With a pair of afternoon games on Wednesday, you can get in on early or late action, or both. But most of the excitement on the diamond and in DFS will be during the evening’s slate of games, so here are some players for those contests you can consider for your lineups, at every position and price range. Good luck.
Zack Greinke has been scratched from his start tonight due to calf soreness.
Zack Greinke vs. ARI ($13,200) – This season, he is the very definition of consistency + upside. You know you’re not throwing your money away, and there is a chance he is the cog that puts your lineup over the top. The last time he faced Arizona was just ten days ago, and he threw eight innings of shutout ball for 35 fantasy points. The only negative with Greinke is the disappointment you feel about not getting fantasy credit for his hitting stats.
Corey Kluber @ MIN ($12,300) – Kluber doesn’t have the win total he did last year, but he does have the same arm. He is striking guys out and getting through innings, which is all you can really ask for from a fantasy pitcher. And in a matchup with Phil Hughes and the Twins, he has as good a chance as ever to actually get you the bonus for the victory as well.
Yordano Ventura vs. SEA ($8,600) – Ventura has been up and down all season long, and as recently as three weeks ago, he was riding a streak of five straight starts with well over 20 fantasy points, so you know the upside is there. His last few starts have not looked as good, but if you want to save on pitching, he does have the ability to shine in tonight’s favorable matchup.
Adam Conley vs. PHI ($6,100) – He has twelve starts on the year, and the 25-year-old has looked like a serviceable major league pitcher. But in his last start, he looked at least potentially like more than that, going seven innings and giving up just three hits and no runs against the Mets. And now he has the Phillies. A matchup with the Phillies is a great one to enter into with some momentum.
Travis d’Arnaud vs. Perez ($4,400) – d’Arnaud has been one of the most effective bats at the catcher position all season long, but like anyone else, he has had his ups and downs over the course of a long season. Over the past couple of weeks, his average has been down, but he is coming off a rest day that hopefully has him feeling rejuvenated. Against Perez, he has only had six at-bats, but in four of them he has had a hit, including one home run and four RBI. Small sample size, but compelling, especially at this position.
Buster Posey @ Cashner ($3,900) – Posey didn’t play last night, but was quoted after the game as saying he should be fine tonight. Which is nice, because he is priced at a very affordable level for this one, and history would suggest he has a good chance of performing well, and by history I mean the fact that he is 11-for-22 against Cashner with a double and a couple of home runs.
Yasmani Grandal vs. Anderson ($3,400) – He has faced Anderson eight times, and he has connected for hits three of those times. The thing is though, all three of them left the yard. Something is going on here.
Roberto Perez @ Hughes ($2,600) – He plays basically once a week, but tonight could be the night. Check the lineups before you finish your lineup construction, and if Perez is playing, you might want to get him in there. He has an OBP hovering around .350 all year, which means he could be a useful piece if the offense gets going no matter what, but he is also 5-for-9 against Hughes, with a double and a home run.
Edwin Encarnacion vs. Nova ($5,100) – In a matchup of Ivan Nova and Marcus Stroman, I expect plenty of fireworks from both the Yankees and Blue Jays lineups in this one. No reason not to start with this guy: slashing .390/.460/.785 over the past ten days, he has also demonstrated past success in this particular matchup (not at all surprisingly), hitting .346 in 28 plate appearances against Nova, with two doubles, a home run and seven RBI.
David Ortiz vs. Smyly ($4,500) – He started the season off slowly, but he has turned it on in the second half. I know he was happy to reach the 500-home run mark over this past weekend, but I’d venture a guess and say he isn’t content to stay right where he is. He has five hits in ten tries against Smyly in the past, including one long ball, so the chance is there for a nice return on your investment in this one.
Pedro Alvarez @ Bergman ($3,900) – Now up to 25 home runs on the year, you have to remember, he is usually not playing in Colorado. But he is today, against a converted reliever who has given up four home runs in his last ten outings.
Freddie Freeman @ Colon ($3,900) – Freeman is not likely to be very highly owned tonight, considering his .195 average over the past couple weeks. But there is no rule saying you have to wait for a mini-slump to be over before you use a guy – be the first on the new bandwagon. He is 9-for-20 against Colon lifetime, with three doubles, if you want another reason to feel confident.
Dee Gordon vs. Buchanan ($4,700) – It’s hard not to love all your Marlins in this matchup… and, as usual, especially this particular Marlin. Still hitting .330 on the year, and now up to 53 steals, he has got the consistency and upside of all but the very best power hitters.
Rougned Odor @ Doubront ($4,100) – If you extrapolated his numbers over a full season
Daniel Murphy vs. Perez ($4,000) – Murphy has hit well against right-handed pitching basically forever, and this season has been no exception. He is hitting .293 and slugging .498 against them so far on the year, and, in the least surprising development of the day, he hits Perez even better than other righties. He might only have three at-bats against him, but when two of those three go for doubles, it does inspire confidence when you plug him into your lineup.
Robinson Cano @ Ventura ($3,600) – This seems like THE obvious play at the position to me, today. In a good matchup against a pitcher making his second-ever start, in the midst of a hot streak going back a month, averaging more than 11 fantasy points a night – yeah this is the 2B for me.
Adrian Beltre @ Doubront ($4,200) – So, there’s two things: 1. over the past ten days, he is averaging 13.5 fantasy points per game, which you get by slashing .510/.515/.770 over your last forty at-bats, and 2. he has hit a cumulative .636 against Doubront with a pair each of doubles and home runs in eleven at-bats.
Mike Moustakas vs. Elias ($4,200) – Moustakas has four home runs in the past ten days, boosting his short-term fantasy scoring average into double digits. He also has a home run in one of the two at-bats he’s ever had against Elias. Those two facts seem to fit nicely together.
Anthony Rendon vs. Tillman ($3,800) – Hitting over .300 for the past two weeks has his average up around .275 for the year. He is looking a little more like the player he was in the first half, when his fantasy scoring average was just north of eight instead of hovering around 7. For this price, that’s a noticeable difference.
Aramis Ramirez @ Bergman ($3,600) – He left last night’s game early, so check to see if they give him a night off. But if they don’t, he is interesting, for one reason only. Despite the fact that relying on a small sample size in baseball is a recipe for disaster, when you see someone who is 3-for-3 against a certain pitcher, it does stand out. Especially when two of those hits went for extra bases.
Francisco Lindor @ Hughes ($4,300) – Going 15-for-39 is no joke. That’s .372, in case you’re still doing the math in your head. With an average of 10.7 fantasy points per game over his last ten, he is giving you production you don’t always see from this position, and his price is not reflecting that. If you think it’s going to continue another night, you have to roster him.
Xander Bogaerts ($4,000) – His price is inching upwards, but quite simply, not fast enough for my liking. Therefore, he’s staying in the values section. Hitting over .400 for the past ten days is nice, but you always have to distrust small sample sizes. So, I hope this little tidbit does more to persuade you: he is slashing .351/.377/.450 since the All-Star break. That start to sway you a little?
Brandon Crawford @ Cashner ($3,100) – He is back from the DL, and had two hits last night, which is a sign he is progressing along well in his recovery. This is a great matchup for him to continue to build on that momentum, as he has five hits in eleven tries against Cashner in the past, including a double and a home run.
Andrelton Simmons @ Colon ($2,600) – He costs $2,600 for a reason. Or, several reasons. But he is averaging more than five fantasy points a game for the year, and he actually has a good amount of history against Colon, which has gone well for him (eleven hits, two doubles and a triple in 20 at-bats)
Jose Bautista vs. Nova ($5,100) – 7-for-19 with two doubles and a home run against Nova equates to upside. But when you throw in seven walks as well, for an OBP of .538, it’s clear he will very likely be involved in any scoring the Blue Jays do in this one, which should be plenty.
Brett Gardner @ Stroman ($4,500) – Stroman hasn’t been around long enough for too many of these Yankees to accumulate many at-bats against him, but Gardner is one who has certainly made the most of the opportunities he has had. He is 3-for-10 with a walk for a very respectable .300 batting average, but more impressive that those three hits have been a double and two home runs.
Adam Jones @ Scherzer ($4,100) – Listed as day-to-day, he missed both yesterday and Monday, so make sure you verify that he’s going to be active tonight. But if he is, you should definitely consider him – he is hitting .500 against Scherzer in 22 at-bats, with two doubles and three home runs.
Justin Upton vs. Peavy ($4,100) – Averaging almost 10 fantasy points per game over the past two weeks, he is facing a pitcher against whom he has managed to put together a .529 batting average in 17 at-bats, racking up a pair of home runs along the way.
Christian Yelich vs. Buchanan ($3,900) – Hitting .290 over the past couple of weeks, averaging just about 9 fantasy points per game, he is value if he returns anything like those numbers in this game. And there is nothing about the matchup that would suggest he won’t. Just like all the other Marlins, he’s got a starting pitcher on the mound opposite with an ERA well over 8 and a WHIP of 1.99. The whole offense could benefit from that.
Carlos Beltran @ Stroman ($3,700) – This game could produce a ton of runs, and Beltran has been a part of that more often than not lately, including his 2-for-3 with a home run night last night.
Jay Bruce @ Lynn ($3,500) – How you could possibly defend having a lineup that doesn’t include Bruce is sort of beyond me. OK, that’s hyperbole, but only sort of. Bruce is 14-for-31 against Lynn (.452) with a double, two triples, and three home runs. He also has five home runs in the last ten days. Which is, you know, a happy coincidence.