As you finish your prep for your 4th of July extravaganza, don’t forget that this Wednesday night offers a jam-packed 14-game fantasy baseball slate at DraftKings with only the Marlins and Nationals absent from the 28-team player pool. The Tigers and White Sox will try to get in a doubleheader and Game 2 of that set is part of the main slate.
With so many options to choose from, there are plenty of ways to build your team for success this Wednesday. Whether you’re going with a big-name bat or paying up for an ace arm, you might find yourself tight on salary as you round out your roster. If you need to take a trip to the bargain bin, these are the top five players I like who have plenty of upside and affordable salaries.
SP ARIEL JURADO, TEX vs. LAA, $6,100The 23-year-old righty has shown some solid upside in eight starts this season and only had one really bad outing, in which he was knocked around by the Reds at Great American Ball Park. He bounced back from that start with a cleaner outing against the White Sox and then dazzled Detroit in his most recent outing. He held the Tigers to six hits in seven shutout innings, striking out four and finishing with 23 DKFP while getting his fifth win of the season.
Jurado had three straight starts with at least 17 DKFP before his disaster in Cincinnati and seems to have re-discovered that form in his most recent trip to the mound. He has been better at home than on the road this season and had a solid start against the Angels earlier this year, allowing two runs in 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision. After winning six straight, the Rangers have dropped three in a row, so they’ll be looking to Jurado as a stopper in this contest.
SP ROSS DETWILER, CWS vs. DET, $5,900Before joining the White Sox, Detwiler has bounced around spending time with the Nationals, Rangers, Braves, Indians, A’s and Mariners over his past four seasons in the Majors. Detwiler went 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA in eight starts in Triple-A with 35 strikeouts in 43 innings before getting the call-up last Friday.
Detwiler was solid in his first start of the season holding the Twins to two runs on six hits for 13.1 DKFP in a no-decision. He earned a second start with that outing and has a great matchup against the Tigers in the second game of the AL Central doubleheader. He’ll be going head-to-head with Tyler Alexander ($5,700), who has a 6.23 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in Triple-A this season. Even though Detwiler doesn’t typically pile up strikeouts, he should be able to limit the Tigers, eat some innings and have a good shot at a win, making him a great way to spend under $6K on an SP and stock your lineup with power bats.
OF JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ, STL at SEA, $3,300A notoriously streaky hitter, Martínez struggled for the first part of June but seemed to get into a nice rhythm after two games off in the middle of the Month. He returned to the lineup June 19 and has started 11 straight games since then, going 13-for-43 (.302) with a double, three home runs and a .883 OPS.
Martínez started July with a pair of home runs on Tuesday in Seattle for a massive 28 DKFP and will look to build on that strong showing as he faces his former teammate Mike Leake. Leake is tied for the Major League lead in home runs allowed, surrendering 23 gopher balls in his 17 starts this season. Martínez and the Cardinals have lost six of their past seven games and need to get back in gear to avoid falling further behind the Brewers and Cubs in the NL Central.
1B TYLER WHITE, HOU at COL, $3,300It has been a rough season so far for White, who hasn’t been able to step up despite all the injuries the Astros have been battling. He is hitting just .211 on the year with three home runs and a .650 OPS after hitting .275 with 12 homers and a .887 OPS in 66 games last season. However, he still makes sense if he’s in the starting lineup as a cheap way to get exposure to the Astros powerful lineup at Coors Field.
Houston will be taking on Peter Lambert ($5,300), who has a 6.57 ERA in five starts and a 9.95 ERA in three starts at home, where he has given up six homers and a .368 batting average against. Lambert is a great matchup to attack with any of Houston’s bats, but White is the only option that is available at a bargain rate.
2B/OF GARRETT HAMPSON, COL vs. HOU, $3,100With Trevor Story ($4,500) back from injury, Hampson no longer has a clear path to playing time, but he should still find his way into the lineup when the Rockies face left-handed starting pitchers like Wade Miley ($7,200). Since re-joining the team June 23, Hampson made seven starts and went 8-for-29 (.276) with two doubles, a triple and two stolen bases for an average of 8.4 DKFP per contest.
Hampson could play his way into a platoon situation since so many of Colorado’s bats are left-handed, but he will need to continue to produce when given the chance. If Story needs a day off after his return or the Rockies give Ryan McMahon ($3,700) the day off at 2B to avoid the lefty-lefty matchup, Hampson will likely be back in the lineup and offer a very high ceiling as the Rockies play at Coors.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) 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.