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 four-game night 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.
I think Wednesday’s highlight was removing bargain pick Eric Young Jr. from both of my lineups because the Angels batted him ninth, and then seeing him hit a game-winning home run. I hope you rostered him. Lock Andrew Benintendi went scoreless, and Jacob deGrom was a disaster, but we were mostly right about avoiding the Nats’ hitters (except for Ryan Zimmerman).
Odds are similar for all four games, with Zack Greinke ($12,700 @MIA) and Marco Estrada ($9,600 vs. NYY) being the biggest favorites at minus-129 … Yanks-Jays has a projected run total of 9.5.
Bryce Harper’s three-game suspension means that you can expect to see him again on Sunday … Justin Upton left Wednesday’s game with a strained quad, but it doesn’t sound serious … Corey Kluber comes off the DL to start this afternoon for the Indians … Miguel Sano (illness) didn’t play again on Wednesday, and is day-to-day.
USA TODAY SportsCharles LeClaire
Nobody’s really a lock today, but if I have to pick one it’s Josh Donaldson ($4,700) vs. CC Sabathia.
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Cash: D-backs 2B Brandon Drury ($3,000) will probably bat sixth vs. Miami’s Jeff Locke, and has pretty good power for his position. It’s not like the rest of today’s keystone options are very good.
Tournaments: EY Jr., who has 44 DK points in three games since getting called up, is down to $2,400. Let’s hope he doesn’t bat ninth again.
Locke isn’t a good pitcher, but he’s a ground-baller taking the mound in a pitcher’s park, so we shouldn’t expect lots of Diamondback home runs. I’d try to stack some Red Sox against Wade Miley, who also gets groundballs but has been somewhat homer-prone over the last two seasons, or some Jays vs. Sabathia.
Related note: I think I have a 1.3 percent success rate in prediciting Sabathia's effectiveness. He vexes me.
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The Guys to Avoid
Jake Lamb is pretty bad vs. LHP, so I have no idea why anyone would pay $5K for him. Also, even though Justin Bour is red hot, let’s stay off that train for his matchup with Greinke.
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Starting pitcher: Greinke is the best pitcher on the board, but Estrada is closer than you think, averaging just 0.7 fewer DK ppg ... Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,900) has a 2.77 ERA, averages more than a K per inning, and threw six shutout innings last time he faced the Orioles … If you want one of the cheap guys to pair with Greinke, Twins’ lefty Adalberto Mejia ($6,600) misses bats and will face a decimated, Trout-less Angels’ lineup … Also, Anaheim’s Alex Meyer ($6,900) has a high K rate, accompanied by bad control, and has averaged 19.4 DK points over his last three starts.
Catcher: Russell Martin ($3,900) vs. Sabathia looks like the play, even if Gary Sanchez is only $400 more … Martin Maldonado ($2,800) and Chris Iannetta ($2,900) are your deep HR options. Maldonado batted fifth on Wednesday.
First base: Of course you should roster Paul Goldschmidt ($5,500) if you can … Justin Smoak ($4,600) has four of his 12 homers in just 39 plate appearances vs. LHP. I prefer him to Hanley Ramirez ($4,400) and Albert Pujols ($4,200) by just a little … Saving money brings you to Anaheim’s Jefry Marte ($3,400) vs. Mejia.
Second base: Devon Travis ($4,200) will be a fine play if he leads off as he did Wednesday. If he bats eighth, not so much … Starlin Castro’s price ($3,600) looks right if you’re not rostering Estrada … As noted above, Drury ($3,000) is a budget-friendly option vs. Locke.
Third base: Donaldson ($4,700) looks grrrrrrreat vs. Sabathia. He hit his first post-DL homer on Tuesday … I prefer Donaldson to Sano at the same salary … How cheap is too cheap for the slumping Manny Machado ($3,900)? … Eduardo Escobar ($2,700) will probably hit sixth for the Twins vs. Meyer. He’s not terrible.
Shortstop: As much as I like Xander Bogaerts ($4,800), Chris Owings in the leadoff spot for $400 less looks pretty good … Andrelton Simmons ($3,900) led off for the Angels on Wednesday … Troy Tulowitzki ($3,800) is a bit expensive as a HR flier vs. Sabathia … Let's hope that Jorge Polanco ($3,200) bats second vs. Meyer … Escobar fits here, too … The value of Miami’s J.T. Riddle ($2,700) vs. Greinke will depend on where he bats in the order. His last four games were first, eighth, eighth, second.
Outfield: Betts over Judge in the $5K-plus range … Joey Bats ($4,900) is hot, with six double-digit DK games in his last 10 … Owings fits here, too … Robbie Grossman ($3,900) doesn’t usually provide big points, but his price is friendly vs. Meyer … Max Kepler ($2,600) is averaging 10.5 DK points over his last 10 games … Arizona’s Gregor Blanco ($3,600) is in play if he leads off vs. Locke … Ditto for the slumping Kevin Pillar ($3,500) if he leads off vs. Sabathia … EY Jr. is mentioned above.
Kevin JairajKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Note: If you're OK with taking a night off from cash games or DFS baseball in general, tonight is one of those nights.