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We’ve got two slates tonight on FantasyDraft: a 7pm eastern start with 14 games, and a 9:40pm start that covers the late games. Twins-Cubs is the only game not included on the main slate, as it starts early.
Must Play SP: Gerrit Cole, HOU ($24,800) at TB
Out of the three aces you can choose from tonight (deGrom, Bauer, Cole), I’m taking Cole. He’s the cheapest of the three, and I think he can return you the most value against the Rays. Cole’s got an absurd 36.3% K-rate and 1.93 Deserved Run Average this year. He faces a Rays lineup that has just a .307 wOBA versus righties in a nice pitcher’s park. The Astros lineup should easily get him the win, as well, which you might not be able to say about deGrom. All three aces should give you worthy starts, but I’ll take Cole out of the bunch.
Honorable Mention: Jacob deGrom, NYM ($26,700) at MIA
Value SP: Joe Musgrove, PIT ($15,000) at SD
Now is the perfect time to buy low on Musgrove, who has gotten lit up in his last start. In fairness, those starts were against two of the hottest lineups in the league, the DBacks and Reds. Musgrove now gets to take advantage of the best matchup in baseball – the Padres are dead last in wOBA versus righties at .286 and have the second-highest K-rate at 26.5%. Musgrove still has a respectable 3.49 FIP on the year and should be a great value at this price.
Honorable Mention: Rich Hill, LAD ($15,800) vs COL
IF Ian Kinsler, LAA ($7,300) at BAL (RHP David Hess)
Kinsler hasn’t been very good at the plate this year, but there are some positive signs. He’s got just a .205 BABIP and is only striking out 10.0% of the time, so there’s probably some positive regression on the way. Kinsler’s still got 11 homers and seven steals on the year, which aren’t bad fantasy numbers, and he’s been much more bearable against right-handed pitching. As the Angels leadoff hitter, he should have lots of chances to score against Hess, owner of a 5.44 ERA, in one of the best offensive environments in baseball.
Honorable Mention: IF Kyle Seager, SEA ($7,300) vs KC (Kennedy)
OF Colby Rasmus, BAL ($7,700) vs LAA (RHP Felix Pena)
On the other side of the Angels-Orioles matchup, Rasmus is another hitter with strong contextual factors who can give you value at his price. Rasmus hasn’t done much this year, but he’s still going to be batting first or second for the Orioles. Being able to maximize plate appearances in an extreme hitter’s park against a weak pitcher in Pena can pay off nicely.
Honorable Mention: OF Ender Inciarte, ATL ($8,000) at STL (Mikolas)
Value: IF Elvis Andrus, TEX ($7,200) vs CWS (RHP Dylan Covey)
Andrus’s price is being too heavily based on his small sample size of 22 games this year, many of them played while coming off of an injury. Andrus hit 20 homers with 25 steals last season – his fantasy potential is still very high. Andrus still has a 106 wRC+ on the year and bats in the two-hole for Texas, where he can rack up both runs and RBIs.
Honorable Mention: OF Avisail Garcia, CWS ($7,300) at TEX (Gallardo)
Top Stack: White Sox at Rangers (RHP Yovani Gallaro)
Gallardo has gotten destroyed in his two starts this year, and there’s no reason to think that will change at home in a hitter-friendly park. The White Sox have lots of affordable bats to choose from, including Jose Abreu ($8,000), Avisail Garcia ($7,300), and Daniel Palka ($7,700).
Honorable Mention: Orioles vs Angels (Pena)