Today’s slate has a little confusing spin to it, as the Mets and Pirates are playing in a doubleheader, and DraftKings added the first game to the main slate, yet made the contests starting time at 7:05 PM. The company has sent out a notice that the 4pm game listed in the contests will not be in play, and they have marked the game as postponed. Just to be clear, that game is not postponed, but it will be treated as such. DO NOT USE ANY PIRATES OR METS PLAYERS. THEIR 2ND GAME IS ALSO NOT ON THE MAIN SLATE.
I REPEAT, WITH MORE CAPS LOCK, DO NOT PLAY ANY PIRATES OR METS PLAYERS.
Let’s get into the the 14 other games tonight…
Pitching tonight lacks optimal options, thus mediocre pitchers like Joe Ross ($9,700) and Kyle Hendricks ($10,800) have been priced up greatly. Hendricks is coming off back to back solid outings, and tonight’s opponent, Philadelphia, has the 3rd worst OPS (on base plus slugging %) in the entire league. With all of that being said, Hendricks has a history of being on a strict pitches limit, so it’s hard to project him for more than 6, maybe 7, innings. Joe Ross is fine. He’s a very reliable young arm that gets a White Sox team that surprisingly struggles to hit versus righties (4th worst OPS in the MLB). The issue here is the price tag. At nearly $10,000, you typically want a pitcher with upside, and Joe Ross doesn’t offer much due to his low strikeout percentage. So, considering the price tags with these two pitchers that I normally would recommend given their matchups, I think it’s best to fade them tonight.
The top option tonight is Zack Greinke, and I don’t think it’s very close. Tampa Bay has the 4th most strikeouts versus right-handed pitchers, and they are without a DH tonight in an NL park. Greinke’s home/road splits suggest that he struggles at home, but I believe a lot of that just has to do with some miserable starts to begin the year, and the venue wouldn’t have changed that very much. Greinke is looking like the ace we thought he was as of late, and yeah, he’s the safest option tonight.
For tournaments/GPPs, I like Aaron Sanchez tonight versus the Detroit Tigers. Yes, the Tigers have a scary lineups full of power and talent, but they have had a tough start to the year. They are starting to heat up as of late, but they still are 9th in strikeouts against right handed pitching. Sanchez’s career stats are pretty telling. In 101 innings, righties are batting .175 with 1 HR. Versus lefties? 90 innings, .245, and 14 HRs. The Tigers’ sluggers are almost, if not all, right handed.
The mid/low tier has some interesting options, yet their isn’t anything I feel great about. It’s a night for GPP/tournaments in my opinion, so if you are a cash game player strictly, I advise you to take the night off. Lefty Adam Conley at Minnesota is an interesting option. The Twins have been struggling this year, and a team that used to be a sneaky team to stack versus left handed pitching has really disappointed. Sean Manaea, another young lefty, gets to face the Brewers. Milwaukee is a team to target when facing against right handed pitching, so suggesting a rookie lefty pitcher that has really struggled thus far is risky, but the Brew Crew still strikes out enough to even lefties, so Manaea is a viable GPP option.
Why is Michael Pineda only $6,000? Yes, the Angels do not strike out versus righties. Yes, the Angels have been playing well as of late. Yes, Yankees stadium is cruel to pitchers, especially ones that give up home runs like Pineda. But people, Pineda may not be the player we thought he would be, but he’s not $6,000 bad. I’m not saying he’s going to go out there and make the Angels look like a minor league squad, but this has to be my SP2 in cash games tonight (if I play them (of course I’m playing them, I’m a degenerate)).
My favorite GPP pitcher tonight is Julio Urias versus the Rockies. This 19 year old left hander is said to be one of the two best prospects currently in the minors, but his first couple of starts have been poor. This is why I’m so excited to use him tonight. Colorado has the 3rd most strikeouts to left handed pitching this year, and the Rockies away from Coors Field are not the offense they appear to be. The first two outings for Urias should scare away enough people so you can use him at a low ownership percentage.
Zack Greinke $11,900, Aaron Sanchez $10,500
Adam Conley $7,600, Sean Manaea $6,500, Michael Pineda $6,000, Julio Urias $5,900
Don’t be temped to pay up for Sal Perez and Jonathan Lucroy. I know, they seem like the only good plays at the position, but they are priced at a range of someone like Kris Bryant. It’s not worth it in cash games, unless you went cheap with both of your pitchers.
The big news at the catcher position is that Evan Gattis is now available to play here. Gattis will instantly become a very popular play everyday in daily fantasy as catcher is, well, a miserable position. he gets a tough matchup with Cole Hamels tonight, but the platoon advantage is enough to keep him in play if you want to pay up at the position. Matt Wieters has been solid lately, so he’s an okay option, but I would advice to go Gattis or cheaper here tonight. Yasmani Grandal has been disappointed so far this year, but Eddie Butler is a pitcher you should target any time you can.
Yan Gomes, also disappointing thus far, is a guy you play against lefties like Wade Miley. Drew Butera will most likely not have a sexy position in the batting order, but he’s been hitting as of late. Boy, the catcher position is forever ugly.
To be honest, you can just wait for lineups to come out and pick a guy that is near minimum salary with either a platoon advantage or a solid lineup spot. It’s usually the way to go at the position throughout the year.
Evan Gattis $3,800, Matt Wieters $3,800, Yasmani Grandal $3,300
Yan Gomes $2,600, Drew Butera $2,600
Without many high priced pitchers to use, spending up at positions like this won’t be too difficult. David Ortiz is in San Francisco, so there is a chance he doesn’t play with no DH. If he does, you should feel fine paying up for him here. Paul Goldschmidt has yet to turn it on this year, but versus a leftie at home, he’s in play. Joey Votto is pretty good at baseball I hear, and at home versus a righty in Mike Leake, who has already given up 10 HRs this season, you can take him. The cheapest of the top options is Anthony Rizzo, who is being “priced down” because DraftKings appears to like their opponent Jerad Eickhoff. I don’t care for him much, and to price the Cubs’ bats down even just a little for him seems like a good opportunity to take advantage of.
Miguel Cabrera is $3,700. I don’t really care who Miggy is playing, even if he hasn’t been vintage Cabrera this season, this is too cheap. If you want to play the matchups, however, Alex Rodriguez and Adam Lind are two solid plays. Platoon advantages against bad pitchers. Yummy.
David Ortiz $5,400, Paul Goldschmidt $5,100, Joey Votto $4,700, Anthony Rizzo $4,700
Miguel Cabrera $3,700, Alex Rodriguez $3,500, Adam Lind $3,100
Robinson Cano is the lock of the night. Danny Salazar was expected to pitch for the Indians tonight, but he has been scratched. What does that mean? Seattle bats are priced down for Cody Anderson. There is no reason for you to go anywhere else at 2nd base tonight.
If you must go against the grain, paying up for Daniel Murphy is an interesting option. He’s very overpriced, but the man is batting over .380 on the year with 10 HRs and is in a hitter friendly park. Jose Altuve is always in play. Yangervis Solarte is a great option, but you can also use him at 3rd base. Same with Jurickson Profar, but at shortstop. Starlin Castro is a nice cheap option for Yankees stacks.
Daniel Murphy $5,300, Jose Altuve $5,100, Robinson Cano $4,100
Yangervis Solarte (3rd base) $3,600, Jurickson Profar (Shortstop) $3,400, Starlin Castro $3,100
Gah. There is just so many great options tonight. Where do you go? Nolan Arenado with the platoon advantage is always a great play. Josh Donaldson is a guy that I always take when he faces a lefty. Kris Bryant is on fire, and he’s got a decent matchup. Danny Valencia eats left handed pitching for breakfast (.421 average and 5 HRs in 41 plate appearances vs lefties in 2016). I can’t argue with any of these guys, but if you want to save a little you go Valencia. If you want to pay up, pick whoever. Honestly. I can’t advice one over the other.
If you just want to avoid all of these $4k options (don’t), Justin Turner has a nice matchup, and he’s a guy that has convincing reverse splits, meaning he actually hits same handed pitching better (for him, righties) than platoons (for him, lefties). He’s not hitting well of late, so it’s not like a sneaky option, however.
Nolan Arenado $5,200, Josh Donaldson $4,900, Kris Bryant $4,600, Danny Valencia $4,400
Justin Turner, $3,400
Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Eduardo Nunez all have platoon advantages with power upside at a position that doesn’t offer much for the long ball. I have written up a lot of Houston bats so far, so I must warn you that placing multiple Astros in your lineup against an elite pitcher like Cole Hamels is a bad idea. For this reason, I will have most of my exposure to Lindor and Nunez, but Correa cannot go unmentioned.
Aledmys Diaz is another greta option. Hm. Why did I just leave him out of the previously mentioned group? He has the platoon advantage in a great hitters park, and he also has power upside. I can make the argument he’s the top play at the positon tonight. You know what, he is. So there you go. He was mentioned by himself for that very reason.
Going back to the Seattle Mariners bats, Ketel Marte is $2,900 against Cody Anderson. he should be batting near the top of the order, and if that is the case, he’s a great value option. Practically a punt option (a term usually used for near minimum salary players) due to the savings you will have with the cheap pitching options.
Francisco Lindor $4,400, Carlos Correa $4,300, Eduardo Nunez (3rd base) $4,300, Aledmys Diaz $4,100
Ketel Marte $2,900
Too. Many. Plays. Let’s try to narrow these down, as finding value here tonight is 1. not easy and 2. not necessary. The struggle will be picking the right guys to pay up for. Jay Bruce and Adam Duvall has immense power upside against Mike Leake. I prefer Bruce tonight due to the platoon advantage. Ian Desmond gets a broken Dallas Keuchel. Kole Calhoun is a lefty in Yankees stadium, facing Pineda who is HR-prone. Marcel Ozuna and Dexter Fowler are cheaper options, and both have been stellar this season. Jose Bautista has been leading off for the Blue Jays and he has the platoon advantage. Those are the guys that stood out to me the most, but I left out other options as well. These are just the guys I’ll be using.
Randal Grichuk at $3,700 with the platoon advantage is a nice play. All of these St. Louis righties are mighty fine options, so feel free spending up for the others, but I’ll be seeking value here. Nelson Cruz is underpriced because of the previously mentioned Seattle Mariners situation. Seth Smith has been crushing righties, so he’s an optimal value play. Ryan Rua against a lefty. Yup. Trayce Thompson has been playing well and is now getting consistent playing time with Puig on the DL. Rajai Davis, platoon advantage.
Byron Buxton is back in the majors and has been batting 9th for the Twins. It’s not a place in the order you usually consider a player, but he has been good so far since returning. At $2,400, he will open doors for you to spend up at nearly every other roster spot tonight.
Jat Bruce $5,100, Ian Desmond $5,000, Adam Duvall $5,000, Kole Calhoun $5,000, Dexter Fowler $4,400, Marcel Ozuna $4,400, Jose Bautista $4,200
Randal Grichuk $3,700, Nelson Cruz $3,600, Ryan Rua (1st base) $3,600, Trayce Thompson $3,600, Rajai Davis $3,400, Seth Smith $3,100
Byron Buxton $2,400