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
I don't think there's a price that would be too high for Bellinger tonight. His mound opponent on Monday, Ricky Nolasco, has allowed 10 earned runs over his past two starts and seen seven home runs leave the yard on his watch in June. Bellinger has 13 homers over that same span and is batting .307 with a 1.208 OPS this month. He's the definition of a building block.
I would have considered Addison Russell for the price if not for his shoulder injury, but that just makes Baez a stronger choice because of the increased likelihood that he'll draw a start and a favorable lineup spot. In the month of June, Baez has averaged 5.6 DraftKings and 7.3 FanDuel points in his 17 starts, but has also managed double-digits on both sites three times in his past seven games.
For "Making Money Monday", I'm going with a likely low-owned option who has far greater upside than is reflected by his price tag. The Indians' backstop is batting a mere .224 this season on the heels of a disappointing 2016 that saw him hit just .167, so you can understand the projected low ownership. But in DFS you are worried about one game, not the entire season. Tonight, he draws a rusty Cole Hamels who hasn't pitched in two months and has allowed the seventh-most homers to right-handed batters since the beginning of 2015. The combination of Hamels' declining strikeout rate and Gomes' career-best hard-hit percentage gives Gomes very nice upside that I expect far too many owners to overlook.
Pitchers to build around
Leo Howell: Rich Hill, Los Angeles Dodgers
If you don't want to spend up for Chris Sale (which is understandable if you'd like some big bats in your lineup), you'll have to take a risk at pitcher. I'm willing to take that risk on Hill, who demonstrated over the past two seasons that he's got ace-caliber stuff when healthy. This season has been shaky, but five innings of one-run ball and eight strikeouts against the Mets in last outing has me confident that Hill is healthy enough to handle the Mike Trout-less Angels at home.
It's a risk/reward day -- Jose Berrios, Carlos Carrasco, Rich Hill, Jordan Montgomery and German Marquez all were right within range and I'd surely toss a few different lineups out there as experiments -- but I'll take the Samardzija game at home, with AT&T Park's spacious outfield helping alleviate some of my worry about the Colorado Rockies' power bats. Samardzija's 27.7 percent strikeout rate so far is a career high, and he's facing a Rockies offense that is middling in runs per game on the road. Their 23.8 percent K rate is also the eighth-highest in the majors.
Kyle Soppe: German Marquez, Colorado Rockies
I don't think I'm breaking news here, but baseball is a game of matchups. Today is a good example of that: I am fairly confident that Jordan Montgomery is a more talented pitcher than Marquez, but Montgomery faces the top-ranked offense in terms of wOBA vs. lefties (the Chicago White Sox) while Marquez faces the last-place offense vs. righties (the San Francisco Giants). The Rockies' righty has allowed no more than two earned runs in three straight and seven of his last eight starts, a level of production that is very appealing on this short slate. His strong current form should be enough to earn him a roster spot tonight against the most disappointing team in baseball (dead last in OPS).