It’s not fair. I want more Schwarber. All these day games for the Cubbies are killing me. Once again, they are the early game, so all the DFS action leaves them (and the Indians) out. Here are some players to consider from the other nine games being played on Monday, at every position and price range. Good luck.
Jacob deGrom @ PHI ($12,000) – You make picks like this one because you’re scared of them. He’s expensive, and obvious, but you pick him anyway because he’s expensive and obvious for a reason, and you don’t want to start off in a huge hole against everyone else who started him. He has now had seven straight starts with 19 or more fantasy points, and he was over 25 in six of those (and over 30 in three).
Hisashi Iwakuma vs. OAK ($10,200) – Jacob deGrom is the obvious choice for an expensive pitching option in these contests just due to matchup, but if you want to stay away from the high ownership % play, Iwakuma has seemed like the closest thing to matchup-proof there is lately. With seven innings and two runs against the Rangers last time out, he followed up his no-hitter against Baltimore nicely, and those are two offenses at least as scary as Oakland’s.
Joe Kelly vs. CWS ($5,900) – With two straight quality starts, and a matchup with Samardzija – who has given up six or more runs in three of his last four outings – Kelly has as decent chance of grabbing a win in this one, and if that happens, $5,900 is bound to feel like a value.
Adam Morgan vs. NYM ($4,700) – The hard thing about picking a Phillies pitcher, in most circumstances, is knowing there isn’t much chance of them securing the win. That goes double when you’ve already recommended the opposing pitcher. But for $4,700 here you are getting a guy who has won three of his last five starts, including two against the Blue Jays offense (6 innings and 7 innings, respectively, with only two runs allowed in each). This could be a low-scoring affair, and Morgan has a chance to get you to double digits on the cheap no matter what, with twenty-point upside in the unlikely event that he gets some run support.
Travis d’Arnaud @ Morgan ($4,500) – I don’t know – is positional scarcity really worth $4,500 if it isn’t giving you the same production $4,500 would get you at another spot? (Answer: no). So then what are you paying for? In d’Arnaud’s case, it’s upside. In some other cases, it’s consistency. But d’Arnaud can get you 20 fantasy points on occasion, a nice threshold for any position, and tonight he’ll be well-rested after an off-day Sunday and looking to build on some of his recent momentum (four double-digit performances in ten days).
Salvador Perez vs. Jiminez ($3,500) – He’s been on fire lately, with three multi-hit games in his last six, and a .298 average over his last ten (12 hits in 38 at-bats, including three doubles and a pair of home runs).
Welington Castillo vs. Lynn ($3,400) – It’s never easy settling on a cheap catcher, since even the best ones are fickle at times, but Castillo has been playing well, at least in spurts. He ended this weekend’s series well, and he has a solid history against Lynn in a small sample size, going 4-for-6 with a walk and a home run.
Eric Hosmer vs. Jiminez ($4,600) – Averaging just over 10 fantasy points per game over the past ten, he’s done it by hitting for average – multi-games hits with some power mixed in will go a long way. He’s hit .346 with six walks (.469 OBP) and a pair of home runs against Jiminez in the past, so if there is going to be scoring, he’ll likely be involved.
David Ortiz @ Samardzija ($4,500) – Admittedly, this might not happen – the Red Sox are pretty bad this year – but if Samardzija is going to give up his usual five or so runs, someone is going to have to do the hitting. Ortiz is the obvious candidate, with eleven home runs in the thirty games since the All-Star break, a. 400 average over his last ten games, three multi-hit games in his last six, and a 3-for-6 history in this matchup, with two doubles.
Evan Gattis @ Eovaldi ($3,600) – The Astros are likely going to have to score a bunch of runs to keep up with the Yanks tonight, and they could do it against Eovaldi. Gattis has more experience against him than anyone else in the lineup, with 18 plate appearances, and he has managed a .333 OBP with five hits (including a home run). If a big night is coming for Houston, he could be central to it.
Victor Martinez vs. Sampson ($3,600) – By now I think we should have this pretty clear: he’s still good, but can’t do it for 162 straight games. He seems to be feeling ok lately, and Sampson has not been able to go deep in games or keep people off the bases since he started getting regular starts, so there should be plenty of opportunities for fantasy production for your Tigers.
Dee Gordon vs. Happ ($5,000) – He’s unique. He’s fun. And while he’s not traditional, he might very well be the best second baseman in baseball. With a .367 average and six steals in the past week and a half, he’s as consistent and has as much upside as any power hitter in the game.
Brandon Phillips vs. Farmer ($4,000) – He returned to the lineup this weekend, and had a hit both Saturday and Sunday. With nine home runs and 17 steals on the year, there is plenty of upside, and this is a matchup where his entire team could end up playing above their heads (but maybe not over Farmer’s 1.86 WHIP).
Jonathan Schoop @ Medlen ($3,700) – When he has been out there and healthy, he’s been giving you 7 fantasy points per game. It’s steady. Boring even. But not useless.
Stephen Drew vs. Feldman ($3,000) – Forget the year-long stats: he has hit safely in four straight, and he is facing a pitcher against whom he is 6-for-13 lifetime (.462), with four walks (.588 OBP), two triples, and two home runs (1.231 slugging %).
Todd Frazier vs. Farmer ($4,900) – Frankly, it has more to do with Farmer than Frazier. But 29 home runs helps make the decision a little easier. Let’s just say it wouldn’t shock me to see one left up in the zone for easy picking. Frazier is just the type to capitalize.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Feldman ($4,500) – When you find a matchup you want to exploit on a night when your choices are limited, sometimes it just makes sense to run with it, really hammer it home. But the fact is, if the Yankees put up a big number against Feldman – which is totally possible – then everyone on this team is going to be a good option. None more so than this guy, who is hitting .313 with two home runs against Feldman in sixteen at-bats. He’s missed the last two games, but we’ve heard nothing about an injury, so the only assumption can be it was just some much-deserved rest, so hopefully he comes back tonight not only healthy, but rejuvenated.
Daniel Murphy @ Morgan ($3,900) – He has two hits in three of his last five games, and eight overall in that stretch, including three doubles and a home run. And the funny thing is, in the five games prior to that, he has even better – only six hits, but for three home runs and two doubles. Yes to all of that for $3,900.
Pablo Sandoval @ Samardzija ($3,400) – Sandoval has not performed the way you know the Sox management were expecting when they signed him, but the guy can still hit. And even this season, he has had some seriously hot stretches. He is slashing .335/.400/.765 over the last ten games, and tonight he’s getting a pitcher he’s had success against before – 4-for-10 with two home runs sound like a good enough track record for you?
Carlos Correa @ Eovaldi ($4,700) – He’s actually the only shortstop priced out like an actual “stud,” and you know all about his upside. Why am I writing about him then? Because if I didn’t, you’d be suspect, and rightfully so. The first time I recommended him in this space he was a “value,” but the thing is, at this price, he still feels that way.
Eugenio Suarez vs. Farmer ($4,000) – I feel like maybe I am picking on Farmer, but hey, do you blame me? And Suarez gets a bump from the matchup, sure, but he gets a mention on his own merit – .348 average over the past week, with a home run and a double? It doesn’t even take that much to get considered at this position.
Jung Ho Kang @ Koehler ($3,800) – With eight hits in his last seven games, including three home runs and a double, you are getting just about the maximum production you can expect from the shortstop position without ponying up for one of the top two guys. Heck, he only needs to keep that up for another week before he’ll be one of the top two guys at this position.
Xander Bogaerts @ Samardzija ($3,600) – The Red Sox are an interesting case this year – it’s felt like they have been a train wreck all season long, but then there are these guys that actually seem useful. Fantasy relevancy as a substitute for actual relevancy: some fans might not have even noticed.
Nelson Cruz vs. Doubront ($5,300) – I mean, why not? He’s got at least one extra base hit in four out of five, and he is now up to 37 home runs on the season. He’s hitting .320, so he usually doesn’t get blanked, and he likes this matchup, hitting .455 with a 5.38 OBP in thirteen plate appearances against Doubront.
J.D. Martinez vs. Sampson ($4,800) – Up to 32 home runs on the year, with 21 doubles, he’s basically hitting an extra-base hit every other night. He’s had a hit in each of his last three, but they were all singles. Tonight, he’s got the matchup to get back on pace.
Andrew McCutchen @ Koehler ($4,500) – He might be in the top half of salaries, but the only reason his price is this low is because he’s been struggling lately. You might want to wait to see him fully bounce out of his slump before you trust him, but then you’ll be waiting until he’s putting an even bigger dent in your budget. He had two hits, including a home run, last night, and he’s 2-for-4 with a walk in this matchup all-time, again, including a home run.
Carlos Gomez @ Eovaldi ($3,800) – With hits in four of his last six games, he looks like he could be starting to turn a corner after his recent injury (and struggles after returning). He has eight career at-bats against Eovaldi and has reached base five times, including one double. The Astros could really use that guy to show up for this one.
Rusney Castillo @ Samardzija ($3,500) – You have to check to see if he’s in the lineup, because he’s been splitting time with Jackie Bradley, Jr. lately (although they both played last night). But in his last eight starts, Castillo has a hit in every one, including four multi-hit games in his last six.
Melky Cabrera vs. Kelly ($3,700) – I might have recommended Kelly, but that doesn’t mean he’s throwing a no-hitter. Cabrera’s upside would be limited if it ended up being a low-scoring game, but his upside is limited anyway. He’s faced off against Kelly eight times, and he has four hits, including three doubles. If there was ever a night to count on him to get you something, it makes sense for tonight to be that night.