Major League Baseball has a special holiday schedule this Monday, highlighted by a 10-game DraftKings slate that gets underway at 1:05 p.m. ET. There are some great arms scheduled to be on display for the 20 teams in action including Max Scherzer ($11,100) and Gerrit Cole ($11,300) in great matchups against the Marlins and Cubs, respectively.
Whether you’re paying up for those aces or building around some big bats, you might find yourself short on salary as you get to the final few spots on your team. If you need to go with a bargain play, check out these five players, who are set up to out-perform their salaries this Memorial Day.
SP RICK PORCELLO, BOS vs. CLE, $7,300After going 0-3 with an 11.12 ERA in his first three starts of the season, Porcello has been able to turn things around lately. He has allowed just two runs or fewer in four of his past five starts, going 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings over that stretch.
Porcello gets a good matchup against the Indians, who have been scuffling lately. Cleveland is hitting just .221 as a team and has only managed 80 runs in 23 road games, the second-lowest mark in the Majors. The Indians have dropped six of seven games and haven’t scored more than three runs in any of their past six contests.
SP JOSÉ UREÑA, MIA at WAS, $6,300Like Porcello, Ureña has righted the ship after a rough start to the season. He was 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA after three starts but has improved to 2-6 with a 4.30 ERA after allowing two runs or fewer in six of his seven starts since then. He picked up a win and 18.1 DKFP by beating the Tigers in his most recent start.
In five of his past seven starts, Ureña has produced at least 15 DKFP. He is in a tough matchup going head-to-head with Max Scherzer ($11,100), but Scherzer is only 2-5 on the season and gave up seven runs in 5 1/3 innings against Miami earlier this season. If you want a contrarian play or are after a very affordable starter, Ureña brings good upside at just over $6K.
3B COLIN MORAN, PIT at CIN, $3,400After collecting three hits on Sunday, Moran is 10-for-23 (.435) over his past seven games. He has two doubles, a home run and seven RBI over that span and is getting more regular playing time — especially against right-handed starters. He is only hitting .182 on the season against lefties, but has gone 28-for-107 (.262) with all four of his homers coming against righties, giving him a .758 OPS against them.
In his career, Moran has gone 3-for-6 with a double and a home run against Reds starter Luis Castillo ($10,700). He and the Pirates are playing a pair of games in Cincinnati to celebrate Memorial Day, and he’ll be a solid option if he’s in his usual spot in the heart of the lineup for Game 1.
OF RAMÓN LAUREANO, OAK vs LAA, $3,400Laureano and the A’s have won nine straight as they open their series with the Angels. He has hit safely in nine straight games and had a double in five straight games before going 1-for-4 with just a single on Sunday.
The A’s outfielder has made a name for himself with his defense — especially his arm from the outfield — but he has also been producing lately on offense. For the season, his hitting streak has helped him pick his average up to .250 and he has offered some pop as well with five home runs. Against right-handed pitchers, like he is expected to face Monday, he is batting .263 with a .731 OPS.
2B/OF LOURDES GURRIEL JR., TOR at TB, $3,300The Blue Jays sent Gurriel to the minors after he struggled both offensively and defensively to start the season. Part of the idea of sending him down was to expand his defensive repertoire and turn him into a super-utility option. In Triple-A, he went 33-for-121 (.273) with 13 doubles, four homers and 26 RBI.
Since returning, Gurriel has made a strong case that he belongs, going 6-for-10 (.600) with a double and three home runs in three games. He should continue to find ways to get into the lineup if he keeps hitting and showed last season he can be consistently productive when he’s locked in.
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.