Happy Fourth of July! This is a really difficult slate and it’ll probably be decided by some weird home runs, so you have to make some awkward choices in roster construction. With a lot of good pitchers on the mound you’re better off paying for quality bats and using mid-range pitchers and that’s probably the way I would prefer to build. Let’s see where we can squeeze some value in and make something competitive.
StudHyun-Jin Ryu, LAD vs. SD, $11,100 — He’s experienced a good amount of run prevention regression over the last couple starts against the Rockies, but he’s still one of the best pitchers in baseball this season and deserves this price. He plays at home as a massive favorite against the Padres who have a top 5 strikeout rate on the year and is the overall consensus top play for the night.
Other Options — Mike Soroka ($9,000)
Value, Marcus Stroman, TOR vs. BOS, $7,600 — The issue with this slate is that there’s hardly any real value at pitcher and you are forced to make a hard decision between Stroman and Hector Velasquez ($5,000) since Dinelson Lamet ($7,100) will likely be on a strict pitch limit. Stroman is the only cheaper pitcher with any semblance of upside, and you bake the matchup into the cheap price.
Other Options — Hector Velasquez ($5,000)
StudJ.T. Realmuto, PHI at ATL, $3,700 — The Phillies will face off with Braves pitcher Mike Soroka ($9,000), who is a very solid pitcher but has a pitch-to-contact attitude, which can get him in trouble with hard hitting orders. Realmuto should be hitting in a good spot and is playing really well with a .400 OBP in the recent sample and has the power to make Soroka pay. He’s cheap for his season price as well, so we should take advantage.
Other Options — Christian Vazquez ($,4000)
ValueJeff Mathis, TEX vs. LAA, $2,000 — The Rangers play at home in a great park and get to face Griffin Canning ($8,700), who has really good strikeout stuff but also struggles with keeping the ball down and has one of the highest adjusted home run rates in baseball. Playing in such a great offensive environment lets us target the cheaper options on the team for some upside, and Mathis fits the bill.
Other Options — Luke Maile ($2,300)
FIRST BASEFreddie Freeman, ATL vs. PHI, $5,000 — I respect Zach Eflin ($8,100) as somebody with good strikeout stuff but he has shown the propensity to implode (four of his last ten starts with 4-plus earned runs) and if the Braves score runs, it’ll likely involve Freeman. Averaging 7.9 DKFP over the last 10 games is a drop from his 2019 overall but he’s still the best expensive option on the slate.
Other Options — Rhys Hoskins ($4,300)
ValueMatt Thaiss, LAA at TEX, $3,100 — A rookie power bat coming up for his second major league start, he will face a Rangers pitching squad that has a terrible bullpen in a great offensive environment. He had a double and a run scored in his first game and had around a 7% HR/PA in the minors, so his price combined with a good park make him a great value play with the power to crush value.
Other Options — Edwin Rios ($3,400)
StudLourdes Gurriel Jr., TOR vs. BOS, $5,500 — I have no idea what happened to Gurriel when he was demoted earlier in the year, but the guy has come back with the power of 1,000 white hot suns. He’s averaging a gaudy 15.6 DKFP over the last 10 games with a 1.429 OPS and faces the worst pitcher on the slate. He’s a cash lock.
Other Options — Danny Santana ($4,900)
ValueLuis Rengifo, LAA at TEX, $3,100 — With Tommy La Stella now on the IL with a fractured tibia, we should see Rengifo get semi-consistent playing time and provide good value. He’s got a 2019 slash line of .245/.319/.368 and doesn’t hit for much power but he makes solid contact (just 41 strikeouts in 48 games played) and with him priced down in a good park he’s worth a shot in GPPs.
Other Options — Brock Holt ($3,400)
StudRafael Devers, BOS at TOR, $5,300 — As much as I think you need to use Stroman as your SP2 on this slate, it’s hard to ignore Devers as the top overall third baseman. His .528/.541/.889 slash over the last 10 games. Stroman has upside as a pitcher but also doesn’t have dominate strikeout stuff and is going to give up hits, and I love for Devers to get some value out of his lofty salary.
Other Options — Scott Kingery ($4,300)
ValueBrandon Drury, TOR vs. BOS, $2,700 — Drury has gotten on base at least once in each of his last seven games and is coming off a 24-DKFP explosion with a two-run home run against the Red Sox. He hasn’t been exceptional in 2019 but when he gets hot, he can string together some good games and it looks like he’s heating up. Facing the worst pitcher on the slate gives him plenty of upside for a bargain.
Other Options — Eduardo Nunez ($2,900)
StudElvis Andrus, TEX vs. LAA, $4,900 — Andrus is having a fantastic 2019 and flying under the radar because of a lack of home runs. He’s got just seven long balls but he’s stolen 19 bases and is slashing .306/.342/.452 and averaging 9.3 DKFP per contest, which is elite, especially at a short position. He faces a home run prone pitcher in Arlington and has the highest event upside on the slate.
Other Options — Fernando Tatis Jr. ($5,100)
ValueAndrelton Simmons, LAA at TEX, $3,500 — You should be paying up at shortstop on this slate, but Simmons is a good option at a reasonable price tag. His 2019 numbers are significantly better than his recent sample, but he did steal a base a couple games ago and we know the batting average will rebound, so taking him at a good price in a good park makes a lot of sense.
Other Options — Luis Rengifo ($3,100)
StudJoey Gallo, TEX vs. LAA, $5,700 — He has yet to hit a home run in this series with the Angels, so obviously he’s going to hit one today! He has a .658 SLG% in 2019 and .839 over the last 10 games while maintaining his OBP over .400 across the entire sample. He’s even stealing bases this year which is probably the most surprising part of his improved game. If I had to bet on anyone hitting a home run on this slate, it would be Gallo, and he’s one of my favorite plays overall.
Other Options — Cody Bellinger ($5,600), Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($5,500)
ValueManuel Margot, SD at LAD, $3,000 — The biggest issue with Margot is that his batting average is lame with just a .239 mark in 2019, but he’s making up for it by stealing plenty of bases. He has 11 on the year and two in the last 10 games to go with eight runs in the recent sample, which is translating to 7.6 DKFP per contest. His price has not taken into account his production and he represents a well-needed value in the outfield.
Other Options — Matt Beaty ($3,500)
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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.