With nine games set up for Monday, Major League Baseball gets the fantasy baseball action off to a good start this week. If you’re looking to load up your lineup with heavy lumber or pay up for big-name aces, you’ll also need to balance their hefty salaries with a few options from the Bargain Bin. Here are my picks for Monday.
J.C. Ramírez – LAA @ TB – $7,300
Ramírez has shown some good potential in the Angels’ rotation this season although he has still struggled with consistency at times. He comes into tonight’s start in Tampa with a 3-3 record to go with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. He has lasted at least six innings in four of his last five starts while holding his opponent to two runs or fewer in four of those outings as well.
No team in the Major Leagues is even close to as many strikeouts as the Rays, so Ramírez should be able to pick up good strikeout numbers giving him a high ceiling for his sub-$8K salary tonight. He has reached 26+ DKFP twice in his last five starts, and he has the potential to reach that level again in Tampa.
Jerad Eickhoff – PHI vs. COL – $6,900
Eickhoff is certainly not the safest pitcher on the board, but he can deliver if he’s on top of his game. He had 20 DKFP in his last outing against the Rangers when he held them to two earned runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out a season-high eight.
Eickhoff is 0-4 with a 4.53 ERA on the season, but since he’s facing Colorado at home and not at Coors Field, I think he’s the best option under $7K. Despite his 0-4 record, he has yet to lose at Citizens Bank Park where he has a 4.02 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15.2 innings.
Salvador Perez – C – KC @ NYY – $3,300
Perez caught one game of yesterday’s doubleheader and played DH in the second game. He totaled three homers and five RBI going 3-8 and posting a combined 48 DKFP.
Perez’s big day brings his average for May to .290 (20-69) with five home runs already this month. He has a .868 OPS on the season after posting an impressive 1.026 OPS over his last 10 games. Tonight, he faces Michael Pineda and the Yankees in the Bronx. He is 9-23 (.391) in his career against Pineda with a double and a pair of home runs.
Alexi Amarista – OF/SS – COL @ PHI – $3,400
With Trevor Story on the DL, Amarista has been getting regular playing time for the Rockies. He didn’t start yesterday in Cincinnati, but he was 10-30 (.333) in his nine previous games including four doubles, a home run and seven RBI.
Amarista has a .933 OPS on the season, and he does bring some speed although he has yet to attempt a stolen base this season. Tonight, he and the Rockies open their series against the Phillies. Over his last three seasons, Amarista is 7-17 (.412) at Citizens Bank Park making him a nice value if he’s back in the lineup tonight.
Grégor Blanco – OF – ARI vs. CWS – $3,000
With A.J. Pollock still sidelined, the D-Backs have turned to Blanco as their leadoff hitter in three of their last five games. Yesterday, he took a brutal 0-4 with a strikeout in Arizona’s 5-1 loss, but he had been productive before that going 2-9 with three runs scored, a walk and a stolen base in his two previous starts.
Tonight, Arizona returns home and hosts Miguel González and the White Sox. González has allowed at least five runs in three of his last four starts and has been especially hittable on the road (1-3, 4.88 ERA) and against left-handed batters (.287 with a .819 OPS). If Blanco gets another shot at leading off, he’ll be a nice play once again since the D-Backs should pile up runs in their return to Chase Field tonight.
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.