Playing daily fantasy can be a bit of a grind, but when you hit big nothing feels better. However, when you get slapped upside the head with a cold streak nothing feels worse. As we hit the halfway point of the MLB season your humble-but-nonetheless-handsome Guru has had a profitable season. Yet, when a cold streak comes a knockin’ you just have to know when to walk away and know when to run. And I’ve hit a “Winter is coming”-sized cold spell the last few days. Nevertheless, I’ve never listened to Kenny Rogers and I’m ready to dive into the deep end of the DraftKings pool. I’m coming for your cash. Or, the way things have been going lately, maybe I should just hand you mine.
Before we get to today’s picks, let’s talk some strategy. If you’re a DFS shark feel free to skip ahead, I don’t mind, I’ll still get paid by the word. We have talked a lot about hitting this year and constructing lineups. What we have not touched on is pitching. We give you the tools in the Stream-o-Nator and the DFSBot and we send the Razzball Hotsheet to your email everyday so finding the right arms shouldn’t be too tough. When it comes to choosing two pitchers on DraftKings there are three ways to go and maybe even a fourth way – which is kind of a DraftKings secret. 1) Take the two stud arms and find value bats. This is not generally the way I go, but it can be effective in some Cash Games like cheap 50/50s. 2) Punt the pitchers and load up on bats. This can work on a night like last night where there were not a lot of high priced arms and we had high over/unders in Arizona, Boston, Colorado and Texas. 3) The stud and the scrub philosophy. This is the way I usually go. Grab the one big pricey arm and one low priced arm that’s going to give you Ks and won’t get shelled. Last night I went with Masahiro Tanaka and Chris Young. It didn’t work. Tonight I will sacrifice a chicken to my Luis Tiant bobblehead in order to change my recent luck. And 4) The Mystery way. A lot of players don’t realize this, but on DraftKings if you select the “All” option on the roster page it will show a complete list of players that includes relievers. And they are cheap! The other night I started Hisashi Iwakuma and grabbed Kevin Quackenbush for $2000. Iwakuma had a big night and Quackenbush outscored Tyler Matzek – who was one of the cheapest pitchers of the night but still triple the price of the Quackenbush. It cashed as I was able to take the stud bats in Arizona and Texas. It’s a risky move, but it can allow you to load up on hitters and win big. Give it a shot in a free game and let me know how it works. Come to think of it, I have should went this way last night as I owned Julio Teheran and his -6.5 points everywhere. It was a bad night and my liver is not happy.
With all the said, let’s get to the plays of the day. We do have a bit of split slate today with four games this afternoon and 11 tonight. I’ll offer up the pitching studs, scrubs and punts I like today and throw in some bonus bats in as well.
Max Scherzer, P: $10,900 – Mad Max is averaging 9 Ks and 30 FPTS over his last three games. Sure the Dodgers roughed up Verlander last night, but that was because Kate Upton was doing jumping jacks on top of the Detroit dugout. Scherzer should be good to go this afternoon.
Chris Sale, P: $11,800 – Sale is coming off a complete game, 12 strikeout performance and gets the Boston Bobby Valentines. Yes, it’s got that bad in Beantown.
Marcus Stroman, P: $7,300 – Since being added to the Jays rotation as a starter, Stroman’s ERA and WHIP are 2.08 and 1.02 and he’s yet to give up a run in a road start. He’s on the road tonight, cust kayin’.
Alfredo Simon, P: $8,200 – If I told you Simon was having a better year than Stephen Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Madison Bumgarner would you believe me? What if I told you Simon faces the Cubbies tonight who are fourth in the NL in strikeouts? Please let me in your circle of trust.
Josh Collmenter, P: $6,100 – Collmenter is the cheapest arm on the board this afternoon not named Jair Jurrjens – I could not bring myself to recommend Jurrjens. Collmenter is 5-2 at home with a 3.38 ERA and shut out the Marlins for seven innings the last time he faced them.
Brandon Cumpton, P: $5,700 – Here’s a perfect example of a punt play. Cumpton is getting called up from Triple-A to face the Cardinals in place of the broken Gerrit Cole. He hasn’t been that bad this year when starting for the Buccos – well, not counting the 10 runs he gave up to the Dodgers. Temper expectations, this is a punt play.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $5,800 – Goldy has an OPS of 1.243 over his last 10 games. Do I need to say more? Yes, yes I do. Au Schizz.
Jose Abreu, 1B: $5,100 – Abreu has not gone more than three games without a homer since early June. While I don’t believe in “due” Abreu is going yard tonight and I owe my local library $9642 for a copy of Tropic of Cancer I took out in 1987.
J.D. Martinez, OF: $4,000 – We won’t be paying this price much longer on J.D. He extended his hitting streak to seven games last night with a triple and two runs scored. In only 183 plate appearances, Martinez has 12 homers and 38 RBI. Stretch that out over a full season (650 PA) and, according to my handy abacus, that’s 43 homers and 135 RBI. Thanks, abacus.
Jay Bruce, OF: $4,200 – Bruce is heating up lately with three homers and nine RBI this week. A Reds stack might rock tonight as they face Dallas Beeler who is making just his second start of the season.
Casey McGehee, 1B/3B: $3,700 – Casey has been a cheap, steady DFS play all season and his price never moves. Thanks, DraftKings. Here’s a Guru Factoid: McGehee is on pace to be just the third player since 1950 to finish a season with 90-plus RBI and an ISO below .100.
Mike Zunino, C: $3,200 – I shared my Zunino man crush on Razzball Radio last week and he was my jam of the week. Me and big Z are still hot and heavy. This is a great price to pay for legit power from a position I never pay up for.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
According to Razzball meteorologist Golden Sprinkles, it’s all sunshine and rainbows. However, my emotional weather report calls for highs today, lows tomorrow and, if I lose again tonight, precipitation is expected.
Doing Lines in Vegas
Want to battle it on DraftKings? Just hit me up at TheGuru5150 or follow me on the tweet machine @TheGuruGS