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 focus on the 10-game night slate.
Remember to check lineups and weather as game times 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 – 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.
Questions? Tweet me (@jhalpin37). Also, please note that I’ll be off next Monday and Tuesday, and resume this series on Wednesday, April 12.
Joe CamporealeJoe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jose Altuve, the Astros’ stack and our tournament lineup all flopped, because of course Ariel Miranda held them at bay for five innings. Gorkys Hernandez didn’t do anything as one of our value plays, but Wilmer Flores homered. Our alternate stack of the D-backs saw Pollock/Peralta/Goldschmidt/Lamb post 75 DK points. Too bad I didn’t use it. I hope you did.
Our cash lineup won again, thanks to home runs from Lamb, George Springer and Mitch Haniger.
Season status: Plus $11.50
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News & notes
The Cardinals (Mike Leake) and Astros (Mike Fiers) are the night’s biggest favorites at -175 … Your highest projected run totals are 10 each for A’s-Rangers and Indians-Diamondbacks, while no game checks in at lower than eight runs … The weather looks good everywhere.
With the Indians in Arizona this weekend, Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion can’t play together. Look for Encarnacion to sit at least two of the three games … Two homers on Thursday for Yasiel Puig? Let’s not get too excited. OK, maybe a little excited … Brewers OF Keon Broxton broke his nose when getting hit in the face with a pitch. Broxton isn’t expected to go on the DL, but his status is shaky for the next few days.
It’s gotta be Springer, who’s on fire with three homers in his first four games, and faces slop-throwing, fly-balling lefty Jason Vargas. At $4,700, Springer is several hundred dollars cheaper than the other elite OF options. He has a .390 career wOBA vs. southpaws.
David RichardDavid Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: Mike Moustakas already has two home runs while batting in the two-hole for the Royals – remember that he had seven homers in 27 games before getting hurt last season. He’s a very solid option at $3,200 against the homer-prone Mike Fiers.
Tournaments: Rickie Weeks batted cleanup against CC Sabathia on Tuesday, and might be in the same spot again vs. Francisco Liriano. He has always hit lefties well (.370 career wOBA), and slugged six homers in 76 plate appearances against them last season. If you pay a rock-bottom $2,200 for him, you can spend freely elsewhere.
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
So many options. The Diamondbacks, Rangers and Astros should be popular (I prefer the D-backs, but all are OK). If you want to pivot a little bit, consider the Orioles vs. Luis Severino, who has allowed 20 home runs in 133 1/3 big league innings. You think that’s not enough of a pivot? Fine. Since Ubaldo Jimenez is always a threat to be terrible, how about some Yankees? I mean, if you’re trying to be different, their current roster has an .878 OPS against him. Their top four should be Gardner/Sanchez/Bird/Holliday.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Guys to Avoid
Everyone likes Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, right? Today, I happen to like similarly priced players at their positions (Machado, Braun, Goldschmidt) just a little bit better.
USA TODAY SportsRick Scuteri
Position Notes & Suggestions
Starting pitcher: What a terrible selection of pitchers … Francisco Liriano ($8,900) carries the highest salary, and is by far the best option for strikeouts … From this group, Mike Fiers ($7,500) isn’t so bad. He’s a big favorite against the Royals, and the projected run total isn’t so high at 8.5 … If you’re looking for Ks in a tournament, maybe Ubaldo ($6,600) against the Yankees? Yes, I’m serious. He whiffed 31 batters over his final five starts last season. High risk, some reward. … Or how about a possibly resurgent Shelby Miller ($6,300), who whiffed 22 batters in 15 1/3 spring innings? He faces a tough opponent in the Indians, though they’ll be without one of their best hitters in either Santana or Encarnacion … A.J. Griffin ($6,100) is a big favorite over the A’s, and one of the better strikeout pitchers in tonight’s group … Zack Wheeler had seven whiffs, seven walks and a 4.50 ERA in 12 1/3 spring innings. No, thanks.
Catcher: If you’re going to spend big here, it should be for Jonathan Lucroy ($4,500) over the more expensive Gary Sanchez and Kyle Schwarber … J.T. Realmuto ($3,400) is raking, and it’s not like a lot of catchers bat second in their lineups … Sal Perez ($3,400) batting fifth against Fiers looks solid, at least if you don’t use Fiers at SP.
First base: The strong argument for Paul Goldschmidt ($5,300) over Anthony Rizzo is that opposing SP Josh Tomlin allows a LOT of home runs – 49 in 239 2/3 IP over his last two seasons … With Luis Severino also being a gopher-ball thrower, Mark Trumbo ($4,700) is a strong play … BvP alert: Albert Pujols ($4,200) has reached base 20 times in 38 PA with four HR vs. Yovani Gallardo … Greg Bird ($4,000) is a homer threat at Camden Yards vs. Ubaldo … Why is Kendrys Morales only $3,700 at Tampa? The ballpark? … Your value play here is Justin Bour ($3,100) against Wheeler. Bour is a better power hitter than people think, with his 15 homers last season coming in just 321 plate appearances.
Second base: Jose Altuve ($5,200) faces a bad lefty in Jason Vargas. Money, bank … Rougned Odor ($4,800) plays if you’re stacking Rangers, but he’s not a better play than Altuve … Brian Dozier ($4,600) kills LHP and draws Derek Holland. Again, in this price range Altuve is better … Speedy Jose Peraza ($3,700) bats second vs. Mike Leake … As noted above, Wilmer Flores ($3,300) batted cleanup for the Mets on Thursday because they faced a lefty. Tonight, they get another one in Wei-Yin Chen.
Third base: Machado and Bryant are very expensive, with Machado ($5,600) looking like the better choice … Matt Carpenter ($4,500) against Amir Garrett? Solid … Evan Longoria and Miguel Sano both crush LHP for $4,200. Sano might hit one 500 feet off Holland … Flores fits here, too … As noted above, Moustakas is a cheap, sensible play if you want to save.
Shortstop: Machado fits here as well … I prefer Jonathan Villar ($4,700) to Francisco Lindor at the next level down. Villar crushed LHP for a .393 wOBA last season … Peraza also fits here, and the price is good … Tyler Saladino ($3,600) is about as low as you want to go at this position tonight. He’s not a bad play against the awful Phil Hughes.
Outfield: I prefer Ryan Braun ($5,100) against a bad lefty to Bryant/Trout, but you might be able to afford two expensive OFs … Remember that Trumbo fits here … A.J. Pollock at just $4,300 vs. Tomlin? Huh? … With Broxton hurt, Domingo Santana ($4,000) might bat cleanup vs. Brett Anderson. He’s more of a tournament play … David Peralta is $3,900 if you’re attacking Tomlin … Seth Smith ($3,800) leading off vs. Severino isn’t bad; he has a .357 career wOBA vs. RHP … Steven Souza ($3,600) should lead off vs. Liriano … Mitch Haniger ($3,500) homered Thursday, and should bat second vs. Jesse Chavez.