With no fewer than ten games with a chance of rain on Monday night, you are going to have to be careful building your DFS rosters. But there will still be plenty of great baseball played tonight, so the possibility is always out there to build that perfect lineup. Here are some players to consider as you fit together the pieces, at every position and price range.
Masahiro Tanaka @ MIA ($10,600) – Seven innings in each of his two starts since his return. 15 total K’s; only one run in each. All that and supported by one of the hottest offenses in baseball right now. He’s the most expensive option out there for good reason. Almost a no-brainer.
Anibal Sanchez vs. CIN ($8,000) – Sometimes you have to love a pitcher who goes deep into games and gets good run support, even if there is nothing else to hold onto. Innings score you points, and also get you that much closer to earning the W your offense is handing you.
Edinson Volquez @ MIL ($7,100) – 21 K’s in his last three outings, and the Brewers strike out more than just about any other team in baseball. Easy math there.
Williams Perez @ BOS ($4,400) – He’s cheap, but he’s been effective in his last few outings, and the Red Sox offense has been whatever the opposite of effective is. Terrible? Yeah, that’s it. Plus, we’ve got numerous examples of them struggling mightily against pitchers they haven’t seen before in the past. If he can limit the balls he throws, he will be in good shape.
Yasmani Grandal @ Gallardo ($4,100) – Two home runs and a double in his last five games, and he’s been on base in two of six at-bats against Gallardo in his career.
Russell Martin @ Syndergaard ($3,900) – Martin has been over 15 fantasy points in five of his last six games, and was in double digits in that other one. I am not sure why he doesn’t cost more.
Salvador Perez @ Lohse ($3,900) – How you can write a column like this and NOT include Perez against Lohse is beyond me. Perez has a double and three home runs over the past week, and it’s not like it started then – he’s basically been hitting all year, and while fantasy owners sat around and waited for him to drop off, he kept getting better.
Jason Castro vs. Bettis ($3,500) – With Perez and Martin as relatively cheap options, I can’t imagine feeling like it would be an advantage to go even cheaper for your catcher, but if you want those extra few hundred bucks, Castro could be a good buy: with an extra base hit in each of his last two games, he is showing an ability to perhaps be more than just a placeholder and actually help propel you to a win, at least occasionally (a phenomenon we like to call “upside”).
Freddie Freeman @ Porcello ($5,200) – Why not? The rest of the lineup around Freeman hasn’t done much, but A) that hasn’t stopped Freddie and B) that could easily change tonight with Porcello on the mound. Just a few more RBI and run-scoring opportunities are the difference between Freeman’s price being up there with the most expensive options around.
Mitch Moreland vs. Frias ($4,700) – Moreland has been on fire, and this matchup with Frias is one you might look to exploit as a savvy fantasy owner tonight. He is slashing .366/.422/.659 so far in June.
Michael Cuddyer vs. Buehrle ($3,700) – He is hitting .318 against Buehrle in 110 at-bats, with eleven doubles and three home runs. His sizzling bat may have dropped off slightly in the past few days, but not enough to make you disregard that kind of history. You know he’ll be comfortable up there at least, with that amount of exposure.
Justin Smoak @ Syndergaard ($2,800) – Make sure he’s playing, but he is making himself useful in more ways than one, so he should be out there. And, for this price, just a couple of trips onto the basepaths represents value to be had, so take advantage.
Jason Kipnis @ Arrieta ($4,700) – How can you not like Kipnis in this one – the man is hitting just a touch over .370 for the past two weeks, and his fantasy production has gone DOWN. Huh?
Dustin Pedroia vs. Perez ($4,500) – I like Perez in this matchup, but if anyone is going to hit him, it’s going to be Pedroia. If Perez really blows this one it’s going to be because the Sox have enough patience to make him give up and start throwing the ball over the meatier sections of the plate, and if he does that to Pedroia, he’s in trouble.
Justin Turner @ Gallardo ($3,700) – He’s hit safely in five of six, and in an offense that is constantly putting other players on base, that’s enough to create some potential value. Just being on base and putting the ball in play can create fantasy value when your team is performing around you, and that could easily come to be against Gallardo in this one.
Jace Peterson @ Porcello ($3,500) – He has hit safely in eight straight, a stretch that has seen him notch five multi-hit games (including his three-hit performance, including a home run, last night). He could be one of a few Braves anchoring your lineup on the cheap, their price depressed because the team hasn’t been hitting well lately. Of course, they also haven’t faced Porcello lately.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Moscot ($5,600) – The most expensive player we’ve come across so far, he is slugging .700 over the past ten days, with more than a hit and an RBI per night, on average. He is pricey, but he rarely fails to deliver.
Kris Bryant vs. Bauer ($4,700) – You basically are rooting for a power display, and then settling for anything else he does.Thankfully, that’s plenty.
Xander Bogaerts vs. Perez ($3,800) – He is mentioned here for one big reason – I just wanted an excuse to tell you that him and Pedroia are the only two Red Sox hitters I trust right now. Both of them have flashed signs of both consistency and upside, and until the more expensive guys like Ramirez and Sandoval start producing, just look elsewhere.
Joey Gallo vs. Frias ($3,800) – The matchup with Frias could be enticing for anyone, and with Gallo hitting with consistency lately, he’s an easy one to trust to get you something.
Jose Reyes @ Syndergaard ($4,500) – He is boasting an OPS of almost 1.05 over the past couple of weeks, a period that has seen his fantasy production surge by more than five points a night compared to his season long numbers.
Elvis Andrus vs. Frias ($4,000) – I like having a few guys in my lineup against Frias, and Andrus is an obvious choice not only because he gets on base at a nice clip (OBP well north of .400 lately), but because once he gets there he can do some serious date.
Andrelton Simmons @ Porcello ($3,700) – Yes, more Porcello bashing.
J.J. Hardy vs. Harang ($3,100) – He has hit safely in six straight and seven of eight. Despite the Phillies rolling out their best option tonight, Harang is not bulletproof. And if Hardy can get a hit tonight, he might make you comfortable starting him for the rest of the series too, because the pitching for Philly only goes down hill from there.
Mike Trout vs. Ray ($5,700) – When you see that someone – anyone – costs more than Cabrera right now, it brings some questions to mind. But then you see what trout has been up to – .333/.385/.763 over the past ten days – and you get it. And so do his adoring fans.
Yasiel Puig @ Gallardo ($5,200) – Yasiel Puig. Yes, that guy. The one who carried many of you to fantasy championships last year, is now hitting .500/.565/.750 over his last 20 at-bats.
Starling Marte vs. Rodon ($5,000) – He is slashing .351/.385/.811 against lefties this season. If you want a $5,000 outfielder, but can only afford one, he might be my choice, even above the guys higher than him on the list.
J.D. Martinez vs. Moscot ($4,500) – Just keep recommending and playing him, and keep being right. Thank you, J.D. Martinez, for not making me look like a dummy.
Avisail Garcia @ Liriano ($4,000) – Listen, odds are Liriano isn’t going to throw a no-hitter, so someone he’s facing has some fantasy value. That’s no way to build a team, you say? You have to maximum the chances for success, you say? Well, do you really think that’s done by limiting you player pool just because you like a few matchups to favor the pitchers?
Nori Aoki vs. Walker ($3,700) – Taijuan Walker has been throwing better lately, but Aoki has also been on a tear, and could easily accumulate a hit or two tonight, enough to justify his price tag.
Angel Pagan vs. Walker ($3,400) – Back-to-back Giants might seem hard on Walker, but these are the only two I recommended throughout – and I have been known to pile on a struggling pitcher when it fits my agenda. Walker might limit this Giants offense, but he won’t shut it down completely, and these are the two I imagine still coming through with at least a handful of fantasy points.
Chris Coghlan vs. Bauer ($3,400) – He has hit safely in seven straight, including four with two or more hits. He’s getting time at second base, which just goes to show, the Cubbies are trying to make room for him – maybe you should too.