This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Making sound picks for your daily fantasy baseball lineup is never easy. It's even more difficult on a day like Monday. We have seven games Monday night, which limits our options.
On top of that, the Padres, Giants, and Mariners are all at home. Those ballparks tend to tamp down offense. That just means a little more effort is needed, and I'm here to help. Here are my recommendations for your Monday lineup.
Sonny Gray ($11,300) is the closest thing to an ace pitcher taking the mound to start Monday. While he's had an up-and-down career, he's actually having a really good campaign. He has a 2.92 ERA, thanks in part to the fact he's struck out a personal-best 10.6 batters per nine innings. Gray also has the benefit of getting to go up against the Marlins. Not only do the Marlins rank 29th in runs scored, but the team in 28th is closer to the team ranked 18th than the Marlins are to them. If you want to just spend some cash and get the best pitcher in the best matchup, don't overthink it.
Before being called up, Dustin May ($6,200) was considered one of the best pitching prospects for the Dodgers, and one of the better pitching prospects in all of baseball. So far, his career in the bigs has been hit-and-miss. That being said, he has a 3.78 FIP, which is perfectly acceptable. May is going to be starting against the Padres at Petco Park. That's a favorable venue, especially since the Padres have a poor offense, and no longer have Fernando Tatis Jr. (back) around to bolster it.
Alex Young ($7,000) has made 10 appearances (nine starts) for the Diamondbacks this season, and they've gone reasonably well. The rookie has a 4.04 ERA, but ironically, away from pitcher-friendly Chase Field, he has a 3.27 ERA. Pitching in San Francisco should give him a further boost. On top of that, the Giants once again rank in the bottom 10 in runs scored.
Though Matt Olson ($3,300) missed a good chunk of time with injury, he's still on pace to hit more home runs than the 29 he hit in a full 2018. That's with his home ballpark suppressing his numbers, too. On the road, he has a 1.013 OPS. Brad Keller hasn't had a bad year for the Royals, but he does have a 4.31 FIP. He's also been much worse against lefties in his career, and Olson is a southpaw.
You may not be familiar with Tim Lopes ($2,600), and that's fair. The 25-year-old just recently made his debut with the Mariners. It's a small sample size, but so far it's been going well, and the outfielder showed the ability to steal bases in the minors. You know a pitcher is having a rough year when their manager is saying they are staying in the rotation "for now." That's the case with J.A. Happ, who has a 5.58 ERA, but an even worse FIP (5.68). Plus, he's allowed 2.16 homers per nine innings. Lopes doesn't seem like a slugger, but this is still a great matchup, especially since Lopes is one of the rare righties in Seattle's lineup.
Speaking of the Yankees, they don't have anybody in their lineup as anonymous as Lopes. You've surely heard of Gleyber Torres ($4,200). He was stellar as a rookie last year, and he's improved his numbers across the board this season. What I also like about him is that he can hit lefties and righties, and he's been a little better on the road. The Mariners have been doing the opener thing more recently, which mucks up the waters for those of us in the daily fantasy realm. However, Seattle has one pitcher capable of pitching starter's innings that has been any good this year, Marco Gonzales, and he pitched Sunday. Whoever takes the mound throughout Monday's game for the Mariners, I don't fear them.
Brewers vs. Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)
Time waits for no man, and that includes Wainwright. The 37-year-old has a 4.51 ERA, and he's been shockingly bad on the road. He's got a 6.64 ERA in away games. On top of that, the veteran righty has been getting bashed by lefties. Southpaws have a .292 BAA in matchups with Wainwright this year. Wouldn't you know it, I've recommended stacking three lefties.
I know, I know, recommending Yelich for your lineup is SOOOO bold. Hey, sometimes you might get sticker shock on a player like the reigning NL MVP, but you shouldn't in this case. There's nothing the former Marlin can't do. He has an OPS over 1.000 for the second year in a row, and he's hit 41 homers while stealing 25 bases. Yelich is basically matchup proof, and when you get a good matchup, well, it sets your heart soaring.
Moustakas isn't the all-around stud that his teammate Yelich is, but he has one tool that makes him exciting for fantasy players. His .529 slugging percentage is a personal best, and the 30-year-old has 31 home runs. He doesn't walk a ton, but that's more a concern for his actual ball club as opposed to fantasy players. When Moustakas connects, the ball tends to travel.
Two years ago, Thames returned from an overseas sojourn to have a breakout campaign out of nowhere for the Brewers. Then, last year he fell back to earth, though he still showed power. This season, Thames has quietly bounced back once more. He has a .254 batting average, and he's hit 19 home runs. Thames is one of those lefties who can't hit his fellow southpaws at all, but against righties he has a .900 batting average. As long as a right-handed pitcher is on the mound, I'm happy to have Thames in my lineup.
Diamondbacks at Giants (RHP Tyler Beede)
Beede has had a rookie season to forget (5.82 ERA). Part of the problem for him is that he's allowed 2.08 homers per nine innings. Now, you might be thinking that this game is in San Francisco, so maybe Beede isn't so bad in his pitcher-friendly home park. Technically, that is true, but the 26-year-old still has a 5.14 ERA at home. Wherever he's pitched, he's struggled, so I'm happy to take a look at some Diamondbacks for this matchup.
Marte is the heir apparent to Paul Goldschmidt as the guy who would be a lot bigger of a name if he played in a larger market. Not that he hasn't gotten some love, as he was a starter in the All-Star Game. He's slashed .321/.383/.574 with 27 home runs with a .924 OPS on the road.
While RBI isn't the best way to measure an individual hitter's performance, it still feels worth noting that Escobar has 101 RBI on the season. He's also hit over 20 home runs for the third season in a row, and he's almost definitely going to cross the 30-homer threshold for the first time in his career. Much like Moustakas, Escobar doesn't walk much, but he's putting up career numbers, and clearly he's hitting in a favorable spot in the lineup to rack up all these runs batted in.
In 2017, Lamb seemed like a future star, as he hit 30 homers and drove in 105 runs. Last season, his numbers fell apart thanks partially to injuries, and this year he's also missed a lot of time and struggled when he took the field. This is a bit of a roll of the dice, but he's a lefty that has shown power in the past going against a right-handed pitcher. He has an .827 OPS versus righties since 2017. Maybe there's some of that old magic left in his bat.