Thursday afternoon brings us a five-game slate of baseball. Let’s jump right into my favorite targets for today, and, as always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
Tanner Roark – WAS vs. PIT – $8,900 – I’m not a big fan of the matchup for either Jon Lester or Dylan Bundy, so Roark against the Pirates is my top pick for this afternoon. Roark will face off against one of the worst offenses in the league, as this Pirates team owns a .308 wOBA at home with a .380 SLG. They don’t strikeout a ton, which certainly doesn’t help Roark’s upside, but Roark feels the safest of the three.
Other Options – Amir Garrett ($7,000)
Ervin Santana – MIN vs. COL – $7,400 – After a rainout yesterday, Santana will take the ball for Game 1 of this day-night doubleheader. Santana bounced back nicely in his last start against the Indians, scoring 23.6 DK fantasy points by pitching seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and a 4:5 K:BB ratio. Santana has been great at home this season, averaging 22.9 FPPG with a .224 wOBA and a .278 SLG. Even if this matchup isn’t the most ideal, Santana is simply too cheap for his production.
UPDATE: Jonathan Lucroy is NOT in the lineup today against the Phillies. Robinson Chirinos will start at C and bat clean-up.
Jonathan Lucroy – TEX vs. PHI – $3,900 – It looks as if Lucroy is finally starting to hit again, averaging 7.2 FPPG over his last 10 games. Today he’ll face Nick Pivetta, who in 14.2 innings this season has allowed five home runs to right-handed batters with a .500 wOBA. This certainly won’t be the last Ranger you see on this list today.
Other Options Matt Wieters ($3,500)
UPDATE: Welington Castillo is NOT in the lineup today against the Phillies. Caleb Joseph will start at C and bat eighth.
Welington Castillo – BAL vs. DET – $3,500 – Castillo is back in the Orioles’ lineup and certainly made his presence known the other night against the Tigers. In his return on Tuesday, Castillo went 3-6 with two RBI and two runs scored for 19 DK fantasy points. Today he’ll face Jordan Zimmermann, who has allowed a .406 wOBA to righties with five of his nine total home runs.
Other Options – Alex Avila ($3,000)
Chris Davis – BAL vs. DET – $4,600 – Home runs have certainly been a problem for Zimmermann, as he’s allowed nine on the young 2017 season. He’s mostly taken care of lefties at home this season, holding them to a .262 wOBA, but his four home runs to lefties give me hope for this matchup. Davis has hit six of his eight home runs on the road and has a .404 wOBA on the road against righties.
Other Options – Mike Napoli ($4,100)
Tommy Joseph – PHI vs. TEX – $3,800 – Joseph bats cleanup for the Phillies and will take on Martin Perez this afternoon. Aside from his shaky control (19 BB to RHB), Perez is allowing a .428 wOBA to righties at home this season. Perez has allowed only three home runs this season, but Joseph has hit four of his five off of a lefty. For his batting order and price, Joseph is a nice value today.
Other Options – Trey Mancini ($3,500)
Daniel Murphy – WAS vs. PIT – $4,700 – Left-handed batters have been hitting Tyler Glasnow extremely hard this season, but then again, who hasn’t? Lefties own a .425 wOBA against him with a .544 SLG and a .443 OBP. Murphy continues to crush it at the plate, owner of a .422 wOBA on the road against righties with a .615 SLG.
Other Options – Rougned Odor ($4,100)
Jonathan Schoop – BAL vs. DET – $3,400 – Ah yes, picking on Zimmermann once again. Schoop provides some pop at a low price today, as he has five home runs this season with a .472 SLG. He usually lands sixth in the batting order, which could put him at a lower ownership today, especially with players using the 1-5 Baltimore stack. Schoop owns a .413 wOBA on the road against righties this season.
Other Options – Ian Kinsler ($3,900)
Kris Bryant – CHC vs. CIN – $5,300 – It’s no secret that Bryant hits left-handed pitching well, although he has struggled a bit in that aspect at home. Granted, he still has a .374 wOBA against them at Wrigley, it’s his overall .557 wOBA that has me intrigued. Garrett is an option for me today at pitcher, but it’s hard to deny that Bryant could give him some troubles.
Other Options – Joey Gallo ($4,200)
Eugenio Suarez – CIN vs. CHC – $3.600 – Lester is the big favorite today, but I’ll admit, I’m not on board with it. This Reds club hits well on the road and against left-handed pitching. Suarez is a big reason for that, owning a .535 wOBA against lefties on the road with a .800 SLG and a .500 SLG. Overall against lefties, Suarez has a .402 wOBA with a .538 SLG.
Other Options – Nicholas Castellanos ($3,600)
Trea Turner – WAS vs. PIT – $4,800 – You (hopefully) get what you pay for when it comes to a hitter and Turner has continued to deliver. Averaging 10.2 FPPG on the road, Turner owns a .362 wOBA on the road against righties with a .527 SLG. With the struggles that Glasnow has endured all season long, it’s hard not to like the Nationals’ leadoff hitter.
Other Options – Elvis Andrus ($4,000)
Zack Cozart – CIN vs. CHC – $3,700 – Cozart is another Reds batter that hits well against left-handed pitching. Coming into today, Cozart sports a .439 wOBA against lefties on the road with a .500 SLG and a .500 OBP. I imagine the Reds will be unpopular this afternoon, so if they can hit Lester, you could really benefit in the standings.
Other Options – Javier Baez ($3,600)
Mark Trumbo – BAL vs. DET – $4,300 – If we’re targeting Zimmermann because of his home run tendencies, it makes sense to get Trumbo in our lineup. He’s in the middle of a hot streak right now, averaging 10 FPPG over his last 10 games with three home runs. As I’ve mentioned many times today, Zimmermann is not only having trouble getting players out but keeping the ball in the yard as well.
Other Options – Bryce Harper ($5,600), Aaron Altherr ($4,200)
Adam Duvall – CIN vs. CHC – ($3,800) – Only $3,800 for Duvall and his crushing numbers against left-handed pitching feels too cheap. Duvall enters this matchup with a .518 wOBA against lefties overall with a .813 SLG and a .444 OBP. Of his nine home runs on the season, Duvall has hit four of them against lefties. If Lester somehow pitches a good game this afternoon, I’ll take solace knowing the stats showed how well this Reds team could and should hit lefties.
Other Options – Seth Smith ($3,600) Nomar Mazara ($4,200)
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.