With four day games on Wednesday, you’ll be left with fewer choices once the evening tournaments roll around. As always, though, there are still plenty of decisions to be made, so here are a few to help you narrow down your focus, position by position, at every price range. Good luck!
Jon Lester @ NYM ($10,300) – Of all the things that the Mets do well, hitting lefties is not one of them (and no, I am not 100% sure what IS on the list).
John Lackey vs. CWS ($9,300) – He has gone at least seven innings and given up no more than two runs in each of his past three starts. Granted, it wasn’t exactly murderers’ row he was facing, in the Twins, Phillies and Cubs, but (sorry White Sox fans), this matchup isn’t a whole lot tougher.
Edinson Volquez @ HOU ($6,800) – Coming off a stellar seven-inning, three-hit performance in Oakland, he is now faced with a much weaker-hitting lineup and an opposing pitcher who could get hammered by the Royals offense. You are rooting for him to end up on the high end of his strikeout range (something like 6-9), and if he does, this could end up being the pick that propels you towards the front of your contests.
Doug Fister @ ATL ($6,600) – He has only had two starts since he returned from his stint on the DL, but his last one was also against Atlanta. In that contest, he went seven innings for the win, giving up four hits and no runs. He’s hoping for a repeat here, obviously, and so are you.
Buster Posey @ Haren ($4,600) – Posey is 2-for-9 against Haren for his career, with two singles, and two strikeouts. But at those other points in his career, I doubt he was on a tear like he is right now: ten hits in his last five games, with four doubles and a home run.
Salvador Perez @ Velasquez ($4,000) – He’s hit safely in three straight, with two home runs in the same span. He is your typical .270 hitter – the hits are not coming every night, but often enough to make a career of it. So when the matchup is right, there is no reason not to at least consider him a possibility.
Brian McCann vs. Shoemaker ($3,700) – McCann and Shoemaker have never faced off, and in this case, I give that advantage to the hitter. McCann is slugging .500 against right-handed pitchers this season, and there is nothing to suggest Shoemaker will somehow buck that trend.
Yadier Molina vs. Quintana ($3,400) – He is slashing .328/.362/.545 over the past week and a half, averaging eight fantasy points a night from the catcher’s position. If there is any chance of that continuing (and of course there is), then $3,400 is a bargain.
Paul Goldschmidt vs. Anderson ($5,900) – Obviously he is good against everyone. But here’s the thing: he’s almost always this expensive, and if you want to maximize your chances of having him surpass this level of value and actually exceed expectations, you are increasing your odds by playing him against a lefty. I mean, wow. In 69 at-bats against lefties this season, he is hitting .387/.465/.694 with five home runs. You are almost guaranteed SOME production with those kinds of numbers. And the upside is limitless (as it is for anyone with 20 home runs and 15 steals at this point in the season).
Albert Pujols vs. Eovaldi ($4,800) – Pujols is maintaining that season-long slugging % over .550, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Eovaldi is not going to be the one to do it to him.
Evan Gattis vs. Volquez ($3,900) – I like Volquez in this matchup, but if anyone is going to do some damage, it could definitely be Gattis. He is hitting consistently right now, and you know when he makes contacdt it’s usually good for some fantasy points. Gotta love power.
Victor Martinez vs. Burnett ($3,800) – He has hit .260 for his career against Burnett, with a couple of doubles and a home run. Now, neither of them are at their peak any longer, but they can still battle it out, and I am giving the edge to Martinez tonight. He is feeling it right now, with seven hits in his last four games (including three doubles).
Jason Kipnis @ Colome ($4,800) – Apparently this is just how good he is. It’s not a fluke, or a hot streak, until you are looking at it in the past-tense. You can’t say those things until he has actually fallen off the proverbial cliff, and so far, he does not seem inclined to do so. He’s got four hits so far in this series against TB, including a home run and a double. And the thing is – that’s normal. Double-digit fantasy points for your team tonight would be normal. His normal is nice to have around.
Kolten Wong vs. Quintana ($4,000) – Wong ten fantasy points per game over the past week and a half without a single game higher than 19 points. You know what that means? Consistency. He has six games in double digits over his last ten. I’ll take it.
Rougned Odor @ Chen ($3,900) – Love this guy’s name. And I’ve heard of it because he is good at baseball. He is 21 years old, and he is on fire. That’s enough to make you think maybe it’s a trend – this guy doesn’t have the track record of failure to throw you off the scent. Everyone is going to be on board soon, and the price has nowhere to go but up. He has five steals on the year. He has nine hits in his last five games. He has five walks against only four K’s in his last ten games, driving an OBP of .465. You know Rangers fans love him, and if he’s on your roto team, you love him too.
Omar Infante @ Velasquez ($3,400) – Infante is one of those picks that you are hoping doesn’t kill you. He has been playing well lately, but that means he has been producing 3-7 fantasy points more regularly, not really raising his ceiling any,
Miguel Cabrera vs. PIT ($5,100) – The thing about Cabrera is that he isn’t the most expensive overall option tonight. Some nights he is. But anytime you take him and see someone else out there going for more, don’t you just feel like you’re getting a value? To me, that’s the definition of stud.
Manny Machado vs. Martinez ($4,500) – Machado is averaging just over 11 points per game over his last ten. And yesterday, he was averaging even more than that. In fact, if you look at his “last ten” statistics over the past several days, they aren’t changing. What’s that tell me? These numbers – an OBP over .420 and a slugging % over .600, for example – they’ve been going on for a lot more than ten days.
Alex Rodriguez @ Shoemaker ($4,000) – Is there a “hate” factor built into these prices? Like, “we know no one actually wants to draft A-Rod, so let’s make him as enticing as possible”? That kind of thing? Because otherwise, I don’t get it – super-hateable, but slugging over .500 on the year. This isn’t just recent. He’s been hitting like a slightly older version of the superstar he was a decade ago, in a very unsurprising kind of way, which is actually kind of surprising after everything that’s gone on.
Matt Duffy @ Haren ($3,800) – .313/.359/.594. That was his slash line for the entire month of June. Every Giants fan out there who has been plugging him in their lineup all month is telling me to shut up right now, because they want him for themselves. Don’t let them have him, everyone else.
Carlos Correa vs. Volquez ($4,700) – The other guy who could do some damage against Volquez if he leaves a pitch or two too far out over the plate. I don’t know about everyone else, but a pair of back-to-back hitless games is not enough to drive me off the bandwagon. That happens to everyone. I know he doesn’t have the long track-record to build your confidence up to weather these (very very short) rough patches, but the track record he does have is pretty damn impressive.
Alcides Escobar @ Velasquez ($4,100) – You’ll notice this pretty quickly for yourself, but there isn’t a lot to choose from in the “stud” category for SS tonight. Does thismean you have to pay up to get one of the good ones, or that you can save here, sine no one is going to get big numbers anyway? That’s for you to decide, but Escobar, for his part, does have upside. He is one of the players who gets to his average with a bunch of 3-point games with a 17-pointer mixed in here and there.
Jimmy Rollins @ Ray ($3,600) – Rollins has scored at least three fantasy points in six straight. Consistently something is about the best you can ask for at this position, at this price. But for whatever it’s worth, tonight could be a night where he goes big, for more like 8-12 fantasy points – all of his numbers are improved against lefties, so you might as well take advantage when the chances roll around (so you can spend big someplace else).
J.J. Hardy vs. Martinez ($3,300) – I recommended him a couple of nights ago, and he came through with two walks and a hit for seven points. He had another walk and another hit last night. And that right there is his deal: singles and walks. But that has him with an OBP of almost .500 over the past seven days, and being on base that often in an offense that could do some work with Martinez on the mound gives him potential, especially for this bargain-basement price.
Bryce Harper @ Wisler ($5,700) – He was edged out by Goldschmidt for most expensive guy on the board, which is understandable. I mean, his numbers are down, point blank. He is slugging .713 for the season, but for the past week, that number is a paltry .680. His batting average is all the way down from .340 to .335. I mean, what are you even paying for?
Andrew McCutchen @ Simon ($5,200) – Apparently Victor Martinez has “no respect” for the Pirates after getting hit by a pitch. I have no comment except to say that a little sauciness always makes a random mid-season series a little more exciting. As if you needed another reason to watch this guy. He has four double-digit fantasy performances in the past week, including a 2-for-4 night against Atlanta with a double and a steal. That’s the kind of production you have just got to love seeing out of your guys.
J.D. Martinez vs. Burnett ($4,500) – His production has remained steady. At the beginning, he was dramatically underpriced. And then, as these things go, his price gradually rose as the production continued. But eventually, the price leveled off. And to my mind, that price stull doesn’t match the production. Past failures could be getting taken into account here, and that is a sure-fire way to identify value for your lineup (even if he is on the “stud” list).
Alex Gordon @ Velasquez ($4,200) – He is finally hitting for average and increasing his OBP with a few walks, exactly what his real-life team wanted from him, and all very useful traits for your fantasy team as well.
Ben Revere vs. Lohse ($4,000) – Definitely saddled by the lack of production from his offense as a whole, he is still managing to put up 8-9 fantasy points per game. It’s scary to think what he might do with the ability to rack up some counting stats, but I can assure you of one thing: he wouldn’t cost $4,000. He would be on that other list a bit further up the page.
Scott Van Slyke @ Ray ($3,900) – He is hitting .300 and slugging close to .600 against lefties so far this season, in thirty at-bats. Ray is not one of those lefties who defies that sort of history.
Josh Hamilton @ Chen ($3,700) – He’s got one game back on the Rangers, and he had two hits. He’s faced Chen once before in his career, and went 1-for-4. You know he’s looking to get off to a hot start – another hit or two tonight could help that cause, and yours.
Gerardo Parra @ Harang ($3,500) – Parra has been outperforming his own history for about a week now, which is the easiest and most common way for value to get created on a night-to-night basis. Take advantage when you can identify it, because it can go away just as quickly.