I like the value to be found at second base and in the outfield on Thursday, so that’s a good place to start when building your DFS lineup. Also, there are some surprising numbers coming out of the catcher position of late, with four varying-level catchers to choose from for Thursday’s slate of games. Good luck on Thursday, and feel free to Tweet me at your own risk: @TheRolyPolyBoy
Danny Salazar vs. Chicago Cubs ($9,400) -87 K in 68.2 IP so far this season is what puts Salazar in this spot for me, along with the decent matchup and the 22.6 FPPG Salazar is averaging per start this season. If only Salazar could average more than the 6 IP he’s giving DFS owners now, we’d be looking at a pot-o’-gold player on Thursday. But, I’m still okay spending the bucks on Salazar even though he loses efficiency points.
Zack Greinke vs. Texas Rangers ($9,900) – Greinke puts up 25.1 fantasy points in his last start and his salary DROPS $600. As Rodney Dangerfield would say: “No respect, no respect!” Well, actually, there’s a bunch that goes into a players pricing index, but landing Greinke for under $10 K is outstanding. Greinke is averaging just under 7 IP a game, with a 75:17 K:BB rate.
Jeff Samardzija vs. Pittsburgh Pirates ($7,700) – Samardzija bounced back nicely last start out after two miserable showings, while also showing he’s a much better pitcher at home than on the road (almost double the fantasy point production at home). So, why was Samardzija so good at Tampa Bay in his last start? It’s really all about command with Samardzija, keeping the ball out of the hitters’ happy-zone. Look for improvement here on out with Samardzija’s command.
Mike Montgomery vs. San Francisco Giants ($5,400) – Are you digging deep? Then look no further than Montgomery playing host to the Giants. Montgomery has had an impressive run of it, filling in for an injured Mariners rotation. He isn’t striking out many hitters, which is a negative, but everything else looks good to this point facing a struggling Giants offense. I’m looking to squeeze one more good start out of Montgomery, although his 4.58 xFIP might scare some away.
Brian McCann vs. Mat Latos – MIA ($4,200) – McCann has had moderate success against Latos, and his bat is staying pretty steady of late. He is going to give you plenty of power potential at catcher, which is a risky spot most nights in DFS land. I love power at my catcher slot, since most catchers don’t hit for power and average. Or, steal bases. Duh.
Russell Martin vs. Bartolo Colon – NYM ($4,500) – Coming off a recent stretch where Martin put up six consecutive games in a row, scoring double-digit fantasy points, the Blue Jays’ All-Star catcher has shown he is human now and then. I like him far too much to let one 0-for-4 night sway me away, even with Martin’s limited exposure to Colon.
Matt Wieters @ Sean O’Sullivan – PHI ($4,100) – Since Wieters has joined the living off injury, he’s been getting on base at a solid .373 OBP clip, giving owners a 9.2 FPPG average on the season. Again, we’re looking at power first from out catcher slot, then the ability to just get on base. We really don’t care how Wieters gets on base, as long as he keeps it up.
A.J. Pierzynski vs. Clay Buchholz – BOS ($3,300) – I usually want to see more at-bats on file before I go ga-ga over a batter’s ability against a particular pitcher, but Pierzynski is 6-fo-12 (.500 AVG) facing Buchholz over his career. Yes, the sample size is pretty small – I no longer like saying “sample size” – and there is only one XBH to get excited about, but the face-to-face matchup is enough to override Pierzynski’s lack of power at the position.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. C.J. Wilson – LAA ($5,600) – It’s not Goldschmidt’s fault that he’s playing like an MVP, so don’t get too worked up over paying $5.6 K for his services. Goldy is on a 40-HR pace to this point, while producing a 1.160 OPS. And, his ISO is obviously off the charts. Slotting Goldy into your lineup only has to do with your ability to overcome the salary hit.
Todd Frazier vs. Justin Verlander -DET ($4,900) – I guess there’s no slowing Frazier down. Dude has 4 HR, 4 R and 7 RBI in just his last two games played, including Wednesday night’s contest. He is also having an MVP-like season, and it’s especially nice that you can use Frazier at 1B or 3B on DraftKings.
Adam Lind @ Jeremy Guthrie – KC ($4,000) – Lind only has one hit over his last 15 at-bats, but his individual matchup against Guthrie grabs me. Lind is slashing .362/.400/.532 in 47 at-bats over his career against Guthrie, although a few more extra-base hits would make me feel more confident about the pick. Still, for $4 K you could roster much worse.
Ryan Howard vs. Bud Norris – BAL ($3,400) – Howard has a homer, 3 XBH and 5 RBI in 13 at-bats against Norris, so there’s some matchup worthiness right there. There is obvious risk with Howard, considering his propensity to disappear with the stick, but his .225 ISO gives hope. And, let’s be honest here… you only roster Howard because you think he might pop one out of the park.
Jason Kipnis vs. Jason Hammel – CHC ($4,800) – Kipnis nabs the trifecta, and provides solid value even at $4.8 K. He hits for average, steals bases and has a bit of power in his bat from time-to-time. Keep in mind that Kipnis favors right handed pitching much more than lefties.
Dee Gordon @ C.C. Sabathia – NYY ($4,400) – You have to figure Gordon is going to level off at some point with his ridiculous .416 BABIP (hit rate). I mean, to put things into perspective: Gordon does not draw walks (only 10 BB all season). So, you have to ask how long he can maintain his hit rate, and how does that affect his output if he can’t take a walk. Somehow, it’s worked out for Gordon, but as long as he’s staying hot with the bat I’m biting. Even if the hit rate does slow down for Gordon, his ability to swipe bases is the main reason you pay $4.4 K to roster him.
Wilmer Flores @ R.A. Dickey – TOR ($3,800) – Middle infield power is something I’m absolutely in love with in seasonal leagues, but, yeah, yeah, this ain’t seasonal. Flores’ potential power gets him here, along with his sub-$4 K salary. There are actually some good values at 2B on Thursday, but they don’t have the ceiling that Flores does with the power.
Ben Zobrist vs. Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,700) – Zobrist is starting to heat up after a very disappointing season, averaging 20 FPPG over his last four games. And, he’s been very consistent… not a boom-or-bust play over those nights. Zobrist is scoring runs, snagging base-on-balls and even hitting for a bit of power with a homer and a couple of doubles over those games. I like Zobrist’s positive trend upward right now.
Manny Machado @ Sean O’Sullivan – PHI ($4,900) – Machado is still in a groove, one that doesn’t seem to want to end anytime soon. There’s something to be said for a player that is burning up at the plate, but we all knew the kid was going to shine one day, eh? I remember his prospect status days and I’m sure you do too. You have to love Machado’s drop in K% and increase in BB% from 2014 to this point.
Todd Frazier vs. Justin Verlander -DET ($4,900) – I guess there’s no slowing Frazier down. Yeah, in case you wanted me to say it again. Take advantage of when Frazier is playing in Cincinnati, where he hit .133 points higher than on the road. Wow-zers.
Justin Turner vs. Anthony Ranaudo – TEX ($3,600) – This is a gut play. Turner has surprising numbers this season so far, although he’s never faced Ranaudo before. Again, pure gut play on this with Turner being a very well-rounded player at home and on the road.
Brett Lawrie vs. Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,500) – Lawrie is starting to heat up, with six hits in his last 13 at-bats over his previous three games played. The power isn’t quite there, but he still does enough with the bat downtown to consider with how well everything else is going right now.
Carlos Correa @ David Hale – COL ($4,800) – You can’t tell me you’re not impressed with Correa’s production to this point. Any chance he ends up back in the Minors? Nah. No way. Three homers and 7 RBI in only nine games played? Gimme. At the very worst, Correa is in your lineup when he tanks away his first real game. But, I’m not expecting that to happen versus Hale in Colorado. Lot’s of favorable stuff here to consider.
Hanley Ramirez @ Shelby Miller – ATL ($4,400) – I can’t say I’m too happy with the SS options right now. It’s pretty hit-or-miss as far as I’m concerned at SS, but at least with Han-Ram you do get power. Keep in mind that Han-Ram also qualifies at OF if you’d rather use him in that capacity.
Wilmer Flores @ R.A. Dickey – TOR ($3,800) – The same reasoning applies here at SS as it does 2B on Flores.
Francisco Lindor vs. Jason Hammel – CHC ($3,700) – Lindor is another gut-play option for me, although I usually don’t load my lineup with gut-play guys. Lindor, as a prospect, is a bit overrated in my eyes, but he’s going to get a chance to stick in the Indians lineup and we should see some aggressive swings with the bat, which may even lead to his first homer. The switch-hitting Lindor should be in the Indians lineup on Thursday.
Giancarlo Stanton @ C.C. Sabathia – NYY ($5,500) – Just in case you’ve been on vacation for the last couple of weeks and didn’t read one bit of MLB news, check out what Stanton has done over his last 10 days of game play: .457/.515/1.083, 6 HR, 9 R, 10 XBH and 15 RBI. A must play, don’t you think?
Jose Bautista vs. Bartolo Colon – NYM ($5,100) – Bautista sort of disappeared for awhile there, although his last two games played he’s hit the double-digit fantasy mark, averaging 20 fantasy points. Bautista has reached based seven times in 17 plate appearances against Colon, which is another added benefit besides the power Bautista brings, with his .277 ISO off the charts.
Andrew McCutchen @ Jeff Samardzija – CHW ($4,800) – McCutchen is 12-for-29 against Samardzija, with 5 XBH over his career, and he’s got a nasty .213 ISO this season against right-handed pitchers. I like Samardzija on Thursday, but he can’t keep everyone under wraps. McCutchen has a shot at a very nice box score line.
Yoenis Cespedes @ Mike Leake – CIN ($4,600) – Cespedes is one of the hottest players in the game right now, next to Mike Stanton that is. Over his last 10 games, he has annihilated the ball and I’m hopping on board for more.
Ben Zobrist vs. Ian Kennedy – SD ($3,700) – I’m happy using Zobrist at 2B or in the OF on Thursday, but the 2B slot would likely be a better overall spot for your DFS lineup.
Seth Smith vs. Ryan Vogelsong – SF ($3,400) – Smith doesn’t face left-handed pitchers, with only 10 at-bats all season against them, so his .351 wOBA is quite impressive facing righties. He gives DFS owners a nice little edge, and you’ve got to loves his value overall. Plus, Smith is slashing .375/.444/.563 against Vogelsong in 16 career at-bats.
Carlos Beltran @ Mat Latos – MIA ($3,200) – Beltran has 3 HR in 21 at-bats against Latos over his career, while producing a 1.226 OPS. Outstanding, eh? I wish his underlying seasonal stats helped pump up my selection, but I’ll take the individual matchup.
Ichiro Suzuki @ C.C. Sabathia – NYY ($2,700) – 1) Make sure Suzuki is in the Marlins lineup, since he’s not an everyday player. 2) I only list Ichiro here because of his incredible history against Sabathia, where he presents this hitting line in 65 career at-bats: .323/.343/.554, 8 XBH, 3 HR and 6 RBI. Yeah, 3 HR! Ichiro’s career history against Sabathia just might find him in the lineup, even lefty vs. lefty. Of course, maybe the numbers just aren’t enough… which is why you look for the little green check mark.
Tweet me at your own risk: @TheRolyPolyBoy