Monday is generally a travel day for many MLB teams. However, today’s slate is full with 12 games on deck. However, three of them are off the main slate because one is an afternoon game and two are starting in the six-something time-frame ET. That leaves us with nine games on the main slate and there are plenty of top-tier arms to choose from.
Top Tier Options
Gerritt Cole, Royals at Astros ($11,500 FD, $10,700 DK): Cole is certainly priced up across the industry. It is my job to tell answer the question, “is he worth it?” The short answer to this is yes for GPP, no for cash games. Cole is coming off his best start of the ’19 season, going seven scoreless innings while giving up only one hit, three walks and striking out 11 in Minnesota. Though the Royals are average to slightly above compared to MLB normals vs righties (21.5% K rate, .793 wOPS, .201 ISO), the only player on the Royals roster that has ever homered against Cole is Lucas Duda (who is currently on the IL). Billy Hamilton and Chris Owings are the only other Royals that have any sort of success against this power righty. Speaking of righties, the Royals are predominantly that and Cole dominates righties to the tune of only 14 hits in 80 ABs this season with 33 Ks. If Owings and Hamilton are the batters you fear in the Royals lineup you know it can be an easy matchup for Cole.
Jacob deGrom, Mets at Padres ($11,100 FD, $10,200 DK): This is another ace I can only recommend for GPPs as I feel the are some great, cheaper arms more appropriate for cash games. A few weeks back, there was panic in New York about deGrom. A MRI? The flu? Something else? Was there worry about another Tommy John surgery? Whatever it was, there was a stretch where he was an average pitcher at best. In three starts between April 9th and April 26th, he combined for a grand total of 54 FD points, an average of 18 a start, including two starts where he scored in single digits. He silenced the critics just a bit his last time out with seven strong innings, giving up only three hits, two walks, no earned runs while striking out six in a quality start against the Reds in New York. That is the deGrom from last year. He goes to a strong pitcher’s park in San Diego and faces a Padres lineup that struggles against righties to the tune of a .687 wOBA, .175 ISO and strikes out a third highest rate of 26.9%. Look for him to pitch a great game.
Chris Paddack, Mets at Padres ($9,200 FD, $9,200 DK): Before this season is over, even casual baseball fans are going to know this guy. His makeup and his repertoire on the mound are old school and he is very advanced for a 23 year-old pitcher. Paddack has good velocity on his fastball, and he pairs it with a changeup with good drop and velocity separation, and a slow curve. That’s a nice pitch when it comes to keeping hitters off balance and neutralizing the opposite side. He throws strikes, walking only nine batters out of the 122 he has faced on the season so far. His is striking out over a batter an inning. And now here comes his most impressive stat of the young season: he has only given up 14 hits in 33 innings. That is not a typo. When batters are hitting $1.25 off of you, that is what happens. His last start was on April 30th, part of the Padres philosophy of giving him extra days off. He has consistently gone fairly deep in games this season, going at least five innings in every start but one and he gone six innings or more in each of his last three. He is my clear-cut #1 cash pitcher tonight against a Mets lineup that scares no one.
Cole Hamels, Marlins at Cubs ($9,000 FD, $9,000 DK): Hamels is my #2 option in cash games tonight but one thing does slightly scare me right now: the weather. A line of showers and thunderstorms threatens this game in terms of an in-game delay. While I do not think this game will be cancelled, an in-game delay can be disaster for a starting pitcher. Other than that, Hamels has been very good this year (1.09 WHIP, .207 BAA, only 4 HRs given up on the year with no games giving up multiple home runs). As documented time and time again, the Marlins lineup is bad. They are are 30th in OPS against righties but improve all the way to 28th against lefties (can you sense the sarcasm?) Take the savings and use Hamels or Paddack in cash games, and spend up on some Cubs bats on the other side of this game.
Vince Velasquez Phillies at Cardinals ($7,600 FD, $8,800 DK): More of a FD choice because of the price difference, Velasquez is a GPP-only option for me. For cash games, you want near certainty. VV is not that. He was tagged his last time out by the Tigers and lasted only 3.2 innings. One thing I like about him in this matchup is his ability to strike out batters. His last three starts feature eight, six and seven strikeouts respectively. Getting a massive park upgrade could help Velasquez against a Cardinals team that is a combined 14 for 68 (.201 batting average) with only two HRs hit off of him.
Martin Perez Twins at Blue Jays ($7,500 FD, $6,600 DK): A DK only play because of the price and one that is worth cash consideration. At FD’s price, he is likely a GPP only play because expected low ownership. Perez has picked up three wins in a row and has an 18:5 K/BB ratio, a 2.08 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP since moving into the starting rotation four outings ago. He is throwing a career high 94.7 mph leading to a 10.6 Swinging Strike Percentage. Toronto is really struggling offensively right now and now might be the time to unleash Perez against them.
DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).