With Boston in LA for a double-header, there is one late afternoon game, but no All-Day contests – if you want to start your Red Sox or Angels, remember, it’s the nightcap that counts. Here are some players, at every position and price range, to help you narrow down the rest of your choices. Good luck!
Matt Harvey @ WAS ($11,100) – It’s tough when a stud pitcher is facing another good pitcher (Gio Gonzalez is opposite tonight), just because it diminishes the chances of you getting a win. But in a big NL East matchup, this is definitely the guy Mets fans want on the hill.
Andrew Heaney vs. BOS ($8,400) – A risky play, to be sure, what with it being his fifth MLB start and going up against a Boston team that is hitting better lately, and which hits lefties reasonably well all the time. But, that being said, they usually don’t respond well, historically, to facing a pitcher for the first time, and this kid’s numbers are great through four outings. He has given up only four runs, but maybe more importantly in this matchup, only four walks, the kind of control you need to get through this lineup. Weaver should be back in the rotation this week – it will be interesting to see what happens to Heaney.
Matt Moore @ PHI ($7,200) – On a day where teams are still putting their rotations back in order after the All-Star break, lower cost pitchers you can trust are few and far between. Look for yourself – you’ll see. There is nothing but a big collection of call-ups and spot starters, and WHIPs hovering around 2.00. So does this mean you spend up for better starters, or just try to load up on offense? That’s the question. Moore, on the bright side, finally went five innings last time out (for the first time in three starts since returning from Tommy John surgery), and if he does it again he will at least give himself a shot at the win (yeah, that’s the bright side).
Alfredo Simon vs. DET ($5,500) – If you go the “spend your money on offense” route, you might as well go big, right? Simon hasn’t looked good lately, but he’s facing a workable matchup against SEA, and his own lineup could back him up well against J.A. Happ, even with Cabrera still out.
Buster Posey @ Kennedy ($4,000) – The most expensive active catcher on the board tonight, Posey seems like a shoo-in to score big tonight. He came into the All-Star break on fire, and came out of it still en fuego (5-for-12). And to top it off, he is hitting .400 in 40 career at-bats against Kennedy, with three doubles and a home run.
Nick Hundley vs. Martinez ($3,700) – Hundley is one of those right-handed bats that actually does much better against righties than lefties, slugging over.5oo against them on the year so far.
John Jaso @ Buchanan ($3,700) – The only reason he costs this much is sample size. He hasn’t been doing it for long, so people assume it will end. Maybe it won’t. But even if it does, we can at least all agree with the idea that he is in the midst of one hell of a hot streak (.353/.425/.529), and that counts for a lot in DFS.
Paul Goldschmidt @ Phelps ($5,900) – I don’t know if he or Harper is the MVP this year, but it’s going to be fun watching them each try to take home that hardware. Goldschmidt has faced Phelps three times in his career, and has been on based twice, good for an OBP just slightly above what he has against basically everyone else.
Anthony Rizzo @ Lorenzen ($5,100) – Rizzo just needs some people on base. The average might not quite be there, but basically, this guy could BE Paul Goldschmidt on a better offense, where he would be constantly driving in runs.
Victor Martinez vs. Happ ($3,800) – He has faced Happ six times in his career, and he has a double, a single and two walks. He has been providing the Tigers with plenty of production while Cabrera has been out, and hitting in the middle of this order will give you plenty of chances to rack up those counting stats.
Mark Trumbo @ Simon ($3,800) – Trumbo is only 2-for-9 against Simon for his career, but both hits were doubles, and he is not always hitting as well as he is right now (1.207 OPS over the past ten days).
Rougned Odor @ Rusin ($4,600) – Well, the chance to get him at a steep value might be over, but he’s still worth considering. I mean, obviously, right? .385/.342/.652 speaks for itself, no?
*Neil Walker @ Ventura ($3,800) – He’s been averaging just about seven fantasy points per game all season long, and he’s been doing it with consistency. There isn’t a lot of upside, but there is definite value in knowing what you’re getting yourself into.
Chris Owings vs. Phelps ($3,500) – He had a couple of good stretches in the first half of the season, but overall it was not pretty. But since the All-Star break, he’s hit safely in three straight, including one home run and one two-hit game.
Nolan Arenado vs. Martinez ($5,500) – He hits for power, and average. He hits well against righties, and lefties. He has been one of the best hitters in the league all season long, and tonight he is home, in a hitters’ park, with a great matchup.
Adrian Beltre @ Rusin ($4,300) – Beltre struggled after coming off the DL on June 23rd, failing to hit for average, and with virtually no power. But he has started to turn things around, slowly but surely, hitting over .260 for the week before the All-Star break, and with three hits in the three games since.
Mike Moustakas vs. Burnett ($3,600) – Moustakas has three hits in his last two games, including one for extra bases. He has faced Burnett five times, and has only collected one hit. But, if his last couple of games are an indication that he is going to start hitting as well as he did about a month ago, then Burnett is not the kind of pitcher who you are confident will shut him down.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Martinez ($5,200) – He’s never faced Martinez, so neither the pitcher nor the hitter will be familiar with the other tonight. Advantage: Tulo. He is 3-for-5 with a home run since the break.
Xander Bogaerts @ Heaney ($3,300) – This seems unnecessarily cheap. By this I mean that I would have recommended him even for a few hundred dollars more – he is slugging over .480 against lefties on the year, and there is nothing about Heaney to suggest that he is the guy to put a stop to that kind of production.
Erick Aybar vs. Wright ($3,300) – Cheap shortstops, going at each other. I know it’s the second game of a doubleheader, but I would not have expected that one factor to suppress both of these prices so much. Aybar is 3-for-9 since the break, and 1-for-3 against Wright this season.
Charlie Blackmon vs. Martinez ($5,300) – He is hitting .430/.470/.635 over his last ten games, including two doubles, two triples and a home run. He came back from the break hitting just as well as he went into it, and tonight he has a matchup you can exploit.
J.D. Martinez vs. Happ ($4,800) – He is another guy, like Victor Martinez, who is doing a fantastic job providing some pop to the Tigers’ lineup in the absence of Cabrera, in a way that must make opposing pitchers and managers fearful of the day this team is back at full strength.
Josh Hamilton @ Rusin ($4,300) – He has a 28-point outburst two nights ago, with a 3-for-5 performance at Houston, including two doubles and a home run in one of the best pitchers’ parks in the majors. Colorado is just a little bit different.
Christian Yelich @ De La Rosa ($3,800) – 1-for-3 with a double against De La Rosa in the past, and hitting particularly well right now, Yelich is the kind of value play with the ability to get you into double digits for fantasy points and actually propel you towards a good night, not just avoid disaster.
Yasiel Puig @ Wisler ($3,400) – He’s not hitting for power like he did last year, or stealing bases like he did last year. If you drafted him in your root league, he’s probably been a disappointment, unless you lucked into some value, but in DFS, his price reflects his production so far, so you don’t want to disregard him just because he doesn’t have the upside you saw last summer right now. For $3,400, he could make you happy.
Alex Rios vs. Burnett ($3,100) – With Rios hitting .385 and slugging .692 in the three games since the break, I assumed he must have terrible numbers against Burnett when I saw this price, but no: in his career, in this matchup, he is 6-for-21 (.286) with two doubles. I’ll take that for $3,100.