This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday is a bit more crowded than usual with an 11-game main slate, and with so many solid high-cost hurlers to choose from, prospective owners will need to look closely to decide which arms fit best. On the offensive side we have at least one stack that could yield juicy returns based on scarcity.
Gerrit Cole ($12,500) has used his 38 percent strikeout rate to notch at least 27.3 DraftKings points in each of his last four starts but his 1.5 HR/9 rate may be an issue against the A's, who carry a .192 ISO against right-handed pitching this year.
Mike Clevinger ($12,100) appears to be fully in command on mound of late, having put up 30 or more DK points in two of his last three starts. He brings an enormous 41 percent strikeout rate into his matchup against the Blue Jays, who have tallied a bottom-10 wOBA against righty hurlers while striking out more than 24 percent of the time.
Robbie Ray ($11,400) is always a bit tough to get behind as a high-cost option thanks to his elevated walk and home run rates. He becomes much more palatable in a matchup against the Orioles, however, who carry a bottom-10 wOBA against southpaws while striking out a whopping 26 percent of the time.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($10,900) has been able to limit walks and get groundballs but his 1.4 HR/9 rate combined with a non-elite 24 percent strikeout rate isn't generally what we look for in a five-figure asset. He finds a nice matchup in the Rays, however, who have logged just a .153 ISO against left-handed pitchers while striking out 26 percent of the time.
Sonny Gray ($9,700) has been a pleasant surprise for the Reds and fantasy owners alike after a disappointing 2018 season, logging a 3.40 ERA and a 29 percent strikeout rate while throwing grounders at a 56 percent clip. A matchup against the powerful Brewers offense at home would generally be a hard pass against righty pitchers, but Gray needs to at least be considered as a GPP option after logging 43 DK points against them during a matchup at Great American Ball Park earlier this month.
After the high-priced options, DFS players will be tasked with deciding between several mediocre (at best) pitchers with favorable matchups. These hurlers include Marco Gonzales ($7,900) against the Rangers, Ivan Nova ($4,800) on the road against the Marlins, and Erick Fedde ($4,500) at home against the Rockies. Fedde is probably the most appealing option of the three. Not only is he the least expensive but he should be able to use his 54 percent groundball rate to help stifle a Colorado offense that has logged the lowest wOBA in the league on the road this season (.279).
George Springer ($5,400) has pounded righty pitching to the tune of a .310 ISO this season. Homer Bailey has thrown the ball well against righty hitters in general but does hold a 4.90 xFIP against them in 43.1 innings.
Ryan Borucki will make his first start with the big club this year after recovering from an elbow injury. Borucki allowed six runs (four earned) in 11 innings during his two rehab starts and kept a 5.01 xFIP against righty bats at the major league level last year. None of this bodes well for the matchup against Oscar Mercado ($4,900), who has logged a .192 ISO in 52 at-bats this month.
Howie Kendrick ($4,700) had begun to lose playing time due to the return of Ryan Zimerman but Zimerman's recent injury should allow for the veteran infielder to see at least a few starts this week. That is good news for us for the matchup against Peter Lambert, who has allowed a .500 slugging percentage against same-handed opposition in 19.1 frames.
Miguel Sano ($4,500) should be considered a bargain against southpaws, as he has notched a .379 ISO against them in 58 at-bats. This is especially true against a pitcher like CC Sabathia, who has allowed a .518 slugging percentage against righties in 63 frames.
Mike Yastrzemski ($4,300) has been a quiet power source in San Francisco, as evidenced by the .237 ISO he has logged in 131 at-bats against right-handed pitching. Alec Mills has allowed three runs in 4.1 innings against righties with the big club and kept a 1.7 HR/9 rate in 80 innings at Triple-A.
Travis d'Arnaud ($3,800) has shown a tremendous amount of power against his opposite hand this season, tallying a .280 ISO in 75 at-bats. This makes him worth a shot against Rodriguez, who has logged an ERA close to 5.00 on the road.
Nationals against Peter Lambert (Rockies)
The stack against Lambert will no doubt be a popular one Monday but it will still be worth a play, as Lambert hasn't logged an ERA below 5.00 at any level of professional baseball this season.
Giants against Alec Mills (Cubs)
Here we have a deceptively powerful stack that is likely to be off the radar in most formats. This is specifically true in relation to Sandoval, who has logged a .240 ISO in 183 at-bats against righty pitchers in 2019.