This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday's 11-game slate includes the start of some exciting series. The Braves will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers and a tough starting pitcher in Julio Urias. The Mariners will try to gain ground on the Astros with Chris Flexen on the mound, who has been arguably their best starter this season. Another series with playoff implication will take place in the AL East when the Rays host the Red Sox. Let's dig into the matchups and highlight some players to consider on DraftKings.
Zack Wheeler ($10,000) has hit a bit of a rough patch. He's allowed at least four runs in four of his last five starts and has allowed at least six runs in back-to-back outings. On the bright side, he only had 0.95 WHIP over that five-game stretch and he recorded 39 strikeouts over 37 innings. Overall, he has a 2.58 FIP and a 29.1 percent strikeout rate, so he's still an excellent option for his matchup against the Nationals.
The Blue Jays couldn't have asked for a better season out of Robbie Ray ($9,700). He seems to have put it all together, posting a 2.72 ERA and a 3.48 FIP over 25 starts. The big difference for him has been improved control that has left him with a 6.3 percent walk rate. That's four percentage points lower than his career mark. Add in his 31.6 percent strikeout rate and he could thrive in a matchup against the lowly Orioles.
Like Wheeler, German Marquez ($8,500) has produced some ugly stat lines of late. He allowed seven runs in an outing against the Giants a couple of weeks ago and he was touched up for five runs over three innings in his last start, which came against the rebuilding Cubs. With that being said, he has a great opportunity to get back on track in a matchup with the Rangers, who have the second-worst OPS in baseball.
Injuries have limited Ketel Marte ($5,100) to just 62 games this season, which has often left the Diamondbacks' lineup without arguably their best hitter. When he has been in the lineup, he's certainly performed well given his .401 wOBA. He's even showing more power again, posting a .203 ISO. Up next will be a matchup against Chris Paddack ($5,600), who is expected to be activated from the IL to make this start. He's had an underwhelming season, posting a 1.32 WHIP and recording just a 22.5 percent strikeout rate.
Jared Walsh ($4,300) has brought a lot of power to the Angels' lineup this season with his .235 ISO. He's gone deep in two of his last four games, giving him 24 total home runs. Things could be set up for him to have another big night at the plate with the Yankees expected to activate Corey Kluber ($7,400) off the IL to make this start. He's not stretch out, though, so Andrew Heaney ($6,900) is expected to follow Kluber's outing. Heaney has been hit hard, allowing 1.9 HR/9.
Staying with the Angels, the combination of Kluber and Heaney could also made Jo Adell ($3,200) someone to target. He's already started to heat up at the plate, hitting 7-for-22 (.318) with a double and a triple over his last six games. His talent has never been in question, it's just been whether or not he can make more contact at the plate. He's shown signs of improving in that area based on his 25.0 percent strikeout rate.
With so many talented hitters around him, AJ Pollock ($3,600) doesn't grab a lot of headlines. He's been excellent, though, with a .216 ISO and a .369 wOBA. Add in his career .362 wOBA against left-handed pitchers and he's a viable target for a matchup against the Braves and Drew Smyly ($7,900).
Stacks to Consider
After dismantling the Orioles yet again, the Rays will stay in the AL East for their series with the Red Sox. They could end up hanging another crooked number in a matchup against Pivetta, who has allowed 15 home runs over 65.2 innings in his last 13 starts. Franco could be the key to any Rays stack given that the rookie is 26-for-81 (.321) with three home runs, eight doubles and a .389 OBP over his last 20 games.
As of early Monday morning, the Angels had yet to officially announce their starter for this game. Injuries have decimated their starting rotation, so whoever takes the mound, it will likely be an underwhelming option. Despite struggling to score in their last couple of games against the A's, this could still be a great opportunity to roll with a Yankees stack. Among their hottest hitters has been Stanton, who is 29-for-87 (.333) with eight home runs and four doubles over his last 24 games.
The Orioles recently claimed Ellis off waivers from the Rays as they continue their search for any sort of viable pitching options. The problem is, Ellis had a 6.32 ERA and a 6.07 FIP at Triple-A this season. That could lead to disastrous results against the Blue Jays, who have the second-highest OPS in baseball. One of their more imposing hitters has been Semien, who has rebounded from a down 2020 campaign with the A's to post a .259 ISO and a .364 wOBA with his new squad.