Monday is a very interesting time in daily fantasy baseball, both because DraftKings pushes out it’s huge GPP (just a $4 entry for a shot at $50k!), while you also may have to decide between loading up bats at Coors or paying up for an elite ace like Jose Fernandez or Johnny Cueto.
The Coors angle is more trickier than usual, as the mighty Texas Rangers visit the HR-inducing stadium and obviously the Colorado Rockies bats are also to be considered.
Then again, perhaps it’s super easy to go for hitting tonight, as much of the pitching beyond the slate’s top two aces is inflated, Jose has been quite weak in his last two trips to the mound and Cueto is arguably one of the more erratic hurlers around.
Cueto doesn’t have the benefit of playing at home tonight, faces one of the best pitchers in the game and also gets a Marlins offense that is far from a cakewalk. Jose doesn’t have it so easy, either, as the Giants can bring the big bats and the last time he faced them he produced a mediocre 9.5 fantasy points.
See where we’re trending here? For the big GPP, it’s starting to look like a no-brainer to leave these elite arms to other DFS gamers and instead target value pitching and COORS. Either way, you’ll need some value along the way, so let’s sniff out the best values at each major position at DraftKings tonight:
SP: Michael Wacha – Cardinals ($6.4k)
Tonight’s pitching slate isn’t even safe up top, so no one should be shocked that there are landmines to be found just about everywhere.
Wacha lacks upside, but he feels reasonably safe at home against a Reds offense that no longer has Jay Bruce around to crush homers. They can still be trouble, but they’re on the road in a pitcher’s park, while Wacha has been OK against them (14 fantasy points per game) in two starts.
I don’t like how much contact Wacha gives up and if he dips early, you’re in trouble due to his low K rate. Still, he’s in a decent spot here and for this price the value is clear.
Other value pitching options worth a cursory glance are Hisashi Iwakuma ($7.3k), R.A. Dickey ($6.6k) and Collin McHugh ($6k). They all have their red flags, though, as Iwakuma gets a good Tigers offense, Dickey’s knuckleball can deliver mixed results and McHugh is on the road against a previously very hot Twins squad.
Cole Hamels ($8.2k) is also priced insanely low and could easily work out against the Rockies, but COORS, and all.
C: Nick Hundley – Rockies ($3k)
Catcher continues to be a dumpster fire in daily fantasy baseball, as the best guys at the position either are super expensive or have rough splits. We still like Jonathan Lucroy just because he’s in Coors tonight, but paying down makes sense here.
That’s especially the case if you can get your hands on a (hopefully) active Hundley, who can knock’em deep at home in Coors. Facing Hamels isn’t ideal, but the park works hugely in his favor, he boasts positive splits in the matchup and he’s also a terrific value.
We’d also give the likes of Russell Martin ($3k) and Juan Centeno ($2.8k) a look, but if Hundley starts, he’s our pick tonight at catcher.
1B: Chris Davis – Orioles ($3.4k)
Crush finally woke back up on Sunday, when he smashed a homer and the rest of the Orioles followed suit with a nice 10-run effort.
Davis has been insanely hit or miss all year, but lately he’d been stuck in a nasty drought. Prior to yesterday’s mash, he hadn’t homered since July 16th. Talk about a tough stretch.
Even that one home run is encouraging for him, though, and with positive splits against the beatable Kendall Gravemen, this looks like a good spot to target Crush.
2B: Devon Travis – Blue Jays ($4k)
Travis is right on our value play fringe, as we like to get our readers guys at $4k or way cheaper. Second base isn’t great tonight, though, and if you can afford it, we’d rather push you toward Rougned Odor (Coors) or Ian Kinsler (he’s worked Iwakuma in the past).
Travis still could be a good play, though, as he does provide a little value and has been hot lately (3 jacks in last 3 games). The matchup with Jake Odorizzi isn’t amazing, but Travis does have a massive splits advantage here.
You could take a far deeper dive and try out Cardinals guys like Greg Garcia or Jedd Gyorko (both $3k), but they tend to be a little shaky and you’ll need to wait to see if they play.
3B: Kyle Seager – Mariners ($3.5k)
Adrian Beltre at Coors feels like one of the best values ($4k), but we can keep the power and save even more by dropping down to Seager at third base.
Seager has a winnable matchup on paper with Michael Fulmer, who really hasn’t been elite for some time now. The most important stat with Fulmer has been his decreased K rate, as he hasn’t landed more than 5 strikeouts in any of his last five starts.
Fulmer also produced a meager 10 fantasy points the last time he faced Seattle, plus his numbers drop across the board when he’s on the road.
All of that is enough to get me interested in Seager’s price and power, but he’s also got positive splits in this matchup and has 18 fantasy points across his last two outings. Theoretically, Seager is cheap, at home, in a groove, provides power and has a matchup edge. What’s not to love?
SS: Marcus Semien – Athletics ($2.9k)
This is a position to spend at tonight, as the value is not looking good at all at shortstop. Semien is not an ISO/splits play whatsoever here, as he’s facing a right-handed pitcher in Kevin Gausman and doesn’t hit righties well at all.
That being said, he’s really cheap, he’s at home, he’s played well against the Orioles in three games this year and he brings major upside with his power. I’d really prefer to get someone more stable by paying up (Villar, Seager or Machado, probably), but if you want to save some cash you could do worse than hoping a cheap Semien knocks one deep.
Zack Cozart is a little more expensive and knocked Michael Wacha around a bit in the past, if you’re into the BvP angle.
OF: David Dahl – Rockies ($3k)
If we handed out daily fantasy baseball value plays every day, you might see Dahl make the list each time. He’s been that good and that cheap for way too long.
Again, Hamels is not an easy matchup on paper anytime he trots to the mound, but in Coors, all bets are usually off. Dahl has also just been on fire lately, producing at least one hit in each of his last 10 games, along with six 10+ fantasy point outings during that stretch.
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