Reminder: Always double check the lineup card before rosters lock to make sure that a player you've chosen to roster is playing that day, and check the weather to make sure your players won't get rained out of their game.
Today, FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball is hosting a few monster tournaments for $25 or under that have first place prizes up to $100,000.
- League rosters lock at 7:05 pm
- In the $3 squeeze, the top 4927 rosters cash, and first place gets $7,000
- In the $25 Super Grand Slam, the top 4141 cash, and first place gets $100,000
- Click on this link to join: FanDuel/SB Nation One Day Fantasy League
Value and punt plays: prices in the $2k range
Finding productive hitters at low prices is important for building a strong, thorough roster, and especially important when playing high priced pitchers. Here are some options to be considered by a fantasy owner for today's game:
Punt plays: FD minimum ($2,200)-$2,400
1B- Adam LaRoche vs Chris Young, $2,200
Despite the subpar year at first glance, LaRoche is still hitting RHP to a 118 wRC+/.188 ISO. He also has noticeable splits between his first and second halves throughout his career: in the first half of his career, LaRoche has been a 103 wRC+/.188 ISO hitter. In the second half, LaRoche's production has jumped up to a 124 wRC+/.230 ISO. With the hot summer weather in Chicago, fly balls will be traveling very well in U.S. Cellular Field, and LaRoche faces an extreme fly ball pitcher in Chris Young (although note that Young is a pitcher who breaks xFIP with the type of weak fly balls he often generates). Young relies on elevating his mid 80s fastball and generating harmless fly balls to be effective, and all it takes is one missed location for LaRoche to have a good chance at hitting a dinger in the hitter friendly "Cell".
OF- David Murphy vs Mike Leake, $2,200
Murphy has hit RHP to a 135 wRC+ in 192 PA this year, with it at 117 in a larger sample of 568 PA dating back to 2014. Murphy gets a gigantic park upgrade as a lefty in Great American Ballpark, and Leake has a poor 4.62 FIP vs LHB this year with it around 4.4 in a larger sample dating back to the start of 2014. Murphy will likely hit cleanup and is one of the best punt plays on the board today.
C- Derek Norris vs Jorge De La Rosa, $2,300
Norris surprisingly hasn't hit LHP yet this year, but it's only a 71 PA sample: in a much larger 423 PA sample dating back to 2013, Norris has hit LHP to an elite 151 wRC+, and he has been hitting leadoff vs LHP lately. de la Rosa has been a below average pitcher both at home and on the road throughout his career.
3B- David Freese vs Wade Miley, $2,400
In 334 PA dating back to 2013, Freese has hit LHP to a 131 wRC+/.186 ISO. Miley has a below average 4.32 FIP vs RHB this year and has struggled pitching in the American League.
Just outside of punt pricing: $2,500-2,700
OF- Shin Soo Choo vs Collin McHugh, $2,500
McHugh has reverse platoon splits this year, probably because of his cutter, but it's not enough to deter me from playing Choo at this price if needed. Choo has hit RHP to a 123 wRC+/.204 ISO this year, and he's been a little unlucky when hitting the ball hard. Choo will likely bat at the top of the lineup.
OF- Justin Upton vs Jorge De La Rosa, $2,700
Upton's price is so low because he's slumped horrifically for the past 6 weeks, but slumps for good players can create value, and unless there is strong reason to believe that said good player will not return to high levels of production, gambling on slumping good hitters at bargain prices can be a strategy that pays off. Like Derek Norris, Upton mysteriously hasn't hit LHP this year in a small sample, but he was among the game's elite lefty mashers in 2013 and 2014 with a wRC+ of 174 in 303 PA. I'm gambling on the All Star break refreshing Upton and getting his production back to normal levels.
This isn't a mind blowing revelation, but I'm starting Jose Fernandez against the Phillies and using some of the discount hitters above to fill my roster. The Phillies are middle of the pack in K% vs RHP, but worst in baseball vs RHP at a 78 wRC+. Fernandez's offense/run support looks wretched with Stanton and Gordon out, but he's generating swinging strikes at a ridiculous 16% clip and striking out 30% of the batters he faces in a very small 2 start sample this year, something that is in line with what he's done throughout his career. Watching him pitch, his stuff (for now, until he potentially hits a wall like Matt Harvey did, anyway) looks electric. The only negatives with Fernandez is run support and limit on how deep Miami will let him go into the game.
Follow me on Twitter at @TimFinn521, I usually tweet out more good options as lineups are released.