Wednesday brings another chance to win big in daily fantasy baseball leagues at DraftKings. Our usual DK writer Mike Sigler is away today and I’ll be filling in the best I can. Sigler helped DK players out on Tuesday night, as he plugged several great plays across the board. Chris Archer was excellent despite not getting a win, while James Paxton wasn’t your worst option as a SP2.
Sigler was spot on with some brilliant hitting calls, too, with Javier Baez (13 fantasy points), Kris Bryant (16) and Carlos Gonzalez (29) all paying off. We hope to get you a combination of stable arms and reliable bats heading into tonight’s loaded slate, as well. Let’s dive in:
Note: We will build a team meeting DK’s salary guidelines, but remember if there are plays you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s never a bad idea to only use the options you love from our breakdown.
SP: Zack Greinke – Arizona Diamondbacks ($12.4k)
Few are going to be down on Dallas Keuchel or Greinke, but I plugged Dallas in my FanDuel MLB picks, so we can use Greinke at DK. He is cheaper and will be at home against the Padres. San Diego has just two total runs on Greinke in two games this year and the 33-year old hurler is spinning terrific ball (2.49 ERA) at Chase Field. This is a scary park for pitchers and San Diego does sport some pop, but Greinke should be plenty fine here.
SP: Jimmy Nelson – Milwaukee Brewers ($7.9k)
I don’t hate either side of this game when it comes to the pitching, but I tend to trust Nelson a bit more than the much younger Ty Blach. Nelson thrives at home and is really in a groove right now. The 28-year old righty has slayed to the tune of 21 Ks in his last two starts and has 8+ strikeouts in four of his last five outings. San Francisco remains an offense to target, as the Giants rank dead last in home runs versus right-handed pitching and are just 28th in batting average versus righties, as well. Miller Park makes anyone dangerous, but Nelson gets a 4+ fantasy point bump here and has a very clean 2.93 ERA at home in 2017.
There are not a ton of safe options to use at this second pitcher spot, but Nelson’s value, reliability and upside make him the top option to pair with Greinke or Keuchel.
C: Jonathan Lucroy – Texas Rangers ($2.8k)
I love Alex Avila at FD but he’s quite a bit more expensive on DK, so we’re probably looking at either paying all the way up for Gary Sanchez, completely punting or trying to save some cash with a guy somewhere in the middle. Jonathan Lucroy has hit safely in three straight games and could provide a little pop against Zack Wheeler in a hitter’s ballpark in Texas tonight. He allows for us to save some cash and also get a decent option with a little upside.
1B: Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks ($5.5k)
I don’t love paying $5k+ for anyone, but Goldy is the type of hitter who demands it every now and then. Tonight he’ll be at home against Luis Perdomo, who he has completely wrecked to the tune of 7 hits in 13 plate appearances, including 2 homers and 6 RBI. BvsP data isn’t ever the one thing you want to rely on, though, so we can also safely lean on Goldy’s elite production against right-handed pitching. It’s always worth noting that Goldy also thrives in the hitter-friendly Chase Field, where he sports a batting average of +.141 compared to when he’s on the road.
There are a ton of 1B options worth paying up for, but Goldy is our favorite at the high end tonight. His gaudy price tag will hopefully help make him a little contrarian, too.
2B: Brian Dozier – Minnesota Twins ($3.6k)
Dozier is always a fun try due to his immense power, but his price has dropped lately due to a decrease in reliable power and general efficiency. That’s fine, because that means we get him at a discount tonight when he takes on the ever hittable Yovani Gallardo. The splits aren’t gaudy, but Dozier can dong anyone anywhere and he has mashed Gallardo in his career. Gallardo loves to serve up the long ball and allowed two home runs in his last start, so we should be willing to take a stab at a couple of Twins tonight. Dozier certainly fits the bill.
3B: Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays ($3.6k)
We could spend up on Jake Lamb here, but he’s the most expensive option on the board and we’d rather target him on FanDuel. We can save some cash with Longoria and also get positive results, as he’s got a tasty matchup with a bad pitcher in Mike Pelfrey. Pelf is surprisingly good at merely surviving in the majors, but he can still get shelled and he doesn’t have a good history against Longoria.
On top of that, Longoria has the splits edge with great numbers this year against right-handed pitching. Longoria has also hit vastly better in his home park this year, compared to on the road, so we should get a comfortable and reliable option here at 3B.
SS: Aledmys Diaz – St. Louis Cardinals ($3.2k)
Diaz has not been the most efficient option this year, but he packs a punch against right-handed pitching and is probably too cheap to flat out ignore tonight. SS is weird, as we’re basically looking at paying up for Carlos Correa in a less than ideal setting or using a guy just below him that we might not be in love with.
Diaz does come with some risk, but he hits right-handed pitching well, will be in a hitter’s park and gets a very beatable Bronson Arroyo. His career numbers versus Arroyo (2 for 5, 2 homers) are merely the icing on the cake.
OF: Chris Young – Boston Red Sox ($3.2k)
C.C. Sabathia has been slaying lately, but it’s anyone’s guess how much longer than keeps going for the 36-year old southpaw. All I know is he’s due for some regression and the Red Sox have a lot of scary hitters. Chris Young is one of them and due to his price, power and splits we need to always at least give him a cursory glance when he faces left-handed pitchers. That’s precisely what we’ll do here.
OF: Michael Saunders – Philadelphia Phillies ($2.8k)
I don’t love the efficiency we get from Saunders, but he’s a cheap power bat and has a pretty good matchup against Mike Foltynewicz tonight. Folty was fantastic in his last start, but has gotten blown up a few times this year and is notorious for coughing up the long ball. He’s given up 9 jacks on the year and he’s specifically had difficulty with lefty bats like Saunders.
Saunders is not a major lock (this isn’t a bad spot to look elsewhere if you don’t agree with the logic) but he’s cheap, has favorable splits and has a solid enough matchup. The big thing here is he provides some salary relief so we can pay up elsewhere, while he could still easily end up working out, himself.
OF: Dexter Fowler – St. Louis Cardinals ($4.9k)
I’m torn between Fowler or Nelson Cruz here. Cruz exited last night’s game with a calf issue, but he could be okay to take on a southpaw at home. We always want to consider dialing him up when he gets that matchup. Fowler is just as good here, though, as he’s in a great park against a terrible arm in Bronson Arroyo. This completes a very small 2-man stack and highlights a potential full Cardinals stack that we understandably could easily get behind.
Fowler was a fail yesterday, but Sigler loved him in that spot and would naturally promote him again here, I’m sure. We’ll go back to the well here, as Fowler has enjoyed most of his success this year against righties. His career marks aren’t amazing against Arroyo, but this is a great spot for him and most St. Louis batters.