It's an eight-game MLB DFS main slate on Monday, so options are limited for our DraftKings lineup picks. Despite the lack of games, there are several good pitchers, and the biggest strategy decision is whether to pay up for the big guns or pay down and hopefully build a better offense.
We're going with the latter, though it's still not easy to put together a group of consistent hitters. We are punting one position and going with some mini-stacks elsewhere. Our biggest risk is fading all Astros despite Houston facing a bullpen start from the White Sox, but their key players are priced up so high, it was tough to make it work.
We're alternating between good hitting environments and poor ones, and we're hoping our Braves mini-stack is underowned because of the park factor and late start. Either way, we're taking some chances, which is necessary for a big tournament.
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Monday's DraftKings Lineup Picks
Picks are for a main-slate DraftKings GPP tournament
Starting Pitcher: Luke Weaver, Diamondbacks @ Padres ($8,500). Weaver hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a game since his first start of the season, and his overall numbers are still strong across the board. The Padres are tied for 23rd in wRC+ against righties, and that includes being last in BB percentage (6.6) and first in K percentage (27.6). For SP8 pricing, Weaver seems like a steal.
Starting Pitcher: J.A. Happ, Yankees @ Orioles ($8,000). We originally wanted Mike Soroka (@ Giants), but we just couldn't making the rest of our picks work with his $9,200 price tag. So, we bumped down to Happ, who has less strikeout upside but an even better statistical matchup. Of course, there are a lot of worries here, too. This will already be the fourth time Happ has faced Baltimore this year, and he hasn't pitched particularly well in any of those three outings (13.2 IP, 18 baserunners, nine ERs, 11 Ks). He's also had a problem giving up homers this season, and Camden Yards is as hitter-friendly as anywhere East of Coors Field. Still, we like Happ's chances at a win and a decent performance. He might be a GPP-only play, but he'll work for our lineup.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez, Yankees @ Orioles ($5,200). Not many like to pay up for the most expensive catcher, so we're hoping for relatively low ownership here. Sanchez's last visit to Baltimore ended in a three-homer game, and Andrew Cashner has given up at least one homer in all but two games this year.
First Base: Edwin Encarnacion, Mariners @ Rangers ($4,400). Encarnacion has actually been better against righthanded pitchers the past two seasons, but we still like this spot for him. Rhys Hoskins ($4,100) is a more obvious choice, but we expect him to be highly owned. E5 is slugging .583 this month, and Mike Minor has slowed down a bit in his past two outings, lasting only five innings in each and allowing 20 baserunners.
Second Base: Ozzie Albies, Braves @ Giants ($4,200). Albies hasn't been anything special this season, but he is still crushing lefties (.370/.370/.630), which is in line with his career numbers (.339/.369/.556). Andrew Suarez might not last long, so hopefully Albies does damage early. Either way, his blend of power and speed can yield points in several different ways.
Third Base: Todd Frazier, Mets vs. Nationals ($3,200). Instead of punting catcher like many opt to do, we're punting third base. That left us with Frazier, who has always had more power against lefties. Patrick Corbin is better than the typical southpaw, so we're really just hoping for one extra-base hit and a run/RBI here, but if we get it, Frazier will have paid off.
Shortstop: Tim Beckham, Mariners @ Rangers ($3,500). Beckham has really come back to Earth lately against lefties. Trust us -- we've had him in our lineups and taken several 0-fers. Well, we're going back to the well, as Beckham is in a great hitters park against a hittable southpaw in Mike Minor. Beckham is still hitting .325/.357/.600 against lefthanded pitchers this year, so you know the potential is there. Given his price, Beckham is fantastic value.
Outfield: Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves @ Giants ($4,600). Acuna has almost identical averages and OBPs vs. righties and lefties, but he's slugging 130 points higher against southpaws. As we said with Albies, Andrew Suarez might not last long, but Acuna has proven he can do damage against anyone.
Outfield: Juan Soto, Nationals @ Mets ($4,200). Soto hasn't homered since coming off the DL, but over his past three games, he has five hits, including three doubles, and three RBIs. The Mets are going with a bullpen game, so Soto should get some favorable matchups.
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen, Phillies @ Cubs ($3,800). McCutchen is walking at a ridiculous 16.7-percent clip this year, and Yu Darvish is walking batters at an even more ridiculous 17.2-percent clip. His last start was his best (11 Ks, no free passes), but McCutchen is almost certainly going to get on base. Maybe he'll take too many walks to really pay off, but Darvish is also giving up a lot of homers (1.71 HR/9 ratio) and McCutchen can do damage once he's on the basepaths.