Welcome to our daily look at daily fantasy baseball. We’ll use DraftKings salaries to give you some tips and advice on the day’s action.
Remember to check lineups and weather as gametimes approach. We’ll publish this piece in the mornings, and a lot can happen during the day. If Dusty Baker decides to bench Bryce Harper at the last minute, don’t blame us!
I’ll plan to wager $6 per day on DraftKings - $5 on a cash lineup, $1 on a tournament version – and track my progress all season. If you’re a more serious player who doesn’t want to trust his or her bankroll on a guy who enters six bucks a day, I’ll understand.
Lock recommendation J.T. Realmuto went hitless after being dropped to the No. 6 spot due to Martin Prado’s return, but runner-up Freddie Freeman had a huge night, homering twice. Once again, our cash lineup finished well, while its tournament counterpart came up short. Charlie Morton’s 16.45 DK points weren’t bad for $6,500.
Season status: Plus $21
Dale ZanineUSA TODAY Sports
News & notes
The day’s biggest favorite is … Cubs SP Brett Anderson? Yep. He’s $6,600, and at minus-181 over the Brewers … Anderson is followed by Luis Severino ($6,500, -177), Max Scherzer (-172, $12,800) and Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,000, -170) … The highest projected run total is nine for Indians-Twins (Tomlin-Hughes) and Orioles-Reds (Gausman-Arroyo) … On the low side, Nats-Braves (Scherzer-Foltynewicz), Rockies-Dodgers (Freeland-Ryu) and Rangers-A’s (Darvish-Triggs) all check in at 7.5 … Be careful with the Nats-Braves game, as there’s a 45 percent chance of thunderstorms at gametime, per weather.com.
Robbie Ray whiffed 10 Dodgers in six innings on Tuesday … Eric Thames hit another home run, and is on pace for 81 … With Marcus Semien scheduled for wrist surgery that will keep him sidelined for a couple of months, Rajai Davis batted leadoff against a righty on Monday … Cardinals 1B Matt Carpenter is day-to-day with a swollen finger … Look for possible DL returns this week from Matt Kemp (Wednesday), Trea Turner (Wednesday) and Jason Kipnis (Friday).
John HeftiJohn Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Cruz faces Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen, who has allowed 52 homers in 323 2/3 IP (or 1.45 HR per nine) since the beginning of 2015. Over that span, Cruz ranks first in the majors with a 1.060 OPS vs. LHP, first by a lot with a .657 slugging percentage and 34 home runs, and second with a .437 wOBA. At $4,300, Cruz is as obvious as they come.
Getty ImagesOtto Greule Jr
Cash: Royals 3B Mike Moustakas (5 HR) is still a mind-bogglingly low $3,200, and faces Matt Cain.
Tournaments: Mitch Moreland and Justin Bour are $2,900 first basemen, but Miami’s Justin Bour has the better matchup (Yovani Gallardo) … Look for Mariners OF Guillermo Heredia ($2,700) to lead off against lefty Wei-Yin Chen.
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So many bad pitchers – whom do we go after? The guess here is that the popular stacks will be the Orioles (vs. Bronson Arroyo) and Indians (vs. Phil Hughes). If we eliminate those – which you don’t need to – the next targets look like the Royals, Mets and Marlins. I’m going with the Mets (Granderson/Cabrera/Cespedes/Bruce and maybe Walker) against Philly rookie Zach Eflin, who allowed 12 home runs in 63 1/3 big-league innings last season.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
The Guys to Avoid
The Braves against Scherzer, even though their current roster has hit him pretty well. Honestly, I don't love either side of this one.
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Position Notes & Suggestions
Starting pitcher: With the Braves hitting well lately, paying the big bucks for Scherzer doesn’t seem wise in cash games … Yu Darvish ($10,700) is your cash game building block … Ryu, Mike Leake ($7,600) and Severino appear to be your other cash SPs. Leake has the lowest K potential but seems to be the most stable … Severino can rack up strikeouts, so he’s also a tournament option … Shelby Miller ($7,500) is throwing really hard and striking people out, but he has a 5.06 ERA. He gets the Padres coming home from a cross-country road trip … Jimmy Nelson ($7,000) might be a big underdog against the Cubs, but he held them to one run in six innings while whiffing eight a couple of weeks ago … Oakland’s Andrew Triggs ($5,000) is in play if you don’t use Darvish. He’s not striking people out so far this year, but he did last season, and he keeps the ball on the ground.
Catcher: Russell Martin ($3,700) is in play vs. Red Sox rookie LHP Brian Johnson … Salvador Perez ($3,400) is an HR threat against Matt Cain, who has allowed 18 homers in his last 98 2/3 innings … Can we get Realmuto ($3,200) back to second in the Marlins’ batting order? Please? … Brian McCann ($3,300) has eight homers in 70 plate appearances vs. Ricky Nolasco … Jason Castro ($2,800) can help you save money against Tomlin. He bats sixth, like most of the other backstops.
First base: Chris Davis ($4,700) vs. Bronson Arroyo? Yes, please … Edwin Encarnacion ($4,500) is a fine play vs. homer-prone Phil Hughes … Ditto for Carlos Santana ($4,400) vs. Hughes … If you want to ride the Thames hot streak, he’s $3,900 vs. the lefthanded Anderson. I’m out … Mark Reynolds ($3,500) draws a lefty in Ryu … If the Mariners move Danny Valencia ($3,300) up in the order, he’ll be a nice play vs. Chen.
Second base: Daniel Murphy ($4,400) faces Mike Foltynewicz, who allows too many flyballs … If you don’t believe in the Cubs’ Anderson, go after Jonathan Villar ($4,300) … Why is Dee Gordon only $3,800 vs. Gallardo? … With a lefty on the mound for the Rockies, Logan Forsythe ($3,700) will lead off for the Dodgers … Jose Peraza ($3,700) is a decent play against Kevin Gausman … Starlin Castro ($3,400) has 10 hits in his last six games, and batted fourth on Monday … Philly leadoff hitter Cesar Hernandez ($3,000) has hit in 10 straight games, and has 50 DK points over his last two. Zack Wheeler ain’t exactly Roger Clemens, you know.
Third base: Hey, Manny Machado! You might be $4,900, but you get to hit against Bronson Arroyo tonight. Congratulations! … Jake Lamb ($3,900) is a solid choice against the ground-balling but bad Jarred Cosart … Justin Turner ($3,700) is priced too low against Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland … Anthony Rendon ($3,600) has been batting second in Turner’s absence … Moustakas is mentioned above.
Shortstop: Francisco Lindor ($4,700) is expensive, but in a good spot against Hughes … Troy Tulowitzki ($4,000) is a good target for those attacking Boston’s Johnson … Asdrubal Cabrera ($3,700) is reasonably priced vs. Philly rookie Zach Elfin … The cheaper options at this position are uninspiring.
Outfield: If you want to spend big, Bryce Harper ($5,100) vs. Folty is a good way to do it … Mark Trumbo ($4,600) is a huge HR threat vs. Arroyo … Cruuuuuuuz … Adam Jones ($4,500) can be part of an O’s stack or stand alone … Cain-on-Cain DFS violence can include Lorenzo ($4,000) … Miami’s Christian Yelich ($3,900) has three double-digit DK games in his last five, and faces Gallardo … Adam Eaton is only $3,700 vs. Folty? … Granderson ($3,900) has been leading off for the Mets … Toronto lefty masher Steve Pearce ($3,500) is likely to bat second … Seattle’s Mitch Haniger ($3,500) is averaging 11.9 DK points per game … San Diego’s Travis Jankowski ($3,000) isn’t hitting much, but speed doesn’t slump (or something) … If Cody Asche ($2,700) bats fourth or fifth vs. Severino, he’s a tournament possibility. Yankee Stadium is every hitter’s best friend … Seattle’s Heredia is mentioned above.