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 14-game night slate, which omits the Tigers-White Sox doubleheader.
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.
Jacob deGrom’s late scratch threw a wrench into much of Thursday’s plans. Jedd Gyorko (14 DK points) wasn’t a bad bargain play, while the recommended Tigers stack didn’t really work unless you had J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton. Our suggested pitchers were Robbie Ray (35.95 points), Drew Pomeranz (32.5) and Justin Verlander (1.55). Two out of three ain’t bad, right?
Both lineups missed. FOXSports.com management might need to send me to our media-friendly DFS Triple-A affiliate in Bozeman, Montana.
Season status: Minus $6.50
News & notes
Max Scherzer ($12,700) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-260 over the hapless Padres … Weirdly, Mike Clevinger ($8,000) is the next biggest favorite at minus-200 over the Royals … The highest non-Coors projected run total is 10 for Mariners-Red Sox, while the lowest is 7.5 for Cubs-Dodgers (Arrieta-Wood).
Scherzer on the mound, for sure. Buster Posey is hard to pass up in cash games, since he hits like an all-time great vs. LHP (.403 career wOBA, .454 this season).
Jake RothJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: Matt Cain ($6,400) faces a Braves lineup that has to start hurting soon from Freddie Freeman’s absence. Cain has always been much better at home, where he has a 1.19 ERA in four starts this season, averaging 21 DK points. I’ll pair him with Scherzer.
Tournaments: Lefty killer Rickie Weeks ($2,800) faces Hector Santiago, and batted cleanup for the Rays last time they matched up with a southpaw.
With Kendall Graveman being a groundball guy, I’m not excited about the Yankees at home tonight. Possibilities are the Blue Jays (vs. Griffin), Red Sox (vs. Gallardo), Indians (vs. Kennedy), Cardinals (vs. Senzatela at Coors), Astros (vs. Gausman) and Mets (vs. Kuhl). Kuhl has allowed a .424 wOBA vs. LHB this season, and the Mets’ lineup is likely to start with five lefties (Conforto/Reyes/Bruce/Walker/Duda).
As for the others, while Gausman is talented enough to have a good game, the Astros’ prices are lower than you’d expect. Also, Rangers SP A.J. Griffin has allowed 39 HR in 156 2/3 IP over the last two seasons, so the Jays could pummel him. My order of preference is Jays/Cards/Astros/Mets, but I wouldn’t argue with any of the teams named here.
The Guys to Avoid
Alex Wood has allowed a puny .214 wOBA against righthanded hitters this season, so maybe we can stay away from Kris Bryant? Also, if you’re going for Coors hitters, Cardinals look better than Rockies, as Carlos Martinez – despite a 5.54 ERA with a 1.76 WHIP in three appearances (13 IP) in Denver - is a strikeout/groundball pitcher.
Chris HumphreysUSA TODAY Sports
Starting pitcher: Scherzer over deGrom at the top end of the salary scale, and it’s not close … Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,800) faces a Mariners lineup that ranks 28th in wOBA vs. LHP (.274); he’d be a pricey SP2 with Scherzer … The arguments for Clevinger are his solid K rate and a bad Royals’ lineup. However, he walks so many people that he doesn’t get deep enough into games … Aaron Nola ($7,700) showed last season that he’s a pretty good pitcher who can keep the ball on the ground. I know the Reds are a solild opponent, but I like Nola’s price … Cain is mentioned above… Hector Santiago ($6,000) faces a Rays’ squad that ranks 21st in wOBA (.296) vs. LHP, and has whiffed a ridiculous 28.6 percent of the time against them.
Catcher: Buster Posey ($4,000) against Jaime Garcia is clearly the best play at this position … Jonathan Lucroy ($3,800) isn’t bad vs. Bolsinger … Save a little with Evan Gattis ($3,400) vs. the homer-prone Gausman … Ditto for Russell Martin ($3,200) vs. Griffin … Though Martin is preferable, I could see using Stephen Vogt ($3,200) vs. the struggling Masahiro Tanaka.
First base: My favorite of the higher-end plays is Edwin Encarnacion ($4,600) vs. Ian Kennedy. Encarnacion is warming up, with four double-digit DK games in his last eight … Matt Carpenter ($4,600) is reasonably priced with a matchup vs. a rookie at Coors … Jay Bruce ($4,500) looks good vs. Kuhl … Carlos Santana ($4,000) leads off vs. Kennedy … Yonder Alonso ($4,000) is in play if you think Tanaka’s struggles will continue … Duda ($3,800) is another Met to consider … Lefty masher Rickie Weeks ($2,900) makes sense vs. Santiago if you want to save.
Second base: Unless you’re a Gausman believer after a couple of decent starts, Jose Altuve ($4,700) is a strong option … Nobody is more homer-prone than Griffin, making Devon Travis ($4,000) a solid choice if he bats near the top of the order … Neil Walker ($3,500) could feast on Kuhl … Let’s hope that Logan Forsythe ($3,300) returns to the leadoff spot for the Dodgers. He faces the suddenly hittable Jake Arrieta (whom we warned you about before the season started).
Third base: Are you brave enough to roster Josh Donaldson ($4,800) right away vs. Griffin? … I prefer Gyorko ($4,600) at Coors to the higher-priced options … I know Manny Machado has been slumping, but $4,400? … Let’s see where Hernan Perez ($3,900) bats with Ryan Braun on the DL … Evan Longoria ($3,700) vs. a mediocre LHP is always a consideration … Christian Arroyo ($2,800) is an option if he moves back up in the order.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts ($4,800) hit his first homer of the season on Thursday. He’s been battling a wrist injury. The breakout is starting … It’s hard not to like Francisco Lindor ($4,400) vs. Kennedy … Let’s see where Aledmys Diaz ($4,400) bats in the Cardinals’ order … Tim Beckham ($2,800) is a bad hitter with decent power. If you want to save $ in a tournament, he’s playable vs. Santiago.
Outfield: Mookie Betts ($5,200) and Michael Conforto ($5,000) are my favorite in the $5K and above tier … Between $4,500-$5,000, the order of preference is Benintendi/Bruce/Bautista/Fowler … E-Rod is a good lefty, but Nelson Cruz ($4,200) kills lefties … Kevin Pillar ($4,100) has six double-digit DK games in his last 10 … Will Steven Souza ($4,000) lead off vs. Santiago? … Shin-Soo Choo ($3,900) is in a nice spot vs. Bolsinger … Gausman targeters will like the prices of Josh Reddick ($3,700), George Springer ($3,600) and Carlos Beltran ($3,200).
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
The Cardinals-Rockies series is full of bad pitchers. Lance McCullers gets a Sunday start at home, where his career ERA is 2.05.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
Cash: I'm torn between Santana (meaning two Indians) and Alonso at 1B. Might switch it later.