This article is part of our FanDuel MLB series.
There are 10 MLB games taking place Monday, and it's not a great day for pitchers. Of course, you could look at that and say it could be a big day of bats. Maybe it will be a little easier to put together a successful lineup. Then again, that doesn't mean you couldn't use a bit of help piecing your roster together. The first game of the day starts at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here are some players I would consider for a DFS lineup.
Walker Buehler, LAD at CHC ($10,200): Like I said, it's not a good day for pitchers. That means I am more in the mind of grabbing a pitcher based on their skills, as opposed to hunting a matchup. Buehler has a career 3.15 ERA and has a 3.16 ERA this season. On top of that, he has a 3.06 FIP and has struck out double-digit batters per nine innings in his career. The Cubs have a middling offense, but Buehler is the kind of pitcher who can handle most lineups (plus he has all those Dodgers bats to provide him offensive support).
Aaron Civale, CLE at KC ($9,500): Cleveland knows how to find pitchers and develop them. Last season was a bit rough for Civale – he had a 4.74 ERA – but this year he has a 2.94 ERA through five starts. The Royals ranked 24th in runs scored last year, and they had a .309 OBP as a team as well.
Nolan Arenado, STL vs. NYM ($4,000): Sure, you look at Arenado's numbers where he had at least 37 homers and 110 RBI for five straight seasons and wonder how much of that is about Coors Field. However, in 2019 he had an .866 OPS on the road, so it wasn't all about playing for the Rockies. The projection is that Joey Lucchesi will be called back up for this start, and he has a 7.24 ERA over six games across the last two seasons.
Pete Alonso, NYM at STL ($3,700): Alonso has gotten his batting average back up to where it was in his rookie season where he hit 53 homers and set a rookie record. His slugging percentage isn't quite back there just yet, but his power is clear. Additionally, Alonso has a .907 OPS on the road in his career. The 39-year-old Adam Wainwright is expected to start this game, and he's had a bit of issues with homers this season. He's allowed 1.57 homers per nine innings in 2021.
Manny Machado, SD vs. PIT ($3,600): I have zero fear about Machado's slow start by his standards. He has four homers and five stolen bases, for starters. Plus, he had a .950 OPS last season. The former Oriole has also posted a 1.028 OPS versus lefties since 2019, and Pittsburgh's Tyler Anderson is a southpaw. He may have a 3.38 ERA this season, but in his career he has a 4.40 FIP.
Brandon Belt, SF at COL ($3,100): Belt had a rebound season in 2020, posting a 1.016 OPS. He's taken a step back this year, but hitting at Coors Field is never a bad thing for a hitter with power. This is a righty-versus-lefty matchup between Belt and German Marquez, and, unsurprisingly, Marquez has a 5.56 ERA at home since 2019.
Nate Lowe, TEX at MIN ($3,000): As a 6'4'', 220-pound 25-year-old, Lowe should have some power, right? It's starting to seem that way now that he has left Tampa for Texas. He's hit six homers in 29 games, and his slugging percentage is up to .467. Kenta Maeda was excellent in 2020, but 2021 has been a struggle. In particular, he has allowed three home runs in each of his last two starts. That's why I was looking for a power bat from Texas.
Avisail Garcia, MIL at PHI ($2,700): The last couple of years Garcia hasn't shown much power, but in the three seasons prior – the last three "normal" seasons of baseball – he had a .473 slugging percentage. Originally Matt Moore, who has a 9.82 ERA, was scheduled to start this game. Now it's Vince Velasquez, but I still think this is a great matchup given that he has a 6.57 ERA this year and a 4.76 ERA in his career.
STACKS TO CONSIDER
Hendricks has always been a soft tosser, getting by on guile, but this year that isn't working out. Through five starts, the 31-year-old has a 7.54 ERA and 8.29 FIP. He's had two games where he's allowed seven runs! Now he has to face the Dodgers? That's not going to bode well for Hendricks. Turner has slashed .293/.370/.473 in his career and has batted over .300 in three of his last four seasons (and he's on pace to do it again). Seager showed more power than ever last year with a .585 slugging percentage, and he has a .904 OPS versus righties since 2019. Muncy really struggled last year and has gotten off to a slow start, but, in his last two seasons, he had a .545 slugging percentage. Plus, he's a lefty facing a righty.
Montas was pitching well in 2019, but then he got hit with an 80-game suspension for PEDs. In 2020, he posted a 5.60 ERA in 11 starts. Somehow, 2021 has been even worse, as he has a 6.20 ERA through five outings. Maybe it's because he's suddenly started allowing a lot of homers. Perhaps it's because he is no longer using PEDs. I don't know. I just know Montas is now a matchup worth targeting. Bichette has a .542 slugging percentage in his career and has also stolen a few bases, with 11 swiped bags in 101 games. Vladdie Jr. is finally hitting like many anticipated he would, as he's slashed .337/.486/.628 with seven homers in 2021. Grichuk has hit more reliably the last two seasons, posting a .278 average over that time. He's also slugged .483 in his career.