Our experts are here to provide the best hitters and pitchers for you to build your daily fantasy baseball lineups around on Monday.
Today's panel includes ESPN Fantasy's Tristan H. Cockcroft, Eric Karabell and Kyle Soppe.
Hitters to build around
This just in: Tristan loves Michael Conforto! Oh wait, that's not news. OK, this is: Conforto is reasonably priced on DraftKings and FanDuel, and he's more likely than not to be in the Mets' lineup on Tuesday, considering he has started three of the team's past six games against a right-handed starter, wasn't in the most recent one (on Monday) and is generating too many clutch hits to stay completely glued to the bench. What's more, Conforto seems to have the look of a platoon man, and his matchup against Zach Eflin is a great one for a big league manager who likes to mix and match, considering Eflin has allowed a career big-league wOBA 84 points higher to lefties than righties and has a history of so-so performances against lefties as a pro. Eflin is also rather fastball reliant; Conforto is an outstanding fastball hitter. If Conforto is in the Mets' lineup, he's a lock to be in mine.
The lefty killer swatted his first blast of the season Monday against Arizona's Robbie Ray, and Tuesday will be the first-ever road start for Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland. It's possible Freeland's issues are more about fastball command than the long ball, but the Dodgers have been so bad against left-handed pitching, you know Hernandez, whose career OPS is more than 200 points greater against lefties, will be playing somewhere, and he costs little.
I will happily take my chances with hitters opposing Shelby Miller, and Petco Park isn't going to stop me. Since 2015, Miller has allowed the eighth-highest wOBA to left-handed hitters, a pretty significant bump when you consider that his wOBA against righties over that stretch is in the same tier as Chris Sale and Madison Bumgarner. I'll roll the dice with the very reasonable price tag on Schimpf, a hitter who had a higher slugging percentage last season against RHPs than five of the first six hitters selected in annual fantasy leagues this season (Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Kris Bryant, and Manny Machado). Schimpf allows you the salary relief to roster Max Scherzer and build a Tuesday winner.
Pitchers to build around
So far, so good for Fulmer, who has a pair of quality starts in as many appearances this season, with the first of those against the potent Boston Red Sox lineup. But this is really about the matchup: Tropicana Field is about the most pitching-friendly environment that an American League pitcher could ask for, and the Tampa Bay Rays have struck out the most often, whiffing in nearly 29 percent of their trips to the plate.
Let's not buy into this great April for Leake as a potential breakout at age 29. He's more of a matchups option, and a home tilt versus Pittsburgh is a good place to start. The Pirates aren't scoring tons of runs, and to beat Leake, a team generally has to get a lot of hits, because he doesn't issue the free passes and has permitted more than 23 home runs in a season only once. Yes, he's hittable, but the Pirates aren't hitting.
Kyle Soppe: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
Last night, I recommended Jered Weaver as a sleeper pitcher against the Braves ... so you think I like Scherzer a little bit tonight? He is in a tier of his own this evening, and considering that the batting average against Mad Max continues to drop (.238 in 2014, .208 in 2015, .199 in 2016, and .178 early in 2017), I don't see the Braves producing in any way this evening. Scherzer gave up 31 bombs last season and very rarely gave up runs not via long ball ... Atlanta isn't hitting a home run tonight. Book it. The Nats' ace was elite in his last start (6 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, and 10 strikeouts) and I'd expect nothing less tonight in this favorable spot.