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 11-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 – 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.
Our cash lineup cruised thanks to home runs from Kevin Pillar and Sal Perez. Lock A.J. Pollock tallied 17 DK points, but bargains Mike Moustakas and Tyler Collins didn’t help much. The recommended White Sox stack wasn’t outrageously good, but homers from Todd Frazier and Avisail Garcia helped us to a small payoff.
Season status: Plus $9.50
Rick ScuteriRick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
News & notes
Clayton Kershaw ($13,900) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-240 against Johnny Cueto in a game with a projected run total of six. SIX!!! … Since Kershaw is always a prohibitive favorite, we should note that the next man up is Lance McCullers ($10,700) at minus-182 over Andrew Cashner and the Rangers … The game with the highest projected total is Indians-Tigers (Bauer-Norris) at nine … The biggest weather worry is for Phillies-Cubs, where there are 40-50 percent chances of rain in the game window, per weather.com. Blue Jays-Yankees and Indians-Tigers have similar chances that will hopefully hold off until the games are complete.
Noah Syndergaard will get an MRI for an apparent lat muscle injury … Nationals OF Adam Eaton is done for the season with a torn ACL. Michael Taylor will get first crack at replacing Eaton. Taylor has decent power and speed, but strikes out too much and could test Dusty Baker’s patience. He batted seventh on Sunday … Ryan Braun will probably miss a few days with a sore arm (or trapezius strain, depending on the source) … Pirates C Francisco Cervelli is expected to miss Monday’s game with a foot injury … Chris Davis is day-to-day with a sore elbow … Rays OF Steven Souza is day-to-day with a hand injury.
It’s probably Francisco Lindor ($4,300) due to a reasonable salary and dearth of alternatives at his position. He's facing Daniel Norris, who has been very shaky.
Cash: Michael Conforto ($3,200) has been leading off for the Mets, and has hit six homers with a 1.055 OPS. His matchup with Julio Teheran isn’t bad at all.
Tournaments: Rays 1B Rickie Weeks ($2,600) often bats cleanup against lefties, and gets a guy with a penchant for allowing homers in Wei-Yin Chen … Dodger leadoff man Andrew Toles ($2,700) has a tough matchup with Cueto, but he’s homered in two straight games, and has 51 DK points in his last three.
The Astros, Cubs, Indians and Rays are good options, as are the Yankees, who are always a threat at home, and the White Sox, who rank fourth with a .361 wOBA vs. LHP. I prefer the Astros and White Sox.
Tommy GilliganTommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Guys to Avoid
All Giants, obviously. Brandon Belt is 3-for-51 with 27 strikeouts against Kershaw. Also, I wouldn’t touch any Rangers vs. McCullers.
Jake RothJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Position notes & suggestions
Starting pitcher: If you use Kershaw in cash, you could pair him with Michael Wacha ($7,200) vs. the Braun-less Brewers … McCullers has a 2.08 career ERA at home, with a 5.32 mark on the road. I’m a fan today … Vince Velasquez ($8,700) has K upside, but the Cubs could wreck him. Tournaments only … Luis Severino ($8,000) and Jason Vargas ($7,600) have each averaged 26 DK points per start so far. Severino is a high-upside play against a Jays’ squad that has been bad at the plate … Has everyone forgotten about Amir Garrett ($5,500) because the Brewers pummeled him last week? He averaged more than 25 DK points over his first three starts, and faces a Pirate lineup that will be without both Starling Marte and Cervelli … Julio Teheran ($8,500) has been below 16.9 DK points just once in five starts, and faces the undermanned Mets. He’s OK in cash if you don’t use Kershaw.
Catcher: Sal Perez ($3,400) has 40 DK points over his last two games, but he puts up lots of zeroes. Good matchup with Dylan Covey … Brian McCann ($3,400) is better than more expensive teammate Evan Gattis vs. the awful Andrew Cashner … I can see giving Willson Contreras ($3,500) a HR chance vs. Velasquez … Alex Avila ($2,800) comes with a pretty nice price vs. Bauer.
First base: Anthony Rizzo ($5,200) is a fine play vs. Velasquez … Jose Abreu ($4,300) homered twice on Saturday, and has two hits in each of his last six games. He’s waking up, and faces Vargas … Matt Carpenter ($4,200) makes sense vs. Davies … Weeks is mentioned above as a low-cost option.
Second base: Cashner is really bad, with 13 strikeouts against eight walks in 15 1/3 innings. That makes Jose Altuve ($4,900) a strong play if you can afford him … Ben Zobrist ($4,000) is solid vs. the homer-happy Velasquez … Pirates leadoff man Josh Harrison ($3,900) hits lefties pretty well (.338 career wOBA) and faces Garrett … Jedd Gyorko ($3,800) faces the hittable Zach Davies … Starlin Castro ($3,400) is a decent threat to homer any time he plays in Yankee Stadium.
Third base: There are enough options here that you don’t need to pay $5K for Kris Bryant … Todd Frazier ($4,400) is starting to hit, with five double-digit DK games in his last seven … Lefty masher Evan Longoria ($4,100) is a fine play vs. Chen … Harrison fits here as well … Mike Moustakas ($3,400), still too cheap vs. Covey.
Shortstop: Lindor is mentioned above … Carlos Correa ($4,800) is fine vs. Cashner, but unless you’re stacking Astros, Lindor is better … Aledmys Diaz ($4,000) looks solid vs. Davies … I don’t like anyone below $4K, but if you must, go with Tim Anderson ($3,600) vs. Vargas.
Outfield: George Springer ($4,600) could take Cashner’s slop deep … Dexter Fowler ($4,300) is averaging 12.6 DK points over his last 10 games, and faces Davies … Jake Odorizzi is just OK, and can give up his share of homers. Christian Yelich ($4,200) looks solid against him … Aaron Judge ($3,900) is so hot that you can always consider him, especially at home … O’s leadoff man Seth Smith ($3,500) is 9-for-19 with a 1.237 OPS vs. Rick Porcello. That’s a small sample, but Smith has been OK and his price is good … The hot Kevin Pillar ($3,400) looks good in Yankee Stadium, even vs. Severino, who has pitched well but gives up home runs … If Avisail Garcia ($3,300) plays, he’s a good one vs. Vargas … Conforto is mentioned above, as is Toles.