DraftKings Plays of the Day – July 2
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The entire league will take the field with heavy hearts Tuesday following the passing of Tyler Skaggs. As of now, that includes the Angels and Rangers, who postponed Monday’s game in light of the tragic news. Take some time to appreciate life’s fleeting moments before submitting a DraftKings lineup.
Top SP: David Price, BOS ($9,300) at TOR
Picking Price worked well last Tuesday, when he recorded nine strikeouts over six innings of two-run ball to beat the White Sox. While his price increased a tad, he’s still remarkably affordable for an ace with a 3.36 ERA, 2.89 FIP and 23.0% K-BB rate. He’s also presented with an even better matchup, as the Blue Jays brandished an 87 wRC+ and 24.4% strikeout rate against lefties prior to their Monday-afternoon affair.
Value SP: Matt Strahm ($6,900) vs. SF
Joe Musgrove is also a tremendous bargain a $5,900—practically an “Andrew Cashner at Yankee Stadium” price tag—despite rebounding with back-to-back gems against the Padres and Astros. Perhaps a daring gamer looking to load up on the Coors Field contest can pair the Pittsburgh starter with Strahm, a cheap play given a golden matchup. The Giants rank last in slugging percentage (.339) and wRC+ (67) against southpaws. A valid counterpoint: Strahm surrendered seven runs against the Marlins and another four versus the Orioles last month. He also, however, notched nine strikeouts in last Wednesday’s outing at Camden Yards, so the cost and adversary make him a worthwhile risk.
SS Francisco Lindor, CLE ($4,600) at KC (RHP Jake Junis)
Batter vs. pitcher data should never be the main determining factor in a lineup decision. That said, I had my eye on Lindor before seeing his dominance against Junis. Even as someone who only gives a quick glance to BvP stats, 10-for-19 with three doubles and three home runs prompted a double-take. Besides, Lindor is very good at baseball (12 HRs, 12 SBs, .350 wOBA) while Junis is not particularly good (5.23 ERA, .376 wOBA against lefties) at baseball. Those playing Lindor should expect plenty of company. Teammates Carlos Santana ($4,700), Jose Ramirez ($3,800) and Jason Kipnis ($3,600), however, likely won’t be as heavily rostered.
Honorable Mentions: 1B Carlos Santana ($4,700) at KC (Junis); 1B Rhys Hoskins ($4,400) at ATL (LHP Dallas Keuchel); 2B Brandon Lowe ($4,200) vs. BAL (RHP Asher Wojciechowski).
OF Alex Verdugo, LAD ($4,400) at ARI (RHP Taylor Clarke)
We’re paying for a wild weekend at Coors in which Verdugo went 7-for-14 with two home runs, but the rookie was on a roll before that series. He’s now batting .311/.360/.506 with a microscopic 9.6% strikeout rate this season. The 23-year-old accrued a .505 slugging percentage in June, right in line with his .506 clip against righties. Clarke, meanwhile, has ceded a 6.10 ERA and 6.04 FIP through 38.1 big league innings. Lefties are hitting .289/.384/.614 against him in 100 plate appearances. That also makes the slumping Joc Pederson ($4,500) an intriguing bounce-back bet to go yard for the first time since June 20, but the Dodgers’ younger outfielder possesses a higher floor for cash contests.
Value Bat: OF Jackie Bradley Jr., BOS ($3,600) at TOR (RHP Trent Thornton)
Bradley has resoundingly turned the corner from an anemic start, batting .315/.419/.573 in June and wielding a 139 wRC+ since the start of May. That includes eight hits over his last three games. Although Thornton piles up strikeouts, lefties have staked him to eight home runs and a .347 wOBA this season. A hot hand with a platoon advantage and advantageous park is rarely so cheap, but the 29-year-old is still paying for his unfathomably bad start to 2019. DFS contestants can benefit by forgiving Bradley and taking the bargain.
Honorable Mentions: OF JaCoby Jones ($3,900) at CWS (RHP Reynaldo Lopez); 1B/OF Matt Beaty ($3,500) vs. ARI (Clarke); 2B Jason Kipnis ($3,600) at KC (Junis); 3B/OF J.D. Davis ($3,600) vs. NYY (LHP James Paxton).
Lineup Stack: Houston Astros at Colorado Rockies (RHP German Marquez)
Maybe it’s out of respect to Marquez that DrafKings didn’t impose a significant Coors Field tax on Houston’s hitters. George Springer ($5,400) and Alex Bregman ($5,000) are expensive, but that’s normal for superstars of their caliber. After that, their lineup is reasonably priced despite their talented opponent posting a 5.70 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in his unforgiving home park.
Michael Brantley is hitting .304/.356/.500 against righties, so $4,500 is too good a deal to not play him in Colorado. The owner of a career 113 wRC+ against righties (103 this season), Josh Reddick ($4,200) is a good bet to extend his eight-game hitting streak. While I can only beat this drum so many times, Jose Altuve sure is cheap ($4,200) given his decorated track record. The star second baseman has already tallied four multi-hit games since returning from the IL on June 19. The Rockies have the better matchup against a debuting Jose Urquidy, but they’re also priced accordingly. A Houston stack offers more bang for your buck in cash contests or tournaments.
Honorable Mentions: Indians at Royals (Junis); Red Sox at Blue Jays (Thornton); Rays vs. Orioles (Wojciechowski).
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is akgould4) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games on which I offer advice. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings, and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any nonpublic information.
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@FreshMeatComm on Twitter).