This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We have a small seven-game slate Monday and the lack of volume shows in that there are no aces on the mound. However, there pitchers to target at each level of the price range, which is a nice way to keep multiple lineup builds in play.
It's hard to justify paying $9,300 for Chris Bassitt, but he does get a matchup at home against a Reds offense that is without a few key pieces like Brandon Drury and Tyler Stephenson. Bassitt is worth mentioning because of the matchup, but I'd rather pay down at pitcher to get to some of the better offensive options on the day.
Blake Snell ($8,800) doesn't offer much in terms of savings, but he has a six percentage point advantage over Bassitt in strikeout rate. Don't get stuck to priors on Snell, as he has posted more than 25 DK points in four of his last six starts and over 20 DK points on five occasions in that span. San Francisco can stack some tough righty hitters against Snell, but it's a mediocre lineup as measured by strikeout rate and wOBA.
Zac Gallen ($7,900) is the pitcher who hits the intersection of value, skills and matchup that we look for on each slate. He is only significantly out-paced by Snell in terms of strikeout rate, has a 3.74 SIERA and draws a matchup against the Pirates. It's pretty easy to imagine Gallen posting a comparable – and perhaps better line – compared to Bassitt.
As is regularly the case, Alex Wood ($7,600) has the best SIERA on the slate. However, the Padres are a much tougher matchup than they were a week ago despite their tough weekend performance against the Dodgers.
Keegan Thompson ($6,700) has very dramatic swings in results, but he sets up for a good performance at a near punt-level price thanks to a matchup against the gutted Nationals' lineup. He's posted more than 25 DK points in four of his last 10 starts and negative DK points four times in that same span. Safe to say he's not a great cash game option.
Daulton Varsho ($4,100) is hot, tallying three home runs and slugging .697 across the last 10 games. Tyler Beede will serve as the starter/opener for the Pirates, but he'll give way to the team's poor bullpen (4.44 ERA this season), so Arizona's lineup should be in a good spot to put up some runs Monday.
Justin Dunn is making his season debut and is prone to both poor control and an inability to keep the ball in the yard. That trio of factors likely means lots of offense for the Mets and makes Pete Alonso ($6,100) an obvious (and expensive) player to build around.
Putting the caveat out that there that I am playing with selective endpoints, Jameson Taillon has allowed 2.2 HR/9 across his last eight starts. He also suddenly seems to a have a walk problem, which puts the Mariners and Ty France ($4,500) on my radar as perhaps an underappreciated play Monday.
Rafael Ortega ($2,600) remains the primary leadoff hitter in Chicago, and the team surprisingly didn't sell at the trade deadline so that's still a desirable lineup spot to occupy. The Cubs face Anibal Sanchez, who has looked terrible across 20 innings this season, allowing 2.7 HR/9 and posting a 5.00 SIERA.
J.D. Davis ($2,200) has gotten off to a hot start with the Giants, and he should be in the lineup again with lefty Blake Snell on the mound. Davis has hit third and fifth in his two starts, and his price will rise quickly so now is the time to take advantage.
Elvis Andrus ($2,500) quietly has a .777 OPS since the start of July. He won't be confused for Vladimir Guerrero anytime soon, but he's cheap and draws a favorable matchup against Jose Suarez on Monday.
Stacks to Consider
Beede has worked short stints as a starter, which has been covered already, as has the Pirates' porous bullpen – which has the fourth-highest ERA in the league. The Diamondbacks aren't typically a team I'd prefer to build around, but there are some savings to be had and the top half of their lineup is fairly strong.
Dunn is making his season debut and is likely to get a rude welcome from the Mets. The only way to make the matchup better would be with the game taking place at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark, but this is still an excellent spot overall. It's a very expensive – and likely chalky – stack, so finding mid-to-low tier pitchers that you are comfortable with will be imperative to any build with the Mets as the centerpiece.
The Cubs didn't gut their lineup as expected and are plenty capable of taking advantage of Anibal Sanchez, who is very vulnerable as we already covered. Despite a lot of moving parts in the lineup, the middle of the Cubs order appears relatively stable. There isn't as much value as I'd like, but there are cheap ways to configure this as a secondary stack to the Mets or another high-priced option.