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 13-game main slate, skipping Braves-Jays at 4:07 p.m. ET and Rays-Indians at 6:10.
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.
Our lock was Nelson Cruz versus a lefty, and he predictably homered. The hitting bargains didn’t help much, but Luis Perdomo (21.9 DK points) did.
The cash lineup faded late thanks to Brandon McCarthy, but the tournament version cashed for a small amount. I feel like the general advice was better than the lineups, but the numbers are what they are. I hope you’re doing better than I am.
Season status: Even
News & notes
Yu Darvish ($11,300) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-200 over the Phillies … Four games – Mets-Diamondbacks, O’s-Tigers, Phillies-Rangers and Rockies-Twins – have projected run totals of nine, while the low number is 7.5 for Nats-Pirates, Brewers-Padres and Dodgers-Giants … Scattered thunderstorms are in the forecast for Rockies-Twins, with a 55-60 percent chance at gametime.
Rich Hill returns from the DL tonight, and you’re a braver man than I am if you want to spend $8,700 on him … Rangers OF Carlos Gomez (hamstring) is expected to miss 4-6 weeks … Angels 3B Yunel Escobar will miss 2-4 weeks with the same issue; Kole Calhoun now bats leadoff for the Halos.
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All the great hitter options (Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper) are too expensive to be locks. Let’s go with Stephen Strasburg ($11,300), who matches up with a worse opponent than the other high-priced starters.
Cash: JC Ramirez ($6,600) has had a couple of bumpy outings in a row, but he faces a White Sox squad that can't hit righties at all (.280 wOBA). Ramirez has 34 strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings across six starts. A little risky for cash games? OK, maybe.
Tournaments: Tigers C James McCann ($2,900) has a .375 wOBA in 270 career PA vs. LHP, and four homers in 26 PA against them this season. He’s like Nelson Cruz with shin guards. I’ll use him in cash games, too.
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The Diamondbacks are tainted by Jake Lamb not being able to hit lefties at all. The Cubs against Bronson Arroyo look very strong – let’s hope that Ian Happ bats high in the order so we can fit him in.
(Yes, I know that everyone will want to stack Cubs versus Arroyo.)
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The Guy to Avoid
Justin Bour has homered in four of his last five games, and is just $3,300? Yeah, he’s facing Dallas Keuchel. No, thanks.
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Starting pitcher: Stephen Strasburg ($11,300) is the cash game option against the Pirates, who rank near the bottom of offensive rankings in way too many categories … I won’t argue too much if you want to use Yu or Zack Greinke ($11K), but I prefer Strasburg … Andrew Triggs’ ($8,100) many groundballs are likely to keep him out of big trouble … The Cardinals have struggled vs. LHP (.303 wOBA, 23.5% K rate), so Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,000) is a solid option. Rodriguez has averaged 22.3 DK points over his last four starts … Jimmy Nelson ($7,600) is a decent mid-range play versus the weak-hitting Padres, who trail only the Rays in strikeout rate vs. RHP … Ramirez is mentioned above.
Catcher: Buster Posey ($4,200) has homered in five of his last seven games … Sal Perez ($3,500) is a pretty solid play vs. Sabathia … James McCann is mentioned above.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt ($5,500) at home vs. Tommy Milone might be the best hitter on the entire board … Anthony Rizzo’s ($4,600) slumpbuster could be Bronson Arroyo, who has allowed nine home runs in 36 1/3 IP … Yonder Alonso ($4,300) can save you a few bucks vs. Chase De Jong … Albert Pujols ($3,700) vs. Derek Holland is about as low as I’d like to go here.
Second base: You could pay $5,100 for Daniel Murphy vs. Chad Kuhl, but I’d rather spend elsewhere … Jonathan Villar ($4,400) and his solid platoon split vs. LHP (.337 career WoBA) is more reasonable … Arizona’s Brandon Drury ($3,800) looks good vs. Milone … Cubs’ rookie Ian Happ ($3,600) gets to face Arroyo, and he batted second in each of his first two games. It’s TBD where he’ll hit when Kris Bryant returns tonight … Chris Taylor ($3,100) would be your cheap option.
Third base: Manny Machado ($4,800) is a strong play vs. Matthew Boyd … Anthony Rendon ($4,400) is one of many Nats you can consider vs. Kuhl … Justin Turner ($3,900) faces Ty Blach, which isn’t bad at all … Nick Castellanos ($3,700) is worth a look vs. the up-and-down Miley. He’s my favorite in the $3,500-4,000 range.
Shortstop: Carlos Correa ($4,900) is hot, with 96 DK points in his last seven games … Chris Owings ($4,000) will probably bat second vs. Milone … If Kike Hernandez ($2,900) leads off vs. Blach, he’ll be one of the night’s best bargains.
Outfield: Harper or Trout for big money? I’ll take Trout ($5,400) and his four-game homer streak vs. Holland … Brett Gardner ($4,500) is a good play vs. the very hittable Jason Hammel … J.D. Martinez ($4,300) hit two homers in his second game back from the DL, and has a solid spot vs. Wade Miley … I prefer Lorenzo Cain to Yasmany Tomas at $4,100, but it’s close … Nomar Mazara ($3,900) has been solid, with seven hits in his last five games … Matt Joyce is back at or near the top of the A’s order, and he has five hits with two homers in his last four games. Joyce will face De Jong tonight … Scott Schebler ($3,500) has five double-digit DK games in his last eight, and faces Lackey, who has allowed eight homers in 42 innings … Hernandez fits here, too … The other cheap play is Joey Rickard ($2,800), who could lead off vs. Boyd.
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Note: I might adjust the tournament lineup to add an extra Cub depending on where Happ bats.