The Pirates left many daily fantasy players frustrated last night, as they scraped together just one run and 5 scattered hits in what seemed like an excellent matchup. Don’t let that completely cloud your judgment moving forward though. Let’s not forget that the league’s top on-base percentage belongs to Pittsburgh, and they have another promising draw against a young lefty.
This time Tyler Matzek will take the mound for Colorado, and he has surrendered 14 ER in his past three home starts. Andrew McCutchen (aka lefty-masher…see more below) is the obvious pick, while Russell Martin (C) and Josh Harrison (OF) represent solid plays for their respective price tags. Jordy Mercer (SS) has done well vs LHP this season, and Gaby Sanchez (1B) is a boom-or-bust cheapskate special (minimum salary on FanDuel) batting cleanup.
Otherwise, if you’ve sworn off Pirates for the time being you can look across the diamond for another potential stack. Last week, the Rockies put a lot of balls in play versus Jeff Locke, and we all know Coors Field is much less forgiving than PNC Park. Josh Rutledge (SS) has been lightning in a bottle filling in for Tulowitzki (batting 2nd), and he has to be considered in this matchup. Drew Stubbs (OF), Wilin Rosario (C), and Nolan Arenado (3B) round out an inexpensive stack that will allow you to grab one of the latter-mentioned Ace pitchers.
Jose Abreu (1B) – CWS: The shift from his home of U.S. Cellular to Target Field is uninspiring, but as he proved last night, that’s not too much of a problem. The odds are in his favor more so this time around, as he and the other White Sox righties will have a chance to tee-off on the rookie southpaw, Logan Darnell.
Andrew McCutchen (OF) – PIT: For the second day in a row, McCutchen will draw a subpar lefty in Coors Field. We all know the numbers by now: .459 wOBA vs LHP, 2nd in the league (past three years). Even though he hasn’t been the most fantasy friendly as of late, this is an ideal situation for Cutch to post a ridiculous stat line.
Jose Bautista (OF) – TOR: Bautista broke out in a big way last night, hitting two unsuspecting HR’s off Hiroki Kuroda. This afternoon, Joey Bats has an even better matchup with the platoon advantage over Chris Capuano, a journeyman lefty making his first start of the season.
Robinson Cano (2B) – SEA: Bud Norris has a susceptibility to lefties (.356 wOBA), and Cano is amongst the elite in that category. Well, he’s actually the best of the best with a .426 wOBA vs RHP in the past three years. While some of that can be dismissed due to the park shift from New York to Seattle, this is still a favorable spot considering Cano’s mid-range price tag ($3,700 on FanDuel).
Khris Davis (OF) – MIL: You have to love the Brew Crew bats anytime they stand-in against a righty. I already recommended Braun and Gomez above, but Khris Davis may be the Milwaukee masher to back tonight. He comes at a fraction of the cost with just as much upside, exemplified by his .427 wOBA vs LHB (only 75 AB’s).
Russell Martin (C) – PIT: Martin has recorded a hit in 13 of 17 games this month, and he holds an impressive .806 OPS in July as well. That, combined with his position in the order makes Martin one of the more trustworthy Pirates tonight, alongside McCutchen.
Brian McCann (C) – NYY: Russell Martin and John Jaso are the two reliable “bulk purchase” catching options; however, McCann offers similar value for a cheaper price in the all-day/early only contests. He has the all-important platoon advantage over Drew Hutchinson, and the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium always makes McCann an attractive option at home.
Gaby Sanchez (1B) – PIT: I already mentioned in the introduction that Gaby is a high-volatile pick, but you have to acknowledge his upside to price ratio. At just $2,200 on FanDuel, he’s nearly half the price of top First Basemen Jose Abreu and Brandon Moss. If you want to take your chances at fading the top sluggers, clicking Sanchez will open up the rest of your lineup.
Dayan Viciedo (OF) – CWS: Viciedo is coming off one of his better performances of the season, going 4-5 en route to last night’s victory over Minnesota. He has the same juicy matchup I mentioned in the Jose Abreu write-up, and Viciedo has posted some good numbers (.365 wOBA) vs lefties in recent years. He’s my second favorite White Sox target this evening.
Chris Sale – CWS: I know what you are thinking: Sale over Kershaw? Even though I can’t argue against Kershaw’s case, I think Sale is in just as good of a position for a more manageable price tag. Both will be tossing in pitcher-friendly ballparks against middle of the pack lineups they both happened to dominate early in the season. As the All-Star twitter vote goes, #TargetSale where he’s at a discount to Kershaw.
Julio Teheran – ATL: Another guy who can put up Kershaw-like numbers is Teheran, and he is priced even lower than Sale on most DFS sites. Even though the Padres have looked good with a tweaked lineup in the past two games, it’s not enough for me to stay away from a red-hot Teheran coming off a season high in strikeouts (11 K’s vs MIA on Monday).
Johnny Cueto – CIN: For the early contests, Cueto emerges as the most viable option at home vs the Nats. His strikeout upside makes him worth the hefty price tag, especially without any other confidence-inspiring hurlers taking the mound for the afternoon games. There are enough value plays (McCann, Beltran, Matt Adams, etc.) to fit both Cueto and Jose Bautista into an “early only” lineup.