And we are back with another Monday of MLB action. We have a solid nine-game slate tonight. There’s a slight weather concern in Chicago for the Marlins/Cubs game. There are aces all over the place with 7 pitchers at $9K or above. Then there’s a ton of pitching to pick on. Let’s see who we are targeting at the plate in today’s Batter Breakdown. (Listen into today’s episode of MLB DFS Quick Hits, to get takes on more players on tonight’s slate.)
Quick SP Cliff Notes
With three aces over $10K, it’s all about Gerrit Cole for me. At home in a matchup vs the Royals is quite the attractive piece. If you are paying up I am going all the way up to Cole. Jacob deGrom would be second for me and I am fading, maybe even targeting in deep GPPs against Max Scherzer.
After the big three, there’s a slew of arms in the $9K range. Blake Snell has been a mess of late and faces a very solid offense in the DBacks. I have no problem if you want to be contrarian with the DBacks bats, as DK still has them priced like they aren’t facing the former AL Cy Young winner. At that same time, Snell is a solid GPP play. He’s an elite arm when right and you are getting a discount on this slate. Just be wary as his walk rate is up of late and something may not be right at the moment. Cole Hamels is my other target in the $9K range. The weather may be an issue but it doesn’t get better than facing the Marlins offense. Many will ask about Paddack. I preached my thoughts on QH, but Paddack has to be extremely efficient to pay off his price.
When it comes to punts, there are two targets. Martin Perez has been a bright light for the punt world this season. He’s pitching in hitter friendly Rogers Centre tonight, but he’s also facing an offense with a lot of swing and miss. The other punt is going full YOLO with Josh Smith at $4K. In his 3 minor league starts he’s averaging just over 5 innings per start and has struck out 23 in 16.1 innings. He gets the Orioles tonight who do have some pop, but a ton of swing and miss as well.
Recap– Cole, Hamels, Perez and Smith are my top 4. Sprinkle in deGrom, Snell and Perez.
Catcher- Per usual, the catcher position is a cesspool tonight. There are a few ways to attack. You pay all the way up for Willson Contreras who has been straight power. If not spending up then it gets interesting. Christian Vazquez is in a solid spot vs John Means. If you are looking for the value it’s about riding the hot bat of Jason Castro vs Marcus Stroman.
Cash- For cash games, it’s all about paying for Anthony Rizzo tonight vs Sandy Alcantara. Rizzo has been an absolute fire of late. In his last seven games, he’s hitting .367 with 4 home runs and a .533 wOBA. He’s on fire and factor in the fact that lefties are hitting .282 with a .357 wOBA so far this season off Alcantara. We’ve got a smash spot with Rizzo tonight….weather permitting.
GPP- Walker Buehler is taking the bump for the Dodgers tonight and obviously things haven’t been going completely to plan so far. The Braves head into LA and that means power hitting first baseman Freddie Freeman is in play. Buehler has been decent vs LHH this season. But a .205 BABIP isn’t sustainable, an xFIP of 6.28 and a 40% HH rate all vs LHH shows he may be getting a bit lucky. Throw in the fact Freeman is coming in swinging a good stick. Before yesterday’s 0-4, Freeman had hit safely in four straight games with a home run and a .313 ISO.
Other First Base Options- Cody Bellinger, Paul Goldschmidt, Max Muncy, Matt Carpenter, Yuli Gurriel, Nate Lowe
Cash- Jose Altuve has hit safely in four of his last five games. He’s not crushing it, but he’s getting on regularly, scoring runs and making it happen for the Astros. He faces Jakob Junis tonight who in previous seasons was hit hard by RHH, but has been a little better this season. The biggest thing that makes Altuve a cash game play today, besides the matchup with Junis is the fact he’s only $4400, he’s too cheap for tonight’s matchup and his floor is huge for cash.
GPP- We are going full GPP here. If you are paying up for 2 arms tonight, you will need some value bats in your lineups. Brandon Drury could be your guy. Over his last eight games, he’s hitting .313 with 3 home runs, .344 ISO and a 62% HH rate. He’ll be at home tonight vs Martin Perez. We are fans of what Perez is doing this season and it’s shown as it’s one of his best seasons vs RHH. But in his career, he’s been a disaster. Drury could be boom or bust, but with 2B/3B eligibility and his sub-$4K price makes him definitely a GPP play.
Other Second Base Options- Ozzie Albies, Brandon Lowe, Howie Kendrick, Jonathan Villar, Robinson Cano
Cash- Alex Bregman has been straight fire since his little injury scare we saw. He went 5-10 over the weekend in Mexico with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs. He’s straight en fuego, he is expensive, but he does face Junis tonight and should be in for another solid cash game evening.
GPP- Kris Bryant is starting to look more and more like the MVP Bryant we remember from 2 years ago. He’s heating up over his last eight games. He’s hit safely in seven of those games. He’s hitting .276 with 3 home runs, a .414 ISO, a 182 wRC+ and a 64% HH rate. He gets Alcantara tonight and we usually prefer LHH vs Sandy, but we’ll ride the Bryant hot wave and take him in our GPP lineups with his rather discounted price.
Other Third Base Options- Michael Chavis, Howie Kendrick, Max Muncy, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Drury, Matt Carpenter
Cash- Many may say this is a GPP play, but based on matchup and price, Corey Seager is a very intriguing cash gameplay today. Seager is only $3600 on DK tonight and faces Kevin Gausman. Seager went 3-10 over the weekend with a couple of doubles. In his career, Seager has hit .306 vs RHP with a .196 ISO, 137 wRC+ and a 41.3% HH rate. He’s facing Gausman who does have career reverse splits, but LHH have had plenty of success as well. Seager may be too risky for some in cash, but he makes my cash list tonight and regardless should make your ultra awesome value play tonight.
GPP- The rubber shall meet the road tonight with Paul DeJong vs Vince Velasquez. We know Vinny V has been bringing it this year, but we also saw the old Vinny V in his last start. He can dominate and strike out everyone, but at the same time can start walking the farm and giving up hard contact. The Cardinals team as a whole are sneaky GPP relevant tonight and DeJong is near the top of that list for me. In DeJong’s career, he’s been better vs RHP than LHP. This season it’s much closer, but still crushing RHP. So far this season he’s hitting .330 with a .235 ISO, a 155 wRC+ and a 47.4% HH rate vs RHP. DeJong should be Mr. DeDong tonight.
Other Shortstop Options- Javy Baez, Xander Bogaerts, Eduardo Escobar, Carlos Correa, Jonathan Villar, Jorge Polanco
Cash- Cash games have tons of OF options tonight. You have George Springer vs Junis. Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo all have arguments for cash. The Red Sox power duo of Mookie Betts and JD Martinez are very good plays. Lastly, for some savings, you have Josh Reddick vs Junis who’s been getting torched by LHH.
GPP- There is some fun GPP plays in the OF tonight. Christian Yelich may be one of my favorite GPP plays in a long time. He’s at home vs Mad Max, a pitcher who Yelich has had some serious success against and most won’t pay that price in that matchup. Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez are 2 really solid GPP targets vs Vinny V tonight. One of the players no one really talks about and has been straight fire of late is Dwight Smith Jr who’s in an interesting spot vs Smith and the Red Sox pen tonight. Lastly, the Twins combo of Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler are in sneaky nice spots vs Marcus Stroman.
Cash- HOU, CHC, BOS, LAD (in that order)
GPP- STL, MIN, AZ, TB (in that order)
Brian has been playing Fantasy Sports, and more importantly Fantasy Baseball for over a decade. He’s been playing DFS for 4 years now. This will be his 4th season recording MLB DFS Quick Hits. He runs and writes for FantasySportsDegens. Records many podcasts including Benched with Bubba, Around the Bases with Bubba & Mo, Always Pressing PGA DFS POD and the 2 Point Conversion NFL DFS POD. You can contact him on Twitter @bdentrek.