- Washington Nationals hosting LHP Yohan Flande
- Baltimore Orioles hosting LHP Joe Saunders
- Kansas City Royals visiting RHP Yohan Pino
- Cleveland Indians visiting RHP Dan Haren
- Tampa Rays visiting RHP David Phelps
Longshot stack: New York Yankees hosting RHP Chris Archer
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Grantland's Jonah Keri tweeted that the San Diego Padres have the worst OBP of any MLB team over the last 100 years, and that was before they were no-hit by the shell of Tim Lincecum on Wednesday. The Pads followed up that embarrassment by producing a whopping 4 runs over 3 games this weekend, and continue to be the safest matchup for any pitcher. Latos had a substantial hiccup in his return from the DL against the Blue Jays, but bounced back nicely with a quality outing against the Cubs. It's not particularly sexy when he pitches, but he gets the job done as he's sporting a ground ball rate over 40% for the 5th straight season. He's very familiar with Petco Park (2.99 ERA in 33 career starts) and should be able to contain the Padres' terrible offense tonight.
Corey Kluber (CLE) @ LAD: $8700 – Facing RHP Dan Haren
I'd love to suggest Garrett Richards against the strikeout-prone White Sox, but that game since likely to be affected by weather, and Jordan Zimmerman is a stud that seems dramatically over priced tonight. For substantially less, you can play the Indians new ace Kluber, who was correctly predicted to bounce back against the Diamondbacks in his last start and even exceeded expectations with 32.8 DK points. His strikeout numbers are down over the last month, but he still has a fantastic 9.92 K/9 ratio and frankly has much more upside than half the pitchers priced above him tonight. I have a very low opinion of his adversary, Dan Haren, and if the Indians can give him some early run support, Kluber can move the ball around the strike zone and baffle hitters on his way to another stellar outing.
Two Duds (Value Plays):
There are plenty of reasons to avoid Arrieta in 50/50 and H2H formats. He's been dominating N.L. lineups all season, but was crushed by the White Sox on May 8 in his sole Interleague start. He also has terrible splits in Fenway Park in 5 starts with the Orioles, but I think we're looking at a different pitcher now. Since coming off the DL, Arrieta has been striking out batters at an unprecedented clip to raise his K/9 ratio to 10.11 this year. Over his last 4 starts, he's taken it to a whole new level with a 1.00 ERA and 36:2 K:BB ratio over 27 innings. While Fenway has a reputation as a hitter-friendly park, it actually has the 4th lowest HR Factor in the Majors this year, and isn't much tougher to pitch in than Wrigley Field, where Arrieta has a 1.17 ERA and no HR allowed in 23 IP this season. If you believe in riding the hot hand, don't hesitate to use Arrieta as a value with tons of upside.
Danny Duffy (KC) @ MIN: $6700 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino
Duffy has a modest 6.99 K/9 ratio, and has only broken 20 DK points in 2 of his 10 starts this season, but he's a relatively safe value play for 50/50 and H2H formats. The Twins have struck out the 4th most times (192) against LHP in the Majors, so there is some upside there. Duffy has also dominated Minnesota's left-handed lineup in the past, as current Twins are sporting a collective .176 average with 18 strikeouts in 53 career at bats against the southpaw. He's been very consistent for the Royals with 3 straight Quality Starts, and could continue that trend against a Twins offense that is suddenly sputtering with Danny Santana on the DL.
Salvador Perez (KC) @ MIN: $4000 – Facing RHP Yohan Pino
Catcher is a pretty barren position tonight, but Perez has been a safe play with upside for the last month or so and should be able to produce against a rookie RHP tonight. After a stellar MLB debut, Pino was rocked for 5 ER in 3 IP against the Angels, and immediately sent down to AAA. He's back up with Twins to fill a roster spot with Danny Santana on the DL, and will apparently get a chance at redemption as he faces Kansas City tonight. That kind of dicey situation that DFS grinders look to target, and a Major Leaguer like Perez, who is hitting .355 this month, is capable of pouncing on Pino. The Royals backstop has strong reverse-platoon splits, as almost all of his power numbers have come against RHP this season, and that trend could continue.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) @ NYM: $4700 – Facing RHP Zack Wheeler
Perhaps you're aware of the debate: Some DFS grinders prefer using BvP stats when choosing matchups, and some argue that wOBA vs. handedness is a better predictor. Well, Freeman has both going for him tonight as he faces Zack Wheeler, who is allowing LHB to post a .358 against him this season. Friendly Freddie's career splits are also outstanding against Wheeler. He's 6 for 11 with a double, HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, and an absurd 1.576 OPS. He's swinging a hot bat lately and should be safe to deploy in this matchup.
Altuve is unbelievably hot right now, and just logged his league-leading 14th 3+ hit game. His .350 average over the last two months is impressive, as is producing DK points in 12 straight starts, but the absurd thing about Altuve's recent stats is his 10 SB over the last six games. He stole two bags for the 4th straight game on Sunday, and Mike Zunino (mediocre defensive catcher) probably isn't going to stop him from extended his SB-streak tonight. The Astros hitters are wildcards this Monday because they'll be facing touted prospect Taijuan Walker. The Mariners RHP pitched well in 3 MLB starts last season, but his K/9 takes a huge dip, and his HR/9 rises when he faces AAA competition in his Minor League career. Altuve can probably reach base against him tonight, and once he does, he's clearly going to take off for second.
Luis Valbuena (CHC) is 6 for 13 in his career of Jake Peavy, who has allowed 10 HR to lefties this season. Valbuena has an XBH in his last three games and is under priced at $3100.
Who knows why anyone pitches to him considering the sad state of the rest of the Rangers lineup, but Beltre is making the most of his opportunities and is now sporting a .440 wOBA this month. He's destroyed any MLB pitcher in his path during that span, and the Orioles have gotten the worst of Beltre's wrath as he has 3 HR in 12 at bats to average 20.7 DK points against their arms. He's had plenty of success against tonight's starter Ubaldo Jimenez (8 for 20, 2 doubles, 2 HR), who is prone to implode and currently has a 0-6 record and 6.28 ERA in 8 home starts this season.
The good Manny Machado (BAL) returned last week as he homered in three straight games. He'll face a soft-throwing LHP in Joe Saunders tonight and should produce as a relative value play.
Billy Hamilton (CIN) @ SD: $4300 – Facing RHP Jesse Hahn
Are you buying Jesse Hahn's recent run of success? The Padres RHP has won 3 straight starts while producing 26+ DK points and allowing just 2 ER over 19 innings of work. He's had tremendous success by generating ground balls (52.7% GB rate), but that doesn't always work against a speed demon like Hamilton. The Reds SB specialist has proven he can hit Major League pitching. He's batting .333 this month and his average against RHP is a flat .300, partially because he can beat out so many ground balls when he springs out of the left side of the batter's box. Hahn can do everything else right tonight, but if Hamilton finds his way on base, he could be a one man wrecking crew that produces a run out of sheer speed.
Mookie Betts (BOS) demonstrated his ability to get on base during his Major League debut last night. He's dirt cheap at $2300 and could be a fantastic punt play if he's in the Red Sox lineup tonight.
Adam Jones (BAL) vs. TEX: $5100 – Facing LHP Joe Saunders
Both Jones and his bash brother Nelson Cruz are killing left-handers, have great splits against Joe Saunders in their careers, and cost $5100. It's difficult to choose between them if you're going to target the ancient LHP, but Jones has been slightly more consistent over the last month and is a bit more of a bane to lefties. He has a .341 ISO against LHP, and has slugged 6 HR in just 85 at bats, but Saunders isn't the type of pitcher that gives up a lot of bombs, so Jones' .412 average against lefties is what's more appealing. He's hitting .340 this month against all pitchers and should produce enough to approach his lofty price tag.
Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY) vs. TB: $4500 – Facing RHP Chris Archer
Ellsbury has produced at least 5 DK points in 9 of his last 10 starts, and is doing so in somewhat conservative fashion. He isn't stealing a ton of bases as the Yankees 3-hitter, but is always a threat to do so, and could get a jump on the inexperienced Chris Archer tonight. Archer throws hard, but his fastball lacks movement, and Ellsbury has squared him up at every opportunity, as he's 7 for 10 in his career against the young right-hander. Archer has struggled on the road this season, and could unravel in the hostile environment of Yankee Stadium tonight.
Kole Calhoun (LAA) @ CWS: $3900 – Facing RHP Hector Noesi
Noesi hasn't been the best SP to target lately, as he's allowed "only" 26 ER over his last 59.2 IP after giving up 14 ER in 11 innings during the first month of the season. He's still a below average pitcher, and has allowed batters to post a .357 wOBA at home this season. Calhoun, who is sporting a .368 wOBA against RHP this year, has been on a tear lately with 91 DK points over his last 6 starts. He's scoring runs at an alarming pace since coming off the DL a month ago, and is batting .342 in June with 18 of his 36 runs scored this month. There is a troubling weather system moving into Chicago later tonight, but if the forecast looks decent, I'd continue to ride Calhoun in this matchup.
The Rays lineup is full of value plays that could exploit Yankees' starter David Phelps. I'd rank them: Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Joyce, Logan Forsythe, Brandon Guyer if all those value plays are in the lineup tonight.
Eric Campbell (NYM) is filling in well as the Mets cleanup (or 5th hitter). He's got tons of upside at $2700 and should be in the lineup against LHP Alex Wood.
I will answer any lineup questions on Twitter: @nweitzer7
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