The Tigers-Orioles head-to-head in hitter Friendly Camden Yards and the Red Sox at Fenway Park are the plays of the day as Victor Martinez, Justin Upton and Dustin Pedroia scream for ownership on a slate that I am less than enthralled about. With Ricky on vacation, I, Chris Mitchell will take the reigns and give DFS’ers a short break from the puns that he hurls from the South Side of Chicago.
Victor Martinez, Tigers – $8,700
I am all in favor of stacking a variety of Orioles against Mike Pelfrey and Tigers verse the inconsistent and unstable Ubaldo Jimenez in hitter friendly Camden yards, but Martinez is my pick to click tonight. Martinez is seven for nine in his previous two games (three of those hits versus Max Scherzer in a game he struck out 20) and he has batted .310 with an OPS of 1.071 with four home runs against Jimenez in his career. Miguel Cabrera ($10,000), Mark Trumbo ($8,800) and Chris Davis (10,200) are all great infielder plays today, especially in cash games, but Martinez is much more affordable and is a strong contrarian play in tournaments. This game has a great chance to be a launching pad for home runs and Victor Martinez could be in for a multi-homer game.
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox – $8,400
Pedroia, and the Red Sox on the whole, doesn’t have an especially impressive history of success against Dallas Keuchel but he isn’t that Keuchel right now. He has only allowed three home runs, but he has an ERA of 4.70, a batting average against of .282 and he has allowed the most earned runs on a struggling Astros pitching staff. For Pedroia, he has three home runs and is batting .286 with a .976 OPS in his last seven games while the Red Sox as a team have scored 56 runs and hit 17 home runs over that same span. The Sox are pounding the ball with authority while Keuchel has been struggling to stop teams from scoring runs and Fenway Park is not friendly to lefthanders. The Red Sox are a good team to stack regardless of their opponent and Pedroia is on a tear.
Ryan Braun, Brewers – $8,700
Braun has quietly been on fire for a while now. He is 12-30 with two home runs and five RBIs with an OPS of 1.121 in his previous seven games and is currently on an 11 game hitting streak. He has never faced James Shields before, but Shields has a 3.60 ERA, 1.33 Whip and has allowed six home runs in sevens starts while allowing 20 walks in 45 innings pitched. Miller Park is very hitter friendly and Shields is prone to the long ball. If you want an affordable stack tonight the Brew crew against Shields is a solid play and Braun is the best of the bunch at an affordable number.
Justin Upton, Tigers – $9,300
As I mentioned before, there are a lot of bats to like in the Tigers/Orioles extravaganza and in the outfield I like Justin Upton. I especially like him in tournaments where his early season struggles have made him affordable and likely less owned than hotter hitting outfielders. Upton has OPS of 1.080 with two home runs, one triple and two doubles against Jimenez in his career as well. If you want to play it safe and go with Mike Trout ($9,300) or Mookie Betts ($9,600) or Adam Jones ($8,400) who is batting .500 in his career against Mike Pelfrey I won’t laugh you out of the building for it, but I like Upton’s history against Jimenez to carry the day in Camden Yards.
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – $25,600
Do I really need to explain? 2.04 ERA, .77 Whip, 64 strikeouts in 53 innings pitched and a batting average against of .199. To pile on, the current Mets roster only has one career extra base hit again and that was David Wright, a double. In Cash games Kershaw is a must start and he is such a safe play in a relatively sub-par night for pitchers that he is about as close to a must-start as you will find in tournaments as well, even though ownership will be high.
Jimmy Nelson, Brewers – $17,700
Nelson is where the salaries start to become more affordable for your second starting pitcher of the night. He gets a home game in a friendly match up against the San Diego Padres who rank third to last in runs scored and OPS and are first in strikeouts in the National League. He is coming off a rough outing against the Reds in Cincinnati, but he has averaged almost five strikeouts per game in his last eight and with the Padres help, this could be a 7+ punch-out night for the right-hander. If you want to spend for the safer, more expensive plays in cash games Johnny Cueto ($20,000) and Vince Velasquez ($21,200) are the play, but Nelson is a better bang for your buck with an acceptable amount of risk for the savings.
Nathan Eovaldi, Yankees – $15,300
The Royals have picked up their offense against the Yankees in this series, but they are still one of the lowest scoring offenses in the American league. They are third worst in runs scored and home runs. Eovaldi has averaged a strikeout per inning and has allowed only eight walks in 37.2 innings pitched. His split-fingered fastball has been an out pitch that has made all the difference in his performance so far in a season where he has been the Yankees staff ace. With Mike Moustakas on the disabled list and Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon struggling, Eric Hosmer is the only lefty threat to that short right field porch in the Bronx. Adam Wainwright is intriguing in tournaments, but Eovaldi is one of the better affordable plays with strikeout upside in tonight’s slate.