If I was drafting a season-long fantasy baseball team today, I would target Kolten Wong very early. I remember before the start of the 2014 season, a major media outlet had a debate as to who the best future middle infielder would be. I was hoping one of them was going to talk about Wong, and to my surprise, they did. I was surprised because there was so much focus on future star players like Javier Baez, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, and Carlos Correa. We all remember Kolten being picked-off first base to end Game 4 of the World Series against the Red Sox in 2013. Talk about a way for a young rookie’s career to start off! Wong came back in 2014 starting at second base for the Cardinals, only to be demoted to the minors after struggling to begin the season, and was then recalled and performed very well to end 2014. This season, Wong was the starting second baseman for the Cardinals, but batted at the bottom of the lineup. Now he’s batting at the top of the Cardinals’ lineup and has really displayed his talent. So far he’s batting over .300 with 5 home runs and 3 stolen bases. However, he has the potential to hit 20 homers and have 25 stolen bases. When it comes to DFS, I will continue to play Wong at every opportunity. Not too many second basemen have power and speed ability. Robinson Cano is no longer a viable DFS option. Brian Dozier is a power hitter. Ian Kinsler has been an on-base player this season while still looking for his first home run. Jason Kipnis is coming back to his potential self, and as for Jose Altuve, well, umm, all I can say is Wong isn’t there, yet. If there’s a second baseman that can potentially reach Altuve-type ability, I firmly believe Wong could be that guy.
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Nick Martinez, P: $5,400 – Aside from his last start, Martinez has found a way to get the job done. His WHIP isn’t great and he doesn’t get many strikeouts at all, but he’s 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA on the season so far. Today he pitches at Yankee Stadium and against opposing pitcher C.C. Sabathia. The Yankess continue to hit but Martinez is a nice low-priced option.
James Paxton, P: $7,200 – Paxton paddles in the same boat as Nick Martinez. His overall numbers are decent, and he hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last two starts. However, he’s allowed 15 walks over his last 5 starts, and the K/BB ratio isn’t good. Today he is on the road against the heavy-hitting Blue Jays. I’ll pass.
Matt Harvey, P: $11,500 – Not a whole lot to say, other than try to find a way to start Matt Harvey. He’s worth every buck of your salary. He’s had very good numbers all across the board. If you’re playing in a 50/50, he is a no-brainer.
Cole Hamels, P: $11,000 – He has 4 wins on the season so far. Is this true, or are my eyes playing tricks on me? Regardless, he continues to shine for the Phillies, and today he’s on the road against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. Hamels’ price is appealing, and don’t let the fact that Bryce Harper is facing him scare you. There’s plenty that can go Hamels’ way- he could plunk Harper in the back, or Harper can pop-off to the home plate umpire.
Lance McCullers, P: $5,300 – McCullers had a very solid pro debut earlier this week. However, be aware that there is a very good chance the Astros won’t let him pitch deep into the game, even if he pitches well. You see the price tag and think he did pretty well in his debut, but take this in consideration. He only pitched 4.2 IP against the Athletics, and it seems that this is the trend with young pitchers making their first few career starts. A win is worth 4 points and could make a big difference in any DraftKings entry. If that doesn’t worry you, then how about knowing he pitches on the road against the Tigers.
Corey Kluber, P: $11,300 – He’s the hottest pitcher in baseball. After having a disappointing start to the season, Kluber is back at it showing everyone his Cy Young season last year was legit. I like the matchup at home against the Reds. Don’t be afraid to spend the money on a pitcher that you don’t have to worry about performing.
Shelby Miller, P: $9,300 – You are living the good life if you have him in season-long fantasy baseball, but I am still walking on eggshells if I were to start Shelby Miller in DraftKings. The numbers are great, but I am not convinced that he is legit. Miller was a very highly ranked prospect in the Cardinals’ organization, and was also right up there as an overall prospect at one point, so the skill is definitely there. Last season has still left plenty of question marks. I’d like to think that Miller’s move to Atlanta and having new coaches has made the difference, but until I see more of the same, I’ll pass.
Chris Sale, P: $10,600 – All of a sudden Sale’s opposition, the Twins, can hit now. I made the mistake of starting Francisco Liriano against the Twins earlier this week, so of course now I’m hesitant to start any lefty pitcher against them. But this is Chris Sale, and at this price, Sale seems like a bargain (pun intended).
Nathan Karns, P: $7,100 – Karns faces the Athletics at home in Tampa Bay. The Rays have had a lot of injuries this season, but Karns has stepped in and performed pretty well as a rookie. He has only given up more than 2 earned runs once over his last 7 starts, and has not had a loss since April 7th. I like the matchup against opposing pitcher Kendall Graveman, who can really help the Rays offense jump out to a big lead for Karns.
Dan Haren, P: $6,700 – The most impressive stat I can put out here today, is Dan Haren has not walked a batter in his last 25.1 IP. He’s not a big strikeout pitcher, so don’t let the ratios fool you. However, I feel that Haren’s pitching has come around this season, and unlike Shelby Miller, I don’t need to see more right now in order to roll him out there as my second DraftKings pitcher.
Yadier Molina, C: $3,500 – There’s a good chance I’ll stack Cardinals’ hitters in a DraftKings entry today. Reason: Danny Duffy. I’m not sold on Molina coming through with big numbers even tough he’s hit well lately, but Duffy has struggled very bad over his last three starts.
Wilin Rosario, C/1B: $3,500 – He’s been hot lately, playing at first base for the injured Justin Morneau. Rosario was a big letdown last season, but since being recalled a few weeks ago, he’s been playing very well.
Wilson Ramos, C: $3,500 – Ramos has been very consistent all season, and we all know Catchers have been boring on offense so far this season. He won’t break the bank and has the power to hit a homer any time.
Lucas Duda, 1B: $4,200 – You see his overall numbers and have to think he’s priced very well still. Duda hasn’t been mashing the ball, but when watching him, he’s noticeably a much better hitter than he was in years past.
Delino DeShields, 2B/OF: $3,600 – He just finds a way to hit and get on base. DeShields lit up the minors with stolen bases and will do the same in the bigs if he continues to hit at the top of the Rangers’ batting order. Keep an eye on his status to see if he’s in the starting lineup today vs. lefty Sabathia.
Kris Bryant, 3B: $5,100 – I probably shouldn’t have traded him in my dynasty league, so the only way I can own him is to play him as much as possible in DraftKings. Bryant continues to show that he’s the next big power hitter. He’s succeeded at all professional levels, and has been the hottest third basemen in baseball over the past few weeks.
Wilmer Flores, SS/2B: $3,400 – It’s a good thing you get 14 DraftKings points for a solo homer. Flores is starting to come along nicely in the Mets’ lineup. He won’t hit for average, but all we need is a solo dinger.
Ian Desmond, SS: $3,900 – Don’t pay attention to his overall numbers. Just look at them over the past six games, and know that he is the player of season’s past. He’s still priced very well today.
Ryan Braun, OF: $4,600 – I didn’t know if I would ever write about Ryan Braun no less play him in DFS ever again. He’s been a shadow of his former self since coming back from his lengthy suspension. However, he has a .822 OPS and 10 home runs on the season, and has steadily maintained good numbers so far. Only $4,600 so I’ll keep a close eye on him.
Dexter Fowler, OF: $4,400 – He’s had great numbers over the past few weeks, and at this price, if he’s playing, then I’m not playing, I’ll be playing him. Haha, just play’n.
A.J. Pollock, OF: $4,000 – Like Fowler, I’m playing A.J. Pollock. He’s been hitting very well recently, and also priced very well. He can also steal a base at any time, which really pays off in DraftKings. Today he’s at home against the Cubs.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday I felt like a real weatherman reporting all the weather issues across the country. Today, I don’t have much to report other than a slight chance of rain in the Giants/Rockies doubleheader, and slightly greater chances of rain between the Cardinals/Royals in Kansas City.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I’ll take the over 9 runs in the Angels/Red Sox game at Fenway, and the over 7.5 runs in the Athletics/Rays game since I’ve badmouthed Graveman. The 8.5 runs in the Astros/Tigers game is a hard call, as Vegas lures you in with that McCullers/Lobstein pitching matchup. How about a three team parlay with all dogs? I’ll go with the Mariners at +111, the Angels at +109, and the Cardinals at +102.