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

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Tonight on DraftKings we have an 11-game featured fantasy baseball slate. That’s really all I have to say about it in a general sense, so, instead, I’m going to just list off some Bartolo Colon ($4,100) facts. Since the moment he turned 40, Colon has surrendered 128 home runs — just seven fewer than Clayton Kershaw has allowed for his entire career. Colon appeared in his first MLB game exactly 260 days after Jaime Barria ($6,300), the youngest pitcher starting this evening, was born. Finally, only two active pitchers have thrown more than 3,000 career innings: Colon and CC Sabathia. The pair’s totals are within five frames of each other.

There you go. Hopefully you learned something. Will it help with playing DFS tonight? Goodness, no. However, the following should…

PITCHER

Stud

Chris Sale, $13,000, BOS vs. TEX It’s a little uncommon to have a slate this large on a Wednesday, yet that fact works to our advantage this evening in regards to Sale. If not for the presence of Jacob deGrom ($12,000) and Lance McCullers ($11,000), it’s likely we’d see the lanky lefty up closer to the $14,000 he cost last Friday as opposed to this $1,000 discount. I’m just not sure how you can avoid him in this spot. Not only has Sale struck out 47.5 percent of the batters he’s faced over his past four starts, but he’s going up against the team that leads the league in left-on-left plate appearances (477). LHBs are slugging .205 off the 29-year-old in 2018 with Sale maintaining a 1.10 FIP within the split, in case you were wondering. Pay up. You’ll figure out the rest. Other Options — Jacob deGrom ($12,000), Kenta Maeda ($9,300)

Value

Luke Weaver, $7,700, STL at CWS Weaver has done little aside from disappoint so far in his sophomore season; however, he is coming off a fantastic eight-inning showing against the Giants in his most recent outing. Now, sure, San Francisco isn’t exactly Boston when it comes to offensive potency, but neither are the White Sox. Chicago consistently raises the ceiling of DFS options, leading the league in strikeout rate (25.6 percent), chase rate (34.6 percent) and swinging strike rate (12.5 percent). They also don’t present much in the way of fearsome left-handed opposition — a key with Weaver considering his 5.21 FIP versus LHBs is much uglier than his 3.13 mark against righties in 2018. The White Sox’ only two left-handers with an ISO above .200 when facing RHPs are Yoan Moncada ($4,200) and Daniel Palka ($3,600) and both have gone down on strikes over 35 percent of the time in those matchups. Looks like a pretty good spot to me.

Other Option — Marco Gonzales ($7,000)


CATCHER

Value

Alex Avila, $3,300, ARI at COL There’s no sugar-coating it, Avila’s been terrible in a D-Backs uniform. He also only recently returned from the DL, though the one start he’s made involved a home run, two singles and a walk. Anyway, this is obviously more about Coors Field than anything else — a place that has caused German Marquez ($5,100) nightmares all year long. Specific to LHBs, Marquez has allowed a .465 wOBA off him when he’s forced to pitch in the altitude — a big part of that figure being the 2.70 home runs per nine he’s surrendered within the split. Woof.

Other Option — Austin Barnes ($2,700)


FIRST BASE

Stud

Freddie Freeman, $5,200, ATL vs. TOR While everyone else is trying to figure out which Brewer they’re using, just spend a little extra for Freeman. Here’s all you need to know about this matchup: Freeman has a 47.3 percent hard contact rate off right-handed pitchers this season. That’s important because he’ll be making contact off of Sam Gaviglio ($5,200). Gaviglio has struck out only 15.8 percent of the LHBs he’s faced across his 52 innings in 2018 and, overall, he’s got a 92.6 percent zone contact rate. If he had the volume to qualify, that would be the second-highest number in baseball. Other Options — Eric Thames ($4,700), Joey Votto ($4,400)

Value

Ryon Healy, $3,500, SEA at LAA Over his past 27 games, a span of 110 plate appearances, Healy has been seeing the ball quite well, in that he’s been seeing the ball go over the fence. In that time, Healy has a 44.6 percent fly ball rate, a .276 ISO, and, simply, nine home runs. Tonight that number grows to the double-digits. Jaime Barria ($6,300) has severe reverse splits. So severe, he’s given up a massive 2.20 long balls per nine to RHBs across the 12 starts of his rookie campaign. Healy’s in a great spot.

Other Option — Yonder Alonso ($3,800)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Scooter Gennett, $4,400, CIN at CLE There’s a pair of things that should keep Gennett’s ownership low enough this evening to make him a fantastic GPP play. First, Carlos Carrasco ($9,500) is still just a pretty good pitcher. Second, people don’t consider Progressive Field to be within the same conversation as Great American when it comes to hitter’s parks. This is a mistake. According to Baseball Prospectus, Cleveland has the American League’s second-highest runs factor for LHBs, trailing only Angel Stadium. With that in mind, it’s not exactly shocking to see that Carrasco’s allowed the 82 left-handed bats he’s seen in his home starts to hit to a .399 wOBA. Don’t let the matchup scare you. Ride with Gennett tonight.

Value

Jason Kipnis, $3,700, CLE vs. CIN I mean, simply look above for justification that playing lefties at Progressive is a good idea. Plus, when it comes to Tyler Mahle ($6,800), his kryptonite is rather clear. LHBs have managed a .396 wOBA off the young righty so far this season — the highest mark for lefties versus any qualified pitcher. It’s not just a Great American thing, either. Left-handers have a .371 wOBA against Mahle when the 23-year-old is throwing away from Cincinnati.

Other Options — Brad Miller ($3,500), Neil Walker ($3,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Jake Lamb, $4,700, ARI at COL Lamb has a 44.6 percent hard contact rate against right-handed pitching in 2018. He possess a .350 wOBA versus RHPs when he is lucky enough to get on the road and escape the new humidor in Chase Field. Still, even with all those stats presented, it bares repeating Marquez is allowing LHBs to hit to a .465 wOBA at Coors this year. That’s a number that kills hyperbole. There’s honestly no way I could exaggerate his struggles. Other Options — Jose Ramirez ($5,700), Nolan Arenado ($5,600)

Value

Daniel Descalso, $3,900, ARI at COL Seriously, I’m not sure how else I can explain how vital it is that you attack Marquez with left-handed bats. Do you want me to write a poem. OK. Here’s an instruction-based Haiku:

Marquez at Coors Field

Left-handed bats at Coors Field

Home runs incoming

Other Option — Jedd Gyorko ($3,600)


SHORTSTOP

Stud

Xander Bogaerts, $5,000, BOS vs. TEX There appears to be no situation that Bogaerts enjoys more than facing a right-handed pitcher at Fenway Park. Over 102 plate appearances this season, the 25-year-old has a .301 ISO and .401 wOBA under those exact circumstances. So, with Bartolo Colon ($4,100) on the mound tonight for Texas, a man who has a stunningly high 6.11 FIP against RHBs despite walking just 1.7 percent of the ones he’s faced, this is the time to unleash Xander. Stacking the Red Sox is an expensive feat and likely one done without being able to use Sale, but if that’s a path you choose to take, Bogaerts will be accompanying you. Other Options — Francisco Lindor ($5,700), Didi Gregorius ($4,700)

Value

Kiké Hernandez, $3,500, LAD at SD – Joey Lucchesi ($7,500) has surrendered only two runs over his past three outings, but none of those contests were against the scorching-hot Dodgers and Hernandez. By this point in the season, we’re all surely well aware of Hernandez’s exploits versus left-handed pitching, yet, for the uninformed, just know that he’s an extreme fly ball hitter with 10 extra-base hit in 110 at-bats within the split. Lucchesi, who has given up 1.79 home runs per nine to RHBs, should be advised to proceed with caution against Hernandez.

Other Option — Paul DeJong ($3,900)


OUTFIELD

Stud

J.D. Martinez, $5,600, BOS vs. TEX Martinez has more home runs against just right-handed pitching (24) than all but four players have in total this season. If it seems like playing a man with a .482 ISO at home versus RHPs is too good to be true, you’re wrong, it’s staring you right in the face. Colon leads baseball in zone contact rate. Colon leads baseball in long balls surrendered to right-handed batters per nine. What more do I need to say? Other Options — Mookie Betts ($6,000), David Peralta ($5,200)

Value

Gerardo Parra, $3,900, COL vs. ARI We’ve spent so much time addressing how awful Marquez will be tonight that we’ve completely ignored how terrible Shelby Miller ($4,500) has been since coming off the DL. Miller has allowed a 61.4 percent hard contact rate, with a whopping 54.5 percent of his batted ball events exceeding 95 mph. That’s a dangerous formula when pitching at Coors Field. Specific to LHBs, Miller not only has surrendered more hard contact (66.7 percent), but the launch angles have been far more menacing. While Miller has maintained at least a modicum of respect holding RHBs to a 2.80 GB/FB ratio in 2018, that number jumps to 0.89 when he faces a lefty. As someone with the ability to bat from the left side, Parra is definitely in play on this slate.

Other Options — Jesse Winker ($3,800), Brandon Nimmo ($3,700)


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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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