There aren’t any major surprises in today’s suggestions, but there are a few players to take advantage of in the value sections, specifically the middle infield positions. Take your time, and soak in all that encompasses the DFS experience! Good luck on Thursday!
Stephen Strasburg vs. NYM ($10,500)– Sure, Strasburg is going to run you a pretty penny to lock up, but you do get what you pay for (I love bringing up old and tired cliches). The current Mets hitters are only averaging .188 against the monstrous fireballer, so don’t be surprised if you net yourself a 25-point fantasy night out of Strasburg.
A.J. Burnett @ CIN ($8,000) – I love that the Pirates hitters are facing Anthony DeSclafani in this one, so that means that Burnett sees a rise in my own personal value. It’s all about the potential strikeouts with Burnett, seeing as he landed 190 in the 2014 season. There’s always the issue of Burnett being wild; although, I like him enough to fork over the $8K, considering the other options on Thursday.
Edinson Volquez vs. CWS ($6,200) – Volquez is my favorite value play of the day, even amongst all hitters and pitchers. For the salary you’re spending, you’re getting a solid talent. Volquez averaged 14.8 FPPG last season and will be facing just an average Chicago White Sox offense.
Kendall Graveman vs. TEX ($5,100) – Graveman is a slight gut play for me, mainly based on his outstanding spring training numbers, but I am taking into account his accelerated fast-tracked success through the minors last season and his outstanding groundball rate (58%). Look for Graveman to take advantage of the Rangers using his cut fastball.
Buster Posey @ Ian Kennedy – SD ($4,400) – There isn’t a better hitting catcher in the game right now and Posey has solid history against Kennedy. With it being so early in the season, I’ll take the chance that Posey lives up to early-season billing with his 7.7 FPPG average he earned in 2014.
Carlos Santana @ Asher Wojciechowski – HOU ($4,300) – I’m telling you, if I have write out “Wojciechowski” too many times this season I’ll go nuts. This is a case of a veteran hitter with massive power potential taking advantage of a young, inexperienced pitcher.
Salvador Perez vs. John Danks – CWS ($3,800) – The matchup isn’t the best for Perez historically against Danks, but I’m okay with that considering the other C options in this salary range. I really dig Perez this season, even with the word that his playing time may be cut back some to save his body over a full season.
Stephen Vogt vs. Nick Martinez – TEX ($3,600) – With right-handed pitcher Nick Martinez on the mound, Vogt gets back into the lineup for the Athletics. Vogt is a valued hitter and one to take advantage over the season considering he qualifies at the C slot but will play 1B and DH.
Adam LaRoche @ Edinson Volquez – KC ($4,300) – I know I was just pimping Volquez above, but you can’t deny what LaRoche has done historically against him. LaRoche is hitting is 6-for-16 (.375) with three extra-base hits, one of those a homerun.
Brandon Belt @ Ian Kennedy – SD ($4,300) – Belt has a couple of homers against Kennedy, while notching an excellent slash line of .320/.393/.600 facing the Padres hurler. There’s a chance Belt may not play due to a slight groin injury, and if that’s the case then Mike Napoli would make a reasonable replacement.
Eric Hosmer vs. John Danks – CWS ($4,100) – The price on Hosmer is close to the stud range, although I consider him a nice value play at $4.1 K. Hosmer tears Danks up historically, hitting .500 (6-for-12); however, the lack of extra-base hits is a bit concerning.
Kennys Vargas @ Shane Greene – DET ($3,800) – I like Vargas’ underrated power potential facing average pitchers like Greene. Make sure you check the Minnesota lineup before locking Vargas in.
Jose Altuve vs. Trevor Bauer – CLE ($4,400) – When you averaged 9.3 FPPG as a player last season, you’re sort of in your own class. Bauer is still trying to establish himself as a pitcher in baseball, while Altuve led the league in hitting.
Ian Kinsler vs. Kyle Gibson – MIN ($4,300) – Kinsler handles Gibson well, netting six hits in 14 at-bats against the youngster. I like the mismatch here for DFS owners.
Jedd Gyorko vs. Tim Hudson – SF ($3,800 ) – Gyorko was disappointing last season, but, if you followed him at all, you know what he’s capable of with the bat. Gyorko’s power potential at a shallow position normally means he’s worth ignoring during bad stretches. So, why Gyorko again? His power.
Brandon Phillips vs. A.J. Burnett – PIT ($3,800) – In 28 career at-bats, Phillips has hit Burnett well to the tune of a .328 batting average. Phillips has also taken Burnett deep once in his career, although if you’re going with Phillips here it’s his ability to get on base historically against Burnett.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Kyle Gibson – MIN ($5,200) – Cabrera is quite steep as far as salary goes, but he absolutely mashes Twins current pitchers hitting .327 with 14 HR in 199 at-bats. With the way salaries are set from the onset of the season, you can afford to roster Cabrera and build around him.
Ryan Zimmerman vs. Matt Harvey – NYM ($4,400) – Zimmerman has good success against Harvey, albeit in limited at-bats (.375 in 8 AB). Harvey has the talent to stifle Zimmerman, but the setting isn’t a comfortable place for a return after a long injury layoff.
Mike Moustakas vs. John Danks – CWS ($3,700) – Danks has actually held Moustakas in check over his career, so this is purely a gut-feeling play. This is the year that Moose finally starts to realize his potential.
Jose Iglesias vs. Kyle Gibson – MIN ($3,200) – It’s nice to see players jump out to a hot start with their at-bats (6-for-7), so this is a speculative let’s-keep-the-hot-streak-alive play. For $3.2 K, you could do a lot worse. And, I mean, a lot worse.
Ian Desmond vs. Matt Harvey – NYM ($4,400) – It doesn’t get better than Desmond at SS, with his power/speed combination. There’s not a big sample size, but Desmond does have a home run and three walks against Harvey, while hitting .333 in nine at-bats.
Brian Dozier @ Shane Greene – DET ($4,400) – Okay, so I’m piling on Greene. Dozier averaged 8.5 FPPG last season, while only hitting .242 on the year. The power is the reason, of course, with 23 HR for Dozier in 2014. I’m expecting Dozier to get on base at least twice, with his ability to take a walk.
Danny Santana @ Shane Greene – DET ($3,900) – Yep, another Minnesota player. Santana’s numbers last season sure pointed to added luck, although I still know what the kid can do over a full season. What about Thursday? I just don’t trust Greene to shut anyone down this season, certainly not until I can see some sort of evidence that last year wasn’t a fluke.
Joe Panik @ Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,300) – Panik also qualifies at 2B if you need to go that route instead of SS, although either slot as a value play in Panik is smart considering he’s a very good contact hitter. Panik didn’t play on Wednesday, so expect him back in the lineup on Thursday.
Jose Bautista @ C.C. Sabathia – NYY ($5,000) -You know why Bautista is listed here, and if not? It’s Bautista’s pure power and that Sabathia is not the same pitcher he was some seasons ago.
Matt Kemp vs. Tim Hudson – SF ($4,700) – Kemp is hitting .364 against Hudson over his career, with one homer and three RBI in 22 at-bats. Plus, Kemp has started off fairly well for the Padres. Look for a a couple of hits and about 8-10 fantasy points, unless we’re lucky enough to see him homer off Hudson.
Billy Hamilton vs. A.J. Burnett – PIT ($4,400) – Hamilton has never faced Burnett before in the Big Leagues, and with Burnett’s arsenal getting wild at times, I see Hamilton swiping a bag or two assuming he gets on base.
Josh Harrison @ Anthony DeSclafani – CIN ($4,300) – Harrison is an underrated play, not only for Thursday’s game against the inexperienced DeSclafani but, also, for his expected seasonal output. Harrison may not hit .317 again to follow up last year, but we’re okay with that. Just keep giving us the power/speed numbers, Mr. Harrison!
Angel Pagan @ Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,900) – There are always some solid value-plays in the OF to choose from and Pagan is not an exception. Kennedy has worked Pagan over pretty well at times, so we’re leaning on my gut again on Thursday. Pagan’s solid opening play rings a bell for me too.
Juan Lagares @ Stephen Strasburg – WAS ($3,700) – If Lagares could stay healthy and garner 500 at-bats or more, we would get to see a good producing player who has the ability to hit for average and steal bases. The knock is that Lagares doesn’t draw walks; additionally, I know this matchup is something you normally avoid, so you won’t hurt my feelings if you go with Craig Gentry or Nick Castellanos instead.
Nori Aoki @ Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,600) – Aoki is the last Giants hitter I dig against Kennedy, with Posey and Belt being the other two (above). The price is right on Aoki, with his OBP (.349 in 2014) skills and his propensity to steal a base when he’s on first base.
Jake Marisnick vs. Trevor Bauer – CLE ($3,300) – Marisnick is an intriguing play early in the season until Jon Singleton can get himself back up to the Majors. You’d be diggin’ deep with Marisnick, although I have always liked his bat.
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