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. Today, we’ll focus on the 12-game night slate, as two of the three afternoon contests (Cubs-Cardinals, Tigers-White Sox) are threatened by rain.
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.
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox
Not bad. The Giants’ stack was fine, but would have been better if we added leadoff hitter Gorkys Hernandez after the lineup was announced. Highly-owned Kenta Maeda was a disappointment, and the value plays didn’t do much. Our cash lineup succeeded, while the tournament lineup placed in the sixth percentile of a large field, winning $3.50. Far from a big score, but it beats losing.
Season status: Plus $3.50
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY SportsRichard Mackson
News & notes
Rich Hill and the Dodgers are the night’s biggest favorite at minus-245. You’ll see that a lot against the Padres … A half-dozen games check in with projected run totals of nine: Tigers-White Sox, Phils-Reds, Rockies-Brewers, Giants-Diamondbacks, Jays-O’s and Mariners-Astros … On the low end, Braves-Mets and Padres-Dodgers have projected totals of seven runs … Thunderstorms are forecast for Cincinnati, so avoid Phillies-Reds unless you’re making late changes.
Tigers OF Justin Upton is day-to-day with a knee injury … Cardinals OF Stephen Piscotty is in the concussion protocol after getting hit in the head with an errant throw … Indians 1B Carlos Santana remained in the leadoff spot vs. a LHP on Tuesday … Padres OF Manuel Margot dropped out of the leadoff spot as expected on Tuesday vs. a RHP, but he batted second, which is fine with us. Margot stole a base in the Padres’ win, and there will be plenty more coming if he bats near the top of the lineup every day.
None of the pitchers fit the bill here. If you’re spending big for one hitter, it should be Paul Goldschmidt ($5,000) against Matt Moore, who gives up lots of flyballs and will be much better at home than on the road. If you can’t realistically afford Goldschmidt and want a medium-priced option, fellow D-back A.J. Pollock ($4,100) works very well.
Cash: Dodgers' leadoff hitter Andrew Toles checks in at $3,000 versus Trevor Cahill. If he gets on base, he’s likely to score and might steal a bag.
Tournaments: Rays DH/OF Corey Dickerson ($3,300) will probably lead off against homer-prone Michael Pineda. Dickerson’s job description reads, “Hit home runs.”
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The Nationals, Red Sox and Dodgers are all solid (and obvious) if you don’t spend for pitching. I prefer the Dodgers because theirs starts with Toles at $3K, but keep in mind that using Adrian Gonzalez keeps you off Goldschmidt. Seager/Turner/Gonzalez/Forsythe are also less expensive than their Boston and Washington counterparts.
If you allocate $20K for pitchers and need to be thriftier with hitters, there are multiple options. The D-backs could adjust their lineup to face lefty Matt Moore, as Pollock/Goldschmidt/Tomas might be accompanied by Brandon Drury moving up in the order (Peralta and Lamb can’t hit LHP). Look to the Brewers against Tyler Chatwood, as their top four hitters on Monday (vs. RHP) were Villar/Thames/Braun/Shaw, and you can get that group for $17K.
Finally, the current Mets’ roster has OPSed .890 in limited exposure to Bartolo Colon. Reyes/Cabrera/Cespedes/Granderson would be the least popular option, but they’re also the most likely to bust. Who wants to swing for the fences today?
The Guys to Avoid
The Pirates against Sale. Signed, Captain Obvious.
Position Notes & Suggestions
Starting pitcher: Hill ($10,800) is in a great spot against the Padres, but Chris Sale will only cost you an extra $400. Since Hill can’t be counted on to go deep into any game, Sale should be your cash-game SP … Jacob deGrom ($10,600) is also a nice option, but again, Sale is better and not much more expensive … Two trendy pitching sleepers – Taijuan Walker ($7,500) and James Paxton ($6,900) – make their 2017 debuts tonight. The flamethrowing Paxton is a good tournament play against an Astros team that whiffs a lot … There’s also strikeout upside with Cole Hamels, Danny Salazar, Garrett Richards, Michael Pineda and even Charlie Morton. I’d use Paxton over all of them in tournaments, and Hamels with Sale in cash.
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto ($3,500) will bat second against the more-hittable-than-you-think Tanner Roark … Yasmani Grandal ($3,600) homered on Monday, and gets a friendly matchup with Cahill. Batting sixth makes him a shaky part of a stack, though … If Stephen Vogt ($3,100) doesn’t get a day off, his price makes him playable.
First base: As noted above, Goldschmidt is an ideal play if you can spare the $5K … Adrian Gonzalez ($3,800) is pretty reasonable considering the friendly matchup … Do you trust Dylan Bundy? Me neither. Blue Jays DH Kendrys Morales ($4,300) is a homer threat in Camden Yards … Speaking of Camden, Mark Trumbo ($4,400) is a decent bet to go deep vs. J.A. Happ … If Mitch Moreland ($3,300) bats fifth again versus the Pirates, he offers plenty of value.
Second base: I really like Paxton, but Jose Altuve ($4,800) is usually money in the bank vs. LHP … Daniel Murphy ($4,500) is probably worth the price against homer-prone Dan Straily, and also fits at 3B … Hey, D-Backs: Can you please move Brandon Drury ($3,500) up to the second slot against Matt Moore tonight? Thanks.
Third base: You don’t need to spend big here tonight … Justin Turner ($4,200) is about as high as I’d go … Travis Shaw ($3,700), mentioned earlier as part of a Brewers’ stack, figures to bat cleanup … For the third game in a row, A’s No. 3 hitter Ryon Healy ($3,300) is relatively cheap against a non-dominant SP. Healy had a homer and a single on Tuesday.
Shortstop: Trea Turner? Jonathan Villar? Sure, if you can afford them … Jose Reyes ($3,900) will lead off against the 97-year-old Colon … Hey, have we mentioned that Michael Pineda gives up home runs? Rays’ cleanup hitter Brad Miller ($3,600) could benefit … Yunel Escobar doesn’t have power or speed, but any leadoff hitter can be considered at $3K. That’s a tepid endorsement, isn’t it?
Outfield: Lots of chalk here. The big four are Betts/Trout/Harper/Braun, and I’d take Harper if I had to pick one … Rookie Andrew Benintendi ($4,000) is a moderately-priced member of a Red Sox stack … We mentioned Toles, Margot and Dickerson above … Matt Joyce is $2,400 again, and will probably bat second. He’s hitless so far.