Please note: today’s article takes on a bit of a different format than previous articles. Please leave feedback @tbadger23 on Twitter to let us know if you like the change!! I am going to break down plays by position rather than game. If you prefer a certain format, please let me know!
Gerrit Cole (SP, PIT) [FD: $9,300, DK: $9,400]
Cole vs. Chicago is a beautiful match-up for DFS players today. The Cubbies have struck out a whopping 272 times this season vs RHP leading the league by 39 K’s. Cole has an elite 9.49 K/9 rate thus far and has only allowed 2 home runs in 42.2 IP. The Cubs do possess a lot of power as we know, but I’m leaning heavily on Cole today and would expect no less than 7 K’s today with double digits certainly possible. He’s my number 1 option today in CASH games and is a MUST-PLAY on all 2 pitcher sites in all formats.
David Price (SP, DET) [FD:$10,900, DK: $10,000]
I’ll be honest: I’ve been disappointed multiple times by Price’s infamous 8 ER games after being dominant in prior starts. (I rostered him last year when this happened, and again this year). So work with me, as it’s hard to ever trust him in a cash game for me. That aside, Price is a top 10 pitcher in this league and the Cardinals have been less than impressive vs. LHP ranking 23rd in the league. Only 4 players on the Cards active roster have seen Price (Peralta, Reynolds, Bourjous, & Heyward) and only Mark Reynolds has had much success, going 8/31 with 3 HR’s. Mark Reynolds does not worry me whatsoever and the advantage clearly goes to Price here. My only concerns are these: Price’s K/9 rate which is a mere 6.41 after posting an 8.38 rate throughout his career & he’s returning from a hamstring injury. With those two factors in mind, I’d look to Price in GPP’s and avoid him in cash games today. With his price tag $1,600 more than Cole on FD, he’s certainly a GPP only play on that particular site.
Today’s an easy day to punt the catcher position, and I’ll be looking to the Tigers catching duo of either James McCann [FD: $2,200, DK: $2,800] or Bryan Holaday [FD: $2,500] Regardless of which righty starts, they’ll get the advantage with the young lefty on the mound in Tyler Lyons. Should Bryan Holaday be the catcher of choice, he is a FANDUEL ONLY play as he is surprisingly the most expensive catcher on DraftKings. Other options on DK: Yadier Molina [FD 2,300, DK: $3,600], J.T. Realmuto [FD: $2,200, DK: $3,000]
I think the obvious cash game play here would be Miguel Cabrera [FD: $5,000 DK: $5,300] so I’ll go for a contrarian GPP play with Anthony Rizzo [FD: $4,500 DK: $5,000]. Yes, I’m all over the Gerrit Cole train, and everyone else will be as well. Rizzo is working on an eight-game hitting streak, batting .341 on the year with 8 HR’s. He’s 3/8 with a double off of Cole. He will most certainly be under 10% owned and could send your GPP lineup to the top of the leaderboard if he goes deep.
Sorry for going with the obvious choice with Dee Gordon [FD: $3,900, DK: $4,900] but hear me out. This pick will more than likely be solid no matter who starts at catcher for Atlanta, BUT if it’s A.J. Pierzynskyi, fire up Dee no matter what site, no matter the price. Runners are 16/20 vs. A.J. and if Dee gets on (which he’s done consistently all year), he should grab 2 SB’s without problem.
Josh Harrison [FD: $2,900, DK: $3,400] is severely underpriced on both sites and gets a very nice matchup against LHP Jon Lester. Harrison comes into today’s game on fire, batting 9/16 (.563) his last 4 games with 2 HR’s and 2 doubles. While he’s struggled in limited AB’s vs. LHP this year, he’s posted a .919 OPS the past two seasons vs. lefties and is a nice option in ALL formats, especially with the depressed price.
I’m going to pick on Jon Lester a little more, and recommend a duo here: Jordy Mercer [FD: $2,200, DK: $2,600] and Jung Ho Kang [FD: $2,700, DK: $3,300]. Mercer owns a career .891 OPS against LHP and despite his struggles thus far, is a excellent value option in ALL formats. Kang (who we do not have much data on due to the fact that he played out of the country prior to this season) is 4/12 vs. LHP this season with 3 of those hits going for extra bases (2 doubles and 1 HR). Overall, both of these guys come with decent risk, but I’m giving them a long look on today’s short slate.
With all of the value position players today, I urge you to PAY UP for your outfielders. This includes the likes of Andrew McCutchen [FD: $4,000, DK: $4,500](who’s tallied at least 1 XBH in 6 of his last 9 games), Giancarlo Stanton [FD: $4,600, DK: $4,600] (2 homers Friday night & 1 career HR vs. Alex Wood) and Starling Marte [FD: $4,100, DK: $4,500] (who’s sporting a .651 wOBA vs. LHP).