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 10-game 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.
The day’s biggest favorite is Brandon McCarthy ($8.600) at minus-186 over the Pirates … The highest projected non-Coors run total is 8.5 for four other contests. On the low end, Giants-Mets (Moore-deGrom) checks in at 7.5 … Watch out for the Denver weather, as there’s a 70 percent chance of thunderstorms during the first two hours of the game, per weather.com.
Bryce Harper (groin) hopes to return to the lineup tomight … Ditto for Mike Trout (hamstring) … Marlins 3B Martin Prado left Sunday’s game with a hamstring issue … Dexter Fowler (shoulder) is TBD for tonight.
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Corey Seager ($4,400) is an outstanding play against Pirates rookie Trevor Williams, who has never done anything to suggest that he’ll be even a decent big-league pitcher. The inexpensive SS alternatives are bad, and those higher-priced aren’t great options (see Trea Turner note below).
Cash: At this point, it’s a joke that A’s 1B Yonder Alonso ($2,800) has such a low salary, seeing as how he has nine homers with 24 RBI. A matchup with Ricky Nolasco is icing on the cake.
Tournaments: Have we told you that Wilmer Flores ($3,100) kills lefties? Of course we have. Matt Moore comes to Queens to face the Mets, and Flores is eligible at 1B/3B.
Stan SzetoStan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
See note below about the Cubs and Yankees. The Nationals look strong vs. Gausman, as do the Dodgers against Williams. If you want to pivot, maybe look to the Padres due to their matchup with Nick Martinez.
USA TODAY SportsKelvin Kuo
The Guys to Avoid
Does it make sense that the Yankees’ and Cubs’ hitters will be exhausted after their 18-inning game followed by an early morning flight to a different city? Yes. Are we guessing? Of course. It’s not like they’re unplayable, but the matchups suggest you should be all-in on both, and the long night at Wrigley could have an impact that makes me wary.
Position notes & suggestions
Starting pitcher: Jacob deGrom ($10,800) is the chalk against a subpar Giants’ lineup … Masahiro Tanaka ($9,100) comes off his preferred five days of rest, but the Reds are no pushover … In Jake Arrieta’s only Coors Field start (2014), he allowed 13 hits and nine runs in four innings … The Orioles whiff more than anyone against southpaws, and they’ll face Gio Gonzalez ($8,700), who has 19 or more DK points in five of his six starts … The Vegas odds suggest Brandon McCarthy ($8,600) against a Pirates’ squad that doesn’t hit too well (.301 wOBA vs. RHP) but doesn’t strike out too much … Trevor Cahill ($7,600) has reached cash game viability, and he faces the Rangers at home … Blake Snell ($7,400) faces a Royals’ squad that is THE worst vs. LHP (.231 wOBA). He’s been walking a lot of guys, so I wouldn’t trust him in cash games … The Cardinals rank 27th in wOBA vs. LHP, so there’s an argument for Adam Conley ($6,400).
Catcher: Gary Sanchez ($4,800) didn’t start Sunday against the Cubs, but got a few at bats … Look for Willson Contreras to get tonight off after catching 18 innings. Miguel Montero ($4,200) would get the start in his place at Coors … Yasmani Grandal ($3,400) vs. Pirates’ rookie Trevor Williams is the best play at this position … Since everyone is a HR threat vs. Ricky Nolasco, then Stephen Vogt ($3,100) is playable.
First base: Ryan Zimmerman ($4,700) has nine double-digit DK games in a row, and faces the awful Gausman … Cody Bellinger ($3,600) is a monster, huh? Great matchup with Williams, too … You’ve got some nice, cheap options here today, including Luis Valbuena ($3,400) along with Flores and Alonso.
Second base: Daniel Murphy ($4,900) is expensive, but a very nice play … If you don’t agree with my fade-Yankee logic, then Starlin Castro ($3,900) is in a great spot vs. Rookie Davis … Jedd Gyorko ($3,800) is averaging a healthy 8.8 DK ppg, and faces Conley (6.12 ERA) … Yangervis Solarte ($3,600) is in the same price range vs. Nick Martinez. I prefer Gyorko, but Solarte isn’t bad.
Third base: Nolan Arenado ($5,300) is my premium-priced preference over Bryant and Machado … Anthony Rendon ($4,400) is a better value vs. Gausman … Justin Turner ($3,600), still underrated … Flores and Valbuena fit here as well … Oakland’s streaky Ryon Healy ($3,300) has homered in three straight games, and faces the very homer-y Nolasco.
Shortstop: Trea Turner ($5,200) will depend on how much you spend elsewhere. Did you know that he has all 13 of his RBI and 15 of his 24 runs scored on the road? …. Corey Seager ($4,400) is an outstanding play … Aledmys Diaz ($3,900) looks solid vs. Conley … Below this price point, the pickings are slim. You should pay at SS today.
Outfield: With Trout and Harper not entirely certain to play, look to Charlie Blackmon ($5,200) if you want to spend and can’t make a late swap … Jayson Werth ($4,100) looks pretty good batting second vs. Gausman … Khris Davis ($3,800) looks great vs. Nolasco for his price … If you don’t use Snell, Lorenzo Cain ($3,600) has a pretty good track record vs. LHP (.355 career wOBA) … Bellinger fits here, too … Royals SP Nathan Karns has a heavy ground-ball rate, but has also allowed six homers in 29 innings so far. Corey Dickerson ($3,500) is an all-or-nothing option … Kevin Pillar’s price ($3,200) is too low for his matchup with Trevor Bauer (7.67 ERA, 6 HR in 27 IP) … Andrew Toles ($3,000) leading off vs. Williams is a good value.
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