Chris Meyers needed the day off today. In his place you have me, Jerry Colvin. Last season you may remember me from the Wednesday edition of this article. To be honest, I forgot how hard it was to build a full lineup this early. Especially when you have a Coors Field game. So while you usually see completed lineups at the bottom of these articles I am going to avoid all that. The reason being is simple; by the time the lineups lock tonight my lineups will more-than-likely be 75 percent different. So why bother? I will however try to provide you with two plays at each position. The top play will be the chalk for cash games and the second play will be what I consider a nice GPP play with possible low ownership.
I just want to say before we continue that it is nice to do an article on here. I believe in the work Doug Anderson and David Gonos do here and the mentoring and tutoring they offer young up and coming fantasy sports writers. Life is what you make it. You either “dial” it in, or do not. With all this being said and a pregnant wife making lunch in the background, let’s get this going.
Tonight’s FanDuel strategy
The first thing you need to remember when we have a Coors Field game is that it will be the chalk across all the sites. Everyone will be trying to get as many big guns in their lineups as possible to gain some exposure to the high 11-point expected total tonight and bad pitching. I can already tell you by tinkering with my lineups if you want to pay up for pitching you are looking at one or two bats at most from this game. Especially, if you choose the upper echelon of players. You will find on FanDuel tonight the price difference for the Arizona-Colorado game is minimal between the stars and scrubs. Why pay $4,000 for a banged up David Peralta when you can pay $3,900 for Carlos Gonzalez? Right? So keep that in mind when constructing your rosters.
Finding value will be a huge key to success tonight. What is value? Value is finding decent players who may be coming off the bench for platoon situations batting at the top or near top of the order for the minimum or near minimum salary. That is what we have been told anyway right? Although selecting hitters at the top of the order may increase your chances for at-bats per night I am finding more and more that the greatest value with the lowest ownership often comes in the six through nine spot. How many times have you looked at a winning lineup and thought to yourself, “why the hell did he take that guy batting eighth?”. The short answer is DFS is about matching up hitters in good situations with pitchers in bad ones, regardless of order in the lineup.
We have a ton options tonight for starting pitching and I highly suspect that Jon Lester will be, and should be, the highest owned pitcher for cash games tonight. He is facing the Padres who are horrible and gets a positive park shift in Wrigley Field. With this being said I am going to offer you two pitchers who I believe will be significantly lower owned and more off the chalk although I believe Lester is the top option.
Jacob DeGrom, New York Mets (3-1, 1.99 ERA) $10,500 FD $10,900 DK
You have no idea how much it pains me to select a pitcher versus my struggling Los Angeles Dodgers. The truth is the Dodgers stink right now. Not only are they striking out 22.1 percent of the time versus RHP they also only have a .301 wOBA and are 24th in MLB in wRC+ at 85. DeGrom gets a positive park shift in Los Angeles where the Dodgers woes grow even further coming in at 29th in MLB with a .282 wOBA and a pathetic wRC+ of 65 (28th in MLB). Did I mention they also are only batting .249 over the last seven days? Meanwhile, although DeGrom’s K/9 is down to 6.35 and RHB are hitting .351 off of him, the Dodgers as a whole are LHB heavy for power and DeGrom still has a 50.7% GB rate. Over his last two starts spanning 11 innings versus the Padres and Giants he has seven strikeouts and three earned runs with an elevated five walks. Like I said Lester is the top option but with weather concerns and a struggling Dodgers offense I will put my money tonight on DeGrom in a game with the lowest expected point total of the night at seven.
Adam Morgan, Philadelphia Phillies (0-0, 6.00 ERA) $6,100 FD $5,500 DK
I am not going to get crazy here and promise the world on this one but I will promise you one thing…the Atlanta Braves are horrible versus LHP. I often find when you have a bad pitcher facing a horrible offense someone has to come out smelling like roses. Why not Morgan right? He certainly is cheap enough. This play is the definition of boom or bust.
The Atlanta Braves are third in MLB striking out 24.5 percent of the time, 30th in wOBA at .246, and also are dead last in wRC+ at 50 versus LHP. It gets uglier at home in the pitcher friendly Turner Field where they are 29th in wOBA (.264) and have a miserable wRC+ of 61 (29th in MLB). Morgan has a K/9 of nine today facing a team that strikes out a lot who cannot hit. The biggest negative is Matt Wisler is going for the Braves and the Phillies while although winning games still are horrible offensively leaving the probability of getting the win highly in doubt. Although he may have allowed six earned runs in his last nine innings keep in mind that was versus the Cardinals and the Indians, who both are exponentially better than the Braves. For a few bucks in a GPP today I am more than willing to take a shot here.
Wellington Castillo, Arizona Diamondbacks (.313 Avg., 7 HR) $4,100 FD $4,700 DK
Would you believe it if I told you Chris Rusin keeps the ball on the ground over 60 percent of the time? Well it is true, 61.8 percent of the time to be exact. Would you believe it if I told you I did not care? Wellington Castillo has .394 avg., 558 wOBA, .909 SLG, and elite 245 wRC+ versus LHP with five HR. He is the top catcher of the day and if you can afford him, play him.
Dioner Navarro, Chicago White Sox (.222 Avg., 2 HR) $2,700 FD $3,800 DK
Out of nowhere Dioner Navarro has become a viable DFS play again for a fair price. Tonight he is in the hitter friendly Globe Life Park in Arlington that is 3rd in MLB in runs scored. He faces a fly ball pitcher in the form of Derek Holland who has allowed 11 ER in his last 8 2/3 innings. Over the last seven days Navarro is batting .333 with .357 wOBA while only striking out 5.6 percent of the time. For the price on FanDuel I find him a top play. On DraftKings, not so much.
I also like Tucker Barnhart tonight for a punt play.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks (.234 Avg., 6 HR) $4,500 FD $5,600 DK
The word is Chris Rusin payed a visit to his therapist between starts. The conversation revolved around facing the RHB of the Diamondbacks. His therapist looked at him and asked, “Which hitter do you believe is causing you to wake up in cold sweats?”
He replied, “Paul Goldschmidt”.
Anytime Goldy travels to Coors Field which is first in MLB in runs scored and is facing a lefty as well you play him. The reality is even though Goldschmidt’s batting average is only .234 he does have six HR and 17 RBI. Most hitters would kill to have a cold start like this. He has a .391 wOBA versus LHP and was the first player I inserted into my lineup today and went from there.
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox (.242 Avg., 5 HR) $3,900 FD $4,800 DK
As you can see besides the Diamondbacks I have taken a liking to the White Sox tonight. Especially the RHB. I also believe with everyone trying to squeeze in as much Coors Field exposure as possible a few White Sox bats could be beneficial. Abreu is more of a GPP play today because for some reason he really has struggled with LHP from last season till now. His batting average was .353 in 2014, .232 in 2015, and is only .190 so far in 2016 versus LHP. He also has yet to hit a HR off a LHP this season and I am calling it today versus the pitcher only his mother could love Derek Holland.
I also like Wil Myers today, call it hunch.
Although we have some nice expensive options on the slate at second base tonight I find the mid-priced players the best options.
Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds (.284 Avg., 6 HR) $2,900 FD $4,100 DK
It does not take a brain surgeon today to see two things. The first one is that Brandon Phillips is one hell of a deal today on FanDuel and not so much on DraftKings. The second one is that when you have a player who has hit five HR in the last seven days and is batting cleanup in the “Great American Smallpark” you play him. Although Juan Nicasio has looked pretty good here and there he still only has two pitches and Phillips has a .359 wOBA and is only striking out 14.1 percent of the time versus RHP. I give the edge to the vet in a deep count.
Derek Dietrich, Florida Marlins (.333 Avg., 2 HR) $2,800 FD $3,300 DK
For the record I am very sad about the whole Dee Gordon suspension thing. I go to my fair share of Dodgers games and I will tell you first hand he was one of my favorite players to watch. He was always smiling, signing for fans, and seemed to really love just being a Major League Baseball player.
Derek Dietrich is taking full advantage of the situation. Over the last seven days he is batting .348 with three XBH and versus RHP he has a .436 wOBA and wRC+ of 170. His price is low and I find him overlooked many of nights without the flashy name. Tonight he gets to face Zach Davies who has surrendered 11 hits and six earned runs over his last 11 innings pitched and I find him the better play on DraftKings tonight.
The other player I like who just missed the cut is of course, Brett Lawrie.
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies (.317 Avg., 12 HR) $5,300 FD $5,500 DK
Wow! Let me tell you that I have a horrible team in a dynasty league with a few guys from So Called Fantasy Experts that I am really kicking myself for not drafting Arenado in. He is batting .323 with seven HR and a .407 wOBA versus RHP and is only striking out 9.1 percent of the time. Tonight he is home facing Rubby De La Rosa who although has looked good his last two starts still has a 36.1% hard hit rate. The price is high but the smell of a double-dong is in the air.
David Wright, New York Mets (.247 Avg., 4 HR) $3,300 FD $4,700 DK
I am a big David Wright fan. The guy is all class. When was the last time you heard about a big David Wright scandal? Tonight he travels to Los Angeles to beat up on my beloved Dodgers with the lefty Alex Wood taking the hill. Wood has allowed 17 hits and 10 ER in his last 17 innings. That is not good by any means. The thing is, Wood is hard to figure out. He is the reverse split guy with LHB hitting .367 and RHB batting .252. Also, his road ERA is 8.05 while his home ERA is a miniscule 1.29. Wright is batting .300 with a .412 wOBA versus LHP on the season but is striking out 32 percent of the time. I prefer him on FanDuel over DraftKings and more for a GPP.
I also really, really like Brandon Drury tonight in any format.
Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays (.165 Avg., 5 HR) $2,900 FD $3,300 DK
First off, WTF? Look at his batting average. I know Tulo suffers from wussy syndrome and is hard as baby poop but even this an all-time let down. So the question is, who sucks worse? Tulo or Matt Cain? Well Matt Cain over his last 10 innings has surrendered 17 hits and 12 ER. As for Tulo, he is four-for-24 over the last seven days with no HR or RBI. He does have some history versus Cain though as he is 21-for-64 lifetime (.328 avg.) with five HR and 11 XBH off of his fellow veteran. I cannot imagine a better night to turn it around, even in San Francisco.
Wilmer Flores, New York Mets (.170 Avg., 1 HR) $2,100 FD only 1B/3B eligible on DK
Continuing with my selection of shortstops batting under .200 I can tell you now if he finds his way into the lineup tonight Wilmer Flores is a player I will have exposure to. I am totally in the frame of mind to punt this position tonight and try to strike some low owned gold. Who the hell would play Flores? His price is the near minimum and he is only striking out 6.3 percent of the time versus LHP, facing a pitcher who strikes out his share in Alex Wood. I expect the Mets to be on base and often and with the new FanDuel scoring system a few walks and runs scored can add up quick. He just has to get on base.
I also like both Jean Segura and Nick Ahmed tonight who both should find their way into the Arizona lineup facing a lefty.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals (.260 Avg., 10 HR) $4,500 FD $5,000 DK
Let me tell you now that you will not have many nights to own Bryce Harper at the ownership level you can expect to get him at tonight. With so many people trying to spend their money in Coors Field it will leave little for the luxuries of Bryce Harper. All that aside though he is still an obvious play tonight. He has a .417 wOBA and wRC+ of 157 while only striking out 15.5 percent of the time versus RHP. The young Michael Fulmer has allowed 17 hits and 12 earned runs over his last 10 innings. Get some Harper tonight.
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies (.315 Avg., 4 HR) $3,900 FD $4,700 DK
If you went to the DFS store tonight and bought a box of chalk it would contain 24 pieces of Carlos Gonzalez in Coors Field tonight inside. The reality is at $3,900 his price is criminal on FanDuel facing De La Rosa. Not only is Cargo four-for-10 off of Rubby but he also is batting .355 with a .394 wOBA versus RHP while striking out a little over 15 percent. He is way overdue for a dong and I believe tonight is the night. Remember, even if De La Rosa pitches a good game it is the bullpen you are after in Coors games in where both teams create a dumpster fire in that scenario.
Brandon Guyer, Tampa Bay Rays (.327 Avg., 2 HR) $2,600 FD $3,200 DK
The Tampa Bay Rays tonight are the best sneaky stack on the slate. I’m just saying. With so much going on you have a team that can crush LHP just sitting there facing a crappy LHP. Why? Because outside of Evan Longoria it is a bunch of players who only hit either lefties or righties and has no superstars. This makes them very easy to overlook.
Brandon Guyer tonight is facing Wade Miley and should be batting towards the top of the order. He has a .333 avg., .438 wOBA, wRC+ of 195, and is only striking out 10.5 percent of the time versus LHP. Usually when you factor all this versus a below standard scrub like Miley it pays off. He has had two good starts but my call is still on the RHB of the Rays tonight.
Juan Lagares, New York Mets (.250 Avg., 0 HR) $2,300 FD $3,100 DK
This play is FanDuel specific due to pricing and is designed to be used for a punt play combined with having a late bullet. The truth is Juan Lagares will do little. We will have to rely on him getting on base with a single or walk and being driven in steadily throughout the night. Even though Alex Wood has pitched good at home I call it more luck than anything else. Even a blind squirrel catches a nut and Alex Wood has blind squirrel written all over him. Lagares is only striking out 9.5 percent of the time versus LHP with a .300 avg. I would not be surprised if you grabbed him tonight for under two-percent owned on FanDuel. Just keep in mind, he still sucks and can easily get you a zero tonight.
Other outfielders, a V for value, a P for punt.
Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees (P)
J.D. Martinez – Detroit Tigers (V)
Josh Reddick – Oakland Athletics
Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
Ryan Braun – Milwaukee Brewers
Giancarlo Stanton – Florida Marlins (Could be low owned)
Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates
Any White Sox RHB
Any Diamondbacks RHB
Any Colorado LHB
Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Any Rays RHB (especially Steve Pearce)
Jose Bautista – Toronto Blue Jays
Good luck tonight and it was great being back for the day. You can find me floating around the internet or read my work on here and at Fantasy Alarm.
The photos of the baseball cards are from my private collections but you can check out my EBay store by clicking this link Jerry’s Gem Mints. I have 8000 positives and zero negatives and lots cool baseball stuff.
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