Remember when you used to open a pack of baseball cards and were only looking for the rookies? DFS Fantasy Baseball has been just like that for me this season. Instead of sliding my thumb from left to right on paper, it is now sliding up and down on my cell phone, looking for players like Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, and Carlos Correa. I can’t remember a season where this many rookies have made such huge impacts early on. In DFS, DraftKings will price rookies that have just been called-up really cheap. Kyle Schwarber was only $2,200 on the first day he played. Now he is $4,000. Even at that price, he’s still a good option, especially at the Catcher position.The Cubs prospect was the best hitting player in the minors until his call-up a few days ago. Play him while you still can because it’s been said by Cubs’ management that he’ll be sent back down to the minors after the interleague games.  By this time next week you’ll be back to picking your Catcher last and not caring who you pick. As much as I love the rookies, playing them in DFS can be daring. It’s important to look at the match-ups even more so than other players. I’m definitely staying away from a rookie hitter when facing a top pitching ace. Check out some more rookies I like today.

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Carlos Rodon, SP: $5,500 – Earlier this week Rodon was hammered by the Pirates. He didn’t ‘make it through 4 innings and only had 3 strikeouts. However, he had 4 straight Quality Starts before that outing. Today he faces the Rangers at home in Chicago. Although I think there is safer pitching options today, Rodon is priced right and has the potential to have a good amount of strikeouts.

Max Scherzer, SP: $12,600 – I always want go with the hottest player in DFS, but how can I justify spending this much on Scherzer? I know it is possible that he’ll get 16 strikeouts against the Pirates today, but as much as I’d like to pick him, I just don’t see him in the budget.

Robbie Ray, SP: $5,600 – I came so close to streaming Ray in my season-long league when he pitched earlier this week, but didn’t have the guts to do it. Robbie Ray was once a top 100 prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization. I like the matchup against the Padres today, especially at this price. I wouldn’t play him in a 50/50. I’d only roll the dice in a big tourney.

Williams Perez, SP: $5,100 – Oh the guy with two last names? The fantasy world knows him well. When you pitch decent and have a last name for a first name or a name that is plural he seems to not escape your memory from week to week. The overall numbers look good, but don’t be fooled by his DFS value. He doesn’t strike out many hitters. He has a high walk rate. The 1.40 WHIP is good evidence to prove that I am not starting Williams, I mean Perez.

Noah Syndergaard, SP: $9,100 – Thor was a top pitching prospect headed into the season, and he’s proven to be a future ace already. I continue to see deGrom, Harvey, and Syndergaard a lot in my lineups. I think to myself – am I really starting another Mets pitcher? Well yes I am. These guys are the future of the franchise. Who’d have thought that Mets’ pitching would be the future? He pitched very well earlier this week against the Blue Jays. Today he’s in Atlanta.

John Lackey, SP: $7,900 – I have never owned Lackey in season-long fantasy or in a DFS entry. Today might be the first day, though. The vet has pitched very well this season, other than his outing at Coors Field last week. He’s on the road against the Phillies. Key word: Phillies.

Tim Hudson, SP: $5,900 – There’s nothing better than a Giants/Dodgers series. Today Tim Hudson pitches on the road against opposing pitcher Carlos Frias. Although the Giants are on the road in Los Angeles, with this price, I think Hudson would make for a decent second pitcher today in a big tourney.

Dallas Keuchel, SP: $9,900 – Keuchel has 76 strikeouts in 101 IP’s so far this season, which is around the ratio of his stats last season. As much as I like to focus on strikeouts in DraftKings, the main reason to start Keuchel today is his .193 BAA and Robinson Cano will have 4 at-bats against him.

Francisco Liriano, SP: $10,400 – The one time I have ever played Liriano in DraftKings I was burned bad. He was facing the Twins and was blasted for 7 runs in only 2 innings. I vowed to never start him again. But…. since I was impressed with Keuchel’s BAA, I’m even more impressed with Liriano’s .177 BAA, 0.96 WHIP, and 99/82 K/IP. With that said, I’m NOT playing him.

Jonathan Lucroy, C: $4,300 – The Brewers are on the road at Coors Field against Chad Bettis. Lucroy has been starting to hit better lately, and with not many good Catcher options, he’s one to consider.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $5,600 – I don’t need to say much here. Goldy is as good of a DFS option as anyone, including your pricey pitchers. Click his name, look at the stats, and just smile because no one else knows who he is.

Mark Teixeira, 1B: $4,700 – I don’t think I’ve ever played Teixeira in DFS either, and I’m not sure why. He has 18 homers on the season and a higher batting average than I expected. The Yankees are at home against the Tigers.

Matt Duffy, 2B/3B: $3,500 – The overall numbers are solid. He doesn’t hit many home runs or drive in runs, but he’s hitting and getting on base. At this price, I’m just looking for 10-15 points here.

Jason Kipnis, 2B: $5,000 – I don’t usually like to spend this much money on my middle infielders, but all Kipnis does is score runs. He’s also a threat in every other scoring category. The Indians are at home against Erasmo Ramirez.

Todd Frazier, 1B/3B: $5,500 – Just pick him!

Kris Bryant, 3B: $4,900 – The Cubs are on the road against rookie pitcher Trevor May. I was pleasantly surprised to see Bryant has 5 stolen bases on the year. The rookie is priced well.

Manny Machado, 3B:$5,100 – Manny Machado is who we thought he’d be. Yes that was a Denny Green reference. He is putting up huge numbers this season, and since becoming the leadoff man in the Orioles’ lineup he has been hitting even better. He’s $400 less than Frazier, so if you choose Machado, down goes Frazier!

Carlos Correa, SS: $4,000 – The rookie shortstop will be a top fantasy player and reality player for a longtime. But I’m trying not to focus on that. This is DFS by the way. The Astros are on the road against Taijuan Walker.

Yunel Escobar, 3B/SS: $3,500 – Where was this Escobar guy in Tampa? Now with DC he’s hitting very well. There aren’t many numbers in the power categories, but he’s getting on base and scoring runs when he plays. He’s a similar pick to Matt Duffy – cheap and can get points. Check to see if he’s in the Nationals’ lineup.

Jhonny Peralta, SS: $4,000 – It’s easy to pick a player when they’re facing the Phillies, and that is what I did here. Peralta hasn’t done much over the past week, but I really like him at this price.

Jose Iglesias, SS/3B: $3,000 – He’s in the same boat as Duffy and Escobar, and maybe even a better value if shortstop is the last position you need for your lineup. This is a pick of potential. The numbers are not there this year, but he’s been in the Tigers’ lineup and has a little pop in his bat.

Carlos Gonzalez, OF: $4,700 – CarGo has hit a home run in 3 of his last 4 games. He faces Kyle Lohse at Coors Field.

George Springer, OF: $4,500 – He’s been one of the hottest hitters over that past couple weeks. He’s hitting for average and has been the Astros’ leadoff hitter.

Cameron Maybin, OF: $4,100 – The Braves have given Maybin the chance to be an everyday starter and he’s done well in the role. He’s been hitting near the top of the lineup. The Braves are at home today against rookie Noah Syndergaard.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains

Looks like a chance of rain early on in the Cubs/Twins’ game but they should be able to play all 9 innings. Decent chance of rain all day in New York could effect the Tigers/Yankees- keep an eye on the forecast.

Doing Lines In Vegas

The underdogs I like today are the Giants at +135 and maybe the Tigers at +108 but that is only because Nate Eovaldi was destroyed last time out. I’m sticking with the favorites today.