This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday's eight-game main slate features some of the weakest pitching options I can remember in quite some time, as even some of the five-figure arms aren't all that enticing. This should allow prospective owners to plug in cheap bats against suspect hurlers in order to fit in assets who can do big damage.
Zack Greinke ($10,700) has a number of advantages heading into his matchup against the White Sox but the most interesting one may be the use of his curveball. Greinke currently owns the third-most effective curveball in the league according to RAA, while the South Siders have kept a bottom-10 mark against the bender this season.
Eduardo Rodriguez ($10,300) has put up some big DraftKings scores this year but may not be the best choice for a five-figure asset, as he doesn't quite do anything at an elite level. While it is true that the Indians are a bottom-10 team against left-handed pitching, they strike out just 21 percent of the time, which may work to depress Rodriguez's point total.
A similar criticism can be levied at Joey Lucchesi ($10,000), though he will have the benefit of facing an American League team that strikes out 26 percent of the time against left-handed pitching in a National League park.
There's no denying how good Zach Plesac ($9,400) has been in 2019 (3.13 ERA) but the data suggests that the wheels should fall off at some point, as mediocre walk and strikeout rates combined with an inability to keep the ball in the yard have contributed to a 5.14 xFIP in 72 innings. The Red Sox may be just the team to help Plesac realize this regression, as they have logged the second-highest wOBA against right-handers.
Erick Fedde ($6,200) has used an elite 51 percent groundball rate to produce some solid outings in 2019. He will have the chance to work similar magic against the Reds, who hold a bottom-10 wOBA on the road to go along with a 44 percent groundball rate.
Peter Lambert is one of many pitchers on this slate who has had an incredibly tough time with major league hitters. He has allowed 13 homers in just 55 innings, which has contributed to an ERA approaching 7.00. Meanwhile, David Peralta ($4,900) has logged a .214 ISO and a .363 wOBA against opposite-handed pitchers in 243 at-bats.
Jose Osuna ($4,600) has made the most of his increased playing time of late and now holds a robust .316/.363/.623 slash line in 114 at-bats. He will face another hurler who doesn't appear quite ready for prime time in Jose Suarez, who has logged a 6.22 ERA in 46.1 frames.
Tom Eshelman has bounced back and forth between the bullpen and starting rotation this season. While he hasn't had much success against either side of the platoon, he has been hit hardest by same-handed batters, who have logged a .620 slugging percentage in 18 innings. Gary Sanchez ($4,500) has cooled off significantly after a strong start to the season but still holds a .287 ISO against righty pitching.
Both Neil Ramirez and Brock Stewart should be easy pickings for Shin-Soo Choo ($4,100), who has tallied a .221 ISO and a .384 wOBA in 303 at-bats. Ramirez will open for Stewart on Monday but it's tough to expect much from either man, as Ramirez has kept a 5.40 ERA in 16.2 innings with the big club this year, and Stewart was thrashed to the tune of a 7.34 ERA in Triple-A.
Cavan Biggio ($4,000) hasn't had the meteoric rise of other young hitters in the Blue Jays lineup but he deserves a look due to the .214 ISO that he has notched against right-handed pitching in 146 at-bats. Ariel Jurado has thrown the ball reasonably well against lefty hitters this year but a look under the hood reveals a 5.53 xFIP in 44 innings.
Mitch Keller showed a big strikeout rate and a 3.56 ERA at Triple-A this season. The strikeout rate has carried over for Keller but the run prevention most certainly hasn't, as he has logged an ERA over 10.00 in three starts. Kole Calhoun ($3,800) seems to frequently be mispriced by DraftKings despite tallying a .238 ISO against right-handed pitching in 286 at-bats.
Astros against Dylan Cease (White Sox)
Cease has had a few solid outings of late but still holds a 6.00 ERA in 33 innings. I have thrown a low-cost power bat in the mix in order to try to squeeze in Alvarez, who has logged an incredible .462 wOBA against right-handed pitching in 125 at-bats.
Neither pitcher the Rangers will face Monday has shown they can pitch at this level, so it may be worth fitting in some low-cost assets in order to select big bats elsewhere. Odor jumps out as a sneaky play here, as he has logged a .210 ISO against right-handed pitching despite his struggles overall.