There are three early games today, however, these FanDuel recommendations will be based on the 7 PM ET start time, which will feature two dozen teams in action.
Gerrit Cole – PIT vs CIN - $9,200 – While I did take a long look at Scott Kazmir and Jacob deGrom, ultimately I landed on Cole as my top pitching play for tonight. The Cincinnati Reds offense will experience a sharp decline in venue effect, moving from the Great American Ballpark to PNC Field. On the season against RHPs, the Reds have put up a sub-par .296 wOBA and just an 86 wRC+ (weighted runs created where 100 is the league baseline). Cole has posted between 6-8 strikeouts in each of his starts this season and he has not allowed more than one earned run in any game since his first start this season.
On FanDuel, getting the four points for a win is very important to having a successful night, as it can often account for 8-10% over your team’s total score. The Pirates are the second-highest favorites on the MLB odds board tonight to earn a victory and there is a good chance that will be awarded to Cole if he makes it to the seventh inning.
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Yasmani Grandal – LAD at MIL - $2,700 – Grandal received a day off from his catching duties on Sunday, so there is a pretty good chance he will be in the lineup today against RHP Wily Peralta. Last season Grandal provided solid pop against righties, with a .344 wOBA and a .211 ISO. This is a very fair price for his services tonight.
Jose Abreu – CHW vs DET - $3,600 – Okay, you win FanDuel. I just cannot pass up this salary today. Last year Abreu burst on the scene with a .394 wOBA, .250 ISO and 48 extra-base hits in 420 at-bats against righties. RHP Alfredo Simon has been getting by with smoke, mirrors and luck. This is a fine matchup for Abreu to break out of the doldrums with a big game.
Justin Turner – LAD at MIL - $3,700 – Turner has jacked three home runs in his last three starts. The tricky part is that manager Don Mattingly doesn’t always have him in the lineup. If he is, make sure to have him on at least a couple of your teams. Last season against righties he posted a .393 wOBA and a .890 OPS.
Chris Taylor – SEA at LAA - $2,200 – Once again the shortstop position is abysmal. I am looking to play an extreme punt today and spend on my outfielders and/or corner infielders. It appears that the Mariners have grown tired of the underwhelming Brad Miller and are turning to the youngster to provide a spark for the offense. Taylor was performing well in the minors this season and he was solid in his short time in The Show last season.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs NYY - $3,900 – This matchup just doesn’t seem fair…for C.C. Sabathia I mean. Last year the former Oakland Athletic rolled left-handed pitching for 25 extra-base hits, a .429 wOBA and a .350 ISO in 153 at-bats. He is a plug and play in this matchup today.
Carlos Gomez – MIL vs LAD - $4,100 – Cargo Lite has returned to action after his time on the DL and has been contributing across the board, with 3 runs, 3 RBI and 2 steals in his last four games. RHP Joe Wieland is making his first start for the Dodgers tonight and he has had a rough return after his 2012 Tommy John procedure. Tonight is a good time to have a couple Brewers in your lineup and Ryan Braun - $3,500 and Khris Davis - $2,300 deserve consideration too.
Kevin Kiermaier - $2,200 and David DeJesus - $2,300 – TB at BOS – RHP Justin Masterson has a major weakness that is exploited by batters hitting from the left side of the plate. Dating back to 2012, Masterson has allowed a .277/.369/.427 triple slash line to lefties with just a 16% K-rate. These guys should both be at the top of the order tonight and are a great way to get some discounted points in your lineup.
Colby Rasmus – HOU vs TEX - $3,000 – Finally the Astros are facing a RHP after a seemingly endless parade of southpaws. With George Springer already ruled out of tonight’s game, we should see Rasmus near the top of the order for Houston. With the Astros down a man, I also expect to see Robbie Grossman - $2,500 in the lineup, and he is a solid discount option against RHP Colby Lewis.