We get a solid fantasy baseball slate to start the week this Monday night with seven new series scheduled to get underway. The weather looks decent with Cleveland being the only concern as of this morning. Five of the seven matchups feature divisional opponents, so there’s plenty of history to analyze in many of the matchups as you fill out your lineup card.
If you find yourself running short of salary for a spot or two as you build your team, check out these five bargains who come with nice upside despite very affordable price tags.
SP CC SABATHIA, NYY vs. TOR, $7,100Sabathia will take on the Blue Jays looking to build on his strongest start of the season, which also netted him his 250th career win. He held the Rays to one run on three hits in six innings and struck out seven on his way to 25.9 DKFP. Sabathia has actually been very good in his six home starts, going 3-1 with a 2.18 ERA, but it has been a different story on the road, where he is 1-3 with a 6.30 ERA.
The veteran lefty hasn’t faced Toronto yet this season but gets a great matchup against Aaron Sanchez ($4,500), who has given up at least four runs in each of his past four starts for a total of 24 runs in 18 2/3 innings over that stretch. With the Yankees lineup getting healthy, Sabathia should get good enough run support to get his 251st career win and put up solid fantasy baseball numbers against the Blue Jays.
SP ADAM PLUTKO, CLE vs. KC, $6,900Plutko has rebounded nicely from getting rocked by the Rays and sent back to Triple-A on May 25. Since returning to Cleveland on June 8, he has allowed exactly two earned runs in each of his three starts, going 2-0 with a 3.31 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings. Those strong starts came against the Yankees, Tigers and Rangers, and he’ll look to continue putting together good outings as he takes on the Royals on Monday.
Kansas City still ranks in the bottom 10 in the Majors in runs scored, home runs and OPS. The Indians offense is showing some signs of coming around after a three-game sweep of the Tigers to start the homestand, and the Tribe has won five of their past six and eight of their past 10. Plutko isn’t the safest play since he doesn’t have a long track record, but he does have a nice upside for a pitcher available under $7K.
1B/OF MATT BEATY, LAD at ARI, $3,500The Dodgers went nuts this weekend with three straight walk-off home runs by rookies, an accomplishment that had never been achieved in Major League history. Beaty got things started with a walkoff Friday and stayed hot throughout the series, going 7-for-13 (.538) with a double, home run and four RBI in the three games against the Rockies.
He should continue to get regular playing time in the outfield as the Dodgers start a road trip that includes stops in Arizona and Colorado. Since coming off the IL with a left hip flexor strain earlier this month, Beaty has gone 11-for-27 (.407) with a 1.189 OPS and has hit safely in six of his seven starts. He and the Dodgers start their trip with a matchup against Zack Greinke ($8,400) at Chase Field.
2B NICKY LOPEZ, KC at CLE, $3,400Lopez is another rookie who has been heating up lately, although because he plays in Kansas City, he’s remained below the fantasy radar for the most part. He has four multi-hit games in his past six contests, going 10-for-24 (.417) with seven runs scored, a double, a walk and an RBI. He has settled back into the second spot in the order, which gives him nice run production potential.
In Triple-A, Lopez was hitting .353 in 31 games before being called up, and it appears he has started to make the adjustment to Major League pitching as well. He will be counted on to keep rolling while Adalberto Mondesi (groin) is on IL and could play some SS to keep his bat in the lineup.
OF JACKIE BRADLEY JR., BOS vs. CWS, $3,300While I wouldn’t go too crazy loading up on Red Sox against Lucas Giolito ($11,900), Bradley offers some solid potential value now that his bat has come alive after a brutal start to the season. JBJ has always been streaky but he started the season ice-cold and was hitting just .144 on May 19. He has turned things around in his 32 games since then, going 33-for-111 (.297) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, a .994 OPS and three stolen bases.
He and the Red Sox will be looking to bounce back from a pair of tough losses to Toronto this weekend as they welcome in Giolito and the White Sox for three games before heading to London. Giolito was rolling right along with wins in eight straight starts before giving up six runs and three home runs in 4 1/3 innings in his last start. The Red Sox will hope he continues in that form as he takes the mound in Fenway to start the week.
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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.