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. We’ll play the 11-game night slate.
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 (usually single-entry) – 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.
Mark Trumbo, Wilmer Flores and most of the stacks were useless, but bargain Franchy Cordero homered twice.
Both lineups crashed and burned. That’ll happen when you have four pitchers combine for 26 DK points. Thanks for nothing – or less than nothing - Marco Estrada!
Season status: Minus $32.50
Jake RothJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
News & notes
Corey Kluber ($12,500 vs. LAD) and Mike Leake ($6,800 vs. MIL) are the night’s biggest favorites, both checking in at minus-161 … Orioles-White Sox (Bundy-Gonzalez) and Mariners-Twins (Gaviglio-Santana) both check in with projected run totals of 10 … Keep an eye on the weather for that O’s-Sox game, as weather.com reports a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms and gametime. The Dodgers-Indians game has a similar threat.
Anthony Rizzo was the Cubs’ leadoff hitter on Tuesday, and could be in the same spot tonight if Ben Zobrist (wrist) needs another day off … The Dodgers placed Adrian Gonzalez (back) on the DL, activated Joc Pederson, and named Chris Taylor as their primary left fielder … CC Sabathia left Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury, and his prognosis is TBD … The Mets put SS Asdrubal Cabrera (thumb) back on the DL, and still have OF Michael Conforto as day-to-day with a stiff back.
In cash games, I think it’s Leake. He’s a significant favorite, averages more DK ppg than all but four starters on the board, ranks eighth in salary, and has averaged 6 2/3 innings per start (meaning he’ll get deep into the game and whiff more batters). He helps you afford Kluber, Pineda or Santana, or some expensive hitters. Finally, Leake matches up with a Brewer lineup that has one of MLB’s worst K rates (26.5%) over the last month.
Scott KaneScott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: The Cubs’ lineup shuffle bumped Jason Heyward ($2,700) up to the cleanup spot on Tuesday, and he responded with a home run. Heyward in that spot versus Matt Harvey is an obvious pick (again, assuming that Zobrist doesn't play).
Tournaments: Phillies 3B Maikel Franco has six hits in his last two games, and might be snapping out of his season-long slump. It’ll only cost you $2,600 to find out.
Benny SieuBenny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
I won’t argue with you targeting Jordan Zimmermann with some D-backs, but he’s had two decent starts in a row. The top four Cubs will be relatively inexpensive vs. Matt Harvey, while the Red Sox are expensive vs. Jeremy Hellickson. All are a threat to explode.
The Orioles – with reasonable salaries – look like a good bet to bounce back (vs. Gonzalez) after killing us last night, while the Twins could have another big night against homer-prone Sam Gaviglio. There are enough decent, midpriced SPs to afford whichever one stack you want, but the Cubs might be too cheap to pass up.
The Guys to Avoid
Xander Bogaerts seems like the best SS play against an extremely hittable Hellickson, so why would you pay more money for Elvis Andrus, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager? That goes double for Seager vs. Kluber.
USA TODAY SportsJayne Kamin-Oncea
Starting pitcher: You’re probably worried about Kluber facing the Dodgers, but keep in mind that they’ve ranked 25th in wOBA with a 25.3 percent K rate over the last 30 days … Ervin Santana ($10,300) might be doing it with smoke and mirrors, but his price isn’t an elite one versus the Mariners … Dylan Bundy ($7,700) faces a mediocre (at best) White Sox lineup, and he’s been solid, averaging 16.5 DK ppg with more than six innings per start … Leake is mentioned above… Rockies SP German Marquez ($6,700) has a 3.24 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 25 innings on the road … Something is keeping me away from Michael Pineda. Maybe it’s the 5.96 road ERA (only five starts, I know).
Catcher: Sure, Gary Sanchez is a HR threat vs. Shoemaker. But $5K? … Alex Avila’s salary ($4,200) has climbed, but he still looks solid vs. Walker … Look for Jason Castro to get tonight off after catching three straight games … Travis d’Arnaud has been hitting well, but he hasn’t been catching more than two games in a row, and tonight would be his third … Derek Norris ($2,800) and Cameron Rupp ($2,400) are both solid options vs. LHP. I’d go with Rupp due to price and ballpark.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt ($5,400) vs. Zimmermann is obviously a fine play, but isn’t cost-effective … Rizzo ($4,600) batting leadoff again maximizes plate appearances vs. Harvey … Hanley Ramirez isn’t expected to play first base while the Red Sox are in Philly … As nice as Mitch Moreland ($4,500) looks vs. Hellickson at Philly, I prefer Rizzo unless you’re stacking Sox … Matt Carpenter ($3,800) has 94 DK points in his last seven games, and faces Garza … Tommy Joseph ($3,600) has 15 hits in his last nine games, and hits LHP pretty well (.355 career wOBA) … Miguel Cabrera has four hits and 24 DK points over his last two games, and is just $3,400 … Luis Valbuena ($2,800) is your cheap play versus the good but homer-prone Pineda.
Second base: Brian Dozier ($4,800) is on fire, with 80 DK points in his last five games. Gaviglio not the toughest opposing SP, either … Jonathan Schoop ($4,300) is a threat to go deep vs. Gonzalez … BvP alert: Robinson Cano ($4,000) has six homers in 45 PA vs. Santana. On the other side of that coin, Santana has allowed MLB’s lowest wOBA vs. LHB (.208) this season … Ian Happ ($3,700) is an all-or-nothing guy, but “all” is a decent bet vs. Harvey … Dustin Pedroia ($3,700) has four straight two-hit games … Wilmer Flores ($3,300) went hitless against a lefty on Tuesday. The odds of that happening two days in a row are approximately eleventy-billion-to-one.
Third base: I prefer Jake Lamb ($5,200) from the high-priced options … BvP alert: Josh Donaldson ($4,700) has four homers in 24 PA vs. Odorizzi … However, Donaldson > Bryant/Sano in that price tier, but Sano is very close … Manny Machado, still cheap ($4,100) and waiting to break out … Evan Longoria ($3,800) is always a solid bet vs. LHP, and has a couple of homers in 27 PA vs. Liriano … Flores and Valbuena fit here, too … Franco is mentioned above.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts ($4,400) vs. homer-prone Hellickson at Philly is my preferred option from the high salaries … Francisco Lindor’s salary ($4,000) has plummeted due to his extended slump. He hasn’t homered since May 31 … Chris Owings ($4,200) is one of many D-backs to consider vs. Zimmermann … The cheap options are bad here. Troy Tulowitzki for $2,900? Ugh.
Outfield: I like Charlie Blackmon ($5,500) just a bit more than Aaron Judge if I’m spending, since Chad Kuhl gets hammered by RHB (.434 wOBA this season) … Mookie Betts ($5,300) and Andrew Benintendi ($4,800) will cost you if you’re stacking Sox … Brett Gardner’s salary ($4,500) is lower than expected vs. Shoemaker … Howie Kendrick ($4,200) will probably bat third or fourth vs. Johnson. He has six hits in his last three games … Anyone want to double-down on Trumbo ($3,800) vs. Gonzalez? … Kole Calhoun ($3,700) is another Anaheim tournament possibility vs. Pineda … Gregor Blanco ($3,600) has four double-digit DK games in his last five starts, and should lead off vs. Zimmermann … Juan Lagares ($2,900) led off for the Mets on Tuesday, and might do so again tonight if Conforto doesn’t return. He’s always been decent vs. LHP … Heyward is mentioned above.