Early Fantasy Baseball Picks: Top Targets, Values for July 11

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Wednesday afternoon brings a small, three-game slate of fantasy baseball. With a less-than-stellar pitching group to choose from, we’ll have to compensate with our hitters to make up the difference. Let’s jump right into the information and as always, you can reach me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.



Jordan Zimmermann, DET at TB, $9,500 — It’s a bit crazy to think Zimmermann would be my top option on a slate, yet, here we are. To his credit, since returning from the disabled list, Zimm has turned in some stellar outings, notably against the Blue Jays and Rangers. Since his return, he’s averaged 23 DFKP in four starts with a near-perfect 24:1 K:BB ratio. With this start taking place at Tropicana Park, he has yet another legitimate chance to be a real asset on the slate.


Lance Lynn, MIN vs. KC, $7,400 — Lynn is a shaky pitcher to target because of his inconsistent play, but on a slate like today, he’s someone to consider. His matchup against the Royals is a favorable one, as they continue to struggle at the plate. In their first meeting this year, Lynn tossed six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with a 5:3 K:BB ratio for 18.1 DKFP. His struggles against lefties is a concern, as his .381 wOBA and 5.73 FIP don’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Nonetheless, he has one of the better matchups of the afternoon.


Sal Perez, KC at MIN, $3,800 — Perez is one of the options in the Royals’ lineup that can be considered today; although, like the rest of the lineup, he’s struggling. While he’s been much stronger against righties, Lynn owns a .316 wOBA with a 3.46 FIP against them, allowing four of his eight home runs. Catcher is a tough spot to fill today, so Perez could end up on your lineup almost by default.

First Base


Matt Adams, WAS at PIT, $4,500 — I was surprised how expensive Adams is, as he jumps up $500 from yesterday. He’ll be taking on Trevor Williams ($7,100), who has scored less than 10 DKFP in six of his past 10 starts. Against lefties, Williams owns a .316 wOBA with a 5.18 FIP and six of his 12 home runs allowed on the year. Other Option — Mark Reynolds ($4,200)


Lucas Duda, KC at MIN, $3,900 — As one of the lefty bats who could cause some trouble for Lynn, Duda is a legitimate power threat at first base. Against righties, Duda owns a .351 wOBA with a .195 ISO and five of his seven home runs on the season. The issue could be getting his teammates on base prior to his turn at-bat, as the Royals own just a .293 OBP over the past two weeks.

Other Option — John Hicks ($3,900)

Second Base


Brian Dozier, MIN vs. KC, $4,400 — Dozier is starting to look like he finally is coming around at the plate, sporting a 10 DKFP average over his past 10 games, including three home runs. He’ll be taking on Royals starter Burch Smith ($5,200), who, through 38 1/3 innings in the bullpen, has allowed a .374 wOBA to righties with a 5.96 FIP and five of his eight home runs. Other Option — Daniel Murphy ($4,400)


Wilmer Difo, WAS at PIT, $3,100 — If you’re looking for a cheap second baseman, you’re going to be hard pressed to take one that’ll be worth it. Difo, although not the flashiest name, is likely where I’d go if needed. He doesn’t sport much power but does have a .330 OBP against righties. Believe me, it’s not an appealing pick by any means, but it’s an option.

Other Option — Josh Harrison ($3,800)

Third Base


Eduardo Escobar, MIN vs. KC, $4,700 — Escobar has come back down to Earth after a torrid start to the year. His numbers against righties remain stellar, as he enters today with a .389 wOBA and a .305 ISO against righties. As I mentioned, Smith has been a liability in the bullpen, so I’m not expecting this start to go smoothly. Against lefties, Smith has a .354 wOBA allowed with a 5.06 FIP on the year. Other Option — Mike Moustakas ($4,500)


Matt Duffy, TB vs. DET, $3,700 — Duffy doesn’t have much power to rely on, but he does get on base a ton, which makes him a viable option. Entering this afternoon, Duffy sports a .356 wOBA against righties with a 31% hard-hit rate. I do like this spot for Zimmermann, but Duffy is a decent play to save some salary if you need.

Other Option — Jeimer Candelario ($3,800)


Trea Turner, WAS at PIT, $5,200 — The shortstop position is a brutal place to fill your lineup, so Turner makes his way on the list by default. To his credit, he’s averaging 8.9 DKFP over his past 10 games in the midst of a productive month of July. On the road against righties has been a very good matchup for Turner this season, as he owns a .357 wOBA with a .161 ISO and a 37 percent hard-hit rate in the split. With the Nationals projected at 4.5 runs, despite being knocked to sixth in the order.

Other Option — Eduardo Escobar ($4,700)



Eddie Rosario, MIN vs. KC, $5,000 — Rosario might be struggling right now, but that’s nothing a matchup with Smith can’t cure. I mentioned the poor numbers Smith has against lefties, so we can focus on Rosario and his .396 wOBA against righties with a .295 ISO and a 39 percent hard-hit rate. Of his 18 home runs, 15 have come against righties. Rosario is one of my favorite plays in a game that has the Twins tagged with a 5.5 run projection. Other Options — Bryce Harper ($5,300), Starling Marte ($5,200)


Jake Cave, MIN vs. KC, $3,200 — Hey, what’s one more Twin to put in your lineup, right? Cave has seen limited action this season but has provided some decent pop when he’s in. Against righties, Cave sports a .327 wOBA with a .173 ISO and a 35 percent hard-hit rate. If you’re making a Twins stack, Cave likely will be left off the majority of them, as he bats near the bottom of the order. While it’s not ideal, you likely grab some much-needed low ownership, which will help on a small slate like today.

Other Options — Alex Gordon ($3,300), Ji-Man Choi ($3,700)

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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