With four early games on Wednesday, you have two sets of DFS contests – which means a slightly smaller selection set in one, drastically smaller in the other. There are early contests corresponding to the 1:10 start time for Baltimore @ Minnesota – you can take your pick from eight total teams in these. Most of the action is in the evening, and even with the eight teams gone, you will still have plenty of choices to make. Here are some players to help you navigate that those decisions, at every position and price range. Good luck. Assume the players below are active in the evening action unless otherwise noted.
Clayton Kershaw vs. PHI ($13,300) – It’s now been five starts without a win, despite a total of just nine runs allowed over that span. He gets you fantasy points in the mid-twenties even without earning a W basically every time out, and I like his chances of reversing that trend against Philly, which should mean he at least cracks 30.
Michael Wacha @ ChC ($9,400) – He’s averaging over six innings a game, with five K’s. Those are the positives, which are more than enough for a guy who eliminates so many of the negatives, which is what his 2.66 ERA and 1.09 WHIP indicates.
Trevor Bauer vs. HOU ($7,900) – Bauer is the kind of pitcher who – in the most unsurprising sort of way – turns in his best performances against his worst opponents. And while Houston is capable of putting up runs, they also strike out at a phenomenal rate, something that makes you value a pitcher capable of averaging six K’s a game a bit more than usual.
Charlie Morton vs. SD ($6,100) – He had a couple of tough starts in a row, but seemed to get back on track with six solid innings against Cleveland in his last start. If he can get back into the form he had been showing over the past couple months, he could have a great showing against San Diego – he does still have six wins in his last eight starts.
Wilin Rosario vs. Shoemaker ($4,000) – The first in what is, likely not surprisingly, a run of Rockies on the list tonight. Rosario, as an example, slugs .279 points higher at home than he does on the road. These guys on the Rockies who have good overall numbers? Across the board, that means they have borderline ridiculous numbers at home.
Yasmani Grandal vs. Morgan ($3,600) – He has three home runs and two doubles in his last six games. Of course, he has five strikeouts over the same span. But a strikeout and an extra base hit per game makes for a fine fantasy option.
Yadier Molina @ Hammel ($3,400) – He’s hit safely in eight of nine, with two doubles over that stretch – for $3,400 at a thin position, that’s not nothing.
Paul Goldschmidt @ Harrison ($5,900) – We’ll make this easy: if there is anything more useful to your fantasy lineup than Paul Goldschmidt against a righty, it’s Paul Goldschmidt against a lefty. He’s hitting .377 against them in 60 at bats this season.
Prince Fielder vs. Hellickson ($4,700) – Speaking of .377, that happens to be exactly what Fielder is hitting over his last ten games. In a battle of dueling stud first basemen, the pitching matchups are right for both of them to excel here.
Pedro Alvarez vs. Cashner ($3,800) – He’s up to twelve home runs on the year, and his fantasy scoring average is up a couple of points over the past couple weeks, as he continues to drive his batting average higher. He’s now at .242 on the year after starting off at only .224 in April.
James Loney @ Guthrie ($3,600) – He’s had one hit in eight tries against Guthrie in the past, but he’s also not usually hitting as well as he is right now. He has been drawing walks at a higher frequency lately, leading to a higher on-base percentage, which leads to more scoring opportunities, etc, etc. This game is easy when you’re only swinging at strikes and making contact consistently.
Dee Gordon @ Porcello ($4,700) – I won’t mention the matchup, but let’s just say it works. No matter the matchup, Gordon is slashing .339/.360/.418 – and if you think the slugging numbers are low, but he’s on pace for sixty steals – in fantasy point equivalents, that’s as good as a 30-home run season.
Neil Walker @ Cashner ($4,100) – Walker is slugging .673 over the past ten games, a number helped in large part by two home runs in a game against Detroit. But even if you want to discount his back-to-back four-hit games less than a week ago as a fluke, he hit safely in three straight after that as well, so he’s giving you the consistency plus upside you’re always after.
Justin Turner vs. Morgan ($3,900) – Yup, Turner is still hot. In case you were wondering. Admittedly, his slugging % has dropped off from his season average of over .900 to just under .850 over the past couple of weeks. I know, terrible.
Jonathan Schoop @ Milone ($3,700) – EARLY – This, more than anything, is just me pointing out that Jonathan Schoop is playing again. He has a hit in each of his two games back from an injury that’s kept him out since April. At the time of his injury, he was hitting .259/.310/.630.
Nolan Arenado vs. Shoemaker ($5,200) – Rockies hit better at home, yes – on average. But Arenado is actually the exception, with his numbers taking a very slight dip in Colorado. But no matter – Shoemaker has given up 16 home runs in 15 starts this year. Have to love a home game AND the matchup for this offense.
Josh Donaldson @ Danks ($4,900) – Donaldson is awesome, consistently hitting .300, slugging over .500 and averaging ten fantasy points, all during basically any slice of the season you want to take. He just keeps doing it – no slumps, no spikes. Danks might be looking to build on a good performance last time out, but there is every reason to expect the guy who gave up five or more runs in four of six games prior to that to be the one who shows up.
Xander Bogaerts vs. Koehler ($3,700) – One of a few Red Sox who have begun to make the team a bit more competitive over the past few weeks. He’s hitting right around .300 and slugging right around .400 for the year, useful enough, and over the past couple of weeks he’s been .030 or so points higher in both categories.
Troy Tulowitzki vs. Shoemaker ($5,300) – He’s never faced Shoemaker, but if I had to guess, when historians look back on the still-to-come batter vs. pitcher stats in this case, the advantage will have pretty clearly gone to Tulo. He slugged .526 in all of June, and so far in July, he’s upped his game, bringing that number to .600.
Hanley Ramirez vs. Koehler ($5,000) – So, first off, this is a situation where there is very little reason to ever decide to play this guy in the OF. Obviously. And he has the talent to push Tulowitzki for the top spot on this list, and right now, that talent is finally taking over, again. If you’ve been patient enough to still keep an open mind about trusting him in your lineup, it’s been paying off lately: he hit .338 in June and already has four extra base hits (including three home runs) in 20 July at-bats.
Jean Segura vs. Teheran ($3,700) – EARLY – So, he is both hitting and slugging .327 (impressive actually), but he also has two steals in his last three games (twelve on the year), giving him plenty of upside on a night-to-night basis.
Adeiny Hechevarria @ Porcello ($3,500) – OK, so last time I recommended a Marlin, I declined to mention Porcello. No longer. At this point, it’s gotten so bad that Red Sox fans have moved on from being mad at Porcello, and have decided to start getting mad at the manager for continuing to start him. He has eight hits in his last six games, momentum he’ll look to build on Wednesday.
Mike Trout @ Rusin ($6,600) – This is what you get when arguably the best hitter in baseball goes to Colorado. Do you want to spend up, or let someone else use him to beat you?
Bryce Harper vs. Lorenzen ($5,800) – The other best hitter in baseball. I mean, that about covers it. He’s got two walks and no hits in three career at-bats against Lorenzen, if you were wondering. Eventually, he has to throw him some strikes.
Jose Bautista @ Danks ($5,100) – Another hitter who has been successful all year looking to take advantage of Danks, while Danks tries to get his season on track following up a decent start. I think the rule of thumb is to stick with the streaks. The past is the best predictor. Don’t do the same thing and expect a different result and all that.
Alejandro De Aza @ Porcello ($4,200) – Porcello deserves this treatment more than Danks – he has no good last start to fall back on. He’s given up 25 runs in his last five starts.
Chris Colabello @ Danks ($3,700) – Jeez – this is starting to make me feel bad. So instead of mentioning the pitcher, I’ll just say that Colabello is still hitting .335 on the year, and is now pushing double digits in home runs before we even reach the All-Star break.
Cole Gillespie @ Porcello ($3,700) – Man, this just got easy. Sometimes you just have to do it. There are, when it comes right down to it, two factors that go into choosing a hitter for your lineup, after all: the hitter and the pitcher. Sometimes the pitcher is just the better predictor of what’s going to happen.
Brock Holt vs. Koehler ($3,300) – The utility man should probably have eligibility at even more positions on DK, since he has turned his usefulness all over the field into his first ever All Star game selection. His .295 average can be useful to both the Red Sox and your fantasy lineup.