Monday features a five-game MLB main slate, and the action on DraftKings gets underway at 6:10 p.m. ET. Let’s go position-by-position and break down everything you’ll need to know to set your lineups.
Freddy Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs ($10,500) — The Cubs offense is in shambles. Since Chicago traded away their best bats they have a 72 wRC+, .277 wOBA, .126 ISO and a 28.3% K rate — the worst in baseball. On Sunday night the Cubs faced an elite strikeout pitcher in Dylan Cease (30% K rate), and he struck out 10 in five innings. Peralta is better than Cease — 2.21 ERA, 3.66 xFIP, 68% contact rate, 27% hard contact rate, 14% SwStr% and best of all a 34% K rate. The Cubs are in for trouble on Monday night.
Other Option: Joe Musgrove ($8,500)
Alec Mills, Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($6,400) — If Alec Mills worked as a play in Coors Field, then he surely works against the Brewers. Colorado’s offense is great at home, but Alec Mills held them in check (two earned runs over six innings). In the four games that followed his start, the Rockies scored 40 runs. Mills lacks strikeout upside, but so do all of the value pitchers on this slate. He won’t earn strikeouts, but he safely earns outs with his exceptional ground ball rate (54.1%). While the Cubs offense has been gutted by recent transactions, their defense has improved. Mills could see a slight drop in his .324 BABIP due to the improved defense, and a couple more outs means a lot to a value pitcher that doesn’t pile up the strikeouts.
Other Option: Zach Thompson ($7,200)
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees ($5,000) — On full slates, Perez is usually the best option at catcher. With only five games on this slate, and a handful of solid pitchers taking the mound, Perez is easily the best option at the catcher position on this slate. Jameson Taillon ($7,800) is better to target with left-handed batters, but an exception can be made for Perez (43% hard contact rate against right-handed pitchers).
Other Option: Willson Contreras ($4,700)
Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians ($2,800) — Tyler Stephenson ($4,400) sat out Friday and Saturday with a hamstring injury, but returned to the lineup on Sunday. It would make sense to take it easy with Stephenson and put their golden glove catcher behind the plate with the Reds’ ace on the mound. Barnhart has disappointed offensively (0.325 wOBA, .141 ISO, 99 wRC+ and a 35% hard contact rate), but his hard contact rate is acceptable and he’ll face a weak probable opener and probable long reliever.
Other Option: Victor Caratini ($3,100)
José Abreu, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($6,000) — There are a couple below-average pitchers on this slate and Charlie Barnes ($5,300) is one of them. He’s not a highly ranked prospect, and in his second major league start, he allowed five earned runs across four innings. Against right-handed batters, the lefty has allowed a 47% hard contact rate with a 9% K rate. His minor league strikeout numbers were minuscule as well (19.5% K rate at Triple-A). Abreu has a .370 wOBA, .324 ISO and a 139 wRC+ against major league left-handed pitchers, there’s no telling what he can do against a minor leaguer.
Other Option: Joey Votto ($5,800)
Jesús Aguilar, Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres ($3,300) — On Sunday, Aguilar went 3 for 4 and belted his 20th home run of the season. Playing in Coors Field helped with those numbers, but Aguilar deserves a break — half of his games are played in Miami. When he gets to play in hitter friendly or even neutral parks, he is a completely different player. At home, he has a .295 wOBA and .135 ISO. On the road, he has a .375 wOBA and .269 ISO.
Other Option: Ryan O’Hearn ($2,300)
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Jonathan India, Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians ($4,800) — It’s time to check in on India’s NL Rookie of the Year odds on DraftKings Sportsbook. On Saturday, India was +110, but now he’s +105. Trevor Rogers is still the favorite, but he’s dropped from -150 to -140. The Marlins are going nowhere and there is no reason to push the young starter, but in stark contrast, the Reds are streaking toward a playoff birth and India is at the heart of that push. Since June 1, India has a .425 wOBA, .213 ISO and a 164 wRC+. Over that span in away games, India has a .452 wOBA, .230 ISO and a 184 wRC+. Let’s go full inception and dig one level deeper — over that span on the road against left-handed pitching — India has a .625 wOBA, .391 ISO and a 295 wRC+ in 29 plate appearances.
Other Option: DJ LeMahieu ($4,600)
Isan Díaz, Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres ($2,000) — This is just a straight punt and it’s doable because it’s a small slate with not a lot of great spots to attack offensively. Playing Díaz opens up the possibility of fitting in another really good bat in a good spot or possibly getting two elite pitchers. With Jazz Chisholm out of the lineup on Sunday due to an illness, Díaz should draw another start against Joe Musgrove ($). Every matchup is tough for Díaz, but Musgrove’s strengths might play to Díaz’s weaknesses. Musgrove is a top tier ground ball pitcher (51%), but he does allow slightly too much hard contact to left-handed batters (36%). It’s possible that Díaz could squirt a ball through the infield and then possibly score a run.
Other Option: Jake Cronenworth ($4,000)
Manny Machado, San Diego Padres vs. Miami Marlins ($5,900) — Since July 1, Machado has a .482 wOBA, .386 ISO and a 206 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Zach Thompson ($7,200) has been a decent pitcher since being called up on June 6, but he’s not a pitcher to avoid on this small slate. Also, the Marlins bullpen has been below average on the road (4.51 xFIP).
Other Option: Mike Moustakas ($5,400)
Patrick Wisdom, Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs ($4,200) — This is a risky play. Wisdom is more likely to earn a golden sombrero against Peralta (36% K rate vs. RHP) than hit a home run. However, if Wisdom can make contact, then he can do some serious damage against right-handed pitching (.381 wOBA, .320 ISO, 139 wRC+ and a 51% hard contact rate).
Other Option: Hunter Dozier ($2,700)
Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins ($6,100) — On Sunday night, Tim Anderson was supposed to rest. He ended up hitting lead off, and he hit the first pitch for a home run and finished the night 3 for 5. The lefty vs. lefty matchup isn’t the greatest situation, but Charlie Barnes has allowed 47% hard contact to lefties in his two starts. Also, it’s unlikely that Barnes lasts long in this game. Zach Davies couldn’t get through three innings against this potent offense on Sunday night.
Other Option: Willy Adames ($5,500)
Kyle Farmer, Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians ($3,900) — The DraftKings algorithm is broken. Kyle Farmer has been hitting for a month (hits in 19 of 21 games for a .473 wOBA, .235 ISO and 195 wRC+), but his price will not budge. Not only is he hitting, but all of the Reds are hitting. Farmer provides a great opportunity for runs and RBIs every day.
Other Option: Nicky Lopez ($2,800), Andrew Romine ($2,000)
Jesse Winker, Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians ($5,600) — The probable opener is lefty Sam Hentges ($7,100) and his 5.49 xFIP vs. LHB, and he’ll give way to another lefty Logan Allen ($5,800) and his 5.86 xFIP vs. LHB. Winker has struggled with left-handed pitchers, but he’s worth a shot given his price reduction. On paper, there are better plays, but the Reds have the best offense in baseball over the last two weeks and it would be a mistake to ignore their best hitter.
Other Option: Franmil Reyes ($5,200), Max Kepler ($4,800)
Nick Castellanos, Cincinnati Reds at Cleveland Indians ($4,000) — Since returning from the IL, he is 3 for 18, so his price makes sense. However, he homered on Saturday and doubled on Sunday. On Monday night, he’ll face some bad lefties and he has a .375 wOBA, .239 ISO, 131 wRC+ and a 48% hard contact rate against left-handed pitching. From the perspective of his splits, his price does not make sense.
Other Option: Eloy Jiménez ($4,400), Gavin Sheets ($3,900), Aristides Aquino ($3,100)
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