SWISH ANALYTICS: JAKE LAMB
We’ve got a light, nine-game slate coming at you Monday, highlighted by two explosive offenses squaring off at the Thunderdome that is Coors Field. Get ready for some early fireworks. Let’s not waste any time, here are your targets. You can find me @BZweimanNHL on Twitter.
Jason Vargas — KC vs. CHW — $8,000 – On a short slate of games, don’t get cute at pitcher, go with the points. If I told you Vargas would be leading the MLB in ERA (0.44) through nearly the first month of the season you’d probably have me drug tested. Well, that’s exactly what he’s doing, having not allowed a run since the seventh inning of his first start of the season on April 7. He has the highest DKFP per game (31.0) despite being priced sixth among pitchers.
Other Options: Chris Archer ($10,100), Zack Greinke ($9,400)
Amir Garrett — CIN vs. MIL — $6,700 – Garrett’s price jumped up nearly $2,000 since he last start, when he struck out 12 batters in a 2-0 loss to the Orioles. Had he gotten any run support, that would have turned into one of the stronger DFS outings of the season by a pitcher; he finished with 31 DKFP despite falling short. The Brewers bats are cold lately, scoring seven runs in three straight losses. Garrett has a high ceiling from his 9.6 K/9.
Other Options: Martin Perez ($6,300), Matt Garza ($5,600)
Jonathan Lucroy — TEX vs. MIN — $4,300 – Lucroy has been far from a stud this season, but is one of the more talented offensive catchers in the MLB, and is bound to start looking like one again. If anyone can make that happen, it’s Twins SP Phil Hughes, who has allowed eight ER and three HRs over his last 9.0 IP. If Lucroy sits again, I’ll roll with Robinson Chirinos ($3,400).
Other Options: Buster Posey ($3,900), Willson Contreras ($3,700)
Chris Iannetta — AR vs. SD — $2,900 – Prior to Sunday’s 0-for-4 showing, Iannetta had gone six straight with a hit, with each of his HRs this season coming during the streak. His power is starting to show and the D-Backs will get another crack at Jhoulys Chacin, who was lights out vs. them in his last start. Iannetta didn’t face Chacin the last time around and has a high floor for a low cost.
Other Options: Jesus Sucre ($3,100), Martin Maldonado ($2,400)
Anthony Rizzo — CHC vs. PIT — $5,300 – If you’re a starting pitcher, you do not want anything to do with Rizzo right now. He’s hit homers in three straight and is on a 12-game hitting streak, with at least double digit DKFP in nine of 10. Penciling in Rizzo into my cash-game lineup might be the easiest thing I’ll do all day Monday.
Other Options: Ryan Zimmerman ($4,900), Mark Reynolds ($4,600)
Justin Smoak — TOR vs. LAA — $2,900 – Smoak has a hit in six of seven games, going 8-for-25 with two HRs and six RBI during that stretch. The Blue Jays’ bats are starting to come around, and Smoak is smack dab in the middle of the order. Angels SP Ricky Nolasco has had trouble keeping the ball in the park (seven HRs allowed this season), and Smoak boasts the second-best points-per-dollar (2.07).
Other Options: C.J. Cron ($3,600), Trey Mancini ($3,400)
Brian Dozier — MIN vs. TEX — $5,300 – Dozier’s combination of speed and power make him a solid choice at 2B for cash games in the hitter-friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington, where he’s belted four HRs in 16 career games. He’s a threat to steal at the top of the lineup, and Rangers SP Martin Perez has struggled with his command (1.85 WHIP). Dozier should be able to get on base often and his high floor helps him earn stud honors.
Other Options: Rougned Odor ($4,700), Yangervis Solarte ($3,800)
Ryan Goins — TOR vs. LAA — $2,200 – Goins has scored a run in each game during the Blue Jays’ four-game series with the Angels, which wraps up today. He flashed some power with a two-run shot in Sunday’s 6-2 win and may get tri-eligibility after filling in at shortstop for the injured Troy Tulowitzki.
Other Options: – Chris Taylor ($3,100), Austin Barnes ($2,900)
Manny Machado — BAL vs. TB — $4,900 – At some point Machado is going to explode for one of those games, you know the “Pay that man his money!” type of performance. Well, that could be Monday, when Machado faces Chris Archer, whom he is 10-for-32 again in his career. He’s gotten solid contact off of Archer and is obviously more comfortable in Camden Yards. I expect Machado’s hitting streak to reach six games.
Other Options: Nolan Arenado ($5,600), Miguel Sano ($4,700)
Mike Moustakas — KC vs. CWS — $3,300 – Moose is off to a great start with the Royals, leading them in HRs (6) and RBI (9) while batting .286 in 17 games. He’s on a five-game hitting streak and is batting .306 with four of his six homers on the road (9.2 DKFP per contest). The lefty has the second-highest points-per-dollar (2.42) at 3B for Monday’s slate.
Other Options: David Freese ($3,200), Yunel Escobar ($3,200)
Trevor Story — COL vs. WAS — $5,400 – The Francisco Lindor streak comes to an end with the Indians off Monday, so you might as well target a SS playing at Coors Field. Story has picked things up lately after a slow start, with hits in five straight, including a pair of HRs and eight RBI during the stretch. The Nationals are throwing Jacob Turner into the proverbial fire in his spot start at the launching pad in Denver.
Other Options: Trea Turner ($5,500), Jorge Polanco ($3,900)
Addison Russell — CHC vs. PIT — $3,700 – Russell is a bit pricey to be considered a value play, but is in the middle of the pack in terms of salary outside the top 10 at SS. He’s 5-for-15 in his last four games, doing a solid job getting on base with four BB in that span. Russell is 2-for-2 on stolen bases this season and the Pirates have allowed the most swiped bags (19) in the MLB so far in 2017.
Other Options: Tim Beckham ($3,700)
Charlie Blackmon — COL vs. WAS — $5,500 – Here’s your chalk play of the day, brought to you by that chalk you used to draw with in the driveway growing up. Blackmon has two RBI in three straight games, is on an eight-game hitting streak and a six-game run scoring streak. I know, a lot to process. His ownership percentage will likely be through the roof but I think he’s easy points I don’t want to miss out on.
Other Options: Mike Trout ($5,300), Adam Duvall ($4,700)
Jason Heyward — CHC vs. PIT — $3,400 – Heyward stayed hot despite failing to extend his HR streak to three games, driving in two runs for seven DKFP in Sunday’s loss to the Reds. He’s leading the Cubs in batting (.297) and has reached base safely in each of his 16 starts this season. Like Russell, Heyward should be aggressive on the base paths vs. Pittsburgh.
Other Options: Avisail Garcia ($3,500), Shane Peterson ($2,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is bzweiman521) 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.