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Top MLB DFS building blocks for Monday

Young Rays lefty Blake Snell has yet to record a quality start in 2017, but can he break out against the lowly Royals offense? Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Our experts are here to provide the best hitters and pitchers for you to build your daily fantasy baseball lineups around on Monday.


Hitters to build around

Kyle Soppe -- Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees

One. That is the number of the 251 players with at least 50 plate appearances against RHP this season with a higher wOBA than Hicks. It's obviously early, but Hicks' hot start seems to have staying power due to an elite batting eye (lowest chase rate among players with at least 75 plate appearances this season) and a favorable batting order position. The Yankees' matchup is projected to be the second-highest scoring game on tonight's slate which makes him a bargain when you consider that he is priced in the Cameron Maybin (more strikeouts than hits this season) tier.

Eric Karabell -- Brett Gardner, OF, New York Yankees

Not to gang up too much on Reds right-hander Sophomore Davis (OK, his name is Rookie, but if he's not actually a rookie anymore, then what?) but the Yankees aren't having problems scoring runs and the top of the lineup has been key. We don't know who will hit second in the lineup, since the Yankees won't have the designated hitter and catcher Gary Sanchez just returned, but Gardner, who didn't start the Sunday/Monday all-nighter at Wrigley but still hit five times, should lead off. And Gardner boasts a .939 OPS against right-handers.

Tristan H. Cockcroft -- Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

Keep riding that Bellinger hot streak, now six of his past eight games during which he scored double-digit DraftKings and FanDuel points. He has moved himself up to fifth in the Dodgers' lineup as a result, and gets another favorable matchup at a dirt-cheap discount, as opposing Trevor Williams has a career 18.4 percent strikeout rate in the majors and 17.1 percent in the minors.


Pitchers to build around

Kyle Soppe -- Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians

I understand that Bauer's metrics don't look great thus far, but both he and Jake Arrieta appear to be underpriced on both DraftKings and FanDuel tonight and tournament players should be taking advantage. Due to name recognition, I assume that Arrieta will be the higher owned of the two, so I'll focus on the Indians' righty. First of all, Bauer's xFIP is 49.4 percent lower than his ERA this season, and while projecting a timetable for statistical regression is dangerous, this appears to be a great spot. Bauer has racked up at least six strikeouts in four of his five starts, something I like him to do here against the 27th ranked team in BB/K vs RHP this season. There is too much upside to ignore tonight at a very reasonable price.

Eric Karabell -- Blake Snell, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

Well, this young lefty has to register his first quality start and win of the season at some point, so why not against the struggling Royals? Not only are the Royals the league's worst in runs scored, and by a lot, but against lefties they are hitting a collective and sad .181 this season with a .513 OPS. Snell might always have issues going six innings per outing, but he does miss bats. Snell's problem is walks, and the Royals rank 29th in drawing them.

Tristan H. Cockcroft -- Nate Karns, Kansas City Royals

It's a tournament play rather than for cash games, but Karns' matchup against the Rays, at their pitching-friendly home ballpark, stands out as one of Monday's better values. Karns' 11.9 percent swinging-strike rate, that more than a full percentage point higher than the major league average, suggests that he has been a tad unlucky in the strikeout department, and he'll be battling a Rays team that has whiffed at a greater rate than anyone.