It's a rare full slate slate on a Monday for Interleague Day, with every ballgame featuring a head-to-head matchup of teams from each circuit. All games start after 7:00 pm EST, pitting them as part of a saturated player pool for most contests on Draft Kings as part of the ultra-rare 105-game week, in which every team is playing every day from Monday through Sunday.
Brett Gardner, OF ($5000)
vs. RHP: .270/.349/.402, with 166-of-201 SB in 2255 PA
Gardner's artificially high price is an artifact of a week ago, following a five-game stretch that included four extra-base knocks and two stolen bases, but on a day stacked with intriguing arms he draws a relatively easy target in Miami's Tom Koehler. There have only been three steal attempts versus the Marlins' right-hander this season, but Gardner could easily be the fourth he finds himself in stealing position – Gardner hasn't even attempted a steal versus a southpaw in 2015, making his 15-for-18 against righties all the more impressive.
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Details ($3 Entry):
Corey Dickerson, OF ($4500)
vs. LHP: .255/.313/.392 in 166 PA
vs. RHP: .309/.356/.567 in 652 PA
Home: .350/.407/.675 in 399 PA
Road: .251/.291/.399 in 419 PA
The inclusion of Dickerson could be moot, as there is a definite chance that he's not in the starting lineup to give the plantar fasciitis a day of rest. That said, the Rockie outfielder is worth avoiding even if he does get the start – Dickerson is dealing with his worst nightmare, facing a tough lefty (Dallas Keuchel) away from the pinball machine of Coors Field, the combination of which converts the lefty-swinging masher into a liability at the plate. He's one of those polarizing players that is an auto-start when facing a right-hander at home but who is worth avoiding when the tables are turned like they are tonight.
Alexei Ramirez, SS ($3300)
vs. LHP: .294/.333/.434 with 24-of-36 SB in 1091 PA
vs. RHP: .269/.304/.389 with 102-of-139 SB in 3523 PA
We've seen this act before from Ramirez, whose OPS plummeted to 651 in 2012, but never to the depth of this season's .236/.253/.316 line. Alexei has manned the number-two spot in the batting order the last five times that manager Robin Ventura has written him into the starting lineup, displaying uncommon confidence in a player who has not hit much better in the recent past (578 OPS over the last two weeks) than his anemic slash for the season. Ramirez draws a lefty tonight in Francisco Liriano to secure the platoon advantage, so odds are that he will occupy the second slot in the order once again, but he will need a relatively good day in order to justify even the low $3300 price tag.
Masahiro Tanaka, NYY at MIA ($10600)
Looking at the numbers, Tanaka is not only back but better than ever, including a 2.48 ERA that's built on the back of his 39-to-7 ratio of strikeouts to walks as much as an obscenely low hit rate of just 5.4 safeties per nine innings. He's finished the seventh frame in each of his two starts since coming back from the disabled list despite his throwing just 78 and 87 pitches in the two outings, and he has shutout upside once the Yankees are willing to stretch him out.
So he's back to being dominant, but for how long? There was a lot of concern surrounding Tanaka's velocity in the first month of the season, but over the last two turns he has been throwing as hard as ever (average four-seamer at 93.5 mph) while his ownership of the strike zone is exemplified by a count of 15 strikeouts against zero walks in that span. The long-term prognosis is not good, but the DFS gamer needs only worry about the immediate, and this grinder is about to jump back on the Tanaka train.
Yovani Gallardo, TEX vs. LAD ($7400)
From 2009 through '13, Gallardo allowed 3.5 walks per nine innings while striking out exactly one batter per frame, though he allowed runs at a rate near the league average during that stretch. He has greatly trimmed the true outcomes over the past two seasons, maintaining nearly the same K-to-walk ratio but letting the gloves play a bigger role, with 2.6 walks allowed and 6.9 K's per nine, and he has to be pleased by an ERA that is 11 percent better than league average since the start of '14. Gallardo is coming off his best start of the year, a 10-K effort against Oakland that marked only the second time in the last three seasons that he had punched out batters numbering in the double digits. It's the only time that Gallardo has busted more than six strikeouts in a game this season, and he faces a much more intimidating roster out of Los Angeles.
Byron Buxton, OF ($3600)
With the date for Super Two status having theoretically passed, teams are bringing up their prospects in a flurry, and Twins wasted no time in bring Buxton to the show once the team and league had agreed that he was tall enough to ride. He was hitting an unfathomable number of triples while in Double-A, wheeling his way to a dozen three-baggers in just 58 games, with nearly as many triples as had homers and doubles combined (six and seven, respectively, for a total of 13), and his efficiency on the basepaths is personified by his 20 successful steals in 22 attempts. The 21-year old Buxton battled injuries that limited him to just three plate appearances above A-ball prior to this season, but his skills shone through and the Twins brass opted to lock him into the roster now rather than have him toil in Chattanooga.
Buxton started his big-league career with an 0-for-4, but his presence in the Minnesota lineup immediately boosts the fear factor for a roster that was lacking upside after Brian Dozier. The move brings to mind what the team will do with Miguel Sano, who has difference-making power and a longer track record in the minors but who is returning from an injury of his own. The issue could be his position – Sano is a third basemen and current Twinkie third sacker Trevor Plouffe has been more than earning his keep in 2015. Buxton will face John Lackey and the Cards tonight, that is if Mother Nature cooperates, as a new chapter of baseball begins in the Twin Cities.
Rain is everywhere, threatening the following games:
CHW-PIT – check here for updates
PHI-BAL – check here for updates
CIN-DET – check here for updates
ATL-BOS – check here for updates
TOR-NYM – check here for updates
CLE-CHC – check here for updates
LAD-TEX – check here for updates
MIN-STL – check here for updates
Resources used for this article:
Draft Kings player prices
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