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Platoons

Target: RHB's Troy Tulowitzki SS ($4500, +113 OPS and +.036 ISO vs. LHP), Nolan Arenado 3B ($4500, +92 OPS and +.018 ISO) and Wilin Rosario C/1B ($3400, +261 OPS and +.127 ISO) facing LHP Alex Wood ($7700, +61 OPS and +.041 ISO vs. RHB)

Not that you need additional reasons to roster Rockies in Coors, but these three bats are particularly harsh on lefty pallets and could be in for a big day against southpaw Alex Wood. I could have also fit them under the Price section given the reasonable salaries of Rockie hitters today at Draft Kings, and the predictably massive home/road splits of Colorado hitters will likely factor into a large slice of ownership for each of these bats. The Rosario splits are the most extreme but also come attached to the smallest sample (just 431 career plate appearances against left-handers), with the defensive versatility and the affordable price tag to be useful in either of the first two spots of a DFS lineup.

Avoid: RHB's Starling Marte OF ($4500, -210 OPS and -.062 ISO vs. RHP) and Andrew McCutchen OF ($4800, -121 OPS and -.049 ISO vs. RHP) against RHP Carlos Martinez ($9400, -156 OPS and -.096 ISO vs. RHB)

Marte has been sidelined the last three days with a strained oblique, an injury that tends to sap power, so even if he's in the lineup Marte is a heavy liability. McCutchen hits everyone so consider this a warning flag that his skill-set might be compromised against Car-Mart. The big lefty bats on Pittsburgh are risky propositions such as Pedro Alvarez ($3400 and +216 OPS vs. RHP) and Gregory Polanco ($3200 and +296 OPS vs. RHP), players that make for good dice rolls in GPP tournies but might be a bit risky for cash games.

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Details ($3 Entry):

  • Baseball Prospectus Private Daily Fantasy League
  • Starts tonight
  • Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 10: 8 fielders and 2 pitchers
  • Roster Format: 2 pitchers, 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS and 3 OF

Steals

Target: Rajai Davis OF ($4400, 14-of-17 SB) and Anthony Gose OF ($3500, 13-of-19 SB) facing Mike Pelfrey ($4700, opponents 7-of-8 SB).

There's a strong possibility that only one of Gose and Davis will start tonight against the Twins, and Rajai has been taking a seat against right-handed pitchers quite often lately, but whomever gets a start is in a good spot to snag a bag against Mike Pelfrey. Runners have been a little bit careful with their timing, but those who have attempted a steal against Pelfrey have enjoyed frequent success – attempted thieves are 22-of-26 (84.6 percent) in his 267.7 innings since the start of 2013.

Avoid: Kevin Kiermeier OF ($3600, 9-of-10 SB this season), Brandon Guyer ($3200, 9-of-11 SB) and Logan Forsythe ($3000, 7-of-9 SB) facing Yordano Ventura ($8200, opponents 1-of-4 SB)

Ventura's coming off the disabled list, hoping to turn around a season of compromised velocity and a 4.68 ERA, His theft prevention is still intact, and in his 265.7 career innings Ventura has given up just two successful steals in six attempts as baserunners have learned to stay chained to the bag. The overall fantasy impact is minimized with Tampa's biggest base thieves already on the shelf with injuries (Steven Souza Jr, Desmond Jennings), but the temptation to reach for one of their low-priced lineup cogs takes a hit with steals taken out of the equation.

Recency

Target: Zack Greinke SP ($11200) facing the Philadelphia Phillies

I have mentioned Greinke's shortcomings in the past, including short pitch counts and modest strikeouts totals, but if recency's your thing then it's hard to beat his 0.50 ERA over his last five starts. Tonight's deck is loaded with aces, and Greink's salary is the priciest in the market, so take the “target” with a grain of salt as there are more attractive options for a lesser financial commitment. Part of the high price is his weak opponent, adding a dose of upside to the context of a pitcher who has the highest floor of them all.

Avoid: Matt Carpenter 3B ($4000), facing LHP Jeff Locke

I'm still a believer in the bat and am anticipating that he breaks out of the slump at any time, but it's worth noting that Carpenter's power has mysteriously gone missing for the past six weeks. Since June 1st, the third baseman is hitting .182/.326/.218 with no homers and just four doubles in 34 games. He has the platoon disadvantage against an otherwise soft opponent, counteracting factors that act to further confuse the situation, as Carpenter's performance takes a hit against same-side pitchers (-90 OPS and +.008 ISO).

Matchups

Target: This is just a reminder that Mike Trout ($4800) has ravaged Felix Hernandez ($11000) in his career, going .345/.365/.621 in 63 plate appearances (23 more PA than Trout has against any other pitcher), with the caveat of 18 strikeouts against three walks. Facing the King has dented Trout's salary regardless of their head-to-head exploits, so Trout presents an opportunity to exploit a market inefficiency.

Price

Target: RHB Ryan Raburn ($2600, +113 OPS and +.071 ISO vs. LHP) against LHP Brett Oberholtzer ($5900, +59 OPS and +.028 ISO vs. RHB)

Raburn will likely be batting cleanup tonight for the Tribe. The price that you pay for rostering the cheap Raburn is that he will likely get two-to-three plate appearances, maximum, as Cleveland is likely to sub him out of the game as soon as his spot comes up against a right-hander.

Avoid: Alex Wood ($7700) at Colorado Rockies

Perhaps an obvious choice, Wood makes this list due to what feels like an inflated price tag for any pitcher who's throwing in Coors. It could be related to the aforementioned salary effect on Arenado and Tulo, in that the salary projection system could be downplaying the park effects of playing at altitude… not that it stopped Mike Trout from rising above the $6k threshold for last night's game in Denver.

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Resources used for this article:

Baseball Prospectus Stats and Player Cards

Draft Kings player prices

Brooks Baseball

Baseball-Reference