This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Welcome to July. Baseball must want to start the month by relaxing. That, or it's a Monday, and Mondays tend to have lighter schedules. There are only four games Monday night, making the daily fantasy options much slimmer than usual. Here are some recommendations to help you with your decisions.
It's a rough night for pitchers. There are no big names, now that the Rangers-Angels game has been cancelled. Logan Allen, who pitches for the Padres ($9,200), is now the priciest pitcher. He's getting to pitch in Petco Park, and he faces the Giants, who rank 28th in runs scored. At the very least, the situation bodes well for him.
If you want a cheaper option, there's Tampa's Ryan Yarbrough ($6,500). He's not technically starting, but he's expected to get the bulk of the innings after opener Ryne Stanek. Yarbrough faces the Orioles, who rank 27th in runs scored. The 27-year-old should get enough innings to pick up a win if everything breaks well for him.
Josh Bell ($5,300) once hit 26 homers in a season, but he seems like a new man at the plate. In addition to his 22 home runs, he has a .301 batting average and .625 slugging percentage. The Cubs are giving Adbert Alzolay his second start of the season. Although he has a 2.08 ERA, over the 8.2 innings of his MLB career he has a 6.09 FIP.
Austin Meadows ($4,600) has made the Chris Archer trade look good just by himself. He's taken his game to a new level in his first full year with the Rays, as he's hit 12 homers and stolen eight bases in 66 games. The Orioles called up Tom Eshelman for his first career start. He pitched well in Triple-A after being acquired by the Phillies, but trusting an Orioles pitcher usually doesn't pay off. I trust Meadows more.
Funnily enough, the "every other year" thing for Eric Hosmer ($4,400) seems to be holding true again. He's got a .302 batting average, and the lefty's issue has always been hitting his fellow southpaws. That includes last year, when in a down season he had a .829 OPS against righties. Giants starter Jeff Samardzija is a righty, and he has a 5.18 road ERA.
Eugenio Suarez ($4,000) has seen his numbers dropped from last season, when he had a .283 batting average and hit 34 homers. That said, he's been fine at home, as he has a .901 OPS in Cincinnati. The Brewers are starting Adrian Houser, but he hasn't pitched more than 3.1 innings in a game. This is mostly about like Suarez at home and not being concerned about Milwaukee's pitching staff.
Brewers vs. Tyler Mahle (Reds)
Mahle, a right-handed pitcher, has a 4.39 FIP this season. That's actually an improvement over his career FIP, which is 4.72. However, Mahle still allows a lot of homers, as he's given up 1.6 per nine innings this season. The game is also in Cincinnati, which tends to be hitter friendly. As such, I have two lefties for you, plus a switch-hitting catcher who made the All-Star Game.
Moustakas is having a career year in his first full campaign with the Brewers. His .348 OBP is tied for his career high, but his .569 slugging percentage is a real uptick for the lefty masher. Also, this year he has a .943 OPS against southpaws, so he's not even dealing with lefty/righty split issues.
Thames has an unsustainable .378 BABIP, but I'm still optimistic about him in this matchup. He's getting on base with gusto, as his .384 OBP shows. I like him against the right-handed Mahle in Cincinnati, and he's always shown power while with the Brewers.
Lastly, there's Grandal, who is also having a career year at the plate. The catcher has a .265/.376./.531 slash line with 18 homers in 77 games. He's also done a lot of his damage on the road, as he has a 1.030 OPS in away games. That bodes doubly well in the Reds' ballpark.