Major League Baseball starts the second month of the season with 11 games. Several teams give the ball to their ace tonight providing us with good options to choose from. Of the 22 starters scheduled to take the mound this Monday, here are the top five I think you should consider.
1. Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs. SF – $13,900
Kershaw has been his typical dominant self in his first five starts of the season going 4-1 with a 2.29 ERA. He has picked up 39 strikeouts in his 35.1 innings and allowed opponents to hit just .192. In all but one start (which was at Coors Field), Kershaw has had at least 27 DKFP which is why his salary is so much higher than every other player on the board.
Tonight, he’ll be on the mound at Dodger Stadium as he makes his second straight start against the struggling Giants. Last Tuesday, Kershaw allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings on his way to his fourth win of the season and 27.6 DKFP. He does get the “DTD” tag due to a right calf bruise, but the injury hasn’t impacted his regular between-start routine so it should not be an issue tonight. Given his form and a matchup with the light-hitting Giants, Kershaw should be a great arm option if you can maneuver around his hefty salary.
2. Luis Severino – NYY vs. TOR – $8,000
Severino was brilliant against the Red Sox last Wednesday allowing just three hits in seven shutout innings walking two and striking out six. He had over 28 DKFP for the third straight start as he improved to 2-1 on the season with a 3.00 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP.
Tonight, Severino will face the Blue Jays who are still searching for some rhythm to the offense. The Blue Jays have scored the third-fewest runs per game in the MLB, so Severino should be able to limit their production enough to get a win at home especially given the groove the Yankees’ lineup is in right now.
3. Dylan Bundy – BAL @ BOS – $7,000
Bundy has been excellent all season for the Orioles and has turned in a quality start in each of his five outings. He comes into tonight’s start 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. He only has 23 strikeouts in his 32.2 innings which is what keeps him from being a lock for your roster tonight.
He’ll be making his third start of the season against the Red Sox and is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA in the first two outings. He has just six strikeouts in his 13.1 innings against Boston but threw seven scoreless innings against them 10 days ago. Bundy will look to continue his hot start and makes a good value play at just $7K tonight.
4. Julio Teheran – ATL vs. NYM – $8,500
In another divisional matchup, the Braves host the Mets who are limping into the series after a disastrous weekend series against the Nationals. Teheran will be facing New York for the second straight start after allowing two runs on four hits in 6.1 innings last Wednesday when he posted 17.5 DKFP.
Teheran’s win in that game allowed him to improve to 2-1 on the year with a 3.38 ERA. He has worked around baserunners all season with a 1.40 WHIP, but facing the Mets and Robert Gsellman should still be a good enough matchup to give him a shot to produce and get the win.
5. Jason Vargas – KC vs CWS – $7,400
After a smooth start to the season, Vargas hit some turbulence in his last start allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings to the White Sox. He still posted 11.1 DKFP as a result of five strikeouts and no walks, but he took his first loss of the season sliding to 3-1.
Coming into that outing, Vargas’ ERA was just 0.44 after allowing only one total run in his first three starts. He’ll look to bounce back tonight at home as he faces Chicago again. His ERA is still an impressive 1.40 through his first four starts of the year, and the 7-16 Royals could use a good start from him as they try to erase a lackluster April. Vargas has 28 Ks in 25.2 innings, so he has a pretty high ceiling although he reminded us in his last start he still isn’t quite a sure thing.
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.