This article is part of our DraftKings MLB series.
We've reached the final two weeks of the regular season. There are still a few playoff spots up for grabs, which means Monday's 12-game slate should bring plenty of drama. The floundering Yankees will try to keep their playoff hopes alive in a home matchup against the Rangers, which should be a favorable spot for them to come away with a win. The Mariners and A's will also face off in a matchup between two teams hoping to grab a Wild Card spot. While the Rays have virtually punched their tickets to the playoffs, they are still set for what could be an exciting series with the Blue Jays. Let's dive into the main seven-game DraftKings slate and highlight some players to consider for your lineups.
Robbie Ray ($10,200) will start for the Blue Jays in what will be his second straight outing against the Rays. The last time he faced them, he allowed one run and recorded 13 strikeouts over seven innings. As potent as the Rays lineup is, they have struck out the third-most times in baseball. That fits right into the wheelhouse of Ray, who has a 33.1 percent strikeout rate.
The Yankees have to feel pretty good about Nestor Cortes Jr. ($8,600) being on the mound for the first game of their series with the Rangers. He's been one of the more reliable starters, posting a 2.94 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over his last nine starts. The good news is that he had 53 strikeouts over 52 innings during that stretch. The bad news is that he also allowed 10 home runs. This matchup could work in his favor, though, considering the Rangers have hit the fourth-fewest home runs in baseball.
The Phillies are making a push for a playoff spot and will have a favorable opportunity to stay hot with Ranger Suarez ($6,500) on the mound. He's allowed just five runs and recorded 33 strikeouts across 29 innings in his last five starts, which has helped propel him to a 2.98 FIP and a 25.4 percent strikeout rate for the season. He has what could be a great matchup at home against the Orioles considering the Orioles only have a .653 OPS on the road.
Bryce Harper ($6,000) won't have a platoon advantage when he steps into the batter's box against John Means ($7,700). However, he's on a power surge right now with seven home runs over his last 14 games. That could be ominous for Means, who has allowed 26 home runs across 132 innings.
A.J. Alexy ($6,300) came out of the bullpen in his last appearance and was torched by the Astros, allowing six runs and two home runs over 3.2 innings. He'll start Monday against the Yankees, which means it might be the night to roll with Aaron Judge ($5,200). Not only does he bring plenty of power to the plate, but he has a career 171 wRC+ at Yankee Stadium.
When a lefty is on the mound, that means it's time to at least consider Andrew McCutchen ($3,500). His overall numbers aren't great given his .330 wOBA and 105 wRC+ for the season, However, he has a .444 wOBA and a 179 wRC+ versus left-handed pitchers.
Although the Yankees are struggling, Brett Gardner ($2,200) is performing the best that he has all season at the plate down the stretch. Across his last 14 games, he is 13-for-46 (.283) with three home runs and two doubles. At his cheap salary, he could be worth considering for his matchup with Alexy.
Stacks to Consider
Yes, Barria limited the Astros to one run over four innings when he faced them in his last outing. However, he allowed eight base runners, so he certainly lived on the edge. That's been a problem area for him given his 1.54 WHIP for the season. The Astros could have more success this time around with Bregman being someone to consider building a stack around. Since being activated from the IL, he is 27-for-77 (.351) with three home runs across 21 games.
Despite having a 1.54 WHIP across 71.2 innings at Triple-A, Mejia is expected to be recalled to start Monday. He wasn't missing many bats, either, given that he only had 63 strikeouts. This is a rough matchup for him to be called up to considering that the Braves have the third-highest OPS in baseball. A key to any Braves stack could be Freeman, who has hit 30 home runs and recorded a .378 wOBA.
In need of rotation help, Woodford has been moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation. He only has a 17.4 percent strikeout rate to go along with his 1.39 WHIP for the season, which makes the Brewers a team to consider stacking. They are dealing with some injuries, but this trio could be productive. Escobar hasn't skipped a beat since coming off the IL, slugging four home runs and three doubles over 14 games.