Today's featured DFS site is FantasyFeud. Click HERE and use deposit code "fantistics" for 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. 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: The most worrisome game right now is KC-TEX with a 50-60% chance of strong showers during the game. Everything else looks okay right, but a few games to keep your eye on are TB-CLE, CIN-PIT and ARZ-CHC.
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.
NOTE: On most, if not all, DFS sites, the first game of the Giants-Cardinals doubleheader will not count since it is the makeup game from yesterday's postponed game.
Joe Mauer (MIN) - I'm not in love with any catching options today, but Mauer is definitely the best play of the bunch. He faces the very hittable Aaron Harang (.338 wOBA allowed to LHB). Mauer is pretty awesome against RHP, posting a triple slash of .329/.414/.475 since 2011.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS) - Saltalamacchia is much better from the left side of the plate (.344 wOBA, .244 ISO since 2011), and that ISO indicates a lot of power which should play well in Yankee Stadium which greatly enhances LH power. Salty gets a favorable pitcher-batter matchup against the homerun prone Phil Hughes. He has allowed a .314 wOBA and 1.16 HR/9 to LHB since 2011 and has allowed a .352 wOBA and 1.95 HR/9 to all batters at home since 2011.
Alex Avila (DET) - Avila has a .362 wOBA and .191 ISO against RHP since 2011. Those are solid numbers and make him a strong value play today in hitter friendly Camden Yards against Jason Hammel (.326 wOBA allowed to LHB since 2011.
Yasmani Grandal (SD) - In a very limited sample size (65 PA's), Grandal has hit LHP well, posting an .875 OPS. He has a favorable matchup against the soft tossing Mark Buehrle who has allowed a .326 wOBA to RHB.
On FantasyFeud (FF), our featured DFS site of the day, Alex Avila is attractive at just $30,160, which is about half of what the other value plays (Saltalamacchia and Grandal) are priced at.
Mike Napoli (BOS) - Napoli has a matchup made in heaven for himself today. He is a RHB who hits RHP well (.402 wOBA, .277 ISO) and is facing a RHP with some reverse splits. Opposing pitcher Phil Hughes has been terrible against same handed batters the last few years (.368 wOBA allowed to RHB, 2.03 HR/9), and I already stated in Saltalamacchia's blurb about how Hughes' issues are magnified at home. Priced at $64,688 on FF, I think Napoli is a must play.
Adrian Gonzalez (LAD) - I prefer Napoli to Gonzalez, especially since Napoli is likely cheaper on the site you are playing at, but Gonzalez is also worthy of top play status today. He gets to hit in Coors Field against a SP that struggles against LHB. Jhoulys Chacin has allowed a .342 wOBA and 1.24 HR/9 to LHB since 2011.
Prince Fielder and David Ortiz are also really good plays due to their skill and matchups, but I do prefer the two suggestions listed above, especially considering price.
Mark Teixeira (NYY) - Teixeira is still not listed yet on all DFS sites, but he's a strong value play on the ones he is listed at (noticed he is very cheap on DailyJoust). Teixeira is at home and has a favorable matchup. He has been much better against LHP, posting a .284/.357/.557 line against southpaws since 2011. Meanwhile, opposing pitcher Felix Doubront has allowed RHB to post a .340 wOBA and hit 1.27 HR/9.
Eric Hosmer (KC) - Hosmer is off to a very disappointing start as he is hitting way too many balls on the ground (57.7 GB%). Still, he is underpriced on many sites due to the fact that he has just 1 homer, and even with his unfortunate GB ways, Hosmer should start hitting more homers as his 3.3 HR/FB rate normalizes. He's in a good park for power today in Texas and is facing Nick Tepesch who has had his struggles against LHB in a limited sample (.360 wOBA allowed, 1.80 JR/9 in 25 IP). Hosmer is a very good cheap value play on FF, priced at just $43,472.
Ryan Howard (PHI) - Howard is at home against Wily Peralta who has been brutal when facing lefties (.363 wOBA allowed). This makes Howard, who is cheap on a lot of sites, a nice value play as he still hits RHP well enough (.359 wOBA, .247 ISO since 2011).
Both Dustin Pedroia and Robinson Cano are top plays today as I expect a lot of offense in the Bronx. On most sites they are probably priced pretty high, but on sites such as DraftStreet that take splits into account, Pedroia and Cano's prices may be attractive. Both have matchups with starting pitchers who have reverse splits according to wOBA. Pricing being equal, I have Pedroia ranked ahead of Cano for today.
Ben Zobrist/Kelly Johnson (TB) - Both Zobrist and Johnson are solid plays today against Ubaldo Jimenez in Cleveland. Ubaldo has allowed a .341 wOBA and 1.27 HR/9 to LHB since 2011. Zobrist and Johnson's salary and position both vary from site to site, so make sure to take that into account when choosing whether or not to play them.
Jedd Gyorko (SD) - With not a lot of great 2B options on the day, I might take Gyorko even though he is playing in a less than stellar offensive environment (Petco). Gyorko is pretty cheaply-moderately priced on most sites. In a small sample size this RHB has hit LHP well, posting a nice .245 ISO and overall .354 wOBA. He has a decent matchup against Mark Buehrle.
On FF, I am liking my value plays at other positions so I will probably spend here on Dustin Pedroia at $79,872.
Even facing a tough starting pitcher in Zack Greinke, Troy Tulowtizki at home is the best SS play of the day. I'll probably use him on looser pricing sites but won't break my back to fit him in on sites with stricter pricing.
Best Value Play
Jimmy Rollins (PHI) - Rollins' price is depressed among all the DFS sites that I checked, which is perfect for him today. He is hitting from his better side of the plate (just a .271 wOBA against LHP since 2011 but a .341 mark against RHP) and facing Wily Peralta (.363 wOBA allowed to LHB). As a number three hitter, with all that working in his favor (price, handedness splits), it's tough to pass on Rollins today. Things don't always work out as planned, but given the state of the SS position in general, I think Rollins is one of the easier plays of the day. He's priced at a very affordable $50,128 on FantasyFeud.
Jayson Nix (NYY) - Nix started and hit sixth versus a LHP yesterday, and he's a nice cheap play if that is the case again today. Nix has an okay .333 wOBA against LHP, which is passable given his price on most sites and matchup (Doubront has allowed a .340 wOBA to RHB).
Jean Segura also deserves consideration at the shortstop position today.
Obviously Miguel Cabrera remains the top 3B play day in and day out. I will give him the same treatment I am giving Troy Tulowitzki today - not forcing him in on stricter pricing sites but playing him on looser pricing sites where my value plays give me lots of cap room. FF is one of those sites today where I feel I can fit Cabrera in without sacrificing value elsewhere.
Kevin Youkilis (NYY) - Just like Teixeira, Youkilis is not available on all sites but seems like a strong value play on the sites where he is available. I've already made it clear by now that I like all my NYY RHB (and some of the LHB too), and Youkilis is no exception with his .378 wOBA against LHP in his last 335 PA's.
Two guys I may use often today are Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria. Neither are priced cheap enough to be considered value plays, but they aren't overpriced either and make for strong alternatives on sites where you can't fit in Miggy and/or Youk is unavailable.
Mike Moustakas (KC) - Moustakas is another Royal who has been terribly disappointing but with that disappointment comes a low price tag. One thing Moustakas can do is hit a HR, so he's not a bad bet today in Texas facing Nick Tepesch who has yielded 1.80 HR/9 to LHB.
Jose Bautista (TOR) - Bautista has an awesome .411 wOBA and .294 ISO against LHP since 2011. He faces Robbie Erlin today who is making his first ever MLB start. ZIPS projections have Erlin pegged for a rest of season ERA of 4.30 and 1.28 HR/9 (likely to be higher against RHB if you assume normal splits for a LHP).
Carlos Gonzalez (COL) - This is pretty simple - when CarGo is at home against RHP, he's almost always a top play. The only reason I probably won't use him too much today is price.
Alex Gordon (KC) - I've touched on opposing pitcher Nick Tepesch's struggles so far on his young career in getting LHB out. Gordon is the best Royal to take advantage of this as he has a .383 wOBA against RHP since 2011.
Best Value Plays
Andre Ethier (LAD) - Ethier is just priced too attractively and has too much working in his favor today for me to not play him on most sites even if he has burned a few times this season. He is hitting in Coors Field against Jhoulys Chacin (.342 wOBA allowed to LHB, 1.24 HR/9). Meanwhile, despite his struggles this season Ethier does have a .312/.398/.487 line against RHP since 2011. He is a great value on FF, priced at just $48,880.
Norichika Aoki (MIL) - Aoki has a solid .352 wOBA against RHP with decent pop for a speedster (.149 ISO). He should be leading off against Tyler Cloyd today, who has allowed a .388 wOBA and 1.66 HR/9 to LHB. The peripherals are nearly as bad with a 1.33 K/BB ratio, 21.6 LD%, 44.6 FB% and 5.90 FIP. He's also a very good value play on FF priced at $54,080.
Other strong plays depending on price are Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Nava, Carlos Quentin, Vernon Wells, Brett Gardner, Domonic Brown, Melky Cabrera and Dexter Fowler.
Adam Wainwright (STL) - Wainwright has just been an absolute monster at home for his whole career (2.67 ERA). He is a -144 favorite today in a game that is tied for the lowest over/under at 7. Wainwright has been elite this season (1.87 FIP, 2.60 xFIP). I think he has the best combination of upside and low likelihood of a blow-up which is why he is my top SP play of the day.
Both Justin Verlander and Gio Gonzalez are underpriced options due to some rough starts, and I really like pairing one of the two with Wainwright on multi-SP sites.
Dan Straily (OAK) - Straily could have some success today pitching at home in his pitcher's park against a heavily RH Chicago White Sox team. Straily does struggle with LHB, but on most days the White Sox are throwing out lineups that include 6-7 RHB. If that's the case today, Straily could have a real good day. In 46 career IP against RHB, Straily has allowed just a .265 wOBA and achieved a 21.4 K%.
Jose Fernandez (MIA) - If you've been reading the FIX consistently, you know by now that I have a man-crush (passed on to me from fellow analyst Drew Dinkmeyer) on Jose Fernandez's skills and potential. Today the skills (3.70 xFIP), matchup (Mets 25th in wOBA against RHP (.304) and third highest K rate against RHP (23.7%)) and environment (Miami has the 23rd worst hitter's park according to parkfactors.com) all combine to make Fernandez a great complementary SP on multi-SP sites given his price. This game is also tied for the lowerst over/under on the day at 7.
I like Straily and Fernandez as third SP options and possibly second SP options if you really want to squeeze in some hitting.
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