Slates like this are always really tough to sort through because it’s hard to feel good about a single pitcher available and the teams involved aren’t in the best positions either. It’s a very middling group of situations and you’ll have to dig deep or make uncomfortable choices to find any available edge. It’s a slate where you can use either side of the given circumstances, and I’ll highlight my favorite places to stick and hedge on this weird little five-gamer.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Tonight’s game between the Angels and Rangers has been postponed due to the death of SP Tyler Skaggs.
StudMike Minor, TEX vs. LAA, $10,500 — The only pitcher that actually deserves to be priced where he is, Minor has one of the worst positions on the slate. It’s a really difficult spot but on a short slate you have to pay for the talent and just take the lumps with the matchup. Five of his last 10 starts have been 20+ DKFP and he’s averaging 23 DKFP at home, so it’s fair to project around 20 for him in this tough spot and that’s better than the field.
Other Options — Logan Allen ($9,200)
ValueRyan Yarbrough, TB vs. BAL, $6,500 — Yarbrough is sure to be an extremely popular play in DFS as he is dirt cheap up against the Orioles. It’s a good play in terms of upside and value, but does have a downside. We can use Yarbrough and hope for between 15-20 DKFP as a solid SP2 on a short slate for cash games but in GPPs it may be smart to look another direction based on ownership and risk tolerance.
Other Options — Adrian Houser ($5,800)
Other Options — Yasmani Grandal ($4,900)
ValueJeff Mathis, TEX vs. LAA, $2,000 — Although Mathis is somebody that is nearly devoid of upside, he is slightly less devoid of upside at home, with increases in his batting profile across the board in such a good park. He has hit .171/.244/.243 (lol) at home which are notable improvements to his road numbers, and he is minimum priced making him a really important source of salary relief on a slate with some high-priced bats in good spots. You all know I love a catcher punt, and this slate is no different.
Other Options — Austin Hedges ($2,700)
FIRST BASEAnthony Rizzo, CHC at PIT, $4,600 — The top tier options at first base are surprisingly weak right now as they all have been playing badly or have bad matchups. I’ll take Anthony Rizzo in a spot against a really bad starting pitcher with a platoon advantage. His 2019 slash line of .270/.382/.519 and 9.3 DKFP average is really nice and we know he can put up big numbers, so let’s take him at a slight discount on a short slate.
Other Options — Eric Thames ($4,900)
ValueAlbert Pujols, LAA at TEX, $3,600 — The price discount is certainly warranted as the matchup with Minor is pretty difficult, but Pujols has been so good against LHP in a resurgent year that he’s worth a shot at value. The park is the best on the slate and he’s averaging eight DKFP per game on the road, so although he might strikeout in 80% of his at-bats today I think he has a good chance to hit his upside as well.
Other Options — Brandon Belt ($3,500)
StudDanny Santana, TEX vs. LAA, $5,400 — With the Rangers and Angels in such a great park, they are going to be the biggest targets, and Santana is no exception. Averaging 8.5 DKFP with a .959 OPS in the last 30 at-bats he’s doing plenty to pay off a lofty salary and against a weak lefty his switch-hitting talent should provide him defense when they get into the bullpen. He’s a cash-game staple for me.
Other Options — Kevin Newman ($4,900)
ValueHanser Alberto, BAL at TB, $3,500 — There’s certainly some uncomfortable decisions to be made on this slate and considering Orioles players are always just that. Although Yarbrough is a great value on this slate, Alberto is one of the better hitters against LHP and is still priced well below his abilities. He’s averaging 8.5 DKFP in the last 10 contests with a .512 SLG% thanks to five doubles and a triple. If you’re fading Yarbrough, you’ll find nice leverage in Hanser.
Other Options — Adam Frazier ($3,500)
StudManny Machado, SD vs. SF, $5,100 — It turns out all Machado needed to get back to being one of the best players in baseball was a trip back to Baltimore. In his last 10 games, he has a 1.218 OPS and a slash line of .356/.396/.822 with six home runs and three doubles on an incredible 16 hits. He’s got a matchup with a contact-oriented pitcher and is likely a top 3 play overall on this slate.
Other Options — Kris Bryant ($4,600)
ValueJung Ho Kang, PIT vs. CHC, $3,000 — So long as he makes the batting order, Kang is in a pretty decent spot against a rookie pitcher that could have struggles. The 4.1 DKFP per contest in 2019 isn’t pretty but he’s picked it up a bit and is now averaging 5.2 with a .711 OPS over the last 27 at-bats. I wouldn’t say that Kang is cash-game material but in GPPs you could find yourself a cheap home run at low ownership to fill out your stacks.
Other Options — Evan Longoria ($3,000)
StudFernando Tatis Jr., SD vs. SF, $5,700 — There’s always a bit of worry with rostering a rookie this expensive but Tatis is not a regular rookie. He’s one of 5 players in the league that is batting over .300 with 10+ home runs and steals and he’s facing off against a pitcher that is very prone to flyballs and the long ball. He’s well worth the price and an essential part of a Padres stack.
Other Options — Elvis Andrus ($4,600)
ValueAndrelton Simmons, LAA at TEX, $3,500 — Another relatively cheap option on the Angels, his fantastic contact skills at the plate make him valuable on a slate like this. Since coming back from injury, he has two hits and a run with three strikeouts and with his 2019 SLG% up at .402 we can expect the moderate power to come back soon. This is a position to pay up at, but Simmons is a good floor play if you can’t.
Other Options — Jose Peraza ($3,200)
StudJoey Gallo, TEX vs. LAA, $5,500 — It’s pretty incredible for a slugger like Gallo to come back from an oblique injury and hit for the power he is, but here we are. Since returning from injury he’s got three home runs and five RBI (in six games) and has even bunted against the shift to boost his on base percentage. His 2019 slash of .286/.426/.683 is more than anyone could have dreamed of and he should be considered an elite play whenever available.
Other Options — Mike Trout ($5,600), Hunter Renfroe ($5,000)
ValueKevin Pillar, SF at SD, $3,500 — Is it weird that Pillar went from being a below-average hitter with the Blue Jays to a power bat for the Giants? Sure. Am I here to question it? Nope. He’s got a .590 SLG% in the last 10 games with 10.3 DKFP per contest and is coming off a 35 fantasy point performance. He’s locked in right now and faces a pitcher with limited experience and is prone to mistakes. His price is way below standard and his value is through the roof.
Other Options — Stevie Wilkerson ($3,400)
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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.