Top Tier: Zack Wheeler (-120)- It’s kind of interesting to see Wheeler at the top here, but given his extreme savings off of Gerrit Cole and the fact that Corey Kluber is matched up with the Red Sox…here we are. Wheeler has looked fantastic as of late and it appears he has finally put it all together, over the last 30 days he owns a 96.3 average fast ball velocity (last year he averaged 94.6) and 11.7% swinging-strikes. This Giants team is in an absolute tailspin and are in the basement in pretty much every offensive category against right-handers since the All-Star break. In addition to above-average strikeouts, Wheeler owns the lowest hard-contact rate allowed on the slate at 26.1%. Without some crazy BABIP, I don’t see how this Giants offense can tag him and when factoring in his price he becomes an elite option on Monday night.
Mid Tier: Marco Estrada (-180)- Marco Estrada is not someone I typically use in daily fantasy because he doesn’t generate many strikeouts, but at under $7,000 on DraftKings he is vaulted into play alongside Derek Holland in the mid tier. There is a solid price differential between the two, which is why I am siding with Estrada. At this point of his career, we know what he is, a fly-ball pitcher who is good enough at limiting hard-contact for it truly to do him in most starts. This Orioles lineup projects for a sub-.130 ISO against right-handed pitching and at this price we don’t need strikeouts, simply solid run prevention and innings. The upside is definitely limited, making this a cash game play while we would rather chase ceiling in GPPs.
Low Tier: Lucas Giolito (+142)- Gio’s opponent in this game Stephen Gonsalves, actually figures to be decently owned making is debut but I’m going to take a stand and say that I actually prefer Giolito. Gonsalves’, like Giolito, has massive control issues but I at least know that I’m getting into with Gio. Gonsalves owns a 13% walk rate at Triple A, and I can’t accurately predict that it’s going to change in the major leagues. Giolito has a bit more strikeout upside, and the matchup with the Twins is no better or worse than it is with the White Sox. The White Sox strike out more than the Twins, but Gonsalves doesn’t profile as a K/inning pitcher so I’m really not concerned with that. My favorite part is Giolito is actually CHEAPER on DraftKings. Gio owns 3 QS out of his last 5 games, so I at least know that he is capable of a solid outing and I’m still trying to figure out why he is cheaper. I can’t recommend this route in cash games, but in tournaments I am definitely interested as a punt SP2.
Top Tier: Christian Yelich- The Brewers are most likely going be at the forefront of the slate tonight given the depth and power of their lineup against Homer Bailey and the Reds bullpen. It looks like the mechanical changes haven’t helped Bailey after all, and he is right back to allowing a massive amount of hard-hits. Jesus Aguilar will be popular I’m sure, but since I prefer Olson for his price we can lock onto Christian Yelich as the top overall cash game play. A .200 ISO and 46.4% hard-hit percentage will certainly get it done and we get a nice boost with Yelich being locked into the top of the order.
Mid Tier: Matt Olson- Olson and the scorching hot Athletics should be one of the other chalkier teams tonight against bad back Bartolo Colon. He was scratched from his start yesterday due to his back flaring up so I have a hard time imagining that he will be 100% tonight against one of the most powerful lineups in the MLB. We are going to want some cash game exposure here and what better way to get it than with Matt Olson at $4,100 on DraftKings. Colon lives or dies by BABIP, and has no ability to generate swinging strikes. That’s a huge boost for Olson especially when factoring in his power. First base is loaded today but for the price I don’t see how you can beat Olson in this spot.
Low Tier: Avisail Garcia- It was announced that Garcia has been dealing with a knee injury, but that didn’t stop him from homering on Sunday afternoon. Opposition Stephen Gonsalves will be making his MLB debut and he actually might be semi-popular given his price on multi-pitcher sites despite some serious control concerns. Garcia has been chugging along once again this season posting a .286 ISO and a 150 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. Garcia provides power upside for a very low price on DraftKings and should find himself relatively low-owned.
Tournament Stack of he Day
Los Angeles Dodgers- As I noted above, the Athletics and Brewers should dominate ownership tonight and that could leave the Dodgers to fly a bit under the radar. Their opponent Austin Gomber has flashed some potential in his short stint with the big league club, including 10.1% swinging-strikes, but he is allowing above-average hard contact and fly balls along with 11% walks. This Dodgers lineup has become a daunting task for southpaws and I love stacking against guys with control issues. Justin Turner, Matt Kemp, Manny Machado (If playing), Brian Dozier and Kike Hernandez are my favorite five for DraftKings but you can also include Chris Taylor in case Machado misses the game tonight.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)