This article will cover the evening slate on DraftKings. We have some high end pitching, some gas cans and a lot of potential ways to craft lineups. Kershaw, Cueto, and Coors are all on the early slate today, so I do not think we get a lot of extremely high ownership outside of Syndergaard. It’s a solid ten game slate, so let’s take a look at our options.
Noah Syndergaard – Mets v. Pirates – $11,700 – Syndergaard is my favorite pitcher to pay up for today. He has been awesome in 2016. His ERA sits at 2, his WHIP is only 1, and he has struck out 95 batters in just shy of 77 innings of work. He is at home in pitcher friendly Citi Field and faces a lineup with only two regular lefties in John Jaso and Gregory Polanco. He should be able to put up another big game by going 7+ innings with 7-10 strikeouts and limit major damage. He is my top SP1 option on the day, despite being priced well below Kluber and in line with Sale.
Corey Kluber – Indians v. Royals- $13,100 – I have Kluber ahead of Chris Sale. Kluber gets a banged up Royals team that has some soft spots near the bottom of the order. I do not like the fact I have to pay up a few thousand more for him (vs. Sale), but if we are talking raw points and safety, I like Kluber better. Kluber is back to his old self – going deeper into games, limiting damage and getting those strikeouts we really need for him to make value. Picking on KC has been a decent strategy lately and no KC batter really profiles well against him. Eric Hosmer is the one exception, but even he has bad numbers lifetime against Kluber, so I’m confident rolling Kluber out.
Nathan Karns – Mariners v. Rays – $8,000 – I love Karns at this price today. He is a guy with strikeout ability as he is averaging over 9 K’s per game. TB has a huge strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching and they have a very righty heavy lineup. I also think Seattle can get some runs off a struggling Drew Smyly, so Karns is a great play at this price point.
Jeff Locke – Pirates v. Mets – $5,600 – I am not crazy. I know Locke is not a great pitcher, but this Mets offense is struggling big time right now. Yoenis Cespedes is the only bat that is hitting and they were almost no-hit by the youngster Taillon last night. Locke is incredibly cheap, which makes him a decent option for upside in a tournament. He is not a high K guy, but this offense is so bad that it does not really matter. At $5600, he makes value if he does not get lit up and this Mets offense has not been lighting anyone up lately.
Mike Trout (OF) – Angels v. Twins – $4,700 – Tyler Duffey has given up 9 hits and 5 runs on average over his last four starts. That means we should definitely see some offense from the Angels here tonight. Trout is by far the best bat they have and he owns a wOBA over .400 with a high .200 ISO score even against right-handed pitching. Trout has at least one hit in six of his last seven games, which makes him cash game safe with the upside of a home run and/or stolen base in this soft matchup.
Matt Carpenter (3B) – Cardinals v. Astros – $5,100 – Matt Carpenter owns a .404 wOBA and a .266 ISO score since the start of 2015 against right-handed pitching. He faces Colin McHugh who has allowed left-handed bats to hit about .280 against him over the last two seasons. I am a big fan of these Cardinals left-handed hitters today and Carpenter should see the max number of at-bats since he hits at the top of the order.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – Mariners v. Rays – $5,000 – Nelson Cruz absolutely rakes against left-handed pitching. He has hit them for average and power as both his wOBA and ISO score vs. southpaws since 2015 rank in the upper echelon of all MLB hitters. He faces Drew Smyly today which may scare some away, but should not. Smyly has allowed 46 hits over his last 6 starts and he hasn’t gotten out of the 6th inning. He has allowed a home run in 6 of his last 8 starts and 5 of those have been multiple home run games. Cruz has been good lately and gets a struggling pitcher with his preferred split. This is exactly the spot I am looking to roll him out in.
David Ortiz (1B) – Red Sox v. Orioles – $5,500 – Ortiz’s .430 wOBA and .300+ ISO scores are huge and point to him being a solid play today. He is already 7-for-16 against Gausman and that includes a couple of home runs. He is not cheap, but he is likely to put up a big day.
Mookie Betts (OF) – Red Sox v. Orioles- $5,600 – Betts profiles really well against Gausman. RHB hit about .280 off him the last two years and they have 8 home runs in 35 innings already this season. Two of those 8 belong to Betts who banged two dingers off Gausman earlier this year. Betts tends to go low owned due to his sky high price, but this kid can mash.
Yeonis Cespedes (OF) – Mets v. Pirates – $4,300 – Jeff Locke is not a good pitcher, especially to right-handed hitters. Despite all the Mets struggles, Cespedes is still doing his thing. He has multiple hits in four of the last five games, so he is the one and only Met that looks likely to perform tonight. He prefers right-handed pitching, but still owns a wOBA over .360 against left-handed pitching too.
Joey Votto (1B) – Reds v. Braves – $4,400 – Joey Votto is as solid as they come at the plate. He owns a .407 wOBA and a .235 ISO score against right-handed pitchers. I know Bud Norris was awesome last time out, but we know his real profile. He is a guy who struggles with left-handed hitters and has allowed them to mash 13 home runs in 58 innings of work off him in the last season and a half.
Danny Valencia (3B) – Athletics v. Rangers – $4,100 – Valencia has mashed left-handed pitching his entire career. Since last season, he owns a .400 wOBA and a .200 ISO score against them. Derek Holland struggles with right-handed bats, so while the game being in Oakland is a downgrade, the matchup could not be any better.
Matt Adams (1B) – Cardinals v. Astros – $3,400 – Adams hit a home run yesterday and has comfortably settled into the middle of this Cardinals order. He has at least 8 fantasy points in 6 of his last 8 games and is averaging about 10 fantasy points per game over this stretch. He is still cheap and has the same great matchup with McHugh, who we already mentioned is weak against left-handed hitters. There is a lot of upside at a cheap price with Adams again today.
Tim Anderson (SS) – White Sox v. Tigers – $2,000 – With Jimmy Rollins sent down, Anderson is not only starting and playing every day, but he is now leading off as well. For min price, we really cannot argue with that. He had a big game yesterday with multiple hits and runs scored, and the best part is that we do not even need that much production at this price. He is so cheap that a walk and stolen base, RBI single, or even an extra base hit is enough to make him a viable salary saver value in cash games.
Freddie Freeman (1B) – Braves v. Reds – $3,700 – Freddie Freeman is the best bat the Braves have against right-handed pitching. Anthony DeSclafani made his debut last time out and was lucky to only allow one run with 10+ base runners allowed in six innings. He stranded multiple runners numerous times and may not be so lucky again here. Freeman owns a .367 wOBA with a .218 ISO score against righties since 2015. If a bat on Atlanta does damage today, it’s likely to be his.
Mallex Smith (OF) – Braves v. Reds – $3,400 – I love this price and matchup for the youngster. Smith has been moved up to the lead off spot and is now a threat for multiple hits, more at-bats, and stolen bases whenever he is on. At $3,400, I think he is a steal. He has owned right-handed pitching, with a .380 wOBA and a .210 ISO score, so I expect him to be on base, I expect him to steal, and I expect him to score runs in a soft matchup.
Robbie Grossman (OF) – Twins v. Angels – $3,500 – Grossman has a hit in all but one of his last nine games and has scored 9 or more fantasy points in 6 of those. He faces Hector Santiago who has been tagged for a lot of home runs by right-handed bats recently. Grossman has batted in the 3 hole lately for the Twins and profiles well against Santiago with his .367 wOBA against left-handed pitching since the start of last season.
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – Orioles v. Red Sox – $4,100 – Slightly pricey for a value option, but cheap for Machado. Machado has not done well against Wright in limited at-bats, but he has done well against RA Dickey who is the only comparable knuckleballer we have to look at. Machado is 7-for-19 against Dickey and looking at other knuckleballers to find guys who hit the pitch well has worked before when trying to predict success against Wright.