t a better time to roll the dice with him than now.
3B: Ryon Healy – Athletics ($3k)
Here are those Athletics again. Healy hasn’t been playing well and most DFS gamers will look to Danny Valencia here, but Healy offers more value and better splits numbers. Like way better. Valencia is a far bigger gamble, while Healy actually hits right-handed pitching well and even offers a little pop with his bat.
He’s trailed off with no hits in his last six at bats, but prior to that he notched a hit in seven of his last eight contests. Healy might not jack a homer, but he has a good matchup and looks like a good play on paper.
SS: Jorge Polanco – Twins ($3.2k)
Shortstop is probably a good spot to spend some cash on DraftKings tonight, but if you insist on saving here, diving down to Polanco may be your best bet. He seems much safer than someone with bad splits like Marcus Semien (although he doesn’t exactly mash righties, himself), plus he’s been in solid form with at least one hit in 8 of his last 10 contests.
Polanco is producing beyond mere contact, too, as he’s reached 7+ fantasy points seven times during that span. He’s really been cooking lately, with three games over 11 fantasy points in his last five games. Today he draws Ian Kennedy, who can certainly be tough, but may be at a disadvantage on the road in Minnesota.
OF: Kevin Kiermaier – Rays ($3.6k)
If we’re trying to get big bats and elite pitching, a fun route today is to package some underrated Athletics and Rays. That continues here with Kiermaier, who not only brings power and random explosiveness to the table, but is also cheap and has been on a nice run of late.
Facing the ever volatile Jimenez can only help, plus Kiermaier has delivered 10+ fantasy points in three of his last four games. He hasn’t always been quite that productive, but he has been pretty reliable lately, registering a hit in each of his last eight contests. He can be a bit erratic at times, but it looks like he’s dialed in right now. Add in the value and a positive matchup, and he’s looking like a fun try in GPP leagues on Monday.
Hopefully our seven daily fantasy baseball value picks get you closer to winning big on Monday. Let us know in the comments below if you love/hate our picks or if you’ve got some DFS MLB picks of your own for today’s MLB action!
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