Start your weekend off right with a little daily fantasy advice from our experts.
The All-Star break has come and gone, and before things really get wild at the trade deadline we've got a full slate of games with a handful of dominant pitchers taking the mound and red-hot hitters looking to keep it that way as the calendar prepares to flip to August.
Let's get into it.
John "The Professor" Paschall
Archer stumbled into the All-Star break but rebounded in his last outing with seven solid innings. The Orioles are reeling and Archer at home may be the last thing the O's want to see.
Prince Fielder against right-handed pitching has become my new must-do. Jaso is .382 against righties as well so these two lefties could be in for big nights against weaker/unproven pitchers.
All five of Zobrist's home runs this year have come against righties. Reddick is also on mash alert as he hits .320 against righties and 11 of his 12 homers have come against right-handers as well. So you're on call, Jake Peavy.
Iglesias isn't known for his power but something tells me Porcello's sinker is going to be perfect for Iglesias, who should knock a few hits off the struggling Red Sox starter. Speaking of Porcello, he's been known to give up the long ball this year so Cespedes is a major target for me at his low price tag as he returns to Fenway and has the Green Monster in left to help.
Some daily fantasy owners will play matchups, some will make sure they've got a power-heavy or speed-heavy lineup, and others will start with a dominant ace and build from there. I chose to go with a fourth option, something new I've wanted to do for quite some time. Each of my position players are red-hot at the dish. This isn't some fantasy revelation, to pick players who are swinging a hot bat. But I'm looking for quality swings, and guys who are getting on base. Here's how it shakes out:
Jacob Realmuto (six-game hitting streak), Joey Votto (seven hits in his last three games), Robinson Cano (eight hits in his last four games), Jacob Turner (five-game hitting streak, 10 hits in those games), and Jean Segura (eight-game hitting streak before going 0-for-3 last night) all fit the bill.
So do my outfielders, with Billy Burns (six-game hitting streak, with two hits in four of those games), Billy Hamilton (six hits in his last three games, including 4 RBI) and Lorenzo Cain (hits in nine of his last 10 games) all stringing together good stretches.
I was left with Jimmy Nelson on the bump. He hasn't been great lately, yet he has tallied double-digit points in four of his last five starts. I think the Brewers earn a victory tonight and Nelson strikes out enough Diamondbacks to make it five of his last six with 10+ fantasy points.
With a couple of the best starting pitchers taking the mound tonight, picking the right one will be the difference in many lineups. I like Corey Kluber, who faces the White Sox in Cleveland. The Sox put up 8 runs last night, but the last time the White Sox scored 4 runs in back to back games was June 28. Add in the “Jose Quintana effect” on the White Sox bats with Kluber’s AL leading 159 K’s and we could see the former Cy Young winner with 20+ fantasy points.
Looking around the rest of the league, there are several starting pitchers with righty-lefty splits we can take advantage of for our position players. Jeremy Guthrie is one of my favorite targets as he has really struggled vs left handed batters with a .333 opponent batting average and .531 Slugging percentage. I really like Preston Tucker, and Colby Rasmus has very good power vs right handed pitching(11 of 13 HR’s vs RHP).
If there is a game played at Coors Field, it is almost always expected to be the highest scoring game of the night and tonight is no exception. Visiting teams always see a bump in their salary, making it more difficult to stack, but I picked a few of the cheaper options involved with the Reds catcher Brayan Pena and Rockies 1B Ben Paulsen. Joey Votto and Todd Frazier are some of the top plays if you can fit them into your budget.
I went in on two players over $3,500 who I hope can combine for a HR or two with Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun. Rodriguez is having his best season since 2010 and faces Phil Hughes, who has allowed 23 home runs this year, second most in baseball. Braun went deep in his first game in Arizona yesterday and he sees another good matchup against Patrick Corbin in the hitter-friendly park tonight.