It can be easy to watch home run hitters and otherwise high scoring bats get above 5K and then say, no way, that’s too high to roster that guy! But if the conditions are right, and these epically awesome, and otherwise game-changing hitters can be rostered easily after you’ve applied all the other goodness and value plays, then you should absolutely do it, even if you’re slightly “downgrading” another position.
Experts all the time find their values so they can take advantage of situations like rostering Stanton against a LHP or Harper against a homer prone RHP, as he was Tuesday against Alex Colome.
Limiting yourself mentally to excluding these players, regardless of situation, will leave you out of the money in a lot of tournaments. Bryce Harper is absolutely the mashiest lefty bat going right now and is posting obscene numbers against RHP (1.247 OPS, .432 ISO, .511 wOBA, 230 RC+), so why wouldn’t you want to make room? Cost is relative and if you have the right value, then it’s worth rostering a little lower somewhere else so you can fit someone like Harp in.
Tonight, Harper faces Matt Andriese at home in Washington, where Harper’s numbers against righties….actually tick up another notch (1.339 OPS, .515 ISO, .541 wOBA, 251 RC+). Sluggers and Sluggers…it’s the new Vote Early, Vote Often!
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Clayton Kershaw, SP: $12,900 – Hey, at least I don’t always pimp this guy when he starts. He’s expensive, yes, but he easily grades out as the top dog on a night when the kennel is wide open with top end SP. And while there may be a lot of good arms on the docket, most have something that’s not quite right about starting them. Most, except for Kershaw, who is the top Vegas play, is a half run better than the second best SP on the slate in SIERA over the last 30 days and has a staggering 17% swinging strike rate over the same span. Da gawd.
Carlos Martinez, SP: $8,400 – Like we wrote some time ago in this space: Don’t think, just buy your pitchers. It’s a deep SP night, so there’s no need to dive too far down the stack to get your guys. Martinez is a reasonable buy, even in Minnesota. He’s second to only Kershaw in 30 day SIERA and is carrying a 9.6 K/9 rate over the same period. Also, Tommy Milone is his opponent. So, yes.
Miguel Montero, C: $3,300 – Montero has been ripping the ball with authority, staying in the top 5 in catchers in hard hit ball and expected power. The fact that he’s so inexpensive against Shawn Marcum, makes him a terrific play. Marcum is giving up nearly 2 home runs per 9 innings, the second most on the slate. The most would be Tommy Milone (2.3).
Kendrys Morales, 1B: $3,600 – Time off while the Royals were in the National League lowers the price of the Royal who has been crushing it the most over the last month. Morales is making great contact (84%) with oodles of power and getting the ball in the air 44% of the time. Mike Fiers is nobody’s ground ball pitcher (38%), so Morales will be looking to make his RHP splits even better.
Luis Valbuena, 2B/3B: $4,000 – Say, you know who leads the Houston Astros in home runs this year? Valbuena has been in the spot more often than my byline, but it bears repeating that his go-for-broke power swing that he used to break out in Chicago last season has not gone away. And for 4K you get that kind of power at Coors Field at the second base position. He will be well owned.
Troy Tulowitzki, SS: $5,000 – Like we said above. Don’t shy away from the big $$ slugger when the situation is prime for that guy to do what he does. Tulo is at home vs. a LHP AND the LHP (Brett Oberholtzer) has the second worst SIERA over the last 30 days on the slate. Why say no when it feels so good to say yes?
Nolan Arenado, 3B: $4,700 – While some players have the prices raised way higher by the Coors Field factor on DraftKings, others, like Tulo and Arenado are perfectly reasonable. Same things apply to Nolan as they do Tulo. Lefty, home, rake, repeat.
Josh Donaldson, 3B: $4,700 – Of course if you want to be all anti-Coors, you can look to your Great White North brethren and roster the heck out of Josh Donaldson, who is at home against a LHP, too, the tremendously average Jon Niese. Donaldson is a known LHP basher, going 1.210 OPS over the last 30 days against them, which is all of 7 points above his seasonal total. Gracious.
Danny Valencia, 3B/OF: $3,000 – Also great against LHP in Toronto is Valencia, who is close to 1.000 OPS for the season. Valencia has been mixing his power stroke with a good fly ball rate this season, leading to an expected jump in home runs, so get on it against Niese.
Billy Burns, OF: $3,800 – It’s not just about sluggers on DraftKings…with singles carrying a nice point total and steals, too, a guy like Burns facing a pitch-to-contact SP like Odrisamer Despaigne makes a lot of sense, especially with Burns leading off as he has been for the A’s.
Ryan Raburn, OF: $2,600 – He’s slowed down since the tremendous start he had to 2015, but Raburn is still over .940 OPS against LHP this season. His power hasn’t waned, but the caveat is that I’m seeing the ground balls creeping back into his numbers, limiting his HR potential. Saving grace is that Tsuyoshi Wada isn’t an extreme ground ball pitcher (41%), meaning Raburn, batting fourth, will have his chances at home, which happens to be the third highest scoring ballpark this season.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
In terms of watching out for thunderstorms, the Tigers in Cincinnati looks like it could be problematic, as it looks like rain all day long in the Natti. This would hurt any David Price/Johnny Cueto tourney plays that might be out there.
Also, it’s our favorite DFS activity…..sweating out the Coors Field weather! It’s partly cloudy all day until gametime, when it’s supposed to storm.
Doing Lines In Vegas
Kershaw has a ridiculous -280 number with him in a six run game total against Wandy Rodriguez. The only other pitcher with even a remotely close number is the Yankees’ Michael Pineda, who carries a -200 number in Yankee Stadium to face the Marlins.
The Giants at Mariners game joins the Rangers/Dodgers as six run totals, and the lowest line of the night. And, while it’s not posted yet, the total of the Astros/Rockies, with those gas cans on the mound, should be about an 11, but check the lines for sure. The highest current posted number is the Mets at Toronto at a nine run total.