A full slate of games today has me thinking of sunny days and that everything is going to a-okay. Don’t let Oscar tell you otherwise, he’s a grouch that’ll just slam the lid in your face. Stroll on over to Justin El-Morneau’s World and take a shot against Clayton Kershaw. Normally, I would be raving non-stop about how great Kershaw is, and how I am going to start him. But, there are several reasons for me not to do that today. But, you know me, I’ll still play Kershaw if the game isn’t postponed due to rain. However, I will not shake my head in disbelief when the majority of DFS players don’t play him. He’s still pricey, he hasn’t won in his last three starts, and he’s pitching at the always dangerous Coors Field. Meanwhile, Mookie Betts and Marlon Byrd are a couple of my favorite picks for today. Mookie Monster has three home runs in his past three games, and with Big Byrd batting second in the Reds’ lineup, he’s a perfect low-priced DFS option. The Red Sox face a struggling Drew Hutchison whose allowed 12 runs on 17 hit over 8.1 IP in his last two starts for the Blue Jays. If you’re looking to stack players in the early games, consider the Boston hitters. Marlon Byrd has slid into the second spot of the Cincinnati lineup, batting between leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto. He’s hit well over the past week, and at his price, he’ll make for a nice play. Check out my other favorite picks for today.
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Chase Whitley, SP: $5,000 – With back-to-back superb performances against the Rays and Blue Jays, I’m looking for Whitley to continue to perform at the same level against the Orioles. He only issued 1 walk, with 11 strikeouts, in 12 innings pitched in those games. The Yankees’ offense should continue to score a lot of runs in support of him.
Doug Fister, SP: $7,300 – I’m not normally a Fister advocate, but this pick is mostly due to thinking there is a strong chance the Nationals’ hitters get to Julio Teheren, and getting Fister a win. He’s pitched pretty well over his last four starts and makes for a good inexpensive pitching option.
Jake Odorizzi, SP: $7,500 – I look at Odorizzi’s opponent and instantly think he’s going to strikeout at least eight batters. But don’t get too excited here, because a lot of your fantasy opponents are thinking the same thing- a hot pitcher against the Rangers. Odorizzi is a must play in 50/50’s, but if you’re in a big ‘Guaranteed’ entry, I’m rolling the dice on someone else, because I don’t want to go into work on Monday.
Carlos Martinez, SP: $6,900 – This is the guy I’m probably rolling the dice on. Martinez was slaughtered in his last outing, but he has the skills to pitch well, he’s on a good team, and he faces the Pirates who are 26th in the league in hits and batting average, and 22nd in the league in home runs. He might be the guy that’ll help you call in sick on Monday.
Johnny Cueto, SP: $9,800 – We were all in last week when Cueto faced the Braves, but Kelly Johnson helped burst our bubble. I am still in on playing Cueto today even at his price. I like the matchup against the White Sox hitters in the second game of the doubleheader.
Carlos Rodon, SP: $6,700 – I also like Johnny Cueto’s opponent, Carlos Rodon in the second game of the doubleheader. We’ve all waited patiently for him to make his first MLB start. What’s better than winning your DFS entry than saying you did it with a pitcher who made his first start? Maybe a few key starters will rest in the second game for the Reds, giving Rodon an even better matchup. We all love the hype of a rookie’s potential, so remember to still have fun in DFS today.
Dallas Keuchel, SP: $8,600 – Whoa that is a lot of money for an Astros’ pitcher. If your eyes scanned down to the center of the page immediately, looking for Dallas Keuchel’s name, then I can’t blame you. Just be sure to scroll back up to the top and read the entire article still. What do I need to say about Dallas Keuchel though? Not much, other than he’s the hottest lefty pitcher in a DraftKings’ entry today!
Madison Bumgarner, SP: $11,000 – He’s more expensive than Clayton Kershaw which makes me a bit hesitant, but he’s pitching at home, and there isn’t much else that needs to be said in order to have him as your number one pitcher.
Blake Swihart, C: $3,400 – Swihart is off to a fine start. I don’t like that he’s hitting at the bottom of the Red Sox lineup, but most catchers are. He had great offensive numbers last year in the minors, so you can feel confident at this price, that he can put up good DFS numbers.
Buster Posey, 1B/C: $4,700 – Buster Posey has picked it up since his slow start. As I always say, if you can fit the best hitting catcher in at the catcher position and not the 1B position, then you’ll really like your lineup.
Adam Lind, 1B: $4,600 – I know every time I see Lind’s name in DFS I just keep scrolling down past him. You really have to look at his numbers in order to convince yourself to play him. He’s an up and down player, and right now he is on the up.
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B: $5,300 – A buddy and I always joke around about how every time I start Paul Goldschmidt in DraftKings, he doesn’t hit well that day. The numbers don’t lie though. He’s been on fire over the past week, so maybe I’ll pretend to not pick him, and then try to fool DraftKings (really myself) and plug him in just minutes before the first pitch.
Jose Pirela, 2B/SS: $3,000 – Who? Jose Pirela. He returned from the DL a few days ago, and has started in the Yankees’ lineup two of the last three days. He’s a better hitting option than what they’ve had so far. So if Pirela starts today, he’s a good, inexpensive 2B option.
Brandon Phillips, 2B: $4,600 – Yep, Brandon Phillips is still playing. He’s hitting in the middle of the Reds’ lineup. He’s hit decently over the past couple of weeks. So if Carlos Martinez doesn’t help you call out on Monday, Brandon Phillips might.
Robinson Cano, 2B: $3,900 – What has happened to Robinson Cano? By now you’ve probably received several trade offers for him if you own him in season-long fantasy, but why would you play him in DFS at this point? Answer: track record and price.
Trevor Plouffe, 3B: $4,500 – Plouffe is a good price against lefty Bruce Chen who’s making his first start of the season. Plouffe will be hitting cleanup for the Twins and although I’m not overly thrilled about playing him, remember that strikeouts don’t hurt your score in DraftKings.
Xander Bogaerts, SS: $3,500 – I’m still waiting for Bogaerts to put a string of good games together, but I like the matchup against Hutchison, and he could be in the middle of the stack.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF: $5,100 – Just look at his stats this year. Don’t let the one homer and four RBI’s fool you in DFS.
Bryce Harper, OF: $4,400 – Don’t you wish you would have started him on Wednesday and Friday? Now that his price has gone up a bit, I actually took notice of his stats. He still has not stolen a base this season, but he faces a shaky Julio Teheren who the Nats lit up two weeks ago.
Starling Marte, OF: $4,800 – He’s putting numbers up everywhere. With Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the Pirates’ hitters struggling, he’s been the lone consistent player so far. If you dare start a Pirates’ hitter, he’s the one to play.
Josh Reddick, OF: $4,500 – He’s not going to hit .350 during the course of the season, but he’s hit very well so far. Oakland continues to win. If he’s starting he’ll face J.A. Happ whose been underwhelming so far.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Slight chance of thunderstorms in Detroit and Cleveland, but both cities should clear up in the afternoon. Rain could pick up in Pittsburg late in the evening. First pitch is 4pm EST. Good chance of rain and thunder throughout the day in Denver. Keep a close eye on a possible postponement between the Dodgers/Rockies.
Doing Lines In Vegas
I like the under 7.5 runs in the Astros/Angels game. The Red Sox/Blue Jays and the Twins/Indians are both at over/under 9 runs. I continue to imagine big offense at the Skydome, and the Twins could run up the score against rusty Bruce Chen. I’ll take the over in both games. The three biggest underdogs on the day are the Rockies (against Kershaw and the Dodgers), the Rangers (against Odorizzi and the Rays), and the Marlins (against Bumgarner in San Francisco, yikes!), but what a confident three team parlay I would have. Anyone in Vegas? Tweet at me =D