Charlie Morton (-142): If choosing to spend-up at Pitcher on Monday night I’m leaning with Morton over Trevor Bauer, as tough as that is for me to write. Morton is one of the more underrated pitchers in the big leagues, and has a fantastic matchup tonight with the San Francisco Giants on the road in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. Morton has actually been worse on the road this season, but given the environment he will be pitching in tonight I’ll certainly let it slide. Over the last two weeks, the Giants rank 22nd in wRC+ as a team along with a 22.8% strikeout rate. They come in eighth overall in strikeouts against righties and their offense takes a hit without Brandon Belt. Morton is viable in all formats tonight and my preffered spend up.
Zack Godley (-133): Godley is the clear mid-priced option tonight at home against the Philadelphia Phillies. Godley has been out of this world over the last month pitching to a 3.18 SIERA, 29.5% strikeout rate and generating an insane 16.3% swinging-strikes. The Phillies come in striking out the second most in the MLB against right-handers (25.8%) and should have quite some time trying to figure out Godley tonight. His price is still more than appealing on DraftKings and he is my favorite pitcher dollar-for-dollar on this slate.
Nick Tropeano (-147): Tropeano will probably end up being the chalky cheaper option as he draws everyone’s favorite matchup with the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers slump can’t be understated, over the last 14 days they come in last in wRC+ and ISO over the last two weeks while striking out over 22% of the time. Trop’s fly-ball tendencies shouldn’t kill him against this weak of an offense, but his lack of strikeout upside makes him a tough pill to swallow at his expected ownership.
Homer Bailey (+143): Bailey has looked like a shell of his former self in recent years, but he seems to have made some adjustments during his last stint in the minor leagues. Since returning to the Reds rotation two starts ago (small sample, certainly) Bailey has pitched to a 3.52 SIERA and a 25.9% strikeout rate, quite a step up from his 5.04 SIERA and 15.0% strikeout rate for the season. His fastball velocity is up to 94.3 in those two starts compared to 93.1 for the season, and this could be in part to mechanical changes he made in the minors including changing both his horizontal and vertical release points drastically. I’m not trying to sell you on Homer Bailey returning to his once promising form and we can’t take much from a two game sample size, but the increased velocity could be legitimate citing the mechanical changes and he has thrown 115 and 111 pitches in those starts so he is clearly feeling good. The tanking Mets own the fifth-worst wRC+ over the last two weeks along with a 23.4% strikeout rate. I don’t expect Bailey to be a popular selection, so I will take him over Tropeano for the ownership, especially in GPPs.
Top Tier: Nelson Cruz- Like my pick in the mid tier, Cruz is going to get a solid bump given the heat in Texas…oh, and his matchup with Martin Perez. Cruz, a perennial lefty-masher, sports an outrageous .378 ISO against southpaws this season. I’m not being brief, this is just the top spend-up in cash games no doubt.
Mid Tier: Adrian Beltre- The Rangers/Mariners game should be one of the focal points of the main slate tonight as the game owns a huge 10.5 O/U in Vegas and will take place in a fantastic hitting environment in Arlington. Beltre doesn’t possess the hitting prowess he once did, but he has been much better against southpaws in 2018 posting a 109 wRC+ and 48.1% hard-hits in the split. Wade LeBlanc has had some big starts for the Mariners this season, but it might be tough to survive the matchup tonight given the weather and his fly-ball tendencies. Beltre is playable in all formats at this price and this game should be the focus outside of Coors Field.
Low Tier: Greg Bird- Bird has been on fire with a robust 50.0% hard-hit percentage over the last two weeks to go along with 57.6% fly-balls. It’s tough to fully stack against ground-ball pitchers like Covey (56.2% GB%) but the grounders drop against left-handed batters and it comes with 39.2% hard-contact. Bird has the ability to get the ball up in the air against Covey rather than keeping it on the ground, and the power upside is always there. Covey has really been struggling as of late so it wouldn’t shock me to see a Yankees explosion tonight, especially since they should be angry after getting swept by the Red Sox over the weekend. How many terrible “Bird is the word” tweets can we fit in tonight?
Tournament Stack of the Day
Chicago Cubs- If any of you read my content, you know I HATE stacking the Cubs in daily fantasy. They are a fantastic real-life team but often an underwhelming and expensive stack. Nothing will stop me from using them tonight, however, against Jakob Junis and his 26 homeruns allowed this season. Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ all bring a .200+ ISO against right-handed pitching to the plate tonight which could cause some major issues for Junis. Couple that with the on-base skills of the guys at the top of the lineup and these surely could be 2 and 3 run shots leaving the yard tonight.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)