Rise and shine! It's Thursday and we have ourselves a seven game slate with a chance for rain in the Pittsburgh at Atlanta game. Other then that, weather shouldn't be a concern. Always check before game time to acclimate yourself with the day's weather. And don't forget about checking starting lineups, too. It's not always easy being a fantasy baseball player!
Anyways, with any short slate, the pitching tends to be mainly hit or miss. That's what we have today with no pitchers over $10,000 in salary. The highest pitcher on this slate is the Red Sox Drew Pomeranz ($9,600). Since he was traded by San Diego, he hasn't been the same. The American league hasn't been kind to Drew, to put it nicely. But who knows, he might get his first win with Boston as he faces off against Mariners call-up, Ariel Miranda. If Pomeranz can't outpitch this guy to get the win, then I would probably avoid Pomeranz until he has a strong showing in a Red Sox uniform.
Blue Jays starter, J.A. Happ ($9,100) has been great in his last two outings. In 16 innings he's given up only 4 hits, 1 ER and punched out 17 batters while getting the win in both games. It wasn't against bad lineups either, as he did that to Baltimore and Seattle. Safe to say Happ is on his game right now. Hopefully it will carry over.
Catcher- Yasmani Grandal is $3,900, easily leading the way at the catcher's position. The next highest priced catcher is $3,300 as Jonathan Lucroy and Stephen Vogt share the second rank. I don't like paying that much for a catcher but the way Grandal is hitting, that might not be a bad idea. The dude is raking right now. If you want to save a little money you can look at either Vogt or Lucroy. If you want to save a lot of money, consider Chris Iannetta at $2,000. Rene Rivera is also an option at $2,100, as with Sandy Leon at $2,700.
(Check to see who starts before game time...)
First Base- I do like the Red Sox stack tomorrow and not just because they have a good lineup. Miranda isn't used to a Major League lineup, let alone the Red Sox lineup. Look for Hanley Ramirez and David Ortiz to be favorites at the first base position.
Yankees Mark Teixeira ($2600) is probably out to seek vengeance on the Mets after Steven Mats hit him in the lower leg. The pitch seemed intentional and hit him right in the side of his shin. He had some words for Mats and play went on after benches cleared. All in all the Yankees won and Teixeira might have more to prove before the series is over.
If you want to try and differ from them for tournament purposes, you can consider Yonder Alonso ($2800) and Freddie Freeman ($3,600)
Second Base- Dustin Pedroia ($3600), since he's on the Red Sox. There really isn't a big reason to pay up at this position unless you're stacking. I say that because I believe in the value of Starlin Castro ($2500) and Johnny Giavotella ($2400). It beats paying $4100 for Chase Utley.
Shortstop- Once again it's Xander Bogaerts and Corey Seager at the top of the list for shortstops. You can't go wrong with either. Daniel Descalso ($3300) is an interesting play but I'd rather be safer and save money with Didi Gregorius ($2900).
Elvis Andrus ($3100) has a good matchup against lefty Wade Miley. He is in a good spot to produce on Thursday. Also consider JJ Hardy ($2200) for value.
Third Base- Just like Andrus, fellow teammate Adrian Beltre ($3500) has potential to produce. Even at an older age, Beltre still has that home run pop in his swing. I like the Rangers offense Thursday. Speaking of home runs, Pedro Alvarez ($3200) has been looking like the Pedro Alvarez that killed it with the Pirates. He has been hot lately so consider him while making a decision at the third base position.
If Kelly Johnson starts, he would provide good value at the minimum $2000 price.
Outfield- I like Matt Kemp again for Thursday's game. He has experience against Ryan Vogelsong, going 12 for 39 with 2 doubles, 1 triple and a home run with 7 RBI's. Not a bad line for him. Paired with Freddie Freeman and you have the start of an interesting Braves stack. In that same game, Pittsburgh's offense has me intrigued. Gregory Polanco ($4000) could have himself a good game and whenever Matt Joyce ($2400) starts he seems to make a big impact, so keep an eye on the Pittsburgh lineup when that is released. Paying up for Polanco isn't so bad when you take Joyce as well.
It's unfortunate David Dahl's ($3900) stock has risen so fast but I guess that's what happens when you start hot and play in Colorado. Carlos Gonzalez ($4200) would make for a nice pick but at these prices it's hard to make room for them, let alone stack them.
If you're looking for cheap plays, give Michael Conforto ($2300) and Carlos Gomez ($2400) a look.
Stacks: Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves.
Fanduel has set the prices for Wednesday and it shows that Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels lead the pitchers in salary cost. Hamels has been pitching well as of late, whereas Cueto has had his hiccups. Based on matchup, Cueto has the upperhand as he goes into Philly. Hamels has a tougher matchup going into Baltimore. But how often do things work out as planned? Not often. With that said, Hamels might be the option to go with despite his matchup, although either would make for a decent play.
Also consider: Marco Estrada, Rick Porcello.
Catcher- I know, I know. This looks brutal. Nobody said it would be easy. There is a bright side to the catchers position Wednesday, though. Chris Sale is pitching and I heard the White Sox are going to make them wear button-ups and khakis. Go with James McCann.
Consider: Sandy Leon, Juan Centeno and Yadier Molina. It's a rough one today.
First Base- I'll keep mentioning Mike Napoli until he stops hitting home runs. It would be of importance to pick as many Cleveland hitters as you can because Tyler Duffey is somehow still in the majors. That means Carlos Santana should be on the radar, as well.
I can't go through the first base position without mentioning Miguel Cabrera. The man is on a mini-surge the past two games, going 6 for 9 with 3 home runs and 7 RBI's. I know Chris Sale is a good pitcher and all, but Miguel Cabrera is a tough man to get out when he's on his game. You should also consider Brandon Belt and Joey Votto even though they are bit higher priced then they should be. Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales are worth a look as well.
Second Base- One thing is certain, Chase Utley should not be $4,100. I understand he is in Colorado but sheesh... I'd rather pay $200 less for a more valuable Jason Kipnis. Also, Robinson Cano has also been playing well the last few days so he deserves a look.
For as good as a player Jose Altuve is, I never seem to get him at a high ownership. If you want a top tier player at a possible low ownership rate, Altuve is your guy.
Also consider Brandon Phillips and Starlin Castro if you're trying to save money.
Shortstop- It's a shame that rookie phenom, Trevor Story, has to end his season to injury. With the Rockies getting closer to the last wild card spot, it couldn't have come at a worse time. In case you were wondering, rookie Cristhian Adames will likely platoon with Daniel Descalso, with the Rockies also calling up Rafael Ynoa for extended depth. Expect them to see some extra time for the Rockies.
As for Wednesday, you can look for Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor to be the higher end options. I don't believe you'll have to pay up at this position, although they both have solid match-ups so it is not exactly necessary to buy low. If you do though, look for Johnny Peralta to have an impact at $3,200. He comes off the DL at a nice time for St Louis, as Aledmys Diaz is now on the 15-day DL for a thumb injury.
Also consider: Brandon Crawford $3,000, Elvis Andrus $3,000, Marcus Semien $2,700.
Third Base- Justin Turner leads the third base position for Wednesdays slate. He goes against a decent lefty but now's the time for Turner as he plays at Coors against a division foe. You can go with Nolan Arenado at the same price but I see more value in Turner. Evan Longoria would not be a terrible choice at $3,700, either.
There are a couple great options at lower prices. I have been liking the Twins vs. Indians series and obviously that feeling has been justified. Again, I like these two teams Wednesday. The Twins Jorge Polanco at $2,500 and the Indians Jose Ramirez at $2,800 both provide exceptional value at their prices.
Outfield- Matt Kemp makes his second start for the Atlanta Braves. I understand the Braves lineup is still pretty bad, but he faces the Pirates lefty John Locke and I believe he is set to make a grand entrance with Atlanta. In that same game, Gregory Polanco looks like a great pick as he faces off against Atlanta starter, Matt Wisler. He is $3,800.
You get what you pay for when you spend $4k on Carlos Gonzalez. This lineup isn't completely helpless just because Story is out indefinitely.
Also consider: Tommy Pham, Lonnie Chisenhall, Max Kepler, Matt Holliday, Randall Grichuk.
Stacks: Cleveland Indians, St Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants.
Well, here we go! Get ready for a tournament full of variety and low percentage plays because there are plenty of good options on the board for Tuesday's slate. Ranging from Madison Bumgarner to Zach Davies, you will not run out of options. My favorite on the slate for Tuesday might be easy to take after you think about it a little. Jacob deGrom looks to continue his recent success, as he goes against a Yankees team that just looks worse and worse every day. I don't think deGrom will play bad given it's on a big stage, either, as it's time again for the infamous New York Subway Series. To add to that, the game is on the pitcher friendly Citi Field and not the smaller Yankee Stadium. The only thing stopping him is run support. Go get em, Jake.
There are two pitchers at the same cost as deGrom. Carlos Carrasco and David Price. Both are good plays, but pitching in a dome stadium in Seattle tomorrow might be good for David Price. He is in the middle of a rollercoaster season where he has had great nights and also utterly terrible nights. But I do believe he will come out on the plus side of things playing against a relatively heavy left handed batting order. I understand the Mariners have lefty-crushing Nelson Cruz, but as a whole, I wouldn't be afraid of going with Price over the Seattle lineup.
Zach Davies is a very valuable play tomorrow. He goes against a team that has literally dismembered the entire roster. The franchise is a mess and will not be competitive for at least five years. The lineup still has some nice pieces in it, don't get me wrong, but it is no reason to make you shy away from taking Davies.
Catcher- Davies is going to be seeing a lot of Martin Maldonado. With Jonathan Lucroy traded, Milwaukee's starting catcher is now Maldonado, so we can expect him to be seeing a lot more action. More plate appearances could help his sub-par average (.202) and we already know that he has some power behind him. Now might be the time to take him considering his low $2,400 price tag.
Yasmani Grandal has been getting on base more consistently as of late. He has finally found his bat in the month of July, which surely makes the Dodger fans happy. He has a hefty $3,700 price tag but LA is playing in Colorado. You have to consider him if you can afford him.
First Base- I don't understand the reasoning behind this one, but Miguel Cabrera is ranked as the eleventh highest first baseman on Fanduel pricing at $3,600. The former MVP is facing James Shields Tuesday and he is a near must play for cash games in my opinion. (I HATE saying the words "must-play"...)
The beast that is Mike Napoli has hit home runs in three straight games. If you want to differentiate from Cabrera, Napoli would be a fine choice.
If anybody reading today read yesterday, you probably saw that I liked Minnesota's offense versus a good pitcher in Danny Salazar. I wouldn't put it past that offense to perform well again on Tuesday against another good pitcher in Carlos Carrasco. Minnesota Twin's Joe Mauer is only $2,600 at the first base position. I wouldn't expect another 44 point showing, but he could provide enough value to make it worth taking him at that price.
Second Base- Ian Kinsler, Jose Altuve,Dustin Pedroia and Jason Kipnis lead the second base position. You would have to pay up for any one of them but it wouldn't be a bad idea. If you'd rather play it risky and buy low, Scooter Gennett is only $2,900 and Devon Travis is $3,000. I would lean towards Gennett, unless Travis is leading off for the Blue Jays.
Shortstop- Francisco Lindor catches my eye at only $3,400. He would be a great cash game pick at that price. At a similar price though, Jonathan Villar is only $3,600 and would make for a nice pairing with Scooter Gennett if you wanted to go with a lower percentage stack on Milwaukee.
The "Five-Star" options at shortstop for Tuesday, are definitely Corey Seager and Xander Bogaerts.
Third Base- After some thought, I believe there are options cheap enough to give you the necessary value so you can avoid the expensive options all together. If the Angel's 3B Jefry Marte starts on Tuesday, I would recommend giving him consideration. At $2,400, Marte gives you enough potential and money saved to create a good looking lineup.
At $2,600, Jose Ramirez gives you great value at third. Also consider Jake Lamb at $3,200.
Outfield- You would be paying a pretty penny for Mike Trout, but I love him for Tuesday's slate. Snagging Jefry Marte would help ease the $4,800 salary of Trout and would give you a match for the Angels stack. You must give that some consideration when making your lineup. Mookie Betts is second in line for the top outfield spots, sitting at $4,700. I do like him Tuesday, but it's going to be hard to fit that salary in there, though.
Consider: Cameron Maybin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Adam Eaton, Max Kepler, Justin Upton, and Corey Dickerson.
Thank you for reading and good luck! Play SMART and go win some money!