There won't be a ton of baseball played Monday with just nine games on the schedule. We'll see a doubleheader between the Rangers and Marlins among the nine games, which doesn't exactly bring much excitement given the losing records for both teams. The game with the most playoff implications will be an AL East battle between the Blue Jays and Rays. The Mets and Braves will continue their quests for the NL East crown, with the Mets hosting the Cubs and the Braves traveling to San Francisco to face the Giants. Let's dive into Yahoo's six-game main slate and discuss some players to consider for your lineups.
Spencer Strider ($60) has been as dominant as it gets down the stretch. Across his last eight starts, he has allowed two or fewer runs seven times. He also recorded 69 strikeouts over 46.1 innings. Plenty more strikeouts could be coming in a matchup versus the Giants, who have struck out the fifth-most times in baseball.
While he doesn't have nearly the strikeout upside that Spencer does, Chris Bassitt ($45) is coming off of an outing against the Pirates in which he had 10 strikeouts over seven innings. He continues to churn out one valuable outing after another, leaving him with a 3.24 ERA and 3.40 FIP for the season. Up next is a matchup against the Cubs, and it's noteworthy that the game will be played at Citi Field because Bassitt has a 2.77 ERA and 1.07 WHIP at home.
It's been a disappointing campaign for Jose Berrios ($33), who enters his start against the Rays with a 5.23 ERA and 4.77 FIP. His strikeout rate is down to 20.3 percent and he's allowed 1.7 HR/9, which are two of the main reasons for his downfall. Still, he could be worth the risk at his cheap salary when you consider that the Rays have hit the sixth-fewest home runs in baseball.
The Angels gave Mike Trout ($24) the day off Sunday following his streak of six straight games with a home run. Despite being limited to 99 games because of injury, he already has 34 home runs. Getting him out will be an uphill battle for Konnor Pilkington ($25), who enters with a bloated 1.61 WHIP.
With how Pilkington has struggled to keep hitters off base, Trout isn't the only member of the Angels who should be at the top of your target list. Add in Shohei Ohtani ($23), who is on a heater of his own by hitting 16-for-50 (.320) with seven home runs and four doubles over his last 12 games.
When the Astros take on the Tigers, Eduardo Rodriguez ($34) will be on the mound for Detroit. He's had an underwhelming season with a 4.13 ERA and 4.63 FIP. One of his problems has been an inability to miss bats, leaving him with a 19.2 percent strikeout rate that is nearly five percentage points lower than his career mark. Two players on the Astros with cheap salaries who are worth considering are Trey Mancini ($11) and Jeremy Pena ($10). Mancini is three home runs away from hitting at least 20 in each of his last five seasons. Pena has started to heat up again, hitting 15-for-48 (.313) with a home run and a double over his last 11 games.
Stacks to Consider
Nelson was impressive during his major league debut, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Padres. However, he's difficult to have a ton of faith in against the Dodgers when you consider that he had a 5.43 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over his 26 starts at Triple-A. He allowed 25 home runs over 136 innings, which is a trend that could end up being his downfall against this powerful trio.
It's not often that you want to consider a Pirates stack. However, with a limited number of options for a small slate, and the struggling Minor on the mound, they should be on your radar. Minor has made two starts against them this season, allowing a total of nine runs over 12 innings. A prime option to include in a Pirates stack is Hayes, who has a .359 wOBA against left-handed pitchers this season.
Reds vs. Bryse Wilson ($25), Pirates: Jake Fraley ($24), TJ Friedl ($25), Donovan Solano ($13)
This could be a high-scoring game on both sides. Wilson has had plenty of struggles of his own, recording a 6.11 ERA and a 5.26 FIP. Although he's only logged 88.1 innings, he's given up 17 home runs. Fraley and Friedl have been excellent in that department of late. Fraley has three home runs over his last nine games, while Friedl has gone deep four times across his last 10 games.