It’s a nine game Monday. The forecast in Cincinnati calls for a 75 percent chance of storms. However, a full postponement looks unlikely based on the current report. Keep an eye on it.
There aren’t any stud aces today. It’s a good time to take a risk with your pitching if only because everybody is a risk. Clay Buchholz ($8,600) is the best hurler available, but he’s opposed by the Blue Jays. The gamblers among you might try Cody Anderson at Tropicana Field or Joe Blanton at Minute Maid Park. The “safe” option is Jimmy Nelson at Citizen’s Bank Park. The Phillies are starting Sean O’Sullivan. The Brewers should easily win.
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DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Yasmani Grandal – C – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Grandal is a complete hitter. With power, contact skills, and plate discipline, he offers multiple pathways to fantasy value. He’s on pace to bash 20 home runs this season. Over the last 30 days, he has six home runs but only nine RBI. The lack of RBI has helped to keep his FanDuel price below the $3,000 threshold. Make no mistake; Grandal is one of the best offensive catchers in baseball. He’s opposed by Allen Webster. The righty has impressive stuff, but his suspect command leads to some real meltdowns.
David Ortiz – 1B – BOS (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
I usually scorn batter versus pitcher data. R.A. Dickey is something of an exception since he’s a unique pitcher. Against Dickey, Ortiz is a .360/.448/.800 hitter with three home runs in 29 plate appearances. Tonight’s game is at the Rogers Centre. That should help Ortiz’s power potential. Six of his 12 home runs have come since making a mechanical adjustment in early June.
Michael Brantley – OF – CLE (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Although a nagging back injury has sapped his power, Brantley remains a high floor fantasy asset. With one of the best contact rates in the league and more walks than strikeouts, he’s a good bet to reach base multiple times. He pairs well with fly ball pitchers like Nate Karns. A double or two with an RBI would go well with this price.
Rougned Odor – 2B – TEX (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Since returning to the majors a couple weeks ago, Odor is hitting .395/.442/.632. Obviously, we can count on regression. Even with the offensive surge, his .219/.308/.352 season line leaves much to be desired. The lefty swinger could take advantage of Camden Yards where left-handed home run power is boosted by 28 percent above average. The Orioles have tabbed sketchy starter Bud Norris for this evening.
Alex Gordon – OF – KAN (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
A match up with Lance McCullers isn’t desirable. The standout righty has dominated in eight outings with 10.10 K/9 and 3.11 BB/9. The only shortcoming in his profile is a penchant for short starts. A stack against McCullers might be ill advised, but a punt with Gordon could work out. The left-handed hitter has a solid .271/.388/.444 line. The overall profile is of a high floor, high ceiling hitter. Since the game is in Houston, he’s more likely to tap into his power.
Andre Ethier – OF – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Perhaps I’m alone in my bafflement over Ethier’s tiny price tag. He’s hit poorly over the last month, but that can be chalked up to a .186 BABIP in the month of May. This is still a left-handed hitter who performs well against righties. With Webster and the Diamondbacks’ shaky bullpen on the other side of this matchup, Ethier could easily put together a winning night. It’s hard to pass up his low price.
Jason Castro – C – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
A refurbished Blanton has pitched well in two starts for the Royals. His velocity and whiff rates are up from his career norms. He has a long history of home run problems. Assuming Blanton is still homer prone, Castro offers a high risk home run gamble. The catcher rarely offers DFS value beyond the occasional long ball. Frankly, I recommend finding an extra $400 for Grandal or Lucroy.
Jimmy Paredes – 2B – BAL (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
It’s hard to gauge what we should expect from Paredes going forward. His .321/.350/.516 line is buoyed by a .400 BABIP. A frighteningly high 17.7 percent swinging strike rate hints at a possible epic. For this evening, he’s a solid play against Wandy Rodriguez. The Rangers southpaw has pitched well this season. He doesn’t have overwhelming stuff which should help Paredes make contact.
Joey Gallo – 3B – TEX (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
They don’t come with a higher ceiling or lower floor than Gallo. The slugger has an insane 42 percent strikeout rate. His .220/.31/.439 slash is still palatable. It’s been a couple weeks since his last home run. A matchup against Norris at homer friendly Camden Yards could remedy that problem.