This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
Monday features a healthy eight-game slate, although there aren't a lot of stud pitchers to choose from.
Starting with the cash game chalk, Justin Verlander ($10,700) takes on the Yankees at home in what is usually a bad matchup. However, looking at the Yankees lineup from top to bottom, there isn't a lot to worry about in the bottom half of the order. Opponents only hit .192 against Verlander in hishome last season and struck out at a whopping 37.6 percent clip. Look for Verlander to bounce back in Houston after a rough outing in Arlington.
The Giants' Madison Bumgarner ($9,200) will be another popular choice for cash games given his home matchup against the Padres. Bumgarner has looked completely healthy this season, notching games of 46 (against these Padres) and 34 fantasy points in his first two starts. Last season, the Padres had the seventh-worst wOBA (.298) against left-handed pitching while striking out at the third-highest rate (24 percent).
Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,400) is worth only a mention despite his strong two starts (40 and 49 fantasy points) to begin the season. However, both of those contests were at home, where Ryu has been markedly better, and St. Louis has a tough lineup. The Cardinals have a few lefty killers in their batting order, including Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna. It seems like a better option in cash to go with Bumgarner or pay up more for Verlander.
Given his price and being on the road against one of the better offenses in baseball, Masahiro Tanaka ($9,700) is the best left for GPPs. Since the start of the 2017 season, his road ERA (4.95) has been much worse than at home (3.59), showing there's a low floor here. Still, the price and matchup will keep his ownership at a low level, making him a good GPP candidate.
Looking at one of the cheaper values among starting pitchers, Eric Lauer ($7,100) stands out as a solid option for GPPs. The Giants are only a slight favorite in the game (-125) with an over/under of seven runs, so not a lot of scoring is expected for either team. Last season, the Giants had the second-lowest wOBA against southpaws (.285) and struck out at the eighth-highest rate (23.3 percent). At this price, Lauer would make for a solid value if he can get to around 30 fantasy points.
A quick glance at the game in Colorado will make most fade both pitchers without either being an elite name. However, Kyle Freeland ($8,500) deserves consideration in GPPs given his success at home last season. Freeland had a 2.40 ERA at Coors Field and struck out almost a batter per inning (8.3K/9). He's off to a good start this season as well with 38 and 43 fantasy points, respectively, in his first two games.
The dark horse of the night for the pitching slate goes to Vince Velasquez ($6,800). Outside of Anthony Rendon the Nationals haven't exactly been killing it out of the gate this season and have the second highest strikeout rate in baseball (30.2%). Velasquez had a 25.6 percent strikeout rate last season, and in DFS those K's can help offset a high ERA. Only consider him for GPPs in lineups looking to load up on expensive bats.
As always, Colorado will be a good place to look for hitters given the ballpark and thin air. Spending $4,900 for Ronald Acuna seems a bit excessive, but teammate Johan Camargo ($3,000) had a .347 wOBA against lefties last season and seems more economical as the Braves face Freeland.
Looking at some good mid-priced values for the outfield, Marcell Ozuna ($3,100) seems like a good value. He hits cleanup, putting him in a good RBI spot and has a good history against lefties. Last season Ozuna had a .382 wOBA against that handedness, and Ryu has struggled more on the road than at home for his career.
Shortstop seems like a good place to spend up Monday night given the lack of options at the position. Gleyber Torres ($4,000) has been hot but has a tough matchup against Verlander, and Adalberto Mondesi ($4,100) is 0-for-12 over his last three games, leaving us with Trevor Story ($4,300). Story gets a Coors matchup with Julio Teheran ($6,700), who has shown an ability to give up the long ball. Add in Story's ability to swipe a base or two and he's an easy bat to build your lineup around. Make sure he's starting (he should be) after being hit by a pitch Sunday night.
Looking at third base, Travis Shaw ($3,400) seems like a good deal, especially considering he's the 13th-highest-priced player at the position. Last season, Shaw had a .374 wOBA against right-handed pitching and will get Trevor Cahill ($7,300), a decent matchup.
It took a slew of injuries, but it appears Garrett Hampson ($2,600) will finally get regular playing time for the Rockies. While he's been cold to start the season, Hampson is considered one of the Rockies' best prospects, had a .836 OPS at Triple-A last season and held his own when called up at the end of the 2018 season. He's a way to get a piece of the Colorado lineup without breaking the bank.
Using a catcher at the C/1B position is always a sneaky strategy, and it can pay off handsomely, especially in GPPs. J.T. Realmuto ($3,400) is a good play at home against Anibal Sanchez ($7,000) Monday night considering his reverse splits. Last season Realmuto had only a .283 wOBA against left-handed pitching but mashed against right-handed pitching with a .373 wOBA.
The most obvious stack of the night will be the Rockies at home against Teheran. It'll be interesting to see who the Rockies play, though, with David Dahl ($4,200) and Story leaving games early recently (Story's departure looked precautionary). Using Hampson, Charlie Blackmon ($4,000), Mark Reynolds ($3,000) and another outfielder like Raimel Tapia ($2,500) or Ian Desmond ($3,000) against Teheran makes sense. A Braves stack is in play as well; just remember the notes on Freeland.
The Brewers going on the road to face Cahill is another stack to ponder. Cahill has allowed a .332 wOBA to left-handed batters over his career, so using Shaw, Mike Moustakas ($3,200), Christian Yelich ($5,000), Yasmani Grandal ($3,200) and a righty – either Jesus Aguilar ($3,400) or Ryan Braun ($3,800) – could pay off nicely in GPPs.
A Cardinals stack should have some attention, considering the matchup with Ryu. His road woes have already been addressed here, and players like Ozuna, Paul Goldschmidt ($4,200), Jose Martinez ($2,300, if he plays) and Harrison Bader ($2,700) might be the right combination to take down a big tournament.