MLB Early Targets

This is a really interesting seven-game afternoon slate that has some good-but-not great options at a lot of the positions, including some more beatable aces on the mound. It also features the Marlins in a good park against a publicly favorited pitcher, and with the recent surge in offense from the Marlins, it’ll be interesting to see what side people back. Let’s look a little deeper and try to clarify things.

PITCHER

Stud

Caleb Smith, MIA at MIL, $9,400 — It is of course a little bit scary to use a pitcher against the Brewers in Milwaukee, but Smith has a great platoon advantage with a lot of the Brewers’ stronger bats coming from the left side. Smith has had just one bad game all season with at least 17.9 DKFP in all other starts, and he seems to have made the leap to a legit ace for the Marlins.

Other Options — Zach Wheeler ($10,500), Brandon Woodruff ($8,900)

Value

Jose Quintana, CHC vs. COL, $7,500 — Quintana’s up-and-down season continued with yet another peak against the Cardinals on Sunday with 14 DKFP thanks to six strikeouts in the no-decision. His matchup is much easier this time around against a Rockies team that struggles badly on the road and especially struggles against LHPs, making him an intriguing option.

Other Options — Jalen Beeks ($7,600)


CATCHER

Stud

Wilson Ramos, NYM vs. SF, $4,700 — The Mets will continue their homestand against the pitiful Giants, and Ramos will be in another good position to continue his scorching recent pace at the plate. In the past 34 at-bats, Ramos has four home runs and seven RBI while averaging 10.5 DKFP and most importantly has a .462 OBP, giving him a phenomenal floor for his price.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ramos is not in the lineup for today’s game

Other Options — Yasmani Grandal ($4,800)

Value

Mike Zunino, TB at DET, $3,500 — The Rays are in a great spot against flyball aficionado Daniel Norris ($5,800), who is fresh off getting shelled by the Braves. Norris is much worse against RHBs than he is LHBs (although both sides can tag him), and Zunino fits the bill as someone with power from the positive side of the splits. People more than likely will leave Zunino out of their stacks, and he could be a low-owned homer in a high-owned stack.


FIRST BASE

Josh Bell, PIT vs. ATL, $5,400 — Bell has calmed down a bit over his past 10 games, hitting just .311/.354/.556 with only two home runs, but he is the best hitter in the league against RHPs right now and is up against a righty who has a big issue with home runs in his career. The park factor is bad, but he’s still the top play at the position by a good margin.

Other Options — Derek Dietrich ($5,100)

Value

Cheslor Cuthbert, KC vs. BOS, $3,700 — I’m not really here to say Cuthbert has become an above-average hitter after having a mediocre career thus far, but he’s on a hot streak since his recent promotion and I’m willing to take a ride against a subpar pitcher. For the price, his 9.4 DKFP per contest is far above the rest and his 1.053 OPS in five games is elite.

Other Options — Miguel Cabrera ($3,500)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Derek Dietrich, CIN at STL, $5,100 — The Reds will take on Dakota Hudson ($6,200), who doesn’t give up a lot of flyballs — thus won’t give up a lot of home runs — but does allow a lot of contact, which makes Dietrich an intriguing play. He’s got five home runs and just nine strikeouts in the past 10 games and is a threat to go yard against anyone this season. Play him with confidence.

Other Options — Javier Baez ($4,700)

Value

Starlin Castro, MIA at MIL, $3,300 — The Marlins are in a bit of an offensive resurgence right now and Castro has been a key part of it, which is kind of a weird sentence to write. He’s got 9.1 fantasy points per game and 12 RBI on 11 hits over the past 10 games. Playing in a great hitter’s park, he is worth the punt.

Other Options — Joe Panik ($3,300)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Austin Riley, ATL at PIT, $5,000 — Playing a rookie at $5,000 in a bad ballpark against a pitcher who used to be good? You betcha! Riley has been a monster since getting the call-up with a slash of .324/.368/.732 with a ridiculous nine home runs in just 71 at-bats. He’s got 16 RBI and 12.7 DKFP per contest in his past 10 games and is in a prime spot to continue his incredible run in Pittsburgh.

Other Options — Nolan Arenado ($5,500)

Value

Christian Arroyo, TB at DET, $3,600 — So long as Tommy Pham continues to miss time, Arroyo is going to be a solid bat at a good price in this Rays order. We already talked about how bad Norris is, and Arroyo is another RHB who should be able to take a couple good shots at a long ball off the weak LHP. He has two home runs and two doubles in 12 games and the power is underrated.

Other Options — Adeiny Hechavarria ($3,700)


SHORT STOP

Stud

Adalberto Mondesi, KC vs. BOS, $5,500 — For what feels like the first time in 2019, Mondesi is averaging less than 10 DKFP in his recent sample (although the season long is still at 10.1), and it’s come at an odd time. His power and stolen bases are still around but his batting average is 55 points lower. I expect his luck to turn around soon and taking the shot against a bad pitcher is the perfect time to cash in on regression.

Other Options — Trevor Story ($5,700)

Value

Miguel Rojas, MIA at MIL, $3,400 — Another Marlins bat that is cheap and in a good position to continue recent success, it’s worth considering Rojas in your lineups as a cash-saver. He’s got very little power with just a .323 SLG% in 2019 but does have five stolen bases and is hitting .361 with just four strikeouts in the past 10. You should pay up at SS, but Rojas is there if you can’t.

Other Options — Addison Russell ($3,400)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Avisail Garcia, TB at DET, $5,400 — At first glance this is a hefty price to pay for Avisail, but a closer look justifies it. He’s been insane over the past 10 games with 12.7 DKFP per game and a slash of .349/.404/.605 with 15 hits and just seven strikeouts. He’s had a great floor as well with no less than five points and 10+ in eight of the sample. He’s in a great spot and deserves heavy consideration.

Other Options — Christian Yelich ($5,800), Marcell Ozuna ($5,100)

Value

Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS at KC, $3,300 — The options down low for outfielders are really bad, so even though I’m not a fan of him up against a LHP, I have to go with JBJ. He’s picked it up from an awful start to 2019 and is hitting a respectable .296/.441/.556 with a home run and four doubles in the past 27 at-bats. He’s averaging 7.3 DK points per contest and will be the cheapest way to access a solid Red Sox total.

Other Options — Billy Hamilton ($3,300)


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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.