The All-Star Game has come and gone and as you might have assumed, the American League won. The NL has only won the game three times since 1997. It was a unique contest and nothing really went to plan. The pitchers went one inning each and the batters weren’t doing much until late in the action. It was an awful night for most lineups out there but even worse for ours.
Back to the regular season
The good news is, we’re back to the Classic, ten player contests. As with the NFL, I choose a roster with the intent of playing 50/50 games, in which, you just need to finish among the top half of the contest field. 50/50s are the best way to play the numbers and aim for long term success. Over the course of the season, the variability will diminish. As the MLB season drifts closer to the playoffs, we will go over different contest types and various formats, such as tournaments.
The downside to tournaments is the low percentage of cashing, which makes it much more challenging from a week to week basis. Without further adieu, let’s move onto this week’s picks.
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A look ahead
This Tuesday has an interesting set of matchups. Overall, it’s a very weak lineup of pitchers to choose from. Because of that, we’re going to downplay our pitching emphasis this week and focus on two guys who have solid strikeout rates and trust their recent form to lead us off on the right foot.
As for the hitters, there is a considerable amount of batter versus pitcher matchups that lack reliable data. Few of the pitchers starting on Tuesday actually have much time in the majors. This should raise the variability with outcomes, so going with the hotter batters is the route we will be taking in most cases this week.
Jordan Yamamoto (DK-$9,500)
Jordan Yamamoto has been effective thus far in 2019. Though he’s only started five games and pitched 29 innings, Yamamoto has given up just four total runs this season and has seven strikeouts in three of his five starts. It’s a small sample, but Yamamoto is a pitcher who carefully works counts and has managed a very low hit rate thus far. Though he wasn’t projected as a front-end pitcher on a rotation, Yamamoto is off to a solid start thus far and hopes to continue his hot start against the slumping Padres.
Jack Flaherty (DK-$7,400)
For the season, Jack Flaherty hasn’t been good. Though his WHIP is pretty solid (1.23), he hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to working out of trouble (4.64 ERA). Flaherty is coming off a great outing in San Francisco, going seven innings, allowing one run on two hits, one walk, and six punch-outs. On Tuesday, Flaherty will be facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, whom he has yet to face in 2019. Given the weak pitching matchups around the league on Tuesday, Flaherty can be marked as a risky, high floor play; given his 107 Ks in 97 innings, this strikeout rate should provide us a very safe floor against the Pirates.
Buster Posey (DK-$4,200)
Buster Posey is nowhere near the Buster Posey of old. It’s time we accept he will likely never be the player we once enjoyed, churning out .300 seasons with a nice 15 dingers and 100 RBIs to compliment the batting average. Despite all this and a lackluster season so far, Posey has two homeruns in his past three games and is playing in the batter-friendly confines of Coors field. Did I forget to mention he’ll be facing Peter Lambert as well? Lambert carries a 6.67 ERA and 1.48 WHIP into the contest, following a two-game stretch in which he surrendered six homeruns. Posey is a steal for the price this week.
Freddie Freeman (DK-$5,100)
Freeman is the only Braves player with multiple hits off Woodruff this season. Freeman is two of three with a homerun in his last outing facing Woodruff. If their last game was any indication of success a second time around, I don’t expect the Braves to chase Woodruff very early here. Freeman comes in on Tuesday with a relatively affordable price tag and the best resume against Woodruff on the team. Don’t overthink this one. Freeman is an All-Star with a solid matchup.
Derek Dietrich (DK-$3,700)
Dietrich is sitting on a very Dan Uggla-type of stat line in 2019. The good news is that his power upside is very appealing and might be difficult to replicate anywhere near his price on DraftKings ($3,700). Also worthy of note is the matchup for Dietrich. He will face Alec Miller, making his first start of 2019 following a sub-par season in AAA (4.73 ERA). All it takes is one mistake for a guy with the power of Dietrich to make Mills pay.
Josh Donaldson (DK-$4,800)
Josh Donaldson’s .255 average and 21 homeruns are not the reason we are rostering him on Tuesday. In his past eight games, Donaldson has six homeruns. He’s as hot at the plate right now from a power perspective as anyone else in baseball. Though Donaldson doesn’t really have much of a history with Woodruff, we are playing the hot bat right now. It’s that simple.
Andrelton Simmons (DK-$3,900)
Simmons doesn’t offer anywhere near the power upside as anyone else in this lineup. It’s not the play for the price here. Simmons offers decent upside from a speed perspective and has a solid average (.290). His opposition on the mound, Collin McHugh, is making his first start since May 7th following two months of bullpen work. In his career, Simmons is 7 for 22 with a homerun against McHugh, so he’s definitely familiar with the man 60 feet and six inches away. In his last four games, Simmons is 7 for 16 with six runs scored. There’s a solid floor here for a guy going for under $4,000 on DraftKings.
Jackie Bradley Jr (DK-$3,700)
Jackie Bradley Jr has a little more power upside than Simmons, minus the average. Lately, Bradley hasn’t offered much as far as breakout potential as he hasn’t been hitting particularly well, nor has he been flashing the power he once displayed earlier in his career in Boston. The play for Jackie this week is based on the need to sign a cheap player to fill the roster and I feel good rolling the dice at a low risk price against a spot starter, Jacob Waguespack (5.30 ERA & 1.57 WHIP in AAA).
Eloy Jimenez (DK-$4,100)
Jimenez has hit safely in 11 of his last 15 games. In that stretch, he also has five homeruns. However, the best part of this matchup is the opposing pitcher, Glenn Sparkman. Sparkman has allowed 25 hits and 17 runs over his past three outings. He also hasn’t had more than three strikeouts in a game since May 1st. In four ABs this season against Jimenez, Workman has allowed two hits, including a homerun. This is a prime matchup for a low price.
Franmil Reyes (DK-$3,600)
Reyes’ power spike (25 HRs) has been a delightful surprise for the Padres in 2019. In 24 less at-bats in 2018, Reyes had nine fewer Homeruns. Though his average has dipped, Reyes’ raw power is elite and he has the potential to go yard against anyone. Though Reyes has yet to face Yamamoto in 2019, I feel like the advantage here is for Reyes, as Yamamoto will be weary of the power threat and may not offer Reyes anything early in the count. I’m expecting Reyes to capitalize. For the price and potential, Reyes is a bargain.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who will watch any sport and gamble with anyone willing. This is his second year writing for dailyfantasysports.codes.