You are going to need to decide if you want to play in an early contest, a late contest or both on Wednesday, as there are games kicking off from noon until ten o’clock, with a double-header thrown in for good measure. Here’s my attempt to help you sort through it, by listing some players to target, which contests you can find them in, and who they are facing, across all positions and price ranges. Assume the players listed are available in the 7:00 contests unless otherwise noted. Good luck!
Lance Lynn @ CWS ($9,900) – Last time he faced the White Sox, about three weeks ago, he went six innings and gave up one run on six hits. He got roughed up by the Pirates two starts ago, but bounced back with seven strong innings last time out. Facing off against Danks, his offense will be primed to get him some run support, so you can be hopeful that he tacks a win on top of whatever other fantasy production he has.
C.J. Wilson vs. MIN ($8,500) – Wilson is coming off an eight-inning, five-hit shutout of the Red Sox, and now he’s got the Twins at home. The talent of the Minnesota lineup, for what it is, lies in their ability to get on base, but they also looove to strike out. They have one of the highest strikeout rates in the majors against left handed pitchers (over 20%), so if Wilson manages to secure the W (a distinct possibility against Palfrey), this one could end up being on the high side of his potential fantasy production.
Cody Anderson @ MIL ($8,000) – EARLY – He’s got four major league starts under his belt, and none of them against Milwaukee. If you’re opposed to inexperience and small sample sizes on your roster, that’s one thing, but for whatever it is worth, in those four starts he’s logged over 30 innings, and given up only 17 hits and three total runs. No one on the Brewers has ever faced him in the majors, but for a pitcher with good “stuff” like Anderson, that unfamiliarity favors the pitcher, not the other way around.
Kyle Hendricks @ CIN ($7,800) – EARLY – He is coming off his worst outing since the middle of June – and that was 5.2 innings, four hits, and one earned run. In his previous three starts, he had gone 6, 7 and 7.1 innings without giving up any runs at all (and never more than five hits or six total baserunners).
Stephen Vogt vs. Doubront ($4,100) – He just looks comfortable and dangerous up at the plate, and facing off against a pitcher like Doubront, I feel more surprised watching him if he doesn’t produce, than when he does – the mark of a good hitter, if you like to rely on “the eye test.”
Brian McCann vs. Gausman ($3,900) – Suffice it to say this is the first in a long line of Yankees in this column (along with plenty of Orioles). Gausman is coming off a 3.2 inning, 7 run meltdown against the Twins just before the break, which was bad enough that the Orioles sent him down to Triple-A for a couple of starts, “in order to keep him fresh” for the second half. His counterpart on the hill for the Yankees, Ivan Nova, doesn’t offer much more in the way of resistance. With these two offenses going at it, I expect plenty of scoring in this one.
Buster Posey @ Shields ($3,800) – EARLY – Posey has at least one hit in every game since the break, keeping his average over .400 for his last ten games, which actually, really isn’t all that surprising, considering how consistent he’s been all season. What’s surprising is a catcher hitting .320 for the year.
Yadier Molina @ Danks ($3,100) – Molina has gotten hits in each of his last four games, and he has always been a streaky hitter. In some cases “streaky” means nothing but “inconsistent,” but in this case it actually does mean sometimes he gets really, really hot. Facing off against Danks can’t hurt the effort to keep that level of production going.
Prince Fielder @ De La Rosa ($5,000) – EARLY – Fielder has six hits since the break, including two in the first game of this series in Coors Field. He has also had some success against De La Rosa in the past, including a TRIPLE (where must have that ball have landed?) and a double in 14 career at-bats.
Albert Pujols vs. Pelfrey ($4,500) – Pujols is up to 29 home runs this season, after hitting three in two games against the Red Sox. He is hitting .286 against Palfrey for his career. A better than average chance he makes contact + a ridiculous power surge = solid DFS play.
Victor Martinez vs. Montgomery ($3,900) – He has three home runs and three doubles since Cabrera went down with his injury, doing work to help keep the Tigers offense firing on all cylinders. Montgomery, with only nine starts on the season, has pretty quickly gone from dominant in his first few to laboring to get through enough innings to earn himself a win. Against this offense, even without Cabrera, letting too many guys on base can get dangerous in a hurry, in large part because of hitters like this guy.
Evan Gattis vs. Miley ($3,500) – Gattis is coming off a solid series against Texas, in which he went 4-for-11 with a walk, and Miley, for his part, is coming off a real solid seven-inning shutout against LA. Something has got to give, and considering Miley’s inconsistency all season long, I would venture to say there is a good chance it’s not Gattis who ends up getting the worst of this one.
Jonathan Schoop @ Nova ($4,600) – I kept recommending him every time I had a chance since he returned from the DL, just because I remembered how much we all loved having him around earlier in the season. You have to love quality options at positions like SS, C and 2B just popping up out of nowhere. His price is no longer depressed by that stint on the injured list, but even at full-blown retail, he’s still worth considering based on nothing but sheer positional differential. He is a second baseman who has scored 61 fantasy points over the five games previous to last night (in the interest of full disclosure, he WAS 0-for-4 last night).
Jose Altuve vs. Miley ($4,300) – With a hit and a pair of walks last night, he got across the plate a couple more times. He is on pace for almost 50 steals and 100 runs. Which, lest you forget, is exactly the same in DFS terms as 25 HRs and 100 RBI.
Dustin Pedroia @ McHugh ($3,900) – “What?,” you say. “He is a big giant 0-fer since he came back from the DL.” “And he’s never faced McHugh before.” Well, remember when I said that when there is no history between a hitter and a pitcher, whether that favors the man at the plate or the man on the mound depends on who exactly the hitter and pitcher are? Pedroia has absolutely no holes in his swing. He’s a tough guy to get a scouting report on, and you really have to rely on him getting himself out. A pitcher who comes at him with a plan is as likely as not to leave disappointed. So, all that, and, you know, he’s due.
Rougned Odor @ De La Rosa ($3,700) – EARLY – This is my new Schoop. I am going to beat this drum until he costs $4,500 – and take my word for it, it’s coming. He’s got to feel good about his place in the big leagues knowing Prince Fielder has got his back. I know I would.
Manny Machado @ Nova ($4,900) – You can’t make this price high enough. Hitting for extra bases, drawing walks, scoring runs, driving them in – he does it all.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Gausman ($4,400) – Let’s be honest with ourselves – we really didn’t think this resurgence was coming. We thought we’d be laughing at the Yankees for this contract for years. We thought he was out of our lives. He isn’t.
D.J. LeMahieu vs. Perez ($4,000) – EARLY – If the way this guy hit earlier in the season – and then the way he did not hit earlier in the season – and then the way he hit earlier in the season – and then the way he didn’t – is any indication, he’s a bit streaky. Well, he’s slashing .410/.465/.518 over his last ten. You do the math.
Chase Headley vs. Gausman ($3,300) – He’s hit safely in every game since the All-Star break, including two last night. One of those was an RBI double, more than enough production to make a guy worth $3,300.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Perez ($5,200) – EARLY – Why not, right? He’s the type of guy you HAVE to remember to compare to top guys at other positions, not his short stop brethren, because he has three home runs in his last five games (all since the All-Star break), a stretch in which he is slugging over .700. He just went for 19 and then 21 fantasy points in back-to-back games (including one on the road, in San Diego no less), and now he’s back in the friendly confines, facing off against a pitcher just off the DL. I like his chances.
Carlos Correa vs. Miley ($4,700) – I’ll admit, it’s not as much fun recommending him as it was when he was $1,000 cheaper, but it makes just as much sense. He’s got eight hits in his last six games, including five in his last three. In those three games, he has five hits, two doubles, a home run, five RBI, a couple of walks, four runs scored… in other words, he’s not slowing down.
Jose Reyes @ Gray ($4,000) – After hitting .250 in April, looking like he was turning it around but then hardly playing in May due to injury, and then hitting just .257 in June, he is now at 21-for-62 (.329) in July. Don’t let his season-long averages fool you – he’s playing a lot more like his old self than you might expect right now.
Xander Bogaerts @ McHugh ($3,800) – He managed another couple of hits last night, including a double, and another RBI. He’s now comfortably hitting over .300 and slugging over .400. Don’t let his last place team blind you – this is one Red Sox prospect living up to the billing.
J.D. Martinez vs. Montgomery ($4,900) – This guy is just crushing right now. He is hitting cleanup in this lineup without Cabrera around, and, frankly, dominating. Last night, he kept it up, with his 27th home run, three runs scored and another pair of RBI. He is quickly becoming the kind of player who, if you don’t draft him, he’s as likely as not to be the reason you end up losing as he anchors someone else DFS team.
Jason Heyward @ Danks ($4,400) – He had a bit of an injury scare a couple of nights ago, but he played last night and looked no worse for the wear, coming through with a double and a walk to help the Cards explode for eight runs in the first five innings.
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Perez ($4,000) – EARLY – He has been getting better and better as the season has progressed, and that progression doesn’t seem to have slowed coming out of the break – in the only game he’s played where he didn’t have a hit, he still managed a RBI sac fly. He slash line in July is an impressive .340/.364/.623. He is facing off against a Martin Perez who will be working on only his second start since coming back from Tommy John surgery – he only went five innings last time, and gave up three runs, but looked sharp. Worst case scenario, even if he is dealing, he’s not going to throw 100+ pitches, so the Marlins should be able to get into the bullpen for at least a couple of at-bats.
Shin-soo Choo @ De La Rosa ($3,800) – EARLY – In his first three at-bats last night, he had a single, a double, and a home run. It’s always fun to root for someone to hit for the cycle – the sheer randomness is awesome.
Dexter Fowler @ Leake ($3,700) – EARLY – Over the past few weeks, he hasn’t been getting a lot of extra-base hits, but his batting average has spiked by about .050 points. The net result – an identical fantasy scoring average. I don’t know about you, but if I am grabbing a guy at this price, I will take the more consistent scoring every time.
Mark Trumbo @ Sanchez ($3,400) – Trumbo came into the All-Star break with multiple hit games in four out of five, and kept his success rolling with a pinch-hit single last night to help the Mariners drop double-digit runs on the Tigers with a five-run eighth.
Alex Rios vs. Morton ($3,300) – He, like everyone else in this matchup, got caught up in a great pitchers duel last night, but coming into the game, he had been slashing .317/.400/.525 over his previous ten games.