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.
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.
Stephen Strasburg ($12,700) is clearly the night’s biggest favorite at minus-240 over the Braves … Phillies-Red Sox (Eickhoff-Porcello) checks in with the highest projected run total at 10.5, while the Foltynewicz-Strasburg matchup is the lowest at eight runs … According to weather.com. the rain chances for Mariners-Twins range from 35-60 percent during the game window.
Manny Machado (wrist) should return tonight for the Orioles … Mitch Haniger came off the DL Sunday for the Mariners; he’s averaging 11.4 DK ppg this season … Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez (oblique) is on the DL … Ryan Zimmerman (back) remains day-to-day.
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This spot would be Nelson Cruz’s if we didn’t have to worry about the rain in Minneapolis. Instead we’ll shift to Jose Abreu ($4,100), who has a .483 wOBA in 67 PA vs. LHP this season, and faces Wade Miley tonight.
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Cash: Lots of cheap options today. Padres 2B Jose Pirela ($2,300) has eight hits – including two homers – in four games as the Padres’ leadoff hitter, and faces Bronson Arroyo. It's not like Pirela is a great hitter who can be counted on to keep raking, but he doesn't need to do much tonight to return value. The price can’t be beat.
Tournaments: Hey, it’s another Padre! Austin Hedges ($2,700) is second among catchers with 11 home runs, and faces MLB’s most homer-prone pitcher in Bronson Arroyo.
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The White Sox have a clear lead as MLB’s best-hitting team vs. lefthanded pitchers (.818 OPS, .353 wOBA). Two through five should be Melky/Abreu/Frazier/Garcia, and we might see Yolmer Sanchez (.384 wOBA vs. LHP this season) leading off with Leury Garcia hurting.
Some very cheap Padres against homer-rific Bronson Arroyo are also something to consider – just remember that you can’t roster both Pirela and Solarte. The Red Sox, Twins and Yankees should be somewhat chalky, with the Sox being my favorite if you go in that direction.
USA TODAY SportsRick Osentoski
The Guy to Avoid
With Angels SP Alex Meyer getting plenty of strikeouts and ground balls, and giving up just three homers in 35 1/3 innings so far, maybe this is a night to fade Aaron Judge. He can’t hit a home run every day … I think.
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Starting pitcher: The best cash game pitchers on the board are Strasburg and Rick Porcello ($8,600), but they’re probably too expensive to roster together – or are they? … Porcello hasn’t exactly been an ace, but he’ll face a Phillies’ lineup that ranks dead last in MLB in wOBA over the last month (.276) while whiffing 22.6 percent of the time … Jacob deGrom ($10,200) has been awful in his last two starts, but he’s absolutely a tournament consideration against the disappointing Cubs, who rank 24th in wOBA vs. RHP (.307) … I know, I know – you don’t want to roster a pitcher against the Astros. But when Yu Darvish ($8,800) faced them 10 days ago, he struggled and still posted 15.9 DK points … Before going on the DL in early May, Jameson Taillon ($6,800) went at least five innings in each of his six starts, struck out between four and six batters in all of them, and averaged 15.9 DK points. Not bad, right? … The Angels have been better than expected without Mike Trout, but their lineup still looks pretty weak. There’s a path for Masahiro Tanaka ($7,800) to shut them down, as bad as he’s been … On the other side of that game, Alex Meyer ($6,400) has averaged 20 DK points and 6.8 strikeouts over his last five starts. He can’t be a cash game play against the Yankees, though.
Catcher: This is a wasteland unless you want to spend $5K on Gary Sanchez, who matches up with a pitcher (Meyer) that hasn’t allowed many home runs … Matt Wieters ($3,300) isn’t a bad play if he bats in a decent spot vs. Folty … Hedges is mentioned above.
First base: Joey Votto ($5,200) is a fine play vs. Perdomo if you can afford him … Abreu is mentioned above … Lucas Duda ($4,100) is a threat to go deep vs. Lackey … So is Wil Myers ($3,600) vs. Arroyo … Luis Valbuena ($2,700) is your bargain play vs. Tanaka.
Second base: I prefer Daniel Murphy ($4,700) followed by Neil Walker ($4,600) among those in the upper salary tier … Yangervis Solarte ($3,700) isn’t bad batting cleanup vs. Arroyo … Let’s hope that Yolmer Sanchez ($3,400) and his .384 wOBA vs. LHP lead off vs. Miley … Pirela is mentioned above.
Third base: Lots of options here … Miguel Sano ($4,600) is in a great spot vs. Gallardo, weather permitting … Todd Frazier ($4,100) can be part of your White Sox stack vs. Miley … Machado ($4,200) is in play for a good price vs. Pelfrey, even coming off the injury … Joey Gallo ($3,800) is always a homer threat vs. a mediocre pitcher like Musgrove … Cory Spangenberg ($2,900) will probably bat fifth vs. Arroyo … Valbuena fits here, too.
Shortstop: Trea Turner ($5,300) looks to bounce back after a cold weekend … Xander Bogaerts ($4,600) had five hits on Friday/Saturday before going hitless Sunday. His matchup with Eickhoff is pretty good … If you want to keep betting against Tanaka, Andrelton Simmons ($3,900) is an option … Erick Aybar ($3,100) appears to have taken over as the Padres’ SS.
Outfield: I mean, Bryce Harper ($5,400) vs. Folty? Sure, if you can afford him … Nelson Cruz ($5,100) is in a great spot vs. LHP Mejia, weather permitting … I’m not paying $4,800 for Cameron Maybin, no matter how hot he is … Michael Conforto ($4,800) looks relatively cheap … Avisail Garcia ($4,500) as part of the “Go, White Sox!” strategy … BvP alert: Nomar Mazara ($4,300) is five-for-11 with two homers vs. Musgrove … Kole Calhoun ($4,100) is worth a tournament look vs. a shaky Tanaka … I prefer Shin-Soo Choo to Billy Hamilton at $3,900 … Welcome back, Mitch Haniger ($3,600)! … Perdomo has allowed four homers in his last three starts, putting Scott Schebler ($3,800) in play … Plenty of options at $3K and below, including Spangenberg, Guillermo Heredia, Brian Goodwin, Franchy Cordero and Eric Young Jr. I’d lean toward Cordero ($2,400 vs. Arroyo), but Heredia ($2,600) is also solid if he bats second vs. Mejia.
UPDATE (5:10 p.m. ET): With Joey Gallo batting eighth for the Rangers, I swapped him out for teammate Adrian Beltre (cleanup) at the same price of $3,800.