This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
Major League Baseball kicks off the week with 10 games on the schedule Monday. All of them will be included in the main slate on DraftKings, leaving us with a lot of options to sift through. Let's discuss some players to consider as you build your lineups.
Kenta Maeda ($7,800) is off to a dreadful start with a 6.56 ERA and an almost equally poor 6.18 FIP. His strikeout rate has dropped to 17.9 percent, which is well below his career mark of 26.6 percent. He's also been unlucky with opponents posting a .372 BABIP against him. His numbers have a favorable chance of improving as the season moves along, and that could start against a Rangers team that entered Sunday with a .684 OPS. That comes on the heels of their .648 OPS last season, which was the second-worst mark in baseball.
Like Maeda, Aaron Civale ($8,900) hasn't missed many bats so far, posting a 20.5 percent strikeout rate through five starts. Unlike Maeda, that's pretty close to his career mark of 21.2 percent, so there might not be a lot of room for improvement. The good news is that he only has a 0.92 WHIP despite three of his starts coming against dangerous teams in the Yankees, Twins and White Sox. He will be facing a Royals' lineup that isn't a total pushover, but they did rank 20th in OPS (.711) last season and entered play Sunday with a .702 OPS.
It's not often that you see a starting pitcher with a salary as cheap as Daniel Lynch's ($4,000). The 34th-overall pick in the 2018 Draft will be recalled to start against Cleveland, which is a big jump considering that he's never pitched above High-A. However, given that Cleveland had the sixth-worst OPS (.664) entering Sunday, he could be worth considering in tournament play if you want to load up on hitters.
The normally reliable Kyle Hendricks ($6,500) has been awful, allowing 10 home runs across 22.2 innings on his way to a 7.54 ERA. He'll probably right the ship at some point given that he's allowed 1.0 HR/9 for his career, but this is a tough matchup for him to try and get back on track. Along with Mookie Betts ($6,000) being a top target, Corey Seager ($4,800) is also appealing. His .257 average is a bit disappointing, but he's still hitting for power with a .202 ISO.
After a scary hit-by-pitch, Bryce Harper ($5,800) made his return to the lineup Sunday. He was off to another excellent start prior to the incident, posting a .448 wOBA. Monday brings a favorable matchup against Adrian Houser ($8,600), who has allowed a career .368 wOBA to left-handed hitters.
Cardinals' top prospect Dylan Carlson ($3,400) struggled during the abbreviated 2020 season, finishing with a 65 wRC+ across 119 plate appearances. He's been a different hitter across his 112 plate appearances this season, recording a 125 wRC+. Part of the reason for his improvement has been a better eye at the plate, both increasing his walk rate and decreasing his strikeout rate. The Mets are expected to deploy Joey Lucchesi ($6,400) as their starter, who has a mediocre 4.14 FIP and 1.28 WHIP for his career.
Another young player with lofty expectations is Alex Kirilloff ($2,900), who was recently recalled by the Twins. He's already launched four home runs across 40 plate appearances, although he only has seven total hits. With that being said, he hit for a have average throughout his time in the minors, so expect him to improve in that area as he becomes more acclimated to the majors. He could provide value against Dane Dunning ($6,600), who has allowed nine runs across his last two starts.
Stacks to Consider
The Giants are dealing with some injuries right now, but it's hard to resist stacking any team that's playing at Coors Field. This will already be the third time on the young season that they have faced Marquez, who they tagged for seven runs over 9.2 innings in the first two matchups. That's even uglier when you consider that both of those games were played in San Francisco. Tauchman is an underrated hitter who does a good job of getting on base, posting a career 11.5 percent walk rate.
Sanchez was lucky to only allow two runs across 4.2 innings when he faced the Rockies at home on Tuesday. He issued five walks and now hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his first five starts. He's generally done a good job of limiting home runs throughout his career, but if he can't straighten out his control, he could still be in trouble at Coors Field. McMahon is one of the Rockies who has extreme career splits, posting a .361 wOBA at home compared to a .279 wOBA on the road.
The Mariners hit Kremer hard earlier this season, scoring four runs against him over three innings. He hasn't pitched more than 4.2 innings in any of his four outings and he was shelled for six runs by the Yankees in his last start. He has a bloated 2.00 WHIP and showed similar issues keeping hitters off base with a 1.45 WHIP across four starts last year. That could lead to another big night for the Mariners, including Haniger, who entered Sunday with a 145 wRC+.