This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Baseball series.
A 10-gamer awaits Monday's main contest, with a typical 7:05 p.m EDT first pitch. The elephant in the room will be whether you're paying up for Gerrit Cole ($54) or not. He's $10 more than any other arm, the Yankees are huge favorites (-300) and he's in terrific form against the always targetable Orioles. We'll omit him from the breakdown, as he's a clearly obvious choice if you can afford it.
With Cole out of our immediate picture, paying up on the mound has me firmly in the Zack Wheeler ($44) camp. He's out of his early-season funk, going at least six innings in four straight, fanning at least seven in each of those, and only the Dodgers scratched him for runs (three) in that span. Atlanta is always capable of going off, but they strike out a ton (25.3 percent). Wheeler allowed just six runs on 23 hits across 33.2 innings against Atlanta last year, striking out 41.
The mid-tier presents a couple of potentially safe options. Tyler Anderson ($35) has allowed two or fewer runs in all but one outing, and gets light-hitting Washington and their .287 wOBA and .078 ISO against lefties. They don't strike out often, but that's not Anderson's forte either. Five innings and a win seem likely. Marco Gonzales ($36) may be more lucky than good (3.08 ERA, 5.91 FIP, only 5.7 K/9), but are we concerned about that against Oakland?
If we're trusting Vegas totals for our pay down options, the Mets-Giants game has a low run total of 7.5, putting David Peterson ($31) and Alex Cobb ($33) into play. But I prefer any of the remaining Zack's, or Zach's. Zack Greinke ($29) and Zach Davies ($29) square off in Arizona. Greinke doesn't strike anyone out, while Davies has slightly more potential there. Both profile as innings eaters against limited offenses, which should set a reasonable floor at a sub-$30 price. And if seeking upside, Oakland's Zach Logue ($31) is interesting. Seattle strikes out a fair 23.0 percent of the time against lefties with only a .299 wOBA, and Logue has proven capable previously, hurling seven shutout frames against Detroit.
I'd expect the dodgers to be popular at Washington (Joan Adon), and their top-priced Mookie Betts ($27) is in terrific form. He's had a 7.1 point floor across his last 10 games, collecting 15 hits, including five homers, in that span.
For as obvious as Cole is on the mound, Yankee bats are likely just as chalky. They'll be facing Jordan Lyles for the fourth time already this season, having posted 18 hits in 17.0 innings against him thus far, going deep three times. Aaron Judge's ($27) 0-for-8 history here is no reason to fade, but perhaps it's enough to go down just a bit to Giancarlo Stanton ($24), who is 7-of-15 with a homer and 1.271 OPS against Lyles.
With so many guys priced above him, the seeming always hot Manny Machado ($21) appears easier to slot into your lineup budget wise.
Philadelphia hits lefties well, and I have very little confidence Tucker Davidson will find consistency and replicate his last outing. Nick Castellanos ($16) remains priced down due to inconsistent power outputs, but a .416 wOBA and 169 wRC+ plays well here. And perhaps going real deep, Johan Camargo ($10) and his 128 wRC+ and fair .219 ISO works in his return to Atlanta.
Jose Berrios has a 6.43 road ERA, allowing a .386 wOBA and .875 OPS to lefties, and .371/.852 to righties, so we can feel free to choose as budget allows within the Cardinals lineup. Juan Yepez ($16) profiles well, and a slumping and price plummeting Nolan Arenado ($15) can work too.
Finally, if you want an in to the Dodgers lineup for cheap, consider all or nothing Edwin Rios ($11) if in the lineup. He's got a robust .443 wOBA and .400 ISO against righties.
Stacks to Consider
Rodriguez doesn't look MLB ready, allowing four runs on three hits and two walks to the 13 batters he faced. Minnesota has a plethora of lefties in their lineup we can target as secondary options, and hopefully gain some exposure and success from their big bats as well as individually here. Arraez is a hitting machine, carrying a .412 wOBA, 179 wRC+ and only 5.2 percent K rate into Monday, albeit with no power upside. Kepler seems to offer some power potential that hasn't manifested of to date, his 16.2 strikeout rate isn't awful nor is a .360 wOBA. Polanco sits at .354 and while he strikes out a ton, he's also willing to walk, giving him a chance to come around and score. Gilberto Celestino ($9) is also in play if he draws a start.
Definitely didn't intend to come up with a game stack here, and I'm not really sure I'm advising that. But this is the type of way you fit in Cole and another decent arm. Chris Archer's 4.10 ERA isn't backed up by a 5.83 FIP, and he's walking 4.8 per nine. The Tigers flat out stink, with a whopping 10 Twin bats priced above the first Detroit option. There aren't positive splits here, so we're left to either lean on the top of the order for more chances, or some solid BvP numbers, though not from real recency. Schoop is 15-of-40 with six homers and a 1.275 OPS off Archer, Baez 8-of-15 with a homer and 1.333 OPS, and Cabrera 8-of-20 with two homers and a 1.228 OPS. Even if this completely flops, it's is at least dirt cheap!