Here are your top guys to target on Wednesday afternoon’s four-game early slate.
Justin Verlander – HOU vs. TEX – $13,600 – Verlander is the clear-cut stud on this small slate, priced more than $5K higher than the next most expensive pitcher. The ace has topped 25 DKFP in each of his last five starts, going for 30+ in four of them (averaging 32 DKFP over the span). Playing in Arlington isn’t ideal, but Verlander recently dropped 31.1 DKFP in Colorado, so the park doesn’t concern me. Verlander’s got his stuff going right now.
Other Options – Jon Gray $8,000
Jeff Samardzija – SF vs. ARI – $7,100 – There’s a huge pitching drop off on this slate, which makes picking a second pitcher behind Verlander an interesting process. Samardzija comes with a lot of risk as he’s had some poor efforts this season. He also scored 22.4 DKFP against Arizona two weeks ago, proving he can handle this lineup (although it was in San Francisco). Given the other options, Samardzija makes sense.
Other Options – Nick Martinez $5,200
Evan Gattis – HOU vs. TEX – $3,700 – Gattis has been on fire lately, scoring 10+ DKFP in four straight. Nick Martinez is nothing special on the mound for Texas, so I’m looking for the slugger’s hot streak to continue. If Gattis sits, or you just want to utilize an opposite hand matchup, McCann is another fantastic option listed below.
Other Options – Brian McCann $3,400
Chris Herrmann – ARI vs. SF – $3,100 – Herrmann should be in the lineup today to get a LHB going up against Samardzija. The catcher has produced against him in the past, going 6-for-16 with three extra-base hits. With limited options, $3,100 qualifies as paying down on this slate.
Other Options – Bruce Maxwell $2,900
Paul Goldschmidt – ARI vs. SF – $5,600 – With a lot of nice first base options at Coors Field, paying up for Goldy is almost a contrarian move. But he’s crushed it at home this year and is having an amazing season overall — .305/36/120. He’s been solid against Samardzija in his career, going 8-for-32 with two doubles and a bomb. Bour is cheaper and finds himself in an opposite hand matchup at Coors, though, so it’s easy to see the appeal.
Other Options – Justin Bour $4,900
Mark Reynolds – COL vs. MIA – $3,700 – If you want to save nearly two grand off Goldy’s salary, then look no further than Reynolds. LHP Adam Conley gets smashed by RHB, allowing two-thirds of his homers from that side of the plate. Reynolds is about as cheap as you can find exposure to Coors and comes with huge home run upside.
Other Options – Yonder Alonso $3,300
DJ LeMahieu – COL vs. MIA – $4,700 – LeMahieu is in a similar spot to the rest of the Colorado RHBs — at the best hitters park against a LHP that isn’t very good. Feels like overkill, but it’s worth the reminder. If you’re looking to fade Coors, Cano is a good way to do that and is 6-for-19 in an opposite hand matchup against Kendall Graveman with a home run and three doubles.
Other Options – Dee Gordon $4,400, Robinson Cano $4,300
Jed Lowrie – OAK vs. SEA – $3,400 – Lowrie’s been killing it lately, averaging over 10 DKFP in his last 10 games. That type of production typically doesn’t come close to this cheap. Look for the switch-hitter to take advantage of his matchup with Erasmo Ramirez, whom he is 4-for-13 with a double against in his career. Paying down at second base for Lowrie specifically could be the best way to differentiate yourself on this small slate without making a real sacrifice.
Other Options – Joe Panik $3,400
Nolan Arenado – COL vs. MIA – $5,500 – Same old, same old. Arenado will get the chance to tee off on Conley at Coors. After homering last night, Arenado is $1,200 more expensive than any other third base option. In just four at-bats against Conley, Arenado has managed to take him deep twice. If you can’t pay all the way up, Lamb is also a great option at home and has success in this matchup.
Other Options – Jake Lamb $4,100
Pablo Sandoval – SF vs. ARI – $3,300 – I’d suggest paying up at third base, but if you don’t, consider the Panda here. Pablo is averaging 9.3 DKFP over his last seven games and will be hitting in the heart of the order against a poor pitcher (Braden Shipley) in a hitter’s ballpark (Arizona). Dietrich is also a way to get some cheap exposure to Coors and had a good game there last night.
Other Options – Derek Dietrich $3,800
Carlos Correa – HOU vs. TEX – $4,700 – The Astros have three fantastic SS options that have been on fire lately. The good part is, if you want to stack them, you can thanks to dual position eligibility for Gonzalez and Bregman. Houston’s been dominant in Arlington so far, putting up 25 runs in two games. All three of these guys have been a huge part of that and should continue to be against Nick Martinez.
Other Options – Marwin Gonzalez $4,400, Alex Bregman $4,300
Brandon Crawford – SF vs. ARI – $3,500 – Similar to Sandoval, Crawford is a cheap opposite hand matchup in the middle of the order against poor pitching. Shipley has a 5.40 ERA and is allowing a .303 batting average to opponents in just 21.2 innings pitched this season.
Other Options – Trevor Story $3,900
J.D. Martinez – ARI vs. SF – $5,600 – Martinez is arguably the hottest hitter on this short slate, but that’s still saying something given many of the names. He’s homered in four of his last five games, totaling 10 hits in that span and averaging 20.4 DKFP. After Verlander, I’m looking here to start a lineup.
Other Options – Charlie Blackmon $5,600, Giancarlo Stanton $5,600, George Springer $5,100, Marwin Gonzalez $4,400
Nelson Cruz – SEA vs. OAK – $4,200 – Cruz is a bit more expensive than your typical value, but he’s too underpriced not to mention. There are some cheaper options listed for you below if you can’t afford him. Cruz has been cruising along per usual of late, averaging 9.6 DKFP over his last 10. Usually, production like that is more expensive. Factor in that he’s 12-for-19 in his career against Graveman with three extra-base hits and a dinger, and it’s tough to pass him up.
Other Options – Daniel Descalso $3,700, Hunter Pence $3,800, Matt Joyce $3,400, Ian Desmond $4,100
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with comments or questions: @julianedlow.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.