This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
MLB action starts Monday at 3:40 p.m. EDT with an early only slate of two games plus an all-day slate with the full 12 games on Monday's schedule. The main slate of game features 10 games with the first one kicking off at 6:05 p.m. EDT. The biggest tournament to enter is the Monday MLB Rally that pays out $100K to first place and $400,000 overall and only costs $7 to enter. Let's look at the main slate of games and some options to consider.
Starting pitching will be tricky for this slate as we're past the top part of the rotation for most teams and onto the latter part of the starting pitchers. That means Jon Lester ($8,600) should be on everyone's radar Monday. The other two top-priced options — Tyler Glasnow ($9,700) and Mike Foltynewicz ($8,000) — are unlikely to get to five innings and thus qualify for the win. While Lester doesn't have a great matchup on the road, he averaged 27.78 fantasy points per game last season, the most of any pitcher on this slate who started more than 12 games.
One of the better values of the slate tonight is Aaron Civale ($7,800) who gets a home matchup against the White Sox. While it was a limited sample last season (10 starts), Civale carried over his minor league success to the Majors and finished with a 2.34 ERA and 1.04 WHIP while allowing only four home runs in 57.2 innings. Civale lasted at least five innings in nine of those 10 starts last season and has built up enough of a pitch count that he should get through five innings should he limit the White Sox.
The "under-the-radar" pick amongst the pitchers is Pablo Lopez ($6,900). First, he's at an extremely affordable price and has a great home matchup against the Orioles. Speaking of home, Lopez excelled at Marlins' Park last season sporting a 3.39 ERA supported by a 1.09 WHIP. He scored at least 27 fantasy points in eight of his 11 home starts last season including performances of 49 and 52 fantasy points. Lopez is a -150 favorite in this matchup with an over/under of 8.5 runs which is tied for the lowest total of the slate. The long shot, contrarian play of the night is on the other side of the diamond in the Marlins game and that would be the Orioles' Asher Wojciechowski ($6,400) who has an interesting skill set. Wojciechowski has demonstrated a good strikeout ability as evidenced by averaging one per inning over the last few years in the minors and Majors. His problem has always been the long ball, surrendering too many home runs, which usually causes his undoing. Luckily for Wojciechowski, the Marlins had the fewest home runs last season with only 146 but struck out at the eighth highest clip (24.3 percent).
While he's off to a bit of a slow start, Kris Bryant ($3,700) shouldn't be forgotten. He'll be in a hitter's park and facing off against southpaw Wade Miley. Bryant led the team last season with a .432 wOBA against left-handed pitching and has been hitting in the leadoff spot. Unsurprisingly, Miley has struggled against right-handed bats during his career, allowing a .334 wOBA to that side of the plate. As stated earlier, the Cubs are a favorite in this game, and the 10.5 over/under for runs ties the highest mark on Monday's slate.
It seems like in a star-studded lineup such as the Astros that Michael Brantley ($3,300) often gets overlooked. He should be hitting cleanup against righty Kendall Graveman, and the Astros are a -260 favorite at home with a nine run over/under, suggesting they'll score over five runs. Brantley had a .385 wOBA last season against right-handed pitching and has a prime spot hitting cleanup for Houston.
If shying away from using Jon Lester, the Reds' Nick Castellanos ($3,300) should be firmly on everyone's radar. Castellanos has been hitting cleanup for the Reds and crushed lefty pitching last season to the tune of a .460 wOBA. While BvP isn't a "be-all," "end-all," Castellanos has gone 7-for-12 against Lester in his career including three home runs leading to a 2.000 OPS.
It's probably too early to use the phrase "slow start" but Andrew McCutchen ($2,800) was given Sunday off after starting 0-for-9 in this first two games of the season. He should be back in the cleanup spot tonight for the Phillies and has a good matchup against the Yankees J.A. Happ . McCutchen had a .371 wOBA last season against southpaws and his career mark sits at .402. He's another player with pass success against Happ going 12-for-28 with four home runs (1.377 OPS).
The Nationals are a slight home favorite in a game featuring an over/under of 10.5 runs so they should be expected to score around six runs tonight. Therefore Howie Kendrick ($2,600) is in a great spot batting cleanup for Washington and plays a position scarce for fantasy production and is very cheap. Kendrick batted a career-best .344 last season while hitting 17 home runs showing the type of upside he has.
One of the great aspects of the FanDuel format is that there are two different spots to use a catcher like Salvador Perez ($2,700). Perez can be used as a C/1B or in the utility spot offering the option of using a true first baseman or another catcher in the lineup along with him. Perez looks completely healthy this season, is hitting cleanup and has hit safely in each of his first three games. Just double-check that he's in the lineup tonight and isn't getting the day off after starting three straight.
While Lester was mentioned above, there's no reason to throw a contrarian GPP lineup of Reds into the fold tonight. Castellanos has already been mentioned and Aquino had a .372 wOBA against lefties last season and is very cheap. Suarez had a huge .406 wOBA against left-handed pitching last season and almost a 20 percent walk rate. The high walk rate suggests pitchers knew of his prowess against their handedness and were pitching around him. The problem with that strategy this season? Castellanos will be waiting on deck.
J.D. Martinez ($4,000) deserves a mention here but he's basically an automatic when considering a Red Sox stack. The other three listed all have the left-vs.-a-righty advantage, and each one of them has better numbers against that handedness. JBJ's career .322 wOBA against righties isn't overly impressive, but that number goes up to .348 when in Fenway. Wacha surrendered a .343 wOBA last season to left-handed hitters.
It's a sad time when Miggy is priced at only $2,500, but every hitter on the Tigers is below $3,000 speaking to their lack of offensive prowess. However, against lefties last season, Schoop had a .376, Goodrum had a .388 wOBA, Cabrera a .403, while Cron posted a .412 mark. Use this as one of the sleeper stacks given that there's 20 possible teams to use on the main slate of games.