- Milwaukee Brewers hosting LHP Tyler Matzek
- Boston Red Sox visiting LHP Vidal Nuno
- Los Angeles Dodgers hosting RHP Carlos Martinez
- Detroit Tigers visiting RHP Brad Peacock
- Tampa Rays visiting RHP Chris Tillman
Longshot stack:Chicago White Sox visiting RHP R.A. Dickey
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He'll be starting opposite a bonafide ace in Cueto, but Bumgarner is probably the safest option at SP tonight. Not only is he pitching in cavernous AT&T Park, a stadium with the lowest Home Run Factor in the MLB, he's facing a team that he's thoroughly dominated- he has a 2.25 ERA and 24/5 K/BB ratio in his last four starts against Cincinnati. Current Reds are batting just .148 against the Giants' ace with a pathetic .087 ISO, and they're struggling against lefties in general with a team batting average of .229 against LHP this season. Bumgarner has been worse in 7 home starts this season (4.57 ERA) but his K/9 ratio is very high, and if you look at a larger sample size, he has a 2.62 ERA in 45 home starts over the last three seasons. Although he hasn't broken 40 DK points this season, Bumgarner has produced 33+ in 4 of his last 9 outings and is probably a better play in 50/50 and H2H formats then the other top tier options this Friday.
Based on his recent performance against the Phillies, you may've expected to see Julio Teheran listed here, but the young RHP has been a risky option based on his price and his peripheral stats are very similar to last year aside from a lower BABIP. Perhaps he's been getting lucky, and the Phillies may make some adjustments after getting shut down by him 11 days ago.
Instead, the second stud, and a potential GPP play is Ross- who loves to pitch in Petco Park, where he has a 2.36 ERA and 9.45 K/9 ratio this season. Ross has posted Quality Starts in 6 of his last 7 outings at home, and his adversary (McCarthy) has gotten rocked to the tune of 52 H, and 26 ER over his last 5 starts. McCarthy has the worst HR/9 ratio in the Majors, and even the Padres pathetic offense should be able to provide some run support against the RHP. True to his home/road splits, Ross pitched well against Arizona at home and struggled on the road in two meetings this season. He's averaging over 20 DK PPG at home and has a good chance to approach that total tonight.
Two Duds (Value Plays):
Chavez is a pretty safe option as he toes the rubber in Marlins Stadium tonight. He isn't dominating like he was in the first month of the season, but has produced solid DK point totals against some good offensive clubs (Red Sox, Angels, and Yankees twice) over his last four starts. Now he gets the benefit of pitching in a National League park, against a team that's batting a collective .232 and scoring just 3.62 runs per game in June. Chavez has been consistent on the road this year, and his splits are even better away from the Coliseum in some instances. He has a 5.10 K/BB ratio compared to a 2.07 ratio at home, and is allowing RHB to post a meager .209 wOBA on the road. His weakness has been giving up the long ball in road starts, but Marlins Stadium has the 7th lowest Home Run Factor in the MLB. The A's are heavily favored in Miami tonight, which increases the likelihood that Chavez could record a Win as well.
Justin Verlander (DET) @ HOU: $7700 – Facing RHP Brad Peacock
Now Verlander could end up being an actual Dud, as he's produced double-digit DK points in just 2 of his last 7 starts, but it's pretty incredible to find a SP with this much upside in the bargain bin. He's in a funk, and even though his fastball is live and his breaking stuff has great movement, he hasn't been able to fool Major League hitters at all this season. That could change as he takes on the EXTREMELY inexperienced Astros in Houston tonight. Astros batters have struck out the 2nd most times in the A.L. (488), while scoring the 2nd fewest runs (201) and posting the worst batting average (.222) against RHP this season. Granted some of these numbers are from a different era, but Verlander is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his last 3 starts against Houston. This is a golden opportunity for the former ace to regain some of his swagger- just don't consider him in 50/50 or H2H formats of course.
Catcher is a tough position to choose from tonight, and the highest priced option (Lucroy) is also in a great position to succeed, but if you're going to fish for a Dong, I think Gattis is the player to target. The Phillies Kyle Kendrick is just awful. He's particularly awful against LHB, but righties are part of the reason he's given up 3+ ER in 7 of his last 10 starts. He's given up 6 HR in 7 home starts this year, and the fact that Citizens Bank Park has the 3rd highest Home Run Factor in the National League isn't doing him any favors. Gattis obviously has immense power, but he's been hitting for average too as he just snapped a 20-game hit streak and has a .357/.643/1.049 slash line in June. He's aware of the cramped confines in Philadelphia's stadium, and has crushed the ball there recently, going 6 for 9 with 3 HR this season (both of his hits in the Phillies Park were HR last season). He should bat cleanup for the Braves tonight and there's certainly a chance he leaves the yard.
Dioner Navarro (TOR) continues to produce and has some outstanding splits against LHP John Danks. He's 7 for 17 (.412) with 2 doubles and 2 HR against the White Sox starter and is worth a look if he bats 6th again tonight.
Jose Abreu (CWS) @ TOR: $4800 – Facing RHP R.A. Dickey
The old White Sox first basemen (Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko) may have rocked Dickey throughout their respective careers, but it's a new day, and it's time for Abreu to do some damage against the woebegone knuckler. The Cuban Phenom seems to homer just about every other game, and he does in fact have 8 HR in 22 games this month. He's hitting .307 since coming off the DL on June 2, and will play his 2nd career game in Toronto's Rogers Centre, the ballpark with the 3rd highest Run Factor and Home Run Factor in the MLB. Dickey has not pitched well in his new home stadium, and hasn't pitched well anywhere since he started dealing with a groin strain this month. He's allowed opponents to post a .372 wOBA, and has a terrible 2.19 HR/9 ratio in June, as 20% of fly balls hit off Dickey have left the yard. If Abreu can square up one of his knuckleballs, it will go a long way.
Carlos Pena (TEX) is back in the Majors and should be hitting 5th or 6th tonight for the offensive-starved Rangers. He's 4 for 11 in his career against mediocre RHP Kevin Correia and is an intriguing punt play at just $2900.
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) @ NYY: $4400 – Facing LHP Vidal Nuno
Red Sox fans have plenty to worry about, but David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia slumping all season doesn't seem to be one of them. Both proven hitters have come alive this road trip, and Pedroia has hit in 7 of 8 games. He hasn't truly broken out yet (averaging 7.5 DK PPG during that stretch), but could certainly post a multi-hit game against weak LHP Vidal Nuno tonight. Nuno's numbers have been terrible across the board this season, but his 7.09 ERA in Yankee Stadium really sticks out. He's also allowing batters to post a .409 wOBA, and has a horrendous 3.06 HR/9 ratio against RHB at home. To top off the value of Red Sox righties, winds are expected to be blowing out to LF in Yankee Stadium, which already has the highest Home Run Factor of any park in the Majors.
Rickie Weeks (MIL) proved he's still useful in the right matchup and should get a crack at another LHP in Tyler Matzek tonight. At $3400 he's a candidate in GPP formats.
Aramis Ramirez (MIL) vs. COL: $5000 – Facing LHP Tyler Matzek
We saw more evidence of Ramirez's ability to crush lefties last night as he took Christian Friedrich deep, and he's still the top option at third base tonight as the Brewers host another inexperienced LHP in Tyler Matzek. After a solid MLB debut, the Rockies young hurler has gotten shelled in B2B starts, including an outing where he gave up 5 ER to the Brewers. Ramirez contributed to that damage with a HR, a double, and 2 RBI, and although it's hard to expect a repeat performance, the 16-year-veteran has dominated LHP this season with a .356/.800/1.200 slash line and may be worth his lofty price tag. He now has 6 HR in just 45 at bats against lefties in 2014 and should at least draw a few walks as Matzek may be too terrified to throw him anything to hit.
We talked about how terrible Vidal Nuno is, and Brock Holt ($4000) has great numbers against lefties this season. Along with Xander Bogaerts ($4100), he could be part of a great Red Sox stack as they renew the rivalry in Yankee Stadium tonight.
Dee Gordon (LAD) vs. STL: $4500 – Facing RHP Carlos Martinez
The Dodgers leadoff man has recovered from his slump to go 9 for 23 (.391) with 6 runs scored over his last 6 starts. He also has 4 SB in the past week, and leads the Majors with 40 thefts this year, so that is what you'd be hoping for if you play him in GPP formats. The Cardinals are giving young RHP Carlos Martinez a look as a starter, and he's performed well enough in 2 starts despite not being given the opportunity to toss more than 5 innings. He has plenty of experience as a reliever, and has shown an inability to deal with LHB, as well as slightly worse numbers on the road. Lefties are hitting .300 against Martinez in his 2 MLB seasons, and he has a terrible 0.89 K/BB ratio against LHB, so Gordon has a great chance to get on base, and even with Yadier Molina behind the plate, he'll take off.
Alexei Ramirez (CWS) has had success against R.A. Dickey as well (3 for 7 with a double and a HR) and could be part of a White Sox mini-stack at $3700.
Carlos Gomez (MIL) vs. COL: $4500 – Facing LHP Tyler Matzek
With plenty of appealing infield options, it's best to save with your outfield spots tonight, and Gomez remains a relative bargain at this price. He stole a bag for the second straight game as he produced 8 more DK points last night, and is another right-handed Brewers bat that could get to Matzek. Gomez crushed LHP last season, and while he hasn't been hitting for average against lefties so far this year, he does have 4 HR in just 64 at bats. While Christian Friedrich is a worse pitcher than his teammate, Matzek will challenge hitters with fastballs, so I think Gomez actually has more upside tonight.
J.D. Martinez (DET) @ HOU: $4300 – Facing RHP Brad Peacock
Even the great ones have off nights. In all seriousness, Martinez could become one of the best hitters in baseball if he continues to showcase his renovated swing in the heart of the Tigers dangerous lineup, and going 0 for 4 in one game isn't going to dissuade me from using him on a nightly basis. Astros starter Brad Peacock is certainly nothing special- he has a 5.12 ERA at home, and is allowing RHB to post a .354 wOBA this season. Martinez has been crushing nearly every RHP he sees lately, and will have the added motivation of opening a series against his former team in Houston tonight. The #oldteamtheory may not always translate to results in baseball, but it's an added bonus when you're considering using one of the hottest hitters in the MLB.
Gregory Polanco (PIT) vs. NYM: $4100 – Facing RHP Jacob DeGrom
I doubt we'll see Polanco priced near 4K for much longer, as he's averaging 10.7 DK PPG and is an extremely safe play considering he's hit safely in 14 of his 16 Major League games. He flashed his upside last night as he homered, drove in 4 runs, and stole a bag to produce a whopping 30 DK points, and will look to replicate some of that production against the inconsistent DeGrom tonight. The Mets rookie RHP recovered from a string of rough outings to twirl 7 shutout innings against the Marlins in his last start, but may find the task more difficult in Pittsburgh against a Pirates team that has scored the 4th most runs in the MLB (117) this month. Polanco has jump started the offense, and remains a solid play in all formats as long as he's leading off.
Seth Smith (SD) hasn't been as consistently lately, but has still flashed upside against RHP and costs just $3500. He's one of the few Padres that could take advantage of Brandon McCarthy's horrible HR/9 ratio by taking him deep tonight.
Sam Fuld ($3400) is likely the Twins default leadoff man as long as Danny Santana is inactive with a bone bruise. He's averaging 7.16 DK points while producing in 7 straight starts and does not have an imposing matchup against RHP Nick Tepesch.
Depending on where they are in the lineup, Kevin Kiermaier ($3000) and Brandon Guyer ($2700) are excellent value plays against RHP Chris Tillman. The young Rays outfielders produce nearly every time out and despite bouncing back with a solid outing in Yankee Stadium last week, Tillman has been one of the worst SP in baseball this year.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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