This slate is really tough. We have a lot of weird and generally inconsistent pitchers on the mound with a couple guys overpriced and a whole bunch of nothing to consider for value arms. There are a lot of good teams in good spots so figuring out which ones to fade and which ones to back is paramount, so let’s look into where the best available spots make sense.

PITCHER

Stud

Clayton Kershaw, LAD at ARI, $10,400 — Look man, I know that Lucas Giolito ($11,900) has been great but his price is egregious, and I would much rather pay for Kershaw at his price point. Kershaw has been a bit less strikeout dominant, but it hasn’t affected his bottom line in 2019 with no games under 10 DKFP and six games with 20+ DKFP. His 1.05 WHIP through the season reassures us of his incredible floor, making him well worth his salary.

Other Options — Jon Gray ($9,800)

Value

Steven Matz, NYM at PHI, $6,700 — This is a really risky spot but there are no real value plays on this slate and Matz has a better range of outcomes than any other cheap option. He only has one game with negative fantasy points in 2019, which is an ugly but relevant stat on this slate, and faces a team that strikes out at a 40% or greater clip with two strikes on the count. I don’t like him in cash but can go there in GPPs.

Other Options — Adam Plutko ($6,900)


CATCHER

Stud

Gary Sanchez, NYY vs. TOR, $5,600 — The stud tier for catcher is absolutely loaded and is paced by Sanchez in a beautiful spot against Aaron Sanchez ($4,500) and the Blue Jays. In 2019, Sanchez is averaging 10.6 DKFP in home games with a .306/.356/.704 slash line and faces a pitcher that has given up 24 runs in his last five starts.

Other Options — Roberto Perez ($4,200)

Value

Luke Maile, TOR at NYY, $2,200 — The timeshare between Maile and Danny Jansen ($2,100) is rough and either is viable for the start here, but both of them are worth punting against CC Sabathia ($7,100). Sabathia has one of the largest adjusted home run rates in the league and doesn’t have much life on his pitches anymore, so taking an ultra-cheap catcher against him and hoping for a home run is the best move on this slate.

Other Options — Cam Gallagher ($2,500)


FIRST BASE

Edwin Encarnacion, NYY vs. TOR, $5,200 — The stats for Encarnacion are pretty hilarious in scope with him hitting just .154 but still averaging 10.3 DKFP over the last 10 games because five of those six hits have been home runs. He’s not going to get a lot of hits, but when he makes contact the ball is flying and against Sanchez, you’re going to get a lot of contact which makes E5 a great upside play.

Other Options — Pete Alonso ($5,500), Carlos Santana ($5,100)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Encarnacion is not in the lineup tonight.

Value

Jake Bauers, CLE vs. KC, $3,600 — There aren’t a lot of solid cheap options at this position and it’s better to pay up, but you could do worse than taking Bauers in a good spot against a subpar pitcher. I’ve talked about the Indians a lot, but I think they are a team to stack a lot this summer and Bauers is a cheap part of that. His 8.2 DKFP in the last 34 at-bats is very solid for the price you pay, and he opens up salary.

Other Options — Rowdy Tellez ($3,800)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bauers has been scratched from the lineup tonight.


SECOND BASE

Stud

Whit Merrifield, KC at CLE, $5,400 — There was a bit of a down period for Whit while the Royals slumped together as a team, but he’s really picked it back up and is back to being an elite stud at second base. He’s averaging 11.5 DKFP with a .605 SLG% in the last 10 contests and faces an extreme flyball pitcher in a good park, making him an incredible choice at possibly low ownership.

Other Options — Gleyber Torres ($5,300)

Value

Nicky Lopez, KC at CLE, $3,400 — Lopez represents a decent value on this slate even if he hasn’t exactly been as advertised in the majors. He should continue to have a good spot in the order and has hit .308/.341/.333 with 6.2 fantasy points per game in the last 10 games, but he has only stolen one base in 2019 after stealing over 40 in the minors. Hopefully he starts running with the extra base opportunities afforded by his hot bat.

Other Options — Addison Russell ($3,000)


THIRD BASE

Stud

Hunter Dozier, KC at CLE, $4,900 — It was a tragedy when Dozier found the IL, but he has come back and played three games with 34 DKFP to show for it, thus erasing any worries about how the injury affected him. He’s averaging 9.2 DKFP on the season and gets a fantastic spot today against a home-run liability at pitcher and although he doesn’t have a platoon advantage, he has hit RHP very well, so we don’t have to worry.

Other Options — Nolan Arenado ($5,000)

Value

Vlad Guerrero Jr., TOR at NYY, $3,600 — The rookie is having a hard time adjusting to MLB level pitching and although he continues to smoke the ball off the bat with a top 10% average exit velocity, he hasn’t had much to show for it. When we have a situation like this it’s not a bad idea to pick your spots because the home runs follow the power, and against Sabathia there should be great opportunity for Guerrero to break the slump.

Other Options — Pablo Sandoval ($3,800)


SHORT STOP

Stud

Francisco Lindor, CLE vs. KC, $4,900 — The Indians will likely be a popular stack with a lot of their players cheap, but that shouldn’t stop you from putting Lindor on your roster in all formats. His last game resulted in 17 DKFP with two hits and another stolen base on the year; he now has 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases after returning from injury. He’s a switch-hitting monster in a great matchup, it’s an easy play.

Other Options — Gleyber Torres ($5,300)

Value

Chris Taylor, LAD at ARI, $3,800 — The start to 2019 was absolutely brutal for Taylor but he has really gotten it together and becomes an absolute monster bat at the top of the Dodgers order. He’s got a .387/.459/.774 slash line with a 1.234 OPS in the last 30 at-bats with three home runs on 12 hits for 11 RBI. It’s a radical turnaround for him to something more like who he was in 2018 and although the matchup isn’t great, he is way underpriced for his recent production.

Other Options — Nick Ahmed ($3,300)


OUTFIELD

Stud

Oscar Mercado, CLE vs. KC, $5,100 — One of the young players that has been called up but had way less press than the others is Mercado, and we can hope that continues to suppress his ownership because he’s been terrific. He’s got a .310/.365/.484 slash line with six stolen bases and hits in the top of an order that is going to have a lot of summer success. He’s in an especially good position today and should be considered in all formats.

Other Options — Charlie Blackmon ($5,500), Cody Bellinger ($5,700)

Value

Tyler Naquin, CLE vs. KC, $3,600– Naquin is somebody stuck in a bad platoon split but up against a weak RHP puts him in a great upside spot. His recent numbers have been great with a .267/.281/.567 slash line and two home runs and the worst part about rostering him is his spot in the order. That being said we should still get four at-bats based on the quality of the pitcher so he deserves a spot in your roster as a salary-saving bat.

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.