This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Monday brings a busy schedule in baseball consisting of 14 games. However, with a lot of early start times, only seven of those contests will make up the main evening slate on DraftKings. Let's dive into the matchups and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Most teams will be deploying starters from the back end of their rotation, having thrown their better pitchers in their season-opening series. However, the Mets had their first series called off because of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the Nationals. That means Jacob deGrom ($10,700) will start against the Phillies, making him the clear top option for this slate. He's coming off of yet another spectacular season, finishing 2020 with a 2.26 FIP, a 0.96 WHIP and a 38.8 percent strikeout rate.
The Dodgers decided to add Dustin May ($8,800) to their starting rotation despite the return of David Price, who opted out of the 2020 season. Price will come out of the bullpen for the time being, while May will receive his first start versus the Athletics. He had a sparkling 2.57 ERA last season, although his 4.62 FIP was a bit concerning. While he'll have to deal with the DH, taking the mound in Oakland's pitcher-friendly stadium could help him start things off on the right foot.
If you're looking to take a chance on a pitcher with a cheap salary in tournament play, Carlos Rodon ($6,700) should be on your radar. He pitched well in Spring Training, recording 16 strikeouts over 13.2 innings. The once promising first-round pick has had his career derailed by injuries, but he's healthy right now, and could take advantage of a Mariners team that had the third-worst OPS (.678) in baseball last season.
The White Sox will be facing left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield ($7,500), so that means Jose Abreu ($5,600) is one of the top players to consider at any position. He's absolutely torched left-handed pitching, recording a .245 ISO and a .390 wOBA against them during his career. It could also be an opportune time to roll with his teammate Luis Robert ($5,300), who had a wOBA against left-handed pitchers that was 40 points higher than it was against righties last season.
Frankie Montas ($7,900) couldn't build on his improved numbers in 2019, finishing 2020 with a 5.60 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. He was hit especially hard by left-handed hitters, allowing a .444 wOBA against them. For his career, lefties have a .369 wOBA against him, compared to just a .286 wOBA by right-handed hitters. That could lead to a productive evening for Corey Seager ($5,600), who is off to a hot start after recording a 152 wRC+ last season.
The Angels will take their hacks against Luis Garcia ($6,100), who only threw 12.1 innings for the Astros last season. Prior to that, he didn't have much experience, never pitching above Single-A. If you're looking to exploit that matchup, without destroying your budget, Jared Walsh ($3,900) is intriguing. After showing a combination of power and hitting for average throughout the minors, he finished last season with a .354 ISO and a .293 average across 108 plate appearances in the big leagues.
If you're not going to add Rodon as one of your pitchers, then Mitch Haniger ($3,200) is worth considering at such a cheap salary. It doesn't look like he's skipped a beat after sitting out all of last season, hitting 4-for-13 with a double and a home run across three games. He's also had a lot of success against lefties, posting a wRC+ of at least 144 against them in both 2018 and 2019.
Stacks to Consider
The back end of the Phillies' rotation is not pretty. Moore is among their more unappealing options, having not pitched in the majors since throwing just 10 innings in 2019. The last time we saw him throw significant innings was in 2018 when he posted a 6.79 ERA across 102 innings with the Rangers. This could get ugly in a hurry. He also allowed 1.7 HR/9 in that 2018 season, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Alonso go deep in this contest.
The Red Sox had one of the worst starting rotations in baseball last season, so they brought in some new arms during the winter. One of them is Pivetta, although his addition doesn't exactly instill much confidence. For his career, he has a 5.40 ERA and a 4.61 FIP. One of his main issues has been keeping hitters inside the ball park given that he's allowed 1.6 HR/9 for his career. That could end up being his downfall against this powerful trio.
Quintana's tenure with the Cubs wasn't exactly a disaster, but he couldn't replicate the excellent seasons that he had during his time with the White Sox. He has finished with an ERA over 4.00 in each of the last three seasons and only pitched 10 total innings in 2020. He's never been much of a strikeout pitcher with his career 21 percent strikeout rate, so he doesn't exactly have a huge margin for error. Bregman stands out as someone to build an Astros stack around given his career 173 wRC+ versus lefties.