The holiday brings a bevy of games across baseball Monday. There will be plenty of early start times, including what could be a key matchup between the Yankees and Twins. Albert Pujols, who is only five home runs away from reaching 700 for his career, will look to add another to his tally when the Cardinals host the Nationals. Out West, the Dodgers will continue their march towards one of the best records in baseball when they host the Giants. Let's get to the task at hand and highlight some players to consider for the main slate on Yahoo, which starts at 4:10 PM EDT.
Triston McKenzie ($50) only made it through five innings in his last start, which was his shortest outing since July. The good news is, he had seven strikeouts and allowed only two runs. He's been extremely reliable for the Guardians, posting a 3.18 ERA and 3.91 FIP over a career-high 152.2 innings. More good things could be coming in a matchup with the Royals, who have scored the seventh-fewest runs in baseball.
Michael Wacha ($44) has pitched well since coming off of the IL, allowing two or fewer runs in three of four starts. He also recorded at least six strikeouts three times, making his outings even more valuable. His 1.02 WHIP has been a big reason for his success this season, and it makes him a great option for when he faces the Rays. While the Rays are making a push to get to the top of the AL East standings, their OPS still ranks inside the bottom-10 in baseball.
With injuries hitting their starting rotation, the Astros will give Hunter Brown ($26) his first career start in a matchup with the Rangers. The 2019 fifth-round pick has been excellent at Triple-A, posting a 2.55 ERA, 3.30 FIP and 31.5 percent strikeout rate. The Rangers have struck out the 10th-most times in baseball, so Brown could be worth the risk in tournament play at his cheap salary.
The Diamondbacks have decided to give their starters an extra day of rest by having Ryne Nelson ($25) make a spot start against the Padres. It will be his first time on the mound in the majors after being selected in the second round of the 2019 Draft. He has not pitched well at Triple-A, though, recording a 5.43 ERA and a 5.51 FIP. One of his issues has been an inability to keep hitters inside the ball park, which has seen him allow 25 home runs over 136 innings. This could be a great spot to target the powerful duo of Manny Machado ($26) and Juan Soto ($21).
If you're looking to attack the Padres' matchup with Nelson, but can't find a way to squeeze the salaries of Machado and/or Soto into your budget, it might be worth taking a chance on Josh Bell ($12). His salary is considerably cheaper, and he still brings significant power to the plate with his career .201 ISO.
Keibert Ruiz ($9) is someone the Nationals hope will be a big part of their lineup for years to come. His numbers aren't great in his first full season in the majors, with his OPS checking in at just .664. He has been a bit more productive of late, though, hitting 11-for-35 (.314) with a .733 OPS over his last 10 games. He's a viable option to fill the catcher's spot for his matchup against Jack Flaherty ($30), who will be making his first start since June because of a shoulder injury.
Stacks to Consider
Houser wasn't built to have success at Coors Field. He only has a 19.4 percent strikeout rate for his career, and that mark is even lower this season a 17.5 percent. He also has a 9.7 percent walk rate, which has contributed to his 1.52 WHIP. An interesting option for a Rockies stack is Toglia, who hit 30 home runs over 114 combined games at Double-A and Triple-A this year.
Feltner has pitched 73.1 career innings in the majors and has already allowed 16 home runs. He has made 14 appearances this season and allowed at least one home run in 11 of them. This trio brings plenty of power to the plate, especially Renfroe, who hit his 24th home runs of the season Sunday.
Cardinals vs. Anibal Sanchez ($25), Nationals: Paul Goldschmidt ($27), Lars Nootbaar ($23), Tommy Edman ($20)
More often than not, the Cardinals are an appealing team to stack. They have a .760 OPS this season, which is the third-highest in baseball. They hit a lot of home runs, but they don't swing-and-miss much, striking out the sixth-fewest times. While he doesn't generate a ton of headlines, one of their most potent hitters of late has been Nootbaar, who is 17-for-62 (.274) with six home runs and three doubles over his last 18 games.