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 main 14-game main slate, which excludes A’s-Indians.
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.
Carlos Carrasco (26.15 DK points) was solid enough as our lock. Ben Gamel was a solid bargain, but Allen Cordoba didn’t do much. As for the stacks … eh. The Mariners scored six runs, with the Red Sox and Mets getting four each. Good for you if you pegged the Astros to pummel the Twins’ bullpen.
J.A. Happ ($8,200) is a minus-173 favorite over the Reds, meaning that Vegas likes him more than Chris Sale ($13,400) at minus-167 over the White Sox. Huh? … Happ is coming off the DL to make this start, and could be capped at 75 pitches … The highest non-Coors projected run totals are Rays-Rangers (Andriese-Martinez) and Reds-Jays (Wojciechowski-Happ), both of which check in at 9.5 … On the low end, Red Sox-White Sox (Sale-Quintana) and Nats-Giants (Gonzalez-Samardzija) have projected totals of 7.5.
With no positions having one obvious choice, this spot is difficult today, and I wouldn’t call anyone a lock. If you don’t roster Tyler Anderson, the best play is probably Jean Segura ($4,800). His salary is high but not obscene, he’s got the most DK ppg of any shortstop on the board, and his game is at Coors Field. The shortstops fall off after Trevor Story, who is more of an all-or-nothing option.
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Cash: Tigers 2B/OF Andrew Romine ($3,000) is likely to lead off against hittable Royals’ rookie Eric Skoglund.
Tournaments: We normally like to go below $3K here, but Cameron Rupp looks terrific vs. Miami lefty Justin Nicolino. Rupp has a .392 wOBA with a .932 OPS in 195 career plate appearances vs. LHP.
So many options. It’s easy to want to pick on the three rookies at the bottom of the salary list – Tyler Pill (vs. MIL), Eric Skoglund (vs. DET) and Asher Wojciechowski (@TOR). Some of the Rockies’ hitters look strong vs. Ariel Miranda. But I keep coming back to Mike Fiers and the 18 home runs he’s given up in 46 2/3 innings. Fiers has been somewhat better at home (3.97 ERA), but the Twins look pretty good against him.
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The Guys to Avoid
Obviously, the White Sox hitters vs. Sale, even with their success against southpaws. I’ll also stay away from the D-backs vs. ground-balling Ivan Nova.
Starting pitcher: Sale is a strong but expensive plays, as always. Remember that the White Sox have MLB’s best wOBA vs. LHP (.362) … Even though his last start was bad and he’s walking too many batters, it’s hard to dislike Justin Verlander ($10,700) vs. the Royals … We all love Luis Severino ($10,200), but even against the whiff-happy Orioles, he seems like a tournament play … Robbie Ray ($9,600) always has big K upside, and he’ll face a Pirates lineup that has whiffed 21.6 percent of the time vs. southpaws. Ray has been MUCH better away from Chase Field … Jeff Samardzija ($8,600) has a tough opponent in the Nationals. He also has 44 strikeouts over his last five starts. Don’t be afraid - the Nats have been more average than dominant since Adam Eaton got hurt, and AT&T Park is a tough place to hit … A Coors pitcher? Maybe. Tyler Anderson ($8,000) faces a Mariners’ squad that ranks 29th in wOBA (.268) vs. LHP … As good as Jose Berrios has been, he looks risky vs. the Astros … The deepest I’ll go is Michael Wacha ($6,900) at home vs. the Dodgers. The matchup isn’t great, but he’s been pretty solid this season, and whiffs about a batter per inning … Dinelson Lamet? Nah.
Catcher: Buster Posey ($4,100) looks like a solid bet vs. Gio Gonzalez … How many catchers have five homers with an .800 OPS? Travis d’Arnaud ($3,300) faces Zach Davies … Rupp’s friendly matchup with Nicolino is noted above … If you want to get cheaper, Detroit’s John Hicks ($2,700) could do the trick against a bad lefty.
First base: Among the high-priced first basemen, I’d take Miggy ($4,800) over Mark Reynolds and Anthony Rizzo … I can’t believe Logan Morrison ($4,500) has 14 home runs. He faces the mediocre Nick Martinez … Jays Kendrys Morales ($3,900) and Justin Smoak ($3,800) are both solid vs. Wojciechowski, but you obviously can’t use both. I’d take Smoak if I had to pick one … With Luis Valbuena ($3,100) now the Angels’ cleanup hitter, he’s a decent play vs. Bartolo Colon.
Second base: Brian Dozier ($4,700) works against the homer-rific Mike Fiers … Is DJ LeMahieu ($4,400) too mediocre to use, even at Coors? … Neil Walker ($4,100) has a good matchup with Davies, but is a but pricey … Josh Harrison ($3,900) hits lefties pretty well, and faces Ray … As noted above, if Andrew Romine ($3,000) leads off again, he’s a good value play vs. Skoglund.
Third base: Of course you want to roster Nolan Arenado ($5,400) if you can … Josh Donaldson ($4,600) is one of many Jays you should consider; he’s better than Eugenio Suarez in the same price range … Miguel Sano ($4,400) is the best bet for a home run vs. Fiers … Small sample alert: Manny Machado ($4,200) has three homers in 12 plate appearances vs. Severino … Harrison fits here, too … Hernan Perez ($3,400) has batted near the top of the Brewers’ order lately, and faces unimpressive Mets’ rookie Tyler Pill … Valbuena fits here, too.
Shortstop: Segura is mentioned above … Trevor Story ($4,500) has a .411 wOBA with 13 home runs in 159 career plate appearances vs. LHP … Andrelton Simmons ($3,600) vs. Bartolo? Simmons is batting fifth now for the Angels, and owns a decent .744 OPS this season … Heck, even Jorge Polanco ($3,200) might homer off Fiers … Padres leadoff hitter Allen Cordoba ($2,600) didn’t help us Monday, but at this price vs. Eddie Butler he’s a nice option.
Outfield: At $5K or above, my order of preference is J.D. Martinez/Conforto/Cruz/Judge … Adam Duvall ($4,600) has five homers in his last five games, and faces Happ … Aaron Altherr ($4,200) looks good vs. Nicolino, who has allowed 10 homers in 48 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the majors this season … Keon Broxton ($3,900) is likely to lead off again for the Brewers vs. Pill … The gang-up-on-Fiers strategy can include Robbie Grossman ($3,700) … Guillermo Heredia ($3,500) will be a solid play if he bats second at Coors … Psst – Andrew McCutchen ($3,200) is starting to hit a little … Kole Calhoun ($3,100) has been a disappointment this season, but he still looks interesting batting second against Bartolo … Romine and Cordoba fit here, too.