Today's Featured DFS site is DailyJoust. Click HERE to receive a first time deposit bonus
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. In the space below I will break down the best and worst 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). As a result these recommendations often focus on value. By reading the notes below you'll be able to identify not only value options but potential weak pitchers to exploit. If a player is not touched on, it doesn't mean they're not a good play. We have limited space and assessing value across all the sites is a bit subjective. Please feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com if you have any further questions regarding daily fantasy baseball.
Weather: Weather along the east coast could be a problem today. I'll use Mike's short-hand format since so many games could be impacted.
Danger Zone (70+% chance of rain): BOS-MIN
Keep an Eye on (30+% chance of rain): LAD-ATL, CIN-PHI, SF-COL, TOR-NYY, TB-BAL, HOU-PIT
Wilin Rosario (COL) - Rosario started the first two games of the series against the Giants so there's a reasonable chance he sits on Sunday, but if he's in the lineup against Barry Zito you'll want him in yours. Rosario has hit .351/.402/.840 in his career at home against LHP. That's good for a .516 wOBA and makes him the clear cut top play of the day. Add in the fact that Zito has surrendered wOBAs of .431, .364, and .370 the last three calendar years to RHB's on the road and you've got one of the best matchups of all hitters let alone catchers on Sunday.
Miguel Montero (ARZ) - Ricky Nolasco allows a .348 wOBA to LHB's which includes a 23% LD Rate and 1.08 HR/9. Montero historically has hit RHP well, but has stunk this year which has held his price down all year. At these prices he remains a good value against weak RHP. On our featured site (DailyJoust), Montero is the bare minimum at just 50k.
John Jaso (OAK) - Jaso has always been really strong against RHP (.269/.366/.411) showing great on-base skills (1.07 EYE) along with adequate power. The A's recognize his value and typically bat him at the top or near the middle of the order against RHP. On Sunday the A's will face Luis Mendoza who allows a .347 wOBA against RHP, including an ugly 10% BB%. Given Jaso's extreme command of the strike zone this would figure to result in at least one time on base. Jaso's lack of power limits his upside but on sites that punish you for making outs, he's one of the better value plays on Sunday.
John Buck (NYM) - Buck's price has normalized after a historic tear to start the season. On most sites he's priced below the average starting catcher but against LHP he's shown above average power in his career (.187 ISO) and his .242/.317/.429 line overall might be a good fit for Travis Wood. Wood has held RHB's to just a .315 wOBA but a 47% FB Rate has pushed his HR/9 to 1.1 against RHB's. Buck typically hits 4th or 5th against LHP which would be right behind career lefty-masher David Wright. Buck figures to have opportunities with runners on and against a FB pitcher his power could play up nicely with a forecasted wind blowing out to LF.
Matt Wieters is also great from the left side and his price is down on a few sites he hasn't faced a LHP in a while. Matt Moore can be homer-prone and Wieters has gotten him a few times. He's an adequate play as well on Sunday. Jonathan Lucroy is always one of our favorites against LHP and he matches up with John Gast who has been shaky early in his career against RHB's. He's an excellent value play as well.
Joey Votto (CIN) - Joey Votto looks like the top overall play today against rookie Jonathan Pettibone who has given up a 5.18 xFIP in limited time against LHB's. Votto is red-hot (15 for his last 29) and has hit .323/.348/.570 in his career against RHP. The value is probably too good to pass up on Mike Napoli today, but Votto is great place to spend money at 1B.
Mike Napoli (BOS) - Napoli's priced very affordably on most sites and he has the friendliest matchup of any of the 1B going Sunday. Pedro Hernandez has been obliterated by RHB's in his brief career. He's allowed a .494 wOBA and surrendered 3.15 HR/9 against the 99 RHB's he's faced in his career. Napoli has hit .277/.377/.523 in his career against LHP (.385 wOBA) and two weeks ago Hernandez allowed 6 ER's in 2 innings against the Red Sox. Napoli is priced at just 72k on DailyJoust and is the clear cut value option on Sunday.
Paul Konerko (CHW) - Konerko has hit .296/.383/.550 in his career against LHP (.395 wOBA) and even while his skills have diminished as he gets into his late 30's, he's remained above average against LHP - 2011 - .361 wOBA, 2012- .363 wOBA, 2013 - .366 wOBA. Jason Vargas has allowed a .316 wOBA to RHB's over the last three years, but those numbers come with a heavy reliance on fly-balls (46%) which ultimately lead to HR's (1.18 HR/9). Konerko remains under-priced due to a slow start and against LHP I think he's a strong value play.
Brandon Moss (OAK) - Moss is perpetually one of our favorites against RHP. Mike noted yesterday that "Moss currently has a .373 wOBA against RHP, showing that last year's .419 mark was not a fluke. Overall, between the two years, Moss has stroked 24 homers in just 353 PA's against RHP." On Sunday Moss gets one of the weaker RHP going in Luis Mendoza. Mendoza keeps the ball on the ground for the most part (52% GB Rate) but he walks 10% of LHB's and strikes out just 11%. His .347 wOBA allowed over the last three years qualifies him as one of the five worst SPs against LHB's throwing on Sunday. Moss is still priced below the average 1B on most sites, making him a tremendous value any time you can get him against weak RHP.
Brandon Belt (SF) - Belt's price has really surged of late on a number of sites so you'll have to shop around. The matchup on Sunday is a good as Juan Nicasio has allowed a .360 wOBA against LHB's over the last three years including a 1.71 HR/9 mark. In Coors Field a Zito/Nicasio matchup figures to be one of the higher projected matchups of the day and Belt's performance in May (.268/.375/.561) suggests the breakout might be coming. If you can find the right price on Belt, he's an excellent play on Sunday.
Robinson Cano (NYY) - Cano against a RHP at home will always qualify in the top plays section. On Sunday it's R.A. Dickey who has give up 2.12 HR/9 to LHB's so far this year. Dickey isn't getting ground-balls like he used to and in the AL East those extra fly-balls are turning into HR's. Cano posted a .461 wOBA at home against righties last year and a .374 wOBA the year before. He's dominant at home against RHP and will always be amongst the top plays of the day in these situations.
Dustin Pedroia (BOS) - Pedroia is as strong of a play as Cano on Sunday. Pedro Hernandez simply can't get RHB's out (.494 wOBA) and Pedroia has always been great against lefties hitting .311/.398/.461 in his career against LHP. Over the last two years he's posted wOBA's of .366 and .436. He mashes LHP and there might not be a worse LHP in the league than Pedro Hernandez. Pedroia is an excellent play on Sunday.
Chase Utley (PHI) - A recent slump has pushed Utley into the value range. He gets a tough matchup on Sunday against Homer Bailey (.313 wOBA allowed to LHB's), but any RHP at home is a good spot for Utley. In his career he's hit .307/.383/.543 at home against RHP, good for a .394 wOBA. With his price depressed to the point he's only moderately more expensive than average 2B options, Utley is a nice play on Sunday.
Ben Zobrist (TB) - Zobrist, like Utley, has seen his price come down on a number of sites. He takes on Chris Tillman (.322 wOBA) in a hitters' park. I typically like to take Zobrist against LHP and Tillman is average against righties so I'll likely opt for other value plays on Sunday, but Zobrist has a nice price-tag on most sites.
Rickie Weeks (MIL) - Weeks is the cheapest value play on Sunday as he gets a matchup with LHP John Gast. We don't know much about the Cardinals rookie, but in his brief time at the major league level he's allowed RHB's to post a .361 wOBA against him including 2.45 HR/9. The Brewers are loaded with RHB's and Weeks has hit .264/.394/.446 in his career against LHP (.372 wOBA) and is priced as a below average 2B option. If you're going to save money at the position on Sunday, Weeks is your best option. He's priced near the bare minimum (55k) on DailyJoust.
Didi Gregorious (ARZ) - Didi's performance is starting to regress back to the levels his minor league production and his price has come down with it. Against Ricky Nolasco who allows a .348 wOBA to LHB's, Didi is a nice value play at a thin SS position. He hits 2nd in a DBacks lineup and has posted an inflated .413/.449/.717 line against RHP so far. That line is very small-sample size driven but why not ride the solid splits for a SS who is priced as an average option.
Alexei Ramirez (CHW) - Ramirez has been bumped up to 2nd in the batting order against LHP of late which is a nice boost to his daily fantasy value. He's hit a career .305/.347/.453 against LHP (.347 wOBA) and he's priced as a below average option at the SS position. On DailyJoust he's just 66k, making him one of the more appealing value plays at the SS position.
Troy Tulowitzki (COL) - Tulo gets to face a LHP at home which is usually a recipe for fantasy delight. He's hit .326/.409/.556 in his career against LHP at home. He gets to face Barry Zito who has allowed wOBAs of .431, .364, and .370 the last three calendar years to RHB's on the road. Tulo has had a really tough time figuring out Zito in his career (7-44 with 1 BB and 9 K's), but I'll continue to lean on the career splits for both players as opposed to the PvB. At home against a bad lefty is typically the type of matchup I look to pay up for Tulo on.
There are so many ways you can spend money at the 3B position as Miguel Cabrera (vs. LHP in Texas), David Wright (vs. LHP in Wrigley), Evan Longoria (HR prone RHP in Camden who he's had personal success against), and Pablo Sandoval (Nicasio allows .360 wOBA to LHB's and game is in Coors Field) are all excellent plays on Sunday. Here's how I'd treat them.
If price is irrelevant:
1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Pablo Sandoval
3. David Wright
4. Evan Longoria
If price matters, David Wright appears to be the best value of the group.
Nolan Arenado (COL) - Arenado is another one of the Rockies RHB's that figures to benefit from getting their chance against Barry Zito in Coors Field. We've tackled Zito's struggles on the road, but it's important to note Arenado has mashed LHP in his minor league career and he's still priced as an average 3B on most sites. On DailyJoust he's just 76k and looks like a nice bargain. He's my favorite value play of the day at a loaded 3B position.
Will Middlebrooks (BOS) - Middlebrooks is starting to swing a hot bat as he's picked up multi-hit games in four of his last eight. He's been much better against LHP in his brief career (.284/.329/.507, .357 wOBA) and we've covered just how awful Pedro Hernandez is against LHP. Middlebrooks is just 61k on DailyJoust and is another terrific value play.
Ryan Braun (MIL) - Braun is super-human against LHP. In his career he's hit .347/.419/.660 against LHP (.452 wOBA) and on Sunday he gets to face rookie John Gast who in his brief career has let RHB's hit .267/.313/.533 against him. The Brewers lineup is loaded with RHB's which could mean plenty of trouble for Gast on Sunday. Braun figures to be in the middle of it and earns top play status because of his dominance against LHP in his career. On DailyJoust he's a relative bargain at 105k compared to other elite OF's who are priced in the 120k+ ranges.
Jason Heyward (ATL) - Heyward got off to a slow start this season and then got injured. His price varies considerably across the industry but against a weak RHP in Matt Magill, who has allowed a .461 wOBA to LHB's, Heyward is somewhere between a top play and a value option on Sunday. In Heyward's career he's hit .275/.374/.488 against RHP, good for a .374 wOBA. The matchup is exceptionally favorable against a starter who really shouldn't be in the big leagues so if you can find a site that is valuing Heyward as an average or modestly above average OF, he makes for a nice value.
Jonny Gomes (BOS) - Gomes is always one of my favorite value play options against LHP. For his career Gomes has hit .279/.380/.507 against LHP which is good for a .383 wOBA. To put some context to that number over the last three years Adrian Beltre has a .383 wOBA. On many sites Gomes is priced as a reserve which is a huge mistake and DailyJoust is one of them. The 55k price-tag is criminal for Gomes against LHP and I'd consider him a MUST play on those sites against Pedro Hernandez. In the first meeting a few weeks back Gomes delivered a grand slam against Hernandez.
David Murphy (TEX) - Murphy is always a good play against RHP in Arlington. As I highlighted earlier in the week he's posted a .376 wOBA against RHP in Arlington and for his career he's posted a .327/.385/.499 line against ground-ball pitchers. Doug Fister would meet all of the qualifications above and while Fister is a pretty good starter, Murphy has had his number, launching 4 HR's in 18 AB's against him. Murphy is just 65k on DailyJoust and is exceptionally cheap on most other sites as well. He hit 2nd in the lineup on Saturday without Ian Kinsler and if he can find himself somewhere 2nd-6th again on Sunday he'll be a great value play again.
Other Potential Value Plays: Jason Kubel (ARZ), Torii Hunter (DET), Brett Gardner (NYY), Seth Smith (OAK), Oswaldo Arcia (MIN), Nate Schierholtz (CHC), Avisail Garcia (DET)
Under-priced Star OF's to Target: Matt Kemp (LAD), Josh Hamilton (LAA), Carlos Beltran (STL), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Dexter Fowler (COL), Josh Willingham (MIN)
Additional Stars to Spend on: Shin Soo Choo (CIN), Justin Upton (ATL), Jay Bruce (CIN), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Carlos Gomez (MIL)
Andrew Cashner (SD) - Cashner has been pretty darn effective as a starter in his career (3.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 7.3 K/9) and on Sunday he'll face a watered down Nationals lineup. The Nationals are better against RHP than LHP this year but a big part of that is Bryce Harper's other-worldly numbers against RHP. Without Harper the Nationals only have one LHB with a decided splits advantage against RHP (Adam LaRoche). Harper noted he wants to get himself ready for the San Francisco series so it sounded like he'd be out on Sunday, if that's the case I LOVE this matchup for Cashner. He's priced as a bottom-half SP on most sites (including DailyJoust - 255k) and in my own personal rankings he's a Top 10 option on Sunday. I think he's the strongest value play though undoubtedly is best utilized on sites where you're using multiple SP
Homer Bailey (CIN) - We think of the Phillies offense as one that's significantly better against RHP than LHP but they're just 26th in wOBA against RHP this year with just a .296 mark. Last time Bailey faced the Phillies he struck out 10 while throwing 8 shutout innings and allowing just 2 base-runners. He's become dominant against RHB's, allowing just a .256 wOBA this year, and he's improved to above average against LHB's over the last few years (.313 wOBA last 3 years). With the Phillies offense struggling and Bailey still under-rated on most of the daily sites because of a fluky lack of wins, he remains a nice value and a solid #1 SP.
Wade Miley (ARZ) - I don't think Miley is that good, but the Marlins are just so bad almost anyone is a value play against them. Against LHP, the Marlins have posted just a .280 wOBA which is 29th in the league and they strike out in 21% of their PA's against LHP. Wade Miley tends to do himself in with command issues, but the Marlins don't really make opposing SP's work. This is a favorable matchup for Miley and in a friendly pitching environment he remains an adequate value play.
Lucas Harrell (HOU) - If you want to dig REALLY deep for a 2nd or 3rd SP option on Sunday, I think Lucas Harrell is a pretty interesting gamble. Harrell has been awful this year posting a 5.64 FIP and walking as many batters as he's struck out, however in over 285 innings in his career he's posted an adequate 4.13 FIP and 4.18 xFIP. He really struggles against LHB's (.348 wOBA allowed last three years) but the Pirates boast a RH heavy lineup with their two best hitters McCutchen and Marte both batting form the right side. Harrell is priced so cheaply that if you want to stack an exceptional lineup I think he's an adequate risk for his current price on multiple pitcher sites.
CC Sabathia/Matt Moore - Both SP's are too high priced to be considered values but are so much significantly cheaper than Felix Hernandez and Jake Peavy that they'd be the SP options I'm most comfortable using on 1 SP sites. Sabathia has posted a 2.54 ERA in 7 starts against the Blue Jays over the last three years while averaging over 9 K/9. Matt Moore has been a bit shakier against BAL but has held them to a 2.57 ERA in 4 starts and struck out over 9 K/9. Of the two I prefer Sabathia in double-ups and H2H's and Moore in large-field tournaments.
Additional SP Notes:
Doug Fister and Derek Holland are two of the better values based on their prices on Sunday, but the opposing offenses concern me enough that I won't be using either player outside of large field tournaments. John Lackey is somewhat intriguing to me in a favorable pitching environment against a Twins team that he held to 1 ER over 7 innings and struck out 8 the last time out. I'd consider Lackey a fine #2 or #3 SP for daily sites that use multiple SP's. Mike Minor has a nice matchup but his price is a bit too elevated for my liking. The same can be said for Justin Masterson, who is always a better large field play than double up or head-to-head.
Felix Hernandez (SEA) - Hernandez is the best SP going on Sunday as evidenced by his 2.11 FIP this year, but he's so expensive and the Indians offense is above average, that I'd be holding off shelling out the funds for King Felix on Sunday. The Indians are 6th in wOBA against RHP and Felix is actually a slight underdog on Sunday. If you're spending on 1 SP sites, I'd look in the direction of CC Sabathia, as noted above.
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