A busy week in the MLB gets underway with an 11-game fantasy baseball slate this Monday, as we start the final full week before the trade deadline when teams have to decide if they’re chasing the playoffs or planning for the future. It’s an important week for many teams, especially those playing in their own division, including the five series getting underway this Monday.
There are many factors to consider as you get your team together including some potential weather concerns in Washington. As you assemble your squad, check out these five players who are available at affordable salaries but bring major upside to their Monday matchups.
SP JALEN BEEKS, TB vs. BOS, $7,700
Beeks will either start or follow an opener and work the bulk of the innings Monday against his former team as the Rays open an important three-game set with the Red Sox. He has a better shot at a win if he comes out of the bullpen since he doesn’t have to go five innings, but he’s worth a look even if he works as a more traditional starter Monday.
In each of his eight most recent appearances, Beeks has allowed two runs or fewer. He struck out five in 3 1/3 in his most recent outing, which came in New York against the Yankees and resulted in 13.7 DKFP and a no-decision. He is 5-0 on the season with a solid 2.78 ERA and went 2-0 in two games against Boston last season with a 2.89 ERA. The Red Sox’ lineup couldn’t get anything going Sunday, and Beeks will try to keep them silent again on Monday at Tropicana Field.
SP RYAN BORUCKI, TOR vs. CLE, $7,600
Borucki showed some promise last season as part of the Blue Jays’ rotation but has been on the injured list all season with elbow issues. He will make his season debut against the Indians on Monday at Rogers Centre after going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 18 innings during his rehab.
Last season, Borucki was especially effective at home, where he posted a 2.64 ERA and went 2-3 in seven starts. He doesn’t typically pile up a ton of strikeouts but should be ready to provide solid innings after throwing 80-plus pitches in each of his two most recent rehab outings for the Buffalo Bisons. Since it’s his first start of the season, the 25-year-old lefty is a high-risk play, but there is a lot of upside to like if he can build on last season.
3B/OF MARWIN GONZALEZ, MIN vs. NYY, $3,500
After joining the Twins as a free agent this offseason, Gonzalez has had an up-and-down season. He has been good in July, though, going 15-for-49 (.306) with two doubles, two homers and a .833 OPS. Most of his success this year has come against left-handed pitchers, who he is hitting .316 against with four doubles, three homers and a .837 OPS.
He and the Twins open a series with the Yankees on Monday and will take on CC Sabathia ($8,600). Gonzalez has homered against Sabathia in their previous meetings while going 3-for-6 with a double as well. It’s a small BvP sample, but he makes sense at only $3.5K given his success against southpaws and recent form. He usually hits in the heart of the Twins’ lineup, which also gives him nice upside given how productive Minnesota’s offense has been this season.
2B/3B HANSER ALBERTO, BAL at ARI, $3,300
Alberto has been a regular in my bargain picks this season especially when the Orioles are taking on a left-handed starter. Usually, Alberto hits in the leadoff spot against southpaws like Robbie Ray ($11,400) and has been effective against them all season. He has gone 49-for-124 (.395) with six doubles, a triple, two home runs and put up an impressive .913 OPS against lefties on the season.
He has scuffled a bit out of the All-Star break, which is why his salary is lower, but he hasn’t had many great matchups. Getting Ray at Chase Field lines up well for him, so take advantage of his reduced salary.
OF JOSH VANMETER, CIN at MIL, $3,000
VanMeter has bounced back and forth from Cincinnati to Triple-A Louisville but has appeared in each of the past four games for the Reds and seems to be working his way into a regular role. He can play multiple positions but mostly has been working in LF along with filling in at 2B and 3B. The lefty connected on his first Major League home run Saturday and finished with 19 DFKP. He is hitting only .241 with a .711 OPS in the Majors but has thrived in Louisville, hitting .348 with 14 home runs and a 1.097 OPS.
With Nick Senzel ($4,300; hamstring) ailing, VanMeter could continue to fill in the OF, or he could shift to a different spot if Senzel is ready to return. At $3K, he’ll be a great option if he continues to hit fifth as the Reds visit the Brewers at Miller Park.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.