The fantasy baseball week is scheduled to get off to a fast start with 11 games on the main slate for DraftKings, which gets underway at 7:07 p.m. ET. As we come down the stretch, there are an increasing number of divisional matchups on the schedule, and on Monday, there are five divisional contests on tap. There are also some very important matchups for the Wild Card raced in Boston, Toronto, Milwaukee and San Francisco. On top of all that, Coors Field is also in play, giving those lineups some extra power potential due to the rarified air in the Mile High City.
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Tyler Glasnow, Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins ($10,800) – I usually stay away from the most expensive SP on the slate, but Glasnow is the exception since he has such a high ceiling on Monday night. While you could make the case for including another stud SP with Glasnow, it’s hard to make the case for any SP in place of him. In his 17 games since joining the rotation, Glasnow has gone 8-5 with a 3.07 ERA, 2.75 FIP and an impressive 12.1 K/9 rate.
The ceiling that his strikeout potential gives him was on display in his most recent start, when he struck out a season-high 14 in six innings against the Red Sox and earned 41.1 FPTS. While that was his highest total of the season, he has put up over 30 FPTS four times in his past 12 starts and over 23 FPTS in 10 of those 12 outings. His strikeout production gives him both a high floor and a high ceiling in this matchup with Minnesota. The Twins lead the mediocre AL Central, but their lineup hasn’t been unstoppable. They were shut out by the New York Mets on Sunday, and Glasnow will look to keep their bats quiet once again on Monday night.
Other Options – Framber Valdez ($9,800), Jesus Luzardo ($8,500)
Jordan Wicks, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies ($7,000) – Wicks has the obvious risk factor of pitching at Coors Field, but he brings enough upside to outweigh that risk and make him a good value play at $7K. The 24-year-old lefty has made three starts since being called at the end of August, and he went 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA, 3.20 FIP and 1.20 WHIP. While he only had one strikeout in his most recent outing, he has more punchout potential than that, as he showed with nine strikeouts in five innings in his MLB debut. In that debut, Wicks had a season-high 29.5 FPTS and posted 14.5 and 11.6 FPTS in his two games since then. In his 20 games at Double-A and Triple-A, Wicks went 7-0 with a 3.55 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 91 1⁄3 minor league innings.
The Cubs currently hold the second NL Wild Card, while the Rockies have the worst record in the National League. Even with the elevation inflation boosting their home production, the Rockies rank in the lower half of the MLB in runs scored since the All-Star break. They also have the highest K% of any team over that span. Despite the risk, Wicks is an option to consider due to his high ceiling at only $7K.
Other Option – Gavin Williams ($8,000), Jose Quintana ($7,300)
Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays ($5,800) – Semien takes his Rangers to Toronto, where he had a great 2021 season before signing with Texas. After an uneven first year with the Rangers, Semien has been solid this season with a .281 batting average, 24 homers, 14 stolen bases and a .354 wOBA. Semien comes into this matchup with good momentum after posting multiple hits in four of his past five games and has gone 12-for-22 (.545) with two doubles, four home runs and a stolen base to average 20.2 FPTS over that short span. He and the Rangers had been scuffling in the standings before turning things around with a pair of wins this weekend.
Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs at Colorado Rockies ($5,500) – Swanson went yard on Sunday, giving him 20 homers for the third straight season. He finished his three-hit performance on Sunday with 22 FPTS and has averaged 9.5 FTPS per game over his past eight contests while going 11-for-31 (.355) with two doubles and a home run. Swanson and the Cubs get a great matchup at Coors Field against Kyle Freeland ($5,000), who has a 5.09 ERA and 5.36 FIP over his 27 starts this season. Freeland has allowed 28 home runs in those 27 starts and righties like Swanson have hit 25 of those home runs while posting a .384 wOBA. Lefties have had a harder time against Freeland, but Swanson and the other righties in the Cubs’ lineup are all good plays to consider at Coors.
Other Options – Rafael Devers ($5,600), Davis Schneider ($5,100), Triston Casas ($4,400)
Jose Abreu, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics ($3,700) – Abreu has been making up for his slow start to the season with a strong second half, and he’s now become a good value option at 1B if you spend up at other spots and decide to pay under $4K at 1B. He comes into this favorable matchup against the Athletics with at least nine FPTS in eight of his last 12 games and an average of 12.1 FPTS per contest over that span. In those 12 games, Abreu went 13-for-44 (.296) with four homers, 20 RBI and a .422 wOBA.
Matthew Batten, San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,600) – Batten has been filling in at multiple infield spots for the Padres over the past few weeks and has started almost every day since being recalled on August 27. He’s eligible at 2B and 3B on this slate and can offer nice salary relief while still bringing production potential. He has gone 10-for-36 (.278) over his 12 games since returning with three doubles, a home run and a stolen base. He had 12 homers and 27 stolen bases in 86 games at Triple-A, so there’s potential for more stolen base production if the 28-year-old utility player keeps getting the green light. Batten has produced at least nine FPTS in three of his five most recent starts.
Other Options – Yoan Moncada ($3,500), Jordan Diaz ($2,400), Jordan Lawlar ($2,200)
Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels ($6,600) – Rodriguez has carried the Mariners in their second-half surge into the third AL Wild Card. After a tough 3-7 road trip, the Mariners will open their home series on Monday against the Angels and lefty Reid Detmers ($7,100). Rodriguez is 1-for-3 with a homer in his past matchups with Detmers, and he comes into this series still swinging one of the hottest bats in the MLB. He picked up two more hits on Sunday and has hit .373 with 27 home runs, 12 stolen bases and a .461 wOBA in his 33 games since August 1, averaging 14.8 FPTS per game over that span. If you are paying up for an outfielder, Rodriguez is the top play on this slate, especially since he has mashed lefties like Detmers all season with a .320 batting average and .366 wOBA in the split.
Chas McCormick, Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics ($4,400) – McCormick offers a high ceiling from his mid-range price, and he can be a great way to grab top-shelf production without paying a premium price. McCormick is a dual-threat producer and has 20 homers and 16 stolen bases on the season. He has 14 FPTS or more in four of his past five games, and he posted a .303 batting average (23-for-76) with four homers, three stolen bases and an average of 9.5 FPTS per game over his 20 most recent contests. The 28-year-old has already produced the best season of his career, and he should be able to keep putting up numbers against A’s opener Mason Miller ($7,600) and long reliever Ken Waldichuk ($5,400). Waldichuk is a lefty, and McCormick has a .355 batting average and .457 wOBA against southpaws so far this season.
Other Options – Yordan Alvarez ($6,200), Kyle Tucker ($5,900), J.D. Martinez ($5,200)
Mark Canha, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Miami Marlins ($3,000) – Canha has been a great pickup by the Brewers, who snagged him from the Mets at the MLB Trade Deadline 34 games ago. In his 20 most recent games, Canha posted a .362 batting average (25-for-69) with four doubles and two home runs for a .426 wOBA and an 8.8 FPTS per game average. He can sometimes move into the leadoff spot against lefties like Jesus Luzardo ($8,500) and has been a solid source of consistent production wherever he has slotted into the Milwaukee batting order.
Will Brennan, Cleveland Guardians at San Francisco Giants ($2,400) – Brennan has had to come off the bench in the past few games as the Guardians faced left-handed starting pitchers, but he should be back in the lineup against righty Alex Cobb ($7,800). The 25-year-old has shown some good upside lately when he has started, with multiple hits in each of his five most recent games with multiple at-bats. In his past 11 starts, Brennan has gone a sizzling 19-for-42 (.452) with two doubles, five RBI and four stolen bases. In those 11 games, he has averaged 9.5 FPTS per game. Brennan only has five homers on the season and hasn’t gone yard since June 30. However, he has been heating up enough lately across other categories to be an elite bargain play when he’s in Cleveland’s lineup against righties.
Other Options – Tommy Pham ($3,500), Randal Grichuk ($3,400), Evan Carter ($2,500)
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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 skills 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.