With only nine games on the slate for Monday night, your options are somewhat more limited than usual. You will nonetheless have some choices to make, so here are a few players at every position and price range for you to consider. Good luck!
Lance McCullers vs. KC ($7,700) – On a night without many elite options, and with the two most expensive pitchers on the slate facing very solid offenses, someone like McCullers is actually a logical choice to headline your pitching staff for the night. He hasn’t been able to string together quality starts, or rack up too many innings, but he has 52 K’s in only 46 innings. As a result, he is often good for 15-20 fantasy points without going more than six innings or earning the win. So the potential is definitely there for a lot more.
Mike Leake vs. MIN ($6,900) – He is never going to have the best odds of getting the win because of, you know, the Reds. But he has pitched well in his last two outings, going seven innings in each. If you look at his game log, it’s actually pretty simple: he has a lot of success against worse teams – three of his four solid games have come against the Marlins and the Phillies (twice). Minnesota could definitely prove to be one of those teams against which he can get in a groove, earn himself the win, and find himself on the high side of his potential fantasy value.
Cody Anderson @ TB ($5,700) – He’s only started one other time. So, yeah, there’s a risk. That one start was a good one, and it was against Tampa Bay, so there’s that. It’s up to you to decide if that is a precedent, or if it just gave the Rays time to figure him out. The Rays offense hasn’t shown me enough this year for me to believe they are really capable of that, so I choose to put my faith in the young pitcher instead. It’s up to you if you can stomach doing the same.
Joe Blanton @ HOU ($4,800) – Blanton is trying to pitch his way into the rotation full-time, and truthfully, it might be futile no matter what he does. But he has at least one more start, against an offense that can be slowed down, and he will try to take advantage. In his last two starts, he has gone 11 innings, giving up seven hits and no walks, for a total of only two earned runs. And he earned the W both times.
Russell Martin vs. Buchholtz ($4,400) – Hitting around .270 and slugging around .500 for almost half the season now, it’s safe to say Martin has enjoyed adjusting to the AL East. He’s 6-for-19 for his career against Buchholtz, numbers that would suggest he at least does something for your fantasy team tonight.
Stephen Vogt vs. Hale ($4,300) – Vogt has been a revelation this season for catcher-starved fantasy owners. As often as not he’s not even playing catcher – can you imagine how much less you would have thought about him this season if he only had that 1B eligibility?
Nick Hundley @ Graveman ($3,600) – Hundley has been consistently producing all season long, hitting at least .290 every month so far, and .500 over the past week. And while Graveman has been pitching better lately, he gives up a half-dozen hits basically every time he heads out there, so it’s safe to assume Hundley has a chance, at a minimum, of not leaving you with a zero.
Dioner Navarro vs. Buchholtz ($3,500) – Obviously, he is the second Blue Jay on this list, so you need to make sure he is in the lineup as a DH before finalizing your roster. He has been getting plenty of at-bats lately, though, and for good reason – and he’s been using that opportunity to get owners a handful of fantasy points here and there, as much as you can hope for at this price.
Todd Frazier vs. Pelfrey ($5,600) – With only one career at-bat against Pelfrey, you can’t use history to try to guess what is going to happen, so you just have to wonder which guy is going to benefit the small sample size – is the hitter still going to be figuring out the pitcher, or the other way around? With Frazier hitting .312/.343/.732 over the past ten days, I know which way I am leaning.
Prince Fielder @ Norris ($4,800) – Fielder has six hits, including a home run and two doubles, in only 23 career at-bats against Norris. With his .350 average and noticeable pop, Fielder gives you the upside of the most expensive guys and the security of knowing you’ll usually get at least something.
Joey Votto vs. Pelfrey ($4,800) – A third stud for the 1B list was appropriate on a night where this one position seems to have an abundance of options. I just wanted to call attention to the fact that some people, for sure, are going to get big production from this slot, so you might want to rethink it if you were planning on saving money with this pick.
Mark Canha vs. Hale ($3,700) – Canha has managed a very respectable 6.5 or so fantasy points per game enough this season, more than enough to make the price tag worth it. But over the past ten days, that average has spiked to eight and a half, and a matchup with Hale suggests there is nothing slowing that pace down in the immediate future.
Wilin Rosario @ Graveman ($3,500) – .563/.563/.875. That’s his slash line over the past week. You get those numbers with games like his four multiple hit games out of his last five (with at least one of those hits going for extra bases in each of them/
Jason Kipnis @ Karns ($4,700) – Kipnis has chosen this week to all of a sudden decide to take his season averages of hitting .350 and slugging .500 and improve on them. For the past week, he’s had an OPS of 1.071, and he is 2-for-3 with a double against Karns in the limited sample size they have facing each other.
Justin Turner @ Webster ($4,400) – Turner has been even hotter than Kipnis recently, amazingly enough. For the past ten days, he is hitting .300 (which is actually down from his overall .320 average), and he is slugging over .850, significantly up from his season figure in the mid-.500’s. That’s what happens when you have eight extra-base hits in your last nine games.
Omar Infante @ McCullers ($3,500) – I like McCullers a lot tonight, but he’s probably not throwing a no-hitter. Infante has been good for at least one hit almost every night for what seems like weeks now, and for $3,500, I’ll take five points a night as consistency.
Rougned Odor @ Norris ($3,300) – There are plenty of hitters in Texas to consider in this matchup with Norris tonight, but Odor is probably not high on your list even when you are specifically targeting Rangers. But he is good for the occasional steal or extra base hit, and he is hitting .364 in June after a much more inconsistent April and May. Check to make sure he is really active before you run with it, because he doesn’t play every night, but he has been getting consistent action lately, so the chances are good.
Nolan Arenado @ Graveman ($5,200) – With another monster night last night, this guy is on fire in a way most people don’t even dream of. He has hit safely in fifteen straight, with at least two hits in seven of those. He has five doubles in this fifteen games, and a triple, not to even mention the nine home runs (including a ridiculous eight in his last seven games).
Brett Lawrie vs. Hale ($4,100) – With Hale on the mound, I knew I would at least think about A’s as I went through the different positions. And as I started to look closer, I realized a lot of the A’s were in the midst of nice little hitting streaks. And of course that translates: the A’s as a team have been hitting well and scoring a lot of runs lately. At a certain point, these effects do start to be cumulative – as one hitter does better, and then another, they start presenting each other with more opportunities to score and drive in runs, which boosts confidence, etc, etc. The point for you right now is this: the A’s are once again looking like one of the very best offenses in baseball. Take note.
D.J. LeMahieu @ Graveman ($4,000) – He has gotten a hit in five of six games. But perhaps more importantly, over that same span, he has a couple of steals and six walks. He is getting on base, and giving himself chances to tack on those counting stats that bring a seven point night to a 15 point night.
Xander Bogaerts vs. Dickey ($3,600) – He went 2-for-4 with a double last night, and he is hitting .400 against Dickey in 20 at-bats, with a couple of doubles and a handful of RBI.
Carlos Correa vs. Blanton ($5,300) – Yeah, he’s still doing it. 2-for-3 last night with a pair of doubles, a triple short of the cycle the night before. Ho hum. Baseball is easy.
Troy Tulowitzki @ Graveman ($4,700) – A guy like Correa comes around, and maybe the best thing about it is that now you feel like you’re getting a good deal when you draft Tulo. He has now hit safely in twelve straight, with more than one hit in five of those.
J.J. Hardy vs. Rodriguez ($3,600) – He has reached double-digit fantasy points in three of his last four games, with a home run and a couple of doubles, all of which has breathed some more life into the Baltimore offense. It’s a team that could suddenly have three or four top fantasy options if they start getting hot at the same time and pouring on runs like they have in the past.
Ryan Flaherty @ Rodriguez ($3,500) – Assuming he is out there at second base, he is getting on base at an almost .400 clip, which, even from the bottom of the order, can lead to a lot opportunities on the basepaths – again, when the top hitters on this team start to get hot.
Mike Trout vs. Sabathia ($4,900) – Yes, Mike Trout is good. And lately, he has been even better than that. His OBP for the last couple of weeks is pushing .450, and Sabathia is not the type to issue a lot of walks, so that, to me, means hits – that is how much I trust this guy right now.
Charlie Blackmon @ Graveman ($4,900) – Coming off a night where his only appearance was a pinch-hit strikeout, he should be well-rested and looking to make an impact.
Ryan Braun @ O’Sullivan ($4,800) – He’s no longer an MVP candidate, and he might not be your favorite player anymore, but he has been producing for the Brewers lately, slashing .389/.500/.611 over the past week.
Carlos Gonzalez @ Graveman ($4,500) – He finally seems to be recovering from his early season troubles, and I, for one, would like to be on board for the ride. He can hit for average and power when everything is going right, and right now, it seems to be on track back to that point. In the meantime, slotting him into your lineup in a plus matchup still makes sense, as he is a good candidate for at least a handful of fantasy points, with as much upside in any given game as anyone in the league.
Kevin Pillar @ Buchholtz ($3,900) – He is slashing .428/.437/.653 over the past ten days, averaging double-digits fantasy points (just barely). He’s usually involved on nights when the Blue Jays are able to get their offense on a roll.
David Peralta vs. Bolsinger ($3,800) – Hitting almost .300 over the past couple of weeks, he is just as likely to keep that going against Bolsinger as anyone else. There aren’t too many of his teammates on this list, but you should at least consider filling any roster holes with them a possibility, because this is a matchup you can exploit.
Chris Colabello vs. Buchholtz ($3,600) – How long does this have to go on? He is hitting .343 over his last ten and slugging closer to .600 than anything else, but as you go through his game logs, virtually every other week is more of the same – he has been consistently producing from the get-go. I am not sure what else he has to do to jack up his price, but I am not going complain. I’m just going to take advantage.
Chris Young @ Wilson ($3,500) – Young now has three doubles and three home runs in his last ten, providing you with easy access to loads of potential for not much money. And yet the real story here is his production against lefties (Wilson is left-handed, FYI): .383/.453.731 on the year, so there is no doubt he will be out there again tonight.