We have a short three game slate going this afternoon to kick off your day of baseball. I’ll go over some of my favorite targets for today, and, as always, you get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Junior Guerra – MIL vs. SDP – $10,700 – Look, we all know Scherzer is going to be the most popular choice on this slate, so let’s talk about someone else I like: Junior Guerra. He’s quietly been putting together a solid 2016 campaign, entering this game with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.4. Guerra faces a Padres team that owns a .295 wOBA against righties with a .295 OBP, a .386 SLG and a 24.2 K%. Guerra has reached double-digit strikeouts just once this season with 11 against the Cubs. Aside from that, the highest Guerra has this season was eight against the Athletics. I don’t think Guerra will see his second double-digit strikeout game this season, but he is generating a decent amount of swings and misses lately, with an average of just under 12 per game in the month of July.
John Lackey – CHC vs. MIA – $9,300 – Lackey ends up here by default, as no one really impressive ends the list on this short slate. Edwin Jackson against the Brewers sounds like it could be an intriguing play, but with just three swinging strikes in his start against the Nationals and six against the Reds, I’ll happily pass. Lackey faces the Marlins for the second time this season, where he was shelled for seven runs in just 4.1 innings the first time around. His problem is keeping the ball in the park, as he’s allowed 17 home runs this season with seven of those at home. If he can limit the long ball, he should be in line for a decent start with a chance at the win.
Anthony Rizzo (OF) – CHC vs. MIA – $5,500 – Rizzo is always one of the top plays of any day and today is no different. He takes on Tom Koehler, who is allowing a .340 wOBA to lefties this season with five of his 10 home runs allowed. Koehler has done a good job at keeping the ball in the yard, but he did allow four home runs last month, the most in a month this season. With Rizzo averaging nine FPPG at home with 10 home runs, he’s always a great threat to do some damage, especially against a right-handed pitcher whom he owns a .422 wOBA against.
Ryan Braun (OF) – MIL vs. SDP – $4,900 – We haven’t seen a ton of Edwin Jackson this season, but the sample we do have, righties have been giving him a boatload of trouble. Coming into this start, Jackson is allowing a .406 wOBA against righties with a .582 SLG and two home runs in three starts. Braun has been great on the road against righties, owning a .391 wOBA with a .535 SLG. Oh, it also doesn’t hurt that Braun is averaging 11.2 FPPG over his last 10 games.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF)- MIA vs CHC – $4,500 – Earlier I mentioned that Lackey has been having issues with the home run ball, and he faces the Marlins this afternoon. So naturally, who does that make you think of? Stanton, of course. Stanton has nine home runs on the road against righties this season and is coming off the month of July that saw him hit seven home runs. As I said, Lackey allowed six home runs in the month of July and three since the All-Star break.
Hernan Perez (3B/OF) – MIL vs. SDP – $4,200 – Perez is destroying anything that is thrown to him right now, and you have to like his chances against Jackson. Over his last 10 games, Perez is averaging 12.8 FPPG as he’s 11-37 with a double, three home runs, nine RBIs, and six stolen bases. As I mentioned, Jackson has been getting lit up in the early going against righties, and Perez has to be a strong lineup consideration at this point.
Wilson Ramos (CATCH) – WAS vs. ARZ – $5,100 – Ramos is finally seeing a significant salary bump after being so cheap for so long this season. It’s certainly deserved, as Ramos is batting .330 with 15 home runs, 56 RBIs and averaging 8.1 FPPG. He takes on Zack Godley, who is allowing a .354 wOBA to righties with a .494 SLG with all three of his home runs allowed. Ramos has been fantastic on the road against righties, coming into this game with a .388 wOBA to go with a .536 SLG with five of his 16 home runs.
Chris Carter (1B) – MIL vs. SDP – $3,700 – I was on Carter yesterday and the same will apply today. Rostering Carter means you’re looking for a home run, and that’s it, anything else is just gravy. Carter has 25 home runs on the season with 16 of those off of a right-handed pitcher. Edwin Jackson has always had trouble with the long ball, so Carter will have a shot to take him deep.
Matin Prado (3B) – MIA vs. CHC – $3,600 – Prado is someone that is always left on the board on a nightly basis even though he is constantly getting on base. Prado owns a .373 OBP to go with a .325 wOBA on the road against righties. He isn’t a big power guy, but he’s averaging 10.5 FPPG over his last 10 games with five extra base hits and two of those being home runs.
Wilson Contreras (CATCH/OF) – CHC vs. MIA – $3,600 – I absolutely love the catcher/outfield eligibility as it gives you so many chances to get Contreras on your roster. The rookie has cooled off considerably as of late, but he is still hitting left-handed pitching well. On the short season for him, Contreras owns a .359 wOBA against lefties with a .465 SLG. At a cheap price and eligible at catcher and outfield, Contreras is a hard guy to leave on the board.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARZ vs. WAS – $3,500 We have a couple of factors here that would keep you off of Lamb and couple that makes him intriguing. First and foremost, Lamb is in the midst of a horrible slump, as he’s just five for his last 40 at bats, but he did go 2-4 last night with two RBIs. If you’re going to break out a slump, facing Schezer isn’t usually the way to do it. However, if Scherzer has struggled against anyone this season, it’s been lefties. It hasn’t been bad by any means, but a .311 wOBA to lefties compared to a .209 against righties is a difference. Scherzer has also allowed 22 home runs, splitting them evenly to both left and right-handed batters. If anyone has the potential to go deep in this game not named Paul Goldschmidt, it’s Lamb.
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.