Well, last night was special and if you paid attention to our awesome MLB Line Movement tool, you jumped on the Astros. Their line skyrocketed in the last hour before lock and my goodness they came through in a big way. When looking at the tool for today, the Astros IRT already has moved from 5.6 to 6.3. They are in another smash spot tonight and we will be all over them…..but they may be chalk. There are some really solid pricey arms tonight and that may not allow for all the Astros love you want. There is at least one sub $4K player at each position we can gamble on and make the arms work. On a 12-game slate, we have a lot of ways to go. We currently have four IRTs at 5 or higher. Let’s see who we are targeting tonight in the Batter Breakdown.
There are a handful of options for once when targeting catchers tonight. The main 2 I’ll be targeting are Robinson Chirinos and Jason Castro. Chirinos has hit safely in six of his last seven games and has been DFS gold for us. Over those seven games, he’s hitting .389 with 3 home runs and a .944 SLG. He gets the gas can known as Ryan Carpenter tonight and Chirinos should be in a smash spot. If you want to go cheaper, then Castro is my guy. Castro will be going up against Felix Pena, who has been better of late but still can be attacked. He gives up a lot of hard contact, fly balls, and you can target lefties against him. There may be some other value options when lineups come out, but we are here for now.
Other Catcher Options- Alex Avila, Yasmani Grandal, Josh Phegley, Willians Astudillo, John Hicks
Cash- It’s very simple for me when it comes to 1B in cash. Play Matt Olson. We’ve been waiting for Olson to come back and flex his muscle. Well, he’s doing that. Olson has homered in back to back games. He’s slugging .481 with a 53% HH rate since his return from the IL. Lefties and righties hit Leake very well, but so far this season, LHH are slugging .481 with a 40% HH rate. Lock and load some Olson with your A’s tonight. There’s only one other cash option for me at 1B tonight and that’s the red hot Marwin Gonzalez, who went deep again last night and may be one of the hottest hitters in baseball right now. Gonzalez is riding a six-game hitting streak into tonight’s action and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. Over that span, he’s hitting .385 with 2 home runs and a .448 wOBA.
GPP- The Royals get the awesome matchup tonight known as Shelby Miller. According to the Line Movement Tool, the Royals IRT has already moved from 5 to 5.2. Hunter Dozier gets his chance to feast on Miller tonight. Dozier has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games. Over that span, he’s hitting .275 with a .525 SLG and a 46.4% HH rate. This season RHH are hitting .286 vs Miller with a .429 SLG and a 43% HH rate. The Royals are live tonight and Dozier with his 1B and 3B eligibility is in play as well. If looking at a lower priced GPP play in this same game, don’t forget the up and down Ryan O’Hearn at $3600 who could pop off tonight.
Other First Base Options- Pete Alonso, Josh Bell, E5, Yuli Gurriel, CJ Cron, Ryan Healy, Tyler White
Cash- There’s a nice spend up spot at 2B tonight and his name is Whit Merrifield vs Miller. Merrifield has some power upside, but the reason he’s more cash than GPP is the fact he’s a good flower with limited upside. He gets on, steals and scores bags, but not the massive boom guy except for once in awhile. If looking for a cheaper option at 2B, we go back to our usual suspect, Robinson Cano, who continues to have some of the more shocking xStats and overall hard hit data, yet the results aren’t constantly there. He’s good for a breakout sooner than later and at $3500 tonight, likely batting third vs Hellickson makes a really solid cash game play.
GPP- You can definitely go back to Mike Moustakas for the exact same reasons as last night. But if looking for a different play, it’s all about Aledmys Diaz vs Carpenter tonight. Over the last six games, Diaz has hit safely in five of them, hitting .318 with a .636 SLG. In his career, he’s slugged .393 vs LHP and should have a ton of fun attacking Carpenter tonight. He’s a nice cheaper option in the Houston stack but does have a chance to get chalky.
Other Second Base Options- Ketel Marte, Michael Chavis, Jeff McNeil, Ozzie Albies, Cesar Hernandez, Shed Long
Cash- If paying up, it’s pretty simple – fit Alex Bregman in where you can. I’ve written so much about already this season, and there isn’t much else to say. Well, hey, he went deep again yesterday. Eduardo Escobar could be a cash game option as well, especially if you believe Joe Musgrove is broken. If looking to save, look into Tommy La Stella, who is likely leading off vs Kyle Gibson. La Stella was kind of a joke to many as the season started, but he continues to just hit. He’s hit safely in four of his last five games. Over that span, he’s hitting .412 with 3 home runs and a 1.000 SLG. It’s crazy what he’s doing and he gets Kyle Gibson tonight. Gibson has been good of late, but if he’s off, watch out in the bleachers. This season, LHH are slugging .506 vs Gibson with a 40% HH rate.
GPP- There are a lot of really nice GPP options at 3B tonight. We already mentioned Hunter Dozier and Mike Moustakas, but there’s more. One of my favorites would likely be Manny Machado at only $3700 vs Kershaw. Yep, he’s discounted due to facing Kershaw, but this is an elite hitter and that price is still silly. Machado was mispriced in recent weeks and we took advantage of it. Also, he was cheap against Kershaw just a week or so ago and took him deep. If you want that GPP upside at a massive discount, then Machado is your guy.
Other Third Base Options- Michael Chavis, Matt Chapman, Willians Astudillo, Ryan Healy, Matt Carpenter, Johan Camargo
Cash- At SS tonight, we rock and roll with a discount on one of the hottest shortstops out there, Jorge Polanco. Yes, Carlos Correa is in a smash spot, likely chalky and Polanco is $300 cheaper. Over the last week, Polanco has hit safely in six of seven games and he’s crushing it during that time. He’s hitting .419 with 3 home runs, slugging .816 with a 54% HH rate. He gets Pena tonight, who again has been better of late, but also he’s giving up a .483 SLG and a 48.5% HH rate vs LHH this season. If looking for cheaper cash game SS then target Amed Rosario.
GPP- We already talked about Manny Machado above and it obviously fits here. The more expensive GPP shortstop that has my attention tonight is Paul DeJong vs Folty tonight. This season, DeJong is hitting .321 vs RHP with a .552 SLG and an insane 48.6% HH rate. Folty has been quite rocky this season, giving up 4 or more earned runs in two of three starts and 5 total home runs. DeJong will go virtually unowned tonight.
Other Shortstop Options- Adalberto Mondesi, Ecuador Escobar, Elvis Andrus, Xander Bogaerts, Marcus Semien, Tim Beckham, Nicky Lopez
Cash- Obviously on a 12-game slate there are a ton of options for cash and GPP in the outfield. Here are some of the cash game options. George Springer and Jake Marisnick are both cash game relevant. Springer is possibly the hottest hitter in baseball and Marisnick loves mashing LHP and gets you some noncash Astros exposure. David Peralta is definitely cash game relevant again tonight, regardless of how you feel about Musgrove. Peralta has been as consistent as they come and can be a one-off or you can add some or Ketel Marte, Jarrod Dyson or Adam Jones to a stack. Alex Gordon and even Jorge Soler (check out his BVP) are solid cash looks vs Shelby Miller. The Twins onslaught of Eddie Rosario, Marwin Gonzalez and Max Kepler are in play vs Pena. Lastly, and there are likely many more, target the heck out of the A’s — AKA target Khris Davis and possibly Stephen Piscotty.
GPP- For your GPP targets, you can definitely go back to the Christian Yelich well. Mookie Betts and JD Martinez are live vs Freeland. Michael Conforto has been heating up and has some GPP appeal vs Hellickson. Lastly don’t forget the risky plays like Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes and Odubel Herrera.
Cash- HOU, OAK, SEA (those are my top 3 right now), KC
GPP- BOS, TEX, AZ, NYM, LAA
Brian has been playing Fantasy Sports, and more importantly Fantasy Baseball for over a decade. He’s been playing DFS for 4 years now. This will be his 4th season recording MLB DFS Quick Hits. He runs and writes for FantasySportsDegens. Records many podcasts including Benched with Bubba, Around the Bases with Bubba & Mo, Always Pressing PGA DFS POD and the 2 Point Conversion NFL DFS POD. You can contact him on Twitter @bdentrek.