Another big day in Daily Fantasy awaits us today! As usual, it's a Saturday split slate with 4 games in the afternoon and another 11 games in the evening. Each weekend, we publish our free analysis of the daily plays position-by-position. If you haven't already tried out Daily Fantasy Baseball, now is the perfect time to take it for a test spin. The beauty of Daily Fantasy is the short-term time commitment (one-day games) and the opportunity to win real money fast. To help aid you in the lineup construction process, below is a free sample of the type of daily content that is published over at Fantistics' sister site, MyFantasyFix. I always recommend starting to build your roster around your favorite pitcher of the day and fill out the rest of the lineup spots based on relative value-to-cost. To make this easier, below you'll find our top plays, value plays, and cheap (or punt) plays.Use this as a guide as you set your lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings. Please also tune in to our show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 10AM-1PM ET on weekend mornings as we discussed values once lineups are announced.
Here's a general overview of the day's action.
Detroit at St.Louis - The forecast shows a small chance of showers leading up to game time with a 40-50% chance throughout the game
Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs - Much like the Cardinals, there will be rain leading up to first pitch and through the game with rain chances ranging from 40-50%
Arizona at Philadelphia - This game has 50-60% showers during game time and throughout the evening hours.
San Francisco at Cincinatti - Looks like a 50% chance of rain for most of the day in Cincinatti.
Cleveland Indians at Texas Rangers - 50-70% chance of rain and winds blowing in nearly 20 MPH from right field.
High Vegas Totals & Stack Options:
TB (-105) @ MIN (-115): 8.5 total runs
LAA (-105) @ BAL (-115): 9 total runs
TOR (-105) @ HOU (-115): 9 total runs
CLE (-135) @ TEX (+115): 8.5 total runs
Gerit Cole vs Cubs - If you're playing the afternoon slate, Gerit Cole is my favorite play. With a 25.6% strikeout rate as a team, the Cubs don't care if they swing and miss because that's not their primary objective at the plate. For a solid strikeout guy like Cole, that's really good news. Rizzo and Bryant are really scary but Cole does a good job at limiting his flyballs allowed at just 28% and both Rizzo and Bryant are flyball hitters. Pay attention to the weather before lineup lock. If the wind is blowing out, I might fade Cole a bit but right now I have him as my overall top play thanks to the big strikeout upside despite the offense risk the Cubbies pose.
David Price vs Cardinals - As a team, the Cardinals have the 7th worst wOBA versus left-handed pitching and one of their hottest hitters, Matt Holliday, is nursing a sore elbow after getting hit earlier this week. As we saw in their matchup against the Indians this week, the Cardinals offense is really dragging at the moment and David Price meets them at a great time. The weather is pretty concerning for me at the moment, with rain expected leading up to first pitch so you'll need to watch this carefully.
Felix Hernandez vs Red Sox- Felix headlines the evening slate in what should be a great matchup against a Red Sox team that struggles away from Fenway Park while Felix is always very good in Seattle. Unfortunately, he's also the priciest pitcher of the the day and you'll need to find some pretty substantial value throughout the rest of your lineup in order to fit him in.
Zack Greinke vs Colorado - Greinke is my second favorite play of the night at nearly $1,400 cheaper than Hernandez on FanDuel. Rockies rank out at middle of the pack in teams of team wOBA on the road but they have the 4th highest strikeout rate on the road. In 4 starts against the Rockies last season, Greinke posted a great 2.08 ERA while striking out nearly a batter per inning and he's an elite pitcher while at home, which is also why he's a -250 favorite at the moment.
Max Scherzer vs San Diego - On a day when loads of aces are going, Scherzer becomes almost an after though pitching on the road against a Padres team that ranks middle of the pack in both strikeout rate and wOBA as a team against right handed pitching. With that said, he has a 26-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over the last 3 games and is really locked in. It's going to be the first time most of these Padres have faced Scherzer in at least a few years, something that usually works to the pitcher's advantage.
Danny Salazar vs Texas - Texas ranks 5th to last in the major leagues in team ISO and 6th to last in wOBA. They also have a 20.5% strikeout rate while Salazar has a fantastic 48 strikeouts through just 33 innings pitched.
Jacob DeGrom vs Milwaukee - The Brewers have the 5th highest strikeout rate against right handed pitched and are ranked 24th in wOBA. DeGrom has a 1.40 ERA at home compared to 6.75 on the road this season and for his career he has a 1.62 ERA iti Field. It's an unfavorable park shift for the Brewers and while that offense has shown great flashes this year, they're still struggling to put it all together.
Archie Bradley vs Philadelphia - Bradley will be getting activated off the DL and making a start against the Phillies on Saturday. The Phillies rank dead last in wRC+ versus right handed pitching and Bradley has been extremely effective so far this season, especially thanks to his 60% groundball rate to start the year. Philly has actually done pretty well at not striking out against right handed pitching but Bradley does have double-digit strikeout upside.
Evan Gattis vs Marco Estrada - Playing at home against a fly-ball pitcher, Evan Gattis is a strong value play despite his struggles at the plate over the last week. Marco Estrada is going for the Blue Jays and has struggled with keeping the ball in the yard in his playing career and with a 47% flyball rate over the last 3 years, he's a pitcher I'm picking on quite a bit on Saturday, especially with the all-or-nothing power bats from Houston.
Brayan Pena vs Ryan Vogelsong - Pena is a strong value given his hot hitting as of late (.524 wOBA over his last 7) and he's in a nice spot against Ryan Vogelsong while still priced very cheaply across the industry.
Brian McCann vs Danny Duffy - It's a lefty vs lefty matchup, which isn't ideal, but McCann actually has slightly above average reverse splits (.323 wOBA vs LHP since 2013) and McCann normally hits 5th in the Yankees lineup so that's an advantage he holds over Pena, who normally hits near the bottom.
Miguel Cabrera vs Tyler Lyons - Mike Pelfrey was finally hit around on Thursday and it came from the hands of Miguel Cabrera. Miggy crushed two homeruns in the game and now he draws an elite matchup against Cardinals lefty Tyler Lyons. Since 2013, Cabrera was a .441 wOBA and a 1.048 OPS against left-handed pitching and Miggy has a hard hit% of 44.7% against lefties over that same time span. He's worth punting at other positions to fit into your lineups today.
Paul Goldschmidt vs Jerome Williams - Williams throws fastballs over half the time and Goldy is an elite fastball hitter (2.28 wFB/c since 2013). Add in his .504 wOBA over the last 7 days and the fact he's averaging .82 points per plate appearance on FanDuel and 2.25 pts per plate appearance on DraftKings, Goldschmidt is right up there with Miggy on the day. Even though Goldschmidt is on the road and away from the home run friendly Chase Field, Citizens Bank park can be just as homerun prone.
Adrian Gonzalez vs Jorge De Le Rosa - If you're believer in batter vs pitcher, A-Gon should be your top play of the day. Over 46 at-bats, Gonzalez is hitting .370/.455/.696 with 3 HRs, 6 doubles, and 15 RBI. Against all other LHP, he has averaged a wOBA of just .306 since 2013 so there's something about De La Rosa he likes to see.
Freddie Freeman vs Matt Latos - On FanDuel, Freddie Freeman remains underpriced and is almost always under consideration when a right-hander is on the mound. The Marlins making the catcher change from Salty to Realmuto seems to have helped Latos a bit but he's far from the dominant pitcher we saw when he came up with San Diego. Freeman crushes right-handers to the tune of a .399 wOBA and .921 OPS since 2013 and he's an on-base machine, something that;s much more important on a site like FanDuel that punishes outs.
Lucas Duda vs Matt Garza - A guy I really like as a value on DraftKings is Lucas Duda. Garza has been brutal to start the year and has given up 7 homeruns in in last 5 starts. Duda doesn't have the best approach at the plate and he's definitely a heavy fly-ball hitter. That's fine because Garza is about league average in terms of flyballs allowed but he does to throw more fastballs than average, a pitch that Duda loves to hit. The lefty hitter has a .375 wOBA against right-handed pitching since 2013.
Brandon Moss vs Colby Lewis - Another cheap play I like on Saturday is Brandon Moss against Colby Lewis. Lewis allowes flyballs 45% of the time while Moss hits flyballs 50% of the time. It's a combination that matches up well for the Indian, especially since he'll be getting a nice park boost playing in Arlington.
Jose Abreu vs Jesse Chavez - My recommendation of Abreu comes mainly due to Abreu's performance on Chavez's preferred pitch. Chavez has a very good cutter that he throws about 40% of the time. Unfortunately for him, Abreu absolutely feasts on cutters, posting a ridiculous 4.87 wCT/c since coming to the major leagues. Abreu has predictably seen less homeruns this year after having an unsustainable 25% HR/FB ratio a season ago but he's in a really like spot against Chavez on Saturday.
Howie Kendrick vs Jorge De La Rosa - Kendrick has historically fared quite well against left-handed pitching and today he not only faces a lefty but he also has been hitting quite well this year. Since 2013, he has averaged 1.95 points per plate appearance on DraftKings and 0.66 points per plate appearance on FanDuel.
Robinson Cano vs Rick Porcello - One of these days, Robinson Cano will break out and when he does, he'll be owned at a significant discount. Until then, all you can do is trust the process and play the matchups. Cano has always hit righties well and specifically, he has hit Porcello very well. It's a relatively small sample size at just 21 at-bats but in those at-bats, he has 9 hits including 3 extra base hits and 4 RBI with just 1 strikeout. He's just $3,900 on DraftKings.
Daniel Murphy vs Matt Garza - Murphy has a 0.411 wOBA over the last week and is an above average hitter against right-handed pitching. He's a nice bargain over at FanDuel for $2,800. He's never going to be a guy who will post an enormous line which makes him a stronger cash game play than tournament play but if you need salary relief, he's a decent option to go down and pay for again Garza.
Luis Valbuena vs Marco Estrada - Right now the Blue Jays & Astros are projected to be one of the highest scoring games of the day with a game run total of 9. Valbeuna is just $3,300 on DraftKings and he's swinging a hot bat lately, hitting 2 homeruns in his last 3 games. He's averaging a .340 wOBA against RHP since 2013.
Marcus Semien vs John Danks - Semien doesn't qualify for second base on FanDuel but he's a nice play on DraftKings. Facing left-handed John Danks, Semien is just $3,600 and he's a nice option thanks to a .349 average wOBA versus LHP the last 3 years and he has had 3 hits in a game 3 times in the last week.
Brad Miller vs Rick Porcello - Don't look now but Brad Miller is heating up. He's minimum priced on FanDuel and he has a favorable split against a right-handed Porcello. Over the last week, he has a .433 wOBA which has helped earned him a much more favorable lineup spot, hitting 2nd in the Mariners' batting order.
Jose Iglesias vs Tyler Lyons - It's hard not to keep going back to the well with Jose Iglesias considering the shallowness of the shortstop position. The right-handed shortstop has averaged a .371 wOBA over the last 3 years and he's just $2,400 on FanDuel and $3,300 on DraftKings. He has hits in 8 of his last 9 but his overall upside is limited due to his unfavorable lineup position in the 8th spot (in NL spots).
Erick Aybar vs Bud Norris - Aybar's bat is finally waking up with multi-hit performances in 4 straight games and an extra base hit in 3 straight. Hitting in the middle of the Angel's lineup gives him more RBI opportunities and I really like getting some exposure to Norris today. He's minimum priced on FanDuel.
Zack Cozart vs Ryan Vogelsong - Cozart has been swinging a hot bat (hitting a home run last night) hitting .449 wOBA over the last week. Cozart has never been a good hitter until this season but he's hitting well and he's hitting second in the Reds betting order. The game tomorrow has a projected run total of 8 with the Reds being the favorite. He provides solid salary relief.
Kris Bryant vs Gerrit Cole - Kris Bryant's bat has woken up in a big way over the last week, crushing 4 homeruns for 11 RBI. It's an obviously tough matchup against Gerrit Cole but Bryant is already one of the best hitters in the game. He's still just $3,600 on FanDuel so you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to buy him at a price point where he probably won't fall to for a long time.
Josh Donaldson vs Scott Feldman - Josh Donaldson is an elite bat against left-handed pitching and the Toronto Baltimore came is projected to have a game total of 9. Donaldson has an OPS of 1.041 against left-handed pitching since 2013 and has averaged 0.91 pts on FanDuel and 2.47 pts per plate appearance on DraftKings.
Adrian Beltre vs Danny Salazar - Beltre crushed a home run last night, his third this week, and it looks like he's finally getting back on track. Salazar has been magnificent to start the year but Adrian Beltre is one of the best hitters in the league and at a cheap price of $2,900 on FanDuel while playing at home, he's a tremendous value, especially when you consider that his soft hit % over the last 3 seasons has been at just 11.7%.
Kyle Seager vs Rick Porcello - Sticking with my theme of picking on the Red Sox, Kyle Seager (a lefty) has a nice matchup against the right-handed Porcello. Seager historically hits righties well and has averaged 0.64 FanDuel points and 1.88 DraftKings points per plate appearance since 2013. Porcello is a very fastball heavy pitcher and Seager has a solid wFB/c. He's a strong value on DraftKings at $3,500.
Josh Harrison vs John Lester - Josh Harrison's bat is finally waking up and he's hitting in a great spot against the lefty Lester. Harrison has a wOBA of .371versus left-handed pitching since 2013 and he's tallied 7 hits in his last 2 games. At only $2,300 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings,you can do a lot worse than pumping the 3rd base position.
Bryce Harper vs does it matter?...I mean...Andrew Cashner - He's going out to Petco which is a slight downgrade and he's really expensive, but at this point, you have to always give him consideration against any right-handed pitching, especially those that throw hard. Harper hits fastballs quite well and while Cashner can throw the heat, we're talking about a guy whose is completely locked in the zone right now, posting a wOBA of .663 over the last week.
Michael Brantley vs Colby Lewis - I like targeting Lewis today and Brantley is very good against right-handed pitching, averaging 0.71 and 2.02 points per plate appearance on FamDuel and DraftKings, respectively, since 2013. Brantley saw his 11-game hit streak snapped on Wednesday but he responded with a homerun on Thursday. I like the favorable park shift he's getting by going to Arlington and he always hits in a nice spot of the lineup for Indians. He's a consistent contributor that doesn't carry the huge ceiling you need in tournaments but he's a great building block in cash games.
George Springer vs Marco Estrada - Get your seat in the Crawford Boxes now because it's going to get pretty busy chasing down home run balls on Saturday. Springer hits righties pretty well (.338 wOBA) and he's a fantastic fastball hitter (2.06 wFB/c) and Estrada throws 57% fastballs. Estrada also hasa flyball rate of 47% and Springer has a great 37.2% hard hit rate.
Other guys I like: Jose Bautista vs Scott Feldman, Kole Calhoun vs Bud Norris, and Scott Van Slyke vs Jorge De La Rosa
Colby Rasmus vs Marco Estrada- Rasmus is a tremendous value today teeing off on the homerun prone Marco Estrada. Over the last 3 seasons, Rasmus has a .358 wOBA against right-handed pitching and he's a clear fastball hitter. Estrada throws his fastball 60% of the time and Rasmus hits flyballs 45% of the time compared to Estradas flyballs allowed rate of 47%. All the pieces are falling into place and Rasmus is actually quite affordable most all sites.
Chris Young vs Danny Duffy - Young is a player I like to use any time he's in the lineup against left-handed pitching. He's extremely strikeout prone, which is why I like him better on DraftKings than FanDuel, but he hold tremendous upside playing against the Royals' Danny Duffy at a very inexpensive price. The Yankees lineup lacks a lot of right-handed power so there's a good chance he'll get into the lineup today. Pay close attention to his lineup slot once lineups are announced. He's usually in the 6th or 7th hole, which is still okay, but he has seen some time batting 3rd, obviously increasing his overall value.
Rajai Davis vs Tyler Lyons - I've already mentioned a couple different Tigers and Rajai Davis also falls into a nice spot for DFS against the lefty Tyler Lyons. When he gets into the lineup, Davis is almost always exclusively leadoff, something that boosts your DFS value considerably. He has a very strong .395 wOBA against southaws since 2013.
David Peralta vs Jerome Williams - The lefty Peralta has been hitting great in the last month and consequently, has earned himself a spot hitting cleanup behind Goldschmidt. With Goldy looking like an elite play on Saturday, Peralta is immediately in consideration since he'll get considerable protection in the lineup and Jerome Williams really struggles against left-handed hitters who have posted an OPS of .810 since 2013. Peralta is nicely value priced across the industry.
Michael Bourn vs Colby Lewis - If you're looking for salary relief, Michael Bourn is minimum priced on FanDuel and has 3 mutli-hit games in the last week. The speed is obviously significantly diminished but I do like his ability to continue getting on base and I like a lot of the Indians left-handed bats against Colby Lewis (Santana, Moss, etc) so I think he hold nice run scoring potential for a low investment.