The first Monday in June begins another great week of fantasy baseball action as many teams shift cities to get new series underway to start the new week. The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox meet in a matinee makeup, but the main DFS contests on DraftKings start at 6:40 p.m. ET. There are actually two series that have wraparound games on Monday night to close out their four-game sets, but the marquee matchup is the first game of the series that could be a potential American League playoff preview as the defending World Series Champs head north to take on Toronto.
As always, keep a close eye on pregame lineups and the latest player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also on Twitter (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the season continues.
Braxton Garrett, Miami Marlins vs. Kansas City Royals ($8,300) – Honestly, this is a pretty scary pitching slate as a whole, and the options with the top salaries come with major concerns of their own. When all the options are high-risk, sometimes the best play is to go with cheaper plays and load up on big bats. Garrett offers enough upside to be a stud consideration at this salary compared to the other options on this slate.
Garrett has only one win in his 11 games but has put together strong numbers lately, allowing only four total runs in his four more recent starts. He has 26 strikeouts in 21 2⁄3 innings over those four no-decisions with a 1.66 ERA and 3.06 FIP. He has at least seven strikeouts in three of those four games and has been able to post over 22 DKFP in three of those games even without the four-point bonus for a win. Garrett gets a good matchup in this game against the Royals, who totaled just nine runs over their last four games. On the season, Kansas City is in the bottom five in runs scored and wOBA with just a .299 team wOBA on the season and just a .282 road wOBA, the second-worst mark in the Majors.
Other Options – Aaron Nola ($10,200), Blake Snell ($9,700)
Andrew Abbott, Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,000) – I told you we were going cheap on pitching! Actually, though, Abbott is much more than just a punt play. He brings some good upside as he makes his MLB debut. Abbott has been excellent at Double-A and Triple-A this season, going a combined 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA and 0.926 WHIP in his 10 starts. He had an impressive 90 strikeouts in 54 innings including 25 strikeouts in 18 1⁄3 innings in his three most recent starts at Triple-A.
The 24-year-old lefty is the team’s top pitching prospect and ranks as the team’s No. 6 overall prospect in the system, per MLB Pipeline. He isn’t a prototypical power pitcher like many of the other young Reds’ arms, but his low-90s fastball has a lot of deception and cut and mixes well with his slider and curveball to give him several different looks that he controls well. Abbott gets a pretty good matchup for his debut, especially since the Brewers have struggled badly against lefties. Milwaukee has the lowest team batting average (.210) and lowest team wOBA (.281) of any team in the Majors against southpaws. With such a low salary, Abbott doesn’t have to do much to return elite value, and his strikeout potential makes him a strong play at only $4K.
Other Options – Brandon Bielak ($7,200), Johan Oviedo ($6,900)
Corey Seager, Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals ($5,900) – The Rangers have the highest-scoring offense in baseball by an impressive margin of 19 runs. They have the highest team batting average in the Majors and the second-highest team wOBA. They were rolling without Seager, and his return has taken them to an even higher level as they continue to lead the AL West. Seager helped them stack up 30 runs in the first three games of this homestand against Seattle and should be in a good spot to keep crushing against St. Louis on Monday. Seager is hitting .343 (23-for-67) in his 16 games since returning from the IL with seven doubles, five home runs and a .427 wOBA helping him average 12.6 DKFP per game. He has multiple hits in five of his past six games and gets a good matchup against Adam Wainwright ($7,100), who has let lefties hit .400 against him this year with a .469 wOBA.
Alex Bregman, Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays ($5,200) – Bregman’s season-long totals are on par with his past seasons, but after a slow start, he has been trending in the right direction over the past few weeks. He starts this series against the Blue Jays with an 11-game hitting streak and has gone 24-for-64 (.364) while hitting safely in 15 of his past 17 contests. His power production has come around during that span as well, as indicated by his .182 ISO and .420 wOBA. He has dropped to the cleanup spot for the past few series which seems to have helped him find his groove, and he’ll look to keep crushing against Alek Manoah ($7,400), who has struggled this season, going 1-6 with a 5.46 ERA and 6.27 FIP.
Other Options – Marcus Semien ($6,000), Paul Goldschmidt ($5,600)
Owen Miller, Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds ($3,800) – One of the few Brewers who hits lefties well is Miller, who often moves into the leadoff spot. Since the injury to Willy Adames (concussion), though, he has been hitting second in the order, but either way, Miller should be in a good run production spot on Monday. Miller established himself as a critical contributor for Milwaukee with a great May. Since May 1, he is hitting .340 with four homers, five stolen bases and a .391 wOBA with 14 runs scored and 14 RBI in 26 games. He has done most of that damage against lefties, and on the season he’s hitting .347 against southpaws with a .358 wOBA. He also has been much better on the road, so he has both those splits in his favor Monday as a good value option at either 1B or 2B.
Brandon Belt, Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros ($2,500) – Belt hit only .161 in his first 18 games of the season, looking like he was past his best fantasy-producing days. The veteran has turned things around since then, though, and suddenly emerged as the cleanup hitter in a powerful Blue Jays batting order. In his past 18 games, Belt is hitting a healthy .315 with a home run, 15 walks and a .404 wOBA. He still only has a 39.4% hard-hit rate with only two barrels during that span, so the data points to some fortunate bounces going his way. However, at this low price, Belt can be a great bargain play against righties like Brandon Bielak ($7,200).
Other Options – Mauricio Dubón ($3,400), Connor Joe ($3,300), Maikel Garcia ($2,400)
Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs ($6,200) – The Padres have been a letdown this season, but Tatis has been one of the few bright spots. The 24-year-old superstar has gotten right back to his productive self after his delayed start to the season and is hitting .263 with 11 homers and six stolen bases with a .349 wOBA in his 39 games. He has been especially hot in the last few games, going 8-for-17 (.471) in his four most recent contests with three doubles, two home runs and a stolen base helping him average 18.8 DKFP in those four contests. He homered twice on Saturday for his second multi-homer game of the season and will try to help his team earn a split of their four-game set with Chicago as he takes on Kyle Hendricks ($6,300), who is making just his third start of the season.
Jake Fraley, Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,800) – Although he sometimes platoons against lefties, Fraley has shown a high ceiling when he starts against righties like Monday’s scheduled opponent, Julio Teheran ($8,700). Fraley has seven homers, 11 stolen bases and is hitting .292 against righties with a .194 ISO and .375 wOBA. Fraley homered in each of his past two games and has four stolen bases in the first three games of this series against Milwaukee. Tatis and Fraley each bring potential in power and speed categories, making them lower-risk and higher-ceiling options on this slate.
Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($6,100), Bryan Reynolds ($5,300)
Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies vs. Detroit Tigers ($4,500) – Castellanos is always worth a look when facing a lefty, but he gets some added hype Monday since he’s facing his former team and comes in with sparkling recent form. Castellanos has gone 11-for-17 (.647) in his first four games in June with a double, two home runs and an insane .690 wOBA. He has actually been pretty locked in over his past 10 games, averaging 11.2 DKFP per contest by going 18-for-41 (.439) with a .487 wOBA and six multi-hit performances. Not only is he on the strong side of his splits against southpaws, most of his best games this year have come at Citizens Bank Park, where he’s hitting .363 with four of his seven homers and a .432 wOBA.
Jesús Sánchez, Miami Marlins vs. Kansas City Royals ($3,200) – Sánchez has been limited by injury this season, but when the 25-year-old has been healthy, he has brought good power potential. He is hitting .302 in his 35 games with four homers, three stolen bases and a .398 wOBA. He usually hits in the middle of the Marlins' batting order and has gone 6-for-17 (.353) with one home run and a .428 wOBA in his six games since returning from the IL. He and the Marlins have a good matchup on Monday, and getting him at barely over $3K is a bargain option considering if you end up having to go cheap in the outfield.
Other Options – Jonathan Davis ($3,000), Ramon Laureano ($2,500), Drew Waters ($2,000)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.