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 11-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.
Miguel Sano (25 DK points) was a fine lock. Bargain pick James McCann didn’t do anything, but his Tiger teammates made for a decent stack, with homers from Kinsler/Martinez/Upton. Using Cubs SP Mike Montgomery (22.5 DK points) in cash turned out very well.
The cash lineup was very good, placing 13th in a field of 1,724 thanks to Corey Seager’s three bombs. The tournament lineup was solid, tripling its small entry fee. Not bad.
Season status: Minus $45.50
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News & notes
Jordan Montgomery ($7,900) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-177 over the Angels, but the projected run total is high at 10.5 … Jose Berrios ($11,400) is next up at minus-172 over the White Sox … Diamondbacks-Rockies comes with a projected total of 12, while four more games (Angels-Yanks, Indians-Orioles, White Sox-Twins, Jays-Rangers) are in double digits … It’s expected to rain all day today and tomorrow in Atlanta, so plan to avoid Giants-Braves. There’s some rain in the forecast for White Sox-Twins, but that one appears less threatening.
Look for the Mariners to reactivate SS Jean Segura sometime over the next couple of days … Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon (neck) is day-to-day … So is Kyle Schwarber (ankle) … Padres 2B Yangervis Solarte (oblique) is headed to the DL. Come back, Ryan Schimpf! … Dustin Pedroia (back) could return to the Red Sox lineup today … Rays SS Tim Beckham (hand) is day-to-day.
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For the first time this season, we’re using the same guy on two consecutive days. Miguel Sano has destroyed southpaws (.443 wOBA, 1.089 OPS in 62 PA), and faces a very hittable one in David Holmberg. For $3,900, Sano is a great buy.
Cash: If you don’t roster Mike Fiers, A’s No. 2 hitter Chad Pinder ($3,000) fits at both 2B and SS. Pinder has three double-digit DK games in his last five starts, with nine home runs for the season. Wilmer Flores ($2,800) works as well, since he should bat cleanup for the Mets vs. Rich Hill. Flores has slumped a bit lately, but he's always been a lefty masher (career .347 wOBA).
Tournaments: Martin Maldonado ($2,500) has a .390 wOBA in 52 PA vs. LHP this season, and faces Montgomery. I’m a sucker for hitters at Yankee Stadium, but aren’t we all?
The Dodgers, Yankees, Indians and both Coors teams will be chalky, right? The Yankees are going to break their losing streak soon enough, and tonight against baseball’s second-most homer-prone pitcher (Ricky Nolasco) at their home launching pad seems like a good time to do it.
A sneaky pivot could be the Mariners versus Justin Verlander. The hard-hit rate stat is not kind to Verlander, and his 4.50 ERA is no fluke.
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The Guys to Avoid
Unless you can wait out the weather forecast and make late changes, using anyone from Giants-Braves seems unwise. Also, per the note above, I’m not touching Verlander.
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Starting pitcher: Berrios is a nice play vs. the terrible White Sox, but watch the rain forecast … We always think of the Orioles as being a scary lineup, but they’re 20th in wOBA vs. RHP (.318), and 22nd in K rate (22.7). Carlos Carrasco is a solid SP to use, even at $10,900 … Jeff Samardzija ($9,400) is my favorite option against a subpar Braves lineup, as his peripheral stats suggest that his 4.81 ERA will come way down. However, Atlanta’s weather forecast makes the Shark a no-go unless things change during the day … Mike Fiers ($8,100) allowed 18 homers in his first nine starts, and has given up none over his last four. During that time, he’s allowed five earned runs in 25 1/3 innings while whiffing 24. He’s a good play vs. the high-strikeout A’s … All Yankee Stadium options are scary, but Montgomery is a big favorite who averaged almost six innings per start and gets plenty of strikeouts. His upside isn’t great, though … James Paxton ($7,700) is a tournament play vs. a righty-heavy Tiger lineup. Paxton has been shaky since his dominant April … I would really like Braves rookie lefty Sean Newcomb ($6,500) against the Giants if it weren’t for the damned rain … With the Phillies owning MLB’s worst wOBA this month by a lot (.289), Michael Wacha ($7,200) is an option.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez ($4,900) is a logical play vs. a homer guy like Nolasco … Mike Zunino ($4,100) didn’t homer on Tuesday? HE’S DUE!!! … Pssst – Jonathan Lucroy ($3,600) is warming up, with 45 DK points over his last six games … James McCann ($2,300) is back in play vs. better-than-average LHP Paxton … Maldonado is mentioned above… John Hicks ($2,600) batted sixth for the Tigers on Tuesday … Yasmani Grandal is cheap at $2,800 and has a good matchup, but he doesn’t often catch on three consecutive days. Double-check the Dodger lineup before using him.
First base: How to choose between elite options Paul Goldschmidt, Cody Bellinger and Edwin Encarnacion? Maybe it’s E5 because he’s the cheapest at $4,900, faces the awful Kevin Gausman, and has 144 DK points over his last seven games … Eric Thames and Matt Carpenter are a toss-up at $4,500. I’ll take Carpenter and his high flyball rate vs. Nick Pivetta in Philly’s tiny park … Chase Utley ($3,300) is interesting if he leads off for the Dodgers … John Hicks fits here, too.
Second base: Utley fits here, too. But will Logan Forsythe ($3,300) lead off instead? … At $4,400 or higher, let’s stick with the red-hot Jose Ramirez ($5,100) vs. Gausman if you can afford him. If not, DJ LeMahieu ($4,700) is a relatively affordable entry to Coors, and Starlin Castro ($4,400) rakes at home … Jason Kipnis ($4,300) can play vs. Gausman, too … Ian Kinsler ($3,700) homered Tuesday, and has four double-digit DK games in his last six … Wilmer Flores ($2,800) is always in play vs. a LHP.
Third base: Jake Lamb ($5,600) over Nolan Arenado if you’re playing Coors … Josh Donaldson looks good for $4,700, since I think the Jays might smash Tyson Ross … Justin Turner ($4,500) is averaging 11.9 DK points over his last 10, and has a cupcake matchup vs. Tyler Pill … All of the above are inferior plays to Sano at $3,900 … Forsythe and Flores fit here, too.
Shortstop: If you want to go back to the well on Corey Seager ($4,700), I won’t argue at all … BvP alert: Didi Gregorius ($4,400) is 11-for-22 vs. Nolasco … Elvis Andrus ($4,400) is probably slightly below Gregorius, but it’s close … I prefer Francisco Lindor ($4,300) vs. Gausman to both of them, though … A’s No. 2 hitter Chad Pinder ($3,000) is your cheap play, at least if you don’t roster Fiers.
Outfield: Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge ($5,400) at $5K-plus? The ballpark factor makes me lean Judge … Thames fits here, too … Nelson Cruz ($4,200) could go deep for a decent price vs. the shaky Verlander … Will Joc Pederson ($4,100), Forsythe or Utley win tonight’s Dodger leadoff derby? … If you’re betting against Gausman, consider Lonnie Chisenhall ($4,000) … Mitch Haniger ($3,900) can use the anti-Verlander rationale mentioned in the stacking section … Cameron Maybin ($3,800) is averaging 15.8 DK points over his last 10 games, and leads off at Yankee Stadium against a non-ace starter. Close to a lock, right? … Carlos Gonzalez ($3,600) homered Tuesday, and has five hits in his last four games. He’s your cheapest entry to Coors … Mikie Mahtook ($2,800) has a .345 career wOBA vs. LHP, and faces Paxton … If Adam Engel happens to lead off instead of Alen Hanson, he wouldn’t need to do much to pay off for $2K vs. Berrios. If that’s a lefty-righty platoon, Hanson will probably play.
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NOTE: If Grandal doesn't play, I'll probably switch to Maldonado or Hicks. And using Maldonado MIGHT cause me to swap Encarnacion for Bellinger.