Welcome to the second of our MLB DFS articles for the 2019 season. This week, the All-Star game offers us a special “Showdown” contest for the big game on Tuesday. In this format, we will be selecting a Captain slot (1.5 X points) and five Utility slots. The values will obviously be adjusted for the salary allocated ($50,000 on DraftKings).
Last Tuesday we got off to a hot start in the games that weren’t postponed due to weather. Charlie Morton (39 points) led the team in scoring with a gem of an outing, as Jake Bauers (22 points) finished as the top performing hitter (among those who played). Our other pitcher, Joe Musgrove, was turning in a masterful performance (one hit and four strikeouts through three, before a rain delay ended his night prematurely). Nick Castellanos was also delayed due to weather and it’s unfortunate because the following day, Castellanos put up 29 points with a monster game.
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The All-Star game is upon us
Yes, the All-Star game is already here, and I have some picks I think you’ll like. Due to the actual length by which we expect the pitchers to go in this game, we will be prioritizing the starting field position players over pitching (more point-scoring possibilities among them). Since the duration of the pitchers in this game should remain short for each, it’s going to be especially challenging to know who will be pitching in the fifth innings, by which to qualify them for the win. From what we have been provided by the contest type, we only have Verlander and Ryu to choose from, so we will likely pick one to hedge our lineup and give us a bit of a firm footing. Therefore, the focus will be on hitting.
This week, I’ve isolated a few strong pitching matchups that should give us great value. Also, I’m not going with the top dollar man, Mike Trout, because he’s hitless in ten plate appearances against Ryu over his career. I hope that puts you at ease if you’re feeling like second guessing this lineup. Enjoy!
Captain (1.5 X Points)
Nolan Arenado (DK-$14,100)
Arenado has a pretty good history against Verlander. In ten plate appearances, he’s got three hits, including a homerun in his most recent game against the power-pitching Verlander. He’s got only two strikeouts and in the past eight games has hit homeruns. This is the matchup I like best, and because of that, I’ve slotted him in the all-important MVP slot. According to the numbers, he’s the best play this week.
JD Martinez (DK-$7,000)
Martinez has faced Ryu eight times in his career. He has two hits, one of which was a double. He also has one walk and just one strikeout. At a cost of $7,000 on DraftKings, he’s a great play for the price. Martinez has power and is seeing the ball well of late, as he currently holds a nice nine-game hit streak coming into the All-Star game (five of which are multi-hit games). At the very least, Martinez is a high floor guy who stands a decent chance at putting the ball in play and should be a tough out.
Josh Bell (DK-$7,200)
Bell has only two plate appearances against Verlander in his career, but he does have a hit, if that’s any consolation. Over the past 12 games, Bell has seven homeruns. Josh Bell hasn’t been a household name for very long (or at all, outside of Pittsburgh), but don’t downplay the man’s ability because of his small resume. In 2019, he’s hitting over .300 with 27 homeruns at the All-Star break. The switch-hitting Bell should provide the AL staff with problems as his power could cause the opposing arms to be very cautious if he works into a hitters count.
Ronald Acuna Jr (DK-$9,000)
Acuna has no history with Verlander, but he’s riding a consistent bat into All-Star week. He’s hit safely in 13 of his past 15 games, with four homeruns and four stolen bases to go with it. Acuna’s speed adds to his strong value here. With no certainty of who will follow Verlander on the mound, Acuna’s versatility should be key in providing output.
Javier Baez (DK-$7,000)
Similar to Acuna, Baez has no history with Verlander. Like Acuna, Baez has hit safely in 13 of his past 14 games and has four homeruns in that span. Baez lacks the base stealing ability of Acuna, but his price — $7,000 on DraftKings — is much more affordable.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (DK-$5,000)
Ryu is our safety net this week. With so few AL hitters actually having faced him, Ryu should have the upper hand in what will certainly be a short outing. If Ryu is throwing well, don’t expect a ton from our current lineup. Though Ryu is a bit of a hedge-play, he should be good for points with a high floor over a few innings of work. Expect two to four strong innings from the Dodgers ace.
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.