We have a 14-game fantasy baseball slate and some decisions to make. There a handful of high-priced pitchers and a game being played at Coors Field with the wind blowing out.
StudJustin Verlander, HOU at CLE, $11,400 — I don’t think this is the best night to spend up for pitching. With offenses in great spots and Coors Field in play, I prefer spending money on bats and finding value pitchers. With that said, Verlander is the safest option on the high end of pitchers. At +225, he’s behind only teammate Gerrit Cole (+160) in the odds to win the AL Cy Young. In his past two starts, Verlander averaged 34.6 DKFP. Other Options — Shane Bieber ($10,600), Noah Syndergaard ($10,300)
ValueGriffin Canning, LAA vs. DET, $7,900 — Recent starts haven’t been kind to Canning, but this is the perfect spot to turn it around. With a 72 wRC+, the Tigers are the worst offense in baseball against right-handed pitching. The matchup gets even better when considering Detroit has a 26.6% strikeout rate against righties. Despite some struggles, Canning still has strikeout upside since he is whiffing 9.7 hitters per nine innings.
Other Options — Zac Gallen ($8,100), J.A. Happ ($7,300)
StudOmar Narvaez, SEA at TEX, $4,400 — After a couple of days off, Narvaez should be rested for tonight. In his most recent start, he picked up four hits and scored 16 DKFP. It was his second straight start with double-digit fantasy points. Fourteen of his 16 homers have come against right-handed pitching, and he gets a big park upgrade playing in Texas. Other Options — Willson Contreras ($4,300), Chris Iannetta ($4,000)
ValueRussell Martin, LAD at COL, $3,500 — With Austin Barnes sent down to AAA, Martin figures to get an uptick in playing time. Even though Martin hasn’t been good this season, he should benefit from more consistent playing time. He’s in an elite hitting environment tonight and the price is right.
Other Options — Buster Posey ($3,700), Danny Jansen ($2,700)
FIRST BASEFreddie Freeman, ATL at WAS, $5,200 — The Braves’ offense is in a good spot against Erik Fedde ($5,600). He might have a 3.40 ERA but his 5.12 FIP screams regression. Freeman leads the Braves with a 157 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, and he’s in good form with at least 11 DKFP in three of his past four games. Other Options — Edwin Encarnacion ($5,300), Pete Alonso ($4,800)
ValueTyler White, LAD at COL, $3,500 — I am not sure White will start, but he’s in a good spot if he does end up in the lineup. Recently acquired by the Dodgers from the Astros, he could serve a platoon role against left-handed pitching. This role previously was occupied by David Freese, who is on the IL. White didn’t get consistent playing time with the Astros although he’s hit southpaws well for his career with a 112 wRC+.
Other Options — Joey Votto ($3,900), Tyler Austin ($3,600)
StudMax Muncy, LAD at COL, $5,400 — Don’t fret over Muncy facing a lefty. Even though he lacks a platoon advantage, Muncy has been strong against left-handed pitching this season with a 125 wRC+. Opposing pitcher Kyle Freeland ($4,400) hasn’t been able to get out righties or lefties this year, so I expect the Dodgers to do damage against him from both sides of the plate. Lefties are slashing .309/.356/.509 against Freeland. Other Options — Ketel Marte ($5,000)
ValueJeff McNeil, NYM at CHW, $4,300 — McNeil quickly is becoming one of the best pure hitters in the league. There was some concern he could lose playing time when the Mets traded for Robinson Cano ($3,300) in the offseason, but it’s become apparent McNeil is the better hitter at this point in their careers. With a 143 wRC+, McNeil has found success because of his contact skills. He makes a lot of strong contact and only makes weak contact on 11.5% of balls in play.
Other Options — Ozzie Albies ($4,300), Rougned Odor ($4,100)
StudNolan Arenado, COL vs. LAD, $5,000 — Both Arenado and Justin Turner ($5,400) are really strong third base plays. I give a slight lean towards Arenado since he’s a bit cheaper. At home, Arenado has been a juggernaut and his success is amplified against left-handed pitching. He has a 137 wRC+ against southpaws and a .354/.412/.594 slash line at Coors Field. Other Options — Justin Turner ($5,400)
ValueJosh VanMeter, CIN vs. PIT, $3,800 — I much prefer spending up at third base for the studs at Coors Field tonight. However, with positional flexibility, VanMeter can be rostered in an outfield position. He’s starting to carve out an everyday role and is one a five-game hitting streak. During the streak, he’s averaging 16.2 DKFP.
Other Options — David Fletcher ($3,700), Brian Anderson ($3,700)
StudTrevor Story, COL vs. LAD, $5,300 — Like every player on the Rockies’ roster, Story has been much better at home than on the road this season. At Coors, he has a .303/.365/.628 slash line and 14 of his 22 homers. With the wind blowing out and a 14-run total, this is a game with too much upside to pass up. Other Options — Didi Gregorius ($5,000), Trea Turner ($4,700)
ValueElvis Andrus, TEX vs. SEA, $4,000 — The Rangers are in a sneaky good spot tonight. At first glance, it appears the team is cold and many of the players aren’t hitting well, but the circumstances have to be considered. The Rangers haven’t played at home since July 17 and they get a huge park upgrade coming back to Texas. Andrus has a .156 ISO at home compared to .106 on the road.
Other Options — J.P. Crawford ($4,300), Bo Bichette ($3,700)
StudCody Bellinger, LAD at COL, $5,900 — Imagine what Bellinger’s numbers would look like if he played half his games at Coors Field. Having a breakout season and the favorite to win the NL MVP, he’s been a monster playing at Coors this season. In his eight games at Colorado, Bellinger has reached base in all of them and is averaging 14.75 DKFP. Other Options — Mike Trout ($5,700), Christian Yelich ($5,600)
ValueA.J. Pollock, LAD at COL, $4,500 — It is only fitting I finish this off with another player from the Dodgers’ lineup. It’s become all too common for Pollock to spend time on the IL, making it easy to forget how great of a hitter he is when healthy. Against lefties, he has a 155 wRC+. This is the second best mark on the team, trailing only Bellinger.
Other Options — Ian Desmond ($4,300), Juan Soto ($4,300)
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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.