For a small nine game night slate, we have a ton of solid pitching. This creates a problem and an opportunity for us. The problem is that with so many good pitchers, we do not have a lot of great spots for bats which could lead to a ton of high ownership on a shorter slate. Let’s take a look at some of the top options!
Adam Wainwright – Cardinals v. Mets – $10900 – People are still not playing Wainwright after his rocky start to the season, and that has been a huge mistake lately. He has gone six or more innings with three or fewer runs allowed in eight of his last nine starts. He has gone for 20+ fantasy points in six of his last eight games and faces a weak Mets team that is struggling with the bat. He has 59 strikeouts in those last nine starts, which means he is added 6.5 per game to the innings he is pitching and those strikeout have given him a nice floor. I hate the price jump he has taken recently, but he’s been good enough to justify it.
Yu Darvish – Rangers v. Athletics – $11300 – He is the most talented pitcher on the mound today by a good margin and the only drawback is the pitch count. He is making his sixth start off the DL and has not gone over 90 pitches yet. He is still getting us about 5-6 innings with those 90 pitches and striking out an average of 8 batters per start while allowing less than 2 runs on average. I’m not sure if the Rangers coaching staff will allow him to go deeper or not today, but he has been putting up over 20 fantasy points even in short appearances.
Gerrit Cole – Pirates v. Mariners – $8100 – Most people expected Cole to build on his big year last season and thus far Cole has disappointed. While he had a rocky start to the year, his numbers are starting to improve. He has given up a bunch of hits to lefties which has his WHIP up at 1.35, but his K/BB ratio is a robust 3:1 and his ERA is under 3. What I like most about him here is the cheap price. He is a big favorite and pitching at home, so there are a lot of positives in his corner. Seattle does have a lot of left-handed bats to throw at him and he is allowing an unusually high .300+ batting average to lefties this year. I still like him in this matchup for a solid return at the price, but it is not a slam dunk as you can see.
Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees v. Astros – $9700 – I really like this spot for Tanaka today and think he will go overlooked. Tanaka allows about a .230 average to both sides of the plate, so no one is really teeing off on him. The Astros struggle more with right-handed pitching as the big bats are better vs. southpaws. Carlos Correa is the best of the big bats in righty v. righty matchups and he is only slightly better than league average. Houston does strikeout a lot so even though Tanaka is not a huge strikeout guy, I think he gets enough of them here. I would not doubt he gets taged for a HR or two, but as long as he keeps the walks and hits low, solo shots are not going to kill him. His whip is only 1.09 and his ERA is under 3, and those are stellar numbers for a guy who pitches in the AL East.
Anthony Rizzo (1B) – Cubs v. White Sox – $5300 – Rizzo has a matchup with Anthony Ranuado and the White Sox bullpen today. Ranuado is a reliever who the ChiSox are stretching out, who has major struggles with left-handed bats. Rizzo owns a .400 wOBA and a .275 ISO score against right-handed pitching and his Cubs team has one of the higher team totals on the day.
Mike Trout (OF) – Angels v. Royals – $4600 – I always love when I can get the best player in baseball at a discount. Trout is the tenth most expensive outfielder today and he actually has the platoon advantage against Danny Duffy who has been tagged by right-handed bats. Duffy has been good lately, but right-handed bats have a higher fly Ball and home run rate against him this year. Trout owns a .414 wOBA and a .249 ISO score against southpaws, so he is definitely a guy to look at.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – Diamondbacks v. Brewers – $4700 – I know Jimmy Nelson struggles more with left-handed bats over his career, but righties are hitting him well this season. Goldy still crushes right-handed pitching with a .390 wOBA and an ISO score over .200. The game is in hitter friendly Miller Park and has one of the higher totals on the day. When Arizona scores runs, Goldy usually has some piece of the action and it is normally a big piece.
Starling Marte (OF) – Pirates v. Mariners – $4900 – I think Marte is going to be winning people some money tonight. He always seems to go low owned, but he is the best right-handed bat on the Pirates at the moment. James Paxton is solid for Seattle, but he does struggle with right-handed bats. Marte has always been solid against lefties and he is on fire right now. He has scored double digit DraftKings points in 5 of his last 10 games and could be a difference maker at low ownership again today.
Ian Desmond (OF) – Rangers v. Athletics – $5200 – He is getting pricey, but that’s what owning a .307 batting average with 19 home runs will do to a player’s salary. Desmond faces Sean Manaea who has allowed right-handed bats to hit .279 against him with 9 home runs in 63 innings of work. Desmond is one of the big right-handed bats on this Rangers team and he profiles to do well against the young southpaw.
Adrian Beltre (3B) – Rangers v. Athletics – $5100 – Much of what we just said about Manaea with Desmond applies here as well. Beltre smashes left-handed pitching. He owns a .391 wOBA and a .226 ISO since the start of 2015. He will likely remain in the clean up spot, which means he is likely to be in position to rack up some hits and RBI in a plus matchup.
Ryan Braun (OF) – Brewers v. Diamondbacks – $4800 – Braun is someone we like more against lefties, but he still owns a very solid .359 wOBA and .200 ISO score since the start of last season against right-handed pitching. The other reason I like him is because he has been running wild lately. Braun has four stolen bases in the last four games and those stolen bases and runs scored can add up quickly. Braun is already a high on-base percentage guy, so if he gets multiple chances to steal a base and score a run, he has a solid floor for us to count on.
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – Orioles v. Rockies – $3500 – I really like Jon Gray and think he is going to be a good pitcher for a long time, but he does allow a higher average to right-handed bats and Machado is better in same handed situations. Machado owns a .384 wOBA and a .237 ISO against right-handed pitching since 2015 and is only $3500 today. The price almost ensures he will have higher ownership, especially with the position eligibility at SS and 3B.
Salvador Perez (CATCH) – Royals v. Angels – $3200 – Perez is clearly my favorite catcher on the day. Shoemaker has been good lately, but he actually allows a higher average and more home runs to right-handed bats and has for the last two seasons. Perez has been moved up in the order with all the injuries and has crushed Shoemaker in their last few matchups. Perez is 6-for-8 with a home run and multiple extra base hits, so this is not only a decent spot for him, but he is my BvP play of the day.
Scooter Gennett (2B) – Brewers v. Diamondbacks – $3600 – I love Scooter when Milwaukee faces a right-handed pitcher. They face off against Archie Bradley today, and Bradley has allowed a .290 average to left-handed bats. Scooter tends to get bumped up into the 2 hole and has made a living hitting right-handers. He homered against one a few days ago and usually racks up some hits. With the Brewers new found running game as well, he too is a threat for some stolen base upside today. Between the hits, runs scored, and potential for a home run or stolen base, I love his price and upside today.
Michael Bourn (OF) – Diamondbacks v. Brewers – $3900 – This Brewers/Diamondbacks game is likely to be high scoring and Bourn is one of my favorite ways to grab some exposure to it. Jimmy Nelson usually struggles the most with left-handed bats. Jake Lamb and Chris Hermann are both banged up, which makes Bourn the best left-hander Arizona has. He has very little power, but can get on base, steal and score you some runs. With Nelson having a high WHIP v. left-handed batters, I think we could see this play out today.
Carlos Beltran (OF) – Yankees v. Astros – $3500 – Beltran is the best hitter on the Yankees from either side of the plate. The guy has over a .300 average this year with twenty-one home runs and is disrespected at only $3500. I know McCullers is a solid pitcher who does not give up home runs (only 2 in 70 innings), but he does give up hits and Beltran has been stroking the ball. At $3500 we do not need home run upside to make value and I think Beltran is probably the lowest priced guy you will find all year with a .300 average and 20+ home runs.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is BRich11) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.