WATCH: MLB IN 90 SECONDS – J.D. MARTINEZ
I’m back after a week-long hiatus to get you ready for tonight’s 11-game slate. Right off the bat, what stands out is the lack of elite pitching options, so it may be wise to buy-low on certain hurlers with a solid path to a win. If this advice doesn’t suffice, feel free to contact me via Twitter @BZweimanNHL. Cheers.
Michael Pineda — NYY vs. KC — $10,100 – If you caught the Yankees-Royals game last night, you saw CC Sabathia turn back the clock to toss 6.2 scoreless innings, solidifying Kansas City as the worst offense in the MLB. Pineda should give the Royals a much different look, overpowering them with his fastball-slider combo. Four of Pineda’s seven starts have been quality and his 10.89 K/9 ratio ranks 7th in the league.
Other Options: Ervin Santana ($9,500), Gerrit Cole ($8,600)
Jacob Turner — WAS vs. PIT — $6,600 – This is a pretty basic value play. The Nationals are the best team in the NL, and the Pirates, well, aren’t. Pittsburgh has dropped seven of its past nine games and Turner would only have to last 5-6 innings to have a solid shot at picking up a win. The Pirates are batting .230 vs. RHP and are in the bottom three in the MLB in runs, BA and OPS.
Other Options: Jesse Hahn ($6,700)
Alex Avila — DET vs. BAL — $3,500 – Catcher is very lackluster considering Gary Sanchez ($4,600) is facing a tough lefty. So Avila will have to do in a matchup at home vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, who hasn’t been able to solve lefties. Jimenez is allowing LHB to hit .259 with a .999 OPS, plus six of his eight HRs allowed this season have been to lefties. Avila is batting .467 at home and his floor is arguably highest the position.
Other Options: Matt Wieters ($3,400), Yadier Molina ($3,200)
Martin Maldonado — LAA vs. CWS — $2,400 – Maldonado is a strong play in most formats with a decent floor and a very low price. He’s reached base in eight of 10, with two HR and four RBI (7.2 DKFP per game) in that stretch. White Sox SP Miguel Gonzalez has been roughed up in two of his past three starts (13 ER combined) and is leaving a lot of balls up in the strike zone.
Other Options: Stephen Vogt ($3,100), Tucker Barnhart ($2,300)
Freddie Freeman — ATL vs. TOR — $5,200 – When the late slate isn’t serving much up to you, go the easy route. Freeman has homers in back-to-back games, and four in his past eight. He ranks first in the MLB in isolated power (.410) and is third in OPS (1.211), second only to Bryce Harper in runs created (41.3). Blue Jays’ SP Joe Biagini has allowed all of his seven ER on the road (4.50 ERA).
Other Options: Jose Abreu ($4,400), Justin Smoak ($4,200)
Trey Mancini — BAL vs. DET — $3,300 – Mancini and the Orioles have one of the tougher pitching matchups on the slate, but Michael Fulmer enters Wednesday having thrown an average of 109 pitches in his past three starts. He’s tired, essentially. Mancini has a high ceiling and is raking lately, batting .389 with two HRs and nine RBI in his past 10 games.
Other Options: Mitch Moreland ($3,400), Cody Asche ($2,500)
Brian Dozier — MIN vs. COL — $4,700 – Dozier is going to have the pick up the pace if he wants to reach last year’s HR total, and Wednesday could get him a bit closer to that number. For some reason, Rockies’ SP German Marquez seems to falter every other start, allowing eight ER in his 1st, none in his 2nd, five in his 3rd and another goose egg in his previous start vs. the Cubs. He’s young and likely a headcase, and Dozier could jump on him early.
Other Options: Jonathan Villar ($4,500), Rougned Odor ($4,100)
Ian Happ — CHC vs. CIN — $2,700 – You probably rolled your eyes after reading the line above suggesting you play Ian Happ. I know, it’s three games and his ownership percentage is likely going to be through the roof. But Happ has just looked way too good to pass up in cash games. Also, Reds’ SP Scott Feldman has never faced the Cubs or pitched at Wrigley Field before, which is a tough draw.
Other Options: Brandon Phillips ($3,300), Eric Sogard ($2,800)
Joey Gallo — TEX vs. PHI — $4,400 – There’s a lot going for Rangers’ left-handed batters tonight. Phillies’ SP Zach Eflin has a .341 wOBA and 10.3% strikeout rate against lefties this season. Gallo hasn’t been the model of consistency, but he’s great for tournaments given his high ceiling and power splits at home (9 HRs, 16 RBI, .814 OPS).
Other Options: Jedd Gyorko ($4,100), Todd Frazier ($3,800)
Yolmer Sanchez — CWS vs. LAA — $2,300 – Sanchez is second on the White Sox in batting average (.329) and has hits in eight of his past 10 games. You’ll have to monitor the platoon situation, but considering Sanchez’s hot streak he shouldn’t be in danger of sitting vs. Matt Shoemaker, who is allowing nearly 2.0 HR/9 with a 5.31 FIP.
Other Options: David Freese ($3,200)
Xander Bogaerts — BOS vs. STL — $4,300 – After hitting 21 HRs last season, Bogaerts has gone 34 games and 131 ABs without an HR this season. That isn’t for a lack of power though, with his recent stretch featuring plenty of doubles (six in the past 10 games). Cardinals’ SP Mike Leake will eventually come down to earth after posting an MLB-best 1.94 ERA through seven starts (3.12 FIP).
Other Options: Zack Cozart ($3,600)
Erick Aybar — SD vs. MIL — $2,700 – If you’re going HR hunting in the bargain bin, Aybar is your guy. Matt Garza has allowed an HR in three of his four starts this season and Aybar has hit all four of his HRs this season off RHPs. What’s that? But Petco Park! The Padres have hit 19 HRs in 18 home games.
Other Options: Taylor Motter ($3,200), Jose Iglesias ($2,600)
J.D. Martinez — DET vs. BAL — $4,300 – You think Martinez was hyped to get off the DL? Yeah, me too. In four games since returning to the Tigers’ lineup, Martinez is 6-for-12 with four HRs and eight RBI. That’s an OPS of 2.147, which seems pretty sustainable, right? Sustainable for at least another game considering Ubaldo Jimenez is on the hill for the Orioles.
Other Options: Mike Trout ($5,600), Matt Kemp ($4,500)
Brandon Moss — KC vs. NYY — $3,200 – Though Pineda is a strong option vs. the Royals, he’s also prone to struggle against teams that have plenty of contact hitters. Should those hitters start to get on and rattle Pineda, I expect Moss to take advantage. He has two HRs in his past three games, five of his six coming vs. RHP.
Other Options: Leury Garcia ($2,600)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is bzweiman521) 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.