Today's Featured DFS site is DraftStreet. Click HERE and use Fantistics as your recruiting and bonus code to get a 30% deposit bonus up to $150!
Before we get into today's recommendations, it is important to remind everyone to understand your scoring format and the pricing of the individual players on the site you're playing. These vary from site to site and all daily sites price their players differently, which could make someone a must start on one site but not another. It is also important to double check starting lineups as news often breaks after this column is written. In the space below I will break down the best plays by position and make notes as to which type of formats to utilize players. If you are new to the daily fantasy baseball scene, there are daily fantasy websites which offer one day contests. These contests are mostly salary cap games where you can take any players you want as long as you stay under the cap and meet the positional requirements and all are points-based (not roto). Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any further questions regarding daily fantasy baseball.
Weather: Weather looks pretty clear, but there are a couple of games with 30% chance of rain throughout and before the game. Keep an eye on these: BOS-CWS, NYY-BAL.
Twitter: If you can, it is a good idea to follow both me (https://twitter.com/leonem4444) and Drew (https://twitter.com/DrewDinkmeyer) on Twitter. We often post updated thoughts as lineup and weather information becomes known.
Wilin Rosario (COL) - Rosario has to be considered the top catcher play today at home versus a LHP. In those situations he has a 1.242 OPS. It's not a huge sample size (102 PA's), but I think by now we know enough about Rosario's skills versus LHP and the Coors Field effect to realize this is a really good situation for him. Rosario is expensive on most sites but close enough to the rest of the pack that I think he is worth paying for.
Buster Posey (SF) - Posey is another catcher that crushes LHP, posting a very elite .468 wOBA against southpaws since 2011. He is facing Zach Duke today who has not started a game since 2011. However, Duke has compiled 207.1 IP against RHB since 2011 and allowed the worst wOBA split of the day - .372.
Best Value Plays
Salvador Perez (KC) - Perez's salary varies a bit from site to site, but on some where his salary is still depressed, he is a great value going up against a LHP. Perez has a .414 wOBA and .231 ISO against LHP. On top of that opposing pitcher Dallas Keuchel is really bad, particularly against RHB to whom he has allowed a .370 wOBA and 1.60 HR/9.
Miguel Montero (ARZ) - Montero has frustrated us time and time again in this space, but if you don't want to spend on a catcher today his price is very intriguing. Montero has hit RHP well the past few seasons (.837 OPS) and has a matchup in Coors against Jon Garland (.342 wOBA, 1.11 HR/9 allowed to LHB since 2010).
Other value plays include John Jaso in Texas against RHP Josh Lindblom making his MLB debut as a starter and Jason Castro, who hits RHP well, facing Jeremy Guthrie, who struggles against LHB.
On DraftStreet I think the way to go is either cheap with Miguel Montero (5,613) or to pay for Wilin Rosario (9,721). Posey is too expensive here for me, and Salvador Perez's price is too close to Rosario's for me to not pay for Rosario.
David Ortiz facing Dylan Axelrod in a favorable hitting environment might be the top play on the day, but with a handful of other 1B all cheaper and with really good matchups, I probably won't be paying up for Ortiz.
Brandon Moss (OAK) - It's a great day to play Brandon Moss as he not only gets a RHP, but he gets to face one in Texas - which is way more favorable offensively than Moss' home park in Oakland. Moss has a .400 wOBA and .299 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last season. He faces Josh Lindblom who is making his first MLB start. Lindblom has however logged 37 IP against LHB as a RP since 2011. In that time he allowed LHB to post a .388 wOBA and hit 1.70 HR/9. With those numbers the only thing keeping Moss from being a top play is his propensity to strikeout and chances of having a lost at bat against a LH relief pitcher.
Lance Berkman (TEX) - Berkman has been really good from the left side of the plate since 2011, posting a .411 wOBA against RHP. He will be hitting from the left side of the plate tonight for a home matchup against Bartolo Colon who is absolutely awful against LHB (.353 wOBA, 1.73 HR/9 allowed). This game has one of the highest over/under's on the night at 9.5 so expect to see some more Texas and Oakland names pop up.
Billy Butler (KC) - Butler is another top 1B option today. He routinely kills LHP (.311/.402/.565 line since 2011), and he gets Dallas Keuchel, who in Salvador Perez's blurb I mentioned is terrible against RHB.
Mike Napoli (BOS) - Napoli has no problem hitting same handed pitching (.940 OPS. .281 ISO since 2011), so look for him to have a productive day in US Cellular field, which is one of the better parks for RH power. He is facing Dylan Axelrod who has allowed a .341 wOBA to RHB.
Travis Hafner is another good value play hitting in Camden Yard against Freddy Garcia who has allowed a .350 wOBA and 1.27 HR/9 to LHB.
On DraftStreet, my favorite 1B plays are Brandon Moss (7,038) and Mike Napoli (8,281) as Ortiz, Berkman and Butler are all priced over 10K.
Robinson Cano (NYY) - I just mentioned Freddy Garcia's troubles against LHB above, and with Cano's track record against RHP (.994 OPS since 2011), he has to be considered the top 2B play. In fact, the gap between him and the next best 2B play on the day is pretty large, so if Cano is priced anywhere near the pack on the site you play at, he may be worth paying up for.
Matt Carpenter (STL) - Carpenter is a safety valve for me at 2B. He is usually priced in the middle of the pack which is fine for me considering his lineup position (leadoff hitter), skills against RHP (.363 wOBA) and solid surrounding lineup. With a plus matchup today against Jason Marquis who is atrocious against LHB (.386 wOBA allowed), Carpenter is a fine safe play if you can't afford Cano.
Chase Utley (PHI) - Utley has a good matchup today against Alex Sanabia who has yielded a lot of power numbers to LHB (23.3 LD%, 41.4 FB%, 1.36 HR/9). I wished he was a little cheaper on the sites I checked in at, but still a good upside play against Sanabia even in Miami's large ballpark.
Josh Rutledge is another guy I could see playing for the right price. The environment is good (Coors Field, 9.5 run total for the game), so if he is hitting second in the lineup today I'll likely own him some places.
DraftStreet is one place where I will not be able to pay up for Cano (12,103) and will turn my attention towards Matt Carpenter (8,175), Josh Rutledge (6,409) or Dan Uggla (5,602).
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) - For his career Troy Tulowtizki has a .961 OPS at home against LHP. There's such a huge gap between him and the next best SS that I will probably try to play him wherever his price is reasonable.
Jed Lowrie (OAK) - I'm willing to take a chance on any OAK LHB for tonight's game in Texas. The over/under is high, Lindblom is making his first career start, and he struggled versus LHB as a relief pitcher.
Didi Gregorius (ARZ) - Gregorius hitting second for the Diamondbacks in Coors for a game with a high over/under leads him to being listed as a value play. Plus, it is a L/R matchup. With SS, I rarely find a pitcher versus batter matchup that I fall in love with, so I am doing my best to seek out opportunities and environments that look favorable to scoring fantasy points.
All three suggested plays are viable options on DraftStreet depending on how you choose to spend your money.
I am so used to just writing Miguel Cabrera - Top Play that I almost did it even though he is not playing.
Nolan Arenado (COL) - Arenado is simply priced too cheaply on most sites for a home matchup with the handedness split working in his favor.
Will Middlebrooks (BOS) - Middlebrooks is always a risk due to his atrocious plate discipline (.15 EYE currently), but despite this has flashed plus power against RHP (.211 ISO). Hitting in an environment favorable towards RH power and against a mediocre pitcher, Middlebrooks is worth risking given his cheap price on most sites.
Martin Prado (ARZ) - When in doubt, just take someone in Colorado. I'm only half kidding. Prado is too cheap though for a start in Coors with a high total, even if it is a R/R matchup.
Jeff Keppinger has really struggled but based on his longer term history he is a decent splits play. Another solid splits play is Jordan Pacheco at home in Coors who has had success against LHP in the past. Adrian Beltre is probably the top play at home, but I think the gap between him and the value plays is small enough that I'll spend my money elsewhere. Chris Johnson/Juan Francisco both have a solid matchup against Kevin Correia who allows offense to both RHB and LHB.
I think on DraftStreet the best bet is to save some money here. My favorite play is Nolan Arenado at 5,697, but Prado (5,940) and Middlebrooks (6,463) are cheap as well. If you really want to save money here, take a look at Juan Francisco (5,294) or Jeff Keppinger (4,571).
Best Value Plays
Jason Kubel (ARZ) - I love Kubel in positive hitting environments against RHP. After moving from Target Field to Chase Field last year, Kubel had a whopping .276 ISO against RHP. In total since 2011 he has a .224 ISO and .357 wOBA against RHP. Look for him to have some success against Jon Garland tonight in Coors.
Seth Smith (OAK) - Smith is priced pretty cheaply on a lot of sites. I've already given my reasoning for why I like Oakland's LHB today, but Smith in particular has a solid .278/.355/.481 line against HP since 2011.
Other Value Plays
Curtis Granderson (NYY) - Granderson's price isn't yet completely accurately reflected in my opinion on a lot of sites, leaving him at a slight discount with a plus matchup in Camden Yards against Freddy Garcia who has allowed a .350 wOBA, 22.5 LD% and 1.27 HR/9 to LHB. Granderson meanwhile has hit for an .867 OPS with a ton of power (.268 ISO) against RHP since 2011.
Dayan Viciedo (CHW) - This isn't anything you heard before - Viciedo kills LHP. His 1.014 OPS against LHP in his last 190 PA's has him listed as a value play even against Jon Lester. It also helps that the game is at home where US Cellular Field has a +137 park factor for HR, making it an extreme hitter's park (according to parkfactors.com).
David Murphy (TEX) - Murphy came through for the FIX last night putting up some good offensive numbers, and I am recommending him again today. With Kinsler out, Murphy has hit in the two hole the last couple of days. Hopefully that is the case again today as he faces Bartolo Colon whose terrible numbers against LHB I listed in Berkman's blurb. Murphy has a solid .353 wOBA against RHP since 2011.
Dexter Fowler (COL) -Fowler's price varies depending on what site you play, but anywhere where he is priced as middle of the road option, I have a tough time passing on him. He doesn't hit for as much power from the right side of the plate (just a .141 ISO), but is an overall offensive asset (.368 wOBA). Hitting at the top of the lineup at home, Fowler is a good play for the right price.
Other guys definitely worth considering are Gerardo Parra, Lorenzo Cain, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Jeff Franceour, Leonys Martin and Matt Adams. There are other top plays, but I will probably spend on middle infield and opt to save here.
I think the guys best to start your OF with on DraftStreet are Seth Smith (7,109) and Dexter Fowler (6,976). I think the best salary cap relief guy on this site is Jeff Francoeur (3,872).
Cole Hamels (PHI) - You could argue whether Hamels or Kershaw or Miller is the best play salary aside, but with Hamels' price significantly cheaper on a lot of sites, he is someone who has to be locked in everywhere you play. He has a plus matchup against the Marlins (.279 wOBA against LHP) and the ballpark is favorable for pitching. He is also going up against Alex Sanabia, which should give Hamels a good shot at a win.
The other top plays are Clayton Kershaw (always) and Shelby Miller. If you can utilize the value plays I listed on offense, depending on how strict your site's pricing is, it's a no-brainer to pair one of these with Hamels. On multi-SP sites with stricter pricing try to pair Hamels with one of the value plays listed below.
Ryan Vogelsong (SF) - There's no doubt that Vogelsong has been awful so far this year, but this is a good spot to use him. His price is as low as I have ever seen it. He is pitching at home in one of the best pitcher's parks in MLB. The Nationals have struggled offensively this year and currently rate 21st in MLB with a .304 wOBA against RHP with the 5th highest K rate (22.4%). They also might be without Bryce Harper. So, look for Vogelsong to take advantage of the good matchup and hopefully get some better luck (.369 BABIP, 55 LOB%, and 21.6 HR/FB% will all regress). Plus, the bar isn't very high given his price.
Yovani Gallardo (MIL) - Initially I though Gallardo was just underpriced, but after looking more closely, the matchup is not that bad either. In fact, the Dodgers are second last in MLB with a .288 wOBA against RHP. That will likely be on the rise, but with Gallardo's price depressed and the matchup being mediocre at worst, I'll look to him on multi-SP sites where I can't afford another top SP with Hamels.
Other guys to consider are CC Sabathia if you want a top SP for a lower price. You will get a worse matchup though. Third SP candidates that are moderately to low priced are Julio Teheran and Shaun Marcum (I know, I can't quit him).
On DraftStreet, I think the best rotation that still gives you enough money to put together a good offense is Hamels (16,165), Vogelsong (7,134) and Gallardo (12,141).
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