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We’ve got three slates tonight on FantasyDraft – a 7pm eastern start, which covers all 14 matchups, as well as a 9:05 start and a 9:40 start. The early Padres-Cubs game is not covered on any slate.
Must Play SP: Chris Archer, PIT ($15,900) vs STL
All eyes are on Archer tonight in his Pirates debut, and I’m excited about him at this price. Things should go better for him now that he gets to face the pitcher in the National League, and he gets to face a weak Cardinals lineup that has just a .308 wOBA versus righties. Archer’s 3.62 FIP and 3.75 SIERA suggest that he’s been pitching better than his ERA would suggest, and he’s still got a strong 24.7% K-rate.
Honorable Mention: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($23,800) vs ATL
Value SP: Vince Velasquez, PHI ($15,200) vs MIA
Velasquez has lots of upside as he gets to take on the Marlins, who are one of the worst lineups in baseball with a .300 wOBA against right-handers. Velasquez can put up lots of strikeouts with his 27.1% K-rate and has allowed just two earned runs in his last three starts combined. I’d target Velasquez in GPP contests for his high potential at a low price.
Honorable Mention: Alex Wood, STL ($16,300) vs HOU
IF/OF Miguel Sano, MIN ($8,200) vs KC (RHP Heath Fillmyer)
While Sano hasn’t done much as of late to inspire any confidence, he’s still got a ton of power in his bat and can put together a big night against Fillmyer. Fillmyer is a great pitcher to target, as he’s got a pathetic 13.3% K-rate and a 4.92 FIP this year. Sano is a bat to grab in GPP contests, as he’s probably too risky for a cash game.
Honorable Mention: IF/OF Nicholas Castellanos, DET ($8,000) at OAK (Anderson)
OF Michael Brantley, CLE ($8,400) vs LAA (RHP Jaime Barria)
Now is the time to jump on Brantley – his price isn’t going to be this low for much longer. Brantley has a beastly 131 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and is batting second for the Indians, between Lindor and Ramirez. It’s tough to find a spot better for runs and RBIs. Opposing starter Jaime Barria has a 5.12 FIP, so Brantley and the Tribe should put a beating on him.
Honorable Mention: OF Kevin Kiermaier, TB ($8,300) vs CWS (Giolito)
Value: IF Jonathan Villar, BAL ($6,300) vs TEX (RHP Ariel Jurado)
Villar is suddenly a fantasy-relevant player again now that he’s been traded to the Orioles. He’s now Baltimore’s leadoff hitter, so he will maximize his chances to rack up hits, runs, and steals. He’s in an extreme hitter’s ballpark against an easy pitcher in Jurado. Villar has 14 swipes in just 279 plate appearances and has some upside with his new club.
Honorable Mention: IF Maikel Franco, PHI ($7,200) vs MIA (Richards)
Top Stack: Rangers at Orioles (RHP David Hess)
This feels like too easy of a call after the Rangers put up 17 runs last night. They get another garbage pitcher to take advantage of in Hess, who has a 5.94 ERA this year. Rougned Odor ($9,600), Joey Gallo ($9,300), and Shin-Soo Choo ($8,800) are my favorite expensive plays, while Willie Calhoun ($7,600) and Adrian Beltre ($7,500) are cheaper options.
Honorable Mention: Twins vs Royals (Fillmyer)
Archer has underperformed his FIP for 4 years now despite having an average or better defense. At this point we can say it’s not luck. He gives up tons of hard contact.