When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, we'll typically focus on hitters who are $3,200 or lower. In general, we'll only highlight players at the top end of that scale if they have star potential.
Monday's 11 games are split between the early (5 games) and late (6 games) slates. In deference to the split, I'll divide my bargain analysis between the two contests. Aces David Price and Max Scherzer are the grand poobahs today. You'll need some cheap production to fit them onto your rosters. Good news – there will be a couple chilly games. Otherwise, I foresee no rain/snow/cold outs.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
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Onto the bargain plays...
1 – Aaron Nola – SP – Philadelphia (FanDuel $6,800) - Early
This is mostly about picking upon the Padres offense. The Dodgers shut them out completely in their opening series. The Rockies...well the Rockies gave it all back and then some. Colorado's pitching is atrocious and poorly suited to Coors Field. It's no surprise that the Padres did well. Everybody should hit at Coors.
Nola has the stuff, command, and efficiency to throw seven innings, record seven strikeouts, and at least have a shot at a victory. While the Phillies bullpen does their best to give away leads, they did survive a 1-0 win against the Mets on Saturday (I was all over the Mets that day). Nola's best attribute is plus command. The Phillies will use him like an ace, but he's more of a right-handed, poor man's Jose Quintana.
2 – Salvador Perez – C – Kansas City (FanDuel $3,100)
Catchers remain cheap leaguewide. Everybody not named Buster Posey falls into the bargain bin. There are only a couple homer friendly venues in play today which has me eyeballing Salvador Perez at Houston. Collin McHugh's velocity was down in his debut, and his command was nonexistent. He lasted just one-third of an inning. If something is wrong, the Royals could make for a good DFS stack tonight.
3 – Hanley Ramirez – 1B – Boston (FanDuel $3,200) - Early
The Red Sox stack offers one of the best opportunities for offense in the early contest. Opposed by inconsistent righty Yovani Gallardo, HanRam is in line for a multi-hit game with the potential for power. Despite the bargain price, Ramirez is off to a hot start with multiple hits in four of five games. He tripled in two runners in the other game. Gallardo's velocity was way down in his season debut, but it's too soon to read into it.
4 – Neil Walker – 2B – New York (FanDuel $2,700)
I expect Walker to offer many bargain opportunities this season, especially in the summer months. Citi Field gets a bad rap for being pitcher friendly, but it actually buffs left-handed power. Over his career, Walker has been substantially better against right-handed pitching with a .275/.343/.458 line. All of his power comes from the left side of the plate. Thus, his home park and natural tendencies should work together in a way that could be overlooked by many of your opponents. He's against Jarred Cosart today.
5 – Nick Castellanos – 3B – Detroit (FanDuel $2,500) - Early
Castellanos has a critical flaw that will keep him off most DFS rosters – he strikes out a ton without displaying huge power. He does consistently hit the ball harder than most hitters, he just doesn't get enough lift to leave the yard with frequency. That said, his line drive heavy approach should play well against Jon Niese. Castellanos has displayed better plate discipline and power against left-handed pitching. Beware, Niese has a believable history of reverse platoon splits.
6 – Ketel Marte – SS – Seattle (FanDuel $2,500)
Marte has bounced between the top and bottom of the Mariners lineup. Obviously, he's a better play against Lewis if he's hitting second. He's a contact-oriented hitter who shouldn't be fooled by Lewis. He has enough contact and speed to remain relevant once the Texas bullpen takes over.
7 – Carlos Gomez – OF – Houston (FanDuel $3,100)
Today's outfield recommendations are all about risk and reward. Gomez has yet to do anything this year. He hasn't left the yard and has nine strikeouts in 21 plate appearances. While Royals starter Chris Young is in the game, Gomez might manage to send a ball or two deep. KC tends to give Young just five or six innings of work so Gomez will need to do his damage quickly. Otherwise, he'll have to get lucky against their tough bullpen.
8 – Domingo Santana – OF – Milwaukee (FanDuel $2,600) - Early
Santana isn't an alternative to Gomez since he's in a different time slot. I like the Brewers leadoff man even more than Gomez today. The matchup isn't particularly good – Michael Wacha and the Cardinals bullpen is a tough assignment. However, I'm turning to Santana anytime I want a George Springer doppelganger for a fraction of the price.
9 – Michael Taylor – OF – Washington (FanDuel $2,200)
With big swing-and-miss tendencies, a low walk rate, and a normal BABIP, Taylor makes for a nonsensical leadoff man. Dusty Baker, doing Dusty Baker things, is unconcerned by Taylor's .275 career OBP – he's batting him first. If the trend continues tonight, Taylor should get four or five cracks at Norris and a bad bullpen. The Nats outfielder has solid power and can occasionally turn in big games. More importantly, he's as cheap as they come.