With five afternoon games on Wednesday, you have your early contests, and your late contests. Decisions, decisions, before you even get to picking players. Most of the action is at night, but your choices will be more limited than usual with all the guys going early. The players below are a few guys you can target in both contests, at every position and price range. Assume these players are available for the 7:05 contests unless otherwise noted. Good luck!
Corey Kluber @ BOS ($11,200) – Coming off back-to-back complete game wins, Kluber now gets a Red Sox team that has lost more than it has won all year long. That’s not to say the Red Sox don’t have some professional hitters on their roster – they do. They will likely take enough pitches to get Kluber out of there before he goes nine, and they might put a few runs on the board. But with the Sox pitching struggling all year, Kluber still has a good shot at the victory, and has as high of a floor as any of the guys in this price range.
Julio Teheran @ SD ($10,000) – EARLY – I bring him up here because there aren’t a lot of elite pitching options in the early contests today, and with this matchup, Teheran qualifies. His numbers lately are better than his season-long numbers, so you might have to dive a little deeper to be convinced, but let’s just look at one: San Diego has a 21% strikeout percentage, and Teheran is averaging 8 K’s per start over his last four (as opposed to only 5 over the course of the entire season).
Mark Buehrle @ PHI ($7,300) – Three straight quality starts and NOW he gets a start against Philly? Yes, please. With Adam Morgan on the hill opposite, you can be rooting for player performance and the team win in this one.
Joe Kelly vs. CLE ($5,600) – I know, I already recommended Kluber. But I am not saying Kelly is the single best option of the night, but $5,600 is CHEAP. Kelly has at least six K’s in each of his last three starts, getting him to an 18 ppg fantasy scoring average over that stretch. Meanwhile, the Indians have a 21.9% strikeout percentage. Win or lose, fantasy points are possible here.
Kyle Schwarber vs. Norris ($4,700) – If you haven’t started paying attention yet, do it now. That is all.
Salvador Perez @ Sampson ($3,600) – He only needed to miss a few games, and it looks like his wrist issue is (hopefully) behind him, both for DFS players’ and Royals fans’ sake. But with two hits in two of his last three games since returning to the lineup, he is making it possible to trust him sooner rather than later, which is nice.
Russell Martin @ Morgan ($3,600) – There is no denying it, he has been ice cold lately, and that reality is reflected in this price tag. But he has faced Morgan only one other time, and he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Maybe this is the night he starts to turn it around.
Joey Votto vs. Guthrie ($4,900) – One of the more expensive recommended plays, and for good reason. He is expensive because he has been consistent all season long and I am recommending him for two reasons: he’s hitting really well right now, with two home runs in the last week, and he has hit Guthrie well in the past (3-for-6 with two doubles).
Albert Pujols vs. Samardzija ($4,000) – The future HOF first baseman with 33 home runs on the year is facing a pitcher against whom he is 7-for-19 (.368) with a double and three home runs. Seems like a bit of a no-brainer.
Mark Trumbo @ Holland ($3,700) – EARLY – With four hits in his last three games, hopefully he is trending away from the recent mini-slump he went through. And a matchup with Holland can – based on their prior history – only help him get back on track. He clearly sees the ball coming out of Holland’s hand well for some reason: in their all-time matchup, Trumbo is 11-for-38 (.289) with two doubles and four home runs.
Jason Kipnis @ Kelly ($5,100) – He’s back, off the DL, and with an at-bat under his belt last night. I understand if you’d prefer to wait and see him do it once or twice before rostering him, but you might be missing out – he’s had a hit in both of his career at-bats against Kelly, including a double. A big night would be a good way for him to kick off his return to action.
Robinson Cano @ Holland ($3,900) – EARLY – When you see these numbers, you’ll know why I included him as a stud and Phillips as a value at the same price – Cano is 10-for-28 against Holland with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. Yes, please.
Brandon Phillips vs. Guthrie ($3,900) – He is 6-for-9 with a double and a home run against Guthrie, and considering he is also hitting .377 over the past ten games, I am not 100% sure why his price point is so low.
Danny Espinosa @ De La Rosa ($3,400) – With home runs in back-to-back games last weekend, he is up to 12 for the year, and tonight he is in the best possible park, facing a pitcher who he has succeeded against in the past (3-for-6 with a pair of doubles).
Josh Donaldson @ Morgan ($5,900) – I expect the Blue Jays to win every matchup with the Phillies. That might not literally be true, but it’s going to be close. And someone has to do the hitting – why not the guy slugging over .600 for the past week?
Alex Rodriguez vs. Santana ($4,200) – EARLY – His amazing comeback season just continues, as he added a grand slam to his resume last night, elevating the Yankees to an important win. He also has a ton of exposure to Santana over the years, and has compiled a .333 average with four home runs in 36 at-bats.
Danny Valencia vs. Wood ($3,300) – EARLY – Sometimes there are performances that come out of no where. Sometimes there are numbers that just seem odd. This is one of them: Valencia is 3-for-3 against Wood, with two doubles. Maybe we’ll never know why, but we will do our best to take advantage.
Juan Uribe @ Jiminez ($3,100) – Coming off a day off, Uribe should hopefully be fresh and feeling strong, but we know he should be feeling comfortable – he is hitting .357 with two doubles and a walk in fifteen career plate appearances against Jiminez.
Ian Desmond @ De La Rosa ($4,500) – Averaging just over 11 fantasy points for the past couple weeks, he also had three home runs in the past week, and now he is in Colorado. And not only that, he’s in Colorado facing a pitcher he’s seen 14 times before. In those 14 at-bats, he has five hits (.417), two walks (.500 OBP), and a pair of doubles (slugging .583).
Asdrubal Cabrera @ Keuchel ($3,500) – His slash line of .442/.457/.625 over the past couple of weeks hasn’t moved the needle at all in terms of his DFS price. And even with his dirt cheap 9.5 points per game of late, he might not be widely owned tonight because of matchup concerns. Get a leg up on the competition by at least being aware that he is 3-for-9 lifetime against Keuchel, with a double and a home run.
Alexei Ramirez @ Weaver ($2,900) – Ramirez is hitting 30 or 40 points higher over the past two weeks than he has all season long, so he’s seen an uptick in his fantasy production as well, obviously, getting that scoring average up around 7 over the same time frame. He’s also hitting over .300 against Weaver for his career in 23 at-bats, all of which is pointing in the right direction for a guy who costs under $3K.
Mike Trout vs. Samardzija ($4,600) – He hasn’t had a hit since the 14th, which is not a good thing. Except, of course, for the fact that it means he only costs $4,600 tonight. A more affordable Mike Trout is a good Mike Trout, especially if you can get him at lower-than-normal ownership percentages in a matchup where he is hitting .333 historically (3-for-9 with two doubles).
Charlie Blackmon vs. Strasburg ($4,400) – Another hitter you could potentially roster with very little competition, his ownership % is bound to decline from normal averages due to the pitching matchup. However, in his case, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (3-for-6 with two doubles in his only six tries against Strasburg in the past).
Matt Carpenter vs. Cain ($4,200) – Carpenter is hitting .700 against Cain for his career. And it’s not even the tiniest of sample sizes. In ten at-bats, he has seven hits. It’s that simple.
Chris Colabello @ Morgan ($3,600) – He is slashing .450/.567/.675 over the past ten days, with three double-digit performances over that stretch, in terms of fantasy points. You don’t often get 20+ point upside for this price, but right now, that’s what he is giving you, along with a relatively safe and consistent 5 points or so nightly.
Justin Maxwell @ Garcia ($2,300) – In case you weren’t sure, that’s Justin Maxwell of the Giants. If this pick doesn’t make any sense, neither do these numbers: Maxwell is 6-for-11 with three doubles and a home run against Jamie Garcia.