Well that was embarrassing. When this post used to be a DraftStreet post, occasionally I would slip up and post a sub-30 point day. They were rare but they were tough to swallow. As I’m sure you know, DraftKings scoring can be much, much higher that DraftStreet’s, yet somehow yesterday’s official lineup managed to fall under 30 as well.
Jake Arrieta got lit up in Colorado (it was a risk but one I felt comfortable taking), Dan Haren was dominant for the first time in months, Mat Latos showed me up after all of the awful things I said about him (I still don’t believe in him), and Giancarlo Stanton didn’t help a lick. Doug Fister was my saving grace.
Wednesday’s Official Lineup (left) and my other lineup (right)
But today we march on with a slightly reduced Thursday slate that’s even further split with both day and night games. It’s still a fairly easy day for batter selection, though, as the day’s few pitching options are fairly low-end or unreliable. Everyone is going to select Jon Lester. The questions is whether you want to be a part of the masses or be a little different!
In terms of weather, Daily Baseball Data reports a 90% chance of rain in the BOS@STL game, which could clear later in the evening. I’m avoiding that game entirely.
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Thursday’s Official DraftKings Lineup
Note: Lineup subject to change due to weather and released MLB lineups. Check back before contest lineups lock for our final lineup.
C: Russell Martin (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,000
- C: John Jaso (OAK) vs. Y. Pino (MIN) — $3,800
- 1B: Hidden
2B: Neil Walker (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,200
- 2B: Kyle Seager (SEA) vs. S. Carroll (CHW) — $3,800
- 3B: Josh Harrison (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,600
SS: Khris Negron (CIN) vs. T. House (CLE) — $2,400
- SS: Jordy Mercer (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $3,800
OF: Gregory Polanco (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,200
- OF: Melky Cabrera (TOR) vs. M. Gonzalez (BAL) — $4,300
- OF: Matt Kemp (LAD) @ C. Wilson (LAA) — $4,700
- OF: Hidden
SP: Roberto Hernandez (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $6,200
- SP: T.J. House (CLE) @ H. Bailey (CIN) — $5,900
- SP: Hidden
Roberto Hernandez is a ground ball pitcher, so immediately I sort of always consider picking him. What usually prevents me from picking him is that he’s Roberto Hernandez and I don’t trust him to get out of jams he inevitably gets into because, again, he’s Roberto Hernandez. But over his last seven outings, Hernandez has gone 6 IP with 2 ER or less five times and 7 IP with 2 ER or less four times. He’s gotten his walks under control (mostly) over his last two starts, and in this game he’ll take on a Houston squad that’s known to boom or bust. This is by no means a sure thing, but I’ll gamble here on a cheap extreme ground ball pitcher who’s currently on a roll facing an offense that sometimes just packs it in.
Update: Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers around 3:00 pm EST. Having to select an entirely new pitcher messed up all of my day’s budgeting so there are sweeping changes to the lineup. In the rotation I actually went with a cheaper pitcher, T.J. House. House is a left-handed ground ball pitcher facing a Reds offense than ranks last in the majors in wOBA over the last two weeks and that’s hit just 6 HR over that span. Given the cost I’m really just hoping for 15 points here, which I think is completely doable.
The Pirates will face Brian Flynn at home. Flynn is decent. He’s not a terrible, awful pitcher, but his upside is limited. Most Pirates batters have great price tags today, and because Andrew McCutchen is out the guys I’ve selected will get premium lineup real estate for an average of $4.25K. In the end, which outcome do you think is more likely: Flynn shuts down Pittsburgh or the Pirates come through and deliver 5+ runs? I’m banking on scenario two, and I’m able to lock down the core of their lineup for some pretty attractive prices. Plus, Harrison is still on fire, and Polanco has righted his strikeout wrongs over the last few weeks.
Update: With Neil Walker sitting out today (back spasms still bother him), and with more of a budget (going from Hernandez to House), I moved around my Pirates stack. Mercer gets the call batting second against the LHP Flynn, which means Negron’s super-cheap price tag is gone. I replaced Walker with Seager, who’s sitting under $4K and facing the usually hittable Scott Carroll. I prefer Cabrera against Gonzalez over Polanco against Flynn but didn’t pick it before because Cabrera was a touch higher in price, but this time around I made the swap. I also elected to go with Jaso at catcher over Martin because Jaso will face Yohan Pino and he seems to have his price depressed after a three straight 0-fers, but he didn’t strike out in any of those games so there’s some bad BABIP luck going on in that extremely small sample. Note that I could have had either Martin and Polanco or Jaso and Cabrera, and I decided to go with Jaso and Cabrera. That’s partly because I like their matchups a lot and partly because no Walker and Polanco batting 7th ruined the idea of a stack too much for my liking.
Negron is cheap — like really cheap — and draws T.J. House, who’s only sort of good. Negron doesn’t always play, but I imagine he’ll be in there against the left-handed House, and on the season he’s slashing .282/.317/.564 so the production has absolutely been there.
Also facing a lefty is Kemp, who’ll hit against the suddenly awful C.J. Wilson. Hopefully this isn’t a repeat of last night when Haren went from awful to awesome against one of baseball’s better offenses, but I feel great about a hot Kemp against a left-handed pitcher. For his career, Kemp is batting .332 against lefties and just .277 against righties. I haven’t officially confirmed it, but that’s one of the biggest splits you’ll find for a player with as many career PA as Kemp.
Safe Matchups for H2H and Double-Up Play
If you only need to finish in the top 50%, safer plays are the way to go.
- C: Salvador Perez (KC) @ V. Nuno (ARI) — $3,800
- C: Russell Martin (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $4,000
- 1B: Brandon Moss (OAK) vs. Y. Pino (MIN) — $4,100
- 1B: Billy Butler (KC) @ V. Nuno (ARI) — $3,800
- 2B: Robinson Cano (SEA) vs. S. Carroll (CHW) — $4,800
- 3B: Josh Donaldson (OAK) vs. Y. Pino (MIN) — $4,600
- 3B: Todd Frazier (CIN) vs. T. House (CLE) — $4,200
- SS: Jose Reyes (TOR) vs. M Gonzalez (BAL) — $4,600
- SS: Alexei Ramirez (CHW) vs. R. Elias (SEA) — $4,600
- OF: Jose Bautista (TOR) vs. M. Gonzalez (BAL) — $5,300
- OF: Ben Revere (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $3,600
- OF: Yasiel Puig (LAD) @ C. Wilson (LAA) — $4,800
- OF: Adam Jones (BAL) @ J. Happ (TOR) — $4,400
- OF: David Peralta (ARI) vs. J. Guthrie (KC) — $3,800
- SP: Hyun-jin Ryu (LAD) @ C. Wilson (LAA) — $9,300
- SP: Roenis Elias (SEA) vs. S. Carroll (CHW) — $7,500
High-Risk, High-Upside Matchups for Multi-Player Play
You don’t win the big bucks without hitting on a few lottery ticket picks!
- C: Caleb Joseph (BAL) @ J. Happ (TOR) — $2,600
- C: Devin Mesoraco (CIN) vs. T. House (CLE) — $4,100
- 1B: Gaby Sanchez (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $3,100
- 1B: Ryan Howard (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $3,800
- 2B: Jason Kipnis (CLE) @ H. Bailey (CIN) — $4,400
- 2B: Brian Dozier (MIN) @ J. Lester (OAK) — $4,400
- 2B: Michael Martinez (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $1,900
- 2B: Donovan Solano (MIA) @ E. Volquez (PIT) — $2,600
- 3B: Jayson Nix (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $2,300
- 3B: Danny Valencia (TOR) vs. M. Gonzalez (BAL) — $2,900
- SS: Hanley Ramirez (LAD) @ C. Wilson (LAA) — $4,500
- SS: Jimmy Rollins (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $4,200
- OF: Giancarlo Stanton (MIA) @ E. Volquez (PIT) — $4,900
- OF: Christian Yelich (MIA) @ E. Volquez (PIT) — $3,700
- OF: Delmon Young (BAL) @ J. Happ (TOR) — $3,200
- OF: Marlon Byrd (PHI) vs. C. McHugh (HOU) — $4,000
- OF: Dustin Ackley (SEA) vs. S. Carroll (CHW) — $3,500
- SP: Edinson Volquez (PIT) vs. B. Flynn (MIA) — $6,000
- SP: Vidal Nuno (ARI) vs. J. Guthrie (KC) — $6,000