Fanduel MLB Saturday 7/15

Ben Zobrist launching a homerun for the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field

Well, THAT was a nice way to return to action last night, with a 199.9 and 162 scores for my cash lines on FanDuel and DraftKings, respectively! I’m also excited for tonight, as we have a rare Saturday slate that isn’t chopped up into early and late games. Pitching is DEEP tonight, and I think it’s a priority spend tonight with fewer than usual top offenses going. As always, I will be in chat later on and you can find me on twitter @jac3600.

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STARTING PITCHER

TOP PLAY

Corey Kluber, CLE ($11,500)

It’s a Scherzer slate, but I’m fine passing on him in cash as he’s getting the biggest park downgrade of all the top guys. Enter Kluber. He’s been absolutely sizzling lately, with eight strikeouts or more in every game since coming off the DL (and strikeouts are king in DFS). He’s a -200 road favorite and Oakland has struck out the fifth most against RHP despite ranking ninth in wRC+ against them. He’s not a lock as there are other cheaper options as well, but Kluber is my preferred route as of now, with Bumgarner hot on his heels.

Other options – Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Wood

VALUE PLAY

Jimmy Nelson, MIL ($9100)

I’m not particularly interested in dipping down too much in cash games at SP (Wood is likely the cheapest I’ll go), but Jimmy Nelson is an elite GPP play and is cash viable if you’re OK forgoing the big names above. Nelson’s 3.30 ERA is backed by an identical 3.30 xFIP and he’s striking out over a batter per inning this year. The Phillies are a great matchup, as they rank 28th in wRC+ against RHP and strike out the sixth most against them. They also may be without Aaron Altherr, who departed with an injury last night.

Other options – Aaron Nola, Felix Hernandez, Mike Foltynewicz, Danny Duffy, Joe Musgrove, Luis Castillo

CATCHER

TOP PLAY

Willson Contreras, CHC ($3200)

There are far less garbage pitchers today than usual, but Wade Miley is one of them, and the Cubs are a prime offense to target with their IRT of 5.4 runs. The Cubbies are getting a park upgrade going to Baltimore and the depth of their lineup will be enhanced with the addition of the DH. Contreras should hit cleanup for them and Wade Miley has allowed 1.38 HR/9 and a 35% hard hit rate to RHB over the last three years.

Other options – Salvador Perez, Buster Posey

VALUE PLAY

Brian McCann, HOU ($2800)

The Astros once again flexed their muscle with ten runs against the Twins (and a quality starter in Jose Berrios). Their main pieces remain way too expensive for cash games but McCann is a nice way to get exposure at only $2800. The Astros’ IRT is 5.3 runs and Ervin Santana is still due major regression thanks to an elevated xFIP and FB rate. McCann hit fifth yesterday and homered.

Other options – Yasmani Grandal, Matt Wieters, Mike Zunino, Stephen Vogt

FIRST BASE

TOP PLAY

Eric Thames, MIL ($3700)

First base is surprisingly shallower than usual tonight, and Thames stands out as the best player at a bit of a discounted price over the others. Aaron Nola is a good pitcher, but he has struggled with LHB, allowing a .353 wOBA and 1.24 HR/9 to them over the last two years. Thames’ ISO is over .300 against RHP and he hits second in a good park environment.

Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, Edwin Encarnacion, Cody Bellinger, Joey Votto

VALUE PLAY

Chris Davis, BAL ($3100)

Davis returned with a double and a lot of hard hit balls yesterday, and he’s an acceptable cash option at his price. The matchup is not ideal with Jake Arrieta whose K rate hasn’t diminished (and that’s Davis’ biggest bugaboo), but Baltimore is a lefty hitter’s paradise and Davis has a .272 ISO against RHP the last three years.

Other options – Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Valencia, Lucas Duda, John Jaso

SECOND BASE

TOP PLAY

Daniel Murphy, WAS ($3800)

Murphy should return to the Washington lineup tonight and has a .413 wOBA and .244 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. I’m really not interested in paying full price for cash games, though, as Luis Castillo has flashed an elite 11.74 K/9 thus far in the majors. The Nats still have an IRT of 5.1 runs and make for a wonderful underweight stack with likely low ownership.

Other options – Jose Altuve, Robinson Cano

VALUE PLAY

Brian Dozier, MIN ($3100)

Brian Dozier homered and drove in four runs yesterday, and started what could be his usual second half surge. He is WAY too cheap on FanDuel and is a pretty easy choice for me in cash games. He offers power and speed upside and is getting a park upgrade going to Houston. Joe Musgrove has some enticing skills but has allowed way too much power (1.85 HR/9) to not pounce on Dozier’s price tag.

Other options – Jonathan Villar, Asdrubal Cabrera, Whit Merrifield, Javier Baez

THIRD BASE

TOP PLAY

Kris Bryant, CHC ($3700)

Bryant is the one big spend I want to make in cash, and it’s doable at $3700 even if you pay full price for the top pitchers. I mentioned Wade Miley as one of the few pitchers on this slate to fully attack, and Bryant has obliterated LHP in his career to the tune of a .405 wOBA and .287 ISO. He’s my #DFSHRcall tonight after nailing it with Cano yesterday.

Other options – Nolan Arenado, Jake Lamb, Adrian Beltre, Freddie Freeman, Miguel Sano

VALUE PLAY

Manny Machado, BAL ($3300)

I’d much rather scrounge the extra $400 to get up to Bryant for cash, but if it’s not doable Machado is still way too cheap for his skillset. I’m not big on fully attacking Arrieta, but Machado is a reverse split hitter with a .359 wOBA and .231 ISO against RHP the last three years.

Other options – Todd Frazier, Evan Longoria, Kyle Seager

SHORTSTOP

TOP PLAY

Carlos Correa, HOU ($4200)

Correa continues to have a massive season with his .407 wOBA and .249 ISO, and gets to face the extreme fly ball rate of Ervin Santana. The Twins bullpen also ranks 27th in xFIP, and Correa holds mountains of upside at likely low ownership (price is too high for cash games). He’s one of my favorite GPP plays tonight.

Other options – Corey Seager, Jean Segura, Francisco Lindor

VALUE PLAY

Wilmer Difo, WAS ($2400)

Difo is not a good hitter, but if he hits second for the Nats he’s a good way to get exposure to them and at the same time punt a pretty shallow position. The Nats have an IRT over five runs, and Difo should see plenty of fastballs hitting in front of Bryce Harper. It’s not a ringing endorsement, but he’s a very viable punt play.

Other options – Elvis Andrus, Freddy Galvis, Stephen Drew

OUTFIELD

TOP PLAY

Nelson Cruz, SEA ($4300)

I haven’t mentioned the Mariners yet in a writeup, but they fall right behind the Cubs as far as my top offenses of the day. Cruz is the one in particular that really stands out, as Mike Pelfrey has allowed 1.40 HR/9 the last three years and is flat-out incapable of missing bats. The Mariners have an IRT of 5.2 runs.

Other options – Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, George Springer, Ryan Braun, Charlie Blackmon, AJ Pollock, Tommy Pham, Corey Dickerson

VALUE PLAY

Ben Zobrist, CHC ($2600)

Zobrist led off for the Cubs yesterday and homered, and he’s an easy choice for cash tonight as long as he’s there again. Zobrist will maintain the platoon edge throughout the game and will face a Baltimore bullpen that ranks 21st in xFIP (of course, the return of Zack Britton will help that ranking). Zobrist is easy cheap access to the highest IRT of the night.

Other options – Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, Ben Gamel, Mitch Haniger, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, David Peralta, Lorenzo Cain, Billy Hamilton, Matt Kemp, Carlos Gonzalez, Bradley Zimmer

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