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 eight-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.
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Didn’t I tell you that I’m never right on CC Sabathia? Mookie Betts and the Red Sox stack got shut down, as did Guillermo Heredia. Buck Farmer (26.6 DK points) turned out pretty well, as did our stay-aways. And Matt Carpenter finally hit another home run!
I love Rays SP Jake Odorizzi ($7,900) against a White Sox’ lineup that ranks 25th in K rate (23.7) and 28th in wOBA (.293) vs. RHP. Odorizzi’s career ERA at the Trop has been 3.12, compared to 4.44 on the road.
Cash: Philly OF Michael Saunders ($2,900) has two homers and has reached base five times in nine plate appearances vs. Dickey, who has been getting hammered. That’s obviously a small sample, but Saunders is cheap and in a nice spot to break out of his slump.
Tournaments: With Adonis Garcia back on the DL, Rio Ruiz ($2,700) will probably bat sixth or seventh vs. Phillies rookie Ben Lively. Ruiz’s power is just OK, but his home park has made many hitters look good.
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The Nats (vs. Asher) get the edge over the Astros (vs. Hammel) at the top end of the food chain, but they’ll cost you. The Orioles (vs. Ross) are interesting, but they probably won’t have Machado.
Consider some Twins against Christian Bergman, who has continued to allow lots of homers after moving away from Coors Field, and some Phillies against R.A. Dickey, who has given up 40 homers in 235 innings since the beginning of last season. Hitters have gone deep nine times in six Dickey starts at SunTrust Park.
The Guys to Avoid
As good as the Astros’ hitters are, Kauffman Stadium is a homer-suppressing pitcher’s park. They’ve scored 19 runs in three games in KC this week, homering four times. Good, but not OMG PAY WHATEVER IT TAKES, even against Jason Hammel.
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Starting pitcher: Lance McCullers ($11,200) has the highest salary and the most K upside against a bad Royals’ lineup. However, he’s been a MUCH better pitcher at home in his career (2.08 ERA vs. 4.49 on the road) … Lester is a strong favorite against a Rockies’ lineup that whiffs a lot vs. LHP … I’m going to stay away from the Price-Pineda matchup, since both offenses are good … Gerrit Cole ($8.500) faces are Marlins’ lineup that is without Justin Bour, and will probably rest J.T. Realmuto … Odorizzi is mentioned above … The cheapest I’d go is Derek Holland ($6,600) vs. the Rays, who are whiffing a whopping 27.7 percent of the time against southpaws. Before getting tattooed by the Tigers last Friday, Holland had allowed more than three runs just twice in 10 starts.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez ($4,700) has homered twice in six plate appearances vs. Price … Tyler Flowers ($3,900) seems like a solid bet vs. the homer-prone Dickey … As referenced above, Realmuto has caught three consecutive games, so a night off seems likely … Brian McCann ($3,200) has six hits and two homers in his last two games. At this price vs. Hammel, he’s obviously a good option … Derek Norris ($2,600) has always hit LHP well, but he’ll probably bat ninth. Consider Norris only if you really need the salary relief.
First base: Anthony Rizzo ($4,900) has seven hits with six RBI over his last four games. I prefer him to Ryan Zimmerman, even with Tyler Chatwood’s ground-ball tendencies … Matt Adams ($3,900) has six homers in 16 games as a Brave … If you’re confident that Dickey will allows some home runs, Tommy Joseph ($3,200) seems like a nice value.
Second base: Altuve and Murphy are solid, but Robinson Cano ($4,700) looks better vs. Gibson … Ian Happ ($4,000) homered again while leading off Wednesday … Cesar Hernandez ($3,800) has three hits in five appearances vs. Dickey. Huge sample, I know … Before going hitless on Wednesday, Taylor Motter ($3,400) had 59 DK points in his previous four games … The price looks right for Brandon Phillips ($3,300) batting in the two-hole vs. Lively … I’d like Daniel Robertson ($2,800) better if he batted higher in the order, but he’s an option as he seems to hit lefties better than righties.
Third base: With Bergman’s penchant for allowing home runs, Miguel Sano ($4,900) is the best play in his price range; Anthony Rendon is second … Kyle Seager ($3,900) is a relative bargain vs. Gibson … BvP alert: Evan Longoria ($3,600) has three homers in 31 plate appearances vs. Holland … Ruiz is mentioned above.
Shortstop: I’ll go with Trea Turner ($5,400) over Carlos Correa at the top of the salary range, though both face very hittable pitchers … Motter fits here, too … Tim Beckham ($3,500) and his nine homers might bat fourth or fifth vs. Holland … Let’s hope that Eduardo Escobar ($2,800) plays in Jorge Polanco’s continued absence. He’s not bad, and he’s cheap.
Outfield: Bryce Harper ($5,400) is the best high-end play. As much as I like Ender Inciarte and his matchup, would you want him for $5K? … Look for Steven Souza ($4,600) to lead off vs. Holland … BvP alert: Christian Yelich ($4,300) has three homers with a 1.731 OPS in 17 plate appearances vs. Cole … Though Adam Frazier ($4,100) has cooled off, he’s still a solid play vs. Volquez … Adams fits here, too … Odubel Herrera ($3,700) is on fire, with 11 hits (including nine doubles) in his last five games. He has a homer and a single in five AB vs. Dickey … With Joe Ross giving away home runs like candy, Seth Smith ($3,500) is the reasonably priced Oriole to consider … Nick Markakis ($3,000) doesn’t have enough power to be a good DFS option, but batting third at this price vs. a rookie starter, he doesn’t need to do much to offer value … Nats OF Brian Goodwin ($3,000) has batted second in the last two games vs. RHP … Saunders is mentioned above.
UPDATES (4:45 p.m. ET)
Tournament 1: The Nationals benched Murphy and Zimmerman, so I blew up the Nats' stack and replaced it with a Twins' stack (pending their lineup, of course). The only players remaining from the original lineup are the pitchers, Turner and Herrera.
Tournament 2: The Phillies started Altherr instead of Kendrick in the two-hole, so I made a swap. I now have $400 left over.