It's the big one. All 15 games will be played after 7:00 ET, so we'll have a lot of options to consider. Weather may affect the tail end of the game in St. Louis, so keep an eye out if you want to use any Cardinals or Padres. You have a boatload of useful pitching options today, which also serves to limit the pool of high upside hitters.
In what's becoming a Daily Forecast tradition, the Rangers once again feature the most stackable pitcher of the day. This time it's Nick Martinez. His 5.22 ERA under sells how bad he is for fantasy purposes. He doesn't get many swinging strikes, which explains his low 4.50 K/9. His walk rate is nearly identical to his strikeout rate at 4.09 BB/9. Then there are the fly balls - he allows a lot of those. With the game played at hitter friendly Globe Life Park against a potent Angels lineup, all the ingredients are in place for offensive fireworks.
Brian Dozier - MIN: Dozier will have the platoon advantage against Danny Duffy. Dozier's biggest weakness as a hitter is his tendency to hit infield flies. Those push his BABIP down to the .250 range. In past seasons, he's been able to prevent some of those pop ups against left-handed pitching, although that hasn't worked out this year. Also of importance is Duffy's recent performance, which includes a high walk rate - 15 over his last 31 innings. He's been pretty stingy with hits all season, hence why this isn't my most enthusiastic top shelf recommendation.
Jose Bautista - TOR: The slugger has a fantastic approach at the plate, which has led to more walks than strikeouts on the season. He's against mediocre right-handed Hector Noesi at U.S. Cellular Field. For those that need reminding, The Cell is actually a better place for right-handed home run power than Coors Field. Really, truly. It's definitely a good place to target Bautista.
Giancarlo Stanton - MIA: While the game is to be played at spacious Marlins Stadium, Stanton has never let a little thing like park dimensions stand in his way. Stanton will face Trevor Cahill, who has been more than shaky as a starter this season. While he's kept his home runs under control in 2014, Cahill has a long history of giving up a few extra long balls. Of course, Stanton can go on a two homer tirade against anyone, but the matchup certainly seems favorable today.
Kole Calhoun - LAA: The Angels leadoff man should benefit mightily from a start against Martinez. Calhoun has everything you want from a DFS pick. As the first batter in a dynamic lineup, he has a shot at five or even six plate appearances today. He has enough power to pop one or more out of Globe Life Park, and he has the lineup support to score several runs. Everything lines up in his favor.
J.D. Martinez - DET: While his batting average is falling back to Earth, Martinez retains a potent bat. He'll have the platoon advantage against a good pitcher - James Paxton. All it takes is one mistake for Martinez to do some damage. His .276/.347/.598 line against southpaws is certainly attractive for DFS owners.
Kyle Seager - SEA: Despite being the second best hitter in the Mariners lineup, Seager bats fifth for the club. That unfortunate fact has a small negative effect on his value. Seager is potent against right-handed pitching. His .280/.362/.524 line against righties rates about 50 percent above league average. That's great value from a bulk purchase pick. He has a neutral matchup against Rick Porcello.
Jonny Gomes - OAK: Gomes will start against a tough lefty in Alex Wood. Gomes is well known for his huge splits against southpaws. This season, he's at .291/.382/.409. You can find him at the bottom of the bargain bin, which makes him a potential steal - even against a pitcher as good as Wood.
Asdrubal Cabrera - WAS: Yesterday we discussed Cabrera's role in the Nationals lineup. It was unclear whether he or Michael Taylor would be bumped down the lineup when Denard Span started. It was Taylor that took the hit, so Cabrera remains a useful pick as the Nationals second hitter. He'll face a decent pitcher in Charlie Morton.
Kendrys Morales - MIN: I've mostly avoided Morales this season. The late start to the year and lousy overall numbers leave me hesitant to take a risk on him. He's hit better in recent days. We don't know if that's a fluke or a sign that he's finally ready to mash at his previous productive levels. In either event, a matchup against Porcello isn't bad. He still bats cleanup for the Mariners, so he'll have RBI opportunities.
Madison Bumgarner - SFG: Bumgarner will face the Phillies. Not only does Philadelphia possess the second worst offense in baseball, they'll be asked to solve the puzzle of AT&T Park. It's a pitcher heaven that makes Bumgarner worth the price of admission. There is only one drawback to Bumgarner - he's opposed by similarly sensational southpaw Cole Hamels.
Brandon McCarthy - NYY: He's been a personal favorite all season due to his ground ball rate and excellent strikeout to walk ratio. Unfortunately, home runs have been an ongoign concern for McCarthy. His move to Yankee Stadium has not helped him prevent deep shots. On a more positive note, today's game will be played at Tropicana Field, which strongly favors pitchers. He's against a Rays lineup that can be best described as decent against right-handed pitching. He's opposed by Alex Cobb, who is another pitcher you could consider using.
James Paxton - SEA: I'm writing up Paxton rather than Buchholz so I can be very clear with this recommendation. Paxton's matchup is terrible. The lefty is poised to face a terrifying assemblage of right-handed hitters. However, Paxton has the upside to go seven innings, strike out more than a batter per inning, and the Tigers do occasionally get shut down. Simply put, he's extremely inexpensive for his talent level. The numbers are still against you, but there is an outside chance for a top shelf outing from this bargain bin pick.