Today is shaping up to be a very adventurous game slate. There are four early games beginning at 1:10 PM ET and 11 games starting at 7:05 PM ET. With most of the FanDuel action happening with the later games, the recommendations will focus on that player pool.
An early look at the MLB odds shows Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers as -380 ML favorites when they host the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, and that is the biggest favorite tag that I have seen so far this season. Over in the Rocky Mountains, there is a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Colorado Rockies with a robust projected run-line of 11. Considering that the Halos plated 10 runs through the first three innings in yesterday’s game, this total may be conservative, as crazy as that sounds.
Clayton Kershaw – LAD vs PHI - $12,500 - While it will take a bit of maneuvering to work Kershaw into your MLB lineups and also gather a solid collection of bats, it is definitely doable. On FanDuel the four fantasy points for a win are very important in H2H contests, and with the Dodgers being such heavy favorites, I’m backing the reigning three-time Cy Young Award Winner; he is about as close to a must play as it gets in this matchup against the Phillies.
Josh Phegley – OAK at NYY - $2,800 – This season Phegley has been batting fifth for the Athletics when they are facing a left-handed starter. After two seasons of sporadic playing time with the Chicago White Sox, the creator of Moneyball, Billy Beane, appears to have found another catcher that excels when he has the platoon advantage. In 68 at-bats against southpaws, Phegly has posted a stellar .394 wOBA. As an added bonus, LHP C.C. Sabathia has allowed 19 home runs this season, with 18 of them coming off the bats of right-handed hitters.
Other Late Slate Options – Welington Castillo
Albert Pujols – LAA at COL - $4,800 – With one more home run (27), Pujols will set the Angels franchise record for the most round-trippers in any first half of the season. The righty/lefty matchup with Chris Rusin is going to make King Albert a very popular option tonight.
Paul Goldschmidt – ARI at TEX - $5,200 – Most gamers are going to stop at Albert Pujols, so if you can find another $400 for Goldschmidt, he will be a great tournament option, as he will likely be on less than 15% of all rosters in the field. Dating back to 2014, Goldy has posted some eye-popping numbers against lefties, with a .470 wOBA, a 1.117 OPS and a 202 wRC+ (which is twice the Major League average).
Danny Espinosa – WAS vs CIN - $2,600 – With all of the injuries to the Nationals, there is a very good chance that Espinosa will be batting second this evening against RHP Michael Lorenzen. Espo is a pesky player, and when he was a regular in 2011 and 2012 he was knocking on the door of the 20/20 club both seasons, with a combined 38 home runs and 37 stolen bases over that stretch. He is an excellent off-the-radar play.
David Freese – LAA at COL - $3,100 – This is an excellent price point for Freese, who excels against left-handed pitchers, as evidenced by his .359 wOBA and .821 OPS. He will be a popular option tonight, however, this is a great way to get a player in the Coors Field affair at a very reasonable price point, so I do not mind following the herd.
Brock Holt – BOS vs MIA - $3,100 – Holt gets a favorable lefty/righty matchup against RHP Tom Koehler and he will likely be batting in the top third of the lineup. In order to facilitate Clayton Kershaw as the featured player in lineups tonight, we will need to find some discounted options.
Ian Desmond – WAS vs CIN - $2,200 – My how Desmond’s production has continued to find new lows. After holding the cards as he negotiated for a contract extension this offseason (and after three straight 20/20 campaigns), Desmond has been relegated to the bottom of the order and recently been given a couple games off to “clear his head” in the hopes that will change his luck. At this price point, I am fine with any outcome that does not result in negative points, as he provides quite a bit of flexibility and he does have upside potential, even if it has been a while since it was on display.
Alcides Escobar – KC vs TB - $2,200 – Despite the tough matchup, I still like Escobar, who has been leading off for the Royals and producing positive points seemingly every night. He is a fine, safe option for H2H contests.
Mitch Moreland – TEX vs ARI - $3,100 – Give me some Moreland, who is in a phenomenal spot tonight against RHP Jeremy Hellickson. Over the last two seasons, in 298 at-bats against right-handed pitching, Moreland has become a very trusted source of fantasy production, with a .359 wOBA and a .210 ISO. Teammate Shin-Soo Choo - $2,700 is also in play.
Charlie Blackmon – COL vs LAA - $4,600 – At this lofty price point, I am counting on other gamers to look elsewhere for entry into the highest projected scoring contest for Wednesday. RHP Matt Shoemaker, aka The Cobbler, has really struggled this season, with a 4.91 ERA and a whopping 16 home runs allowed in just 84 and 1/3 innings. Charlie B is a fine choice tonight.
Michael Brantley – CLE vs HOU - $3,000 – This is just too cheap for Brantley, as he will be facing RHP Dan Straily, who is making his second start this season. In his first he got knocked around pretty hard, and I am expecting a similar outcome against the Indians. Teammate David Murphy - $2,200 is an excellent discount option that should have a premium spot in the batting order in this lefty/righty matchup.