The MLB starts another busy week with an eight-game slate this Monday. With just a week before Memorial Day, teams are starting to settle into their summer routines and lining up their rotations and lines up for the dog days of summer. Half of the eight games on tap are divisional clashes, so there will be a good level of familiarity between many of the teams.
As you look at each matchup and make out your lineup card, there are some nice bargains you can’t afford to overlook. They might not have the name recognition that comes with the players that have heftier salaries, but these five options have the form, matchup and expected opportunity to outproduce their affordable salaries and offer increased financial flexibility.
SP J.A. HAPP, NYY at BAL, $8,000
Happ gets a great matchup against the Orioles, who were held to one hit Saturday and shut out while striking out 15 times Sunday. Baltimore is hitting just .233 as a team on the season and has hit just .205 in its past six games while scoring just 17 runs.
In his most recent start, Happ faced the O’s and got the win to improve to 3-3 on the season. However, he only ended up with 13 DKFP since he gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate is down a bit and he hasn’t completed the sixth inning in any of his past three starts. Even with his recent issues, though, his matchup is good enough to still give him a look at $8K. He has posted more than 18 DKFP in three of his past five outings, so there is still upside to consider.
SP MIKE LEAKE, SEA at TEX, $6,600
Leake is coming off a strong outing against the Athletics, in which he finished with 25.4 DKFP and got the win by allowing just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings and striking out six. He typically isn’t a punchout pitcher but can limit damage and put his team in a spot to win in favorable matchups.
His matchup against the Rangers isn’t the strongest, especially after they knocked him around for five earned runs in five innings four starts ago. Since then, though, he has been much more effective and posted an average of 16.6 DKFP in three starts and reached double-digit DKFP in every one of those three starts. Leake is 1-1 in Arlington at what is know called Globe Life Park with a 1.89 ERA in three starts and has 14 strikeouts in 19 innings.
1B KENDRYS MORALES, NYY at BAL, $3,400
The Yankees acquired Morales from the A’s after they designated him for assignment earlier this month. The A’s had picked him up earlier in the season in a trade from the Blue Jays. Despite moving from team to team, Morales has been productive since landing with the Yankees, going 3-for-10 with a home run, three walks and three RBI.
Morales was out of the lineup Saturday but returned to the fifth spot in the order Sunday. He should be back in the middle of the lineup again as the Yankees open their series in Baltimore against Andrew Cashner ($5,600). Morales is 7-for-14 in his career against Cashner and three of those seven hits have been home runs.
OF STEVEN DUGGAR, SF vs. ATL, $3,400
Duggar has become a regular part of the top of the Giants’ lineup this season hitting first or second in almost every contest. The 25-year-old left is hitting .300 so far in May, going 18-for-60 with a double, two triples, 10 RBI and a .721 OPS.
Despite the Giants’ struggles collectively as a lineup, Duggar can provide some nice outfield value from a spot that typically sets up well for run production. Mike Soroka ($9,200) will get the start Monday for Atlanta against Duggar’s Giants. Despite his impressive run since joining the Braves, he has struggled to get lefties out at times.
2B/3B GREG GARCIA, SD VS. ARI, $3,400
Garcia typically has been the Padres’ leadoff hitter against right-handed pitchers since the injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. (hamstring). He has gone 15-for-58 (.259) against right-handed pitchers with five doubles, a home run, 12 walks, six RBI and 11 runs scored. He has a solid .360 OBP, which is why he hits leadoff and typically finds ways to get on base and contribute to San Diego and his fantasy investors.
He doesn’t have quite as high a ceiling as some of the power options but is also less likely to come up totally empty. Garcia and the Padres start their series at home with Arizona in a matchup against Luke Weaver ($8,500).
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