This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday's nine-game main slate is unique on both the hitting and pitching side. First, we have a $1,600 gap between the most expensive pitchers on the slate, followed by multiple hitters who will cost DFS players more than $6,000. While this may seem hard to navigate at first glance, the lack of priced-up hurlers means that we can potentially find two arms in the $7,000 range in order to pay for some elite bats.
Patrick Corbin, WAS at NYM ($10,400) Corbin has always been a flamethrower, and though he is outpacing his own career numbers in the strikeout department this year (34 percent), the real surprise is his microscopic walk rate, which stands at two percent through 12 innings. While the Mets have had some success against left-handed pitching this year, they hold a bottom-10 RAA against the fastball. It should also be noted that Corbin has already faced the Mets once this year, putting up 21.4 points in that outing.
Kyle Gibson, TEX vs. SEA ($8,600) Gibson's early-season success has come with far too many walks and homers allowed, but the 32-year-old still holds a 2.96 xFIP through 11 innings this season. The Mariners are a bottom-10 team in most relevant metrics, but I am most interested in their league-leading 50 percent groundball rate, as Gibson has kept the ball on the ground at a 54 percent rate this year.
Dustin May, LAD vs. SD ($7,700) The Padres have been a potent offensive team in 2020, but May is simply too talented to be listed at this price. The 22-year-old has made good on his solid cup of coffee with the Dodgers in 2020 with a 26 percent strikeout rate, 54 percent groundball rate, and 2.63 ERA in 13.3 innings so far this year. We also have recent history on our side, as May put up 26.5 points against the Padres on the road in his last start.
Trevor Story, COL vs. ARI ($6,100) The hitter prices at the top of this slate are some of the highest I've ever seen, but if anyone is worthy of such a tag, it's Story against Robbie Ray. Story's first 18 at-bats against left-handed pitching have produced a .500 ISO after he posted a .250 ISO in 172 at-bats in 2019. Meanwhile, Ray has been absolutely torched by right-handed hitters in 2020, allowing a .628 slugging percentage in 11.1 frames.
Mike Yastrzemski, SF at HOU ($5,700) Yastrzemski is once again hitting better against southpaws but can be utilized against all opponents due to the .278 ISO and .426 wOBA he has logged in 36 at-bats against righty pitchers. Lance McCullers has been an absolute mess to begin the shortened campaign, as evidenced by the 9.22 (!) ERA he has amassed in 13.2 frames (three starts). This includes a .743 slugging percentage by lefty hitters in 8.1 frames.
Max Kepler, MIN at MIL ($4,600) Kepler has put together phenomenal numbers against right-handed pitchers to open the season, as we can see from the .447 ISO and .469 wOBA he has notched in 38 at-bats. Adrian Houser has allowed just one run in his 12 innings this year, but the 4.74 xFIP he has kept against lefty bats may indicate that something is about to give.
Shin-Soo Choo, TEX vs. SEA ($4,200) Choo has actually performed better against same-handed opposition to begin the year, but has more than held his own against righty pitchers in the power department, tallying a .250 ISO in 24 at-bats. Justin Dunn has been far more effective against left-handed hitters in 2020 but holds an xFIP over 6.50 against both sides of the platoon.
Niko Goodrum, DET vs. CWS ($3,800) Goodrum has hit for good power in his first 12 at-bats against left-handed pitching this year, logging a homer and two doubles over that span. While that kind of power wasn't present against lefties in 2019, he did have a far better year against southpaws, as we can see from the .388 wOBA he kept in 97 at-bats. Dallas Keuchel is coming off a fantastic outing against the Brewers but has allowed a tremendous amount of hard contact to right-handed hitters this year (46 percent).
Max Stassi, LAA vs. OAK ($3,200) Sean Manaea continues to be priced at or near the top of slates despite allowing 11 runs in his first 12.1 frames this season. Stassi has thrived in a platoon situation with Jason Castro and comes into the contest sporting a .667 ISO in 18 at-bats against left-handers. Prospective owners should be warned that there is nothing in Stassi's profile to suggest he will keep this pace, but the matchup and price still make this worth a shot.
Stacks to Consider
It can be a bit tricky to navigate through a stack where the hitters will face two different pitchers, but both Fulmer and Norris struggled mightily in their first appearances of the season, allowing four and two runs in 1.2 frames, respectively. Fulmer had a respectable 2018, but did not throw a pitch last season and is limited in 2020 as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Norris finished last year having allowed a 1.6 HR/9 rate in 144.1 innings. Our stack is mainly focused on the left-handed Norris, as he should get the bulk of the work, but each man has shown power from both sides of the plate. I especially like the inclusion of Engel as a value option due to the .290 ISO he has logged in 33 at-bats.
As I alluded to above, Manaea's pricing here doesn't make a ton of sense. The left-hander has put up single-digit DraftKings points in all three of his starts this season and currently holds an 8.03 ERA in 12.1 frames. The Angels feature tough righty bats throughout the lineup. While Pujols hasn't hit well against southpaws in his 18 at-bats this year, he finished 2019 having logged a .255 ISO in 165 at-bats.