When filling out Monday’s daily fantasy baseball lineup, players must decide if they value anyone from the lone afternoon clash between the Los Angeles Angels and Toronto Blue Jays.
Anyone can easily wait until later to submit their DraftKings team, as neither starting pitcher is worth using. For early risers ready to roll before the game’s 1:07 p.m. ET start, they’ll want to make note of some intriguing batters.
As is often the case, Monday’s slate revolves a select few aces, with a resurgent stud leading the pack.
Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians ($10,100; at CHW)
The good news? Everyone knows Corey Kluber is fine after dismantling the St. Louis Cardinals for one hit and 18 strikeouts last week. Beneath a misleading 4.27 ERA, the reigning Cy Young winner is the same guy, brandishing a 2.57 fielding independent pitching (FIP) with 10.94 strikeouts and 1.88 walks per nine innings.
Only teammate Danny Salazar wields a higher swinging-strike percentage, making him the top play above opponent Chris Sale, who is next in line for a breakout outing to snap an early funk. Although the Chicago White Sox are better against righties than lefties, they’re still not an adversary to shy away from.
The bad news? Everyone knows Kluber is fine now, meaning he’s once again a hot play. Yet the evening offers few high-quality options after him, Sale or Matt Harvey, who gets a Cardinals lineup much tougher than Kluber made them look. Even in tournament play, play it safe and ride the ace.
Rubby De La Rosa, Arizona Diamondbacks ($6,900; at MIA)
After getting no-hit for 8.2 innings by Shelby Miller on Sunday, the Miami Marlins will try again on Monday against Rubby De La Rosa, Monday’s top value pitcher. The 26-year-old has notched 42 strikeouts during 44 innings, issuing only 12 walks in the process, yet he is saddled with an ugly 4.50 ERA.
De La Rosa has been killed by the long ball, surrendering seven during as many starts. That shouldn’t be an issue this time around. Through 648 plate appearances in Marlins Park, Miami has hit nine home runs, the lowest home tally of any team.
Along with the spacious park, the Arizona Diamondbacks righty gets an opponent with a 21.4 team strikeout percentage. He’s the perfect cheap, high-upside No. 2 to pair with Kluber, Sale or Harvey.
C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels ($7,600; at TOR)
The Toronto Blue Jays annihilate southpaws, leading the way with a .313/.366/.496 slash line and 136 weighted runs created plus (wRC+), a measure of offensive value placed on a scale where 100 is average. While the usually erratic C.J. Wilson has harnessed his command, he has traded walks for strikeouts, posting a subpar 6.19 K/9 rate.
Despite his 2.63 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, gamers shouldn’t even hover their mouse over Wilson’s name and risk accidentally clicking it. His 3.5 home run/fly-ball percentage (HR/FB) is in store for a massive course correction at the Rogers Centre.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies ($8,900; at COL)
At Coors Field. No need to say any more. The struggling Colorado Rockies are still hitting .292/.340/.465 inside their hitters’ haven. Throw in Cole Hamels’ 4.51 FIP, and there’s no reason to pay up for the rough matchup.
1B Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,500; at COL)
Still a far cry from the former MVP, Ryan Howard is quietly slugging .540 against right-handed pitching this season. Facing Jordan Lyles inside Coors, he’s a top candidate to go deep on Monday night, but he won’t come cheap.
C Evan Gattis ($3,700) and 2B Jose Altuve ($4,800), Houston Astros (vs. OAK)
Drew Pomeranz is a sneaky play against the strikeout-prone Houston Astros, but righties boast a career .784 OPS against him. Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis are best positioned to exploit that weakness, as both have crushed southpaws over their career.
Gattis’ 2015 struggles don’t deserve much worry, as he also wields a .125 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) against lefties. DraftKings doesn’t penalize for strikeouts, so gamers are advised to figuratively swing for the fences with players who literally swing for the fences.
Altuve has not slowed down one bit from an amazing 2014. In fact, he’s gotten better, adding power to his arsenal with five homers and a .477 slugging percentage. When facing a vulnerable lefty, he’s a superstar well worth the money.
2B/3B Danny Valencia ($2,900) and 3B Josh Donaldson ($4,600), Toronto Blue Jays (vs. LAA)
Nobody needs a sales pitch for Josh Donaldson, a star who shines even brighter against left-handed pitching. Danny Valencia, on the other hand, is a 30-year-old journeyman with no home runs and one walk this season. His .349 batting average is driven by an unsustainable .484 BABIP.
Then again, he’s a big reason Toronto demolishes lefties. Ned Flanders’ worst nightmare carries a career .336/.375/.509 slash line and 23.1 line-drive percentage against them. As long as he’s in the lineup, Valencia is a golden value pick to save money at second or third.
For anyone interested in a fuller Toronto stack, Russell Martin and Jose Bautista are also expensive but worthwhile options.
C Stephen Vogt ($4,100), OFs Josh Reddick ($4,200) and OF Billy Burns ($2,800), Oakland Athletics (at HOU)
After 29 strong innings in Double-A, Lance McCullers will jump to the big leagues for his MLB debut. Despite posting a 5.47 ERA in Single-A last year, he gets the call for the Houston Astros against an Oakland Athletics lineup full of righty-crushers.
Chief among them are Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick, who have crushed a combined 14 home runs against righties. The high-priced lefty duo each own an OPS well north of 1.000 versus opposite-handed hurlers.
For a much cheaper outfielder, Billy Burns has recorded a hit in 11 of 13 starts. Although he has only swiped three bags for Oakland, he tallied five steals in Triple-A before earning a promotion.
1B/OF Brandon Moss, Cleveland Indians ($4,000; vs. CWS)
When a lefty-handed slugger faces a southpaw ace of Sale’s caliber, his price should plummet. Given his .724 OPS this season, Brandon Moss only warrants $4,000 on a good day, yet some fluky short-sample splits have kept his price inflated.
In 43 plate appearances against lefties this season, Moss is hitting .265/.395/.441. This does not, however, erase his career .404 slugging percentage against them. With Sale on the hill, Cleveland’s struggling bruiser is a hard pass.
OF Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,300; at COL)
Coors is great for hitters, but it doesn’t possess magical powers capable of giving Ben Revere pop. For $4,300—the same price as Kole Calhoun against righty Aaron Sanchez at Toronto—DraftKings players are getting an outfielder with a .299 on-base percentage and .345 slugging percentage.
A fifth-year pro with two career home runs doesn’t merit the Colorado bump. Power is better to chase than speed, so don’t pay a premium for Revere.
Advanced stats courtesy of FanGraphs.
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from Bleacher Report - Front Page http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2467635-daily-fantasy-baseball-2015-mlb-draftkings-studs-and-duds-for-may-18