The month of August is ushered in with a relatively small eight-game slate on Monday, although it’s definitely not a slate void of solid fantasy options on FanDuel.
Keep in mind that the trade deadline ends this afternoon and it’s possible that some of the teams on tonight’s schedule (Yankees, Rays, Brewers) could be involved in some major deals that would shake up the slate to some extent. Make sure to check RotoGrinders’ DFS Alerts for the latest daily fantasy news before finalizing your MLB lineups.
Stephen Strasburg ($11,600) – Strasburg has been one of the most consistently dominant arms in 2016 and that trend should continue tonight in Arizona. He’s held opposing hitters to a .241 wOBA on the road with a 32.4 K% and a 2.93 xFIP, and while the park bump works in the D’Backs favor, their offense is weak enough that even Chase Field shouldn’t pose a threat to Strasburg. His 30.9 K% on the season is tops among arms on tonight’s slate and while he carries a high price tag, his ceiling is enormous in this spot.
Chris Archer ($9,300) – He’s not the safest option on the board, but Archer is my top GPP target at the pitcher spot. Archer has been dominant at home this season (.283 wOBA allowed, 29.6 K%) and is coming off his sharpest month of the season where he pitched well on the road in Colorado and Boston. His 12.0 SwStr% and 27.4 K% are second best on tonight’s slate and his matchup with the Royals is only scary from a name-brand perspective. Kansas City owns the second worst road offense in baseball and they possess very little power against RHP. Fire up Archer confidently in GPPs, and I don’t think you need to avoid him in cash games either.
Wilson Ramos ($3,400) – Archie Bradley has actually started to look like a capable MLB pitcher this season, although he still struggles too often when pitching in hitter-friendly Chase Field. He’s striking out RHs at home at a high clip, but he’s also still being plagued by the long ball and is not doing a good job of limiting hard contact (33.0 hard% at home vs. RHs, 34.5 hard% vs. RHs on the season). As for Ramos, he’s hit RHP very well this season to the tune of a .387 wOBA, .183 ISO and 34.9 hard%, numbers that will play just fine in the heart of the Nats order.
Brian McCann ($3,200) is a fine upside play against Logan Verrett assuming he doesn’t end up getting traded before today’s deadline. Russell Martin ($3,200) is a fine pivot off either Ramos or McCann, and Travis d’Arnaud ($2,100) is the top punt play behind the dish.
Carlos Santana ($3,800) – Jose Berrios had an absolutely awful start to his big league career, allowing 17 ERs in 15 IP including five HRs allowed with a whopping 12 BBs. He’s still one of the better pitching prospects in the bigs and he’s not going to struggle like that going forward, but we’ll want to take advantage of his inexperience while we can. Santana has had great power numbers against RHP this season (20 HRs), rocking a .378 wOBA and .282 ISO atop the Indians lineup. He’s a fine target as part of an Indians stack or as a stand-alone upside play.
Dae-Ho Lee ($2,700) – If you’re looking for cheap upside at first base, Lee is a very nice GPP target that could lead to a great return on investment. You’re basically hoping he leaves the yard – he owns an ample .225 ISO against LHP but also strikes out at a high clip (22.3%). These types of boom-or-bust players are generally only playable in GPPs, but you have to love the power upside against Eduardo Rodriguez, who has served up 11 HRs to RH bats already this season despite pitching just 38.1 innings against them (2.58 HR/9).
Jason Kipnis ($3,800) – Kipnis is one of my favorite plays at any position tonight and he actually comes in as RotoGrinders fourth highest projected player on this slate. He’s an across the board contributor that makes him an especially appealing target for cash game players, but he also possesses enough upside to make him viable in any format. He’s the owner of a .374 wOBA, .231 ISO and 41.4 hard% against RHP this season and consistently finds himself sandwiched between very capable bats in Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor. If Jose Berrios continues the trend of not being able to get outs at the big league level, the Indians could tag him for a big number.
Ryan Schimpf ($2,900) – Schimpf has slowed down after a torrid start to his season, although he obviously couldn’t have continued at that pace for any real stretch of time. Regardless, he’s still rocking a .395 wOBA, .351 ISO and 39.7 hard% against RHP and it’s not like his BABIP (.255 vs. RHP) is skewing his numbers. Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson owns a 5.41 xFIP vs. LH bats this season which sets up nicely for guys like Schimpf and Travis Jankowski.
Kris Bryant ($4,300) – Which Adam Conley will we see tonight? The guy can be dominant one night and look lost in his next turn, and I’m guessing that we won’t see the dominant version of Conley in a very tough matchup with the Cubs offense. Conley is still allowing a lot of hard contact to RH bats (35.0 hard%) and while he’s curbed his HR issues, he’s gotten a little lucky from a HR/FB perspective considering how often he leaves the ball in the air. Bryant has mashed LHP all season (.427 wOBA, .322 ISO, 42.9 hard%) and there isn’t any reason to expect that to come to a halt.
Josh Donaldson ($4,800) is another fine target at the high-end of the 3B pool. Evan Longoria ($3,500) will take on LH Danny Duffy at home which gives him some power upside, while Anthony Rendon’s $3,600 price tag should lead to him being under-owned in a plus matchup in Chase Field.
Jonathan Villar ($3,800) – Villar may be under-owned tonight given that Trea Turner has come flying onto the scene and is available at a slightly lower price tag, and people still seem to be afraid of targeting hitters in Petco Park. While playing a power bat in Petco may not be the best move, Villar won’t suffer as a result of the bigger park. Jarred Cosart is arguably the weakest arm on tonight’s slate and considering that he can’t miss bats and walks hitters at a very high rate, Villar’s opportunities should be ample in terms of runs and stolen bases. Cosart has walked more LH bats than he’s struck out this season.
Francisco Lindor ($3,700) – In case you can’t tell, the Indians will likely be my most heavily utilized stack this evening. Lindor is sporting a .344 wOBA and .160 ISO against RHP this season and while those numbers don’t jump off the page, the fact that he slots between the three most dangerous bats in the Indians lineup consistently provides him with run-producing opportunities. Assuming Jose Berrios still hasn’t figured out how to get major league hitters out, Lindor has a great shot to pay off this price tag.
Nelson Cruz ($3,900) – This man’s eyes must light up anytime he sees a lefty on the schedule. Cruz has been the poster child for lefty mashers over the last two seasons and he’ll face off with Eduardo Rodriguez tonight who has had major issues with the long ball against RH bats. Cruz owns a .437 wOBA, .369 ISO and 41.9 hard% against southpaws in 2016 and I don’t expect those numbers to dip as we get even deeper into the season. Cruz is the one bat on this slate that I’ll likely have rostered in every lineup I create.
Michael Saunders ($3,700) – Doug Fister is actually pretty tough on RH bats so I’ll take it easy in terms of my exposure to most of the Blue Jays bats. Saunders is the one lefty here that is in a really enticing spot – Fister has allowed a .369 wOBA to LH bats this year to go along with a 1.71 HR/9 rate. While Fister has an elite Hd-Sft% against RHs, he’s allowing plenty of hard contact to lefties (36.6 hard%) which plays perfectly into Saunders’ hands. The Jays outfielder is the owner of a .369 wOBA, .224 ISO and 40.3 hard% against RHP.
Suitable targets at or under $3,200: Steve Pearce ($3,200), Jacoby Ellsbury ($3,200), Travis Jankowski ($3,000), Rajai Davis ($3,000), Ben Revere ($3,000), Colby Rasmus ($2,900), Lonnie Chisenhall ($2,700), Brandon Guyer ($2,300)