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 15-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.
It took three tries this week, but Wilmer Flores finally got back on track by homering off a lefty. Ryon Healy (one single) didn’t help as our lock, Lewis Brinson didn’t play, and a Giants’ stack got production from only Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. Finally, who had Nick Pivetta (30.15 DK points) against the Red Sox?
Alex Wood ($9,100) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-180 over the Reds … The highest non-Coors projected run total is 10 for Marlins-Braves (Straily-Newcomb) and Rays-Tigers (Ramirez-Norris) … The lowest is 7.5 for Yankees-A’s (Severino-Manaea).
Yankees Gary Sanchez (abductor) and Aaron Hicks (Achilles) are both day-to-day … Here’s an update on the Mets’ continuing injury woes. Heck, even Juan Lagares (fractured thumb) is out now. On the bright side, it sounds like Michael Conforto might return tonight … The Rangers might activate Carlos Gomez tonight, but it sounds like a Saturday or Sunday return for Mike Napoli … Giants Buster Posey (ankle) and Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) might both miss a game or two after getting injured Thursday. Nick Hundley (who homered Thursday) and Aaron Hill should be in tonight’s lineup … The Cubs will decide today if Ben Zobrist (wrist) needs a trip to the DL.
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With a dearth of cheap options at second base and Jose Altuve ($4,600) being so much better than the rest of the crowd, he’s the pick versus Drew Pomeranz.
Jerome MironJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: Ryan Raburn’s entire big league career has been predicated on hitting southpaws (.355 wOBA). When the Nats called him up last week, they batted him second in two games versus lefties Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu. He’s just $2,000 vs. Steven Matz.
Tournaments: Raburn works here as well. Also, Phillies C Cameron Rupp ($2,200) has a nice matchup with Patrick Corbin, and owns a .380 career wOBA vs. LHP (.377 this season). Corbin has allowed a disgusting 14 home runs in 72 innings this season.
I’m going to stay away from Coors, but would go with the Giants over the Rockies due to salaries (though that didn’t work last night). The Marlins are interesting vs. Newcomb, as are the Dodgers, Cubs, Brewers … so many options.
We’re going with some Phillies at home against Corbin, who has been atrocious. Against Chris Sale on Wednesday, the top five hitters were Herrera/Kendrick/Altherr/Joseph/Franco. You can consider leaving out Herrera, as he doesn’t hit southpaws well (and Corbin is good against them).
The Guy to Avoid
Did you know that the Mets have tagged Max Scherzer ($12,900) for four homers and eight runs in two games this season? The current Met hitters have an .881 OPS in 155 plate appearances against him. Scherzer always has huge upside, but this matchup and his high salary are enough to keep me away in cash games.
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Starting pitcher: Compared to Scherzer, Luis Severino ($11,500) is a bigger favorite in a game with a lower projected total against a worse offense that strikes out a lot more … Alex Wood ($9,100) hasn’t been below 17.2 DK points in his last seven starts … A’s SP Sean Manaea ($7,300) has allowed two runs or fewer in his last five starts while whiffing 32 batters in 32 innings and averaging 24.9 DK points. He faces the Yankees, whom he shut out over seven innings in the Bronx a few weeks ago. The Yankees are a scary lineup, but Manaea is pretty good … Toronto’s Joe Biagini ($6,900) is a minus-160 favorite against a White Sox lineup that ranks 28th in wOBA (.300) vs. RHP. Biagini has averaged a respectable 14.1 DK points in seven starts … Philly is a hitter’s park, but did you know that the D-backs have MLB’s worst road wOBA (.287)? The inconsistent but talented Aaron Nola ($6,300) faces them tonight.
Catcher: Alex Avila has caught three straight games, so a night off is possible … Assume that Sanchez will be out for the Yankees … Sal Perez ($4,100) is a home run threat against the worst homer offender on the board (Jesse Chavez) … In the mid-threes, I prefer Yasmani Grandal ($3,600) to Flowers and Gattis … Nick Hundley ($3,300) is likely to play in place of Posey, and could be in a nice batting order slot at Coors … Matt Wieters hits lefties better than righties (.348 career wOBA), and is only $2,900 vs. Matz … Rupp is mentioned above.
First base: Near the top of the food chain, my order of preference is Anthony Rizzo ($4,800), Cody Bellinger ($4,800), Edwin Encarnacion ($4,900). I almost leaned Bellinger over Rizzo due to the ballpark difference, but Rizzo has a 1.038 career OPS in Pittsburgh. Also, if he bats leadoff again, he’s a better bet for more plate appearances … Matt Carpenter ($4,400) has 67 DK points over his last four games, and faces the awful Kevin Gausman … Eric Thames ($4,000) has homered in two straight, and faces a very shaky Miguel Diaz … Miguel Cabrera ($3,800) is starting to hit, folks. He homered Thursday, and has two hits in each of his last four games. Get on board while the price is low vs. Erasmo Ramirez … Luis Valbuena ($2,900) is the cheap play vs. Kennedy, but I’d spend here tonight.
Second base: Altuve is mentioned above … I like Happ and Panik for $4,300, but if you’re going to spend that much, find a way to roster Altuve … Robinson Cano ($4,100) faces Tyson Ross in his first 2017 start … Whit Merrifield ($3,800) leading off vs. Chavez looks good – better than Kinsler and Sogard in the same tier … Aaron Hill ($3,500) figures to fill in for Nunez at Coors.
Third base: I prefer Kris Bryant ($4,700) to Donaldson and Moustakas in the same tier, though they’re all good options … Kyle Seager has been solid lately, and costs just $3,700 vs. Ross … If you like the Phillies vs. Corbin, Maikel Franco ($3,100) might be worth a look. He’s been bad this season, but has eight hits in his last five games, and hasn’t been quite as terrible vs. LHP (.686 OPS, .294 wOBA) … Valbuena fits here, too.
Shortstop: I kind of like Steven Matz, but that won’t keep me from paying up for Trea Turner ($5,100) … Carlos Correa ($4,400) isn’t a bad consolation prize vs. Pomeranz if you want to spend less … Brandon Crawford ($3,800) will probably move up in the Giants’ order at Coors with Posey and Nunez out … The cheap play is Alcides Escobar ($2,800) vs. Chavez. Laugh all you want, but he has nine hits with four double-digit DK games in his last five starts.
Outfield: George Springer ($5,000) with his insane .491 wOBA vs. LHP is my favorite of the upper-tier guys … Bellinger fits here, too … I prefer Marcell Ozuna ($4,500) in the mid-fours over Kendrick, Inciarte and J.D. Martinez. Ozuna has a nice matchup vs. Braves’ rookie southpaw Sean Newcomb … Aaron Altherr ($3,900) has six homers in 66 PA vs. LHP … Consider Kole Calhoun ($3,800) in tournaments vs. the awful Ian Kennedy, who has allowed four or more earned runs in each of his last six starts … Hill fits here, too … Peter Bourjos ($2,700) might lead off for the Rays vs. Tiger lefty Daniel Norris … If the Brewers get rookie Lewis Brinson ($2,500) back in a top-five lineup slot – or perhaps leadoff, where he’s been a couple of times this week – you can consider him vs. Diaz … Raburn is mentioned above.
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NOTE: If Raburn and/or Rupp don't play, multiple lineup adjustments will be needed.