With an afternoon game out there, you can get in on some All-Day contests if you want, but most of the action lies with the evening slate. Here are some players you can consider targeting for your lineups, at every position and price range. Good luck!
Stephen Strasburg vs. NYM ($10,100) – He is still listed as day-to-day, but all signs are currently pointing towards him getting the start on Wednesday. I know it is hard to trust a guy when you have so many options and he is just coming off an injury – but in this matchup, that’s the only thing depressing his price to this level. He certainly has the best matchup of any of the best pitchers in this price range, and the stuff to take advantage of it – even if he does give up a run or two.
Julio Teheran @ PHI ($8,500) – Other than one blow-up against the Yankees, he has had quality starts in six of his last seven (and nine of eleven). And the Phillies, friends, are not the Yankees. Teheran should see the upper reaches of his upside tonight, making him a good candidate for 20-25ish fantasy points.
J.A. Happ @ CIN ($7,000) – He hasn’t given up more than one run in five straight starts (with at least five innings in each). His last start was a seven-inning, 3-hit, 8-K, no-run gem against the Cardinals, and he will look to continue the momentum against the Reds tonight.
Chris Rusin @ SD ($4,700) – Since he got lit up at home against the Mets, he has had two straight quality starts, and the last time he faced the Padres, a few weeks ago, he threw a complete-game five-hit shutout. The way his teammates have hit Shields in the past, he has as solid a chance as anyone at a win tonight, and for this price, that counts for something.
Brian McCann vs. Jiminez ($5,000) – This is a lot to spend on a catcher. But this is a matchup that often leads to a lot of runs. What you’re hoping for here isn’t necessarily what you’d hope for if you spent $5K on a first baseman. Instead, you’re hoping for a positional advantage. And with a positional advantage, all your other picks still need to be solid – he’s not going to single-handedly win you a contest with a 45-point outburst or something. But if you like your cheap places elsewhere, this could be the little boost you need at the end to get over the top.
Russell Martin @ Kelly ($4,200) – Like many of his MLB-playing brethren, Martin has hit Kelly before. Well. .308 average, a double and a home run, six RBI – that tells all the story I need to hear if I can afford to have him in there.
Blake Swihart vs. Hutchison ($3,700) – Just in case he isn’t on your radar, he should be. Four multi-hit games in his last eight is consistency you don’t often get at the position. He looks comfortable at the plate.
Salvador Perez vs. Pelfrey ($3,600) – Perez is 5-for-13 against Pelfrey (.385), including a double – and, frankly, it is amazing the things we latch onto when we’re searching for a cheap catcher.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Heston ($5,600) – Yup, he is 3-for-6 with two doubles against Heston. But more importantly, he hits like that against everyone, all the time. And the best part is, he’s been scuffling a bit over the past few days, so you might have a more limited % of opponents than usual who also have him in their lineups.
Chris Davis vs. Sabathia ($4,900) – Apparently I think this Orioles-Yankees game is going to be high-scoring. Let me think… yup, I do. Davis is usually involved when that happens.
Mark Trumbo vs. Perez ($3,800) – A decent matchup for his whole team, Trumbo has been able to capitalize on a consistent swing and a productive lineup to see his fantasy average spike up above 9 ppg. There is no reason to expect Perez to be the one to stymie all that.
Logan Morrison vs. Perez ($3,400) – Don’t worry – they usually find a way to get them both out there. And why not, with Morrison slashing .395/.415/1.130 over the past ten days?
Dee Gordon vs. Pena ($4,900) – He is just so much fun to root for. And now with 50 steals on the season, on pace for 70+, the upside is impossible to ignore. He might as well have 30 home runs.
Dustin Pedroia vs. Hutchison ($3,800) – He made it back from the DL last night, appearing for the first time since July and securing a double (he likes to do that). This one could end up being a high-scoring affair (highest over/under on the board in Vegas), and Pedroia could be in the mix to help that happen.
Chase Utley @ Richards ($2,900) – Utley has three multi-hit games in his last five, and four in his last seven. He has been averaging just over eight fantasy points per game over the last two weeks. And, while the matchup certainly appears tough, Utley has faced Richards one other time and went 2-for-3 with two doubles. So you’re saying there’s a chance.
Nolan Arenado @ Shields ($5,000) – Sometimes it’s tough picking Rockies on the road because their performances at home are baked into the price. But not tonight – tonight Arenado’s value and potential is all matchup. Shields hasn’t been bad this season, but if anything he’s been worse lately, and Arenado could pounce. He is 8-for-14 with a double and three home runs in fifteen career plate appearances against Shields, and he’s not looking to slow the pace at all in this one.
Josh Donaldson vs. Kelly ($4,800) – Third base might not be a bad place to spend your money tonight, and I am showing you that with three options from near the top of the price range – whether you have a LOT of money to spend, a good amount, or just “some,” there is a stud option you can slide into your lineup. Donaldson is that second tier, and frankly, no one can quite understand why. The man is a beast, consistently raking all season long, and he is hitting .545 lifetime against Kelly, on top of all the recent stats he’s accumulated (.415/.448/.758 over the past ten days).
Mike Moustakas vs. Pelfrey ($4,200) – He has been consistently averaging 7-8 fantasy points per game all season, and even though I am starting to feel like I’m picking on Pelfrey with all these Royals recommendations (and Pelfrey is not THAT bad), I do think there is a potential for a bunch of runs scored in this one. Plus, like his teammates, Moustakas has had success in this matchup before, hitting .400 with a home run in ten at-bats.
Kyle Seager vs. Perez ($3,900) – Hitting .440 with three home runs over his last ten games, he is averaging over 13 fantasy points per game over that span. He is also hitting over .400 in 17 career at-bats against Perez, with two home runs. They both seem like good streaks to keep riding.
Carlos Correa @ Brooks ($5,000) – I mean, he’s played in 75 games. He has 17 home runs and 11 steals. You’re telling me he could have 40 home runs and 25 steals next year? All while hitting over .270 and getting on base at an even better clip than that? He might already be the best shortstop in baseball.
Xander Bogaerts vs. Hutchison ($3,800) – Hitting third in the order, he’s been a run-producing machine as the brightest spot for these Red Sox all season long. He is also 7-for-14 with two doubles when facing Hutchison, good news for someone he’ll face pretty often as long as they stay in the same division.
Brad Miller vs. Perez ($3,000) – He had five hits in three games before getting a pseudo night off last night (0-for-1 as a pinch hitter). He has been getting regular playing time in the outfield recently, so he should be back out there tonight, but check. And he has had some success in this matchup before, going 4-for-8 with a walk and a double. An OBP over .500 could be useful if this offense goes off tonight.
J.J. Hardy @ Sabathia ($2,400) – Activated from the DL yesterday and thrust immediately back into his usual SS role, he should be back out there tonight. And this price is only going up from here. So if you think this is too risky with the recent DL stint, I get it. But if you want to pounce on value where you see it, keep in mind that he is 10-for-31 lifetime against Sabathia, with five doubles and a home run.
Lorenzo Cain vs. Pelfrey ($5,500) – One more facing Pelfrey, because Cain is a monster. He’s on fire, and he is anchoring this lineup in a way that’s made him one of the most expensive options on the board. And it is deservedly so – he is just the kind of 20+ point upside contributor you WANT to spend up on when you have the room, hitting for average and for power in a lineup that will have plenty of guys on base and hitters coming up behind him to send him home. Against Pelfrey he is 6-for-12 with a pair of doubles, so he should be feeling comfortable at the plate in this one, bad news for everyone who doesn’t have him rostered.
Mookie Betts vs. Hutchison ($4,900) – Better late than never. I mean, he is young. There is always hope that he puts together a full season of awesomeness sooner rather than later. But right now, he’s doing what the Red Sox hoped – hitting .445/.458/.762 over his last ten games. And if you’re worried about him keeping it up, there is no reason to expect tonight is the night he slows down, as he’s 5-for-9 with two doubles and a home run against Hutchison, most of which came when he wasn’t nearly this hot at the plate.
David Peralta vs. Heston ($4,200) – Heston has given up five or more runs twice in his last five starts, and he has made it through six full innings only once since July. Peralta is 3-for-9 against him with a home run, and lately, in general, he has just been hitting a lot better than Heston has been pitching. Call me interested.
Jacoby Ellsbury vs. Jiminez ($4,200) – Ellsbury was going through a bit of a mini-slump, but he has four hits in his last three games, and a great track record in this matchup – does 7-for-11 (a .636 average) work for you? Me too.
Carlos Gonzalez @ Shields ($4,000) – Another Rockie with a good enough track record against Shields to even consider trusting him on the road. He’s been hitting well lately, and historically, he has owned this matchup, going 7-for-16 (.438), with two doubles and two home runs.
Danny Valencia vs. McHugh ($3,600) – In this matchup, in this price range, you might be the only guy rostering him in even some big contests. But he has faced McHugh six times before, and has three hits – including two doubles. He is also hitting over .300 and averaging over 9 fantasy points per game over the last two weeks, so you’re not even having to rely on ancient history alone.
Carlos Beltran vs. Jiminez ($3,600) – His huge upside from years ago is gone, but he still has potential to get you into that 15-230 point range with a couple of guys on base in front of him here and there. And he has hit well against Jimenez going back years now, going 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles and two home runs.