After a fun Easter weekend of solid matchups, the MLB keeps things rolling with a solid 10-game fantasy baseball slate lined up for Monday night. There are no pitchers in play with salaries over $10K, so things appear to favor some good offensive production across the board. At this time of year, weather can be a factor, and there are concerns to monitor in Boston and New York. With 20 teams in action, though, there are a lot of matchups to sort through as you start your lineups construction for this Monday.
If you end up needing to save some salary in a spot or two, check out these bargain picks, who are affordable but offer some nice upside as well.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Tigers and Red Sox has been postponed due to inclement weather.
SP YONNY CHIRINOS, TB vs. KC, $7,400
Chirinos will be making his third start of the season but also has pitched in a pair of games as a long reliever following an opener. Chirinos has been excellent in three of his four outings, with an ugly outlier in Toronto, where he was battered for six runs in 2 1/3 innings. In his other three games, Chirinos has given up just one run over 17 innings while striking out 21 and walking just two. He bounced back from that off outing in his most recent game last Wednesday, allowing just one hit over five shutout innings for 24.1 DKFP against the Orioles.
The Rays will hope Chirinos can stay locked in against the Royals as they try to bounce back from a tough sweep at the hands of the Red Sox over the weekend. Kansas City’s offense has managed only 34 runs in its 10 road games, and the Royals are hitting just .215 with a .687 road OPS. They also roll in on a three-game losing streak and are 2-5 on their current road trip, which has had stops against the White Sox and Yankees. Chirinos should be able to continue their rough trip with a solid outing Monday.
SP ADRIAN HOUSER, MIL at STL, $5,700
Taking on the Cardinals at Busch Stadium is a tough spot to make your first Major League start, but Houser is worth a look if you’re planning on going with big bats. Houser has worked in nine games in his career, but all have come out of the bullpen. He has a 2.87 ERA in his 15 2/3 innings while striking out eight.
Houser will take the rotation spot of Freddy Peralta (shoulder) after a strong start to the season in Triple-A. Houser went 1-0 in three starts for the San Antonio Missions with a 1.10 ERA in 16 1/3 innings with 18 strikeouts and only two walks. His control has been an issue in the past, but he has been sharp so far this season. Houser is so affordably priced, he won’t have to do much to return value, so he is worth a look even in a tough road matchup.
2B/3B HANSER ALBERTO, BAL VS. CWS, $3,300
The White Sox and Orioles should both have plenty of bargain options in their series in Baltimore this week. The O’s start the week with a good matchup against left-handed spot starter Manny Bañuelos ($7,000), who has a 3.48 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings of relief so far this season. It’s a good matchup to target right-handed bats who excel against southpaws since Bañuelos has held lefties to a .083 average so far this season.
Alberto is one right-handed bat to consider since he has found a nice spot with the Orioles after bouncing around this offseason, being claimed on waivers by Yankees, Orioles, Giants and Orioles again. He has been a key part of the middle of the Orioles’ lineup against southpaws and is 8-for-20 (.400) with a double, home run and 1.000 OPS against lefties this season. Alberto is a solid way to save salary at 2B or 3B, which can sometimes be tricky spots to fill.
SS COLE TUCKER, PIT vs. ARI, $3,600
This past weekend the Pirates called up Tucker, who was ranked as their No. 5 prospect by MLB Pipeline coming into the season. Tucker immediately made an impact with a two-run homer in his debut Saturday, going 1-for-3 out of the leadoff spot. He hit leadoff again Sunday and went 1-for-4 with a double and a pair of strikeouts.
Since being drafted out of high school in 2014, Tucker has battled injuries throughout his climb to the majors but is still just 22 and considered a possible long-term solution at SS. Tucker was hitting .333 (19-for-57) with three doubles, three homers and five stolen bases in his 13 games in Triple-A before being called up. Especially if he keeps hitting leadoff, Tucker should be a nice option as the Pirates open their home series against the Diamondbacks.
OF STEPHEN PISCOTTY, OAK VS. TEX, $3,300
Piscotty usually moves into the heart of the Athletics batting order against lefties, so he should be in a good spot against Mike Minor ($8,800) and the Rangers as the AL West foes face off in Oakland. Piscotty is hitting just .244 on the year with three homers, 11 RBI and a .720 OPS, but he has hit safely in eight of his past nine games, going 10-for-34 with a double and two of those three home runs.
Piscotty is hitting .286 with two home runs and a .904 OPS in 28 at-bats against southpaws this season. He also has hit much better at home in his native California than on the road. He was 3-for-8 with a double and a homer in a series against the Rangers earlier this season, so he makes a great buy at just $3.3K this Monday.
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