If you live on the East Coast you may want to sneak in a nap -- or an extra shot of espresso -- as half of the 10 games on the docket will end after midnight ET. The other anomaly is only two of the probable starting pitchers sport a strikeout rate higher than the league average, one being Max Scherzer who has a date with the dangerous Chicago Cubs.
With the short slate, perhaps it's a night to focus a little more on tournaments. Your lineup, your call; we're here to help with everything you need, including some intriguing streaming candidates for seasonal leagues in Monday's Daily Notes.
Max Scherzer's home run issues are well documented. The optimist will point to his last five games where the dominant righty has given up only four long balls. The skeptic will point out that still comes out to a 1.2 HR/9, which is higher than you want from your ace even if he is a fly ball pitcher. Something else to consider is while the opposing Cubs are second in the National League in terms of runs, they're middle of the pack in homers versus right-handers. With no lock-down cash game option, Scherzer is in play though he makes for a better GPP anchor since the Cubs whiff at an above-average pace versus righties.
Carlos Carrasco has only tossed 33 2/3 innings, so much of his lofty projected game score is drawing from the outstanding skills displayed the past couple of seasons. His current mark of 7.5 K/9 is well below what's expected, and where it will eventually settle. But at least for one more game, don't expect a huge number of punch outs from the Cleveland right-hander as the Kansas City Royals and their 20 percent strikeout rate will be the opposition.
It took a little while but Zack Greinke has worked his way back into the elite. That said, despite striking out 11 Astros two starts ago, he fanned only two Padres in the outing before that and just two Rays in the one after. That's relevant since San Diego and Tampa are both among the top-five easiest squads for a right-hander to punch out. Up next are the Los Angeles Dodgers and their league average 21 percent strikeout clip. Greinke is now safe enough to use in cash action but doesn't offer the upside necessary for GPP play.
We have only two hurlers that fall in the solid range and they'll be facing off as Wei-Yin Chen and the Miami Marlins sojourn to Petco Park to open a series against Colin Rea and the San Diego Padres. Chen gets the nod in daily fantasy as he has a slightly higher strikeout rate and will face an offense that offers upside as the Friars fan at a 25 percent clip versus lefties.
Hopefully Kyle Hendricks' owners in 76 percent of ESPN leagues know to start him for his road affair in Nationals Park. Expect a pitcher's duel against Scherzer with Hendricks doing his part to help your ratios.
Here we go again. James Shields draws a tough foe for his second start back in the American League as the Detroit Tigers visit the Windy City for a set in U.S. Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox. If you want a contrarian dart in DFS, there is some strikeout potential as the visitors fan at a 23 percent pace versus right-handers. As for seasonal formats, sitting Shields is the safe play -- though I know of one American League only team that will have him active. Wish me luck.
Perhaps if Chase Anderson didn't toil for the Milwaukee Brewers he'd be owned in more than 6 percent of ESPN leagues. The right-hander has quietly pitched better than his 4.21 ERA indicates, just look at his 1.18 WHIP for proof. Anderson has walked more than two hitters only twice in a dozen outings and that was in late April. He does allow homers as his 1.8 HR/9 shows, but in AT&T Park, facing a San Francisco Giants club that's near the bottom of the league in home run percent versus righties, Anderson is a safe start.
Jerad Eickhoff owners have a tough decision as the Philadelphia Phillies righty challenges the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre. There's strikeout upside and the 26-year old sophomore holds the platoon edge over the hosts big boppers so let's give him the thumbs up.
R.A. Dickey is available in nearly 80 percent of ESPN leagues and isn't a bad pick-up for his matchup opposing Eickhoff and the Phillies. You can toss seasonal stats out the window since they're not applicable versus knuckleballers, but the Phillies lineup as a whole doesn't have the firepower to worry about.
There are really no gas cans on the docket Monday to categorically avoid. If you have a question on a hurler not featured, please don't hesitate to post a question in the comments section or shoot me a tweet @ToddZola.
The left-handed contingent of the Arizona Diamondbacks is in a favorable spot with Los Angeles Dodgers righty Mike Bolsinger taking the hill in Chase Field. Jake Lamb, David Peralta, Chris Herrmann and perhaps Michael Bourn are the main targets.
The White Sox offense has been quiet most of the year so this is a rare opportunity to use them, particularly those that swing right-handed with Matt Boyd taking the hill. Jose Abreu has been moved to the two-hole and Todd Frazier continues to clean up. Brett Lawrie, Avisail Garcia and switch-hitter Melky Cabrera are also in the mix.
If you're a multilineup DFS gamer, starting James Shields on one team while stacking Detroit Tigers in another is the classic hedge move. Ian Kinsler, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez, Nick Castellanos and even Shields former teammate, Justin Upton are all candidate to take Shields out of the yard.
Most likely to hit a home run: Let's go with the Todd Frazier to take Boyd deep for home run No. 20.
Most likely to steal a base: Look for Ben Revere to take advantage of the cavalier nature the Cubs defend the running game.