Tonight should be a very exciting set of games with all thirty teams in action. After the focus has been on the NFL for the last few days, it is nice for us “seam-heads” to have our sport back in the forefront, if only for a few days.
Noah Syndergaard – NYM at WAS – $11,700 – This will be the fifth time that Syndergaard has faced Washington this season, and if we keep in mind that two of those outings came in a three start stretch in late-June and early-July when Syndergaard was dealing with elbow soreness and subsequently arm fatigue, the results are still solid. Over 21 2/3 innings against the Nationals, the pitcher affectionately known as “Thor” has allowed ten earned runs, one home run and recorded 24 strikeouts for a solid 4.14 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with a 1.11 per nine inning strikeout rate. Add in that the Mets hurler has allowed just three runs over his last four starts (27 innings) and the price tag becomes more reasonable.
Danny Duffy – KCR at OAK – $10,300 – In the dozen games prior to the Athletics SIXTEEN RUN outburst last night they were averaging just 2.5 runs per contest, and tonight they are projected to plate just 3.5 runs against the Royals which is the lowest number on the board. On the season, Oakland has an 86 wRC+ (weighted runs created plus is an advanced metric that neutralizes ballpark factors and creates a league-wide scoring efficiency baseline of 100) against left-handed pitching, which means they score 14% less efficiently than the average team. Over his last three starts, Duffy had tough outings in Boston and against Detroit, but he looks to have righted the ship allowing just two earned runs in six innings on eight hits against the Twins in Minnesota last Wednesday when he also racked up ten strikeouts.
Julio Urias – LAD at NYY – $8,900 – While Yankee Stadium is a major downgrade as a pitching environment when compared to the 19 year-old’s home park in Chavez Ravine, the youngster has a good matchup against the Yankees in New York tonight. This season the Bronx Bombers have not been very effective against southpaws and have been in the same cellar dwelling neighborhood as the previously mentioned Oakland Athletics. This is a lofty price point for someone so young, but the tantalizing strikeout upside helps offset the trepidation we are feeling as our mid-tier tournament ace.
Clayton Richard – SDP at SFG – $4,700 – The former White Sox prospect seems to be turning things around here in his second stint with San Diego after mostly disappointing over the last seven seasons. He has allowed just three runs in his last five starts spanning thirty innings and while he could implode at any time, at this price point and in the very pitching friendly AT&T Park, he is worth a shot. Richard is a heavy-groundball pitcher with fellow lefties hitting 71.8% against him since the beginning of last season and righties not too far behind with a 60.8% ground ball rate in the same timeframe. As long as hitters keep sending worm-burners back out in play, he is a solid option that will allow us some serious hitting upgrades.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B) – ARZ vs COL – $5,300 – To the surprise of no one, Goldy has really been a force this season, once again crushing left-handed pitching. Over his last 385 plate appearances he has an absurd .454 wOBA and a 1.080 OPS. This is a fine matchup for him at home in the hitting friendly Chase Field, and he is no stranger to LHP Jorge De La Rosa in this matchup of division rivals.
Mike Trout (OF) – LAA vs SEA – $5,600 – Trout has had the Mariners number this season, and it has not mattered who has been on the mound (18 for 53, .340/,478/.849 with seven home runs and three steals). In eleven plate appearances against RHP Taijuan Walker, he has nine hits (yes NINE HITS), three home runs, a triple and just two strikeouts.
Charlie Blackmon (OF) – COL at ARZ – $4,500 – Blackmon has finally recovered from the back tightness that cost him five games last week, and he has a great history against LHP Robbie Ray with ten hits in 17 at bats for a .588/.611/.882 slash line. Do not shy away because of the lefty/lefty matchup.
Joey Votto (1B) – CIN vs MIL – $5,000 – Since the beginning of the 2014 season, Votto has been mashing the offerings presented by right-handed hurlers with a .406 wOBA and his .950 OPS which both indicate a high level of production. I’d recommend considering him for a few lineups as a solo play or as part of a Cincinnati stack.
Buster Posey (CATCH) – SFG vs SDP – $4,500– Posey continues to be a stalwart against southpaws with a .372 wOBA over his last 489 plate appearances. Thought LHP Clayton Richard has been pitching much better over his last half dozen starts, Posey is a nice option even in the tough hitting environment of his home park.
J.D. Martinez (OF) – DET vs MIN – $4,500 – This is a great matchup for Martinez who is excellent against same-handed pitching, and he has had a particularly nice run against RHP Kyle Gibson with nine hits in 22 career at bats with an out-of-this-world 1.186 OPS. Enjoy!
Yasmany Tomas (OF) – ARZ vs COL – $4,400 – Tomas is a nice under-the-radar option at home against LHP Jorge De La Rosa. He has twenty-six home runs on the season and has a good shot at knocking another one out of the park tonight.
Trea Turner (2B/OF) – WAS vs NYM – $4,800 – While this is not an easy matchup, the Nationals rookie has been excellent against same-handed pitching so far this season and RHP Noah Syndergard has allowed 45 stolen bases so far this season, by far the most in the Majors. For perspective, the next two worst hurlers have allowed 52 stolen bases combined in twice as many innings pitched (Jimmy Nelson 27, Jon Lester 25). Turner is on a full-season pace for 72 stolen bases which would have him in the mix among the league leaders. If he gets on tonight, he will be off to the races.
Josh Bell (1B/OF) – PIT at PHI – $3,100 – Bell has been a relatively steady addition to the Pittsburgh lineup and as a switch-hitter, he is less likely to be lifted for a pinch hitter. In an admittedly small sample size of 69 plate appearances, he has been excellent with a .400 wOBA and a .940 OPS against right-handed pitchers. We can slot Bell in at either first base or as an outfielder with his multi-position eligibility on DraftKings.
Ryan Schimpf (2B) – SDP at SFG – $3,800 – While AT&T Park is not the most hitting friendly environment, Schimpf has enough power to poke one over the fence just about anywhere. Over his last 228 plate appearances against in lefty/righty matchups he has produced a massive .360 isolated power (ISO) with 16 home runs, fourteen doubles and three triples tossed in for good measure.
Brandon Phillips (2B) – CIN vs MIL – $3.500 – While “Dat Dude” tends to be overlooked by fantasy gamers in all formats, he is a reliable source of production, particularly when we can employ his services for a reasonable cost. He has a good history against RHP Matt Garza with eleven hits in 31 career at bats with six walks and just two strikeouts. He is an excellent option on his own or as part of a Reds synergy strategy in my opinion.
Yuli Gourriel (1B/3B) – HOU vs TEX – $2,600 – The Cuban is just priced too low for a batter who should be in the middle of the order for the Astros today against RHP A.J. Griffin.
Mike Napoli (1B) – CLE at CWS – $3,600 – In case you have missed it, and judging by his popularity in tournaments you have, Napoli has racked up 33 home runs and 94 RBI so far this season and is averaging a robust 8.8 DraftKings points per game. Over his last 489 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, Napoli has compiled a .394 wOBA and a .230 ISO.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is emac) 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.