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 nine-game main slate, which begins at 7:05 p.m.
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.
The night’s biggest favorite is Jacob deGrom ($12,000) at minus-182 over the Brewers … The highest projected run total is 10 for Rays-Rangers (Archer vs. Bibens-Dirkx), with the lowest being 7.5 for Brewers-Mets and Nats-Giants (Scherzer-Cain) … The weather looks pretty good everywhere. FYI, Rotogrinders’ weatherman Kevin Roth (@KevinRothWx) usually posts an initial report between 5-6 a.m. ET, and updates it by late afternoon. I highly recommend checking it out.
James Paxton ($8,200) comes off the DL to face the Rockies at home … Vince Velasquez is headed to the DL with an elbow injury. Fingers crossed … Bryce Harper is appealing his four-game suspension. Remember that Harper could drop the appeal and begin serving the suspension at any time … With Dustin Pedroia on the DL, Josh Rutledge played second base and batted second for the Red Sox on Tuesday. Look for Andrew Benintendi to return to that slot against a righty tonight … Day-to-day players include Gregory Polanco, Maikel Franco, Miguel Sano, Adam Jones, Jedd Gyorko and Mike Napoli.
Getty ImagesMike Stobe
With Benintendi ($4,000) likely back in the two-hole for the Red Sox, he’s a great play versus Mike Pelfrey, who has a 4.41 ERA and doesn’t strike out anyone. Pelfrey has allowed a .350 career wOBA to lefthanded batters.
Getty ImagesBillie Weiss/Boston Red Sox
Cash: If you want to pay for any pitching at all, it’s hard to avoid Sal Perez ($2,900) at catcher vs. shaky Tiger lefty Matt Boyd.
Tournaments: Speedy Eric Young Jr. ($2,600) had two stolen bases on Monday and got two hits in the Angels’ leadoff spot on Tuesday. If he’s in the same place tonight, he’ll give you a lot of flexibility.
In related news, 15-year MLB veteran Eric Young Sr. finished his career with 465 stolen bases. EY went to Rutgers at the same time I did, starring as a wide receiver when he wasn’t playing baseball. He later played for the Rockies while I had season tickets in the early days of Coors Field. I have to roster EY Jr. at least once, right?
Jay BiggerstaffUSA TODAY Sports
The pitchers to target are Boyd, Pelfrey and 32-year-old Rangers rookie Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who I had never heard of until I woke up this morning. Checking Bibens-Dirkx's long minor-league track record, there’s nothing to suggest that he should consistently get major-league hitters out. Going with Red Sox against Pelfrey is a solid play, as are some Rays (Dickerson/Kiermaier/Longoria/LoMo) versus the Notorious ABD. The Rays will cost you more money than the Sox, though.
If you want to pivot, remember what we told you yesterday about the White Sox having MLB’s best numbers against southpaws. Today’s Chisox opponent is Drew Pomeranz, who isn’t bad but is certainly a step down from Chris Sale.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Guys to Avoid
I can’t say I trust Matt Cain, but he’s pitched well enough at home (1.21 ERA in five starts) that I won’t roster any expensive Nationals. Also, I’m staying away from Scherzer in favor of more reasonably priced options.
Starting pitcher: Max Scherzer ($13,300) is the best top-end play, but also the most expensive by quite a bit. I think I’d lean toward deGrom if I was going to spend … Chris Archer has historically been a better pitcher at home (3.19 career home ERA vs. 3.86 road) … Paxton’s problems are about staying healthy, not pitching well when he IS healthy. He has averaged 25.4 DK points in six starts … Jaime Garcia ($7,600) has averaged 26.6 DK points over his last two starts, and faces a Trout-less Angels’ lineup … The Braves have averaged 3.8 runs per game since Freddie Freeman’s injury, putting Jesse Chavez ($6,900) in play. I prefer Chavez to Garcia.
Catcher: Kevin Gausman is bad enough that you might want to pay the $4,500 for Gary Sanchez … There’s a gulf between Sanchez and Perez ($2,900), who gets to face Boyd.
First base: Logan Morrison ($4,700) is in a sweet spot vs. Bibens-Dirkx … I prefer Miguel Cabrera ($4,400) to Bruce, Duda and Holliday in the next tier … Albert Pujols ($3,800) goes for homer No. 600 vs. Garcia.
Second base: Robinson Cano ($4,800) is clearly the top play, which is why he costs so much … Neil Walker ($4,200) looks pretty good vs. Junior Guerra … If Andrew Romine ($3,200) is back in the Tigers’ leadoff spot tonight, you can consider him vs. Kennedy.
Third base: Manny Machado has been slumping, but is $4K vs. Masahiro Tanaka the time to jump back in? … Kyle Seager ($3,700) is too cheap vs. Antonio Senzatela, and not just because he hit two homers on Wednesday … If it wasn’t for Seager at the same price, I’d like Todd Frazier vs. Pomeranz. In fact, he’s still not a bad play in tournaments, or even if you don’t want too many Mariners in cash games … With Gyorko probably headed to the paternity list, Jhonny Peralta ($3,000) could bat high in the order vs. Ryu.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts ($4,600) and Jean Segura ($4,200) over Turner and Seager at the high end … Tim Anderson ($3,100) is interesting if he bats high in the order vs. Pomeranz … I wonder if the Nats will play the BvP game with Stephen Drew ($2,600), who has three homers in 37 plate appearances vs. Cain.
Outfield: I prefer Betts and Conforto at $4,900 and J.D. Martinez ($4,800) over all the $5K guys, though Corey Dickerson ($5,300) isn’t bad … Will Babe Gardner ($4,600) go deep again vs. Gausman? … Kevin Kiermaier ($4,300) is swinging a hot bat, with 92 DK points over his last seven games. Great matchup with Bibens-Dirkx, too … Benintendi is mentioned above … Consider Ben Gamel ($3,500) if he bats second vs. Senzatela … Look for Leury Garcia ($3,500) to lead off vs. Pomeranz … Hey, Lorenzo Cain ($3,200)! Can you please bust out against Matt Boyd? Thanks … EY Jr. is mentioned above.
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images
Cash: Very torn between Frazier and Seager at 3B. Might switch later.