It’s 2016 and everyone is raving about their kale and quinoa diet, and if you’re drinking anything other than water you may die. But today I am here to tempt you with a tall glass of Aaron Nola. Obviously you have aces Strasberg, Arrieta, and Kluber all starting, but as I surveyed the pitching field, I noticed several bad pitchers and some decent pitchers with bad scenarios. Today is most certainly a day to pony up for pricy pitchers. I was almost going to suggest Mike Foltynewicz … that’s how bad it is out there. Nola’s price falls under 10K at $9,500. However, if he keeps pitching like he has been, that price is bound to rise. Nola has been ace-like to start the season. He has gone 7 strong in 5 out of his 7 starts, issuing 49 K and only 8 BB to the tune of a 2.54 xFIP. Only two pitchers own lower xFIP, who happen to be Kershaw and Syndergaard, so he’s in pretty good company on the xFIP front. Opposing batters haven’t been able to generate much solid contact off his pitches. Nola is 12th in average exit velocity at 86.6 among qualified starting pitchers. Nola again finds himself in the good company, as his average distance per hit is only flying 200 feet. That pegs him right in between Syndergaard (201) and Kershaw (199). Are you worried about him facing Cincy? Don’t be. The Reds are a completely different team on the road than they are at home. At home they are stroking a .733 OPS, with 98 runs (2nd), and have hit 31 HR (1st). Compared to .638 OPS, 37 runs (30th), and 5 HR (29th) on the road. It’s the weekend! Forget about your diet, sit back, and take a swig from the Coca-Nola bottle. With that, I give you the rest of my DraftKings picks…
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Corey Kluber, SP: $11,400 – He will be highly owned in cash lineups, and for good reason. Kluber gets to take on the bottom of the barrel Twins. His last outing was a struggle, but Kluber’s got his velocity back. With his strike out potential and the Twins propensity to strike out, you should be KKKKKashing in with Kluber in your lineup.
Jose Quintana, SP: 10, 600 – They Yankees lit up Price for 6 runs in each of their last two outings vs LHP. However, Quintana gave up a total of only 12 hits and 1 run to TEX, BOS, and TOR, all of which are solid hitting teams vs LHP. I don’t believe the Yankees magically got better, and am willing to take a chance on Quintana.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C: $3,700 – Salty is doing his damage against RHP from the left side of the plate (.952 OPS). He has been destroying the ball, with an average exit velocity 94.3. The guy on the bump, Mike Wright, has a career .562 OPS vs lefties. Also, lefties in Camden Yards… check please!
Tony Wolters, C: $2,800 – It’s hard not to choose players when they get to play in Coors. Both Wolters or Dustin Garneau ($3,200) are cheap options for the Catcher position today. Logan Verrett is getting the start, as Matz is dealing with a tender elbow. Last year he threw 8 innings with 4 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, and 8 K in his start in Coors, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. I’m not sure what clocks have to do with pitching, but I do know that Verrett is getting hit hard 34.4% of the time. Choose a cheap Rockies catcher and move on to your other picks.
Lucas Duda, 1B: $5,300 – I’ll try not to name all players in Coors, but for cash games, it’s too easy! I was going to suggest Wil Myers (still a great choice); however, for only $200 more and the Coors effect, I lean toward Duda. If you are looking to fade NYM/COL, go with Myers.
Justin Smoak, 1B: $3,400 – Spent big on pitching? Looking for salary relief? Ladies and gentleman … I give you Justin Smoak. He’s found himself in an everyday role ever since Chris “BABIP” Colabello got suspended. In this everyday role, he owns an .882 OPS. Meanwhile, Colby Lewis appears to be in a try out for the pitchers role in this years Home Run Durby, as he has gave up a HR in all but one game.
Ben Zobrist, 2B: $5,000 – Zobrist has been swinging a hot bat and like his bat, the Cubs been hot as well. Pitching to the Cubies will be Jeff Locke and boy oh boy, does Jeff love sending people to first base. This will give Zobrist plenty of opportunity to keep swinging away and racking up the points.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B: $4,300 – This little guy tries to destroy the ball every time he swings, and it’s been working. He’s slugging .545 with 6 HR against RHP. Boston has been teeing off against RHP this season. Together they own a league best .842 OPS. Pedroia averages 10.2 fantasy points per game at home his, and after today I think it will be higher.
Jimmy Rollins, SS: 3, 800 – Mr. Cash Play! Not often will you find a zero in the points column next to Jimmy. He’s a relatively safe play who won’t break the bank.
Brad Miller, SS: $3,500 – He’s been putting the BAD in Brad this season but today he get’s a RHP and he is dirt cheap, got to love that! If he can find a way to get on base, he’s also got the ability to steal. Let’s hope Good Miller, instead of Bad Miller shows up today.
Kris Bryant, 3B: $4,800 – He’s been striking out 10% less than lass year, including a 4% reduction in swinging strikes, and still ripping the cover off the ball. There is definitely more to come. Look out fantasy world. Kris Bryant is here!
Brandon Drury, 3B/OF: $2,700 – Opposing pitcher Jake Peavy has a WHIP of 1.91 this season. That’s good for 3rd highest amongst pitchers with at least 30 IP. Drury has been better against RHP, and is often found batting in the 2 spot. Batting nearly .300, Drury should easily out preform that cheap price.
Yoenis Cespedes, OF: $5,600 – Okay I have not mentioned players in Coors for long enough. Yoenis already has 11 HR and batted in 31 runs. Now he gets to visit Coors and add to that total. If you have taken some of my cheaper picks, you should have the space to get this RBI machine in you lineup.
Michael Saunders, OF: $3,700 – With a RHP on the mound, Saunders will be leading off for the Jays. As I said earlier with Smoak, Colby Lewis has been serving up homers, which is good for fantasy and bad for the Rangers. A lead off hitter in this line up, with Lewis on the mound, and all for one easy payment of $3,700, you would be crazy not to take this deal!
Corey Dickerson, OF: $3,600 – Dickerson is the true definition of a Boom or Bust play. He hasn’t been hitting often, but when he does…he takes them for a ride. His last 3 hits have been home runs. Unfortunately, that’s been over the span of his last 7 games. Tournament play only!
I’m Only Happy When It Rains’ section
Clear skies, full hearts, can’t lose. Only a couple issues for todays slate. Thunderstorms are possible near the end of the MIA/WAS game. In the night slate we have a high chance of showers before the CIN/PHI game. The CIN/PHI game may see a delay, buy should be played. Heavy winds will effect a couple games. Strong winds blowing out to left filed in Boston will help Pedroia and company slug away.
Doing Lines In Vegas
With Arrieta on the mound, Cubs are the biggest favorite of the day at -260. Next Hightest is Kluber and the Indians at -190. The last biggest favorite of the day is KC at -180. There are high totals across the board today. As expected, NYM/COL have the highest total at 10.5. Several games land at 9.5 – HOU/BOS, DET/BAL, SF/ARZ, and TOR/TEX.