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 15-game main 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.
Jake Odorizzi wasn’t terrible, but he was kind of a dud with 12.95 DK points as our lock. Evan Gattis (12) and Ryan Raburn (10) both reached double digits as our bargain picks, but the Mariners’ stack sorta fizzled out. Oh, and I wrote this about Cody Bellinger:
“With Wheeler having a history of suppressing home runs, we’re not going to spend $5,200 on Cody Bellinger. Yes, we know that could burn us with one good swing.”
Make that two good swings. Bellinger is unstoppable.
The cash lineup just missed, while the tournament version got Mariner-ed.
Season status: Minus $52.50
Richard MacksonRichard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
News & notes
Michael Pineda ($10,600) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-215 over the Angels. Brandon McCarthy ($6,400) is close behind at minus-196 over the Mets, Mike Montgomery ($5,500) is minus-195 over the Padres, and Chris Sale ($13,200) is minus-192 at KC … Vegas sees some big numbers tonight. In addition to the projected total of 12.5 runs for Diamondbacks-Rockies, double-digit totals are also forecast for Jays-Rangers (11), Indians-Orioles (10.5) and White Sox-Twins (10).
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Miguel Sano ($4,200) leads the majors in hard contact rate, and has a .412 wOBA in 60 plate appearances vs. southpaws this season. He’ll face Derek Holland, who has allowed a .378 wOBA to RHB, along with 14 home runs. And while small-sample BvPs aren’t very reliable, Sano has a double, a homer and two walks in six plate appearances against Holland. At third base, the only comparable play is Jake Lamb for an additional $1,400.
Associated PressTony Dejak
Cash: Mariners’ southpaw Ariel Miranda has allowed 13 home runs to RHB. Tigers C James McCann ($2,400) has four homers and a .373 wOBA in 40 PA vs. LHP. Good match, right?
Tournaments: Guillermo Heredia ($2,400) might cede his spot to Mitch Haniger, who got Monday off. But when they plugged Heredia in for Haniger, he had a single, a homer and 19 DK points out of the leadoff spot. Double down, right?
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The Coors game obviously looks great, but it’ll make you skimp on pitching. The Jays, Indians, Yankees and Cardinals are options. We’re going with the Tigers, who hit lefties pretty well, and have four batters among MLB’s top 30 in hard-contact rate (Castellanos, Cabrera, Upton, Kinsler). They’ll face Ariel Miranda, who has been strong at home but struggles against righthanded hitters (13 HR in 62 IP). Righties have hit fly balls in 54.7 percent of their plate appearances vs. Miranda, according to FanGraphs.
Rick OsentoskiRick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Guys to Avoid
You’ll want to get a piece of the Coors game if you can, but Paul Goldschmidt ($5,800) and Lamb ($5,600) are prohibitively expensive against a pitcher (German Marquez) who hasn’t been allowing many home runs.
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Starting pitcher: Sale looks like his usual terrific self at Kansas City; the only small red flag is that the Royals don’t strike out a lot … I don’t understand why Pineda has been pitching so well at Yankee Stadium (1.96 ERA in seven starts), but the Angels aren’t too good, so he could have another strong night … Ervin Santana ($10,400) has started to come back to Earth a bit, but he faces a White Sox lineup that has been one of MLB’s worst … Pairing Sale with someone cheap can include either big favorites McCarthy or Montgomery. McCarthy has a home start against a Mets lineup that’s still without Neil Walker (I know, not the greatest hitter), while Montgomery has had a couple of decent starts since joining the Cubs’ rotation, and faces a bad San Diego lineup that ranks dead last in wOBA vs.LHP (.280) and whiffs plenty … The Phillies have really been struggling, putting Mike Leake ($7,700) and his low K rate in play … Astros’ rookie Francis Martes ($5,800) is a tournament option vs. the whiff-happy A’s … The interesting risk would be Francisco Liriano ($6,700) vs. a Rangers’ team that ranks 28th in wOBA vs. LHP (.290) and last in strikeout rate against them (26.6 percent). The high projected run total suggests blowup potential.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez ($4,900) at home against a shaky rookie is a pretty solid bet … I’m still mostly avoiding Mike Zunino ($4,300) because he whiffs too much and bats too low in the order. But the guy has eight homers this month and a nice matchup with Zimmermann, so what do I know? … J.T. Realmuto ($3,600) has hit southpaws well this season (.401 wOBA in 52 PA), and faces Gio Gonzalez … Derek Norris is usually a nice option vs. LHP, but after catching three straight games he’ll probably get tonight off … James McCann is mentioned above.
First base: Goldschmidt is sooooo pricey … At $4,500 and above, I could make arguments for Bellinger, Rizzo, Encarnacion, Thames, Smoak, Reynolds and Carpenter. Carpenter is the cheapest at $4,500, and has a premium matchup with Hellickson. Bellinger is pretty much unstoppable, but expensive at $5,200. Encarnacion ($4,900) is on fire, with four homers and 123 DK points in his last six games … Miguel Cabrera ($4,000) went hitless Sunday and Monday, but his bat has been waking up lately … Taking a shot at Mike Napoli ($3,400) vs. a LHP is always something to consider. He has a homer, a single and three walks in 12 career PA vs. Liriano, which doesn’t tell us much.
Second base: Jose Ramirez ($4,900) is averaging 21.1 DK points over the last seven games, and faces the awful Tillman … Brian Dozier ($4,600) vs. Holland looks pretty strong, as Dozier crushes LHP (.370 wOBA) … I’ll take the surging Jason Kipnis ($3,900) over Ian Kinsler and Ian Happ in the same price range … If Alen Hanson ($3,200) leads off for the White Sox against Santana, he can save you a few bucks.
Third base: Ramirez fits here, too … As much as I like Donaldson, Turner and Shaw, Sano is a stronger play for less money … Evan Longoria ($3,700) and Kyle Seager ($3,600) can save money compared to those guys – I prefer career lefty killer Longoria vs. Garrett … Nick Castellanos ($3,500) can work in a Tigers’ stack.
Shortstop: I like Corey Seager ($4,900), but could easily pivot to Francisco Lindor ($4,400) for the price vs. the horrendous Tillman … Lindor also gets a slight edge over Elvis Andrus ($4,200) vs. Liriano, but it’s close. Andrus is having a huge season … Brandon Crawford ($3,400) is in play because the ballpark in Atlanta has been friendly to LHB, and so has Julio Teheran (.385 wOBA, 11 HR).
Outfield: Bellinger is my favorite of the $5K-plus guys. Opposing SP Robert Gsellman has allowed a .391 wOBA to LHB … J.D. Martinez ($4,500) and Eric Thames ($4,700) stand out in the next tier. Thames faces Chad Kuhl, who has allowed a putrid .423 wOBA to LHB … Steven Souza ($4,200) could lead off vs. Garrett, who has been getting killed by RHB (.386 wOBA, 13 HR). I’d probably use Kemp or Marcell Ozuna ($4,300) in the same range if Souza bats fifth … I kind of like Matt Kemp ($4,300) in the same range vs. Matt Moore … Why is Brett Gardner only $4,100 at home vs. Bridwell? … Justin Upton ($4,000) can work outside of a Tiger stack … Belt fits here, too … Consider Peter Bourjos ($2,900) if he leads off for the Rays vs. Garrett … Heredia is mentioned above … Mikie Mahtook ($2,900, .351 career wOBA vs. RHP) can be a sneaky Tiger depending on where he bats.