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 night 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.
Marcus Stroman (23.95 DK points) was a decent lock – it’s too bad we don’t get credit for the home run he hit. The bargains weren’t very good, but we can excuse Leury Garcia for leaving early with an elbow injury. Mitch Moreland was a BvP hero, hitting his fourth career homer off Sonny Gray.
Alex Wood ($9,400) is the night’s biggest favorite at minus-211 over the Marlins … The highest projected run total is 10 for Rangers-Tigers (Martinez-Norris), while the lowest is seven for Red Sox-A’s (Sale-Graveman) … Weather.com suggests a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms at the start of Rockies-Reds, with the threat lessening after that … Giants-Cardinals could encounter weather issues as well.
Freddie Freeman will miss 8-12 weeks? Ouch … Justin Turner left Thursday’s game early due to a hamstring injury, and his status is TBD … Yonder Alonso (knee) is still day-to-day … Eric Thames (strep throat) is expected to return to the Brewers’ lineup tonight … Miguel Cabrera (oblique) is still day-to-day … Albert Pujols is day-to-day with a hamstring issue, and with the Angels losing the DH in Queens, he could miss more time.
Dennis WierzbickiDennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor
It’s not Chris Sale at $13K. As much as I like - love? - Michael Wacha against the Giants, let’s go with Jake Lamb ($4,700) in his matchup with the homerrific Jered Weaver. Unless you’re stacking Nats, the alternatives at third base aren’t as abundant as at other positions.
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Cash: Over his last five games as the Pirates’ leadoff hitter, Adam Frazier ($3,000) has 11 hits, four runs and 57 DK points. He fits at 2B and OF.
Tournaments: In his brief career, Dodgers SS/OF Kike Hernandez ($2,800) has a .363 wOBA in 313 plate appearances against lefthanded pitcher. If he bats first or fourth tonight – the likely options – he’s in play versus Miami’s Justin Nicolino.
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Jered Weaver has allowed 14 home runs in 41 2/3 innings, which makes the D-backs an extremely strong option. The Nats (vs. Dickey) are next, with the Tigers and Mets following. Yes, the Mets against Ricky Nolasco, who has given up 13 homers in eight starts. Note that the D-backs and Nats will be chalky.
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The Guy to Avoid
Why pay $5,400 for Mike Trout in a matchup with Jacob deGrom when similarly priced outfielders (Harper, Betts) face much easier pitchers?
Jim CowsertJim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports
Starting pitcher: Chris Sale ($13,000) is obviously a strong play versus the A’s, but do we need to pay for him in cash tonight? It’s doable, but remember that even if you go Sale/Wacha, your hitting choices won’t be great … Jacob deGrom ($11,100) always has big K upside, and faces an Angels’ lineup that isn’t very good, but doesn’t whiff too much (20.1 percent vs. RHP) … Jose Quintana ($9,700) matches up with the Mariners, who rank 25th in wOBA vs. LHP (.293). With Segura and Cruz, that’s surprising … Wood is a huge favorite and has racked up big K numbers so far, but the Marlins hit LHP well … With Freeman hurt, we should target the Braves often. Tonight, they’ll face Gio Gonzalez ($8,600) … Luis Severino, Charlie Morton and Taijuan Walker have good K upside in the same price range as Gio, but I feel like I’m naming every starter on the board … Michael Wacha ($7,800) is a solid cash play against the awful Giants, as only one of his six starts has resulted in fewer than 17.3 DK points. This is about as far down as I’d like to go on pitchers.
Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy ($3,700) is settling in as the Rangers’ cleanup hitter, with 11 hits in his last six games. Nice matchup with Norris, too … Salvador Perez ($3,400) faces Hector Santiago, and is as good a power threat as anyone at this position … Did you know that Alex Avila ($3,200) has a 1.151 OPS? He gets one of the worst pitchers on the board in Nick Martinez, too.
First base: Paul Goldschmidt ($5,200) works in or out of the D-backs’ stack … I prefer Jay Bruce to Ryan Zimmerman at $4,600, but only by a little bit … Extreme BvP alert: Chris Davis ($4,600) is eight-for-18 with four homers and 10 walks against Aaron Sanchez … Justin Smoak ($3,800) has four home runs and five double-digit DK games in his last seven, and faces the so-so Chris Tillman … Josh Bell ($3,800) has homered four times in his last six games. I prefer Smoak, slightly … Mike Napoli ($3,600) looks strong vs. Norris … Mitch Moreland ($3,300) vs. Graveman is as low as I’d go, but I’d rather not even go there.
Second base: Jose Altuve ($4,900) is red hot, with 62 DK points in his last three games … Daniel Murphy ($4,700) is in a good spot vs. Dickey in Atlanta … Neil Walker ($3,900) looks terrific vs. Nolasco … Cesar Hernandez ($3,700) hasn’t been hitting much lately, but is still a decent value vs. Trevor Williams … Chris Taylor ($3,700) could lead off for the Dodgers vs. Justin Nicolino … Adam Frazier is mentioned above in the bargain section.
Third base: Lamb vs. Weaver, check! … Anthony Rendon ($4,200) also looks really good vs. Dickey … If you want to reach for a home run, consider Todd Frazier ($3,700) vs. Ariel Miranda. Frazier is starting to hit a little … If T.J. Rivera ($2,800) returns to a top-five slot in the Mets’ order, he’s in play vs. Nolasco.
Shortstop: I wouldn’t spend big here today. The list starts with Jean Segura ($4,100) vs. Quintana … I prefer Zack Cozart ($3,800) to Aledmys Diaz ($3,900) at similar prices, but like both … Elvis Andrus ($3,600) looks great in the two-hole vs. Norris … The value of Kike Hernandez ($2,800) vs. Nicolino depends on his lineup spot. First or fourth would be fine.
Outfield: There are many good options today, giving you plenty of flexibility … Bryce Harper ($5,600) is obviously in play vs. Dickey if you have the cash … So is Mookie Betts ($5,300) … J.D. Martinez ($4,700) has five homers in six games since coming off the DL, and faces Nick Martinez … Michael Conforto ($4,500) is as good as many of the more expensive OFs, and has a great matchup with Nolasco … Severino is homer-prone, and Corey Dickerson ($4,200) hits homers. Makes sense, right? … Nelson Cruz ($4,200) is always an option against a southpaw, even one as good as Quintana … Andrew Benintendi ($3,900) is solid vs. Graveman … Jayson Werth ($3,800) has four double-digit DK games in his last seven … David Peralta ($3,700) has missed some time with a glute injury, and hopes to be back for the matchup with Weaver … Adam Frazier fits here, too … Guillermo Heredia ($2,600) is an option if he bats second vs. Quintana.
Reinhold MatayReinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Look for Kevin Pillar to return from his suspension on Saturday … Max Scherzer will dominate the Saturday pitching discussion … Nelson Cruz will be chalky against lefty Derek Holland on Sunday.
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Note: I added an extra tournament lineup today - the second one is in a larger field without the single-entry restriction.