Matt Harvey vs. SF ($10,700) – Coming off his first win in a month, Harvey has been dominating lately. Some people remember his four-inning start against Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago, but that has been a dramatic anomaly – he has struck out at least nine and gone at least seven innings in four of his last five appearances.
Trevor Bauer vs. SEA ($8,700) – Bauer has pitched very well this season, and even better of late, with either 1 or 2 earned runs in each of his last five starts, only one of which wasn’t longer than seven innings. And not only is he facing a relatively weak hitting Seattle lineup, he is also facing Taijuan Walker, which only increases his chances of earning the W in this one… not that he is definitely going to need the boost – he had a season-high ten K’s against this Seattle lineup last time he faced them. Just be careful about the weather heading towards first pitch and be prepared to make a switch if you have to. It’s too bad, because I would love to start him with no reservations, and there aren’t a lot of great alternatives in his price range.
Edinson Volquez @ MIN ($6,700) – Volquez is the kind of pitcher that has the upside for 6-9 strikeouts any night, and the Twins are just the kind of lineup to help him reach that potential. He is coming off an outing where he was completely outdueled by Chi Chi Gonzalez in his second major league start, but he should have a decent shot at a win against Kyle Gibson if he can manage a quality start, very do-able with a plus matchup.
Brett Anderson vs. ARI ($6,600) – Anderson isn’t super exciting, but he has gone at least six innings in four straight, with no more than 3 earned runs across in any of them. He doesn’t have great strikeout numbers, but he will get you something like 4-6 most nights, and tonight, he is another pitcher with the benefit of going against one of the opposing team’s lesser starters in Jeremy Hellickson.
Derek Norris @ Perez ($3,900) – The highest priced active catcher on the board, and sometimes, while you wish there were these great options at catcher, at least you can be thankful that they are all so much worse than other positions from a value proposition – it keeps the price down. Imagine if you were forced to take one of those guys seven or eight down the list?
Salvador Perez @ Gibson ($3,800) – When you see a catcher who is slugging over .500 for the past two weeks, you jump on the chance to get him into your lineup. He’s had three home runs and a double in his last four games.
Stephen Vogt vs. Gallardo ($3,700) – Vogt continues to be that guy who is maybe sitting in a super sweet zone right now – still getting that catcher eligibility, but getting his price depressed by his comparison to other first basemen? Here’s an idea: don’t ever start Vogt at first. Ever.
Yasmani Grandal vs. Hellickson ($3,200) – He hasn’t been hitting consistently for the past couple of weeks, but the talent is there to produce for you, at least on occasion. Against Hellickson, he’ll look to at least have a bright spot on his game log show up, if not fully get back on track.
Anthony Rizzo @ Greene ($5,500) – His numbers are getting better. I mean, what? Not only is he keeping that batting average around .330, but his slugging and OPS are getting a little ridiculous. It was cute for a month or so, but if this is going to keep up long term, now it’s getting serious. He’s on pace for something like 90 extra base hits on the year, and the pace is only picking up, at least so far. He’s expensive, sure, but someone’s gonna pay for him, and then you’re in trouble.
Albert Pujols @ Ramirez ($4,700) – Well, this is getting hard to ignore. I mean, I know there is a bandwagon forming and all, but if a guy is going to hit a home run every night, aren’t you kind of obligated to start him? He’s slugging just over .900 for the past couple of weeks with an OPS of over 1.3. In case you were wondering that equates to an average of about 15 fantasy points per night for two straight weeks.
Chris Davis vs. Porcello ($3,900) – The Red Sox are playing better lately, but it hasn’t been because of Porcello. I expect plenty of runs from these divisional rivals as they struggle to keep up with the Yanks (I’ve heard this story before, I think). Davis is usually involved when that happens.
Logan Forsythe @ Weaver ($3,100) – The choices thin out in a hurry tonight, and you really start to see that once you move past selecting your starting pitcher. But Forsythe has continued to hit for some power whenever he’s able to make contact, and Weaver is coming off an outing where he looked more than a little vulnerable. At least there’s hope.
Jason Kipnis vs. Walker ($4,800) – This is the kind of matchup that makes you starting hoping it doesn’t rain in Cleveland tonight, no matter where in the world you live. DFS will make you wish for some funny things. But this one is worth it: Kipnis has been a machine lately, the kind of machine that is sent from the future to chew up and spit out a pitcher like Walker, you know, as a learning experience.
Dustin Pedroia @ Chen ($4,100) – He seems cheap to me. He’s playing like he did when he was an MVP candidate, with a slash line of .309/.374/.455, and now that his teammates are coming along, he can finally start to rack up some counting stats to make him a little more of an attractive option. Last time the Sox faced Chen, they drew five walks in as many innings and chased him early. They are going to make him throw strikes, and if he leaves one over the plate against Pedroia, he’s not going to miss it the way he is going right now.
Ian Kinsler vs. Arerieta ($3,800) – This might be the cheapest option you decide to look at when you see his numbers recently: slugging .390 with an OPS pushing .700 over the past couple of weeks, it’s enough to maybe make you overlook the 1-for-9 he”s posted in his career against Arrieta. And if not, you’re probably going with a stud because there isn’t a lot left below this point.
Chris Owings @ Anderson ($3,300) – The “break glass” option, as in “in case of emergency.” He has little to no upside, but he has been making solid contact lately, and you’d think his numbers against lefties (much worse than righties) will start to even out eventually.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Arrieta ($4,700) – Hitting 3-for-9 with a HR against Arrieta for his career, and hitting well over .350 for the past week, there is not good reason to decide you don’t want Cabrera on your team. And compared with the top options at other positions, $4,700 is a relative value. You might be able to roster him and still pursue a bone`fide stud elsewhere.
Mike Moustakas @ Gibson ($4,000) – Hitting .385 against Gibson lifetime in thirteen at-bats, Moustakas will be heading into tonight’s action looking to continue his recent good hitting, which has included nine hits in the past seven days.
Manny Machado vs. Porcello ($3,800) – With twenty-one extra base hits and eight steals on the year, Machado is the kind of guy who would be killing it on your roto roster, but there is no reason to think this doesn’t help in DFS. Those eight steals might be hard to predict, but you know what else is hard to predict – EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT HITTING A BASEBALL.
Xander Bogaerts @ Chen ($3,500) – Slugging exactly .500 over the past ten days, with three doubles, four runs scored and five RBI. This was the kind of production you were thinking about early in the season for Bogaerts, rated as a top three prospect in baseball as recently as last year. Start thinking that way again.
Starlin Castro @ Greene ($3,900) – Castro has been leading the way for the young shortstops around the league this year, and the fact that he only costs $3,900 near the top of the rankings tonight just shows you the state of the position right now. The league is starved for the days when Jeter, A-Rod and Nomar turned SS into a premier position, and Castro is the kind of guy who makes you think about that level of production when you see him playing at his best.
Jean Segura @ Morton ($3,900) – One of the consensus best short stops in the game a year ago, certainly from a fantasy perspective, he had fallen off the radar somewhat with a slow start. Don’t make it turn into a slow trip back onto your radar, because he is hitting .348 over the past ten days, and getting on base at almost a .370 clip, and invaluable improvement for someone with his speed, and hopefully, a ticket back to the top of the batting order.
Elvis Andrus @ Hahn ($3,600) – The OBP over .300 is what gets you excited about a guy who has serious speed and plays at the top of the order. He might have slipped from prior years, but he still can run and he still plays in an elite lineup that could do some serious damage to a guy like Hahn and provide Andrus and you plenty of opportunities for fantasy points in the meantime.
Erick Aybar @ Ramirez ($3,400) – Aybar had only six total points against the Yankees in their series that went on over the past weekend, but he rebounded last night with a 13-point 3-for-6 night in Tampa. The Yankees have been a buzzsaw recently, though, so let’s concentrate on the good: that series aside, Aybar has seven or more fantasy points in five of his last six. I’ll take it on the cheap at a tough position to fill.
Andrew McCutchen vs. Lohse ($5,000) – Could he be doing any more right now? He tweaked his knee on Sunday and got Monday off, but returned to action with a double last night looking no worse for the wear. He is hitting .357 so far in June, following up a .330 May. He’s gtot three steals and 25 extra-base hits. He’s got 37 RBI and 33 runs scored (top 25 in both categories). He plays A+ defense, and he is just exciting to watch. No wonder the kids love him. He might be pricey, but I love him for your DFS lineups as well.
Carlos Gomez @ Morton ($4,800) – His nine-game hitting streak was snapped on Sunday, and he immediately started up another, grabbing up a hit in each of his last two contests. He isk the engine that drives this Brewers offense when they are playing well.
Matt Kemp @ Perez ($4,600) – Just as Upton has started to slow down some (back to normal, not in bad way), Kemp has begun to step up his game. This is the beauty of the flexibility offered by DFS. Been riding Upton for weeks? Just switch it up, and save $100. Simple as that. Kemp is hitting .270 with four extra base hits in the last ten days.
Yoenis Cespedes vs. Arrieta ($4,200) – The Tigers can score runs in a hurry. Arrieta is not a terrible pitcher, but this is the kind of matchup that isn’t neutral. Sometimes you look at a game and feel bad for the hitters, and sometimes you look and feel bad for the pitchers. This is one of those second ones. Cespedes has eight hits in his last four games, including two for extra bases, good for almost 13 fantasy points per outing over that span. That counts as upside in my book.
J.D. Martinez vs. Arrieta ($4,000) – Martinez started getting hot about halfway thorough May, and while he might have cooled off some, his price still doesn’t reflect the potential he has flashed a couple of times over the course of the season. Over his last ten games, he has as many fantasy performances of 17+ points as he does with fewer than five.
Delino DeShields @ Hahn ($3,400) – He costs $3,400 and he is hitting leadoff for one of the better offenses in baseball. I think that’s all you need to know to see that there is value to be had, but if you want more evidence of him being a good position to succeed, he has six runs scored in his last eight games. So there’s that.
Alex Guerrero vs. Hellickson ($3,100) – He is another guy for whom you will need to check the lineups in the pre-game, because he’s not out there every night. But he is still playing in left more often than not, at least for now, and his power – especially against right-handed pitchers – can still come in very handy both for his real baseball team and for your fake ones.
David Murphy vs. Walker ($3,000) – I think his price must be depressed just because of the lack of at-bats. But the good thing about him right now is that while he doesn’t play every night, you know exactly when he is going to play, in advance, with relative certainty: ie, he plays against righties. And in case you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of righties. So, he should be on your radar for a possible outfield spot every single day – for $3,000 you are getting a guy hitting .325/.365/.470 – if he’s out there, that is some real value.