We essentially have two slates today, an early and an evening slate, so it’s Double-Slate Thursday on DraftKings! Everybody wins! Ok, that’s not true. Most of you won’t win today. #Math. Though you will have a leg up on the competition after reading this piece.
Congratulations to all of the winners last night, including Jay Raynor (BeepImAJeep), who just keeps on winning. Jay took down last night’s All-Star Game VIP contest, keeping my Buster Posey-led squad at bay to secure the win. Great job, Jay!
With the dual slate in mind, I’m going to try to balance my selections here in order to best help you build a winning lineup (or two) today. Values are a bit more tenuous and can open up depending on a players’ spot in the lineup. If you have any lineup questions, find me on Twitter @RyNoonan.
Clayton Kershaw @ San Francisco Giants ($12,400) EARLY – The game’s best pitcher, pitching in the worst run-scoring environment in the league? Don’t over-think this. If you’re paying up, do so on Kershaw. The Giants enter play with the 7th lowest wOBA against left-handed pitchers, as well.
Danny Salazar @ Chicago White Sox ($9,300) EVENING – Oh, Danny. Why can’t I quit you? The upside is second to none, truly, so that’s the draw here. Salazar has a good shot at a win today against John Danks and the White Sox, but that’s not why you play him. The 12.4 K/9 is incredible, and he’s been able to minimize the walks that plagued him last season. If you aren’t familiar with cFIP you need to be. I reference it often in my pitching previews here on DraftKings, and it’s the best singular pitching metric that’s available, in my opinion. In short, Danny Salazar has the best cFIP of any starting pitching in baseball.
Archie Bradley @ Miami Marlins ($5,100) EARLY – Values don’t come without their warts. In this case though, it’s more like a welt. After taking a Carlos Gonzalez liner off of the skull, Archie Bradley returned to the mound last week and it was a rocky outing that saw him fail to get out of the third inning. Prior to getting him, he put together three strong starts, averaging nearly 19 DraftKings points per outing. The Marlins (.294 wOBA vs. RHP) are a dumpster fire right now, having lost six straight.
Alex Colome vs. Oakland Athletics ($5,500) EVENING – I don’t love this matchup for Colome, as Oakland fares well against right-handed hitters, but they’re scuffling a bit right now. The Trop is a pitcher-friendly environment, and the fact that Colome’s last two outings have been less than stellar, his ownership levels should be low. If I play Colome, I’ll likely hedge and use some of Oakland’s lefty bats in another lineup.
Nick Hundley vs. Jerome Williams ($3,400) EARLY –The appeal of Coors is obvious, but the right-handed hitting Hundley has been mashing same handed pitching this season. At home against RHP he has a .475 wOBA. Make sure he’s in the lineup first, and then fire away.
Stephen Vogt vs. Alex Colome ($3,700) EVENING – Annnnnd here’s the first A’s player I’ll recommend, moments after telling you to consider Colome. Truth of the matter is, there really aren’t many ‘Stud’ catcher options tonight. Vogt has certainly cooled off after his hot start, he’s still a strong play against the right-handed Colome.
Kevin Plawecki vs. Jaime Garcia ($2,700) EARLY – You don’t have to spend much to get Hundley in your lineup, but if you need to go even cheaper, go with Plawecki. He had a day off on Tuesday so he’s likely to be in the lineup tonight against the left-handed Garcia, who’s making a return to the Cardinals rotation today after some early season injury issues.
Roberto Perez @ John Danks ($2,500) EVENING –Catcher values aren’t difficult, but values that have high upside are. Perez has a bit of upside here. He’s in a great ball park for power, something he has when facing a lefty, and he’s likely to get the start. That’s the important part.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Mat Latos ($5,000) EARLY – There aren’t any matchup’s that jump out at you when looking at the top tier of first baseman today, so give me Goldy who’s $400 cheaper than Miguel Cabrera. Goldschmidt is essentially without any platoon splits; he’s just as good at home as he is on the road (though Chase Field is a much better run scoring environment than almost any park outside of Colorado) and he torches righties and lefties.
Anthony Rizzo vs. Odrisamer Despaigne ($4,900) EVENING – The Cubs have a tendency to swing and miss a lot, something that’s negated here against Despaigne. He is not a strikeout threat, with THREE K’s in his last five outings. As good as Rizzo’s 2014 was, he’s really taken a step forward this season. Don’t be scared of the ball park here, target this OBP machine.
John Mayberry vs. Jaime Garcia ($2,400) EARLY – The Mets have been hitting John Mayberry in the top half of the order against lefties, where Mayberry has been remarkably better (.358 career wOBA) than he’s been against righties (.291). This is a dirt cheap pick that could pay dividends.
Adam Lind @ Julio Teheran ($3,800) EVENING – The rise in Julio Teheran’s walk rate is a curious one, not something you typically see. A pitcher, particularly one with Teheran’s skill level, doesn’t see this type of volatility year to year in their control. His walk rate has nearly doubled, and he’s been homer-friendly too. Adam Lind feasts on right-handed pitching.
Robinson Cano vs. Chris Tillman ($3,900) EARLY – It’s always tempting to play Jose Altuve against a left-handed pitcher, but David Price is elite. It’s still an option, but I prefer the cost saving that comes with Cano today. I don’t love playing Cano because he’s typically overvalued; but he’s cheap today, gets a positive park factor bump, and has a large enough sample of success against Tillman that I’m willing to lean into it a bit.
Jason Kipnis @ John Danks ($5,500) EVENING – Outside of Bryce Harper, there hasn’t been a hotter hitter in May than Jason Kipnis. I’m not sure you can fit him in at his lofty price, but the platoon splits and ball park are in his favor again tonight.
Kolten Wong @ Jake deGrom ($3,500) EARLY– The Cardinals are tough on right-handed pitching, and while I don’t think they’ll find the success here that they found against Bartolo Colon and company last night, I do like Wong’s value if he’s in the leadoff spot again. I love targeting road bats in cash games, especially ones that hit near the top of the order, because you increase your opportunities for at-bats.
Addison Russell @ Odrisamer Despaigne($3,400) EVENING – The DFS impact of Joe Maddon’s decision to hit his pitcher eighth is that we can use the nine hitter, often Addison Russell, to start a stack. Going 9-1-2-3-4-5 is an option today in GPP’s.
Manny Machado vs. J.A. Happ ($4,300) EARLY – I love the move to the top of the order for Machado. After being buried in the bottom third for most of early career, the leadoff spot does wonders for his fantasy value. Today, he’s at home against the left-handed J.A. Happ, who gets a negative park factor bump in Baltimore.
Kris Bryant @ Odrisamer Despaigne ($4,500) EVENING – Sure, Bryant’s a bit over his skis in terms of BABIP (.420) but he’s walking at a ridiculous clip as well (18%) and is seeing the most pitches per at-bat in the league, something the Cubs as a team are very strong at. I love Rizzo-Bryant today, even if you don’t want the rest of the Cubs stack.
Matt Carpenter @ Jake deGrom ($4,100) EARLY – Value doesn’t have to mean cheap. I could give you Eric Campbell ($2,600) but if I can get Carpenter against a right-handed pitcher for less than $4,500, that’s a value.
Jace Peterson vs. Matt Garza ($3,300) EVENING -The evening-slate doesn’t offer a lot in terms of value plays, but if you need to spend elsewhere you can get away with Jace Peterson for just $3,300. Wait for the lineup to be released. If he’s hitting leadoff again I like him quite a bit.
Freddy Galvis @ Jorge de la Rosa ($3,800) EARLY – It looks strange, I know. Freddy Galvis of the Philadelphia Phillies, in the ‘Studs’ section. Not only is he under $4,000 after being north of it all series, he’s still in Colorado, and faces left-hander Jorge de la Rosa. He’s averaged nearly 11 DraftKings points per game over the past week.
Hanley Ramirez vs. Wandy Rodriguez ($4,900) EVENING –Hanley Ramirez was the best hitter in the game last season against left-handed pitching, and he’s continued to destroy them this season. His .491 wOBA against them should play well at Fenway, and Wandy could be just want this club needs to get going.
Brad Miller @ Chris Tillman ($3,500) EARLY – Last week’s A.L. Player of the Week should be back in the lineup after getting the day off against a lefty on Wednesday, and he should get back in yours, too. There’s a nice little power/speed combo here that may be coming to fruition.
Xander Bogaerts vs. Wandy Rodriguez ($3,500) EVENING – The actually Red Sox shortstop is worth a look here too. I’d rather use Hanley here and find value in the outfield though.
Nelson Cruz @ Chris Tillman ($5,400) EARLY –Nelly Cruz fits in a Miller-Cano-Cruz stack, something you should consider if you’re in an early-only GPP. Tillman has struggled with home runs this season, and Cruz…Cruz has not.
Adam Jones vs. J.A. Happ ($4,400) EARLY – Adam Jones feels criminally under-priced, particularly against the left-handed Happ. Jones has drastically reduced his whiffs this season, (11.6% vs. his career total of 19.2%) and his .547 wOBA against lefties is just not fair. In cash games, Jones is all but a must-play.
Michael Brantley @ John Danks ($5,400) EVENING – Perhaps my favorite GPP play of the night. A quick glance would lead you to stay away from the left-handed Brantley since he’s facing a lefty in Danks. Well, you’d be wrong. Brantley is a stud, and his .439 wOBA against southpaws is one of the best in the game. He’s striking out just 5% of the time when facing a LHP. Crazy good.
Mookie Betts vs. Wandy Rodriguez ($4,400) EVENING – The way he’s been hitting lately makes me think of NBA Jam. You remember? “He’s on FIRE!” His slash line on the year: .260/.333/.479 – not terrible. Over the past ten days: .423/.510/.623. Enough said.
Ender Inciarte @ Mat Latos ($3,500) EARLY – Road bat at the top of the order, again. Inciarte has been in the leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers, and today should be no different. It’s not a great park but I like the Diamondbacks chances against Latos.
Anthony Gose vs. Scott Feldman ($3,600) EARLY – Anthony Gose typically leads off against right-handed pitchers, and his Tigers squad enters play as a top-5 offense against them, with a .328 wOBA. Gose has the power and speed combo that we love here on DraftKings.
Ryan Raburn @ John Danks ($2,900) EVENING – Ryan Raburn is one of my favorite discount plays any time the Indians face a left-hander. Raburn mashes LHP (.429 wOBA), and he typically hits in a nice cozy spot in the middle of the lineup. Tonight should be no different.
Gerardo Parra @ Atlanta Braves ($3,100) EVENING – The recent injury to Jean Segura has changed the way that the Brewers lineup card looks, but we’ve seen quite a bit of Parra in the #2 spot against right-handed pitchers. Wedged between Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun is a nice place to be, and Parra has averaged more than 10 DraftKings points per game over the past two weeks.
Good luck today!