With only ten games on the schedule Monday night, choices are more limited than usual, but there are still plenty of chances to start your week off right. Here are some players you can target for your lineups, at every position and price range. Good luck!
Danny Salazar @ BOS ($10,800) – With six straight quality starts, and an average just under eight K’s per game for that stretch, he has been a lock for 20 fantasy points, with upside from there – exactly what you are looking for in a top-end pitching option. In a best-base scenario, the Red Sox offense is built to work like the Yankees, so hopefully he can keep his control in check (the Yankees managed to draw five walks), but even with those issues in his last start, he was still very useful for fantasy purposes.
Andrew Heaney vs. CWS ($9,000) – He hasn’t been quite as sharp lately, but he is 3-0 in five starts at home this year, and he’s facing a White Sox team that has definitely be known to stall out from time to time. With Rodon on the hill opposite, you’re just hoping he gets through six with enough support to get the W.
Matt Garza vs. MIA ($6,100) – He’s been on a nice run lately, with three straight quality starts, and four of five. He’s drawn some favorable matchups, but that’s not changing tonight, so there is a solid chance the nice run for Garza doesn’t either.
Bryan Mitchell vs. MIN ($4,900) – He’s in line for a spot start on Monday, and yes, it’s a long shot. But it’w low-risk. And even though he is used to only going 3 or 4 innings, they will be looking to stretch him out a little in this one to preserve the rest of the pen, so you cans till be rooting for the W in a good matchup (for the Yanks offense too), and a W at this price allows you to afford just about any hitter you want.
Brian McCann vs. Gibson ($4,600) – The only other catcher priced as a stud for this one is Posey, and with his matchup against Wacha, I’d rather spend the extra few hundred to get McCann – or just decide to save on the position with someone cheaper. McCann has two home runs in his last four games, three in his last ten, and is now up to 20 on the year. He doubled last night, and hasn’t been completely blanked for fantasy purposes in any of his last six games.
Welington Castillo @ Cole ($3,200) – With four home runs in his last nine games, he is, at the moment, sort of difficult not to notice at these prices. He’s even cheaper than usual because of the matchup, but in his case, we’re not sure that’s a bad thing – he’s 4-for-11 against Cole (.364) with a double and a couple RBI.
Jason Castro vs. Ramirez ($2,900) – He’s had eight at-bats against Ramirez, and he’s hitting .500 with two walks, a double and a home run. That’s proof of upside you don’t always see for this price.
David Ortiz vs. Salazar ($4,800) – I get it if the matchup scares you off, but even in what amounts to a down year, he has a .960 OPS against right-handed pitching in general. And more than anything, this is serving as a reminder to just consider him over the next few days – don’t let the stink of the Red Sox make you shy away. He has hit safely in six straight, and is 16-for-30 over that stretch (.533) with four home runs and three doubles.
Brandon Belt @ Wacha ($4,200) – Belt can get hot – real hot. When he is scorching at the plate, it doesn’t seem like there is any such thing as a bad matchup. In his last three games, he’s 5-for-12 with two doubles, and over his last ten, he is slashing .332/.390/.690.
Mitch Moreland vs. Walker ($3,700) – With seven hits in the last three games, he’s pushed his average up just shy of .300 for the year. With 17 home runs to go along with that at this point in the season, he has displayed a combination of consistency (average) and upside (power) we weren’t quite expecting in the offseason.
Pedro Alvarez vs. Hellickson ($3,600) – With a multi-hit game in four of his last five starts, including a pair each of home runs and doubles, Alvarez is averaging 12 fantasy points per game over that most recent stretch.
Jose Altuve vs. Ramirez ($5,000) – This is not just the same old Houston offense. Altus has been here for a while now, and he has got to love the production all around him, with guys willing and capable of picking one another up – just as he did with yesterday’s walk-off two-run home run in the ninth. Look for them – and him – to keep it up down the stretch.
Neil Walker vs. Hellickson ($4,000) – Walker has been a key part of any success the Pirates’ offense has had, setting the table for bigger-named stars like McCutchen. He’s been hitting consistently since the beginning of July, without too many lapses, and he was 2-for-3 with a 2-RBI double the only other time he saw Hellickson. For this price, he could easily be considered more of a value than a stud.
Robinson Cano @ Hamels ($3,900) – With a home run in the only action he’s seen against Hamels, and two more home runs in the past week (now up to 13 for the year), Cano has the potential to flash some power in this one. Fortunately, he is also hitting .340 in his last ten games, so you can be reasonably confident he won’t leave you with nothing at all to show for your investment.
Rougned Odor vs. Walker ($3,400) – You’ve probably paid more than this to have him in your lineup at least once, and he is still hitting – .325 over his last ten games, despite a mini-slump that he came out of last night with an 11-fantasy-point performance. He is 2-for-3 in his only exposure to Walker.
Matt Carpenter vs. Heston ($4,700) – Slashing .342/.395/.650 over the past ten days, that has – obviously – corresponded with a spike in fantasy performance as well (just over 10 ppg over that period).
Manny Machado vs. Gray ($4,600) – With two hits and a walk in seven career plate appearances against Gray, Machado wasn’t someone you should have shied away from here just because of the matchup. And with Gray just returning to action after missing some time with a back issue, maybe he’s not as sharp as usual and the Baltimore hitters can pounce on a couple. With Machado averaging right around 10 fantasy ppg over the past couple of weeks, all it takes is one ball left up and over.
Evan Longoria @ Kazmir ($3,800) – Longoria was red-hot for a little while there, but here is the encouraging thing – even though he’s now cooled down, he is still completely usable. He has been going out and consistently getting you 7 or 8 fantasy points per night. If you’re telling me we’re at a point where Longoria is a steady 7 or 8 point scorer with upside, I’m telling you this price is too low.
Chase Headley vs. Gibson ($3,700) – He’s been struggling lately, but this has the potential be a big night for the Yankees, which is always good for a guy’s upside. He is also 2-for-3 with a home run for his career against Gibson, so this even has the potential to be the matchup that gets him back on track.
Carlos Correa vs. Ramirez ($5,100) – Why not? We’ve got to blame someone for Houston’s offense playing well. I know a obvious candidate. He had a hit, a walk and a RBI last night for seven fantasy points, which sometimes feels like his floor.
Jed Lowrie vs. Ramirez ($4,100) – Ramirez has pitched reasonably well lately, but he has been inconsistent, giving up five runs in two of his last three starts – an inconsistency that this Houston lineup will try to exploit. Lowrie has been getting regular at-bats since he came off the DL, and you can use that to your advantage before he is back on it. With three hits and three walks in eight at-bats against Ramirez, tonight is as good a night as any to make use of him.
Asdrubal Cabrera @ Kazmir ($3,600) – You don’t get hotter than this, really – .497/.532/.775 over his last ten games, with nine hits in his last five, including a home run and two doubles. He is also historically both more consistent and more powerful from the right side of the plate – hopefully the matchup tonight means he can keep both those trends alive.
Marcus Semien @ Tillman ($3,400) – At 14-for-34 over his last ten games (.402), he has seen his fantasy scoring go from six per game up to eight over that stretch.
Nelson Cruz @ Hamels ($5,500) – He’s seen Hamels one time, and he homered off him. He struck out once, too, but that power potential is all you need. And there are enough Mariners with solid histories against Hamels that this could end up being a higher scoring game on both sides of the box score than you might expect.
Brent Gardner vs. Gibson ($4,200) – Gardner has six hits in his last four games, so hopefully he is turning the corner from the short slump he’d been in for the past couple of weeks. He also has three hits in four career at bats against Gibson, with a double and a triple, so he should be feeling comfortable at the plate in this one.
Adam Jones vs. Gray ($4,100) – His batting average has dropped lately, but his fantasy production hasn’t, as he’s connected for a double and three home runs in the last week. And while it’s not the best matchup on paper, he is 3-for-8 against Gray with a home run in his previous attempts, which could be something you use to get a low ownership % play into your lineup.
Carlos Beltran vs. Gibson ($3,800) – Eleven for his last thirty, he is slashing .408/.500/1.050 over the past ten games, with four home runs in that short period of time (including two in his last three). It’s hard to ignore that kind of hot streak for under $4K.
Nick Markakis @ Rea ($3,600) – You know he longs for the days of playing in a high-octane offense, because he’s got the game for it. He doesn’t hit for big power, with only two home runs, but with 20+ doubles on the season, he could be a run producer in the right situation. In a game where his team has the potential to score some runs, that skill-set could prove useful.
Danny Valencia @ Tillman ($3,500) – He is averaging just about exactly nine fantasy points per game over the last two weeks, while slugging almost .650. Just thought I’d point that out to you.