With DraftKings’ acquisition of DraftStreet, I will now be using that site’s dollar values to select my players of the day.
1. Tyson Ross ($9,500 SD v. MIL)
He’s pitching like a bona fide ace, yet on a day with four more established ace-level arms, he ends up being a relative bargain. Madison Bumgarner, Alex Cobb, Cole Hamels, and Johnny Cueto are all $10,000 or more with Cueto leading the charge at $11,400. Meanwhile, it’s Ross who has the highest points-per-game average over his last 10 starts with 24.2. It’s even more impressive when you consider that he has a 4.5-point effort in the mix. He followed it up with 28.9 points at the Dodgers, though. It’s not as relevant today, but Ross has become an all-venue play after having a significant home/road split early in the season. He’s nearly untouchable at home with a 1.94 ERA in 88 1/3 innings supported by a 9.4 K/9 and a 3.4 K:BB ratio.
2. Matt Shoemaker ($8,200 LAA v. MIA)
Perhaps the attention around his near-no hitter outing will garner Shoemaker some much-needed attention. He’s been great since joining the rotation with a 3.25 ERA in 69 1/3 innings along with 67 strikeouts and just 11 walks (6.1 K:BB ratio). He was bombed for eight earned runs in Kansas City back on June 27th, which inflates those numbers. Since then, he has a 2.54 ERA in 49 2/3 innings with 49 strikeouts and a 7.0 K:BB ratio. Miami’s .669 road OPS vs. righties is 18th in the league.
3. Jimmy Nelson ($7,000 MIL at SD)
I don’t usually recommend both arms in a matchup, but it’s hard to ignore guys going into San Diego. Nelson hasn’t been overwhelming, but he really only has one bad start in his eight this year. He has a 4.15 ERA overall, but a 3.33 ERA in 43 1/3 innings outside of his one bad start when St. Louis dropped him for six runs in just 4 1/3 innings. San Diego’s offense is falling back to earth after an impressive summer surge. They were eighth in OPS against righties in July and while they are 11th in August overall, that is fading as they sit 18th over the last two weeks.
1. Jose Abreu ($5,400 CWS v. CLE)
It’s hard to find a scenario that doesn’t stack up well for Abreu this year. He’s pummeled both righties and lefties, and he’s done so both home and away. His worst month by OPS was an .814 in May. He has two 10-homer months (April and June) and two 1.000+ OPS months (June and July). T.J. House has more than 200-point platoon split in favor of righties as they’ve amassed an .855 mark against him (lefties are at just .642). I can’t imagine ever feeling bad about rostering Abreu, but sometimes you just feel better than others, and tonight would be one of those nights.
2. Kyle Seager ($4,500 SEA v. TEX)
There aren’t many great options in Seattle for DFSers with only two high-impact bats (Seager and Cano), but sometimes the matchup lines up so well that they become tremendous options. Today would be such a day. Nick Martinez has been absolutely battered by lefties to the tune of a .302 AVG and .896 OPS in 240 PA. Seager has heavy platoon and home-road splits this year. He’s posting an .884 OPS against right-handers (compared to .693 v. LHP) and he’s finally figured out Safeco with a .991 home OPS (after three years of .690 or worse). Unfortunately, he hasn’t maintained his .830s OPS totals on the road for a fourth straight year, which has prevented a massive breakout effort.
3. Alex Gordon ($4,900 KC v. MIN)
Like Seattle, the Royals aren’t winning with offense. In fact, Gordon is the only Royals regular north of 100 in OPS+ with a 121. They get arguably the worst pitcher in the league today, though. Ricky Nolasco has a 5.96 ERA in 20 starts with both lefties and righties routinely battering him about the yard. Lefties do more damage with a .340 AVG and .936 OPS. He’s actually had some success against the Royals in four starts with two good and two bad, but I’m looking at his season track record and seeing an easy buying opportunity for Royals, especially Gordon.
4. Kole Calhoun ($4,400 LAA v. MIA)
Hey, look who’s back! Calhoun might be my most-selected guy in this column, but his price just stays so appealing no matter how good he’s been. He has been fantastic against righties with a .294/.347/.488 line and 12 of his 13 homers in 330 PA. In the last three-ish months (since June 1st), he has an .867 OPS with 10 homers and 39 RBI, which paces to 23/89 in a full season of work. I hate to pick on my guy Eovaldi, but he simply hasn’t been consistent enough to trust—or to avoid with DFS hitters. His platoon split has been a problem this year as lefties are hitting .302 with a .794 OPS compared to .217 and .570 for righties. If Hank Conger gets a start behind the dish, he could be a sneaky flier at just $2,500, too. He’s been brutal this year, but if you want a low-dollar flier who could get a couple of hits.
5. Jake Marisnick ($2,600 HOU v. CLE)
Speaking of low-dollar fliers, Marisnick is an intriguing pick for your roster as he’d allow you to really stack up elsewhere. Jason Hammel has been unable to get righties out with Oakland. They have a .343 AVG and 1.122 OPS in 80 PA as neither his fastball nor his slider have been able to tame righties at all. Both pitches are getting destroyed and I’m not sure he’s just going to snap out of it all of a sudden. Meanwhile, Marisnick is actually hitting a bit with Houston. It’s a tiny sample, but he has a .315 AVG in his last 20 games. Of course, it’s been a singles-heavy approach as evidenced by his accompanying .726 OPS (3 2B, 1 HR among his 23 hits). If you went Ross/Nelson as your pitchers and all of our hitters, you could still add Jose Altuve at 2B and have $3,550 per spot for your catcher and shortstop.