Daily fantasy baseball: Get Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson in lineups
The DFS owner has 10 games to choose from tonight, all of which start at 7:05 ET or later. There’s potential for inclement weather in Cincinnati and Kansas City, but the other eight games should all be safe, creating a stress-free start to the week after a rain-filled weekend.
Starting pitcher: Dallas Keuchel ($9,900) vs. Minnesota and Bartolo Colon ($6,700) vs. Atlanta
Monday’s pitching slate is relatively light despite the fact that there are 10 games on the docket. Johnny Cueto is the lone five-figure pitcher, and Keuchel is one of just three more wit a price tag north of $9,000. Keuchel matches up well with the Twins, which are tied for 27th in the league in wOBA against left-handed pitching. They have picked up the offense over the last couple of weeks, but they remain a team that Keuchel can exploit. Don’t be scared off by the 11 combined runs he has allowed in his last two starts. There’s nothing wrong physically or mechanically with the Houston lefty.
We’re not going to turn to Colon often in this space, but we’ll consider any pitcher taking on the Braves. They’re at or near the bottom in basically every meaningful stat, hitting .226/.299/.287 with a .263 wOBA and a somewhat-hilarious five home runs. Colon may be a few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, but he could roll out of bed 10 years from now and handle a lineup like Atlanta’s.
Catcher: Russell Martin ($2,900) vs. Texas, A.J. Griffin
Martin is off to an absolutely dreadful start at the plate, hitting .143/.214/.159 while dealing with neck spasms. It’s hard to have a ton of confidence in a guy who has essentially gone an entire month without contributing anything with the bat, but the price is right at $2,900. Griffin’s cosmetic numbers look great, but he has a 17.2% strikeout rate, 9.1% walk rate and .211 BABIP. The other shoe is going to drop at some point.
First base: Chris Carter ($3,800) vs. Los Angeles Angels, Jered Weaver
Carter continues to rake for Milwaukee, running his slash line to .278/.355/.671 after going 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and three RBI on Sunday. If you can deal with an abundance of strikeouts, Carter is a very attractive player sitting south of $4,000. Weaver has taken a couple decent turns this year, but we’re talking about a pitcher with a 6.03 xFIP who is wholly incapable of missing bats. Things could get ugly for him in an environment like Miller Park’s.
Second base: Jose Altuve ($5,000) vs. Minnesota, Jose Berrios
Altuve is walking more and hitting for additional power this season, and that has him on pace to set career highs in OBP and slugging percentage. He’s doing so without giving away too much in the contact department, posting a contact rate of 82.8% and a .306 batting average in 98 at-bats. The new Altuve is a more dangerous Altuve, and that’s bad news for any pitcher staring down the Astros lineup. This is a tough draw for Berrios in the second start of his career.
Third base: Josh Donaldson ($4,500) vs. Texas, A.J. Griffin
Donaldson owners were understandably a bit worried about their star third baseman heading into Toronto’s weekend series with the Rays. After all, he had gone four full games without leaving the yard. He promptly turned that around, homering in two of the three games over the weekend, pushing his batting line to .293/.391/.667. His teammate Martin is in our lineup strictly because of his price. Donaldson makes it based on the fact that he’s one of the best plays of the day, regardless of position.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa ($4,200) vs. Minnesota, Jose Berrios
Correa gives us a mini-Houston stack with Altuve against the rookie Berrios. He hasn’t homered since the second game of the season, and his slugging percentage has dipped all the way to .425, which would be fine for a lot of hitters, but not for someone with Correa’s ability. He has been hitting well enough and still has a .379 OBP, so you have to figure the power will reappear sooner rather than later.
Outfield: Bryce Harper ($5,100) @ Kansas City, Edinson Volquez; Kris Bryant ($4,100) @ Pittsburgh, Gerrit Cole; Carlos Gonzalez ($3,800) @ San Diego, James Shields
May kicks off with a couple of huge series, with Nationals-Royals and Cubs-Pirates standing out above the rest. The Cubs and Nationals have the two best records in the majors, the Pirates are just a few games back of their division rivals, and the Royals are the Royals. Our first two outfielders are key players in those series. Harper has gone nearly a week since his last extra-base hit, but he’s still slashing .272/.390/.679 on the season. Bryant returned from a minor ankle injury on Sunday, a day earlier than expected, going 1-for-4 in the loss to Atlanta. Thanks to the injury and the matchup with Cole, you could actually get some low ownership on the Cubs star. Finally, Gonzalez’s price is a bargain simply because Colorado is in San Diego, and that seems a bit silly. He’s 9-for-25 in his career against Shields. That doesn’t mean too much, but three of those nine hits left the yard. That gets him into our Monday lineup.