We have some solid pitching options, games in Coors and Chase Field as well as the Ballpark in Arlington so there are several ways we can approach lineup construction for tonight’s action. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Aaron Nola – PHI vs CIN – $9,500 – Nola is by no means cheap, however, he has earned this lofty price tag with his performance this season. Outside of a stumble in Miami for his last start and in Washington a month ago, he has been phenomenal and regularly eclipsing 20 DraftKings points. The Reds have been a bottom five team against right-handed pitching this season and over the last two years their current hitters rank in the bottom third of the league. Nola is arguably the top option of the evening game set.
Carlos Martinez – STL at LAD – $9,700 – It has been a week since his last start as The Rooster needed extra time to recover after a bout with illness that had him lose nearly a dozen pounds. On the season, the Dodgers have managed an 89 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ball park factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) meaning that they score 11% less efficiently against right-handed pitching than the average team. I think the Redbirds will be in line for the win tonight and that along with the positive pitching environment of Dodger Stadium have me elevating Martinez as one of the top two pitching options tonight.
Hisashi Iwakuma – SEA vs LAA – $7,700 – The Angles roster has a lot of holes in it, but they still managed to get to the Mariners bullpen last night for a comeback win. In his career, Iwakuma has been solid against the Halos allowing just a .221/.247/.326 slash line with only 10 extra base hits in 190 at bats. He has been a bit of a hard luck starter with just one win through his first seven games, but he did have a nice eight inning two run performances against the Angels in Anaheim three weeks ago allowing just two solo home runs. LA is projected to plate just 3.4 runs today and with the Mariners sitting as solid -160ML favorites for the win, Iwakuma is a fine option in all formats.
Dillon Gee – KCR vs ATL – $4,600 – Gee looks to have replaced Chris Young in the rotation and this will be his second start since moving out of the bullpen (he was a starter in previous seasons for the New York Mets, so he should reactivate quickly) as he held the Bronx Bombers in check in Yankee Stadium on Monday allowing just one run and four baserunners on 68 pitches lasting 5 1/3 innings. He gets a great matchup tonight against the anemic Atlanta offense and he should be able to make it 75ish pitches which should keep in in contention for the win if his offense can get to RHP Mike Foltynewicz as expected.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs SFG – $4,900 – All eyes will be on Coors Field tonight which means tough choices will need to be made. We can take solace in tournaments that Goldy will probably be on no more than 20% of all tournament lineups. While he is a noted lefty-killer, he is an outstanding hitter against same-handed pitching and has compiled a .397 wOBA and a 150 wRC+ meaning that he creates 50% more runs against right-handed pitching than the average MLB hitter.
Michael Conforto (OF) – NYM at COL – $4,800 – As far as the Mets hitters go tonight, Conforto is reasonably priced considering the terrific matchup with RHP Eddie Butler in Coors Field. Over his last 18 starts, Butler has allowed a .437 wOBA to left-handed hitters and a 1.91 HR/9 rate that is just begging to be exploited in the Mile High City.
Manny Machado (SS/3B) – BAL at DET – $5,300 – This is a lofty price point, which makes Machado a premiere option in tournaments as he will likely be on less than 15% of all entries, despite his dual position eligibility. He has fared better in his career against same-handed pitching and RHP Anibal Sanchez has been roughed up by righties over his last 32 starts with a .366 wOBA and allowing 21 home runs.
Robinson Cano (2B) – SEA vs LAA – $5,100 – Cano has been tremendous in his career against right-handed pitching and he has accumulated a .377 wOBA and a .880 OPS since the beginning of 2014 and that includes his MAJOR cold streak that lasted the entire first half of last season. He is also second in the League with a dozen home runs though only three have come at Safeco Field.
Bryce Harper (OF) – WAS vs MIA – $5,000 – He got his one pitch to hit last night and he deposited it in the stands for a two-run homer. The Nationals have a doubleheader today with Miami, but if Harper is in the lineup on the late slate, he is very much in play against RHP Kendry Flores who is coming up from AAA New Orleans to make a spot start in the night cap.
Ryan Braun (OF) – MIL vs SDP – $4,900 – This is a very favorable matchup for Braun who is facing RHP Luis Perdomo who is a Rule-5 pick (note: the Rule-5 draft allows teams to “draft” player out of any minor league system as long as they are not on the MLB 40 man roster, the wrinkle however is that the player must remain on the 25 man roster of the drafting team for the entire season or they revert back to their previous team) who the Padres need to keep running out or he is a wasted roster spot. Through 13 2/3 innings this season, he has been touched up with an ERA just south of double digits. Enjoy!
Jonathan Lucroy © – MIL vs SDP – $4,200 – While Lucroy does not hit many home runs anymore, he still has gap power and should be batting in the cleanup spot against the Padres in a bullpen game. He is a very safe option for H2H contests.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR at TEX – $4,500 – RHP Colby Lewis has a 35% hard hit rate and a very high 48.8 fly ball percentage and he is going against the power hitting Joey Bats who has hit 65 home runs against same-handed pitching since the beginning of 2014. Yes Please!
Derek Dietrich (2B/3B) – MIA at WAS – $2,900 – With the double header between the Nationals and Marlins, there is a chance we will see some value open up in the evening contest. If Dietrich is in the Miami lineup, we will want to get him in ours for some salary relief in the lefty/righty matchup against RHP Tanner Roark.
Justin Bour (1B) – MIA at WAS – $3,600 – Teammate Justin Bour is also a nice discount dandy who fares well in lefty/righty matchups. Tanner Roark has been outpitching his peripherals and there will be a correction at some point. While he does not give up many home runs he often flirts with disastrous innings with several base runners and that is a potential opportunity we will want to exploit. Andres Blanco – 2B/3B – $2,800 will also warrant consideration if he is in the lineup.
Brett Wallace (3B) – SDP at MIL – $3,400 – If Wallace is in the lineup against RHP Wily Peralta, he will likely be hitting cleanup and he is my pick for a low-tier home run play on Saturday evening.
Jake Lamb (3B) – ARZ vs SFG – $3,800 – RHP Jake Peavy has been pretty lucky with regards to limiting lefties over his last dozen starts. For the discount as compared to the Coors Field options, I have no issues using a heavy helping of Lamb in the hopes he skewers Peavy tonight in the thin, warm desert air. Teammate Brandon Drury (3B/OF) – $2,700 is also a fine punt option.
Chris Herrman © – ARZ vs SFG – $3,200 – Continuing the theme, if Herrman is in the lineup for the Diamondbacks (he has played a couple games in the outfield as they have been covering for David Peralta) he is in a favorable lefty/righty matchup against RHP Jake Peavy who has seen better days and is a far cry from the 2007 Cy Young winning that many still remember.
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – STL at LAD – $4,000 – We should see Piscotty hitting near the top of the order against LHP Scott Kazmir and over his last 90 at bats against southpaws, he has a wicked .436 wOBA and a .240 ISO.
Nomar Mazara (OF) – TEX vs TOR – $3,400 – The youngster continues to get prime lineup placement near the top of the order for the Rangers and in his short career of 68 Major League at bats against right-handed pitching he has tallied a promising .382 wOBA and a .210 ISO and RHP Marco Estrada is ripe to have a game where he gives up crooked numbers.