Good morning everyone! 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.
Toronto @ Boston (-120) - 9 runs
Minnesota @ Texas (-120- 9 runs
New York Yankees @ Baltimore (-117) - 8.5 runs
Seattle @ Houston (-140) - 8.5 runs
Indians at Tigers- This game is almost assuredly going to get delayed at some point and since it's an inter-division game, I wouldn't be shocked to see this game get totally postponed. Right now there's a 60-80% chance of rain in the game window.
Phillies @ Pirates - 40%chance of rain for most of the afternoon
Yankees @ Orioles - 40%chance of rain during the first two hours of the game window but it looks clear from 3pm onward.
Royals @ Cardinals - 40-50% chance of rain for most of the afternoon
Twins @ Rangers - 40-50% chance of rain for most of the afternoon
Red @ Cubs - 30-40% chance leading up to and during game time.
Flyball Hitters (>40%) vs Flyball Pitchers (>40%):
Quality Fastball Hitters vs Heavy Fastball Pitchers (>60%):
Quality Slider Hitter vs Heavy Cutter Pitcher (>25%):
Quality Cutter Hitter vs CutterSlider Pitcher (>25%):
Quality Curveball Hitter vs Heavy Curvebal Pitcher (>25%):
Quality Changeup Hitter vs Heavy Chaneup Pitcher (>25%):
Max Scherzer @ Milwaukee - Scherzer is going to be really heavily owned tomorrow as the right handed moves to Milwaukee to take on a Brewers team that struggles against right-handers and the Brewers are starting a rookie in Taylor Jungmann on the mound. I won't spend a ton of analysis on this since he's an obvious play, just know the Brewers rank in the bottom 5 in the league in terms of wOBA, wRC+ and strikeout rate.
Chris Sale @ Tampa Bay - At the high price,I still like Scherzer a little better but Chris Sale has been on quite a roll lately (39 strikeouts over his last 3 starts). Tampa does rate pretty strongly against left-handed pitching (108 wRC+) but they still have a strikeout rate of 22.2% against left-handers.
Cole Hamels @ Pittsburgh - The Pirates offense is anemic against left-handed pitching (23.9% strikeout, .122 ISO, & .294 wOBA) and in the last week the Pirates have generated just a .063 ISO and .266 wOBA. Hamels is reasonably priced at just $9,700 on FanDuel but he's a bit more expensive on DraftKings at $10,800.
AJ Burnett vs Philadelpha* - The only reason I'm not totally sold on Hamels is the fact that the Phillies offense is about as bad as the Pirates'against lefties. Pitching at home, Burnett is a sneaky option on the daily scene but he's one I like to turn to given his heavy groundball tendencies (55.5% groundball rate). Burnett doesn't have a huge ceiling but his floor is also very high. Burnet has given up 2 or fewers runs in all but 2 starts this season but given his league average strikeout rate, he's not a great tournament option.
Lance McCullers vs Seattle* - Seattle's offense has disappeared lately and on the season they have struggled against right-handers to the tune of a 23.2% strikeout rate and .145 ISO. McCullers has been very good since being called up and his success has little to do with luck. His ERA is 2.32 but his xFIP is only 2.78. He has a 29.3% strikeout rate but a 10.9% swinging strike rate. Pitching at home,I have no idea why he's only $6700 on FanDuel and $7800 on DraftKings.
Jon Lester vs Cincinnati - If you're playing on a slate with the evening game, Lester is very much in play against a Reds team that can generate a lot of strikeouts. Lester has been significantly better in Wrigley than on the road this season
*Recommended two-pitcher website option
Buster Posey vs Rubby De La Rosa - Buster is surprisingly inexpensive on DraftKings at $4,200 and he's facing Rubby De La Rosa who has allowed a hard hit percentage of 35% the last 2 seasons. Posey is averaging 1.77 points per plate appearance on DraftKings and 0.58 on FanDuel. Rubby has allowed 16 earned runs over his last 2 games and has given up 6 homeruns over his last 3.
Yasmani Grandal vs James Shields - Grandal is a much better hitter from the left-side of the plate and he'll get that opportunity on Sunday. He's been hitting really well lately with a .352 wOBA over the last 7 days and he has a .791 OPS versus right-handed pitchers since 2012. He's a steal at just $3,300 on DraftKings.
Salvador Perez vs John Lackey - Despite hitting 4 homeruns over his last 8 games, he's still only $2,700 on FanDuel. John Lackey isn't usually a guy I want to pick on but he's allowed 22 hits over his last 2 games and has allowed 4 homeruns over his last 4. He's not historically the best hitter against right-handed pitching but on FanDuel he's a decent choice for salary relief.
Dioner Navarro vs Eduardo Rodriguez - If Russell Martin gets the day off (which he might since the game went 11 innings on Saturday), Dioner Navarro is an intriguing punt play on FanDuel option against the left-handed Eduardo Rodriguez. E-Rod is due for some regression (100% strand rate, 2.79 xFIP-to-ERA differential, and a below average 8.9% swinging strike rate). Navarro has a .842 OPS versus left-handers since 2012.
Jonathan Lucroy vs Max Scherzer - He's facing Max Scherzer and he's been mired in a season-long slump. Regardless, his price has fallen on both FanDuel and DraftKings he has always been a strong hitter (.791 OPS vs right-handers and .347 wOBA).
Edwin Encarnacion vs Eduardo Rodriguez - I said it with Navarro and I'll say it again here. E-Rod has been fantastic. So good that he's due for some pretty substantial regression and I think he's going to have some trouble navigating through a tough Blue Jays lineup today. EE eats left-handers for breakfast (.845 OPS vs lefties since 2012) and while he's still expensive on DraftKings ($5,000), he's only $4,100 on FanDuel.
Miguel Cabrera vs Corey Kluber - If there's one player who can hit Corey Kluber, it's Miguel Cabrera. In 33 career at-bats, Miggy has 18 hits with a third of those going for extra bases. He has an OPS of 1.541 with 4 homeruns and 9 RBI and he gets to play a day game, a time when Miggy has thrived this year (1.278 OPS) and Kluber has struggled (5.23ERA).
David Ortiz vs Marco Estrada - After giving up 29 homeruns in just over 150 innings last season, Estrada has managed to give up just 7 homeruns over 50 innings this season. Regardless, Big Papi is a great play on Sunday against the Flyball pitcher Estrada. Since 2012, Ortiz has a .401 wOBA and .962 OPS against righties and the best part is his price tag of $2,500 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings.
Jose Abreu vs Nate Karns - Coming into Saturday, Jose Abreu has homered for 3 straight days yet his price is still just $3,800 on FanDuel. Karns has come back down to earth a bit over his last couple of starts, giving up 3 homeruns and 9 total runs over that span (8 earned). Most of Abreu's power has come against right-handers and he seems locked in right now. It's a nice discount given his upside.
Mark Canha vs Matt Shoemaker - Canha has some pretty impressive reverse splits against righties this year with a .384 wOBA and .899 OPS, good for an average point per plate appearance of .79 on FanDuel and 2.22 on DraftKings. You won't find a price per point at the first base position than Canha on today's slate.
Prince Fielder vs Phil Hughes - A drop in velocity has caused Phil Hughes to lose several percentage points on his strikeout rate this season. Facing him in Texas, Prince Fielder has great statistics against against righties (.369 wOBA and .852 OPS). Hughes has allowed homeruns in 9 of his 12 starts with 4 mutli-homerun games mixed in.
Jason Kipnis vs Alfredo Simon - I really like the Indians bats today against the right-hander Alfredo Simon. Simon has struggled pretty mightily with his control this season and with Kipnis batting leadoff in front of big bats that love right-handed pitching, he's in line to have a pretty good shot at scoring some runs.
Dee Gordon vs Jorge De La Rosa - Normally I don't like to pick on groundball pitchers but the exception is when they are facing speed guys. Today Dee Gordon is just $3,200 on FanDuel and $4,400 on DraftKings. Gordon has a .336 batting average on ground balls this year so I really like the matchup against De La Rosa who draws ground balls 49% of the time.
Joe Panik vs Rubby De La Rosa - Panik is a better option on DraftKings than FanDuel given the price considerations ($3400 vs $3600) but he's a solid option against De La Rosa who has struggled recently. Since June, Panik has 6 multi-hit games and 5 extra base hits. He's averaging 1.46 points per plate appearance on DraftKings.
Jeff Baker vs Jorge De La Rosa - With a lefty on the mound, there's a good chance we'll get to see Jeff Baker in the lineup on Sunday. He's been drawing favorable lineup spots against lefties but rightfully so. Since 2012, he leads all second baseman in wOBA with .401 and his OPS is .934. He's dirt cheap on DRaftKings at $2,700 and pretty reasonable on FanDuel at $2,600.
Dilson Herrera vs Mike Foltynewicz - He's minimum priced on FanDuel and he's hit well since being activated off the DL. He's well regarded in the prospect world and was hitting .367/.369/.500 in 22 Triple-A games before being activated by the Mets in May and then fracturing a finger.
Josh Donaldson vs Eduardo Rodriguez - Sticking with the theme, I love the Blue Jays right-handers today. Donaldson has been unbelievable this year and he's absolutely elite against left-handers. Since 2012, he has a 1.064 OPS and .450 wOBA against lefties . Boston isn't the best place for homeruns but Fenway has allowed the most doubles to right-handed hitters since 2012. He's worth paying up for today.
Other top play: Kris Bryant vs Anthony DeSclafani
Alex Rodriguez vs Mike Wright - A-Rod is hot and he's chasing down history. I don't usually like to mix stats with touchy-feely but A-Rod is a competitor and he looks locked in at the plate. He needs just 4 more hits to get to 3,000 and he could reach that plateau any game now. He historically has better reverse splits and Mike Wright is back up from the Minors to start for the Orioles on Sunday. Wright has allowed 4 homeruns in 4 starts and they'll be playing in Camden Yards, the 5th most homerun prone park to right-handers.
Danny Valencia vs Eduardo Rodriguez - With a lefty on the mound, that means Danny Valencia should draw the start. Valencia is very good against lefties with a .390 wOBA and .893 OPS since 2012. He's also really cheap on both FanDuel ($2500) and DraftKings ($3200). Valencia has had at least one extra base hit in each of his last 3 starts.
Other value plays: Carlos Santana vs Alfredo Simon, Todd Frazier vs Jon Lester
Brock Holt vs Marco Estrada - Pablo Sandoval left Saturday's game with quad tightness so there's a good chance that Brock Holt will remain in the lineup on Sunday. Holt has been playing really well lately and has a .426 wOBA over the last 7 days. At $2700 and $3300 on DraftKings, he can provide enough salary relief to fit in a top tier starting pitching along with an elite bat. He has nice upside against Marco Estrada.
Justin Turner vs James Shields - Justin Turner can hit righties really well and his fantastic year just keeps going. He has 4 multi-hit games over his last 7. Over the last 3 seasons, he has a .385wOBA and .878 OPS. He's just $2700 on FanDuel.
Troy Tulowitzki vs Dan Haren - It's an unfavorable park shift for Tulo but Dan Haren is up to his old tricks with the long-ball. Over the last week, Tulo has a .404 wOBA and since 2012, he has a .383 wOBA and .885 OPS against right-handed pitching. Tulo is $4,400 on FanDuel but if you don't want to go down to Correa, there aren't too many other options today.
Carlos Correa vs Roenis Elias - Correa has yet to get a hit against a right-handed pitcher but luckily he faces a southpaw on Sunday. Correa is still just $3,000 on FanDuel and $4,100 on DraftKings. On a day where there aren't many great shortstop options, Correa looks really attractive in all formats.
Francisco Lindor vs Alfredo Simon - The switch-hitting prospect is getting the call on Sunday. He's not available on FanDuel but he's just $3,900 on DraftKings. Lindor doesn't have a lot of power but he's a speed guy who can usually get on base at a fairly good clip. At the price point on DraftKings, he's a worthy punt option.
Giancarlo Stanton vs Jorge De La Rosa - I don't care how many groundballs a guy usually gets, that same pitcher doesn't usually face Giancarlo Stanton. On the season, Stanton has a .568 ISO against left-handed pitchers and since 2013, he has an OPS of 1.019 against southpaws. He's Bryce Harper expensive but that's what happens when you hit 5 homeruns over the last week.
Joc Pederson vs James Shields - Pederson is mired in a 1-for-22 slump but a matchup against a heavy change throwing pitcher might be just what the doctor ordered. Pederson has a 3.85 wCHC/c on the season and Shields throws his change 23% of the time. Joc has a .401 wOBA and .940 OPS against right handed pitching this year.
Starling Marte vs Cole Hamels - Marte is a great hitter against left-handed pitching. The last 3 seasons, he has averaged 0.80 fantasy points per plate appearance on FanDuel and 2.28 points per plate appearance on DraftKings. The matchup against Hamels is less than ideal but Marte has 11 hits in his last 8 games.
Josh Reddick vs Matt Shoemaker - Reddick is another example of a flyball hitter going up against a flyball pitcher. Against righties, Reddick has an .824 OPS against right-handers. I've said it before but I'll say it again, when he's healthy , he's elite. On the season, Reddick has an excellent .270 ISO.
Hanley Ramirez vs Marco Estrada - In the highest game total of the day, Hanley is in a great spot versus Marco Estrada. Hanley's best hit pitches are curveballs (4.34 wCB/c) and changeups (4.36 wCH/c) and coincidentally, those are Estrada's highest thrown secondary pitches. At only $3,600 on FanDuel and $4,700 on DraftKings (and SS eligble), he's a fantastic play.
Carlos Gonzalez vs Dan Haren - Carlos Gonzalez has faced Dan Haren 26 times. Within those plate appearanes, he has managed a 4:3 strikeout-to-walk rate (better than his career average), with 9 hits, 7 of which went for extra base hits. Of those 7 extra base hits, 4 were round trippers. At a mere $3,400, CarGo is a great value play on FanDuel and a reasonable tournament choice on DraftKings for $4,200.
Seth Smith vs Lance McCullers - Smith had been batting 5th but he got the chance to lead off on Friday and responded by going 2-for-4. Facing another righty on Sunday, Smith is a nice cheap option at only $2,500 on FanDuel and $3,700 on DraftKings. He has a .346 wOBA vs righties since 2012.
Chris Coghlan vs Anthony DeSclafani - Coghlan has been on quite a roll with a .412 wOBA over the last week and another good matchup against the righty DeSclafani on Sunday. Coghlan has a fantastic .216 ISO against right-handed pitching this season and he got the chance to hit second in front of Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant on Sunday. If the favorable lineup positioning continues, his $2,700 price tag on FanDuel and $3400 price on DraftKings can look like a steal.