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 14-game main slate, which excludes the Brewers-Cardinals doubleheader.
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.
Jose Abreu (14 DK points) was respectable as our lock, and a White Sox stack would have played well if you left out hitless Todd Frazier. Bargains Austin Hedges (19) and Jose Pirela (16) were strong. But did we say to take a night off from Aaron Judge? Another day, another home run.
A struggling David Price ($10,100) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-238 over the Phillies … The highest projected run total is 10.5 for Orioles-White Sox; Mariners-Twins and Phillies-Red Sox are close behind at 10 … The low total is eight for Reds-Padres (Feldman-Richard) and Royals-Giants (Vargas-Blach) … There appear to be small rain threats in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Boston – keep an eye on all of them today.
Orioles 1B Chris Davis left Monday’s game with an oblique strain; a DL trip looms … Astros SP Lance McCullers (back) is on the DL … Mets OF Michael Conforto missed Monday’s game due to a stiff back, and is day-to-day … Teammate Yoenis Cespedes left the same game with a heel issue, and his status for tonight is TBD … Astros OF Josh Reddick left Monday’s game with a concussion.
USA TODAY SportsBob DeChiara
I know that BvP isn’t the best stat, but hear me out. Mark Trumbo ($3,400) has five homers in 51 PA versus Derek Holland, who is allowing a .381 wOBA with a .903 OPS to righthanded hitters, and has already given up 14 homers to them. Only three pitchers (Nolasco, Chavez, Garrett) have allowed worse HR/9 rates to righties. Trumbo comes at a very reasonable price for this matchup.
Dan HamiltonDan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: What are you doing if you don’t use Wilmer Flores ($3,100) at 2B or 3B vs. Jon Lester? Flores has three homers in 11 plate appearances versus Lester, and owns a .360 career wOBA against southpaws.
Tournaments: Padres OF Franchy Cordero ($2,500) will probably whiff a lot as the season goes on, but at this price batting second versus Scott Feldman, he can help you afford other bats.
The Astros, Nats and Yankees look tremendous and chalky. I prefer the Astros against Nick Martinez, especially with Altuve and Correa below $5K.
The Reds have five of MLB’s top 26 hitters vs. LHP this season (Cozart/Votto/Duvall/Suarez/Schebler), and they’ll face Padres southpaw Clayton Richard, who has an awful .368 wOBA vs. RHBs. Also, it’s hard not to like some Orioles against Derek Holland, who gets shelled by right-handed hitters.
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The Guys to Avoid
Obviously, don’t bother with any Indians against Kershaw. Also, Zack Greinke’s numbers have been too pedestrian on the road (3.90 ERA in five starts), and his matchup is too worrisome versus the Tigers, to merit a $12,200 salary.
Gary A. VasquezGary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Starting pitcher: Yes, we all love Clayton Kershaw ($12,900), but the reasonably priced options to pair with him in cash games are tough to come by … One option might be San Francisco’s Ty Blach ($6,600) vs, the Royals, who rank near the botton of MLB vs. LHP (.294 wOBA). Blach doesn’t get many strikeouts, though … Maybe Gerrit Cole ($6,600) bouncing back after four consecutive bad starts? … Price has been up and down since coming off the DL, and is difficult to trust. However, he’s a huge favorite over a Phillies lineup that has been MLB’s worst BY A LOT over the last 30 days (.276 wOBA, .640 OPS) … I’m leaning toward mid-priced options – Marco Estrada ($8,000 vs. TB), Jason Vargas ($8,300 @SF) & CC Sabathia ($8,700 @LAA) … Estrada’s K rate is excellent, and he’ll face a Rays lineup that recently lost Kevin Kiermaier to the DL … Vargas has allowed more than three earned runs just once all season, and hurls in a pitcher’s park versus a weak Giants lineup … Sabathia has averaged 25.7 DK points over his last five starts … Tyler Chatwood ($7,700) has a 2.53 ERA away from Coors Field, and faces a beatable Pirates lineup … I don’t know what to make of the hot and cold Joe Ross … We have to at least consider Scott Feldman ($7,000) against a Padres offense that ranks 28th in wOBA and last in K rate vs. RHP … Tournament upside can be found in Trevor Bauer ($6,200), who has a 6.10 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 62 innings. At home, his K/BB ratio is almost six-to-one.
Catcher: As long as you’re not rostering Vargas, lefty masher Buster Posey ($4,400) is the smart play. Even if Gary Sanchez is a Judgian homer threat … Sal Perez ($3,900) should be back in the Royals’ lineup tonight … Tyler Flowers ($3,200) and his .910 OPS are underpriced vs. Ross … Devin Mesoraco ($3,100) is coming around, with five homers in 86 plate appearances … I wouldn’t argue with Matt Wieters ($3,000) at this price vs. R.A. Dickey, though I prefer Mesoraco.
First base: Joey Votto ($5,200) is killing lefties, and has reached base a respectable nine times in 21 PA vs. Richard … Matt Holliday ($4,700) looks pretty good vs. homer-prone JC Ramirez … Yonder Alonso ($4,100) hasn’t homered in a week, but he did have seven hits in Saturday’s doubleheader … I know Wil Myers ($3,400) has been slumping, but he looks pretty cheap vs. Scott Feldman … Let’s hope that Trey Mancini ($3,300) bats high in the order vs. Holland with Davis sidelined.
Second base: It’s hard not to like Jose Altuve ($4,700) at a lower-than-usual price vs. Nick Martinez … Jonathan Schoop is tempting in the next tier – and can be used in tournaments – but I prefer Robinson Cano ($4,200) vs. Kyle Gibson, who has been getting hammered by LHB (.390 wOBA) … Red-hot Jose Pirela is up to $3,100, and is still worth it leading off vs. Feldman. Pirela has averaged 13.6 DK points in seven games since his promotion … Flores is mentioned above … If Joe Panik (back) doesn’t return for the Giants, Aaron Hill ($2,600) could be in a good lineup slot vs. Vargas.
Third base: I’m leaning Josh Donaldson ($4,700) over Sano and Arenado at the top of the salary chain … Eugenio Suarez ($4,600) can be in your Reds’ stack … Manny Machado ($4,100) is way too cheap vs. Holland. If you don’t count the game where he hurt his wrist, Machado has posted double-digit DK points in five of his last six contests … Flores fits here, too … As bad as Maikel Franco has been, you could do worse for $2,400. Franco had two hits Monday night.
Shortstop: Trea Turner ($5,400) is very expensive, but dominates when he plays well … Zack Cozart ($4,400) is a strong play vs. Richard. I like him a little better than Corey Seager ($4,200 vs. Bauer) in the same range … BvP alert: Erick Aybar ($2,900) has 16 hits in 36 at-bats vs. Feldman.
Outfield: Bryce Harper ($5,300) over Judge at the top. I know, Judge will probably burn me again … Brett Gardner ($4,900) looks pretty good vs. lefty-challenged JC Ramirez … Adam Duvall ($4,700) and his .475 wOBA vs. LHP can be used in or out of your Reds’ stack … Mookie Betts ($4,600) looks a bit cheap vs. Ben Lively, and I prefer him to Khris Davis at the same price … Howie Kendrick ($4,100) has 10 hits and five steals in his last six games … Mitch Haniger ($3,800) had 26 DK points Monday night. I’m glad he’s back so I can start using him every day again … Kevin Pillar ($3,800) looks pretty good at the same salary vs. Jacob Faria … Mallex Smith ($3,500) has 75 DK points in four games since replacing Kiermaier in the Rays’ lineup … Trumbo is mentioned above … Mancini fits here, too … With Conforto and Cespedes hurting, Juan Lagares ($2,800) could bat near the top of the Mets’ order … Franchy Cordero ($2,500) is certainly worth a look if he bats second vs. Feldman.