Kansas City Royals v Washington Nationals

This is an exceptionally difficult afternoon slate with hardly any true value to speak of. With only four games and good or solid pitchers taking up so much of the mound, it’s imperative to make good decisions with your salary cap. I’ll go into a couple of my favorites spots to attack, and let’s see if we can build something competitive.

PITCHER

Stud

Chris Sale, BOS vs. TOR, $10,000– Sale has had an odd season and the Blue Jays have been one of the more perplexing reasons why. He has averaged just 7.2 DKFP in three games against them this year, but I don’t think that trend continues. His strikeout stuff is as good as ever with 160 strikeouts in 111 innings pitched, and the matchup is much better than the other ace available, so he’s my man.

Other Options — Aaron Nola ($10,400), Caleb Smith ($9,200)

Value

, Ross Stripling, LAD at PHI, $7,700 — Stripling is coming out of his most recent game where he scored 24.9 DKFP against the Red Sox and should find similar success against an inconsistent Phillies squad. His starts have been more bad than good but there has been quite a bit of bad luck and his K:BB of 69:19 is terrific. There’s definitely downside here but I’m willing to bet on talent over matchup.

Other Options — Brad Keller ($5,500)


CATCHER

Stud

Christian Vazquez, BOS vs TOR, $4,500 — Averaging 12 fantasy points with a .317/.370/.707 slash line in his past 10 games, Vazquez is by far the best hitting catcher on this slate right now. He will go up against a converted bullpen arm and a middling Blue Jays bullpen and has the platoon advantage to start. He’s worth the cash if you can afford him.

Other Options — James McCann ($4,200)

Value

Francisco Mejia, SD at MIA, $2,700 — Mejia appears to have taken the lead role as catcher for the Padres, but a recent slump has his price dwindling. You don’t find many switch-hitting catchers and especially with how cheap he is, it makes him that much more valuable. The matchup is relatively rough but certainly a spot where we could get a cheap home run, and the Padres’ cheap players are some of my favorite values.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mejia is not in today’s starting lineup.

Other Options — Andrew Knapp ($2,800)


FIRST BASE

Max Muncy, LAD at PHI, $4,800 — It’s pretty incredible that over his past 40 at-bats we have Muncy hitting just .231 but also averaging 10.4 DKFP thanks in large part to five home runs and eight RBI in the timeframe. His power has maintained well over the past year and will face a pitcher that is difficult to deal with but gives up big power to LHBs on contact, so he’s a solid GPP target for me.

Other Options — Rhys Hoskins ($4,900)

Value

Cheslor Cuthbert, KC vs. CWS, $4,100 — The Royals are a hard team to figure out and frustrating to deal with, but I love using them as one-offs in the right matchup. They face the worst pitcher by nearly every metric on the slate, so it gives us good reason to consider boom-or-bust guys like Cheslor. I wish he was cheaper, but his price is still valuable in relation to his position.

Other Options —Eric Hosmer ($3,900)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Whit Merrifield, KC vs. CWS, $5,400 — Even though the Royals have been bad, Merrifield has been absolutely on fire. He’s hitting .341/.413/.561 with a home run and four doubles (as well as three steals) over the past 10 games and will face by far the worst pitcher on the slate. He’s expensive but worth the price in all formats.

Other Options — Michael Chavis ($4,600)

Value

Jose Rondon, CWS at KC, $2,300 — It’s no secret Rondon is not an incredible hitter by any means, but his price is invaluable on a slate with expensive pitching being a priority. He’s averaging 3.4 DKFP on the year but does have three home runs and is keeping a pretty even K:BB in the recent sample, so I think he’s more than worth the price tag — even if it’s just hoping for 5-10 fantasy points.

Other Options — Ian Kinsler ($2,800)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Yoan Moncada, CWS at KC, $4,800 — Up against a contact-oriented pitcher, you have to love Moncada to get plenty of opportunity to reach his upside. He’s been doing a great job being patient lately with seven walks in his past ten games and the power has continued to hold with a .500 SLG%. He likely will go overlooked today and makes for a great leverage target in GPPs.

Other Options — Scott Kingery ($4,900)

Value

Brian Anderson, MIA vs. SD, $3,800 — It is extremely difficult to consider any value at third base, but if you have to, you should at least aim for power. Anderson only has three hits in his past 10 games (a .125 batting average) but those three hits have been two home runs and a double. When he makes contact it’s really good and with hardly any value below him he is the best bet if you can’t afford the elite guys.

Other Options — Vlad Guerrero Jr. (3,600)


SHORT STOP

Stud

Fernando Tatis Jr., SD at MIA, $5,200 — Although his averages have slipped a bit from his 2019 overall, he still is playing extremely well and has huge upside at a short position. He’s hitting .310/.356/.524 with three home runs and a stolen based in the past 40 at-bats and faces a pitcher that has gotten blown up in back-to-back starts. The park is bad, but it’s worth betting on skill and taking Tatis.

Other Options — Xander Bogaerts ($5,500)

Value

Humberto Arteaga, KC vs. CWS, $2,300 — This is another pure punt play to help you afford the expensive pitchers, and it’s important to keep things in context with him. He was recently recalled to take over SS while Mondesi is on the IL and in his last stint in the majors he showed no power but did get a steal in 38 at-bats. Using Arteaga is more of a cash-game solution, but he can help you make things work in GPPs as well.

Other Options — Miguel Rojas ($3,500)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Mookie Betts, BOS vs. TOR, $5,500 — This is an absolute no-brainer play but you absolutely should give consideration to Betts against the Toronto bullpen game. His current slash of .415/.469/.610 is good for 12.5 DKFP per contest and in 2019 overall he’s got 70 walks to 64 strikeouts as he continues to make great decisions. The Red Sox look like a fantastic stack, and Betts should be your anchor in the group.

Other Options — Cody Bellinger ($5,600), Bryce Harper ($5,000)

Value

Jon Jay, CWS at KC, $3,300 — There’s nothing exciting at all about Jay, but the guy is great at making consistent contact and getting on base. In 2019 he’s got a .345 batting average and acceptable .820 OPS, and he will go up against a contact-oriented pitcher for the Royals. He’s got the platoon advantage and can help a lot towards fitting that Red Sox stack.

Other Options — Ryan Cordell ($3,000)


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