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Daily Fantasy MLB picks for Monday, May 29 (Early Only)

Heath explores the Early Only slate on FanDuel.

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was a colossal bust. Thanks for nothing, Joe Ross. You too, Boston. Sundays are pretty much the worst for daily fantasy. When some dude named Christian Bergman shuts out the Red Sox for seven innings, you know it’s a Sunday. Today has to get better...right?

Target: Ervin Santana vs. Houston Astros

The Astros have won four games in a row and they catch the Twins on the heels of Minnesota’s 15-inning affair that lasted over six hours yesterday. The Twins emptied out the bullpen in an effort to snag the win and even allowed Wednesday’s starter Hector Santiago to pitch the 15th inning. As a result, the Twins are expected to bring up two pitchers prior to today’s game.

Most people will probably lean towards the Houston side in this one in the hopes that the bats get to Santana and then get to feast on a tired bullpen. “Vegas” seems to think there is a chance of this, as the line has shifted from +103 to -127 in favor of former reliever Brad Peacock and the run total is sitting at nine.

The issue with all of the above is that Ervin Santana has been ridiculous in 2017. He has allowed a .201 wOBA to LHH and a .226 wOBA to RHH this season. Remember, a .300 wOBA is considered to be average. Santana is also tops in the league in batting average against (.134) and second in WHIP (0.83). He is not allowing a lot of hard contact, either—26.6% to LHH and only 20% to RHH.

The only sketchy thing under the hood that I can see is Santana’s walk rate to right-handed hitters, which sits at 14.4% and is far higher than last year’s 6.3% mark. Since he has a career 6.4% walk rate to RHH I am inclined to view this as an anomaly. Recall that Santana is still second in the MLB in WHIP (0.83)...apparently a few walks don’t kill you when you don’t allow hits. RHH are only slashing .125/.264/.211 off of him, and lefties are slashing .139/.192/.262. You get the idea. Santana has been good.

So, the stage is set. The Twins played a marathon game yesterday and used up their bullpen. Their ace is on the mound today and they could benefit from an epic quality start that would save the rest of their staff. Santana is coming off of a complete game shutout against the Orioles, by the way (a two-hitter). You know what’s on his mind.

Stack Against: Daniel Mengden with Cleveland Indians

Today is a Coors slate, so generally that means you can get who you want and not worry as much about ownership. The Rockies should be popular against Sam Gaviglio today, but I am interested in the Indians. The Tribe will face the call-up in Mengden, who has a 2.21 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in four starts for Triple-A Nashville this season. From what I can gather, the 24-year-old hurler likes to pound the strike zone. I’ll take my chances with the Indians, who exploded for 18 hits yesterday against Danny Duffy and the Royals.

Give me Francisco Lindor (.265 ISO, .358 wOBA) and Edwin Encarnacion (.213 ISO, .326 wOBA) as my most-likely-to-dong candidates. Jason Kipnis (.136 ISO, .277 wOBA) doesn’t have great numbers yet but is still working his way back from injury. He was 4-for-4 with a home run and a walk yesterday, so it’s safe to say he’s feeling spry. After that, it’s a mix of Michael Brantley (.194 ISO, .385 wOBA) or Jose Ramirez (.241 ISO, .376 wOBA). With an implied run total of 5.60 today, the Indians offer a way to get off of Coors and still have plenty of upside.

That’s all for now. Keep me posted on your research if you find a different way we should be going. Let’s end it with a poll...


Who is your favorite GPP pitcher today?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Carlos Carrasco ($10,300) vs. OAK
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    David Price ($9,600) @ CWS
    (0 votes)
  • 30%
    Kyle Hendricks ($9,400) @ SDP
    (6 votes)
  • 15%
    Ervin Santana ($9,300) vs. HOU
    (3 votes)
  • 30%
    Brad Peacock ($5,700) @ MIN
    (6 votes)
20 votes total Vote Now