Also, please scroll to the bottom of this article to see the latest tweets from Ryan Fowler (@FOXSportsFowler), D.J. Foster (@FOXSportsFoster), Adam Meyer (@FOXSportsMeyer) and me (@jhalpin37). That way, if information surfaces for any last minute changes, you can see our thoughts instantly.
Let's get to today's interesting facts, using DraftKings prices. We'll cover all players, but remember that two of today's nine games are in the afternoon, starting with with Dodgers-Nationals at 12:05 p.m. ET. Please note that much of the information in this post is being published several hours prior to game times, so check MLB lineups later to confirm that any recommended players are included.
5 Things to Watch:
1. Stephen Strasburg is the most expensive SP by far at $13,300, and he's a healthy minus-200 favorite over Julio Urias and the Dodgers. Adam Wainwright ($10,400, -220) and Steven Wright ($9,300, -218) are bigger favorites, but Wright's game against the Giants has a projected run total of 10.
2. Speaking of run totals, Braves-Rox at Coors is at a predictable 12, while Tigers-White Sox checks in at 10.5. You'd think that James Shields has righted the ship, as he's averaged 17.4 DK points over his last four starts after getting beaten like a piÃ±ata for awhile. However, those starts have been against some mediocre or worse lineups (Twins, Yankees, Braves, Angels), and Shields whiffed just 12 batters in 28 1/3 innings in the four games. Shields is still a solid target when picking hitters.
3. There's some (but not a lot) of rain in the forecast for Braves-Rockies and Tigers-White Sox, so keep an eye on the weather in both places.
4. Adam Jones left Wednesday's game with back spasms, and while he says he'll play today, make sure of it before using him ... Looking ahead, the Rangers will be without Shin-Soo Choo (back) and Prince Fielder (neck) for awhile. Look for Jurickson Profar's playing time to increase.
5. Yo, BvPers: Alex Rodriguez ($2,500) has five homers in 19 at bats vs. Chris Tillman. He's obviously not the same old A-Rod, but that's a nice history ... Didi Gregorius ($3,700) is seven-for-13 with four extra-base hits vs. Tillman ... Lefty killer Danny Valencia ($4,200) is five-for-11 with a couple of homers vs. Matt Moore.
Our recommendations for the day are below!
D.J. Foster's must-start call worked out well, as Jaime Garcia was solid in a win over the Padres. Jonathan Lucroy had three RBI as the "Deal of the day," and the recommended Red Sox stack helped your bankroll (at least if you used Hanley Ramirez). D.J. gets a gold star.
Must Start of the day: Danny Valencia, OAK
Valencia has been good in limited appearances against Moore, and has mashed southpaws with a .444 wOBA/1.052 OPS this season. At $4,200, he's hard to pass up.
Deal of the day: Carlos Beltran, NYY
Tillman has been good this season, but the game is at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, where he has a 7.30 ERA in eight career starts. The powerful Beltran is way too cheap at $3,100.
Avoid of the day: Corey Seager, LAD
Assuming that Seager returns from his bout with a stomach virus, why start him against Strasburg, who is easily the best pitcher on the schedule? Avoid all Dodgers.
Stack of the day: Detroit Tigers
The Red Sox and Rockies will cost you plenty, so let's use the relatively inexpensive Tigers against Shields, even though they haven't hit well lately. A Kinsler/Maybin/Miggy/Castellanos stack will cost you a reasonable $17,500. If you want to take the flip side of that game with White Sox hitters against Mike Pelfrey, I won't argue.
Stephen Strasburg, WAS: He's expensive, but the pickings are slim today.
Adam Wainwright, STL: The Padres whiff a lot, and Waino has been on fire with an average of 31 DK points over his last three starts.
Chad Bettis, COL: Want to live dangerously? Bettis has 36 strikeouts against just eight walks at Coors this season, and the Braves can't hit. At $5,900, Bettis will save you money ... if you dare.
Jonathan Lucroy, MIL: At $4K, a solid choice against mediocre Francisco Liriano.
Brian McCann, NYY: Same logic as Beltran, and because most of the catchers on today's slate have no power. You'll pay $3,400 for McCann.
Miguel Cabrera, DET: See "Stack of the day."
Hanley Ramirez, BOS: You could do worse things than start a guy who hit three homers last night and costs $3,800.
Victor Martinez, DET: Bats behind Miggy, costs $900 less.
Ian Kinsler, DET: See "Stack of the day."
Jedd Gyorko, STL: $4,200, and has seven hits including four homers in his last three games. Faces Andrew Cashner, who's a much worse pitcher away from PETCO.
Ryan Schimpf, SD: Has homered five times in his last 10 outings, and worth a look at $3,100 if he bats second like he did in one of Wednesday's games.
Nick Castellanos, DET: See "Stack of the day."
Danny Valencia, OAK: "Must Start of the day."
Hernan Perez, MIL: Has batted second in two of his last three games. If he does so again, consider him for $3,300 vs. Liriano.
Manny Machado, BAL: At $4,300, Machado is a strong play vs. CC Sabathia if he returns from the illness than kept him out on Wednesday.
Trea Turner, WAS: Again, batting order is a factor. Turner led off in four consecutive starts before batting seventh on Wednesday, and he's $3,500. Maybe he'll steal home again!
Carlos Gonzalez, COL: 14 HR in 43 games at Coors this season.
Ryan Braun, MIL: Always solid vs. LHP, and $4,300. Am I talking myself into a Brewers stack?
Carlos Beltran, NYY: "Deal of the day."
Matt Kemp, SD: Yes, he's facing Wainwright, who's been pretty good lately. He's also $2,900 and on a four-game homer streak.