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Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy, July 4th

Happy Independence Day! Baseball is sweet, but freedom is sweeter. Before you get to your burgers and beers, take a peek at the discussion for today’s slate on DraftKings. As is tradition, I’ve included a discussion on the pitching situation, the best teams to stack from as well as a set of individual player rankings.

 

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Forecast

Despite the dreary skies, it looks like the rain should hold off today. Play Ball!

Pitching Perspective

It’s fitting that a holiday associated with fireworks would have so many top arms going today. Rather than discuss each one of their matchups, I’m going to list out the best options today and go from there.

The pitching options today feature Felix Hernandez, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Grienke, Michael Pineda, David Price, Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg and Carlos Martinez.

Of this group, Carlos Martinez has the best matchup with a lowly Padres offense, and his price will be a focal point in ensuring the solidity of the rest of your lineup. Martinez has been solid this year and has really been the glue to keep this Cardinals’ rotation together after losing Adam Wainwright. He’s got a K/9 of close to 10, and he is getting ground balls at a 55% clip. He’s a solid option tonight.

Bumgarner and Strasburg square off in the first game of the day, at 11:05am. This game isn’t included in a lot of slates, but I figured I could let you know that these pitchers are viable. Both of them have great strikeout potential and match up well with the opposing offenses. Bumgarner is the safer cash game play, but Strasburg always makes for an interesting tournament option.

Michael Pineda has a great matchup with a Tampa Bay Rays team that strikes out a ton. The Rays are seeing a pretty big park shift in their favor, but it doesn’t worry me off Pineda too much, who has been getting about 50% ground balls this year. He has been better than his ERA indicates (2.72 xFIP) and the Rays offense is made up of a mix bag of lost toys. At 8.3K, Pineda is a solid choice today.

Then there is David Price. A solid option, but facing a tough offense today. Price has the upside and ability to reach deep into the game and strike out a lot guys, but his matchup is less than to be desired against the Blue Jays. Consider him a tournament only option.

There is a golden trio of arms pitching near the end of the day on the West coast. Felix Hernandez, Zack Grienke and Matt Harvey should all be on your radar. These guys are bonafide aces, and don’t need much to back them up. They all have great strikeout upside, and have plus matchups. They’re all expensive, but if you pair them with one of the cheaper options, you can fit them.

Stack Options

With all the pitching options, there aren’t too many teams full of bats to choose from today.The Yankees offense will have plenty of upside at Yankee Stadium today against Nathan Karns. Karns has done a good job of eliminating the home run, and he’s got a decent strikeout rate, but the park is tough for pitchers. The Yankees have the ability to stack up a lot of left-handed hitters, and are one of the best stack options early this afternoon.

I’ve talked a lot about the Tigers offense in the past. Much like their opponent the Blue Jays, the Tigers have a tough offense, but it’s pricey. This makes a full stack more of a tournament option, but it’s one to consider against RA Dickey. Dickey is an enigma. If his knuckleball is dancing, he’s untouchable, if not though, he can get lit up in hurry. I’m not particularly on using a ton of Tigers in cash games, but they’re an intriguing stack.

The game at Fenway Park appears to be an opportunity for offense today. Vegas has opened the line at 8.5, one of the higher totals of the day. McHugh and Bucholz are both good, but inconsistent starting pitchers, ready to blow up at a moment’s notice. Both of these offenses have full stack appeal, and particularly the Astros as they have a combination of speed and power that is unmatched throughout the league.

As the day progresses, there are three really solid games to choose from offensively. The Angels/Rangers, Reds/Brewers, and Rockies/Diamondbacks all feature below average pitchers in good hitting ballparks.

Of the teams, I’m most focused on the Diamondbacks and the Angels. The Angels get a nice park boost and a matchup with left-handed vet, Wandy Rodriguez. As a result Mike Trout becomes the top option for hitters today, but that’s nothing new.

The Diamondbacks feature a huge team total, and they have a lot of value throughout their lineup. Jake Lamb and David Peralta should be featured in great lineup spots and provide a lot of value on day where you need exposure to the top pitching options.

Player Rankings

Catcher

  1. Brian McCann -$4,000 – New York  Yankees
  2. Jonathan Lucroy -$4,000 – Milwaukee Brewers
  3. Wilin Rosario -$3,600 – Colorado Rockies

First Basemen

  1. Albert Pujols -$4,900 – Los Angeles Angels
  2. Joey Votto -$4,400 – Cincinnati Reds
  3. David Ortiz -$4,300 – Boston Red Sox

Second Basemen

  1. Johnny Giavotella -$3,000 – Los Angeles Angels
  2. Jose Altuve -$4,800 – Houston Astros
  3. Jace Peterson -$3,300 – Atlanta Braves

Third Basemen

Jake Lamb -$3,800- Arizona Diamondbacks

  1. Todd Frazier -$4,800 – Cincinnati Reds
  2. Nolan Arenado -$5,100 – Colorado Rockies

 

Shortstops

  1. Troy Tulowitzki -$4,700 – Colorado Rockies
  2. Cesar Hernandez -$2,900 – Philadelphia Phillies
  3. Erick Aybar -$3,700 – Los Angeles Angels

Outfield

  1. David Peralta -$4,300 – Arizona Diamondbacks
  2. Mike Trout -$5,700 – Los Angeles Angels
  3. AJ Pollock -$4,600 – Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Jay Bruce -$4,200 – Cincinnati Reds

Starting Pitchers

  1. Madison Bumgarner -$10,800 – San Francisco Giants
  2. Michael Pineda -$8,300 – New York Yankees
  3. Carlos Martinez -$9,000 – St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Felix Hernandez -$11,400 – Seattle Mariners
  5. Zack Grienke -$11,100 – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Matt Harvey -$10,800 – New York Mets
  7. David Price- $10,200 – Detroit Tigers
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