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 night slate, meaning that we’ll miss Kershaw-Cueto in the afternoon.
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 was a disappointing call as the lock with 13.3 DK points, while JC Ramirez (12.75) didn’t do much better as one of the day’s bargain picks. Tigers C James McCann (13) was pretty good as the other bargain, and a small Cubs’ stack of Rizzo-Bryant-Happ played pretty well (adding Schwarber would have been even better)
Kyle Hendricks ($9,100) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-190 over the Reds … Matt Shoemaker ($8,800) isn’t far behind at minus-168 over the White Sox … The highest projected run total is 9.5 for Phillies-Rangers (Eflin-Cashner), while the lowest is 7.5 for Red Sox-Cardinals (Porcello-Leake) … It’s going to rain all day in Minneapolis, with chances ranging from 40 to 60 percent through the game window. Be ready to make late adjustments if you use any Rockies or Twins; we’re going to avoid those teams in the notes below.
Robinson Cano (quad) has been placed on the DL. Taylor Motter will fill in at second base, and the Mariners’ top four looks to be Segura-Gamel-Cruz-Seager … J.D. Martinez hit two more homers on Tuesday. He’s as big a power threat as almost anyone … Eric Thames is day-to-day with strep throat … Shin Soo-Choo is day-to-day with back issues.
Brad RempelBrad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
There are some good first basemen at decent prices, but the closest thing to a lock is Anthony Rizzo against Scott Feldman. Rizzo homered Tuesday for the first time in a while, and checks in at just $4,400.
Cash: Cubs 2B Ian Happ batting cleanup for $2,700 is a no-brainer.
Tournaments: If you don’t use Shoemaker, the White Sox’ top two of Leury Garcia ($2,600) and Yolmer Sanchez ($2,300) have salaries that are hard to beat. Both have been hitting well lately.
The problem with stacking Tigers against Ubaldo Jimenez is that Miggy and V-Mart hit back-to-back and play the same position. Still, some combo of Tigers looks very good, and the same goes for the Cubs vs. Feldman. A different path could be some Phillies (Hernandez/Herrera/Altherr) against shaky Rangers SP Andrew Cashner. Though Cashner has a 2.43 ERA in six starts, he has 20 walks against 17 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. He’s not good.
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The Guy to Avoid
I don’t care how great Bryce Harper is. I’m not paying $5,700 to roster him against a pretty good pitcher like Gerrit Cole.
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Starting pitcher: Michael Fulmer ($11,200) certainly has K upside against the Orioles, but they’re a team that can hit for power. Fulmer is more of a tournament play for me … Michael Pineda ($10,100) is a better option against a bad Royals lineup and in a ballpark that will help thwart his HR tendencies … Hendricks is the big favorite, and has at least 16.6 DraftKings points in each of his last four starts … Shoemaker is in a strong spot vs. the weak White Sox … Jesse Hahn checks in at only $6,700, and faces a Mariners lineup that won’t have Cano. After the top four hitters, the M’s are pretty bad. Hahn has been below 14.7 DK points only once in six starts.
Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy ($3,900) is starting to hit, with five multiple-hit games in his last seven. Look for him in the cleanup spot vs. Eflin … Gary Sanchez ($4,600) is so expensive, and Jason Vargas has been really good. Tournaments only … Let’s see where Alex Avila ($3,500) bats vs. Ubaldo … Tyler Flowers ($3,400, .886 OPS) is a possibility vs. Joe Biagini, and I’d rather not spend less than this considering the alternatives.
First base: It’s not like Biagini is a really good pitcher, but he induces lots of groundballs (58.7 percent this season). Freddie Freeman’s HR chances are lower against a guy like that, and he’s expensive at $5,200 … Anthony Rizzo ($4,400) homered on Tuesday, and is priced more reasonably than usual … I prefer Miguel Cabrera to Yonder Alonso at $4,200 … Victor Martinez ($3,400) has four homers with a .765 slugging percentage in 36 PA vs. Ubaldo.
Second base: Slim pickings here today … Cesar Hernandez ($3,900) and Ian Kinsler ($3,800) are my favorites, and I lean Kinsler by just a little bit … If Happ ($2,700) bats cleanup again vs. Feldman, he’s the best value on the board … Yolmer Sanchez ($2,300) leading off vs. Shoemaker can save you some cash. Sanchez has 46 DK points over his last three games.
Third base: I won’t argue against Kris Bryant ($5,100) vs. Feldman, but he’ll cost you … Slow starter Kyle Seager ($4,000) is heating up, with homers in two straight games … If you’re attacking Ubaldo, Nick Castellanos ($3,700) can help … Yolmer Sanchez fits here as well.
Shortstop: If you don’t use Hahn, you can consider Jean Segura ($4,700) … Zack Cozart is kinda sorta OK vs. Hendricks … Hernan Perez ($3,500) looks better batting third vs. Jhoulys Chacin … The status of Addison Russell ($3,300) will depend on where he bats in the order. If it’s sixth again, don’t bother.
Outfield: $5,600 is a steep price to pay for Mike Trout vs. Miguel Gonzalez … Billy Hamilton ($4,400) has four multi-hit games in his last five outings … J.D. Martinez ($4,300) has two two-homer games in four appearances since coming off the DL, and faces Ubaldo. Too bad he’s batting sixth … Nomar Mazara ($4,000) is surging, and faces Eflin … In a shocking development, we’re including Kevin Pillar ($3,800) here again for his Folty matchup … Odubel Herrera ($3,700) has a couple of homers in 11 PA vs. Cashner. BvP aside, the matchup is pretty good … Steady Ender Inciarte ($3,600) isn’t expensive … Matt Joyce ($3,300) has three homers in his last five games, and figures to bat leadoff vs. Christian Bergman … Leury Garcia ($2,600) will probably lead off for the White Sox vs. Hahn. Garcia has hit in nine consecutive games, with 102 DK points over that span.