Ten games are on tap for Monday in Major League Baseball as one-third of the league’s teams enjoy a night off. There are several games that feature sizable betting favorites, so it should be an interesting day of picking pitchers. There are also six pitchers that cost over $10,000 on DraftKings, just to add to the fun. Let’s find some value and start the work week off on a high note today.
As you know, this DFS article is a lot different from others, because we’re not projecting the best hitters and pitchers to take, rather trying to seek out the best values to add to your lineup. Keep that in mind as you peruse today’s suggestions looking for the magic formula to cash a big winner.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings:
Here are the top teams to stack for August 17:
Texas – Which Taijuan Walker do you get today? Do you get the dominant one that has pitched very well over his last three starts or the one that posted an ERA north of 8.00 over his previous four starts? It’s a guessing game, but it can be a very profitable one if you guess right. Walker owns a 5.03 ERA with a .268/.328/.425 slash in road games on the season. His mechanics from the stretch have been out of whack with a .312/.356/.549 slash against. There’s some upside to picking Walker, but also some upside to stacking the Rangers.
New York Yankees – The Yankees offense was in slumber mode again over the weekend against Toronto, but they took two out of three anyway and that could be a wake-up call for the team. Kyle Gibson was pushed back a day after getting back on track against the Rangers in his last outing, but he’s back to allowing a lot of hard contact. Gibson has a 4.57 ERA with a 4.06 FIP and a 4.07 xFIP on the road on the season and Yankee Stadium can be pretty unforgiving to pitchers with marginal command.
Seattle – This is definitely a contrarian point of view to take against Cole Hamels, but the left-hander is dealing with a groin injury that has negatively impacted his command over his last few starts. Nobody has really noticed, but the Mariners lead all of baseball with a .466 SLG over the last 30 days. They also lead MLB in wOBA and wRC+. The Mariners don’t walk much against lefties, but are just outside the top 10 in power and they will be getting some swings in at a friendly ballpark tonight.
Here are the best value hitters for August 17:
Travis Shaw ($2,000) – Shaw has four home runs in 59 Major League plate appearances and has swung a good bat since getting the call from Pawtucket. Shaw has hit 20 homers twice in a season in the minor leagues and has showcased good power so far since his call-up. Against Danny Salazar, who often supplies the power, Shaw may be a good option to run into a mistake and hit it into the short porch in RF. Cheap power potential is always worth a look.
Marcell Ozuna ($2,900) – Ozuna was recently recalled from Triple-A and referred to his time in the minor leagues as being like “jail”. That sounds like a guy that has no interest in going back. Ozuna showed some big power last season with 23 bombs in his first full season in The Show. Miller Park is a good hitter’s ballpark and Matt Garza still has declining stuff and command. Ozuna should come out guns blazing now that he’s back in the bigs.
Desmond Jennings ($3,000) – Injuries have limited Desmond Jennings this season, but he is 7-for-18 with a double against lefties this season. It’s a very small sample size, but it’s also a continuation of what he did last season against southpaws. Jennings posted a .265/.346/.487 slash against lefties and owns a career .275/.360/.453 slash against lefties for his career. The Rays face a tough customer in Scott Kazmir, but they are a top-10 offense in baseball against left-handers this season.
Here are the best value pitchers for August 17:
Chris Heston ($7,300) – Heston is a tough pitcher to take in DFS because he’s so reliant on the defense. In this one, however, Heston could find some success against a Cardinals lineup that is nearly 10 batting runs below average against the sinker. Heston probably won’t give you the strikeouts that you’d like at this price, but as a clear step down from some of the other pitchers in terms of price, there’s some upside here if his stuff is on.
Chris Tillman ($5,500) – Perception of Chris Tillman has dropped off considerably this season, but there’s definitely some value in taking him at this price. The Athletics are wrapping up a brutal seven-game road trip and Tillman has made some changes of late. He moved over on the pitching rubber to better command his fastball and has given his changeup a little bit more depth. Against an A’s team that just wants to go home, Tillman is in a great situational spot.
Gerrit Cole ($10,600) – You’re going to take one of the horses tonight, so I might as well give you my input. Cole is the one with the most upside in my mind. The Diamondbacks are in the top 10 in K% against right-handed pitching this season and were just shut down by Shelby Miller on Sunday to add to that total. Cole owns a 3.30 ERA at PNC Park with a .244/.303/.361 slash against. His performance in 2015 shows just how much more refined his stuff is and his ability to attack hitters. He has the most upside of the expensive arms on Monday.