Today’s contests are split with eight games early and six games late. The Cubs-Nationals game starts at 12:10 ET, aka DFS no-man’s land. A pair of games could be interrupted by rain today. Denver has a 60 percent chance for storms throughout their contest. Minnesota has a 50 percent chance for late rain.
The day contest doesn’t offer a true bargain pitcher – at least not one I’d trust with the ball. Perhaps you have the courage to try lefty Brett Oberholtzer against the very right-handed Blue Jays. I sure don’t. The evening slate is stacked with aces. Among the less expensive options, my favorite is Chase Anderson. He won’t run into any of the aces – just Bartolo Colon and a mediocre Mets lineup.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
Russell Martin – C – TOR (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Catchers often sit when a day game follows a night game. However, Martin had off on Wednesday and Thursday. Two off days could be enough to keep him in the lineup throughout the weekend. Assuming he starts, Martin will have the platoon advantage against Oberholtzer. Martin is hitting a robust .364/.462/.576 against southpaws this season. His career splits are more restrained.
Josh Reddick – OF – OAK (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
It’s always good to see a hitter with more walks than strikeouts. When that batter also demonstrates power AND has a bargain price, you have yourself a DFS winner. Reddick is hitting a stout .358/.430/.619 against right-handed pitching this season. We shouldn’t anticipate a full continuation of that line, but it’s clear that he’s improved his contact rates and plate discipline. Fenway Park is tough on left-handed power. A matchup against Joe Kelly makes up for the iffy park factors.
Lorenzo Cain – OF – KAN (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
When healthy, Wandy Rodriguez is a perfectly decent pitcher. He’s healthy now, but his high contact approach plays right into the Royals’ strength. Batting third for Kansas City is Lorenzo Cain. While he rarely hits home runs, Cain is a multi-hit threat. Despite missing a handful of games, he’s tied for the highest runs scored total. He’s an excellent play for cash games as a high floor, medium ceiling outfielder.
Adam Lind – 1B – MIL (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
There are three reasons to select Lind today. First, his price tag is incongruous with his production. He’s hitting .290/.364/.517 on the season. He’ll face Twins righty J.R. Graham. The Rule 5 pick has worked out of the bullpen this season with 7.52 K/9, 3.10 BB/9, and a 3.10 ERA in 20.1 innings. We can safely expect a decline in those numbers as a starter. Graham is on a 70 to 75 pitch limit which means the Brewers should quickly reach the soft underbelly of the Twins’ bullpen. Only Glen Perkins is threatening. Oh, and here’s a fourth reason to roster Lind – he’ll almost certainly DH.
Ben Zobrist – 2B – OAK (FanDuel Price: $2,900)
Zobrist is always a low risk investment. That should remain true against Kelly. He missed a big chunk of the season due to injury. He’s hitting second or third for the A’s, although he’s still struggling to thread hits through the infield. He’s demonstrating classic Zobrist plate patience with an 11.5 percent walk rate against a 7.3 percent strikeout rate. His .214/.302/.369 will improve once his .211 BABIP reverts to his normal .291 rate.
Matt Kemp – OF – SDP (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
Here’s the thing, I’m as wary of Kemp as the next guy. Where has his power gone? His quality of contact is in line with career norms, yet he has a tiny .078 ISO to go with a .247/.280/.324 slash. The only notable change is a steep decline in fly ball distance from 301 feet to 263 feet. Given that he’s still hitting line drives and hard hit balls at the same rates as past seasons, this smells like a small sample fluke.
He’s opposed by Michael Lorenzen – a very exploitable pitcher. Today’s price tag is an overcorrection on Kemp’s slow start to the season. It’s also the only reason I’d consider the slumping righty.
Logan Morrison – 1B – SEA (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Lefty swinging Morrison will face fly ball pitcher Alex Colome. LoMo is a ground ball hitter which usually matches up well against fly ball pitchers. He’s suffering through a slump. Strangely, his peripherals have indicated that he’s a well above average hitter for years. He has a strong contact rate, low strikeout rate, plate discipline, and even pops a lot of hard hit contact. Unfortunately, few of those hard hits are elevated. He hits few home runs or doubles as a result. He’s definitely a gamble.
Luis Valbuena – 3B – HOU (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
I’m not sure exactly when Valbuena morphed into an all-or-nothing power hitter. Probably upon arriving in Houston. He’s hitting .189/.257/.411 on the season with 12 home runs. A .179 BABIP is the primary culprit behind his weird line. His BABIP should increase to somewhere between .260 and .270. In any event, we like him today for the power potential. Drew Hutchison allows his fair share of home runs while working up in the strike zone. Valbuena could lay into one.
Rajai Davis – OF – DET (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Davis will face southpaw John Danks. The White Sox hurler is coming off a complete game shutout against the Astros. The previous outing against the Blue Jays included six runs in five innings of work. The Tigers offense has more in common with the Jays than the ‘Stros. Davis typically bats leadoff against lefties. He has a .273/.360/.523 slash against them this season. His career numbers are similar. The gamble is that the Tigers knock Danks out of the game early. Davis is hitting just .261/.333/.333 versus righties.