We have a new writer on board going forward, so for this article, it will not be the traditional “Plays of the Day” article in which I featured a single pitcher, with two infielders and two outfielders to build your lineup around. Instead, I am going to highlight a single player at every position (1 of each C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF) and also list a couple of secondary plays for outfielders because there are three starting spots.
With Jacob covering the pitchers for tonight, let’s dive right into the breakdown of the batters on this slate that you should prioritize while constructing your lineup. I will be mixing in some value plays in the list because most people in cash games will be targeting Felix Hernandez or Max Scherzer tonight, making it necessary to save some money on the bats.
C – Salvador Perez | $3,400
His price is rising for good reason. Perez, who was off to a rather slow start to the 2016 campaign, has turned it around. He’s recorded a hit in his last 10 games played and has 3 multi-hit games in a row now, with one of them being a 5-5 performance against the Twins. He’s averaged 27 Fanduel points per game over his last 3 contests. That’s almost three times as many Fanduel points as I ever got out of Harrison Barnes in the NBA season. Remind me to never roster him again. Anyways, Perez has been on a torrid stretch and has seen a rise in his price. Going up against Miguel Gonzalez tonight, who he is a career .357 batter against, provides an extra incentive to get him in your lineups tonight.
1B – Joe Mauer | $2,900
With a handful of expensive pitchers on the slate, we had to find some value for you to put into your lineups tonight, starting with Joe Mauer. While Mauer is typically thought to be a better real-life baseball player than fantasy asset, he’s been contributing in both aspects lately. Over his last three games, Mauer has recorded 6 hits with one home run, two RBIs, two runs and a walk, averaging a nice 14.5 fantasy points per outing. While Felix Hernandez may make people stray away from the Twins, Mauer has gone 12-41 with a .293/.356/.463 slash line in his career against King Felix with 4 doubles, a home run, and 6 RBIs. With Felix’s lowered velocity, strike rate, and heightened batted ball distance, Mauer could be a sneaky play tonight to save you money for your lineups.
2B – Derek Dietrich | $3,300
Another rather affordable and reliable play is Derek Dietrich of the Miami Marlins. He’s been shuffled around the batting order in the last number of weeks, primarily sliding into the leadoff and number two spots in the lineup, and he hasn’t disappointed. He’s fresh off of three consecutive multi-hit games and owns a .302 batting average on the season. While Williams Perez has been somewhat impressive for the Braves thus far, he has still allowed 26 hits and 11 walks in a mere 32 innings. With a lineup that possesses the power of the Marlins, Perez could be on a short leash tonight and Dietrich could end up being a major factor of why he could be yanked early if he can keep his hot streak up.
3B – Josh Donaldson | $3,600
Yes, he’s in the middle of a 2-15 slump, and yes, he’s facing a righty, but you need exposure to the Blue Jays’ offense tonight, and at his reduced price, Donaldson seems like the ideal play. While in the middle of a slump, Donaldson draws the perfect matchup against Joe Kelly and the Red Sox tonight. Not only will this be an offense-dominated game, Donaldson is also slashing a career .529/.579/.706 against Joe Kelly with 1 home run, 6 RBIs, 3 runs and 2 walks in 17 official at-bats. Those BvP numbers are off the charts and at $3,600, it’s almost impossible to fade a player with a ceiling as high as Josh Donaldson’s.
SS – Jonathan Villar | $3,800
Shortstop is a rather deep position tonight, but I view Villar to be a top play tonight, even though he is not the highest priced SS. Villar has been surprisingly productive this season, especially on the bases, and is in the middle of a hot streak in which he has gone 5 of his last 12 with one double, one home run, 3 RBIs, 3 runs, 3 walks and a stolen base. He has found multiple ways to get on base and score, which is vital in DFS. He draws a favorable pitching matchup with John Lamb of the Cincinnati Reds. In his four starts this season, Lamb has failed to get past 6 innings with two of his outings only lasting 4 innings. He’s allowed 24 hits and 9 walks in 20 IP with a 5.4 ERA. 11 of his earned runs have also come in his last 10 innings pitched. Villar and the Brewers in general should be in for a productive day at the dish with Villar leading the charge in the leadoff spot.
OF – Carlos Gonzalez | $3,500
Cargo FINALLY hit a bomb last night! Everyone pour one out for the end of his drought. Hoping that this homer jump starts a hot streak for Cargo, he gets the perfect matchup tonight. He faces Matt Cain…in Coors’ Field. Can it get any better than that? While the homer was his first in a while, Cargo has now hit safely in four straight games, with three of those games being multi-hit games for Cargo. While Cargo has struggled in his career against Matt Cain (.154 batting average), Cain has struggled to keep runners off of base this season. He is somehow getting out of jams with 67.4% of his runners left on base, but a rather high 11.8% of his fly balls are going over the fence this season. Keep in mind his home ballpark is one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the league, and he travels to the most hitter friendly park in the league tonight. He allows a .329 BA on balls in play and 1.38 HR/9 and against an offense with so much power at home, he should be in for a short outing tonight, while Cargo could finally break his string of struggles against Matt Cain.
Other OF options – Gerardo Parra, Cameron Maybin, Michael Bourn, Charlie Blackmon