MLB Early Targets

There isn’t much that’s great about this afternoon’s three-game slate. The top pitching options would be less than $7,500 on any slate with real arms available and there is really only one game worth stacking. If you are playing this three-gamer you’ll need to make sure you don’t miss a beat, so let’s go into where the best plays are for you to roster.

PITCHER

Stud

Sandy Alcantara, MIA vs. SF, $8,700 — On a slate filled with options that are questionable at best, Alcantara represents what might be the safest option of all. Which is terrifying. That being said, he has a great matchup in the best pitcher’s park in the league and has two games with 30+ DKFP on his resume in 2019. However, if he ends up being chalky, you might want to find a pivot with the quickness.

Other Options — Jerad Eickhoff ($9,000)

Value

, Tyler Beede, SF at MIA, $7,800 — No, he’s not necessarily a fantastic value in terms of his price relative to the other options on this slate, but you can’t really go any lower than this without accepting defeat at SP2. Beede is a good play in all the same ways Alcantara is in that he is playing in the best pitcher’s park in the league against a team with no power, giving him a decent floor.

Other Options — Daniel Hudson ($7,300)


CATCHER

Stud

Carson Kelly, ARI at COL, $4,200 — After hitting another home run last night, Kelly has five home runs on the year and is hitting .227/.370/.500 over his past 22 at-bats. He draws a matchup at Coors Field against one of the worst arms in the Rockies’ rotation. With John Ryan Murphy being designated for assignment, Kelly should get plenty of opportunity to keep up his strong play as of late. He’s expensive but in a fantastic spot.

Other Options — J.T. Realmuto ($4,600)

Value

Buster Posey, SF at MIA, $3,300 — The cheap options at catcher are lacking on this slate, and we have to default to a talented catcher who possibly is underpriced. Posey is obviously not the offensive force he once was, but the contact skills are still good. Against a pitcher who struggles to stay in the strike zone, Posey should have no trouble getting on base a couple times and making value.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Posey is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Marlins.

Other Options — Stephen Vogt ($3,500)


FIRST BASE

Kevin Cron, ARI at COL, $4,500 — They haven’t given him near enough opportunity for the success he has found, but so long as Cron is in the order he is worth consideration. He’s priced up due to playing in Coors, but the price is deserved as both his games with more than one at-bat have resulted in 10+ DKFP. He’s a great play in all formats.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cron is not in the lineup for today’s game vs. the Rockies.

Other Options — Rhys Hoskins ($5,100)

Value

Brandon Belt, SF at MIA, $3,800 — After hitting a home run last night, Belt has hit safely in five straight games and really is locked in at the plate. He has power in every park and the plate skills to make lesser pitchers pay. He faces off against a guy who is going to make a lot of mistakes. The pricing is tight on this slate, so someone with power and a floor like Belt is very valuable.

Other Options — Neil Walker ($3,900)


SECOND BASE

Stud

Ryan McMahon, COL vs. ARI, $4,500 — Averaging 7.4 DKFP over his past 10 games with a .999 OPS, I think McMahon is an important piece to today’s puzzle. The position is weak at second base, and he has some of the best recent plate skills available with eight hits (two doubles and two home runs) with just six strikeouts and five walks. He’s a good player in a terrific hitting environment and he should be a priority.

Other Options — Ketel Marte ($5,600)

Value

Starlin Castro, MIA vs. SF, $2,700 — Castro has back-to-back double-digit fantasy outcomes and is on what some might consider a hot streak. Granted, that hot streak is in relation to his teammates and he plays for the Marlins, so expectations have to be tempered. Still, the 5.3 DKFP per game is up from his season averages and the price helps a lot to fit the Coors bats.

Other Options — Garret Hampson ($2,900)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Nolan Arenado, COL vs. ARI, $5,700 — Arenado has been a monster when playing at home in 2019 with an average of 12.1 fantasy points and a slash line of .385/.426/.677. He will look to add to those numbers against fringe MLB talent Taylor Clarke ($6,800), who is making his big league debut. This is another one of those situations where you get cute and fade somewhere else after locking in Arenado.

Other Options — Eduardo Escobar ($5,800)

Value

Brian Anderson, MIA vs. SF, $3,700 — Anderson low-key has been a solid bat for the Marlins over the past 10 games. His season averages are .236/.320/.359, but his recent sample sees an increase in each category with a big jump in power with his SLG% at .556. He’s averaging 9.2 DKFP and should be taken seriously against a subpar pitcher such as we find today in Beede.

Other Options — Maikel Franco ($3,300)


SHORT STOP

Stud

Eduardo Escobar, ARI at COL, $5,800 — Escobar has been on an absolute tear as of late with seven of his past 10 contests resulting in 10+ DKFP while pushing a .289/.319/.600 slash line in the timeframe. In the five games against the Rockies this season he is averaging 15.6 fantasy points and a 1.250 OPS. He is one of the highest upside bats on the slate, making him invaluable and his price an afterthought.

Other Options — Trevor Story ($5,400)

Value

Brandon Crawford, SF at MIA, $3,000 — I’m not going to use Crawford as a way of unlocking his upside, but his price is fair for his skillset and rostering him makes fitting the important bats that much easier. Granted, you should be paying up at shortstop on this slate, but if you can’t find the room to do so, Crawford is averaging 5.3 DKFP in his past 33 at-bats and has modest power in the right matchups, making him the lottery ticket you might need for an affordable cost.

Other Options — Miguel Rojas ($3,100)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Ketel Marte, ARI at COL, $5,600 — Marte went through a bit of a cold spell for a little while and it got people off him right before he went on the current heater he is riding. He has 10+ DKFP in five of the past six with three games over 19 fantasy points while having seven extra-base hits (three doubles, one triple, and three home runs) in his past 10 games. His switch-hitting makes him valuable for an entire game, and he should be hitting in a desirable spot in the order. He’s one of the best plays on the slate.

Other Options — Adam Jones ($5,300)

Value

Curtis Granderson, MIA vs. SF, $3,600 — With a RHP on the bump we can expect Granderson to be in a good spot in the order, which makes him an intriguing value. Beede is not a good pitcher and should let plenty of guys hit him hard. Granderson has exhibited some good power this season with six home runs and eight doubles. The price isn’t bad, and he represents a good shot at home run power at presumably low ownership.

Other Options — Dexter Fowler ($3,600)


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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.