It’s time to start the week fresh with 10 new Major League Baseball series getting underway tonight. On the schedule, there is just one divisional series (Angels @ Athletics) and three interleague matchups highlighted by the Nationals visiting the Orioles. Of the 20 scheduled starters, there are a few aces, a few surprises and a few value plays. These are the top five I think you should consider for your roster this Monday night.
1. Jacob deGrom – NYM vs. SF – $10,800
Even though he’s the most expensive option on the board, deGrom isn’t a lock in the top spot tonight. He has struggled recently allowing three runs or more in each of his last three starts. He has managed to go 2-1 during that stretch despite his ERA climbing to 3.68. In those three starts, he has walked 12 batters in 17.2 innings.
Even with his recent wildness, there are two factors that keep him in the #1 spot tonight. First, he continues to pick up a good number of strikeouts, and he comes into tonight’s start with 49 strikeouts in his 36.2 innings. The other reason he stays in the top spot is that he is at home in a great matchup against the Giants who have scored the second-fewest runs in the MLB. deGrom should be able to bounce back in this matchup tonight.
2. Gio González – WAS @ BAL – $8,700
Another NL East arm worth a look is Gio González as he takes the mound in Baltimore. González had his own control issues in his last start walking seven in just five innings. However, he also struck out eight and allowed just one run on three hits to still have a solid fantasy day. On the season, he is an impressive 3-0 and has yet to allow more than two earned runs in a start. He comes into tonight’s game with a 1.25 WHIP and 1.64 ERA while picking up 34 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.
González comes in just behind deGrom because of his tougher matchup and the fact that he doesn’t offer the same high ceiling due to strikeout rate. Still, he’s a solid play at this price as he looks to stay undefeated going head-to-head with a struggling Kevin Gausman.
3. Masahiro Tanaka – NYY @ CIN – $9,100
After completing their sweep of the Cubs early this morning, The Yankees head to Cincinnati to face the Reds. They’ll give the ball to Tanaka who will be looking to pick up a win in his fifth straight start. Last time out, he wasn’t at the top of his game allowing four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings to the Blue Jays, but the Yankees bats still powered him to a win.
With a tapped-out bullpen, New York will hope Tanaka can go deep into the game which he has made a habit of this season. He has pitched into the seventh in each of his last four starts highlighted by a complete game shutout in Boston two starts ago (33.5 DKFP). Tanaka’s strikeout rate isn’t high enough to get him in front of the top two arms on the list, but he’s a solid innings-eater to check out for tonight.
4. Carlos Martínez – STL @ MIA – $9,800
Martínez has at least 18 DKFP in four of his six starts this season and is coming off a pair of good outings at home. Martínez allowed only one unearned run in his last outing against the suddenly-slugging Brewers. He held them to just four hits in 7.1 innings striking out four and walking one to pick up 25.5 DKFP and his first win of the season.
Tonight, he’ll look to build on that start as he and the Cardinals head to Miami to open a series against the Marlins and Adam Conley. Martínez had 7+ strikeouts in three straight starts before his last outing, so he should be able to pick up good strikeouts against Miami tonight although there are some big bats (a hot Giancarlo Stanton) in the Marlins’ lineup that he’ll need to avoid to be successful.
5. Trevor Cahill – SD vs. TEX – $7,600
The top bargain arm for tonight is Padres’ starter, Trevor Cahill. Cahill seems to have settled in with the Padres after working out of the bullpen for Chicago and Atlanta the last two years. He has made five starts for the Padres and comes into tonight’s outing 2-2 with a 1.17 WHIP and a solid 3.60 ERA.
Cahill has been especially effective at Petco Park where he has allowed just one earned run in two starts spanning 13 innings. That gives him a 0.69 ERA at home while he has held opponents to just a .133 batting average and picked up 13 strikeouts and walked just one in those 13 innings. In those two home starts, Cahill has put up 27.4 and 29.7 DKFP making him a cheap option to check out tonight.
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.