- Scattered storms in Washington could affect the value of pitchers in that game
- Los Angeles Angels visiting RHP Colby Lewis
- Cleveland Indians hosting RHP David Phelps
- Seattle Mariners hosting RHP Yohan Pino
Longshot stack:St. Louis Cardinals hosting RHP Edinson Volquez
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If you play 50/50 or H2H games tonight, it will be a contest of who can form a better lineup around Kershaw’s exorbitant price tag. The lefty costs 6K more than nearly every other pitcher, but you can’t put a price on guaranteed dominance. Kershaw is averaging 35.4 DK points in home starts, with an incredible 15.5 K/BB ratio, and a stellar 1.28 xFIP. You’ve probably heard about his 36-inning scoreless streak, and it’ just as incredible that he’s racked up 44 strikeouts over his last 4 starts against some very good offensive clubs (Cardinals, Royals, and Rockies twice). The Padres have shown signs of life in early July, but their offense is still historically bad. San Diego has scored 29 fewer runs than any other road team this season, and has a collective .214 batting average away from Petco Park. It would be very surprising if they keep Kershaw from winning his 8th straight decision.
Two Duds (Value Plays):
Finding the right pitcher to pair with Kershaw will be a challenge tonight, and Guthrie could be the risky arm that swings GPPs. After 4 straight Quality Starts, Guthrie was tagged for 11 H, and 6 ER in just 4 IP by the Indians dangerous left-handed lineup. While he’s allowing lefties to sport a .359 wOBA and is giving up 2.03 HR/9 to LHB, Guthrie has held RHB in check, which is part of the reason he dominated this Tigers lineup on June 18. Guthrie struck out 9, allowing just 4 H and 1 ER as he produced 32 DK points in that start, and his stock is boosted by the absence of Victor Martinez (back) this evening. Without their switch-hitting first baseman, the Tigers have almost no LHB to stack against the Royals RHP, who could exceed value by a wide margin if he starts piling up strikeouts.
Aaron Harang (ATL) @ NYM: $6900 – Facing RHP Bartolo Colon
Harang’s recommendation is more of an indictment of his adversary, as Colon has allowed 14 ER and 5 HR over his last 5 starts. He seems to be declining as the season progresses, and the Braves feast-or-famine offense could provide tons of run support for Harang if Colon falters at home. Either way, Harang has been able to produce decent DK-point totals in most of his starts this season, and his consistency makes up for his lack of upside. He’s pitched well against the Mets this season, throwing 7 no-hit innings (with 6 BB) when he last faced them in April. Harang has slightly better road splits this season, and should benefit from the expansive confines of Citi Field tonight, making him a relatively safe option on a short slate.
Carlos Santana (CLE) vs. NYY: $4200 – Facing RHP David Phelps
Santana may be batting .208 even after slashing .308/.590/1.015 during the month of June, but his .352 OBP makes up for it. Santana went 1 for 4 during last night’s extra-innings loss, but walked twice and posted 11 DK points. He’s drawn 3 BB in 5 plate appearances against Phelps, who’s struggled with his control and comes into tonight’s contest with a 4.75 ERA on the road this season. That provides a nice floor for Santana, and his ceiling is very high as indicated by his lofty slugging percentage and OPS last month. He may be batting cleanup again, behind some red-hot Indians hitters, and RBI opportunities could be plentiful for the switch-hitter.
Harang isn’t going to shut the Mets down completely, and Travis d’Arnaud (NYM) is still a steal at $2600. He’s produced double-digit DK points in 4 of his last 5 appearances.
Albert Pujols (LAA) @ TEX: $5300 – Facing RHP Colby Lewis
Pujols isn’t usually at the top of my list, as the aging 1B has notably struggled since moving to the American League, but he’s heating up again with 100 DK points over his last 6 games. He’s a great option tonight as the Angels face one of the most vulnerable starters in the MLB- Colby Lewis. The RHP has done well in his last two starts, but still has a 6.54 ERA and is allowing opposing batters to sport a .394 wOBA at home this season. His ground ball rate of 31.4% would be the 2nd worst mark in the Majors if he qualified, and that doesn’t bode well when your trying to contain a powerful, but slow, slugger in Pujols. The Angels lead the MLB with 44 runs scored, and a collective batting average of .299 over the past week, and Pujols has been a huge part of that as he’s gone 12 for 25 with 3 HR since July 4.
Matt Adams (STL) is still a solid option at $4000. He’ll have the platoon advantage again as the Cards host Edinson Volquez, and should be in the heart of the lineup.
Nick Swisher (CLE) is hitting again, and seems to love facing his former team. He’s averaging 13.3 DK points in 3 games against the Yankees this year and will have the platoon advantage against David Phelps tonight.
Weather concerns aside, it’s a great idea to use Rendon against a LHP tonight. Chen has reverse-platoon splits this year, but has struggled against RHB in the past, and Rendon is sporting a .420 wOBA against lefties this season. He’s averaging 12.4 DK points over his last 10 games, and has produced in 22 of his last 23 games. If you can afford to pay up at 2B or 3B, you probably won’t be disappointed with the Nationals usual 2-hitter.
Omar Infante (KC) is hot enough to ignore his reverse-platoon splits and plug him in against LHP Drew Smyly at $3800.
Kolten Wong (STL) is living up to some of his preseason hype and has produced 65 DK points over the last 4 games. He’s worth a look in GPP formats at $3200.
Manny Machado (BAL) vs. WAS: $4400 – Facing LHP Gio Gonzalez
Machado will be facing a tough LHP in Gio Gonzalez tonight, but with storms expected to be a factor in tonight’s beltway matchup, he may get a few at bats against Nationals relievers as well. Regardless, Machado holds tons of upside right now, and just went 5 for 6 with 32 DK points in a game started by Nationals’ Ace Stephen Strasburg. He’s 12 for 21 (.571) so far in July, and happens to be 2 for 3 with a BB in 4 plate appearances against Gonzalez. Machado is averaging 13.2 DK points over his last 10 games, and seems to be back to all-star form.
Danny Valencia (KC) has strong platoon splits and should be in the lineup against LHP Drew Smyly tonight. He’s slumping a bit, but remains a bargain at $3000.
The Mariners will start Wilhelmsen, a reliever by trade that isn’t likely to pitch past the 4th inning, so it’s hard to know what to expect from Twins batters. Dozier helped jump start Minnesota’s offense out of the leadoff spot last night, and should be back atop the lineup tonight against a crew of Seattle arms. With 16 HR and 15 SB this season, Dozier has more upside than almost any middle infielder, and his value receives a boost if he’ll get a few extra at bats as the Twins leadoff man.
Jhonny Peralta (STL) was batting 5th last night and came through with a big RBI double. He remains a solid GPP play at $3500.
Michael Brantley (CLE) vs. NYY: $4700 – Facing RHP David Phelps
It would be nice to afford Mike Trout tonight, considering how bad Colby Lewis has been at times, but Brantley has a very similar slash line to Trout this season and frankly, has been more consistent over the past couple weeks. He went 1 for 6 and struck out for the first time in a week last night, but didn’t torpedo many lineups with a decent output of 7 DK points. I’d expect him to be more impactful tonight as the Indians host another weak RHP in David Phelps. He’s become a near must-play in 50/50 and H2H formats, and could have tremendous upside as part of another Indians stack on Thursday.
Kole Calhoun (LAA) @ TEX: $4200 – Facing RHP Colby Lewis
The Angels are rolling right now, and Calhoun is thriving as a platooning leadoff hitter. He’s batting .346 since June 1, and has an incredible .457 OBP so far in July. Calhoun is clearly more dangerous against RHP, and Lewis has some very poor platoon splits, as LHB are sporting a .423 wOBA against him this season. Calhoun isn’t running very much this season, but has shown surprising power, and will continue to bat in front of some of the most dangerous hitters the A.L. has to offer.
J.D. Martinez (DET) @ KC: $4100 – Facing RHP Jeremy Guthrie
Guthrie has enough upside to warrant GPP consideration, but he’s far from consistent, while the Tigers newfound slugger has been just that. Martinez has produced DK points in 26 straight games since becoming a staple of the Tigers lineup. He’s hit 9 HR and driven in 27 runs during that span, and continues to annihilate RHP. Along with Ian Kinsler, and a dormant Miggy Cabrera, Martinez will pose the biggest threat to Guthrie as he looks for a bounce back performance at home. The young RHB has homered twice in 12 at bats against the Royals starter and has a nice floor/ceiling combo for this price.
If B.J. Upton is leading off for the Braves again, he’s worth GPP consideration. He’s at least attempted in steal in two straight games and has solid splits against Mets starter Bartolo Colon.
Michael Saunders (SEA) hit two more singles as the rest of the Mariners offense floundered last night. He remains a solid play at $3600 that should be considered in 50/50 and H2H formats.
Josh Harrison (PIT) is a decent play at $3500 as long as he’s in the Pirates lineup tonight. They’ll face young RHP Shelby Miler, who has gotten lit up in more than half of his starts this season.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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