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 13-game, all-day slate. Note that field size for double ups and 50/50s will be smaller than usual.
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.
Eh. Lock of the day Robinson Cano homered, as hoped. Bargain Rickie Weeks was OK, and the Angels would have been the best of the stacks we mentioned. Oh, and did we say something about avoiding Aaron Judge for a night? Sigh.
The cash lineup came close, but Jacob deGrom’s 7.45-point night dragged us down. Ditto for the tournament version.
The rain in St. Louis looks bad again, and the early guess is that they’re more likely to be postponed than not. Detroit, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Chicago look dicey as well, with only Chicago having less than a 50 percent chance of rain during the game window (per weather.com). The advice below will omit all players from the games in STL/DET/ATL/CIN … Max Scherzer ($12,600) is clearly the day’s biggest favorite at minus-215 over the D-backs … Orioles-Red Sox has the highest projected run total at 10. The O’s might need to call up someone from Triple A to start.
Ian Desmond homered twice for the Rockies. He’s baaaack … Blue Jays SP Marcus Stroman left early Tuesday due to tightness near his armpit. His prognosis is TBD … Ian Kinsler left Tuesday’s game with hamstring tightness, and he probably won’t play today.
USA TODAY SportsMark J. Rebilas
I know this sounds like an easy, chalky, obvious call, but it’s Scherzer in cash games. The rain and dearth of alternatives mean that you almost need to pay for him. Do you really trust Dan Straily?
Geoff BurkeGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Cash: I really wish we could use lefty killer Wilmer Flores ($3,000) here, but the threat of rain in Atlanta is too great if you can’t make a late lineup change. How’s this: Hope for Flores, and swap to the equally priced Yunel Escobar if Mets-Braves is postponed. Escobar ($3,000) leads off vs. Ariel Miranda, a lefty who has allowed 18 home runs in 84 career innings.
Tournaments: Matt Joyce ($2,500) usually bats second against RHP for the A’s. He faces Kyle Gibson, who has allowed six homers in 22 1/3 innings so far this season.
The Nationals against Braden Shipley is the most logical option. We can also deploy the Angels vs. Miranda or some Astros against A.J. Griffin, as both starters are very homer-prone.
The Guys to Avoid
The D-backs against Scherzer, for sure. Anyone in the rain games mentioned above, if you can’t swap close to first pitch. And Xander Bogaerts ($5,000), who’s too expensive for a homerless guy expected to bat fifth.
Position notes & suggestions
Starting pitcher: Scherzer will be highly owned. The D-backs are good, but they strike out a lot and hit better at home. He’s a solid option … Ian Kennedy ($8,500) is averaging 18.4 DK ppg, and faces a White Sox squad with a 30th-ranked .255 wOBA vs. RHP … Kennedy’s Royals rank last against lefties with a horrible .235 wOBA. Derek Holland ($7,700) faces them … Houston’s Joe Musgrove ($7,600) is a minus-165 favorite against a Rangers’ team that whiffs a lot … The lowest I’d go is Tampa’s Matt Andriese ($7,400) vs. a Marlins’ squad that hasn’t hit righties well (.305 wOBA).
Catcher: Blech … Sal Perez ($3,500) is here again for his matchup with Holland … Someone’s gonna homer off Kyle Gibson. Maybe Stephen Vogt ($3,300)? … Jason Castro ($2,800) comes at a good price against the shaky Jharel Cotton.
First base: Hanley Ramirez ($5,000) will face a pitcher TBD (at least as of 6 a.m. ET). The guy can’t be good, right? … Ryan Zimmerman ($4,700) faces the unimpressive Braden Shipley … Chris Davis ($4,200) has been horrible lately, but his matchup with Kyle Kendrick makes him a good HR threat … Albert Pujols ($4,100) vs. Miranda? Yep … Jefry Marte ($3,300) should fill his side of the Angels’ 1B platoon vs. Miranda … Justin Bour ($3,200) is all or nothing, and that’s OK for tournaments.
Second base: I prefer Robinson Cano ($4,600) to Daniel Murphy ($4,800) at the top end … Dustin Pedroia ($4,300) will lead off against Baltimore’s emergency starter … Colorado’s Kyle Freeland isn’t very good, but he keeps the ball on the ground, thereby suppressing home runs. Still, I like Yangervis Solarte ($3,500) in this matchup … Jed Lowrie ($2,900): Still boring, but cheap and batting high in the order against a bad pitcher in Kyle Gibson.
Third base: If the Red Sox stop throwing at Manny Machado ($5,100), he has a decent chance for a good game … With Anaheim SP Alex Meyer having blowup potential, Kyle Seager ($4,300) is in a good spot … Miguel Sano ($4,400) didn’t homer on Wednesday? He’s due! … Anthony Rendon ($4,000) has the juicy matchup with Shipley … San Diego’s Ryan Schimpf ($3,600) has homered in four of his last seven games … Escobar is mentioned above … Marwin Gonzalez ($3,000) has five homers in his last five games, and faces Griffin.
Shortstop: Trea Turner ($5,100) will cost you, but he’s a terrific play … So is Jean Segura ($4,600) vs. Meyer … Most of the other shortstops I like are rainout threats … If you want to save money, maybe Andrelton Simmons ($3,300) vs. Miranda.
Outfield: Trout > Harper at the top end … George Springer ($4,500) could feast on A.J. Griffin, who has allowed 1.66 homers per nine innings in his career … Khris Davis ($4,000) is a strong tournament consideration vs. the awful Gibson … Lorenzo Cain ($3,900) has a .354 career wOBA vs. LHP, and faces Holland … Seth Smith ($3,700) should lead off for the O’s vs. Kendrick … Josh Reddick is in a good spot vs. Griffin … Speedy Manuel Margot ($3,400) has 37 DK points over his last three games, and faces Freeland … Ben Gamel ($3,000) will be second in the Seattle order vs. Meyer. He doesn’t have much power, but looking for a hit and a steal seems reasonable here … If you don’t use Kennedy at SP, the red-hot Avisail Garcia ($3,200) is in play … Joyce is mentioned above.