If you are lucky enough to have the opportunity to enjoy this Memorial Day freely, hopefully your day consists of plenty of relaxation while in the company of loved ones. I think it is possible to make both happen. I'm pretty sure at least. Of course, if you have the time, don't be shy about making some time for baseball, as games will be on throughout the day, and FanDuel is hosting some rather enticing contests this Monday. Hopefully this article can help steer you in the direction of the cash register if you choose to partake. Lastly, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank our brave men and women who serve/have served in our nation's military. Thank you.
As always, make sure to check lineups and potential inclement weather before submitting your rosters. Let’s get to the picks.
Editor's Note: Play one-day fantasy baseball for cash! FanDuel is hosting a $50,000 league for Monday's MLB games. It's just $5 to join and first place wins $5,000. Starts this afternoon at 1:05pm ET. Enter now!
Carlos Martinez vs Arizona, $8,400 - You simply aren't going to find an ace take the bump today. This will have me likely entrusting the (sometimes) erratic Carlos Martinez to anchor a team or two of mine. It is a scary proposition, but the young hurler has electric stuff and boasts immense upside with his strikeout potential. Vegas eases some hesitation you may have, as they have posted his Cardinals to be a -160 favorite in a game with a paltry 7.5 over/under. Martinez is a much better pitcher vs right-handed bats, and with the most imposing bats that Arizona can unleash from the left side being the likes of Ender Inciarte and David Peralta, I'll take my chances that the man nicknamed El Gallo (The Rooster) is well positioned to strut this afternoon.
Brett Anderson vs Atlanta, $6,700 - We're slowly learning that maybe the Braves shouldn't be picked on as much as we planned on earlier in the season. At least that is the case when opposing RHPs, but against lefty arms, the Braves are who we thought they were. Atlanta strikes out 23.3% of the time vs lefties (seventh most) while being 27th when it comes to team wOBA and wRC+ vs left-handers. It doesn't hurt Anderson's prospects that he will be squaring off against the inexperienced Williams Perez, who has not impressed in his short MLB tenure, thus leading to a higher probability for a Dodgers/Anderson victory.
Stephen Vogt vs Detroit, $3,500 - This is a pretty easy math problem. The Oakland catcher has pummeled right-handers this season, while opposing pitcher Shane Greene has really scuffled vs lefty sticks. Add it up and the RotoGrinders Daily Batter Hub wOBA machine spits out an impressive MUwOBA of .368 for Vogt.
Evan Gattis at Baltimore, $3,300 - I know many people like to punt at catcher, but I truly love the upside of both of the guys I'm highlighting here (and with not having to pay up for an ace SP, you should have the salary available). This doesn't mean that rostering a cheapie catcher is "wrong" per se; I just won't likely do it unless I feel my hand is forced with salary or if someone really jumps out when lineups are unveiled. As for the man they call The White Bear (el oso blanco), he can be a bit of a roller coaster, and may be best rostered in your tournament lineups, but he possesses a massive amount of power when taking on a southpaw.
Joey Votto vs Colorado, $3,300 - As it seems there are every day, a plethora of options await us at the first base position. The sample size isn't huge, but Eddie Butler has yielded an absolutely silly .457 wOBA to left-handed bats since the start of 2014. Oh, and Joey Votto is one of the best pure hitters in the game and will get to take his hacks in batter-friendly Great American Ballpark. To say this is a desirable matchup would be an understatement, as there are fewer more desirable spots to be in if you’re a hitter today. At this price, the Cincy first baseman is a bargain.
Davis Ortiz at Minnesota, $2,900 - Speaking of bargains, Big Papi is less than 3K. Sure, the age is up, and the numbers are down somewhat, but the power is still there. That’s especially true against RHPs, as he boasts a healthy .945 OPS against them this season. The former Twin has really enjoyed beating them up when returning to Minnesota. Since 2012 Ortiz is 20-for-38 with seven bombs in Minneapolis, which adds up to a ridiculous 1.676 OPS. Did I mention that his asking price is just $2,900?
Jose Altuve at Baltimore $3,800 - Sure, he has been slumping a bit of late, but I prefer to focus on the larger sample, and history tells me that the diminutive Altuve is murder on left-handers. It appears that he was given a rare mental health day off yesterday and I expect him to come out reenergized tonight. Walks, singles, doubles, stolen bases; the Houston second baseman can rack up fantasy points in a variety of ways, and I have no issue ponying up for his asking price.
Neil Walker vs Miami, $2,700 - We have all been burned by Robinson Cano this season, likely multiple times, so I'm going to ignore his discount (at least on name recognition, not on production) and pivot to the equally priced Walker. The switch hitting Pittsburgh second baseman will get to hit from his preferred side, likely bat second in the lineup, and take on David Phelps, who, while he has been competent this year, is certainly not an arm that needs to be feared.
Ian Desmond at Chicago, $3,100 - Shortstop is always a crummy position to dissect, so this looks like an ideal spot to draw attention to the wind that will likely be lurking in Wrigley Field this afternoon. No other park is affected like the one that resides in Chicago, so much so that Vegas is always hesitant to release an over/under the night before a contest. In fact, it is morning, and a number has to be posted, but just know this; assuming the wind plays out as predicted (blowing out 20+ MPH to centerfield), dongs will be on the menu in Chitown and you will want multiple shares of bats in this game. I'm not going to rattle off every player expected to take the field in Chicago, but pretty much everyone in the starting lineup and hitting 1-7 is in play. This is especially true if the line comes out with an 11 O/U or higher.
Nolan Arenado at Cincinnati, $3,200 - Sure, we like to unleash the Colorado third baseman when he is at home and facing a lefty, but this isn't a bad consolation. Veteran Jason Marquis is on his last legs and has been severely exposed of late. More specifically, righties are hitting a whopping .355 AVG / 1.121 OPS on the season, and while the ballpark in Cincy is no Coors Field, it is by no means spacious.
Mike Moustakas at New York (Yankees), $2,800 - I love players that get the benefit of a massive park shift. Moving from pitcher friendly Kaufman Stadium to intimate Yankee Stadium certainly qualifies, as the opportunity to bang out a homer is heightened. Compound that with opposing pitcher Nathan Eovaldi's propensity to struggle vs lefty bats, especially at home with the short porch in RF, and you’d love to think The Moose is well positioned to do some damage in New York today.
Michael Brantley vs Texas, $4,500 - Phil Klein did just fine in his first start at Boston, but I'm just not buying it. Klein's minor league numbers suggest a thrashing may be in order today in Cleveland, as the left-hand heavy Indians are poised to get to him. Among all the Indians that are worth a look, Brantley is most likely to be involved in any potential fantasy goodness. This is backed by a ridiculous MUwOBA of .449, as the journeyman has had his issues retiring lefties.
Brett Gardner vs Kansas City, $3,300 - I basically like most every lefty that will play in New York today. Somehow I've waited this long to exploit Jeremy Guthrie's well documented issues when opposed by left-handed sticks, and Gardner is coming up as my most appealing option. He has enough power to get it over the short fence in right, can bang out a double, or simply walk and swipe a bag.