Welcome back baseball fans and I hope everyone had an entertaining and successful opening weekend. Monday brings us 13 games with a two-game early slate, nine-game main slate, and if you want exposure to the DET/NYY and MIL/CIN game you will have to play the all day slate on either site. Let’s jump in and take a look at my core plays at each position for the main slate.
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With that, let’s jump into the picks.
After four straight days with some nice pitching options, we are left with the bottom of rotations on Monday night. One pitcher that stands out is Julio Urias who was terrific out of the pen late last season including the playoff run and will now get an opportunity to make his mark with injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill. More good news as he gets a plus matchup against a Giants team that struggled in their opening series scoring just five runs over those four games while striking out 24% of the time. The Dodgers are huge favorites(-210) and Urias is my top pitcher in all formats on the main slate.
Also Consider: David Price(BOS)
There are some top first basemen on the slate and while I will have some exposure to them, I love the discount and PTS/$ value on Yuli Gurriel. He was somewhat quiet in the opening series against the Rays with just three hits but comes into tonight with a good matchup. He will be in a favorable split as he was considerably better against lefties last season posting a .382 wOBA, 147 wRC+, and .889 OPS(.299, 91, .693 vs. RH). The lefty he is facing is Drew Smyly who is coming off Tommy John Surgery over a year ago and hasn’t pitched an inning in the majors since 2016 when he posted a 4.88 ERA, 4.51 xFIP across 30 starts. At his current price, Gurriel will be a core target for me in all formats.
Also Consider: Freddie Freeman(ATL)
I have a feeling most people will pay up for Altuve or go cheap at the position avoiding the 7.5 total and lefty/lefty matchup leaving Cano a bit overlooked tonight, especially on FanDuel. It is off to a nice start with his new team with two multi-hit efforts in his first three games and hit an opening day bomb off Max Scherzer. More good news as Cano is coming off a season where he was actually more consistent against lefties with a .387 wOBA and 152 wRC+. If the Mets can get to Caleb Smith early it is another boost for the offense as the Marlins as coming off a season where the bullpen posted a league-low 5.34 ERA and 4.68 xFIP. Fir up Cano in all formats, especially on DraftKings in the sub $4K range.
Also Consider: Ian Kinsler(SD)
Third base is always loaded with top talent(Bregman, Bryant, Arenado) but I love the slight discount with Justin Turner who checks all the boxes. The Dodgers are big -200 home favorites against Drew Pomeranz who struggled last year with a 6.08 ERA, 5.31 xFIP and gave up a .401 wOBA and 36% hard contact to right-handed batters. That is terrific news as Turner absolutely torched lefties last season to the tune of a .433 wOBA, 179 wRC+, and a 1.028 OPS. Turner is my core play at third tonight.
Also Consider: Alex Bregman(HOU)
He hits down in the order but that has helped keep his price down on both sites and that will make him chalky tonight as he is off to a fantastic start. He has picked up at least one hit in all six games with two doubles, three home runs, 6 RBI, and eight runs scored. While I don’t expect this pace to keep up, I do think he is a buy-low option in a plus matchup against Chris Stratton who posted a 5.09 ERA/4.42 xFIP a year ago while striking out under seven per nine and give up over 41% hard contact. Beckham is my top PTS/$ in all formats tonight.
Also Consider: Marcus Semien(OAK)
Mike Trout/Kole Calhoun(LAA)
I hate to do it, but I will be targeting against Felix Hernandez early and often in 2019. He is one of my favorite pitchers to watch but unfortunately has hit the age wall and has saw major decline a year ago. His fastball velocity dropped below 90 mph on average and he gave up a career-high 38% hard contact(30% previous high). All of that resulted in a terrible 5.55 ERA, 4.65 xFIP. Mike Trout is the best player in the game and no words I can use could sell you on him any more. I love pairing him with Kole Calhoun who is hitting leadoff for the Angels ahead of Trout and has been excellent with hits in three of four games with two doubles and a home run. I look for the Angels to get to King Felix with the top of order hit and exceeding value.
Also Consider: Charlie Blackmon(COL), A.J. Pollock(LAD)