Every weekday during the MLB season, we’ll provide you with our ultimate DFS cash game lineup. Please note that the column is written in the morning, and you should check all lineups to make sure the players we’ve recommended are starting that day. Get all of Michael Beller’s columns as soon as they’re published. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.
Starting pitcher: Jon Lester ($11,800) vs. San Diego and Aaron Sanchez ($6,900) @ San Francisco
Monday features no shortage of aces, with Corey Kluber, Stephen Strasburg, Jose Fernandez and Felix Hernandez, as well as Lester, taking the mound. So what makes the Cubs lefty stand out? First, he has been the best pitcher of that bunch this season, totaling a 1.58 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 40 innings. Second, he has an excellent matchup with a San Diego team that is among the league trailers in every meaningful offensive statistic. Third, with the Cubs offense at his back, he has the best chance of any pitcher to get a win on Monday. Lester is well worth the price you have to pay to secure his services.
Sanchez, meanwhile, provides upside at a reasonable price. The 23-year-old is putting together a breakout campaign, showing that he just might be able to be a frontline pitcher for Toronto. He has thrown at least seven innings in four of his starts, including both of his most recent outings. The Giants don’t strike out a lot, but that downside is mostly offset by the benefit Sanchez will get pitching at AT&T Park. Even if you don’t use Lester, Sanchez is the perfect pitcher to pair with any of Monday’s aces.
Catcher: Wilson Ramos ($3,200) vs. Detroit, Anibal Sanchez
The Nationals had a nightmare weekend in Chicago, suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs, but Ramos cannot be blamed for his role in the proceedings. He had five hits, including a homer, in his three starts, and drove in three runs. His slash line for the season now sits at an impressive .358/.373/.543 in 83 plate appearances, and he has three homers, six doubles and 13 RBI. After surrendering 29 homers a year ago, Sanchez has already allowed five in 30 2/3 innings this year.
First base: Byung-ho Park ($4,300) vs. Baltimore, Tyler Wilson
The Twins are the lone team likely already out of the AL Central race, but they can still find some positives to make this season meaningful. One of those is Park, who has been as good as advertised after coming over from Korea this offseason. The 29-year-old slugger is hitting .256/.337/.570 with seven homers in 98 plate appearances. His power has translated immediately to the majors, evidenced by his top-10 isolated slugging percentage. He’s a bargain in a plus-matchup with Baltimore’s Wilson.
Second base: Derek Dietrich ($3,400) vs. Milwaukee, Wily Peralta
Dietrich was one of the great DFS values last season, and he’s getting a chance to reprise that role in the wake of Dee Gordon’s suspension. Dietrich has made six starts in May, going 8-for-22 with two doubles, a triple, and four RBI. He’s mostly hitting at the bottom of the order, but at $3,400 with a great track record against right-handed pitching, Dietrich will be worth a look most days.
Third base: Nolan Arenado ($5,500) vs. Arizona, Archie Bradley
It’s impossible to entirely ignore the Rockies when they’re playing at home, and we didn’t bother with a cheap avenue of investment. Arenado is the most expsensive hitter on the board Monday with good reason. There’s an argument for both Josh Donaldson and Kris Bryant given how much cheaper they are, but if you’re committed to getting invested in Colorado, the MVP candidate is typically a good way to go.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa ($3,500) vs. Cleveland, Corey Kluber
Going up against Kluber isn’t ideal for any hitter, but $3,500 for Correa? That’s ridiculous, even if he were mired in a terrible slump. However, Correa isn’t slumping, and is in fact starting to break out of the early-season doldrums. He has eight hits, including two homers, and six RBI in his last five games. Sure, the degree of difficulty with Kluber on the mound is high, but Correa is more than up to the challenge.
Outfield: Gerardo Parra ($4,300) vs. Arizona, Archie Bradley; Ben Revere ($3,600) vs. Detroit, Anibal Sanchez; Michael Saunders ($3,400) @ San Francisco, Jake Peavy
Our outfield begins with Parra, who forms a mini-stack with Arenado. He has hits in 12 of his last 14 games, raising his slash line to .286/.297/.437 from .279/.290/.412 in the process. Revere, who hadn’t played since straining an oblique on Opening Day, returned to Washington’s lineup Friday, going 2-for-15 in the series with the Cubs. The results don’t matter nearly as much as the fact that he is fully healthy. The Nationals match up well with Sanchez, and Revere will be leading off on Monday night. Finally, Saunders has turned into a stalwart in Toronto’s lineup, hitting .289/.367/.505 with four homers, nine doubles and 15 runs. The Blue Jays will be one of Monday’s most popular stacks, and Saunders provides a cheap way to get involved.