Monday night brings us an 11-game slate headlined by Clayton Kershaw and his $13,900 salary. We know he’ll be the top option, but is he the right fit for your lineup? Let’s jump right into all the information for tonight, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
L.A. Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants – Clayton Kershaw ($13,900) – Kershaw is the heavy favorite tonight as he faces this Giants club for the second time this season. In his last start against them, Kershaw pitched seven innings allowing one run on six hits with a 7:1 K:BB ratio. Kershaw does have a DTD tag on him currently, as he’s dealing with a bruised calf, but it’s not considered serious. Until Kershaw goes on a prolonged stretch of struggling on the mound, he’s always a consideration on any slate. Pitching at Dodger Stadium, he’ll matchup against a Giants team that currently owns a .265 wOBA against lefties with a .280 OBP and a K% of 20.7.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs – 11 projected runs – 11 runs for a non-Coors Field game is pretty rare, so this was quite a shock when I saw this. Vince Velasquez will take the mound for the Phillies opposing Brett Anderson. The Cubs currently have the high run total for this game at 6.3, which of course is also the highest on this slate. Velasquez has allowed five home runs in four starts thus far but hasn’t been horrible on the mound this season. The Cubs also haven’t been crushing the ball like you may think, owning just a .315 wOBA against righties with a .327 OBP and a .397 SLG. I do like the Cubs tonight, but they certainly aren’t my top stack.
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers – 9 projected runs – If I had to guess, I think this game has more potential for an offensive blowout. Trevor Bauer will oppose Daniel Norris at Comerica Park tonight. The Indians are the favorite here with a 4.7 projected team run total against Norris. In two home starts, Norris is averaging just 4.3 fantasy points allowing seven runs on 16 hits in 10.2 innings. The Indians have been average at best against lefties so far this season, owners of a .290 wOBA with a .312 OBP, but I like their high-powered offense against Norris tonight.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field) – Only a slight chance of rain for this contest tonight. I don’t believe it should be anything major, but check back once we get closer to first pitch.
Park Factors are ranked on a scale of 1.000. Anything above 1.000 is favorable towards the hitters. Anything below that mark favors pitchers.
- Fenway Park – Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Sox – Fenway Park is our number two ballpark for the night as the Orioles come to town. All offensive categories were favored here last season except for walks.
- Kauffman Stadium – Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals – The battle of two struggling offenses in a hitters park will take place tonight at Kauffman Stadium. Last season, this stadium favored all offensive categories except home runs.
- Dodger Stadium – San Francisco Giants vs. L.A. Dodgers – The Giants enter no man’s land regarding stadiums tonight when they visit Dodger Stadium. No offensive categories were favored here last season.
- Minute Maid Park – Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros – Minute Maid Park is our second least favorable park on this slate. Triples were the only offensive category that got the nod here last season.
Splits to Start
Pitchers vs. Left-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. LHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. LHB||OPS||AVG|
|Andrew Cashner||.903||.281||Clayton Kershaw||.309||.138|
|Gerrit Cole||.870||.329||Jake Odorizzi||.578||.190|
|Vince Velasquez||.789||.274||Rick Porcello||.600||.225|
Pitchers vs. Right-Handed Batters
|Worst vs. RHB||OPS||AVG||Best vs. RHB||OPS||AVG|
|Daniel Norris||.800||.290||Clayton Kershaw||.529||.201|
|Luis Severino||.872||.286||Julio Teheran||.564||.212|
|Michael Wacha||.849||.307||Johnny Cueto||.601||.224|
Batter vs. Pitcher Splits
|Mark Trumbo||Rick Porcello||26||2.34|
|Didi Gregorius||Marco Estrada||21||2.28|
|Starlin Castro||Marco Estrada||32||1.90|
*(Fantasy Points Per At Bat)
Pitcher to Build Around
Luis Severino – NYY vs. TOR – $8,000 – Severino is still incredibly cheap, and he’s hard to pass up on a night like tonight. At just $8,000, Severino is averaging 26 FPPG through four starts, two of those have come at home with a 32.2 FPPG average in those. He’ll take on a Jays team that currently owns just a .278 wOBA against righties with a .285 OBP and a K% of 22.7. At such a low price and a potential upside matchup, Severino is my guy not named Kershaw.
Heavy Hitter to Pay For
Freddie Freeman – ATL vs. NYM – $4,600 – Freeman has been destroying right-handed pitching thus far this season, so grabbing him tonight feels like a no-brainer. Coming into this matchup against Robert Gsellman, Freeman owns a .516 wOBA against righties with a .794 SLG and a .488 OBP. Of the nine home runs he’s hit seven of them are off right-handed pitchers.
Save Big by Drafting…
Cesar Hernandez – PHI vs. CHC – $3,500 – Hernandez continues to carry a cheap salary on a nightly basis while his production continues to climb. Averaging 10 fantasy points per game, Hernandez is playing in the highest projected game tonight with a great matchup. Facing Brett Anderson, Hernandez owns a .376 wOBA against lefties with a .600 SLG. If the runs come, Hernandez at the top of the Phillies’ lineup should be part of that.
Stack Em Up
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers (Andrew Cashner) – People will look at the numbers Cashner has posted thus far and think he’s been having a solid start to the season. However, once you dig a bit deeper, you’ll know those numbers are bound to inflate, and quickly. For starters, despite just a 2.94 ERA, Cashner owns a 1.70 WHIP, thanks in large part to his 13 walks in just three starts. Against righties, the Astros own of the highest OBP at .344 to go with their .338 wOBA and a .439 SLG. Cashner is due to get hit hard and tonight could be that night.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) 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.