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 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.
Chris Sale (22.3 DK points) was just OK, but he didn’t kill those who rostered him. If you took our advice and paired Tyler Chatwood (32.75) with him, you probably did well. Our stacks disappointed.
The cash lineup was very good thanks to Chatwood and American hero Adam Frazier (38 DK points). The tournament version just missed.
Season status: Minus $.50
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News & notes
Jacob deGrom ($12,100) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-240 over the Padres … Rangers-Red Sox checks in with the highest projected run total at 10 … It’s going to rain all day in Boston, with the chance of showers reducing to 35-45 percent during the game window, according to weather.com. Be careful if you roster any Rangers or Red Sox.
Carlos Correa remained out of the Astros’ lineup due to a stomach bug; hopefully he’ll return tonight … Jacoby Ellsbury is on the DL with a concussion, so look for Aaron Hicks to get more at-bats in the short term … Padres OF Manuel Margot left Wednesday’s game due to a sore calf, and should be considered iffy for tonight … Joc Pederson remains day-to-day with a possible concussion.
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As expensive as deGrom is, he’ll be difficult to fade in cash games. All the other good starters face solid lineups, while deGrom draws the pitiful Padres.
Getty ImagesMike Stobe
These are few and far between on the short night schedule. Cardinals 3B Jedd Gyorko ($3,300) seems to fit this description against Kenta Meada. Maybe Daniel Descalso ($2,800) if he plays in Yasmany Tomas’ place again.
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The Diamondbacks and Tigers seem logical. Mike Fiers has allowed 17 homers in 42 innings, making the Tigers the better play (I particularly like J.D. Martinez). If you want to pivot, try some Mets vs. Padres’ rookie Dinelson Lamet, who will make his first big-league start.
The Guys to Avoid
The Padres’ hitters are always an answer to this one, and the only one usually worth discussing is Wil Myers.
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Starting pitcher: deGrom is mentioned above … Drew Pomeranz ($7,600) has gotten through five innings in only four of his eight starts, but he faces a Rangers’ lineup that ranks 25th in wOBA vs. LHP and has struck out 24.3 percent of the time against them. It’s probably worth noting that the same Rangers scored four runs last night against a pretty good southpaw in Chris Sale … Robbie Ray ($8,600) is a risk-reward play versus a Brewer team that scores lots of runs while whiffing plenty against lefties. Ray has a ridiculous 65 Ks in 53 innings … Justin Verlander ($9,900), Kenta Maeda ($8,800) and Michael Wacha ($8,200) are the only other usable starters, but as noted above, they’ll face good-hitting teams. If I had to pick one for a tournament, it would be Verlander (but I do have a weird affinity for Wacha).
Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy ($4,100) is 14-for-40 with six RBI in 10 games since moving to the cleanup spot … Yasmani Grandal ($3,800) is the best-hitting catcher on the board, but his matchup with Wacha isn’t great … With Alex Avila nursing a minor hand injury, James McCann ($3,000) will probably start for the Tigers against homer-prone Mike Fiers.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt ($5,500) is the best play here by far, which helps explain his salary … Miguel Cabrera ($4,500) is one of many Tigers to consider vs. Fiers … Mike Napoli ($4,200) against a lefty is always an option; I’d rather have Miggy in this price range, though … Jay Bruce’s return to the lineup could push Lucas Duda ($3,600) down to fifth in the order. He’s still not bad … Matt Carpenter ($3,500) is too cheap vs. Maeda.
Second base: Jonathan Villar ($4,700) over Jose Altuve at the top end due to matchup … Logan Forsythe ($3,600) is an option leading off vs. Wacha … I prefer Ian Kinsler ($3,500) to Neil Walker ($3,400) in the same price range, but both are fine values.
Third base: The logic for Jake Lamb ($5,300) is the same as it is for Goldschmidt … Let’s hope that Hernan Perez ($3,600) bats high in the order vs. Ray … Nick Castellanos ($3,400) batted second on Wednesday; let’s hope he stays there tonight … Gyorko ($3,300) is too cheap vs. Maeda.
Shortstop: Corey Seager’s price ($4,500) is pretty good vs. Wacha … Elvis Andrus ($3,800) hits LHP well for those who don’t roster Pomeranz … Aledmys Diaz ($3,300) has 34 DK points over his last three games.
Outfield: Can you believe that spring part-timer Michael Conforto ($5,100) has a higher salary than Mookie Betts? It’s deserved, too … At $4,600, I prefer J.D. Martinez to Ryan Braun and Andrew Benintendi, but Braun is a close second … Let’s break out of this mini-slump, David Peralta ($4,400) … Keon Broxton ($3,800) is on fire, batting .347 with four homers, four steals, 14 runs and 11 RBI this month. Get him outta the bottom third of the order, Brewers! … Perez fits here, too … If Joc Pederson ($3,300) returns to the lineup following his neck injury, his price looks nice vs. Wacha … As noted above, if Yasmany Tomas (hip flexor) can’t play tonight, Descalso ($2,800) becomes one of the night’s best bargains.
UPDATES (4:40 p.m. ET):
Tournament: With Castellanos scratched, I swapped Castellanos/Benintendi for Lamb/Collins. Collins will bat 2nd for the Tigers.
Cash: With deGrom/Castellanos scratched, I swapped deGrom/Carpenter/Castellanos for Verlander/V-Mart/Lamb.