MLB TARGETS: APRIL 17TH

If there were ever a time to go diving into the starting pitcher bargain bin, Monday’s nine-game late slate is that time.
BY: BEN ZWEIMAN | DRAFTKINGS PLAYBOOK

PITCHER

Stud

John Lackey — CHC vs. MIL — $10,200

With only two clear-cut elite options at SP for Monday’s late slate, you’re going to want to lean Lackey over Danny Salazar ($10,300). Lackey is coming off a stellar outing, allowing one ER with 10 Ks over six IP (27.3 DKFP) at home vs. the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Salazar had a 10.13 ERA in three starts vs. the Twins last season. Lackey’s numbers at Wrigley Field are also encouraging; he’s 8-6 with a 2.43 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 8.4 K/9 in 19 games.

Other Options - Jharel Cotton ($8,200)

Value

Jordan Montgomery — NYY vs. CWS — $6,000

Montgomery was featured last week in his first MLB start. Now with one under his belt, expect Montgomery to settle down after getting a taste of what it’s like to pitch in Yankee Stadium. Despite only lasting 4.2 IP in his debut, Montgomery fanned seven batters and only allowed two ER, finishing with a respectable 15.7 DKFP. The White Sox most imposing hitters (Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier) are miserable vs. LHP and Chicago’s SLG% vs. lefties this season is just under .400.

Other Options - Ivan Nova ($7,500), Jaime Garcia ($7,200)


CATCHER

Stud

Brian McCann — HOU vs. LAA — $3,500

McCann has five RBI in his past three games and has belted both his HRs this season in Houston. He gets a solid draw vs. Angels RHP Jesse Chavez, who allowed two HRs and nine flyballs in his previous start. McCann is fifth among catchers in DKFP per game (8.7), well ahead of the higher priced players at the position.

Other Options - Jonathan Lucroy ($3,900), J.T. Realmuto ($3,400)

Value

Austin Romine — NYY vs. CWS — $2,800

Believe it or not, Romine actually performs better vs. LHP and will face southpaw Derek Holland on Monday. Romine has been starting for the injured Gary Sanchez and has been surprisingly productive, with at least two hits in three straight games. The Yankees’ offense is so hot right now that even if Romine is batting eighth he’s in a good spot.

Other Options – Manny Pina ($2,800), Chris Iannetta ($2,500)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Edwin Encarnacion — CLE vs. MIN — $4,500

Encarnacion has gotten off to a slow start with the Indians but appears on the rise with hits in three straight. Twins SP Kyle Gibson is prone to allowing the long ball and the two have some history, with Encarnacion launching a shot off Gibson previously. Strikeouts also shouldn’t be a problem for Encarnacion vs. Gibson, who has a career 6.1 K/9 ratio.

Other Options - Freddie Freeman ($4,600), Wil Myers ($4,400)

Value

Justin Bour — MIA vs. SEA — $3,000

There are not a lot of value plays at 1B for Monday’s nine-game slate, but if you’re looking for some pop, Bour is your guy. He combined for 38 HRs in the previous two seasons, finishing with an OPS over .800 in each campaign. Safeco Field is much more friendly to left-handed batters (326 ft. out of right field) and Mariners’ SP Ariel Miranda has already allowed three HRs through two starts this season.

Other Options – Marwin Gonzalez ($3,200), Yonder Alonso ($3,000)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Brian Dozier — MIN vs. CLE — $4,900

In case you were wondering why Salazar was putrid vs. the Twins last season, here are Dozier’s career numbers against him: 12-for-26 (.462) with six doubles, two HRs and seven RBI. Dozier has at least 13 DKFP in four straight games during his hitting streak (6-for-17 with 2 HRs). What else needs to be said here?

Other Options - Rougned Odor ($4,100), Dee Gordon ($4,000)

Value

Adam Frazier — PIT vs. STL — $3,000

Frazier is coming off a 3-for-4 outing where he was a triple away from the cycle (26 DKFP). He’s combined for 43 DKFP in his past two games and has been impressive on the road (.471/.526/.514) in five games. Frazier is being featured at the bottom of the Pirates’ lineup but could be in line for a promotion with his hot bat.

Other Options – Jurickson Profar ($3,200), JT Riddle ($2,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Kyle Seager — SEA vs. MIA — $4,200

After belting a career-high 30 HRs last season, and at least 20 in each of four prior to 2016, Seager hasn’t left the ballpark once in 44 ABs to start 2017. It appears that could change soon (possibly Monday?) with Seager riding a six-game hitting streak. He’s also batting .381 with a .842 OPS at home (7.7 DKFP per game).

Other Options - Miguel Sano ($4,300), Justin Turner ($3,700)

Value

Matt Davidson — CWS vs. NYY — $3,300

Though I’m high on Montgomery in this spot vs. the ChiSox, if there’s one guy who can get to the rookie, it’s Davidson. To start his first full MLB season, Davidson is leading the White Sox in HRs (3) and RBI (10) in nine games. He’s in a great spot in Chicago’s lineup as well, batting behind Abreu and Avisail Garcia.

Other Options - Adam Rosales ($2,500), Miguel Rojas ($2,100)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Francisco Lindor — CLE vs. MIN — $4,200

I’m going to see how many weeks in a row I can feature Lindor in MLB Targets. The over/under is at 34. All joking aside, Lindor is the most consistent DraftKings producer among batters so far this season, riding a 10-game hitting streak (17-for-41, 11 runs, 4 HRs, 7 RBI). He’s also 8-for-10 in his career vs. Gibson and is conveniently priced compared to other elite options.

Other Options - Corey Seager ($4,400), Addison Russell ($3,600)

Value

Ronald Torreyes — NYY vs. CWS — $2,700

In continuing the trend of “Yankees I never thought I’d recommend playing,” we land on Torreyes, who has a hit in four straight and doubles in back-to-back games. Torreyes has been filling in admirably for Didi Gregorius and is worth a flyer in tournaments despite the matchup vs. LHP Derek Holland.

Other Options - Eduardo Escobar ($2,900)


OUTFIELD

Stud

George Springer — HOU vs. LAA — $4,700

Springer has hit safely in five of six games (7-for-30), though he’s been a bit reliant on the long ball for optimal DraftKings output. But he’s crushed an HR in three of his past six games and you’re already aware of Jesse Chavez’s tendency to allow HRs. Springer and the Astros are an appealing stack option at home vs. the Halos.

Other Options - Nelson Cruz ($4,600), Khris Davis ($4,100)

Value

Lonnie Chisenhall — CLE vs. MIN — $3,300

Chisenhall wasted no time getting on track after returning from injury, going 5-for-12 with four runs, two HRs and seven RBI in four games. On top of having 3B eligibility, Chisenhall is another Indians’ batter who has had success vs. Gibson. He’s 6-for-18 with two 2Bs and four RBI vs. the Twins RHP in his career.

Other Options - Nick Markakis ($3,600), Aaron Hicks ($3,200)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is bzweiman521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.