It’s a full day of baseball on Monday with plenty of afternoon action to help celebrate Labor Day. As a result, Monday night’s slate is a little more focused, with just four contests on the evening’s featured slate on DraftKings. The four matchups include a pair of divisional contests from the AL and NL Central divisions to get things started before an NL matchup in San Diego and an AL showdown in Anaheim close out the night.
Whenever you’re putting a team on the field for DFS fantasy baseball, you need to be sure to keep up with the latest injury, weather, and lineup news. One way to do that is by installing the DK Live app and following DraftKings Network on X (@DKNetwork). I’m also on X (@ZT_Sports), where you can keep up with all my picks as the regular season races play out and we get geared up for what should be an outstanding postseason.
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($10,200) – The Brewers hold a 3.5-game lead in the NL Central over the Cubs as they visit the Pirates on Monday. Burnes is one of two ace arms on the slate, and he has been more consistent lately and has a better matchup than Pablo Lopez ($10,500), the other pay-up option.
Burnes has only gone 9-7 in his 27 starts with a 3.55 ERA and 3.93 FIP, which would be his worst numbers since breaking into the Brewers’ rotation full-time. He had several good outings lately, though, producing over 15 DKFP in nine of his past 11 and over 20 DKFP in two of his three most recent outings. Burnes surprisingly has been significantly better on the road this season, with a 2.95 road ERA and 3.39 road FIP. His K/9 rate is also much better away from American Family Field. Burnes faced the Pirates twice earlier this season and allowed a total of three runs on three hits across 13 innings with 12 strikeouts. He had 27.4 DKFP in his win in Pittsburgh on July 1 and 15.9 DKFP in his home start against them at the beginning of August. The Pirates have hit just .230 as a team since the All-Star break, with a K% that ranks 10th in the majors. In this favorable spot and since he’s on the road, Burnes brings the most reliable ceiling in what should be a smash spot for the 2021 NL Cy Young winner.
Other Options – Pablo Lopez ($10,500), Taijuan Walker ($8,000)
Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels ($7,200) – Rodriguez was a big-time prospect coming into the season but struggled early and was sent back to Triple-A. Since returning to the majors, he has found much more success. In his eight starts since being called up, he posted a 2.83 ERA, 3.03 FIP and 0.99 WHIP. He totaled 41 strikeouts in 47 2⁄3 innings but has been effective even without a great strikeout rate.
Last Monday, Rodriguez allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings to defeat the White Sox and earn 28.3 DKFP. It was his second start with over 25 DKFP in his three most recent outings, and he chipped in at least 15 DKFP in five of his seven most recent appearances. The Angels have scored the third-fewest runs in the MLB over the past 30 days, averaging 3.7 runs per game while hitting just .222 as a team. Rodriguez will look to keep them slumping and continue to establish himself as a mainstay in the rotation. Rodriguez is a great value at barely over $7K in this matchup on this limited slate.
Other Option – Luis Ortiz ($5,600)
Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres ($6,000) – Much like during his heroic World Baseball Classic run at the start of the season, Trea Turner is carrying the Phillies down the stretch. He has been red-hot lately and starts his stop in San Diego with a 14-game hitting streak. He went 22-for-61 (.361) during that streak with a .514 wOBA, three doubles, a triple, nine home runs and three stolen bases. He has averaged an impressive 16.9 DKFP per game over that stretch. On Monday night, Turner will face lefty Rich Hill ($6,300), who he had gone 4-for-10 (.400) against in his career with a home run.
William Contreras, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,500) – Contreras has also put up very strong numbers over the past couple of weeks and is a great solution behind the plate where there aren’t as many top hitters. Contreras typically hits in the second spot of the Brewers’ batting order and has hit safely in 13 straight games. During that streak, he went 19-for-52 (.365) with six doubles, three homers, a .468 wOBA and even a stolen base. He averaged 12.8 DKFP per game during that stretch while helping the Brewers go 10-3.
Other Options – Ha-Seong Kim ($4,900), Ryan Mountcastle ($4,600), Jorge Polanco ($4,200)
Nolan Schanuel, Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles ($3,400) – Schanuel has been one of the few bright spots in the tragic ending to the season for the Angels. The first-round pick from earlier this summer in the MLB Draft went 12-for-44 (.273) over his first 12 games in the majors while also working 10 walks to boost his wOBA to .346. He has yet to hit his first MLB home run, but his elite on-base skills have him locked in atop the Angels’ lineup just in front of Shohei Ohtani ($6,500). He’s a relatively low-risk value play with a good ceiling against Rodriguez and the O’s on Monday night.
Gabrial Arias, Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins ($2,400) – Arias has been getting more playing time since the trade of Amed Rosario to the Dodgers. The 23-year-old picked up multiple hits in each of his last three games and five of his last nine contests. In those nine games, he went 13-for-35 (.371) with four doubles, two homers and a stolen base to produce 10.7 DKFP. Getting that kind of production from a player under $2.5K is a great way to save salary to spend up on stars. Arias also brings some positional flexibility since he can play either SS or 1B.
Other Options – Liover Peguero ($3,200), Garrett Cooper ($2,600), Kyren Paris ($2,100)
Juan Soto, San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies ($5,600) – Soto has put together a pretty solid stat line in his first full season with the Padres, and he’ll look to finish strong over the final month to possibly challenge some career highs. He hit a home run in each of his three most recent games and had four homers in his past nine contests. During that stretch, he went 10-for-31 (.323) with a .485 wOBA and an average of 11.6 DKFP per contest. Soto has hit 22 of his 28 homers against right-handed pitchers like Taijuan Walker ($8,000), while 11 of the 17 homers Walker has allowed have been to left-handed hitters, who have a .320 wOBA against him on the season.
Anthony Santander, Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels ($4,400) – Santander got plunked on the hand on Saturday but was still able to play on Sunday. The injury didn’t seem to slow him down, as he went 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base for 12 DKFP. He has produced 13.6 DKFP over his 11 games since missing time in the middle of August with a back issue. In those 11 contests, he went 16-for-45 (.356) with four doubles, five homers and a .485 wOBA. He and the Orioles have one of the best matchups on the slate, taking on lefty Kenny Rosenberg ($5,200), who has a 6.43 ERA and 4.69 FIP in his limited MLB action this season (just seven innings). Rosenberg was also knocked around at Triple-A, going 0-3 with a 7.65 ERA, 7.43 FIP and seven home runs allowed in his last four starts.
Other Options – Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,900), Kyle Schwarber ($5,700)
Mark Canha, Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,500) – While the Brewers still haven’t had one of the best offenses in the MLB, the players they picked up at the MLB Trade Deadline have given them a nice boost. Canha hit just .245 with a .321 wOBA in his 90 games with the Mets, but after moving to Milwaukee, he hit .295 with a .364 wOBA. He has been especially hot lately, going 21-for-58 (.362) over his past 17 games with four doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI and seven walks. He even added a stolen base on Sunday and has averaged 9.5 DKFP per game over those 17 contests. Canha is a great value play in the OF at only $2.5K.
Cristian Pache, Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres ($2,100) – Pache was activated from the IL last Friday and made his first start since July on Sunday when the Phillies faced a lefty. With Rich Hill on the mound for the Padres, Pache is expected to get another start Monday. He went 0-for-1 with two walks and a caught stealing in his return. On the season, the 23-year-old is hitting .320 in 33 games with two homers, a stolen base and a .407 wOBA. Pache brings solid upside for barely more than the minimum. If Johan Rojas ($2,900) starts instead of Pache, he brings more upside due to his stolen base production but isn’t quite as cheap as Pache. Either way, the Phillies starting CF spot should be a good value to target Monday night.
Other Options – Ramon Laureano ($3,100), Ryan McKenna ($2,100)
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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.