All 30 Major League Baseball teams are scheduled to be in action under the lights tonight. With a jam-packed schedule and so many options, there are many different ways to build your roster. As you consider your options make sure to check out these top targets at each position and price point.
Chris Sale – BOS @ KC – $13,200 – After a few so-so starts, Sale was back to his dominant form on Thursday in Philadelphia. He struck out 10 Phillies and allowed just one run in eight innings but took a hard-luck loss despite 35.5 DKFP. Sale has been outstanding this season averaging almost 30 DKFPPG. He’s an expensive play in Kansas City tonight, but he has a 2.97 career ERA against the Royals with a 9-10 record and 144 strikeouts in 154.1 innings. He should know the lineup well from his time in Chicago, and I expect he’ll post another great start tonight as he goes head-to-head with lefty Matt Strahm who has only made one start in his MLB career.
Other Options – Michael Pineda ($10,600), Gio González ($9,600)
Brandon McCarthy – LAD vs. NYM – $6,400 – McCarthy has given up two runs or fewer in each of his last five starts and has lowered his ERA to 3.41 on the season. He has a solid 1.12 WHIP, and he has been especially solid at Dodger Stadium where he is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA while holding opponents to just a .200 batting average. In his last start, McCarthy didn’t strike out even one batter which resulted in only seven DKFP despite a solid 5.1 innings allowing just three hits and one run. He has 51 strikeouts on the season in 63 innings, so he should be able to pick up a few Ks today against the Mets making him a great play at home given his extremely affordable salary.
Other Options – Zack Greinke ($8,600), Edinson Volquez ($7,200)
Buster Posey – SF @ ATL – $4,100 – While other names have surged past him in salary lately, Posey remains a reliable and steady option behind the plate. The 30-year-old has gone 20-58 (.345) with five doubles, two homers and 12 RBI this month and is 8-23 (.348) over the last week. His OPS for the season is a strong .966, and he has a good matchup tonight as the Giants face Julio Teheran in Atlanta. Posey is 7-13 (.538) against Teheran in the past with a pair of homers and a 1.600 OPS.
Other Options – Gary Sánchez ($4,900), Brian McCann ($3,700)
Yadier Molina – STL @ PHI – $3,500 – Molina his hit safely in seven straight games and homered in each of his last two contests against the Orioles this past weekend. He’s hitting .263 on the season with a healthy .713 OPS. Molina is a low-risk play since he almost always gets you something at the plate. He’s hitting .304 (7-23) over the last week and is 2-9 (.222) with a home run against tonight’s scheduled opponent Jeremy Hellickson. Molina has always enjoyed playing at Citizens Bank Park where he is 34-111 (.306) in his career with a .798 OPS.
Other Options – Jonathan Lucroy ($3,200), Kevan Smith ($2,600)
Anthony Rizzo – CHC vs. SD – $4,900 – Manager Joe Maddon’s experiment with Rizzo as a leadoff hitter has yielded some impressive results. While most people wouldn’t think of the power-hitting, 240-pound first baseman as a prototypical leadoff type, he has gone 11-25 (.440) leading off with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI helping him to post a 1.424 OPS from the leadoff spot. He did get caught stealing in his only stolen base attempt, but the reason to consider Rizzo tonight is his power, not his speed. He’ll be taking on Jhoulys Chacin tonight who he is 4-8 (.500) against in his career with a home run, three walks and a 1.511 OPS.
Other Options – Edwin Encarnación ($4,700), Joey Votto ($4,400)
Eric Hosmer – KC vs. BOS – $3,400 – Hosmer had a key home run last night in KC’s win over the visiting Red Sox. It was his eighth homer of the season and his third of the month in which he is 21-65 (.323) with a .938 OPS. Hosmer has a seemingly brutal matchup against lefty Chris Sale, but Hosmer has had some surprising success against him in the past. He’s worth a look at this affordable price since he is 18-49 (.367) against Sale in his career with a double, three homers and seven RBI.
Other Options – Miguel Cabrera ($4,000), José Martínez ($3,100)
José Altuve – HOU @ OAK – $4,800 – For some reason, being on the road brings out the best in Altuve who is hitting .402 with a 1.153 away from Minute Maid Park while hitting just .267 with a .743 OPS at the juice box. He and the Astros are in Oakland to face Sonny Gray tonight who Altuve is 10-27 (.370) against in his career with a double and a RBI. Altuve went 0-4 in the series opener last night, but he had 14+ DKFP in four straight before that game.
Other Options – Brian Dozier ($4,600), Robinson Canó ($4,200)
José Pirela – SD @ CHC – $3,700 – Pirela was an amazing bargain bin buy when he first was called up to the Majors, and he’s still a great option at this price. He has gone 17-48 (.354) since being called up from the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas and has averaged 12.2 FPPG over his last 10 games. He has only stolen one base despite hitting leadoff but he does have three home runs, six walks, four doubles and 11 runs scored. His 1.061 OPS should keep him in the leadoff spot tonight as the Padres continue their series at Wrigley Field and take on Mike Montgomery. Pirela is 6-16 with a home run against southpaws.
Other Options – Danny Santana ($3,300), Daniel Robertson ($2,800)
José Ramírez – CLE @ BAL – $4,900 – With the top two 3B dueling at Coors Field, I like Ramírez as a contrarian play as he and the Indians continue their series in Baltimore. Ramírez has actually been swinging a hotter bat than both Nolan Arenado and Jake Lamb having gone 19-44 (.432) in his last 10 games with 10 doubles, seven RBI, 12 runs scored and three home runs boosting him to a 1.377 OPS over his last 10 games. He added his seventh stolen base of the season during that span as well helping him to average 15.2 FPPG in those 10 contests.
Other Options – Nolan Arenado ($5,500), Justin Turner ($4,500)
Luis Valbuena – LAA @ NYY – $3,300 – After starting the season late due to injury, Valbuena stumbled out of the gate and has yet to be the hitter the Angels thought they were getting when they signed him this offseason. He’s hitting just .185 on the year, but he has been seeing the ball much better lately and has gone 3-9 (.333) over the last week with a home run and a double helping him to four RBI. He’s in a good situation in hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium tonight as he faces Michael Pineda. Valbuena is 6-14 (.429) against Pineda in their past meetings with a double and a walk, so he’s a solid cheap play at the hot corner tonight.
Other Options – Nicholas Castellanos ($3,500), José Reyes ($3,300)
Trevor Story – COL vs. ARI– $4,300 – Given that the Rockies are at home at Coors Field, this price for Story is actually surprisingly low. Story’s overall numbers for the year are definitely disappointing since he comes into tonight’s game hitting just .227 with 73 strikeouts in 57 games played. However, he has looked much better recently and has hit safely in six of his last seven games including going 8-19 (.421) over the last week with a pair of homers and five RBI. He and the Rockies will look to produce plenty of runs tonight against Zack Greinke and the Diamondbacks. Story is 5-15 against Greinke in his career with a double and three home runs.
Other Options – Trea Turner ($4,700), Didi Gregorius ($4,500)
Ryan Goins – TOR @ TEX – $3,000 – Goins has struggled to find regular playing time this season in a crowded Toronto infield, but he has taken advantage of his chances when injuries have opened the door for him. Right now, he should get playing time at 2B with Devon Travis on the DL, and he has hit safely in each of his last four games with multiple at-bats with an extra-base hit in each of his last three. His average is still an extremely low .213, but he does provide solid power potential from his $3K price point. Goins has a .654 OPS against righties like Nick Martínez who starts today for the Rangers.
Other Options – Dansby Swanson ($3,500), José Iglesias ($2,900)
Aaron Judge – NYY vs LAA – $5,400 – Of the top-money outfielders, Judge is by far the hottest and in the best position to produce as the Yankees come home tonight after a rough West Coast swing. Judge kept crushing despite the losing streak, though and is 23-65 (.354) in June so far with four doubles, a triple, 16 walks, 16 RBI and six homers. That production gives him a 1.211 OPS for the month, and he has an even more impressive 1.405 OPS at Yankee Stadium. He and the Bronx Bombers will face Parker Bridwell of the Angels tonight making just his second career start in the Majors. He actually faced the Yankees out of the bullpen last week allowing seven hits but only one unearned run in 3.2 innings. He looked very hittable in that outing, though, so look for Judge to keep raking tonight.
Other Options – David Peralta ($5,000), Dexter Fowler ($4,700)
Adam Jones – BAL vs. CLE – $4,300 – Jones posted double-digit DKFP in his two games over the weekend with 23 DKFP on Saturday and 10 more DKFP Sunday. He has hit safely in seven of his last eight games with four multi-hit performances. Tonight, he gets a matchup in which he has found a ton of success as he takes on Josh Tomlin. Jones is 10-18 (.556) against Tomlin in their past meetings with four doubles, a home run and three RBI.
Other Options – Carlos Gómez ($3,900), Odúbel Herrera ($3,100)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.