There are six games on the “main” slate tonight. Things are always interesting in the daily fantasy sports world when Clayton Kershaw is taking the mound so we will need to make sure to find some discounted hitters in order to work the best pitcher in the game onto our rosters.
Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs ATL – $14,100 – Well, the Dodgers are FOUR-to-ONE favorites. That is really all we need to know about this matchup. If we want numbers, the current Bravos have posted a league worst 76 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes park factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) against southpaws since the beginning of 2014, which means they score 24% less efficiently than the league average and over 104 at bats against Kershaw, they have managed a .240/.288/.356 slash line with seven extra base hits and an eye-popping 33.7% strikeout rate.
Nate Karns – SEA at TEX – $6,900 – There is no clear cut secondary pitcher to pair with Kershaw on Saturday night. RHP Nate Karns has been solid over his last 32 starts with Tampa Bay and now with Seattle with a 3.61 ERA, 3.95 FIP and a 3.85 xFIP. The downside is that a lot of those starts were coming in Tropicana Field and Safeco Field, two pitching friendly venues. Tonight he is in Arlington and we have seen the balls starting to jump off the bats in Texas as things are warming up. On the bright side, Karns did post 20.9 DraftKings points in a mid-May start against the Orioles in Camden Yards and a 25.5 fantasy point showing in Houston against the Astros in early-May. If he can get us something in the mid-teens tonight we will be turning cartwheels.
Josh Tomlin – CLE vs KCR – $6,700 – Yikes, it has come to this. The main reason RHP Josh Tomlin has bubbled up to the top of the swampy morass of pitching options is that the Kansas City Royals have the second lowest implied run total tonight at 3.8 runs. Looking at their lineup, it is not overly scary with Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon on the disabled list and Salvador Perez likely out for a few more days. However, their recent minor league call ups have been just as pesky as the hitters they are replacing, but tonight beggars cannot be choosers.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – SEA at TEX – $5,400 – Cruz should be familiar with The Ballpark in Arlington after having spent eight seasons with the Rangers. He is also a phenomenal hitter against southpaws with a .431 wOBA and a .290 ISO over his last 366 at bats against lefties. Tonight he has a delicious matchup against LHP Martin Perez and is worth the premium price which may scare off some gamers.
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – $5,200 – Machado excels in same-handed matchups and Saturday he will be facing an old AL East friend in RHP Ivan Nova. Since the beginning of the 2014 season in 872 at bats against right-handed pitching, Manny has posted a .382 wOBA and a wicked .230 ISO. A multi-extra base hit game could very well be in play.
Matt Carpenter (3B) – STL vs SFG – $4,100 – While he does not have a home run in his last ten games, he is hitting .293 with seven extra base hits and an 8.4 DraftKings point average which is a solid projection for him in this matchup with RHP Jeff Samardzija who will be a popular pitching option in the evening contests, which should keep Carpenter’s popularity suppressed in this fine lefty/righty matchup.
Chris Davis (1B) – BAL vs NYY – $4,500 – “Crush” Davis has had a nice showing against RHP Ivan Nova going 9 for 29 with two doubles and three home runs in their previous meetings. He will be a popular option, but is one of the few players who consistently is a double home run threat.
Corey Seager (SS) – LAD vs ATL – $4,200 – Mike Foltynewicz has been scratched and in his place RHP Bud Noris is coming out of the bullpen, where he had been banished after allowing an 8.74 ERA through his first five starts this season. Since the beginning of 2015, Norris is allowing lefties a 41.2% hard hit rate and a lofty .401 wOBA. If you are not rolling with Manny Machado as your shortstop, then Seager is a fine consolation prize. Oh yeah, Seager is coming off a three home run games so his confidence should be sky high!
Carlos Beltran (OF) – NYY at BAL – $4,600 – This is a great tournament play since most gamers do not ever consider Beltran, especially when he is priced up like he is for Saturday’s contests. Over his last 719 at bats he has a fine .353 wOBA against right-handed pitching and Camden Yards is very friendly to hitters.
Chase Utley (2B) – LAD vs ATL – $4,200 – As we saw last Saturday when he had two home runs, including a grand slam, Utley can still get it done. As mentioned above with the Corey Seager recommendation, RHP Bud Norris is someone we will want to target early and often with batters who swing the stick from the left side of the plate.
Buster Posey (catcher) – SFG at STL – $5,000 – If you have a little extra scratch and can afford Posey, he is no buster in same-handed matchups with a solid .356 wOBA over his last 929 at bats against righties.
Franklin Gutierrez (OF) – SEA at TEX – $3,400 – With Leonys Martin out of action, we should see Gutierrez in a favorable lineup position with the Mariners facing LHP Martin Perez. In his last 158 at bats against southpaws, Gutierrez has tallied a wicked .401 wOBA and .270 ISO. Weather permitting, if he is in the Seattle lineup, he will be in all of mine on Saturday night.
Dae-Ho Lee (1B) – SEA at TEX – $3,300 – Oh yeah, another hitter from the Pacific Northwest. Lee has been outstanding in his inaugural MLB season and he already has eight home runs and a solid .301 average. Half of those dingers have been courtesy of left-handed pitchers and with LHP Martin Perez on the mound, I plan on being liberal with my use of Seattle hitters. Heck, we can even look at catcher Chris Ianetta – $3,200 if we are looking for a punt with some pop in his boomstick.
Nomar Mazara (OF) – TEX vs SEA – $3,800 – With so much invested in the Mariners/Rangers tilt, we are going to want to keep a close eye on the weather as Texas has been dealing with a lot of early summer storms. While RHP Nate Karns is a solid pitcher, he is prone to getting into jams and being exploited for big innings. There is a decent chance a lot of gamers will settle on him as one of their two pitching selections, which should make Mazara a fine tournament option in this lefty/righty matchup.
Jason Kipnis (2B) – CLE vs KCR – $3,900 – This price is just too good to pass up with Kipnis in a lefty/right matchup against Ian Kennedy who has allowed a lofty 35.2% hard hit rate and a .339 wOBA to batters swinging the stick from the left-side of the plate over his last forty starts.
Justin Turner (3B) – LAD vs ATL – $3,200 – While Turner has cooled off after his last torrid 18 months, he is in play at this price point in a same-handed matchup with RHP Bud Norris who has allowed a 32.0% fly ball rate and a .348 wOBA to righties since the beginning of 2015.
Aledmys Diaz (SS) – STL vs SFG – $3,000 – This is an intriguing price point for Diaz who has been phenomenal this year against right-handed pitching with a .396 wOBA and an elite .230 ISO in 128 at bats. While RHP Jeff Samardzija is a terrific pitcher, with so many gamers likely using him Diaz is a fine tournament option or heck, even a punt play if The Shark ends up being one of your pitchers.
Joc Pederson (OF) – LAD vs ATL – $3,600 – If I am going to recommend all of the other Dodger lefties, there is no way I am leaving Young Joc without an invitation to the party!
Paulo Orlando (OF) – KCR at CLE – $3,100 – While he has cooled off from his torrid start, if Orlando is in the lineup, he is a fine discount dandy against the very flammable RHP Josh Tomlin.