Dodgers lefty Rich Hill gets an enticing matchup at home against the DBacks on Thursday, making him a valuable play on FanDuel. In his last three starts, Hill has been the dominant pitcher that we came to know last year, striking out 26 batters in 19 innings with just six walks and a 1.89 ERA. The Diamondbacks might seem like a scary opponent, but when they’re away from their home ballpark, they’ve got just a .299 wOBA, which ranks them 26th in the league. Furthermore, they struggle mightily against left-handed pitching, with a .289 wOBA against southpaws, as well as a 25.3% K-rate. So on the road against a lefty, the Diamondbacks are actually among the worst lineups in baseball. With Rich Hill pitching his ass off, $8,700 is an outstanding price for his upcoming outing. Just hope there’s no blisters.
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Lance McCullers, SP: $9,400 – McCullers has lived up to his preseason hype and is well worth his price, even in a ballpark like Toronto’s. He’s about as safe as an investment you can make, without shelling out the extra $2,400 for Chris Sale.
Jacob Faria, SP: $8,300 – If you don’t want to spend quite as much on McCullers and Hill isn’t on your slate, I like Faria as a third option. He’s absolutely shredded the league since being called up, posting a 9.74 K/9 and 1.39 BB/9 in his five starts. Thursday against the Red Sox will be his toughest task, but it’s not in Fenway. It’s possible that the 23-year-old gets shelled out there, but his upside is just as great, so he could be a nice contrarian play if you want to avoid the bigger names.
Tucker Barnhart, C: $3,100 – Normally I don’t recommend Coors bats, since they’re already price-adjusted and are always highly owned. But at catcher, I’m more than fine with just sticking with whoever is out there for the Reds or Rockies. I picked Trucker Brainfart in particular because now that Mesoraco is on the DL, he should be the everyday starter. Tracing Bullhorn has a scorching hot 1.142 OPS in the last 15 days, as well.
Josh Bell, 1B: $2,900 – There are heaps of expensive first basemen to choose from, but if you’re looking to save at the position, Bell is your guy. He faces Jeremy Hellickson, who suddenly decided to stop striking guys out, and now has a 5.59 FIP. Bell can easily go deep in Philly and should be in line for lots of ribbies out of Pittsburgh’s cleanup spot.
Joe Panik, 2B: $3,000 – Nothing makes daily fantasy players happier than Anibal Sanchez being back in the majors. In the two-hole against Sanchez, Panik can do numbers. His price still hasn’t caught up to his production, as Panik is hitting .341 with an .878 OPS in the last month. Get in while you can.
Maikel Franco, 3B: $2,900 – Don’t look now, but Franco is heating up. Actually, you should probably look now, because I don’t know when else you would. Anyways, Franco has two homers in his last three games. He’s at home against Chad Kuhl, owner of a 5.26 ERA. This might just be a blip on the radar rather than the start of something new, but regardless, he’s worth it if you’re looking for a punt-level play at third.
Addison Russell, SS: $2,700 – Like Panik, Russell is another guy that has actually been hitting, yet is still dirt cheap. Addy has an .856 OPS in the last month, with four of his seven homers coming from the same thirty days. His major downside is batting eighth in the Cubs order, although against Zach Davies it shouldn’t matter too much. He’ll get his at-bats.
Max Kepler, OF: $2,700 – Kepler’s got to be the cheapest cleanup hitter out there, right? And it’s for a great lineup, too, in the Twins. Prepare for lots of RBI opportunities as they face Dylan Bundy, who has been completely imploding lately. Kepler’s got a .938 OPS in the last 15 days, to boot.
Brian Goodwin, OF: $2,700 – He’s leading off for what might be the top lineup in baseball. At this price, do I need to say any more? Goodwin has actually hit well this season, too, with a 111 wRC+ in his 43 games played.
Ben Gamel, OF: $3,000 – It’s crazy that Gamel hasn’t gotten more attention yet, as he’s crushing the ball this year to the tune of a 134 wRC+. He bats second against righties for the Mariners, so get ready for some runs.
I’m Only Happy When It Rains
Watch out for thunderstorms in Philly, as they’ve got a 74% chance in the PIT-PHI matchup. There’s also a 57% chance at a thunderstorm in the ATL-WAS game.
Doing Lines in Vegas
I like Cincinnati at +155 at Coors. Both starting pitchers are pretty garbage, and I trust the Reds lineup far more than the Rockies, who have been scuffling especially as of late. Miami at +135 can also work against Michael Wacha.