Offense, offense and offense. Despite a 15-game slate, there are just two pitchers priced over $10,000. A lack of high-end arms not only means we have to roster cheaper pitchers, but it also means there are a lot of offenses in favorable spots. This figures to be a high-scoring slate.
StudLance Lynn, TEX vs. ARI, $11,200 — With all the offenses in good spots, I think Lynn is a bit too expensive to play, but he’s the safest option of the high-priced pitchers. At age 32, he’s had one of the least predictable breakouts I can remember. Lynn has been a journeyman the last few seasons and fell out of the Yankees’ rotation after being traded to New York around the deadline. Now he leads the American League in WAR and is a legitimate Cy Young candidate.
Other Options — Walker Buehler ($10,200), Brandon Woodruff ($8,700)
ValueJack Flaherty, STL vs. PIT, $7,400 — After showing promise last season, Flaherty has regressed in a big way. His ERA has swelled to 4.64, his strikeout rate has dropped and an increase in hard contact allowed has led to more homers. On the positive side, almost all his struggles have come on the road. Flaherty has maintained a 3.48 ERA in St.Louis and he falls apart with a 5,96 ERA on the road. It appears he’s getting more favorable calls pitching at home since he is walking 1.57 hitters per nine innings at home compared to 4.57 per nine on the road.
Other Options — Zach Plesac ($7,000), Vincent Velasquez ($5,900)
StudBuster Posey, SF COL, $4,200 — The decline of Posey has happened quickly, but anybody can hit at Coors Field. Even though the Giants have one of the worst offenses in baseball, they put up 19 runs in yesterday’s afternoon game and Posey played a big role with 25 DKFP and a homer. It was his second homer in his last three games, so maybe his second half of the season will go better than the first half.
Other Options — Mitch Garver ($4,900), Gary Sanchez ($4,600)
ValueTravis d’Arnaud, TBR at NYY, $3,800 — It’s hard to ignore d’Arnaud coming off one of the best fantasy games of the season. He hit three homers and scored 50 DKFP and he’s moved into the leadoff spot against left-handed pitching. He’s scored at least 12 DKFP in four of his last five games and has reached base in 13 consecutive starts.
Other Options — Tony Wolters ($3,500), Francisco Mejia ($2,600)
FIRST BASEBrandon Belt, SF at COL, $4,800 — Peter Lambert ($4,900), the starter for the Rockies, has gotten destroyed by left-handed hitters. He’s giving up a .457 wOBA to lefties, making the left-handed bats from San Fran some of the top targets on the slate. Belt has a 120 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and gets a huge park boost playing at Coors Field.
Other Options — Carlos Santana ($5,000), Pete Alonso ($4,900)
ValueAnthony Rizzo, CHC vs. CIN, $4,300 — This is an extremely cheap price for Rizzo. Maybe the salary would make sense if he was struggling, but he’s reached base in 15 consecutive games and scored double-digit DKFP in three straight games. Reds’ starter Anthony Desclafini ($8,900) is allowing a .406 wOBA to left-handed hitters.
Other Options — Eric Thames ($4,300), Trey Mancini ($3,900)
StudLourdes Gurriel, TOR at BOS, $5,100 — The last month has been a great stretch for both of the Gurriel brothers. The younger brother Lourdes has hit six homers in his last 14 games, upping his wRC+ to 138 for the season. Despite spending time on the IL, he has 16 homers in 57 games and is turning into an All-Star caliber hitter.
Other Options — Max Muncy ($5,000), DJ LeMahieu ($4,700)
ValueJose Altuve, HOU at LAA, $4,000 — Altuve is much too cheap for a player of his ability. Despite dealing with injuries, he’s on pace for a career-high in homers and he’s been hitting the ball extremely well recently. He’s averaging 17.5 DKFP in his last four games and he has a good history against Andrew Heaney ($9,300). In 22 at-bats, Altuve has a .409/.435/.682 slash line against the lefty.
Other Options — Mike Moustakas ($4,300), Michael Chavis ($4,200)
StudNolan Arenado, COL vs. SF, $5,100 — This feels like a spot where Arenado should be priced around $6,000 or so. He has a 153 wRC+ against left-handed pitching and a .360/.418/.618 slash line at Coors Field. Lefties haven’t stood much of a chance against him at high altitude Drew Pomeranz ($4,500) can’t even get hitters out at sea level. For the season, he has a 6.42 ERA. I expect Arenado to be one of the, if not the, highest owned hitters on the slate. He’s the best cash-game hitter of the night.
Other Options — Rafael Devers ($5,500), Anthony Rendon ($5,400)
ValueJose Ramirez, CLE vs. DET, $4,300 — If you are looking to pivot off of Arenado’s high projected ownership in GPP then Ramirez is a good pivot with high upside. After a miserable start to the season, he’s starting to return to his near MVP form of a year ago. He has at least 7.0 DKFP in seven straight games and has hit three of his eight homers over this stretch. Ramirez figures to be substantially better after the All-Star break than he was in the first half of the season.
Other Options — Eugenio Suarez ($4,200), Manny Machado ($4,100)
StudTrevor Story, COL vs. SF, $5,400 — Story should be the most expensive shortstop by a wide margin on this slate. Sure he’s expensive, but just like with Arenado, the price isn’t enough. The Rockies are implied to score 7.7 runs tonight and should have no problem rebounding from yesterday’s disappointing doubleheader. Like most hitters on this team, Story struggles on the road and thrives at home. He is slashing .306/.373/.607 at Coors Field.
Other Options — Trea Turner ($5,100), Francisco Lindor ($5,000)
ValueBrandon Crawford, SF at COL, $3,900 — In a favorable matchup following yesterday’s explosion, Crawford makes for a great value play. In the early game of yesterday’s doubleheader, Crawford picked up five hits and had eight RBI. He’s riding a seven-game hitting streak and has three games in a row with at least 15 DKFP including yesterday’s crazy 51 DKFP output. As noted above, Peter Lambert has not shown the ability to deal with left-handed hitters.
Other Options — Jonathan Villar ($4,300), Leury Garcia ($3,900)
StudCody Bellinger, LAD vs. PHI, $5,600 — There are so many good expensive outfield options that it’s difficult to single out any one player as the best play. Of all the options, Belly is hitting the best coming out of the All-Star break. He continues to elevate his play and has three homers in his last three games. Bellinger is starting to pull away in the NL MVP race and is currently listed at -134 odds to the award.
Other Options — Charlie Blackmon ($5,900), Christian Yelich ($5,700)
ValueKhris Davis, OAK vs. SEA, $3,400 — Khrush is in a slump although the power upside is always there. He hits 16 homers in the first half of the season and it’s only a matter of time before he gets going again. He’s hit exactly .247 in four straight seasons and his 44.7% hard contact rate implies he should have a BABIP higher than .268. Davis should find more success with better luck on balls in play in the second half.
Other Options — Adam Eaton ($4,000), Lorenzo Cain ($3,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.