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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy: July 12, 2015

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to another edition of Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy. As usual, I’ve included below analysis for tonight’s slate of MLB games on DraftKings.

Included below is a look at the best pitching options, potential teams to stack from as well as a small set of individual player rankings.

If you don’t already have an account at DraftKings, make sure to sign up using the link!

Forecast

As of right now the only game that appears to have any weather concerns is the game at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Be sure to monitor all forecasts up to first pitch prior to locking in your lineups!

Pitching Perspective

Heading into the all-star break, we’ve been blessed with a really solid slate of pitchers. To start, Mad Max Scherzer gets the ball today, but I’m actually going to nip the analysis on this guy. His price is through the roof and there are so many other options that you don’t even have to consider using him. However, I think this will be the train of thought for most people today, so Scherzer is a great tournament option should you be able to find enough hitting value to work him into your lineup.

After Scherzer, there is a really good pitchers matchup at Progressive Field in Cleveland today. This is the one game that carries some weather risk, so be cautious, but if it’s good to go, Sonny Gray and Corey Kluber will be a nightmare for hitters. Both Gray and Kluber have been fantastic this season, but one thing separates them – strikeouts. Kluber is averaging nearly 11 K/9 while Gray is only setting down around eight hitters per nine innings. With that being said, both their run prevention skills have been great, and Gray is much cheaper, but not cheap enough that I’d warrant picking him over Kluber. It’s a strikeout game on DraftKings, and Kluber is a strikeout king.

Moving down the list, there is another solid tier of four starting pitchers today that should grab your attention. Johnny Cueto, Lance McCullers, Jake Arrieta and Francisco Liriano all have plus matchups with great potential today. Cueto was fantastic last start and is twirling what might be his last game as a Cincinnati Red today. He’ll face a pretty weak Giancarlo-less Miami squad in their home ballpark which is a huge plus for Cueto who is use to pitching at Great American.

McCullers gets the sweet Tampa Bay Rays matchup. We picked on the Rays a lot last week when they took on the Indians because they strike out a lot. McCullers has been pretty outstanding and has a really accessible salary point to go with his nearly 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings. He is a guy I’d focus on trying to fit into my second starting pitching slot to pair with a top arm.

Arrieta looks to right the Cubs ship against a pretty weak Chicago White Sox offense today. As long as his command is there (only 2BB/9) Arrieta’s stuff carries him through games, looking dominant very frequently. He’s striking out over nine hitters per nine innings and while priced in the $10,000s, he’s the cheapest 5-digit guy. I love him for cash games and tournaments pitching at home today.

Liriano is the last pitcher that I would really consider today as he’ll get to face the Cardinals during Sunday Night baseball. Liriano has a great ground ball rate and a K/9 near 10 and he’ll face a Cardinals squad with an implied run total of around 3 runs. Much like Arrieta, Liriano is one of the “aces” on the mound today that has an accessible price to pair with McCullers and still load up your offense. That would be my line of thinking today.

Stack Options

Despite the plethora of pitching options today, stacking won’t be a problem. First, the obligatory note that there is a game in Coors Field. Like always, this will be the game that most people will try and get exposure to, and rightfully so. Alex Wood and Chad Bettis will take the mound opposite each other in a game where there opponents carry respective run totals of 5.3 and 4.7. Troy Tulowizki and Nolan Arenado are my favorite two players in this game, but you can find a lot of value from the Braves left-handed bats.

Leaving Coors and headed to Target Field is the next best stacking option today. The Minnesota Twins despite a mix and match of offensive players seem to get it done night after night and are never short on fireworks. They’re carrying an implied run total of around 4.7 runs as they’ll get to face off with Shane Greene today. Greene doesn’t miss many bats, which is great news for full stacks. Load ’em up.

If you’re not in the mood to dance with Target Field, try Fenway Park. Vegas often seems to like the Red Sox offense and a lot of times in the past this season it’s ended up working out poorly, but that makes them a solid contrarian tournament option today. They’ll be facing Nathan Eovaldi who has struggled in his career in the early going, and especially with left-handers as he’s yielded a 4.37 xFIP in his career to them. That makes David Ortiz an enticing play not only for tournaments, but for cash games as well given his tremendous skill against right-handed pitchers.

The Yankees are always a great tournament stack because of their lineups solid depth. Today against Wade Miley though, I see them as more of a mix and match mini-stack trying to get in as many right-handers as possible. That means loading up on ARod, Chris Young and even switching around Mark Teixiera and Chase Headley.

One note after running through all of the players salaries for this morning – the Dodgers are stupid cheap. You can fit an entire Dodgers stack (against Kyle Lohse) and still pay up for two solid pitchers. It’s definitely something to consider.

Player Rankings

Catcher

1. Yasmani Grandal -$3,600 – Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Wilin Rosario -$3,400 – Colorado Rockies

3. AJ Pierzynski -$3,700 – Atlanta Braves

First Basemen

1. Paul Goldschmidt -$5,100 – Arizona Diamondbacks

2. David Ortiz -$4,300 – Boston Red Sox

3. Adrian Gonzalez -$3,900 – Los Angeles Dodgers

Second Basemen

1. Brian Dozier- $4,700 – Minnesota Twins

2. Jace Peterson -$3,900 – Atlanta Braves

3. Joe Panik -$3,400 – San Francisco Giants

Shortstops

1. Troy Tulowitzki -$4,400 – Colorado Rockies

2. Carlos Correa -$3,900 – Houston Astros

3. Hanley Ramirez -$4,700 – Boston Red Sox

Third Basemen

1. Nolan Arenado -$4,300 – Colorado Rockies

2. Brock Holt -$3,300 – Boston Red Sox

3. Kelly Johnson -$3,700 – Atlanta Braves

Outfield

1. AJ Pollock -$4,200 – Arizona Diamondbacks

2. Cameron Maybin -$5,100 – Atlanta Braves

3. Nick Markakis -$3,900 – Atlanta Braves

4. Torii Hunter -$4,000 – Minnesota Twins

Starting Pitchers

1. Francisco Liriano -$9,700 – Pittsburgh Pirates

2. Jake Arrieta -$10,000 – Chicago Cubs

3. Corey Kluber -$11,400 – Cleveland Indians

4. Johnny Cueto -$10,900 -Cincinnati Reds

5. Lance McCullers -$7,700 – Houston Astros (love for cash games)

6. Max Scherzer -$13,300 – Washington Nationals

 

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