This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
A very limited three-game slate is ahead for Monday's main contest, with first pitch a little later, coming at 7:35 p.m. EDT. Differentiating may be challenging here, but the smaller player pool does set up for taking more chances.
Jose Berrios, MIN at CWS, ($9,200): There's no doubting the Sox have a potent offense, but they also fan 25.3 percent of the time. He's faced Chicago twice, and it's been a mixed bag, earning zero points in his season opener, but 49 FanDuel points (FDP) in his last outing with them. He's in a decent groove, averaging 41.5 FDP in his last four, seemingly giving him cash and GPP appeal.
Touki Toussaint, ATL at BAL $6,800): Toussaint is the ultimate GPP ticket. He's returning after nearly three weeks at the team's alternate site, and, in six appearances prior to demotion, he posted single-digit FDP four times, only once going four innings. Toussaint's control/command is a major issue, but if he locates his release point Monday, he's shown what he's capable of, putting up 42 FDP against Toronto on August 6. The Orioles are simply mediocre offensively, ranking 15th with a .322 wOBA and 17th with a 22.8 percent strikeout rate.
Clayton Kershaw, LAD at SDP ($10,600)
Dinelson Lamet SDP at LAD ($10,100)
Zach Davies, SDP at LAD (unlisted)
I'm lumping these three together, as there's some ambiguity for both sides as to who is starting. FanDuel is listing Kershaw, while MLB.com states the starter is unconfirmed. For the Padres, FanDuel has added Lamet, we have Lamet, and MLB.com has Davies listed.
Kershaw seems the safest of the group to actually start. He's yet to face the Padres this year, and is coming off of only his second start of the year where he's allowed one or no runs. The Padres fan just 22.2 percent of the time, however, and rank 13th against lefties with a .331 wOBA. The price point is challenging, which may lead to lower usage. And with five of seven starts resulting in 41 or more FDP, there's reason to feel confident despite a less than perfect matchup.
Lamet will certainly be priced higher than Davies and brings much more strikeout upside. But the Dodgers .357 wOBA and low 20.2 K percentage certainly limit that. He went 5.2 frames against them in an earlier start, and while the two hits and two runs were dandy, he had a season-low two strikeouts. It's a murky path to more than 2x value.
Davies has been a revelation for the Padres, and there's no reason to doubt him given the consistency despite the poor paper matchup. He took the loss against Los Angeles earlier in the year but went seven strong, allowing two runs and four hits while fanning five. If he can flirt with that again, and comes with a sub-8k price, there will certainly be appeal.
Ronald Acuna, ATL at BAL ($4,900): The Braves as a team are going to be incredibly chalky on this slate, and Acuna leads the way atop the order. He's tagging righties for a .472 wOBA, 196 wRC+, .411 ISO, and seems to have the green light to steal whenever. He even walked 11 times last week, giving him ample ways to score points.
Mookie Betts, LAD at SDP ($4,700): Betts profiles nearly identically, owning a .463 wOBA, 195 ISO, and .386 ISO against righties, while fanning a mere 14.0 percent of the time. Acuna seems to have the higher ceiling, but Betts looks far safer to lock in 2 to 3x value at a slightly reduced number.
Freddie Freeman, ATL at BAL ($4,300): This is going to be a Braves-heavy column. Freeman has nearly identical upside to Acuna, minus the steals, and goes for a .483 wOBA, 203 wRC+, .357 ISO and only fans 12.9 percent of the time against opposite-handed arms. He's riding an eight-game hitting streak where he's driven in 17 runs.
Manny Machado, SDP vs. LAD ($4,300): Machado has a .422 wOBA, 167 wRC+ and 42.9 percent hard hit rate against lefties. He's also 5-of-15 with two homers against Kershaw. The appeal seems rather clear cut.
Will Smith, LAD at SDP: ($3,000): Smith is in a great groove. Dating back to August 23, he's gone hitless just three times and has averaged 7.1 FDP in those outings thanks to six walks in those contests. If we set that as the floor, he's six times topped double-digit FDP and four times topped 20. Smith is currently third amongst Dodgers with a .439 wOBA against righties, adding a 179 wRC+ and .382 ISO.
DJ Stewart, BAL vs. ATL ($2,900): There are as many reasonS to target O's bats as there are to use Toussaint as your pitcher. But stacking Baltimore is challenging in a righty-dominated lineup, as Toussaint has been hit considerably harder against lefties, allowing a .404 wOBA and .936 OPS. Enter Stewart, who in a small sample size (48 plate appearances), owns a team-leading .472 wOBA, 204 wRC+ and .457 ISO.
Stacks to Consider
Atlanta's lineup is so deep, you can go for secondary options here to differentiate, as the team checks in with a .366 wOBA and 127 wRC+, ranking first and second, respectively. O's starter Jorge Lopez hasn't been awful as a starter either, allowing just a 4.55 xFIP. All three of these options have a wOBA of at least .381, 136 wRC+ and .213 ISO against righties, have a favorable ballpark situation and should hit consecutively in the 4-5-6 spots.
This is less than traditional given his spots in the order (likely 4-6-9), but the stats seem to bear out. Cruz is the anchor, owning a 47.1 percent hard-hit rate, .389 wOBA and .282 ISO against lefties. We're clearly chasing power across this stack, with Sano's .398 wOBA, .356 ISO and 57.9 percent hard hit rate suggesting as such. Buxton rounds this out at as an affordable power/speed option, though he's yet to walk all year against righties and fans 28.2 percent of the time. Cease has crazy home/road splits; being pelted by righties at home and lefties on the road. For this instance, Cease is allowing a .382 wOBA, 1.5 HR/9 and 7.46 xFIP on a .286 BABIP.