This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday's nine-game main slate features quite a few ace pitchers mixed in with starters being called up from the minor leagues. This makes for interesting potential lineup construction, as we are forced to decide which stud is worth the price while also considering who are the most exploitable hurlers from the bottom rung.
Chris Sale ($10,900) looked to be slowing down a bit on the heels of a spectacular May before tallying an absurd 51.5 DraftKings points in a 12-strikeout complete game shutout in his last performance against the Royals. While his season ERA (3.84) and home run rate (1.3/9) are still somewhat skewed from his rough start to the year, it needs to be noted that he has allowed just 12 earned runs in 47.1 innings since May 1, striking out a whopping 78 batters over that span. The Rangers have improved immensely on the road since last year but are still a bottom-half offense that strikes out 26 percent of the time against southpaws.
Hyun-Jin Ryu ($10,400) appears unstoppable at the moment, as evidenced by the 1.35 ERA he has posted in 12 starts. As dominant as he has been, Ryu's outings haven't always translated to massive DK points due to his mediocre strikeout rate. This could once again be the case against the Angels, who strikeout just 16 percent of the time against southpaws.
Aside from an elevated walk rate, Charlie Morton ($9,900) has looked phenomenal in 2019, with a 31 percent strikeout rate and a heavy groundball profile contributing to a 2.30 ERA in 13 starts. The A's have logged just a .308 wOBA against righties this year but a nine percent walk rate may encourage prospective owners to look elsewhere on such a loaded slate.
Opposite Sale will be Mike Minor ($9,400), who has let DFS players down in recent times, posting 20 or more DK points just twice in his last six starts. The Red Sox have shown decent power (.182 ISO) and patience (nine percent walk rate) against lefty pitching this year, which could make Minor a GPP fade despite the excellent 2.55 ERA he has posted so far this season.
Anibal Sanchez ($8,100) has looked fantastic since coming off the injured list, allowing just one run and striking out 14 batters in 11.1 innings (two starts). This makes him worth a look against a White Sox offense that holds a bottom-10 wOBA and a 26 percent strikeout rate against righty hurlers.
Masahiro Tanaka ($7,900) could be a popular option against the Mets. A mediocre strikeout rate and a problem keeping balls in the yard has kept Tanaka from realizing his potential in 2019, but his ability to limit walks and get groundballs makes him an intriguing option at what is by far his lowest price of the year.
Jason Vargas ($7,600) will almost certainly get some attention after putting up 41.7 DK points in a complete game in his last outing against the Giants but he still holds a 4.87 ERA and a .506 slugging percentage against on the road, making it tough to justify rostering him at Yankee Stadium.
Sandy Alcantara ($6,900) isn't anyone's idea of a stud pitcher but he throws the ball well enough at home (3.43 ERA) to be worth a look as a low-cost option against the Cardinals, who have logged a bottom-3 wOBA over the past calendar month.
It may be tough to fit more than one or two Rockies into our lineups Monday but prospective owners can't go wrong with David Dahl ($5,300) who has notched a .221 ISO and .383 wOBA against right-handed pitching. It seems unlikely that Yu Darvish will be able to survive an outing at Coors Field due to the 15 percent walk rate and 11 home runs he has allowed in 66.1 frames this year.
Howie Kendrick ($5,200) is experiencing a major resurgence in 2019, as evidenced by the .327/.364/.596 slash line he has tallied in 156 at-bats. Odrisamer Despaigne will take the ball for the White Sox after being called up from Triple-A Charlotte. Despaigne has performed well for Charlotte this year, posting a 2.00 ERA in four games (three starts). While that looks impressive, we need to remember the Despaigne kept an ERA of close to 7.00 in 39 innings at the major league level in 2019.
David Peralta ($4,600) seems to mostly slide under the radar these days but the 31-year-old is once again showing big power (.267 ISO) against right-handed pitching. Meanwhile, Jerad Eickhoff has allowed a .594 slugging percentage to his opposite hand in 17 innings.
Kevin Gausman has thrown the ball better than his 6.15 ERA would suggest but we can still take the opportunity to use a hitter like Bryan Reynolds ($4,600) against him. Reynolds has been a revelation for the Pirates this season. Though he has performed better against southpaws, he still carries an impressive .391 wOBA against right-handed pitchers.
German Marquez has struggled at Coors Field this season, tallying a 4.93 ERA in 42 innings. Meanwhile, Kyle Schwarber ($4,500) has continued his consistent power hitting in 2019. He holds a .224 ISO against right-handers in 170 at-bats.
We can try to exploit Vargas' numbers on the road with Luke Voit ($4,400) who has logged a .224 ISO against his opposite hand this season.
Tanner Anderson probably won't be in the major leagues beyond Monday's start, so it's important for us to target him while we can. Anderson has not only posted mediocre walk and strikeout rates in Triple-A but has also had a major issue keeping the ball in the yard, which has led to a 6.36 ERA in 54.2 innings. Brandon Lowe ($4,400) has more than enough power to make Anderson pay for tendencies like that, as he has notched a .267 ISO against righty pitchers.
Rays against Tanner Anderson (A's)
A lot of sights will (justifiably) be set on Coors Field but the Rays represent a much more affordable stack opportunity against a pitcher who has shown no indication he is ready to pitch at this level. This should allow us to plug in cheaper options in order to save cap space.
D-Backs against Jerad Eickhoff (Phillies)
Eickhoff may represent a sneaky stack target, as his poor numbers against left-handers aren't necessarily visible in his overall statistics. This could make the D-Backs a worthwhile pivot to maintain scarcity as well as access real point potential.