Daily fantasy baseball: Start Ortiz, McCutchen in DraftKings, Fanduel
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 pitchers: Kenta Maeda ($9,700) vs. Los Angeles Angels and Jerad Eickhoff ($6,700) vs. Miami
Maeda has lost some of his sharpness in his last few starts, allowing 10 runs in 17 2/3 innings across his three most recent trips to the mound. That could serve to lessen his ownership rate in what should be a great matchup with the Angels making the short trip to Dodger Stadium to kick off the week. The Angels have been hitting a bit better as a team of late, but they’re still just 19th in the league in wOBA. With Monday’s weak pitching slate, that’s enough to make Maeda one of the best options of the day.
Like Maeda, Eickhoff has hit a bit of a rough patch over the last few weeks. It started when he surrendered seven runs in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Brewers. He hasn’t been that bad again, but he has missed fewer bats, striking out just eight batters in his last 16 1/3 frames. Miami may not have the easiest offense to attack, but Eickhoff still has that attractive strikeout upside, even if he hasn’t showed it in his last few starts. Pairing him with Maeda gives us a lot of room to build a strong offense.
Catcher: Francisco Cervelli ($3,100) vs. Atlanta, Williams Perez
The math on Cervelli is pretty easy to figure. Even though we didn’t spend a ton on pitchers, we’re still looking to find some savings behind the dish. Cervelli makes a lot of contact hitting in the middle of a strong lineup that has a great matchup on Monday. Not only does he come cheap, he helps us build a stack against the vulnerable Perez.
First base: David Ortiz ($5,300) @ Kansas City, Yordano Ventura
The 40-year-old Ortiz leads the majors in slugging and OPS. That is not a mistake. He’s on track to have one of the best years of his career, and remember this is a guy who averaged 34 homers per season from age 37 through 39. It seems that age slows down everyone else, but not Ortiz. He’s at the center of one of Monday’s best stacks, with the Red Sox visiting Ventura and the Royals. Be sure to check the weather on this one, with rain possibly moving into Kansas City around first pitch.
Second base: Derek Dietrich ($3,500) @ Philadelphia, Jerad Eickhoff
It’s hard to go wrong with Dietrich against a righty, even when you’re backing that righty in your own lineup. Dietrich’s slash line sits at .300/.410/.529 in 83 plate appearances with the platoon advantage. Moreover, he typically leads off against righties, and that could have him in line to get five plate appearances against the Phillies on Monday. Don’t be nervous to use both him and Eickhoff in the same DFS lineup.
Third base: Nick Castellanos ($3,500) vs. Minnesota, Jose Berrios
Castellanos has brought his strikeout rate crashing down over the last couple weeks, giving his season-long owners hope that his hot start can turn into a true breakout season. He’s hitting 344/.374/.586 with seven homers, eight doubles and 28 RBI on the year, and has been one of the few bats in Detroit’s lineup that has remained consistent since Opening Day. Berrios hasn’t started in more than a week, with Minnesota taking it easy on their 21-year-old ace of the future. He has been electric yet quite hittable, allowing four homers in 14 1/3 innings this season.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts ($4,600) @ Kansas City, Yordano Ventura
Bogaerts completes a mini-Boston stack with Ortiz against the struggling Ventura, whose FIP sits at an ugly 5.43. Bogearts has been on fire at the plate, owning a 10-game hitting streak that has pushed his slash line to .338/.390/.503. He has gone 19-for-47 with three homers and four doubles during the streak, and has been the league’s hottest hitter this side of teammate Jackie Bradley Jr.
Outfield: Andrew McCutchen ($5,200) vs. Atlanta, Williams Perez; Starling Marte ($4,900) vs. Atlanta, Williams Perez; Nomar Mazara ($3,500) @ Oakland, Sean Manaea
We’re backing a Pittsburgh stack on Monday, with two members of the best outfield in baseball joining teammate Cervelli in our DFS lineup. The Pirates get an excellent matchup with Perez, and that should have you looking at everyone in their lineup for ways to get invested. We kept it pretty easy with McCutchen and Marte, the team’s two best players. McCutchen’s batting average remains down at .252, but he’s still getting on base and hitting for power. He just had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday. Marte is enjoying an excellent season across the board, slashing .326/.374/.479 with 13 doubles, 14 RBI and 12 steals. Mazara has turned himself into the Rangers No. 3 hitter, and has six hits in his last four games.