MLB-Value-Picks

Major League Baseball starts the week with a nine-game fantasy baseball slate Monday highlighted by a pair of crosstown rivalries in interleague play. The Mets visit the Yankees in the first version of the Subway Series this season, and in the late game on the other coast, the Angels and Dodgers meet in the Freeway Series at Angel Stadium.

While those games offer some interesting storylines, there are plenty of fantasy baseball options to consider from all 18 teams in play on this slate. As you start to put your roster together, make sure to take a look at these bargain plays who are poised for success at affordable salaries.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Yankees and Mets has been postponed due to rain.


SP SANDY ALCANTARA, MIA vs. STL, $6,900

The Marlins have been playing much better lately and providing a few fantasy baseball options worth considering after a brutal start to the season. Alcantara has been one of their best starters this season, going 3-5 with a 3.80 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. He had a few rough starts but also has been dominant when at his best. He has allowed zero or one run in three of his past four starts, producing 43.5 DKFP, 14.7 DKFP and 24.2 DKFP in those three starts. In his most recent outing, he faced a tough Brewers lineup in Milwaukee and allowed just one run in seven innings.

Alcantara has been better at Marlins Park than on the road this season and has a much higher strikeout rate in the pitcher-friendly confines. The 23-year-old hasn’t faced the Cardinals before, but he might be catching them at just the right time. St. Louis is hitting just .205 over the past week and has scored just 10 runs in its past five games. He has a good shot at a win in his head-to-head matchup with Michael Wacha ($6,000), who will return to the rotation after being demoted to the bullpen.


SP JOE MUSGROVE, PIT at ATL, $5,200

Musgrove has been boom or bust this season but brings a ton of upside at just over $5K as the Pirates head to Atlanta and take on the Braves. In his most recent start, he also faced the Braves and went eight innings, allowing three runs on five hits and striking out six to post a solid 24.4 DKFP. He has more than 17 DKFP in three of his past five starts but has had a couple of rough outings against tough offenses when he faced the Brewers and Dodgers.

During his first season with the Pirates, Musgrove has been better on the road than at home, compiling a 2-3 record and 3.29 ERA in seven games away from PNC Park while holding opponents to just a .196 average in those starts. Musgrove will look to continue the success he had against Atlanta last time out and should help you save significant salary to pay up at other spots.


OF KHRIS DAVIS, OAK at TB, $3,100

It’s very unusual to find so much power potential at just over $3K, but Khrush’s struggles since returning from injury and a tough matchup with Charlie Morton ($9,900) make him a very cheap option on Monday. Davis came off the IL on June 1 and has gone 8-for-38 (.211) with just one home run and a .566 OPS. Davis has been known to go through rough patches throughout his career but usually turns things around and catches fire again.

He might have started to bounce back with a big game Sunday, going 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI against the Rangers. He’ll look to build on that as the A’s head to Tampa Bay and face Morton, who Davis has history against from when Morton was with the Astros. He went just 3-for-16 (.188) against the Rays’ righty but two of those hits were home runs. He’s a boom-or-bust play but has an extremely high ceiling. If Sunday really was the start of a hot streak, get Davis at this ultra-reduced price while you can.


2B STARLIN CASTRO, MIA VS. STL, $3,100

Alcantara isn’t the only Marlins option to take a look at on this slate. Castro is an affordable way to get a bat from the middle of the Miami lineup as it takes on Wacha and the Cardinals. Castro has enjoyed facing Wacha in his career, going 12-for-25 with two doubles, three homers and a 1.420 OPS against the Cardinals’ scheduled starter.

Castro hasn’t had a great season, hitting just .233 with four home runs, but has started June with a bit of a hot streak and already has 10 RBI this month, his best total for any month his season, while hitting .257 with a home run and a .692 OPS. His improving form and strong BvP numbers make him a nice way to save salary at what can be a tricky 2B spot to fill at times.


OF CARLOS GONZÁLEZ, CHC at COL, $3,000

CarGo is headed back to Coors Field for the first time as a visitor. He played 10 seasons with the Rockies and always enjoyed hitting at elevation. He has a career .328 batting average at Coors with 139 home runs, 479 RBI and a .993 OPS in 628 games. He left the Rockies as a free agent this offseason and signed with the Indians, which turned disastrous in a hurry.

He has found renewed fantasy baseball relevance, though, since joining the Cubs and has gone 4-for-16 (.250) with a double, a home run, three RBI and four walks since joining Chicago. He should get the start against righty German Márquez ($8,700), and expect him to continue his resurgence with a big game against his former team. Getting any starting OF at just $3K at Coors Field would be a steal, but when you add in the narrative of his return and his impressive track record, CarGo is almost a must-play at this salary.


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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.