As is customary for most Mondays in MLB, many teams have an off day to travel so there is not a full slate of games. There are nine games in total but with the Red Sox and Orioles playing at 11:05 EST, I do not recommend entering into any all day contests as all the other games start at 7:05 or later. There could be some trouble with rain in the forecast at PNC Park so plan for a possible rain delay with the starters in the Pirates-Cubs game.
Hisashi Iwakuma vs Astros (FD: 8,300 DK: 8,800)
Iwakuma has been great since debuting in the States in 2012, and while he has struggled thus far in 2015, I do not expect this year to be any different. In today’s start he gets to face the Astros, who have been the worst offensive team in the MLB through the first two weeks. The have the lowest team batting average at .202 and have the highest strikeout percentage at over 25 percent. Iwakuma has never been a huge strikeout pitcher, but he could rack up a big number today and should get his 2015 season back on track today.
Anthony DeSclafani vs Brewers (FD: 6,900 DK: 6,200)
DeSclafani was a below average pitcher last year but has gotten off to a hot start in 2015. The Brewers offense has been terrible in 2015 with a wRC+ of 58 which is easily the lowest in baseball. They do not strike out a ton compared to the rest of the league, but chances are good that DeSclafani posts solid numbers in the runs and strikeout columns of the stat sheet, making him valuable at his low price on a day where the cheap pitching options are limited.
Also Consider: Alfredo Simon
Seth Smith vs Astros (FD: 2,400 DK: 4,000)
Smith has not been playing every day for the Mariners but with the Mariners facing a right-hander today in Asher Wojciechowski, Smith should find himself in the line-up. He has done extremely well against right-handers in his career and especially on FanDuel his price is extremely low and he could provide an extreme amount of value for owners who pencil him into their lineups.
Victor Martinez vs Yankees (FD: 3,900 DK: 4,100)
I typically like to look for players who are on the cheaper side in FanDuel to discuss in this column, but the matchup today for Martinez is just too good not to talk about. Martinez absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching last season with a wOBA of .476 which would be good for a wRC+ of 211. Martinez faces C.C. Sabathia, a left-handed starter who struggled last season through injury and has not gotten off to a great start in 2015. Sabathia is not the same pitcher he used to be and I expect Martinez to have a huge day against him.
Jerry Sands vs White Sox (FD: 2,200 DK: 3,400)
Sands does not have a ton of MLB experience, but from what he has shown thus far in the bigs one conclusion that can be made is he can hit lefties and hit them well. In 110 plate appearances Sands has hit .311 and has posted an extremely solid wOBA of .381. John Danks is starting for the White Sox and is a very average left-hander. Sands also has an ISO of .214 against lefties in his career so that makes him a solid candidate for an extra base hit or two at an extremely low price.
Rockies and Padres
Both of these teams are being picked mainly because they are playing at Coors which always helps boost offense. The Rockies are facing Odrisamer Despaigne who has been solid at home but has an unsightly career ERA on the road. This makes all members of the Rockies lineup viable plays. For the Padres, they are facing Jorge De La Rosa who owns an ERA of 4.60 for his career. He has been much better in his career against lefties compared to righties so the right handed hitters in the Padres lineup get a boost.
Indians vs White Sox
Danks has been a below average MLB starter with an ERA of 4.30 in his career and has given up over one HR/9 for his career. The Indians lineup scored four runs in less than five innings against Danks in his previous start. Chances are good that they will have similar types of success against Danks again in today’s game.