This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have a heavier than typical Monday schedule and it's shaping up to be a well-balanced slate. There's viable pitching at every tier and a lot of interesting and expensive stacks, balanced by some minimum-priced bats that are capable of doing damage.
Gerrit Cole ($10,500) is the elite option that I'll gravitate to on the slate. That's due to a combination of his skills – he leads the player pool with a 28.5 K% and has the second-best SIERA – as well as a matchup against a Baltimore offense that ranks in the bottom-third of wOBA and strikes out at among the highest rates in the league.
I'm willing to drop down to the middle tier after Cole, which consists of Luis Garcia ($8,700), Jose Berrios ($8,500) and Alex Cobb ($7,900). Of that group, Cobb is my favorite. He is the only player to post a better SIERA than Cole early in the campaign, and he is second to only Cole in strikeout rate. The downside is a matchup against the Mets, though the start being in San Francisco helps balance that some. Next is Garcia, who takes on the Guardians. Cleveland has had a surprisingly solid offense to begin the season, but is middle of the pack in terms of wOBA and ISO. Berrios gets a tough draw against the Cardinals, and his skills lag in comparison to both Cobb and Garcia.
Neither is particularly inspiring, but Marco Gonzales ($5,300) and Zack Greinke ($4,800) are worth bringing up as punt plays due to their respective matchups against Oakland and Arizona. Even if they suppress runs successfully, neither strikes out hitters at a strong enough rate to possess much upside. They are priced accordingly, so if you're really strapped for cap space they are decent options.
Nick Castellanos ($4,200) has hit southpaws well throughout his career and that remains the case in 2022 (two HR in 44 PA, .416 wOBA). He is priced at a very reasonable point and draws a matchup against Tucker Davidson, who has a career 5.30 SIERA.
The Tigers rotation is missing several members, which has caused players to be promoted to roles they may not be ready for. Elvin Rodriguez appears to be one example, and I'll look to the Twins heavily on Monday. Byron Buxton ($5,800) is an easy pick from the team. His price is still quite significant, though it's the first time he's below 6K in the last two weeks.
Saying that I like Juan Soto ($5,100) isn't going out on a limb, but he's a particularly nice fit in a matchup against Tyler Anderson. Anderson figures to be relatively commonly rostered given both his team context and recent run of success. However, he's allowed a pair of home runs in each of his last two starts (1.6 HR/9 on the season). Soto could come in at a low roster rate, but is in an advantageous position.
Adley Rutschman ($2,000) remains at the bare minimum price. He will square off against Gerrit Cole, so I wouldn't go out of my way to play the young backstop. However, he is a good punt option if needed.
Jonathan Schoop ($3,400) and Jeimer Candelario ($3,400) have both gotten off to dreadful starts, which is why they fall into the value category. Chris Archer is on the hill against them, who has the highest home-run rate aside from Elvin Rodrogiuez (2.2 inning sample).
Luis Barrera's ($2,000) role has steadily grown in Oakland, to the point where he is nearly an everyday player. His lineup spot still isn't ideal, but he's performed too well to remain at his cost. Marco Gonzales is allowing 1.9 HR/9 and surrendering a 52 percent hard-hit rate (per Statcast).
Stacks to Consider
This is about the easiest call on paper, but we all know that doesn't mean that the Dodgers will crush in reality. Adon checks all the boxes for pitchers we want to target – high walk rate, high home run rate and low strikeout rate. The usual caveats apply in that everyone will see the Dodgers as the best team to stack and they are very highly priced. With several intriguing mid-priced arms and viable minimum-priced bats, lineups can work building through the Dodgers.
Rodriguez has a limited major-league sample but he has struggled with his control consistently in the upper levels of the minors. He was very hittable in his one game with the Tigers this season, and while we don't want to rely heavily on that, Rodriguez appears to be a pitcher to target. The Twins are much cheaper than the Dodgers, but they also figure to be a popular play. I like the opposite side of this game as well, using the Tigers against Archer. The Detroit lineup has yet to get going this season, but they are priced accordingly and should go under the radar.
This will likely end up being my favorite stack of the day. Like the Dodgers, the matchup checks all the boxes we want and the talent at the top of the Phillies' lineup can rival any in the league. While it won't be a contrarian stack, it's likely Philadelphia is less rostered than Los Angeles. In addition, the reasonable prices of Bohm and Castellanos help the budget significantly.