There are five games Wednesday afternoon, but not starting until 3:40 pm EST, so you’ll still have time to set your lineups for your early contests. But most of the action is at night, just with limited choices. But there are still plenty of choices to make, as always, so here are some players you can target – from both sets of games – and at every position and price range. Assume these guys are available in the evening sets unless otherwise noted. Good luck!
Michael Wacha vs. PIT ($10,100) – You know what a 1.08 WHIP means? It means that through 21 starts and 130+ innings, he has only given up 143 baserunners. There is just basically never anyone on the basepaths against him, which, you know, makes it hard for the other team to score. Pittsburgh has some hitters who are always worth considering, but their offense as a whole has struggled at times, and Wacha is not going to give them any freebies.
Eduardo Rodriguez @ MIA ($9,900) – EARLY – The first-year pitcher on the Red Sox had a couple of great starts when he first hit the bigs, but no one was paying attention to the Sox, because why would you? And now you look and there are some good starts and some bad, some good numbers and some bad. But today he has the Marlins, and take a look at some of the matchups he’s already gotten through: he’s had a couple against Toronto, and the Yankees, and he’s faced the Orioles, the Angels, the Tigers. Suffice it to say the Marlins are not going to be his stiffest test.
Andrew Heaney @ CWS ($8,600) – Heaney just had his worst start of the season, but I would put more stock in the seven before that, which tells me that against this lineup, he is a very solid play if you’re looking for something around 20 fantasy points. Without any real strikeout potential – at least based on what we’ve seen so far – his ceiling is probably in the high-20’s with a victory, but a 1.01 WHIP in and of itself counts as consistency.
Matt Garza @ ChC ($5,700) – If you’re going to go with a risky pitching play, might as well make it against the Cubbies. Garza actually has four straight pretty decent starts under his belt – ringing endorsement, I know. But double digit fantasy points in each of those four isn’t nothing for this price.
Kyle Schwarber vs. Garza ($4,500) – Garza has been pitching somewhat better recently, but he’s not the name that scares you away like he used to be, so until you see some history between him and a specific batter, there is no reason to shy away from a hot bat. And Schwarber certainly is that. In 29 games so far, he is hitting .328 with 13 walks and six home runs. In other words, he is both a fantasy monster and the ideal bat to stick in the middle of any lineup, but especially one that has struggled to produce runs, well, for years now. It makes you wonder where he was before then, right? You have to be careful because Miguel Montero has returned from the DL, so you will need to verify Schwarber is active every night – but when he is, he has to be on your radar as a possibility.
Travis d’Arnaud vs. De La Rosa ($4,100) – One of the catchers who, early in the season, gave us a little bit of depth to choose from at the position, he has spent more time than any of us would like banged up this year. But he homered Monday, his first since his most recent DL stint, so it seems like he is back at full-strength, at least for now, so get him in there while you still can.
A.J. Pierzynski @ Odorizzi ($3,400) – He’s always been streaky, and now that he’s been around for a while, the bad streaks are getting longer and the hot streaks seem a bit shorter. But catcher is thin, $3,400 is cheap, and an 8-point-per-game fantasy scoring average over the past couple weeks makes him an interesting consideration.
John Jaso vs. Wisler ($3,100) – This is more of a PSA than anything else, just letting you know he hasn’t really slowed down yet. He has 29 games under his belt so far, and he is hitting .316 and slugging .474. And this was no hot start: his numbers over just the past week, or the past two weeks, are only getting better. So he started hot and is trending in the right direction – a solid combo. He might not be ready to do it every single day, but since this is daily fantasy, we don’t have to care – it’s a nice feeling, isn’t it?
Prince Fielder @ Pelfrey ($4,800) – There are plenty of Rangers with a good history against Palfrey, but none who have seen him quite so often as Fielder. In 28 at-bats, he has ten hits (.357), including two doubles and three home runs. And if his teammates live up to the potential they’ve shown in more limited exposure to Pelfrey, Fielder should have plenty of opportunities to score and drive in runs, so he is one of those hitters with truly massive upside in this one.
Chris Davis @ Iwakuma ($4,300) – EARLY – Davis is a lefty that normally hits for a better average against lefties, with power numbers staying about the same. With right-handed Iwakuma on the mound, then, Davis’ 3-for-8 history is encouraging, because if the consistent contact is there, the extra base hits aren’t far behind with this guy. He currently working on a nine-game hitting streak, which has included multiple hits in each of his last two. He could make for a nice anchor in your early-contest lineups.
Joe Mauer vs. Martinez ($3,600) – With six hits in his last four games, including a double and a home run, Mauer is looking a little more like the guy who was a dependable fantasy option for years. Even if it doesn’t last the rest of the year, you can take advantage now, while it’s still going on. It’s the beauty of DFS. And if the matchup makes you think I am crazy, he does have a history of at least being able to make contact against the young righty (2-for-6 with a walk).
Billy Butler @ Buehrle ($3,100) – You have to be careful with this one, because he has been relegated to a part-time role lately – but if Bob Melvin wants to give him a chance to succeed, this could be the matchup to exploit: in 70 career at-bats, Butler has hit .314 against Buehrle, including three home runs and four doubles for 17 RBI.
Ian Kinsler @ Volquez ($4,500) – 4-for-9 against Volquez all-time (.444), Kinsler is also hitting .462/.505/.667 over his last ten after a 7-hit 3-game series against Boston that just ended. He is going to be looking to maintain that level of production, and if he can even come close, he almost belongs on the “values” list at this price.
Rougned Odor @ Pelfrey ($4,200) – This is a lineup that can some serious damage in a hurry, and Odor is both a driver of that production and a beneficiary. With 31 runs scored and 39 RBI in only 74 games, it’s no surprise he is consistently giving you 7+ fantasy points, and there is no reason to expect it to stop anytime soon.
Logan Forsythe vs. Wisler ($3,500) – He’s hit safely in three straight and six of seven, and he is up to 13 home runs on the year. He’s also maintain his batting average of .280, which you might have expected to see drop at this point. Basically, he is worth every penny of his price tag since you can consistently get him at a price that leaves you plenty of room to splurge elsewhere.
Robinson Cano vs. Gausman ($3,800) – EARLY – Over basically the past six weeks, Cano looks like himself again, hitting .300 with predictable power. He also has four hits in only six at-bats against Gausman, so there is no reason to think tonight is the night he slows down.
Josh Donaldson vs. Brooks ($6,100) – Brooks has pitched a total of 21.1 innings in his career, and he has given up 27 hits. He has faced three different Blue Jays (not including Donaldson), and all three of them reached base. Donaldson, for his part, is currently averaging 16 fantasy points over his last ten games. That’s not a typo. Sixteen. This could get ugly.
Andre Beltre @ Pelfrey ($4,000) – Beltre has been hitting for some more power recently, so he has seen his fantasy scoring average start to creep higher, and tonight could easily end up being a continuation of that trend. For his part, Beltre has two hits (including a home run) in five career at-bats against Pelfrey, but with Pelfrey’s ERA over 4.00 and WHIP over 1.40, there could be plenty of chances for Rangers to pile up fantasy scoring chances.
Evan Longoria vs. Wisler ($3,800) – Slashing .350/.381/.700 over the past week, Longoria had been working on a ten game hit streak prior to last night. His resurgence has been a big part of the reason the Rays offense has not been so much of a pushover of late, and against Wisler, who has given up 12 runs in his last 10 innings, there is no reason to think they slow down tonight.
Daniel Murphy vs. De La Rosa ($3,600) – He has multiple hits in 4 of his last 6 and 5 of his last 8 games, averaging more than eleven fantasy points per game over that stretch.
Carlos Correa @ Heston ($5,000) – EARLY – Is there anything this guy can’t do? If you can imagine it, he is actually helping the Astros out more than fantasy owners. This guy has had a bad week at the plate (for him), hitting only around .200 – and so he’s just drawn seven walks in his last seven games, and his OBP has actually gone up! He impresses me more every time I take another look, and as much as it really was fun recommending him when his price tag was under $4K, he’s still worth the money now.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Brooks ($4,900) – He’s not hitting for the average he was in Colorado, which is likely going to self-correct back to his career numbers. It really is only the power that should be effected in the long run by the move, and that can be mitigated just by being at the top of a powerhouse order. His incredible OBP numbers are finally starting pay some fantasy dividends, and facing a pitcher like Brooks, I expect him to add to the eleven runs he’s already scored since switching teams.
Jhonny Peralta vs. Cole ($3,600) – One of the more successful hitters in this lineup against Cole, with a .286 average against, he has also been a consistent fantasy producer all season long. He averages right around seven fantasy points per outing, and that has been true at every different point in the year. Seven points you can count on is absolutely worth this price tag, especially for a guy with enough home runs (16) to represent real upside on a night-to-night basis.
Elvis Andrus vs. Pelfrey ($3,600) – With the possibility of having plenty of teammates on base all around him, the opportunities should be plentiful. Lately, Andrus has been taking advantage of those chances, averaging a couple more fantasy points than usual over the last two weeks (just over 8 instead of just over 6).
Jose Bautista vs. Brooks ($5,800) – Of the three Blue Jays who have had the privilege of facing Brooks before, two got on via walk, and then there was Bautista, who got on via a wicked, screaming, line-drive double. He also happens to have seven hits and three home runs in his last five games. So there’s that.
Andrew McCutchen @ Wacha ($4,900) – McCutchen is the only real Pirate with any success against Wacha, which could limit his upside (as do all low-scoring games). But, he does have five hits and a walk in thirteen career at-bats against him, including a double. That’s good for a .417 average and – for your money – at least a reasonable assurance he won’t leave you with nothing for your investment.
Hunter Pence vs. Feldman ($4,800) – EARLY – One of the most expensive players in the early contests for a reason, Pence is averaging double-digits in terms of fantasy points over the past two weeks. As the Giants have improved offensively as a whole, their old stalwarts – like Pence or Posey – are seeing the benefits with increased opportunities for run production. Pence also has a solid history against Feldman, hitting .455 with three doubles in eleven at-bats.
Delino Deshields @ Pelfrey ($4,100) – In his three ever at-bats against Pelfrey, he has two hits, and they were both doubles. He is the kind of player who comes by his average with some pretty wild swings – his last few fantasy outputs: 0, 15, 0, 2, 19, 15. That might make him more of a GPP play than a cash game play, but tonight is actually a night you could reasonably expect him to have one of his more productive games.
Nick Markakis @ Odorizzi ($3,500) – Markakis has three multi-hit games in his last five, so he’s naturally seen a spike in fantasy production as well. And if he is swinging the bat well, then it’s the perfect tim for Odorizzi to show up on the schedule – he’s managed to get on base eight times in sixteen at-bats in this match, including a double and a home run, for a fantastic .429/.500/.714 slash line against this specific pitcher.
Jason Werth @ Kershaw ($2,600) – Just back from the DL at the end of July, and facing Kershaw, most DFS players are just going to skip right by him without a second thought. But because you read the Playbook, you know that he is 9-for-26 against Kershaw with a pair of home runs and four walks. And just like that, you have separation from other owners.
David DeJesus @ Danks ($2,400) – You don’t get to be this cheap playing every day, so check your lineups. He has only been on the Angels for a couple of weeks now, and he hasn’t done much, but they acquired him for a reason. And even if that reason is defense, you need a guy to be comfortable on offense at least a little before you trot him out there for his glove. And this matchup could help. In 25 at-bats against Danks he has nine hits, including three doubles. For this price, just having that level of production as a ceiling makes him a value play.