After a wild weekend, there are nine games lined up to start another fun week of fantasy baseball. Of the 18 pitchers taking the mound, there are several aces to choose from along with some solid cheaper options. As you build your lineup, these are the top five options I think are worth checking out.
1. Zack Greinke – ARI vs. PIT – $12,000
Greinke is clearly the top arm available tonight as he and the D-Backs welcome the White Sox to Arizona. Chicago scored 24 runs in their last two games taking three of four from Seattle, but that was against pitchers who were not nearly as quality as Greinke.
His last outing was a little bumpy as he allowed four runs in 6.2 innings, but he still had 22.8 DKFP since he only allowed five hits and struck out eight. He has at least 20 DKFP in each of his last six starts, and he has been even better at home in Chase Field. He is 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA at home with 49 strikeouts in 38.1 innings. He should be able to continue his success against the White Sox who have had their struggles on offense this season aside from their last few games.
2. Gerrit Cole – PIT @ ATL – $9,700
Cole dominated the Nationals in his last outing allowing three hits and one run in seven innings. He picked up the win to improve to 2-4 on the year with an impressive 2.84 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. Cole only struck out three batters in that game, though, so he only had 20.8 DKFP. He has at least 17 DKFP in seven straight starts, but he hasn’t gotten the elite strikeout numbers or the consistent run support to earn him the top spot over Greinke.
As he makes his 10th start of the season, Cole gets a great matchup against the Braves who have even less firepower in their lineup after the injury to Freddie Freeman. He is on the road for this start, but he is a relatively safe option even though he did give up three runs in six innings to the Braves earlier this season.
3. Michael Fulmer – DET @ HOU – $9,900
After winning Rookie of the Year last year, Fulmer has shown no signs of a sophomore slump, and he is worth a look tonight even though he’s in a tough matchup on the road. He allowed 10 hits to the Orioles in his last outing but still managed to hold them to three earned runs in seven innings. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his eight starts this season compiling a 2.72 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He is 5-1 with 46 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Tonight, he’ll face the hard-hitting Astros in Houston which does raise his risk factor and keep him from being one of the top two pitchers on this list. He doesn’t pile up strikeouts with Greinke’s consistency, but he still can be dominant when he’s at his best. His consistency makes him a nice sub-$10K play if Greinke’s salary is out of your range.
4. John Lackey– CHC vs. SF – $9,000
Lackey has picked up wins in each of his last two starts to improve to 4-3 on the season despite a less-than-great 4.37 ERA. He dominated the Rockies at Coors Field two starts ago striking out a season-high 10 batters in seven scoreless innings for 36.2 DKFP. His last start he wasn’t quite as sharp allowing seven hits and three runs in 5.1 innings against the Reds but still posting 10.6 DKFP.
As the Cubs open their series with the light-hitting Giants, Lackey will take the ball under the lights where he is 2-2 with a 2.96 night ERA. His worst starts have come during the day when he is 2-1 with a 5.87 ERA. He hasn’t faced the Giants this year, but he allowed one earned run in five innings the only time he faced them in the last three seasons. The matchup is enough to make him the fourth-best option on the board tonight.
5. Jake Odorizzi – TB vs LAA – $8,300
Since the Rays are at home, I’ll give the last spot in my top five to Odorizzi. At home this season, Odorizzi is 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 25 innings while holding opponents to a .180 average. He has been excellent throughout his career at the Trop and has allowed exactly one earned run in three of his last four starts.
Odorizzi has struggled to find wins due to a lack of run support, but he is 3-2 coming into his start tonight against J.C. Ramírez. Since he’s usually good at home, I think Odorizzi is a solid mid-range play against the Angels. Check out the Bargain Bin in today’s playbook for some even cheaper options who I think make sense for your Monday lineups.
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.