One again, FanDuel has split the action three ways. Let’s leave out the three-game early slate. We’ll focus on the five-game afternoon crew and the seven-game evening group.
In the afternoon, Stephen Strasburg should easily overwhelm the Phillies. Right? We could have said the same thing about Jordan Zimmermann yesterday, yet Jerad Eickhoff wound up as the second most valuable pitcher (28 points from Carlos Carrasco took the cake even though he cost much more than Eickhoff). Strasburg is opposed by solid rookie Aaron Nola. He’s completely capable of repeating Eickhoff’s seven inning, 10 strikeout performance. He’d be a steal at $6,500 if he were against a lesser pitcher.
The evening crew features several pitchers who probably won’t exceed five innings. Kyle Kendrick, Robbie Erlin, Tyler Wagner could help to create some excellent matchups. My favorite bargain pitcher is Tyler Duffey versus Alfredo Simon. Duffey has already silenced the Tigers once with a 16.33 point performance. Simon has proven both hittable and homer prone.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Welington Castillo – C – ARI (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
We know Castillo is always a wise pick against left-handed pitching. He’s improved against same-handed pitching this season, but he still has better numbers versus southpaws (.250/.326/.500). The Padres will call upon Erlin. He’s the type of swing starter whose minor league numbers don’t do much to illuminate how he will do in the majors. His ability to stick will depend on semi-intangibles like command, sequencing, and deception. Castillo is a decent pick for a catcher home run while batting fifth.
Eric Hosmer – 1B – KAN (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Indians starter Josh Tomlin has relied very heavily upon a .175 BABIP. Needless to say, regression is coming. Hosmer makes quality contact, but you’ll want to confirm that the starting lineup is back in action. After the club clinched the AL pennant on Thursday, all the regulars took Friday off. A second day of rest is not inconceivable for some of them. Assuming Hosmer is in the lineup, he could produce value through multiple hits, a home run, or run production.
Alex Rodriguez – 3B – NYY (FanDuel Price: $3,100) Afternoon
Rodriguez has been slightly slumpy of late, hence the drift into the bargain bin. He mashed lefties this year with a .259/.392/.545 slash. He’s opposed by mediocre White Sox southpaw John Danks at power happy Yankees Stadium. Danks has allowed a .285/.342/.471 line to righties with 16 of his 24 home runs.
Kolten Wong – 2B – STL (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
I can’t say I’m excited about Wong’s matchup with Wagner. On the surface, it’s a desirable pairing. I’m just concerned about his second half slump. Since the All Star break, he’s hitting .236/.292/.319. It’s why he’s so cheap. Wong still has upside to go with a .280/.345/.438 line versus righties. Wagner is an unimpressive, pitch-to-contact guy who was torched in his major league debut.
Derek Dietrich – 3B – MIA (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
The Marlins sixth hitter continues to wallop righties. This season, he’s hitting .286/.373/.529 versus northpaws. He’s cheap for his upside even though Marlins Stadium suppresses power. He’s opposed by Julio Teheran. The Braves hurler keeps mixing quality starts with disasters. He’s pitched well against the Marlins this season, but they’ve put pressure on him.
Andre Ethier – OF – LAD (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Expect to see Ethier batting fifth at Coors Field tonight. With Kendrick pitching, the Dodgers should coast to an easy victory. Unsurprisingly, the contact oriented righty has struggled with home runs when at Coors. Ethier is in the midst of a sneaky good season against right-handed pitching. His .303/.381/.500 batting line represents the low end of my expectations for today.
Matt Wieters – C – BAL (FanDuel Price: $2,400) Afternoon
Craig Breslow has pitched in 522 major league games. He has started precisely zero of them. The 35-year-old will make his rotation debut as part of a Boston bullpen day. Expect about three innings from Breslow. Wieters does prefer left-handed pitchers (.273/.300/.439), and he’ll be swinging for the Green Monster. The Red Sox bullpen is rather lousy. Even if Wieters doesn’t get to Breslow, he’ll have a shot at a couple other exploitable pitchers.
Jimmy Rollins – SS – LAD (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
I recommended Rollins yesterday, and I recommend him again. A matchup against Kendrick is always worth a try. Rollins went 3-for-5 with a triple yesterday. Perhaps he can coax even more value out of his performance today. Do make sure he’s starting. The Dodgers have an embarrassment of infielders with Rollins, Chase Utley, Corey Seager, Howie Kendrick, and Justin Turner (currently banged up) competing for three positions.
Eddie Rosario – OF – MIN (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
I don’t like to over-emphasize recent performance because it can be misleading. However, it’s never bad to see a hot hitter. At the very least, it means he’s probably healthy. Over his last 11 games, Rosario is hitting .311/.340/.711 with three home runs, four triples, and a double. He’s opposed by Simon. The Tigers’ righty has been pummeled by left-handed bats (.286/.359/.523, 16 of 24 home runs allowed). Rosario doesn’t have a platoon split.