We have 6 games on tonight’s slate, and there aren’t many great pitching options. However, that leaves us with some great hitting options. Let’s see how we can find our path to glory!
Jose Fernandez – MIA at ARZ – $13,400 – Fernandez is by far the top pitching option for the evening contests, and though it is not a favorable park shift heading from Miami to the thin desert air in Chase Field, his upside is undeniable. Over his last half dozen starts he is averaging 36 DraftKings points which demonstrates his domination better than any statistics. Offensively the Diamondbacks are a middle-of-the-road team against right-handed pitching and have a 22.5% strikeout rate which combined with JoFer’s 39.3% strike out rate against righties and his 27.9% rate against lefties should give him access to another 30+ fantasy point outing on Saturday.
Jeff Samardzija – SFG vs LAD – $9,500 – The Dodgers are projected to score 3.6 runs tonight and as a team they have been in the bottom third of the league for scoring efficiency against right-handed pitching this season. While I do like several Dodgers’ hitters as you will see below, that is because of their discounted price more than the matchup because if they were 15% higher, my interest would rapidly dwindle. The Shark has allowed hitters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate a concerning 1.62 HR/9; however, he shuts down same-handed hitters with a 0.75 HR/9 over that same span and he is pitching in AT&T Park which suppresses home runs, unlike when he was with the White Sox last season pitching in US Cellular Field.
James Paxton – SEA vs TEX – $7,400 – Paxton is an interesting player and one that we will want to keep our eye on this season. He has a very unique delivery and hides the ball well which tends to stymie hitters who have not seen him. He has faced the Rangers a couple times; however, of their 16 hits in 51 at bats, they have just two doubles and 13 of those hits came from Shin Soo Choo (disabled list), Adrian Beltre (likely out for the weekend with a hamstring strain) and Prince Fielder (who has been horrible this season with a .194/.264/.301 slash line and is losing at bats to Jurickson Profar). I am willing to roll with Paxton as I think he will be overlooked, even with just twelve options to choose from tonight.
Matt Shoemaker – LAA vs CLE – $7,600 – “The Cobbler” is going to be an incredibly popular choice tonight for gamers to pair with Jose Fernandez, and this is for good reason. Since changing his pitching strategy and featuring his splitter twice as often and essentially not throwing curveballs, he has been outstanding with a 2.37 ERA over his last starts and an eye-popping 37 strikeouts with ZERO walks. At some point hitters will adjust, but until then he is a phenomenal play at any price below $8,500.
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – STL at PIT – $4,300 – My hope is that the name recognition of LHP Francisco Liriano will keep the most away from the Cardinals tonight. Over 112 at bats, Piscotty has a phenomenal .433 wOBA and a .210 ISO against left-handed pitching and he is my home run pick for the night slate. We can also look to teammate Matt Holliday – $4,000 who is continually overlooked and most certainly will be at this price point, which is a fair one. Since the beginning of 2014, he has tallied a .377 wOBA and a .210 ISO against southpaws, and he is a consummate hitter who rarely gives even a single at bat away.
Mike Trout (OF) – LAD vs CLE – $4,700 – Trout’s appeal is that he can put points on the board in a variety of ways both with his bat and his legs. Over his last 1,045 at bats versus same-handed pitching he has compiled a .410 wOBA, a .290 ISO and a .970 OPS. Ho hum, just another borderline MVP caliber season.
Kyle Seager (3B) – SEA vs TEX – $4,100 – This is nearly a lock-n-load play at the hot corner for Seager at this price tag. He has been outstanding this season with a .285 average, 11 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Additionally, over his last ten games he has posted a .342 averaged with four extra base hits and is averaging a healthy 8.8 DraftKings points during that stretch. He will be the first of several Mariners as we can look to target against RHP Colby Lewis tonight.
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD at SFG – $4,600 – Hey, why not have brothers covering the left side of our fantasy diamond?! RHP Jeff Samardzija has been a much better pitcher this season, but the younger Seager is in the zone right now with six home runs over his last ten games and 14 on the season. He is not cheap tonight by any stretch as the next most expensive shortstop checks in a full $700 less, so this could keep his popularity suppressed in tournaments which should work in our favor.
Carlos Beltran (OF) – NYY vs DET – $4,000 – Beltran carries a tag of being washed up and he is often under-the-radar, even on smaller six game slates like tonight. He is a switch-hitter who in his last 271 at bats against right-handed pitching has poked 36 home runs. Ponder that for a moment and consider what a season long run rate would be (hint: Barry Bonds). He is tied for fourth in the American League with 16 dingers this season.
Robinson Cano (2B) – SEA vs TEX – $5,100 – Speaking of home runs, did you know that Cano is third in the American League with 18 this season? Coming into Saturday he has had 124 at bats at home and 124 on the road with eight long-balls in Safeco Field and ten on the road. He is having an amazing season with 50 RBI along with a .294/.351/.585 slash line and is crushing regardless of his surroundings.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA vs TEX – $4,400 – Rounding out our premium Mariners troika, we have Nelly Cruz who has been outstanding when facing his former team (he played the better part of eight seasons with the Rangers) and can pound right-handed pitching with 70 of his last 89 home runs over the two plus seasons coming at the expense of same-handed hurlers.
Buster Posey (CATCH) – SFG vs LAD – $3,700 – Posey gets a great matchup with LHP Scott Kazmir who is prone to allowing a long fly balls. Over his last 358 at bats against southpaws, Posey has produced a .377 wOBA and a .880 OPS. Enjoy!
Jason Kipnis (2B) – CLE at LAA – $3,400 – While I do like RHP Matt Shoemaker and his improved pitching philosophy, this is just too good of a price to pass on Kipnis who will be at the top of the Cleveland batting order and in a nice lefty/righty matchup.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD vs SFG – $2,800 – Turner has two home runs in his last three games and in his last 615 at bats against same-handed pitching he has an outstanding .364 wOBA. He is a very useful punt option tonight who packs some cheap gap power upside.
Dae-Ho Lee (1B) – SEA vs TEX – $2,700 – Two home runs last night will have people taking notice. Through his first 51 plate appearances against right-handed pitching, he has accrued a .398 wOBA and a .270 ISO with four home runs and is another fine discount dandy that will help us work Jose Fernandez onto our rosters tonight. We can also consider Seth Smith – $3,400 as another cheap Mariner hitter in play against RHP Colby Lewis.
Francisco Lindor (SS) – CLE at LAA – $3,900 – While I will most likely be going for a complete punt option tonight at shortstop depending on who is in the various lineups, Lindor has done a great job against right-handed pitching, and if you are interested in spending and can’t get all the way up to Corey Seager, he is a solid consolation prize with a .341 wOBA over the last two seasons.
Justin Bour (1B) – MIA at ARZ – $3,700 – The Wild Bour got the day off Friday, well until the seventh inning when he came in a crushed a pinch-hit grand slam off of RHP Tyler Clippard. He should be in the lineup tonight against RHP Zack Godley and he is my discount home run pick for Saturday night.
Trayce Thompson (OF) – LAD at SFG – $3,200 – Thompson looks to be a regular in the three-hole for the Dodgers now that they have given Carl Crawford his outright release, even with a boatload of money still left on his guaranteed contract. Over his 155 career at bats against right-handed pitching, Thompson has been amazing with a .380 wOBA and a .250 ISO and he also has the green light to steal bases, which is something that Dave Roberts has given to many guys on the squad. Teammate Joc Pederson – $3,100 has been cold, but that has just kept his price in check and he has been hitting the ball squarely of late. He is another cheapy that can help us upgrade a couple other positions, and is a fine solo play or as part of a Dodgers synergy strategy.