Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Monday baseball.
The pitching options are pretty good on Monday, but the problem is it is very top heavy. The way both cash games and tournaments are going to be won is by figuring out which are the must play studs and who are the correct value plays. I can see right away a case for targeting both Jorge de la Rosa and Mike Pelfrey, and finding cheap bats to plug in with Kershaw. I think Kershaw matches up well against
Today, we will break everything down position by position. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @researchandwin and let us know we helped you or yell at us for leading you down the wrong path.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
CLAYTON KERSHAW– Kershaw is a lock at this point in the year. He has been pitching at an absolutely ridiculous level. The Nationals are not a very scary team to me, and not a situation in which I want to actively avoid Kershaw. He is going to be my cash game play and will find his way into most of my tournament lineups as well. I think it might be tough to find his production elsewhere today.
STEPHEN STRASBURG – The only thing I see stopping Kershaw from having a big outing is Strasburg. He is good enough to shut this Dodger offense completely down, and that will make it very hard on Kershaw to get the 12 point win. On two pitcher sites, I would really do my best to put these two in and try to get the bats to work because I could see over 20 strikeouts between them, and even if neither gets the win, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better situation on the slate.
STEVEN WRIGHT – I do always try to find a cheap option to slot in and run some big bats around them. Tonight isn’t one of those nights, in my opinion. Wright is in a good position to get the win tonight, and he has been a very solid all around pitcher this year. He does not have strong strikeout upside, but I do believe he could get over 7 innings and a win. That itself is 33 points. If he can grab 5 strikeouts and only give up a few runs, he should certainly cross the threshold of 40 points.
BUSTER POSEY – Posey is always one of the most expensive catchers on the slate, and that in itself is usually a deterrent to me. Tonight’s matchup against Jeff Locke is one that sets up well for Posey. The stadium in Pittsburgh is slightly better for hitters than AT&T Park, but it still isn’t the best situation. Posey seems locked in at the plate lately, and he is the top catching option on the slate for me.
SANDY LEON – Leon is a punt option at the position if he plays tonight. With Vasquez struggling at the plate, it is hard to tell how the catching rotation in Boston will shake out. Miguel Gonzalez is certainly not a great pitcher, and I expect Boston to score some runs tonight. If Leon plays, it will likely be in the nine hole, but he is priced cheap enough that he could produce enough to pay his salary in limited at bats.
MIGUEL CABRERA– If I am paying up at the position on Monday, it is a toss up for me between Cabrera and Ortiz. I am going to give the slight advantage to Cabrera. I like the matchup for him here against Nate Karns at home in Detroit, in what should be a really high scoring game. I feel a big Miggy game coming on tonight, and everything lines up well for him in this matchup.
DAE-HO LEE/ADAM LIND – In tournaments, I am a big fan of whoever plays first base for the Mariners. Mike Pelfrey is one of the worst, if not the worst, pitcher on the slate tonight, and should be targeted as such. These guys are cheap, have a ton of power upside, and work extremely well in a Kershaw lineup.
ROBINSON CANO – Cano should be a handful for Pelfrey to handle, and this is the perfect spot for him. It is tough for me to figure out which high end bats I want to try to fit in tonight, as I won’t be able to get many in with Kershaw. It will likely come down to which position offers the least value. Cano could certainly end up being that guy tonight.
JONATHAN SCHOOP – Schoop had an excellent series against the Blue Jays, and we can only hope that will continue into the series in Texas. Derek Holland should be a good matchup for Schoop to exploit, and I will definitely be looking to him in some of my tournament lineups.
NOLAN ARENADO – Paul Clemens will get the start for the Marlins Monday night, and while the Rockies can sometimes be pretty bad on the road, this overall is a very strong matchup for them. Arenado is unquestionably not the bat I am going to pay up for in my cash games, but he ranks high in my tournament rankings.
MARTIN PRADO – I probably can’t afford to pay for Prado in my cash games either, but he is still a nice play tonight against Jorge de la Rosa. Due to his price, it is highly unlikely that he will be very highly owned, because he doesn’t have the double dong upside that most of the big bats possess. That isn’t to say he can’t have a nice game, but I can’t imagine him being the highest scoring at the position. The big deal is that he has a nice floor and matchup.
JAVIER BAEZ– Baez is always in play for me when he is up against a lefty. Jaime Garcia is an interesting lefty, as he is not a guy I am going to stack Cubs against, but I am also not going to stop from playing specific matchups. For me, Baez is a guy I am looking at, as his price is at a good point where it isn’t going to kill you, and he’s got a fair amount of upside as well.
DANNY ESPINOSA/JORDY MERCER– In tournaments, I would look to these guys. I like that FanDuel is dropping prices to minimum when certain pitchers are on the mound. Kershaw is an amazing pitcher, but let’s no kid ourselves too much, as Rickie Weeks Jr. batted him around handily in their last showdown. The point isn’t that Weeks > Kershaw, but rather everything is matchup based, and a major league player is an ultra talented athlete than can have success on any given night. Espinosa is a power bat that has been playing at a high level, and Mercer has made a name for himself against lefties. It is nothing more than a differentiation tournament play, but at the same time, It could work out great.
MARLINS OUTFIELD – I feel like I’ve done this a few times throughout this breakdown, but it makes sense every time. In this case, we have the Marlins outfields against Jorge de la Rosa. Jorge is a favorite target of mine, and as this series comes to a close, I feel like it could go out with fireworks. Stanton actually looked adequate at the plate during this series, and I think with him seemingly coming around some, he needs to get into your tournament lineups, as the explosion will happen soon. Ozuna is probably my top overall play of the day considering his price, floor and upside in this matchup. Yelich is one of the top tournament plays of the day. Players will look elsewhere, but de la Rosa is bad against lefties, and Yelich actually hits lefties really well. He could be the guy that takes down a tournament tonight.
JACKIE BRADLEY JR.– Even though his hitting streak is over Bradley has not gone anywhere. He gets another good matchup tonight against Gonzalez, and it should certainly be possible that he ends up having a nice game. I love lefties in Boston because of that short porch, and tonight we may see Jackie take another one out of the yard.
LEONYS MARTIN – One cash game strategy is that you can load up on Seattle bats that are cheap. Pelfrey can break your heart, and put up a good performance, but I think a few Mariners will be able to put together nice games tonight. For me, I would go Martin if I was going to pay up just a little in the outfield. He should be batting leadoff, and is the cheapest of the Mariner outfielders tonight. I really don’t want to pay that much for an outfielder in my cash games, especially with Ozuna at the same price. If anything, I would look at Lind, Lee or Marte at good prices.
STEVEN MOYA – As long as he is in the lineup, I will absolutely be playing Moya in my cash games and many of my tournaments. He was the only one of the Tigers to do anything in yesterday’s game, and it lines up well for them again tonight against Nate Karns. Mariners pitching is almost acceptable in Seattle, but in a better hitting environment, I will pick on them all day.
KOLE CALHOUN – Doug Fister has been an acceptable pitcher over the last several games, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be can’t be touched up a bit. Calhoun has nice power upside, and should benefit from a slightly better park in Houston. Again, I certainly pefer the Marlins bats for around the same price, but I think many others will as well, so Calhoun could be a great tournament pivot.