Fantasy Baseball: Monday’s DFS advice –

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I still think it’s kind of ridiculous that three starts into the season, the biggest question of the day is whether or not we can afford to roster Noah Syndergaard. He has been astoundingly good, but there is no shortage of aces on Monday. Maybe more importantly, there’s a game at Coors Field with a pair of less-than-aces on the mound. That may be the only thing that keeps Syndergaard’s ownership under control.

Normally when you have Madison Bumgarner, Zack Greinke and Chris Archer on the slate, the expensive pitcher debate would rage much hotter. Of course, all of those pitchers have shown their warts in 2016. I still believe that Archer is going to figure his slider out again, and this is an Orioles team that strikes out plenty. Still, with him being cheaper than Bumgarner, I’d expect them both to be equally contrarian.

On the hitters side, you’re going to need some bargain if you want to stack Coors or the Blue Jays. Sunday was a phenomenal day for cheap hitters, but Monday doesn’t feel as good. I love Seth Smith as long as he’s hitting second again, and would consider any Mariners lefty. A.J. Pierzynski has moved up to fourth in the order and A.J. Ellis could get a start against a LHP. Early in the day that’s about it for bargains, but keep your eyes open for late lineup news. On a day like today we’ll take any value we can find.

Starting Pitchers

Danny Salazar ($9,200, $10,700)

To be clear, I’m not saying I think Salazar is definitively going to be better than Thor. That’s nonsense. But there is a game at Coors Field on Monday, and you’re going to severely limit your Coors exposure if you play the Mets’ stud. Salazar is off to a spectacular start to the season with 11.3 K/9 and an 1.47 ERA, but he’s not without risk. His control has been mediocre and that ERA is helped by an unsustainable BABIP, but I still think he’s the most likely pitcher under $10,000 to give you 50 tonight.

Noah Syndergaard ($11.400, $11,400)

If you think Monday will resemble Sunday, with minimum-priced hitters putting up huge numbers, you should absolutely play Syndergaard. You know how good he has been, and he has an outstanding matchup as well. The Reds rank 24th in wOBA (.300), and that number falls to .296 on the road.

Raisel Iglesias ($7,900, $9,200)

This is quite the contrarian play, right? Iglesias boasts huge strikeout potential, and his ownership will be paltry with the matchup against Syndergaard. Iglesias has been pretty outstanding so far this year himself and his price on FanDuel is extremely enticing. The Mets bats have been red-hot lately but still rank seventh in baseball with a 23.7 percent K rate. There’s double-digit strikeout potential here for a cost that allows you to stack Coors.

Stack Attack

Yep, as I said above, there is a game at Coors on Monday. Bad pitchers are pitching. You should totally stack it. With who? Well, Jeff Locke is left handed, so I would probably start with Ryan Raburn. I’d also consider any other right handed Rockies. Arenado is going to be really tough to fit in unless you fade Syndergaard though. Load up on Pirates as well, they too are facing a bad pitcher. Let’s move on.

Blue Jays vs. White Sox

Speaking of bad pitchers … Miguel Gonzalez, everyone! You might look at Gonzalez ERA from before 2015 and think we was actually good. That would be a mistake. Gonzalez has never had a FIP below 4.3 and has given up 1.3 HR/9 over his career. Any Jays you can afford are a good play, especially Michael Saunders if he returns to lead off.

Yankees @ Rangers

If you’ve never heard of Rangers’ starter Cesar Ramos, don’t beat yourself up. He has spent most of his career as a reliever. In his 10 major-league starts, he has walked nearly as many batters as he has struck out. He is a LHP, so that could scare some people off of lefty Yankees. I’m not sure Ramos will be in the game long enough for it to matter.


I’m going to offer my early take on a cash game lineup, but of course you should always check out our Sportsline projections for lineup changes right up to lock. Also, check out our podcast on iTunes for extended thoughts on each slate from Chris Towers, Mike McClure and myself.


P Danny Salazar $9,200
C A.J. Pierzynski $2,400
1B Adam Lind $2,200
2B DJ LeMahieu $3,400
3B Nolan Arenado $5,400
SS Francisco Lindor $3,500
OF Ryan Raburn $3,500
OF Seth Smith $2,400
OF Enrique Hernandez $3,000


P Noah Syndergaard $11,400
P Ross Stripling $5,600
C Welington Castillo $3,100
1B Edwin Encarnacion $4,200
2B Robinson Cano $4,400
3B Nolan Arenado $5,000
SS Francisco Lindor $3,600
OF Andrew McCutchen $5,100
OF Ryan Raburn $4,000
OF Nomar Mazara $3,500