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 five-game main night slate, which does not include Game 2 of Rockies-Twins.
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.
Chalky recommendations Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ weren’t very helpful (Happ was 68 percent owned in the double-up that I entered). The Tigers’ stack didn’t include Tyler Collins and his two home runs – go figure.
The night’s biggest favorite is Hyun-Jin Ryu ($9,100) at minus-183 over the Marlins … The highest projected run total is nine for Yankees-Royals (Montgomery-Duffy).
Freddie Freeman left Wednesday’s game after being hit in the left hand by a pitch, and we should know more today about his prognosis. The Braves sound worried … Miguel Cabrera will miss a few days with a strained oblique … The Pirates placed Gregory Polanco (hamstring) on the DL. A bad lineup just got worse … Yonder Alonso left Wednesday’s game with knee soreness, and his status is TBD … Lorenzo Cain’s status is TBD after he left Wednesday’s game with an apparently minor wrist injury.
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There’s not a person on the board who NEEDS to be in cash lineups. If I have to pick one, it’s Marcus Stroman ($11,300) against a Braves’ lineup that won’t have Freeman. I know he’s expensive, but have you seen the rest of the pitchers?
Cash: Leury Garcia ($3,400) and Yolmer Sanchez ($3,000) will be atop the White Sox lineup against Seattle’s Sam Gaviglio, who will make his first big-league start just four days prior to his 27th birthday. I won’t claim to know anything about Gaviglio, but his minor-league numbers aren’t impressive.
Tournaments: How about Red Sox SP Hector Velazquez ($6,400) in his MLB debut against the A’s, who don’t hit well and might be without Alonso? Here’s a quick primer on Velazquez, who sounds like a command/control guy. Yes, this is a guess.
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The Mariners are obvious against Dylan Covey, who has allowed nine homers in 29 1/3 innings this season. Some Dodgers versus Edinson Volquez and his 1.67 WHIP aren’t a bad idea, either.
The Guys to Avoid
The Marlins - particularly Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna - hit lefties pretty well. However, Ryu is bit of a reverse platoon split pitcher, allowing a .296 career wOBA vs. RHB. I’m going to fade the Miami sluggers.
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Starting pitcher: Stroman is mentioned above … As noted above, Ryu is the biggest favorite, and not a bad option … Jordan Montgomery ($8,100) faces a Royals’ lineup that ranks 29th vs. LHP (.258 wOBA), and he’s averaging more DK ppg than anyone else on the board … Seattle’s Sam Gaviglio ($5,100) is a 27-year-old rookie who doesn’t throw hard or miss bats. But he is facing some very bad White Sox hitters … Mexican League veteran Hector Velazquez ($6,400) will make his MLB debut tonight for the Red Sox. The A’s aren’t exactly a scary opponent.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez ($4,800) is obviously a strong play vs. the struggling Danny Duffy, but it depends on what you spend elsewhere … At the next salary level, I prefer Salvador Perez ($3,700) to Yasmani Grandal for an extra $100.
First base: With Freeman probably out and Alonso TBD, you don’t need to spend big here … Cody Bellinger ($4,400) vs. Volquez tops the list … Matt Holliday ($4,100) looks pretty good vs. Duffy … Justin Smoak ($3,900) has four home runs and 107 DK points in his last seven games … If you’re into BvP, Mitch Moreland ($3,600) has three homers in 19 PA vs. Sonny Gray.
Second base: Starlin Castro ($4,300) is too expensive away from Yankee Stadium … Dustin Pedroia ($3,800) looks like a better and cheaper option vs. Gray … If Chase Utley ($3,400) bats leadoff like he did last night, he’s a solid play vs. Volquez … White Sox 2B Yolmer Sanchez ($3,000) has eight hits, four runs and 56 DK points over his last four games.
Third base: Kyle Seager ($4,200) looks great vs. Covey … Justin Turner ($3,900) looks pretty good vs. Volquez. Turner has two hits in each of his last four games, and is averaging a healthy 8.1 DK ppg for the season. He just needs to start hitting homers … Pay for Turner or Seager if you can, because the cheaper options aren’t good. Maybe Matt Davidson ($3,200) if you want a home run from a guy batting low in the order.
Shortstop: Segura, Seager and Bogaerts are all above $4K. Bogey ($4,200) is the cheapest and the hottest, with seven double-digit DK games in his last 10 … Taylor Motter ($3,600) should bat sixth for the Mariners against Covey.
Outfield: Mookie Betts ($5,300) has been on fire, and is a better high-end option than Judge or Cruz … Andrew Benintendi ($4,300) hasn’t had a hit since last Tuesday, but he’s in a nice spot vs. Gray … Rostering Ben Gamel ($3,900) would be more about matchup than ability, but that’s OK … Jorge Soler ($3,700) is starting to hit a little, with five hits and 36 DK points over his last four games. Check him out if he moves up in the order due to a possible Cain absence … The cheap plays are Leury Garcia ($3,400) and Ezequiel Carrera ($3,300). I’d take Garcia (10.6 DK ppg over his last 10) if forced to choose.