Only 12 games are to be played today. One is an afternoon game, so it's not including in any standard DFS formats. Three others show a risk for storms - those being the games in Baltimore, Texas, and Kansas City. We still have a long time until first pitch, so keep an eye on those weather reports. Be forewarned, the pitching options today lack for upside, although nobody is truly terrible either.
The stack of the day comes to us via our friends in Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays will face mediocre righty Ricky Nolasco. He's not so bad as his 5.65 ERA, but he has experienced a reduced strikeout rate. Based on his peripherals, he's a mid-4's ERA pitcher with a terrible matchup. The Jays have the most dynamic offense in baseball. This is especially true against righties, when they can boast six high profile home run threats. Nolasco has a roughly league average ground ball rate, meaning he gives up his share of fly balls and home runs. Look for a couple balls to leave the yard today.
Charlie Blackmon - COL: The Rockies leadoff hitter will face Gavin Floyd today in Colorado. Floyd is the type of pitcher who needs everything working in his favor in order to succeed, so the rarefied air in Denver could muck with his success. Floyd has only thrown one game at Colorado in the last three years, and it was a perfectly decent outing. As for Blackmon, his power numbers are higher than his average fly ball distance would suggest is possible. He's a contact oriented hitter in a park that rewards balls in play, so he's a nice pick for tonight.
Hanley Ramirez - LAD: You'll notice the hitter picks are as much about the pitcher as they are about the hitter. Ramirez draws Cincinnati right-handed Tony Cingrani at Great American Ballpark. Right-handed batters hit 28 percent more home runs in Cincinnati and Cingrani isn't shy about allowing fly balls. Cingrani has more walks and fewer strikeouts this season, which never bodes well for a pitcher's numbers.
Adrian Beltre - TEX: I'm not exactly sure what to expect of T.J. House. Through his first few outings, he's been a staunch advocate of the ground ball. He's also allowed more than his share of home runs. He's probably made some mistake pitches, which suggests his command and control might not be as sharp as his walk rate suggests. Beltre could ground out three times against House, but we're hoping for a home run (or two) instead.
Freddie Freeman - ATL: A visit to Coors Field is always a good place to look for power. Freeman will face Christian Bergman in his debut outing for the Rockies. The righty is a command and control specialist. The Braves as a whole are pretty bad against right-handed pitching, but Freeman isn't included in that statement. Lefty power is buffed 30 percent in Colorado, which makes Freeman's matchup against Bergman all the more enticing.
Melky Cabrera - TOR: This is the player the Blue Jays thought they were buying last season. He's a tough out at the plate, can hit for a surprising amount of power, and he's sandwiched between some really good hitters. With Cabrera, you're targeting a multi-hit game with the upside for a home run.
Ian Kinsler - DET: Most of our picks have the platoon advantage. Kinsler does not, but he's facing a struggling pitcher in Hector Noesi. Moreover, the game is to be played at U.S. Cellular Field, which is a well-known launching pad. Second base is a relatively weak position in DFS, which makes Kinsler all the more desirable.
Jason Kipnis - CLE: The risk of rain has downgraded the value of Cleveland hitters today. Sometimes the risk vanishes closer to game time, so consult the most current weather reports when picking your lineup. Kipnis in the bargain bin is too much to pass up. This is a player who can hang with some of the best hitters in baseball, yet he's available for substantially less. He's yet to catch fire this season, but it will happen eventually with his dynamic skill set. Nick Martinez makes for an exploitable opposing starter. It's up to Kipnis to make something happen.
Mike Napoli - BOS: He's back in the lineup and playing in Baltimore's hitter friendly venue. What he lacks in the platoon advantage, he makes up for with high upside power and RBI opportunities. The Orioles start Bud Norris today. He's been known to spin some clunkers.
Jonathan Singleton - HOU - He's an easy pick against Diamondbacks right-hander Josh Collmenter. Singleton hasn't been around long enough to earn a big price increase, but it's in the works. He's showing a strikeout problem through 26 plate appearances, but his minor league work suggests improvement is ahead. It's nice when good players are available in the bargain bin.
Stephen Strasburg - WAS: Strasburg earns the recommendation by virtue of being the best pitcher on a day with few viable options. Nearly all the usual suspects like Jesse Chavez have a bad matchup. The Giants actually have a decent offense, but AT&T Park is extremely pitcher friendly and Strasburg is Strasburg.
R.A. Dickey - TOR: This season, Dickey has been one of the least reliable pitchers in baseball. The overriding problem is his walk rate, which is nearly double the rate he posted from 2010 through 2013. When he has good outings, he tends to only walk one batter. Bad outings seem to come with multiple walks. This speaks to a possible control problem. The Twins have an unimpressive offense. It's the kind that might try to do too much against Dickey and fail to do anything as a result. If you're playing in GPP's, this pick carries plenty of upside - and downside too!
Charlie Morton - PIT: The Pirates will face baseball's worst offense against right-handed pitchers - the Chicago Cubs. And the game will be played at pitcher friendly PNC Park. Despite those factors in his favor, Morton isn't likely to record many strikeouts, which limits his upside. He's best known for his ability to generate ground ball outs. On a good day, he'll give you about seven innings, which can be helpful.