Major League Baseball has a fun Monday night in store, and it could be quite a wild ride with not many big-name pitchers scheduled to take the mound. There are risks involved with every starting pitcher tonight, but some definitely stand out as better plays than others. Check out these five who I think offer the most upside for the risk involved in adding them to your team.


1. Brandon McCarthy – LAD @ SF – $9,100

The Dodgers skipped McCarthy’s start last week and slid him on the 10-day DL. He’s expected to be back in action tonight as he opens the series for the Dodgers against their rivals in San Francisco. McCarthy’s injury was sustained weight-lifting and was to his non-throwing shoulder, so he shouldn’t have any lingering effects by the Bay.

McCarthy hasn’t faced San Francisco this season, but he has gone 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in his two starts away from Dodger Stadium. He has some concerning individual histories against the Giants, and he hasn’t pitched well at AT&T Park in his career. However, his form on the road and the Giants’ woeful offense this season still set him up to be my top arm to target tonight.

2. Dan Straily – MIA vs. HOU – $8,200

If he was in a better matchup, Straily may have been on the top of this list, but he has to tangle with the Astros tonight who have started the season playing extremely well. Straily has a high upside with his strikeout potential, but the matchup and his inconsistency make him slightly riskier than McCarthy.

So far this season, Straily has been excellent at home. He has gone 1-1 at Marlins Park with a 2.38 ERA while he is 0-2 with a 6.46 ERA on the road. He totaled 20.8 DKFP in his last start which came at home against the Cardinals. He limited St. Louis to just one run on three hits in seven innings striking out five. He has 37 strikeouts in his 38 innings this season, so he makes a solid play even in this matchup against a power-packed Houston lineup.


3. Zack Godley – ARI vs. NYM – $6,300

Godley could be the steal of the night if he can recreate the success from his last start as he takes the mound tonight against the Mets. Godley went seven strong innings against the Tigers last Wednesday allowing one run on three hits and matching a season-high with six strikeouts. He also had six strikeouts in his first start of the season when he limited the Padres to just two runs in five innings.

He has only made two starts this year, but he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Hardly any of the Mets have any experience against him, but he has held them to a combined 3-22 in their limited previous meetings. New York’s lineup is still injury-depleted, so Godley has a nice matchup. The factor that keeps his price so low is that he has a short track record this season and is unproven headed into tonight’s action.

4. Sean Manaea – OAK @ SEA – $8,300

Manaea has a longer track record than Godley, but I think he’s riskier since he’s coming off the DL to face the Mariners tonight. Manaea went on the DL with a shoulder injury after making five starts and going 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA. He actually held his opponents to just a .191 batting average but walks and poor timing led to him giving up lots of runs.

Manaea’s best start of the season came against Seattle who he’ll face again tonight. Just before the start he left with his injury he held the Mariners to one run on five hits in six innings while striking out six for his only win of the season. If he is back to 100%, he could be a great play tonight, but it is a risk taking him in his first game back.

5. Jesse Chávez – LAA vs. CWS – $7,800

Chávez has made seven starts for the Angels this season and will take the mound again tonight as LA opens a series against the White Sox. Chávez doesn’t have an extremely high ceiling but he is enough of a grinder he usually gives you a solid outing.

He has at least 12 DKFP in five of his last six starts and has pitched at least 5.2 innings in each of his last five. The White Sox offense is near the bottom of the league in almost every major category, so Chávez should be able to get you a solid return. He is one of the lower-risk plays on the board, but he doesn’t have a very high ceiling.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.