Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for September 21

The postseason is within reach for MLB teams, but the daily fantasy baseball season is far from over. Myriad franchises are battling for a spot in the playoffs, making the pressure to perform down the stretch even more intense.

So who will rise to the occasion on Monday? We've broken down the numbers on some of the best players and a primer for owners looking to build the bankroll. Here's a look at the best MLB players and strategy for September 21.

 

Top Pitching Target: Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros ($11,400)

Sure, former teammates David Price and Chris Archer seem like home-run targets at the pitching spot, but Dallas Keuchel is our pick for Monday. Not only has Keuchel been sensational all season, but he also benefits from a favorable matchup to start the week.

Most pitchers wouldn't consider facing Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and the Angels lineup a great matchup, but Keuchel has fared well against Los Angeles. With an average of 23.6 fantasy points against the Angels and 29.1 points at home, expect huge numbers from Keuchel on Monday.

 

Top Infielder: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds ($4,600)

Todd Frazier has been a great player for the Reds for a number of years, but he's been historic in 2015. The Toddfather has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Reds with massive numbers that haven't been seen since 1962, according to MLB.com.

Even on a downtrodden roster, Frazier has 77 total extra-base hits, 81 runs, 88 RBI and 13 stolen bases. That's not good enough? How about the fact that he's hitting .270/.302/.645 against left-handed pitching? Facing the St. Louis Cardinals' Jaime Garcia on Monday, there's no reason not to target Frazier at first or third base.

 

Top Outfielder: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,900)

It's no secret that the Toronto Blue Jays have been firing on all cylinders recently to remain the top dog in the American League East. How have they done it? With Jose Bautista leading the way all season, regardless of who's added to the lineup.

Joey Bats is torching hot right now with three homers, three doubles and eight RBI over his last nine starts. That equates to a .432 on-base percentage and 11.7 fantasy points over that stretch. Oh, and he faces the New York Yankees' Adam Warren, a great matchup for any batter, especially after only lasting four innings in his last outing.

 

Strategy: Stack Up the Jays

Bautista isn't the only Blue Jays player owners will want to target on Monday. Edwin Encarnacion is actually averaging more fantasy points over the last 10 games with 13.3. Ben Revere is a solid second option in the outfield with the matchup against Warren.

Oh, then there's that Price guy, who is $1,000 more than Keuchel. If owners want guaranteed production, target the Jays lineup on Monday. Even with high price points, Toronto will produce great numbers for DraftKings owners who budget around it.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for September 14

The regular season has less than three weeks left before the postseason begins, but there is still plenty of time left for daily fantasy baseball. Whether owners have already found success or finally build up a bankroll before the season ends, Monday night has options for any strategy.

Only a handful of top players can be targeted in order to build a balanced lineup. But with so many options at the top of the price sheet, here's a look at the ones that are worth the price on DraftKings, along with a strategy for owners to thrive.

 

Top Pitching Target: Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers ($10,500)

Welcome back to Texas, Cole Hamels. Over his last two starts, the new ace for the Rangers has not been sensational, allowing a total of seven earned runs with 11 strikeouts. But both of those games were away from Globe Life Park.

Now with an extra day of rest, Hamels can resume his superb season against a huge hit-or-miss team. The Houston Astros may be 11 games over .500, but they are also second in MLB in strikeouts (1,248) as a team. With Hamels getting closer to another 200-strikeout season, he's a smart start on Monday with the price truly matching the production owners should expect.

 

Top Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,000)

Paul Goldschmidt was going through a slight slump last week before facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Let's just say Goldy got right against the Blue Crew, finishing with an average of 11.3 fantasy points per game with a homer and two doubles in the three-game series.

Now the Diamondbacks stay home against James Shields and the Padres. Sure, Shields might be an imposing starter, but Goldschmidt has enjoyed success against him. With three hits in five at-bats, including a homer, look for Goldschmidt to keep streaking for fantasy owners.

 

Top Outfielder: Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets ($5,600)

Since being traded to the Mets, it's hard to think of another player who has been as consistently hot as Yoenis Cespedes. The key trade piece in multiple deals over the last two seasons, Cespedes possibly landed in a perfect situation with New York.

Over his last 10 games, Cespedes has an average of 15.8 fantasy points per game. That also includes Sunday, when Cespedes got just one at-bat. Going with the hot hand seems like a wise option. When you consider he's going up against a struggling starter on the mound and that he's finally returning home, Cespedes should be the top option for any owner.

 

Strategy: Mashing Mets

Speaking of the Mets, Cespedes isn't the only hot bat in that lineup. New York has pummeled starting pitching recently, averaging seven runs per game over its seven-game winning streak.

The aforementioned starter whom Cespedes and the Mets will be facing is the Miami Marlins' Justin Nicolino, who surrendered five runs over 4.1 innings in his last outing. His first start against the new-look Mets should end in similar fashion if New York brings out the same lumber it did in the sweep of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.

With Cespedes coming at such a high price, David Wright ($4,300), Daniel Murphy ($3,500) or Curtis Granderson ($4,400) all seem like reasonable options. The Mets may have a 9.5-game advantage over the Nats, but this team isn't slowing down before the playoffs.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for September 14

The regular season has less than three weeks left before the postseason begins, but there is still plenty of time left for daily fantasy baseball. Whether owners have already found success or finally build up a bankroll before the season ends, Monday night has options for any strategy.

Only a handful of top players can be targeted in order to build a balanced lineup. But with so many options at the top of the price sheet, here's a look at the ones that are worth the price on DraftKings, along with a strategy for owners to thrive.

 

Top Pitching Target: Cole Hamels, Texas Rangers ($10,500)

Welcome back to Texas, Cole Hamels. Over his last two starts, the new ace for the Rangers has not been sensational, allowing a total of seven earned runs with 11 strikeouts. But both of those games were away from Globe Life Park.

Now with an extra day of rest, Hamels can resume his superb season against a huge hit-or-miss team. The Houston Astros may be 11 games over .500, but they are also second in MLB in strikeouts (1,248) as a team. With Hamels getting closer to another 200-strikeout season, he's a smart start on Monday with the price truly matching the production owners should expect.

 

Top Infielder: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,000)

Paul Goldschmidt was going through a slight slump last week before facing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Let's just say Goldy got right against the Blue Crew, finishing with an average of 11.3 fantasy points per game with a homer and two doubles in the three-game series.

Now the Diamondbacks stay home against James Shields and the Padres. Sure, Shields might be an imposing starter, but Goldschmidt has enjoyed success against him. With three hits in five at-bats, including a homer, look for Goldschmidt to keep streaking for fantasy owners.

 

Top Outfielder: Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets ($5,600)

Since being traded to the Mets, it's hard to think of another player who has been as consistently hot as Yoenis Cespedes. The key trade piece in multiple deals over the last two seasons, Cespedes possibly landed in a perfect situation with New York.

Over his last 10 games, Cespedes has an average of 15.8 fantasy points per game. That also includes Sunday, when Cespedes got just one at-bat. Going with the hot hand seems like a wise option. When you consider he's going up against a struggling starter on the mound and that he's finally returning home, Cespedes should be the top option for any owner.

 

Strategy: Mashing Mets

Speaking of the Mets, Cespedes isn't the only hot bat in that lineup. New York has pummeled starting pitching recently, averaging seven runs per game over its seven-game winning streak.

The aforementioned starter whom Cespedes and the Mets will be facing is the Miami Marlins' Justin Nicolino, who surrendered five runs over 4.1 innings in his last outing. His first start against the new-look Mets should end in similar fashion if New York brings out the same lumber it did in the sweep of the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.

With Cespedes coming at such a high price, David Wright ($4,300), Daniel Murphy ($3,500) or Curtis Granderson ($4,400) all seem like reasonable options. The Mets may have a 9.5-game advantage over the Nats, but this team isn't slowing down before the playoffs.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Strategy, Primer for September 7

We may be another week closer to the MLB playoffs, but there is still plenty of time for daily fantasy baseball. The 2015 season is still going strong, and DFS owners can still cash in with massive payouts every day on DraftKings.

In order to come away with a hefty bankroll, owners will need to know players to target and a strategy to follow. So let's get straight to a look at both for Labor Day action as the final full month of the season enters its second week.

 

Pitcher: Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals ($10,100)

When the speed of Yordano Ventura's pitches combine with control, he's nearly unstoppable. Over his last five outings, Ventura has been just that and has four wins to show for it. Oh, and he's also tallied 11 strikeouts over the last two starts, which is pretty decent.

Once a pitcher who could be targeted around the mid-$6,000 mark, Ventura has emerged as a front-line starter yet again. With an average of 29.14 fantasy points in the last five games, expect a huge start from Ventura against the Minnesota Twins.

 

1B/3B: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals ($4,500)

How good has Ryan Zimmerman been in 12 starts? Of his 16 homers all season, seven of them have come over those dozen games. It's a stretch that's also helped his average raise over 20 points with five multihit performances.

Zimmerman has experienced a ridiculous resurgence, to say the least. After teeing off on the Atlanta Braves, he'll look to do the same against the New York Mets. Back after a day off on Sunday, Zimmerman should crush Jonathon Niese, a pitcher he has hit .400 against in his career.

 

OF: Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals ($3,600)

If you haven't noticed, the Nats are rolling right now. Therefore, nabbing multiple Washington bats seems like a great option, especially when one of those players is Jayson Werth, who has been hot recently.

The Nats outfielder is averaging double-digit fantasy points per game over the last 10 contests with three homers. With four of his seven home runs coming in the last 11 starts, Werth is finally hitting his stride. Considering he's 10-for-32 against Niese with a .353 OBP, count on Werth as a No. 3 outfielder.

 

Strategy: Pile Up the Padres

This isn't usually a move DFS owners would utilize, but it's fitting for Monday. San Diego heads into a series with the Colorado Rockies with three straight losses, but it should get right against Kyle Kendrick, who has been brutal all season.

Kendrick comes in at 4-12 with a 6.29 ERA and is by far the worst starter going on Monday. Grabbing bats like Justin Upton or Matt Kemp—both at $4,500 or less—is a smart strategy. Ian Kennedy, who is averaging 27.6 fantasy points per game in his last four starts, is also a solid option against Kendrick.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 27

Thursday's slate of MLB games may be limited, but there is still plenty of daily fantasy baseball to be played. But with so many players to pick apart, whittling down the options can still be a difficult task even with only six night games.

Luckily, we've taken the time to pull out a few players to target and trash for Thursday on DraftKings. So before locking in your lineups, take a look at these players for your rosters.

 

Studs

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox ($9,800)

Starting pitchers are scarce with only six matchups. Consistent starters are even more sparse. That's why Carlos Rodon is a great option at less than $10,000 and over $2,000 less than the No. 1 starter.

Going up against the Seattle Mariners, a team he stifled in his last outing, Rodon should put up similar numbers. Averaging 28.3 fantasy points over his last three starts, RodonKulous is well worth the price as a high-end No. 2 or solid No. 1 starter on Thursday.

 

Third Baseman: David Wright, New York Mets ($4,900)

David Wright came back from the disabled list with a bang earlier this week. He'll likely do the same thing again on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Why? Simply because of the pitcher whom he will face.

Aaron Harang has put together a long career in the MLB, but it would be much shorter if he faced Wright every start. The Mets third baseman is 13-for-30 against Harang with a homer, four doubles, eight RBI and a staggering .526 on-base percentage. High-end third basemen are limited on Thursday, so make sure to start Wright in lineups if you can afford him.

 

Outfielder: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,900)

Starling Marte saw a dip in his production at the start of August, but he has picked back up to close the month strong. Over the last 10 games before Wednesday night, he averaged nearly 12 fantasy points per game thanks to two home runs and a .354 average.

He went hitless earlier this week against the Miami Marlins, which dropped his price slightly for Thursday. Owners can target Marte against lefty Justin Nicolino and expect great results from the right-handed batter. Boasting a .488 slugging percentage against lefties, look for Marte to shine again on Thursday.

 

Duds

Pitcher: Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($8,000)

Don't be fooled by Andrew Cashner's recent start for the Padres. The 28-year-old hurler has been solid at home this season but has been a completely different starter on the road.

The splits don't lie. Cashner has started 10 games at Petco Park with a 3.34 ERA and 69 strikeouts while allowing just 11 walks. On the road, he's started 14 times with a 4.54 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 34 walks. With such an erratic record away from home, don't start Cashner as a No. 2 on Thursday in D.C.

 

Outfielder: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,300)

Marte might be a smart option, but two Pittsburgh outfielders is too much. Gregory Polanco will be facing off with the same young Marlins pitcher, but he doesn't have quite the same numbers as Marte against lefties this season.

In fact, Polanco has struggled mightily against left-handed pitchers at .214/.275/.321 on the year. Those are painful numbers for any batter, much less one who's priced as a No. 2 outfielder on DraftKings. Polanco shouldn't be rostered on any lineups Thursday night even with limited players on the list.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 27

Thursday's slate of MLB games may be limited, but there is still plenty of daily fantasy baseball to be played. But with so many players to pick apart, whittling down the options can still be a difficult task even with only six night games.

Luckily, we've taken the time to pull out a few players to target and trash for Thursday on DraftKings. So before locking in your lineups, take a look at these players for your rosters.

 

Studs

Pitcher: Carlos Rodon, Chicago White Sox ($9,800)

Starting pitchers are scarce with only six matchups. Consistent starters are even more sparse. That's why Carlos Rodon is a great option at less than $10,000 and over $2,000 less than the No. 1 starter.

Going up against the Seattle Mariners, a team he stifled in his last outing, Rodon should put up similar numbers. Averaging 28.3 fantasy points over his last three starts, RodonKulous is well worth the price as a high-end No. 2 or solid No. 1 starter on Thursday.

 

Third Baseman: David Wright, New York Mets ($4,900)

David Wright came back from the disabled list with a bang earlier this week. He'll likely do the same thing again on Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Why? Simply because of the pitcher whom he will face.

Aaron Harang has put together a long career in the MLB, but it would be much shorter if he faced Wright every start. The Mets third baseman is 13-for-30 against Harang with a homer, four doubles, eight RBI and a staggering .526 on-base percentage. High-end third basemen are limited on Thursday, so make sure to start Wright in lineups if you can afford him.

 

Outfielder: Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,900)

Starling Marte saw a dip in his production at the start of August, but he has picked back up to close the month strong. Over the last 10 games before Wednesday night, he averaged nearly 12 fantasy points per game thanks to two home runs and a .354 average.

He went hitless earlier this week against the Miami Marlins, which dropped his price slightly for Thursday. Owners can target Marte against lefty Justin Nicolino and expect great results from the right-handed batter. Boasting a .488 slugging percentage against lefties, look for Marte to shine again on Thursday.

 

Duds

Pitcher: Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($8,000)

Don't be fooled by Andrew Cashner's recent start for the Padres. The 28-year-old hurler has been solid at home this season but has been a completely different starter on the road.

The splits don't lie. Cashner has started 10 games at Petco Park with a 3.34 ERA and 69 strikeouts while allowing just 11 walks. On the road, he's started 14 times with a 4.54 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 34 walks. With such an erratic record away from home, don't start Cashner as a No. 2 on Thursday in D.C.

 

Outfielder: Gregory Polanco, Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,300)

Marte might be a smart option, but two Pittsburgh outfielders is too much. Gregory Polanco will be facing off with the same young Marlins pitcher, but he doesn't have quite the same numbers as Marte against lefties this season.

In fact, Polanco has struggled mightily against left-handed pitchers at .214/.275/.321 on the year. Those are painful numbers for any batter, much less one who's priced as a No. 2 outfielder on DraftKings. Polanco shouldn't be rostered on any lineups Thursday night even with limited players on the list.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups for August 24

Mondays don't have to be awful with DraftKings daily fantasy baseball. Even with only 10 games to pick apart on Monday, the possibilities are endless with a massive amount of stars playing.

However, several players have recently started to shine again heading down the final stretch of the season. Here's a look at those names on the rise before locking in your lineups on DraftKings.

 

Pitcher: Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves ($8,100)

Julio Teheran has finally turned a corner. The Atlanta Braves starter got off to a rocky start this season but seems to have stabilized down the stretch. Teheran has tallied more than 21 fantasy points in three of his last four starts.

Another factor to take into consideration is his home-away splits with 20.9 fantasy points per game at Turner Field. That pales in comparison to his 8.8 points on the road. Going against the Colorado Rockies, who are 1-5 in their last two series, Teheran should shut the door for fantasy owners.

 

First Baseman: Mark Trumbo, Seattle Mariners ($3,600)

A change of scenery appears to have benefited Mark Trumbo. The former Los Angeles Angels star was scuffling with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to the Seattle Mariners. If his recent starts are any indication, he might be the weapon Seattle needed for the future.

Over his last three games, Trumbo has just three hits. However, two were home runs and the other was a double. With an average of 15 points per game in the last three starts, look for Trumbo to serve as a solid first-base option against Felix Doubront and the Oakland Athletics.

 

Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds ($4,000)

He might not be the player he once was, but Brandon Phillips is more than capable of putting up great fantasy numbers. Starting the year on my "Duds" list, Phillips has put together a good season with several stretches of great production.

As one of the more expensive options on this list, the Reds infielder is well worth the price thanks to his matchup. Going against Buck Farmer, who has an ungodly 8.39 ERA and has been shelled nearly every start, look for Dat Dude to tee off on the rookie. At $1,000 less than the top option, Phillips is worth the price.

 

Third Baseman: Brett Lawrie, Oakland Athletics ($2,900)

Every once in a while, DraftKings owners can find gems at or below the $3,000 mark at key positions. For those in need of a third baseman who is heating up, Brett Lawrie is the perfect starter.

Since his return to the lineup after back soreness, Lawrie lit up the Rays over the weekend with six hits in three games. Averaging 10.7 points in that series, Lawrie will look to continue that on Monday. Even against Hisashi Iwakuma, Lawrie should outperform his salary for DraftKings owners.

 

Outfielder: Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves ($3,500)

Nick Markakis still hasn't found the consistency he once had in Baltimore, but the Braves outfielder is starting to churn out good numbers. Over his last five games, Markakis has averaged 9.2 fantasy points with three extra-base hits and two multihit outings.

At his price tag, owners can afford to put him as a low-end No. 2 option or high-end No. 3. Going against Jorge De La Rosa, who has been erratic in four August starts, Markakis will put up solid numbers for owners at a decent value.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups for August 24

Mondays don't have to be awful with DraftKings daily fantasy baseball. Even with only 10 games to pick apart on Monday, the possibilities are endless with a massive amount of stars playing.

However, several players have recently started to shine again heading down the final stretch of the season. Here's a look at those names on the rise before locking in your lineups on DraftKings.

 

Pitcher: Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves ($8,100)

Julio Teheran has finally turned a corner. The Atlanta Braves starter got off to a rocky start this season but seems to have stabilized down the stretch. Teheran has tallied more than 21 fantasy points in three of his last four starts.

Another factor to take into consideration is his home-away splits with 20.9 fantasy points per game at Turner Field. That pales in comparison to his 8.8 points on the road. Going against the Colorado Rockies, who are 1-5 in their last two series, Teheran should shut the door for fantasy owners.

 

First Baseman: Mark Trumbo, Seattle Mariners ($3,600)

A change of scenery appears to have benefited Mark Trumbo. The former Los Angeles Angels star was scuffling with the Arizona Diamondbacks before being traded to the Seattle Mariners. If his recent starts are any indication, he might be the weapon Seattle needed for the future.

Over his last three games, Trumbo has just three hits. However, two were home runs and the other was a double. With an average of 15 points per game in the last three starts, look for Trumbo to serve as a solid first-base option against Felix Doubront and the Oakland Athletics.

 

Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds ($4,000)

He might not be the player he once was, but Brandon Phillips is more than capable of putting up great fantasy numbers. Starting the year on my "Duds" list, Phillips has put together a good season with several stretches of great production.

As one of the more expensive options on this list, the Reds infielder is well worth the price thanks to his matchup. Going against Buck Farmer, who has an ungodly 8.39 ERA and has been shelled nearly every start, look for Dat Dude to tee off on the rookie. At $1,000 less than the top option, Phillips is worth the price.

 

Third Baseman: Brett Lawrie, Oakland Athletics ($2,900)

Every once in a while, DraftKings owners can find gems at or below the $3,000 mark at key positions. For those in need of a third baseman who is heating up, Brett Lawrie is the perfect starter.

Since his return to the lineup after back soreness, Lawrie lit up the Rays over the weekend with six hits in three games. Averaging 10.7 points in that series, Lawrie will look to continue that on Monday. Even against Hisashi Iwakuma, Lawrie should outperform his salary for DraftKings owners.

 

Outfielder: Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves ($3,500)

Nick Markakis still hasn't found the consistency he once had in Baltimore, but the Braves outfielder is starting to churn out good numbers. Over his last five games, Markakis has averaged 9.2 fantasy points with three extra-base hits and two multihit outings.

At his price tag, owners can afford to put him as a low-end No. 2 option or high-end No. 3. Going against Jorge De La Rosa, who has been erratic in four August starts, Markakis will put up solid numbers for owners at a decent value.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Bargain Buys, Sleepers for August 23

Welcome back to yet another edition of Sunday Funday with daily fantasy baseball still in full swing. The playoffs are fast approaching, but the pennant races haven't slowed down. This, of course, means there is still plenty of opportunities to earn wads of cash on DraftKings.

But before any lineups are locked in, take a look at these bargains and sleepers for the August 23 slate of games.

 

Pitcher: Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants ($6,000)

Will the real Ryan Vogelsong please stand up? If the pitcher we've seen over the last two starts is real, Vogelsong is a steal for any owner on Sunday. What's more impressive is that the last outing came against the St. Louis Cardinals on the road.

After allowing just one earned run over his last two starts, Vogelsong is beginning to round back into form for the Giants to close out the season. Going up against the Pittsburgh Pirates, look for Vogelsong to outperform his salary and shut the door to tie the series up at two games apiece.

 

First Baseman: Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians ($3,900)

Carlos Santana isn't exactly the most consistent option at first base, but the Cleveland Indians slugger has found patience at the plate recently. During the weekend series against the New York Yankees, he's averaging over eight points per contest with three walks and a home run in three games.

Those certainly aren't stats that will wow owners, but he also has a great matchup on Sunday. Facing off with C.C. Sabathia, Santana is batting .385 against him during his career. With a history against the southpaw, expect solid production from Santana on Sunday.

 

Second Baseman: Chris Coghlan, Chicago Cubs ($3,400)

Here's a perfect example of a player who simply performs well when he has the right matchup. Chris Coghlan has been horrific against left-handed pitchers this year, but is destroying righties recently. Oh, and he had four home runs in six games before Saturday.

Considering the fact that he has not slowed down against Atlanta with two double-digit fantasy-point performances already, look for big things from Coghlan again. And with rookie Matt Wisler taking the mound, this should be another mammoth game for the Cubs' infielder.

 

Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto Blue Jays ($3,500)

It seems strange to say that Troy Tulowitzki is a bargain option, but here we are. The Blue Jays' newest shortstop is averaging 7.7 fantasy points but has struggled somewhat against righties. But even with Garrett Richards toeing the rubber, Tulo is a great start for the price.

At a salary of $3,500, Tulowitzki has a chance to still make a huge impact against Richards. While he is hitting just .266 against right-handed hurlers, 12 of his 15 homers have come against them. Lock Tulo into your lineup with the expectation that he will be consistent with the potential for another long ball.

 

Outfielder: Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves ($3,600)

For the final spot on this Sunday's list, Nick Markakis fills the role of a bargain outfielder to a tee. The Braves offseason acquisition has been hitting around .300 all year, but he is recently heating up. His seven hits over the last four games make him a great find below the $4,000 price point.

With those seven hits, Markakis has three doubles, four RBI and three runs. The Braves haven't won a single game during his hot streak, but Markakis seems to keep on producing. Regardless of the outcome for Atlanta on Sunday, Markakis will show up and show out for DraftKings owners.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Top DraftKings Bargains, Strategy for August 21

Don't start packing it in for the weekend already, because Friday is another chance to dominate in daily fantasy baseball. And with a full schedule to choose from, expect a lot of room for variance when it comes to Friday's guaranteed prize pools, or GPPs, for extra spending money this weekend.

But in order to fill out the perfect lineup, you'll need to know which bargain players you can target. That's why we're here. So before kicking back on the La-Z-Boy with a beer to take in the games, take a look at these players to help you win on Friday night.

 

Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers ($7,300)

The comeback trail has started for Justin Verlander. Sure, he returned from the disabled list weeks ago, but he didn't look like the Verlander of old until recently. Going up against the Texas Rangers on Friday, he's certainly worth the $7,300 asking price on DraftKings.

Verlander has scored over 23 fantasy points in three of his last four starts. While his 1-5 record with a 4.11 ERA is daunting, expect Verlander to outperform his salary against Texas. Who knows, he might even earn a win against Colby Lewis—that is, if the Tigers give him some run support.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,900)

Over his last 10 games, Pedro Alvarez is averaging 10.9 fantasy points and has just two games with less than five. Those two games just so happen to be the only ones where he didn't start. So the moral of the story is that when Alvarez starts, he's posting great fantasy outings.

He may be facing Madison Bumgarner, who has been a shutdown pitcher this month, but Alvarez is worth the risk. At just $2,900, having a left-handed batter who hits better against lefties this season is a crucial key to building a balanced lineup.

 

Third Baseman: Derek Dietrich, Miami Marlins ($3,700)

Where did Derek Dietrich come from? In a four-game stretch, the Miami Marlins third baseman has broken out with multiple huge nights. In daily fantasy, he's averaging 13.2 points over that stretch, and he's heading into a great matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jerad Eickhoff will be making his first start for the Phillies on Friday after three solid games in the minors. With Dietrich heating up and hitting near the middle of the lineup, expect good things from him against the 25-year-old pitcher.

 

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,000)

Jimmy Rollins is just a professional hitter. The former Phillies shortstop got off to an extremely slow start for the Dodgers, but he is gradually coming around. With 12 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games, he's also becoming a player to target for owners.

Going up against Mike Fiers isn't a terrible matchup, especially considering 10 of his 12 homers have been against righties. He may have a huge dip in batting average from the left side of the plate, but he has great power numbers against righties. Batting at the top of the lineup, look for another solid night from Rollins.

 

Outfielder: Billy Burns, Oakland Athletics ($3,800)

By now, most DFS players know that Billy Burns has been a stud this season. The Oakland Athletics outfielder doesn't have the power numbers of some other outfielders, but he gets the job done on the bases with 24 steals this year.

Burns' numbers over the last 10 games are skewed a little by having one at-bat during his off day and going hitless in another. But with double-digit points in four of his last six starts, Burns is a smart option for a No. 2 or 3 outfielder. And with Drew Smyly on the mound, who gave up five earned runs in his last start, expect big things from Burns.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Top DraftKings Bargains, Strategy for August 21

Don't start packing it in for the weekend already, because Friday is another chance to dominate in daily fantasy baseball. And with a full schedule to choose from, expect a lot of room for variance when it comes to Friday's guaranteed prize pools, or GPPs, for extra spending money this weekend.

But in order to fill out the perfect lineup, you'll need to know which bargain players you can target. That's why we're here. So before kicking back on the La-Z-Boy with a beer to take in the games, take a look at these players to help you win on Friday night.

 

Pitcher: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers ($7,300)

The comeback trail has started for Justin Verlander. Sure, he returned from the disabled list weeks ago, but he didn't look like the Verlander of old until recently. Going up against the Texas Rangers on Friday, he's certainly worth the $7,300 asking price on DraftKings.

Verlander has scored over 23 fantasy points in three of his last four starts. While his 1-5 record with a 4.11 ERA is daunting, expect Verlander to outperform his salary against Texas. Who knows, he might even earn a win against Colby Lewis—that is, if the Tigers give him some run support.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($2,900)

Over his last 10 games, Pedro Alvarez is averaging 10.9 fantasy points and has just two games with less than five. Those two games just so happen to be the only ones where he didn't start. So the moral of the story is that when Alvarez starts, he's posting great fantasy outings.

He may be facing Madison Bumgarner, who has been a shutdown pitcher this month, but Alvarez is worth the risk. At just $2,900, having a left-handed batter who hits better against lefties this season is a crucial key to building a balanced lineup.

 

Third Baseman: Derek Dietrich, Miami Marlins ($3,700)

Where did Derek Dietrich come from? In a four-game stretch, the Miami Marlins third baseman has broken out with multiple huge nights. In daily fantasy, he's averaging 13.2 points over that stretch, and he's heading into a great matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jerad Eickhoff will be making his first start for the Phillies on Friday after three solid games in the minors. With Dietrich heating up and hitting near the middle of the lineup, expect good things from him against the 25-year-old pitcher.

 

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Los Angeles Dodgers ($3,000)

Jimmy Rollins is just a professional hitter. The former Phillies shortstop got off to an extremely slow start for the Dodgers, but he is gradually coming around. With 12 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games, he's also becoming a player to target for owners.

Going up against Mike Fiers isn't a terrible matchup, especially considering 10 of his 12 homers have been against righties. He may have a huge dip in batting average from the left side of the plate, but he has great power numbers against righties. Batting at the top of the lineup, look for another solid night from Rollins.

 

Outfielder: Billy Burns, Oakland Athletics ($3,800)

By now, most DFS players know that Billy Burns has been a stud this season. The Oakland Athletics outfielder doesn't have the power numbers of some other outfielders, but he gets the job done on the bases with 24 steals this year.

Burns' numbers over the last 10 games are skewed a little by having one at-bat during his off day and going hitless in another. But with double-digit points in four of his last six starts, Burns is a smart option for a No. 2 or 3 outfielder. And with Drew Smyly on the mound, who gave up five earned runs in his last start, expect big things from Burns.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 20

Welcome to the Throwback Thursday edition of my daily fantasy baseball advice column. The theme will be focusing on players that you should target to throw back in your lineup and some you should throw back onto the DraftKings salary sheet.

Yes, we'll be keying in on the daily fantasy studs and duds. With 11 matchups and myriad players to choose from, some of these players are established stars while others are coming into their own. Ahead of first pitch being thrown, here's a look at players to keep and cut from your DraftKings lineups.

 

Studs

SP Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays ($12,400)

If there is one pitcher who's worth the high price Thursday, it's Chris Archer. The former Rookie of the Year runner-up has come into his own this season and shouldn't be judged by one poor recent start.

As a rule of thumb, any high-strikeout pitcher should be started against the Houston Astros. Why? Well, because even though Houston is 11 games above .500, it ranks second in the MLB in strikeouts. Currently sitting at third in the MLB in strikeouts (194), Archer should have a huge fantasy outing.

 

1B Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants ($4,400)

Brandon Belt's bat has quieted down a little recently, but he's still one of the hottest-hitting first basemen in August. His double-digit fantasy points average over the last 10 games proves that. And at over $1,000 less than the top two options, Belt is a great value.

Going up against Charlie Morton isn't a great matchup, but he doesn't exactly strike fear into batters with a 4.36 ERA. Batting .288/.359/.507 with 13 of his 17 homers coming against righties, look for Belt to shine for owners Thursday.

 

OF David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,800)

In order to afford a pitcher like Chris Archer, owners will need to target low-priced players elsewhere. David Peralta is a perfect candidate for a low-end No. 2 outfielder. And at $3,800, he's an affordable option for any lineup.

Over his last 10 games, Peralta has averaged more than seven fantasy points. Oh, and he'll bring his .384/.426/.636 average up against rookie John Lamb on Thursday. After getting a day off, expect the fresh Peralta to continue his surge against Lamb.

 

Duds

SP Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants ($6,700)

Even at a low salary, Jake Peavy simply isn't worth the risk. The 34-year-old starter was shelled in his last outing, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and three walks against the Washington Nationals. Now he faces another strong offensive team in the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Scoring over six runs on average over their last six games coming into Thursday's matchup, Pittsburgh is rolling. The Pirates match up well against Peavy as well with left-handed batters in Gregory Polanco and Pedro Alvarez. Oh, and Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte also have a little pop in their bats.

Suffice to say, Pittsburgh will feast on Peavy. Don't target him for any lineup.

 

OF Cameron Maybin, Atlanta Braves ($4,200)

In the midst of a strong season for the Atlanta Braves, Cameron Maybin is on one of his hottest stretches. However, he runs up against one of the best starters in the majors Thursday against Jake Arrieta.

The Chicago Cubs hurler has been phenomenal recently, allowing just two earned runs over his last three starts—total. Maybin's likelihood of putting any runs or RBI together is slim, and his OBP and slugging percentage take a dip against right-handed pitchers. Don't take a chance on Maybin at this price.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 20

Welcome to the Throwback Thursday edition of my daily fantasy baseball advice column. The theme will be focusing on players that you should target to throw back in your lineup and some you should throw back onto the DraftKings salary sheet.

Yes, we'll be keying in on the daily fantasy studs and duds. With 11 matchups and myriad players to choose from, some of these players are established stars while others are coming into their own. Ahead of first pitch being thrown, here's a look at players to keep and cut from your DraftKings lineups.

 

Studs

SP Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays ($12,400)

If there is one pitcher who's worth the high price Thursday, it's Chris Archer. The former Rookie of the Year runner-up has come into his own this season and shouldn't be judged by one poor recent start.

As a rule of thumb, any high-strikeout pitcher should be started against the Houston Astros. Why? Well, because even though Houston is 11 games above .500, it ranks second in the MLB in strikeouts. Currently sitting at third in the MLB in strikeouts (194), Archer should have a huge fantasy outing.

 

1B Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants ($4,400)

Brandon Belt's bat has quieted down a little recently, but he's still one of the hottest-hitting first basemen in August. His double-digit fantasy points average over the last 10 games proves that. And at over $1,000 less than the top two options, Belt is a great value.

Going up against Charlie Morton isn't a great matchup, but he doesn't exactly strike fear into batters with a 4.36 ERA. Batting .288/.359/.507 with 13 of his 17 homers coming against righties, look for Belt to shine for owners Thursday.

 

OF David Peralta, Arizona Diamondbacks ($3,800)

In order to afford a pitcher like Chris Archer, owners will need to target low-priced players elsewhere. David Peralta is a perfect candidate for a low-end No. 2 outfielder. And at $3,800, he's an affordable option for any lineup.

Over his last 10 games, Peralta has averaged more than seven fantasy points. Oh, and he'll bring his .384/.426/.636 average up against rookie John Lamb on Thursday. After getting a day off, expect the fresh Peralta to continue his surge against Lamb.

 

Duds

SP Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants ($6,700)

Even at a low salary, Jake Peavy simply isn't worth the risk. The 34-year-old starter was shelled in his last outing, allowing five earned runs on nine hits and three walks against the Washington Nationals. Now he faces another strong offensive team in the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Scoring over six runs on average over their last six games coming into Thursday's matchup, Pittsburgh is rolling. The Pirates match up well against Peavy as well with left-handed batters in Gregory Polanco and Pedro Alvarez. Oh, and Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte also have a little pop in their bats.

Suffice to say, Pittsburgh will feast on Peavy. Don't target him for any lineup.

 

OF Cameron Maybin, Atlanta Braves ($4,200)

In the midst of a strong season for the Atlanta Braves, Cameron Maybin is on one of his hottest stretches. However, he runs up against one of the best starters in the majors Thursday against Jake Arrieta.

The Chicago Cubs hurler has been phenomenal recently, allowing just two earned runs over his last three starts—total. Maybin's likelihood of putting any runs or RBI together is slim, and his OBP and slugging percentage take a dip against right-handed pitchers. Don't take a chance on Maybin at this price.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups for August 17

Crunch time is approaching for the 2015 daily fantasy baseball season. With the postseason just over one month away and myriad teams still vying for playoff spots, the pressure has been ratcheted up in baseball.

What does it all mean for daily fantasy owners? Well, let's just say there are some stars emerging who simply can't be left out of lineups. Here is a look at some players who need to be picked up for Monday's slate of games.

 

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners ($8,100)

Hello, Taijuan Walker. Once a top minor league star for the Seattle Mariners, Walker has blossomed into one of the best young MLB pitchers over the last month. He may only have one win to show for his efforts in his last four starts, but Walker has been a steady starter for the Mariners.

A huge component of Walker's recent success has been his curveball.

"[David Price] told me, 'Your stuff is really good, you throw hard, but everything's hard so you have to be able to mix stuff in,'" Walker said, per Andrew Erickson of MLB.com. "Once I started doing that, I saw the swings I was getting. ... After I showed that I could throw my curveball for strikes, that was another pitch they had to look for."

Averaging 23.3 fantasy points over his last four starts, Walker is pitching against a lineup he had off balance earlier this year. Facing the Texas Rangers again, expect another great night after he tallied 25.6 points against them the last time around.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,600)

Pedro Alvarez has shown vast improvement over the last week since getting off to a slow start to the season. He's still hitting below the .250 mark but has 18 homers and 58 RBI. So when he runs into the ball, he hits it a long way.

Over his last five starts, Alvarez has four multi-hit games with three homers, three runs and five RBI. Oh yeah, and that equates to 14.2 fantasy points per game over that stretch. Now that he's returning home against the erratic Jeremy Hellickson, look for Alvarez to mash again Monday night.

 

Second Baseman: Jace Peterson, Atlanta Braves ($3,300)

During his time with the Atlanta Braves, Jace Peterson has proved he can truly do it all. While he had a slump earlier this season that dropped his average below .245, Peterson is a clutch player coming off a great weekend.

In the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second baseman had a double, triple, single, two runs and a walk. That was good for eight fantasy points per game over the last three starts. Going up against a right-handed pitcher in rookie Colin Rea, expect good things from Peterson Monday night.

 

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants ($3,700)

Brandon Crawford might not be the flashiest player on your fantasy team. Hell, he's not even a huge power hitter to target. But when you need consistent fantasy points out of a shortstop, the Giants middle infielder is your man.

Since taking a day off on Aug. 5 in Atlanta, Crawford has been on a tear. After going hitless in three of the previous six games before the off day, he has a hit in 10 straight contests. Even with a tough matchup against Michael Wacha Monday evening, expect Crawford to come away with solid points.

 

Outfielder: Justin Upton, San Diego Padres ($4,600)

Something tells me Justin Upton is going to continue his recent hot streak this week. Upton had reason to be frustrated Sunday when his eight-game hitting streak came to an end, but he can quickly start another one Monday against his former team.

During the offseason, the Atlanta Braves traded away Upton to the Padres for prospects. Now, he gets a chance at revenge in San Diego against rookie pitcher Williams Perez. Averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game over his last nine starts, Upton is a great value for a No. 1 outfielder or high-end No. 2.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Late-Season Pickups for August 17

Crunch time is approaching for the 2015 daily fantasy baseball season. With the postseason just over one month away and myriad teams still vying for playoff spots, the pressure has been ratcheted up in baseball.

What does it all mean for daily fantasy owners? Well, let's just say there are some stars emerging who simply can't be left out of lineups. Here is a look at some players who need to be picked up for Monday's slate of games.

 

Pitcher: Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners ($8,100)

Hello, Taijuan Walker. Once a top minor league star for the Seattle Mariners, Walker has blossomed into one of the best young MLB pitchers over the last month. He may only have one win to show for his efforts in his last four starts, but Walker has been a steady starter for the Mariners.

A huge component of Walker's recent success has been his curveball.

"[David Price] told me, 'Your stuff is really good, you throw hard, but everything's hard so you have to be able to mix stuff in,'" Walker said, per Andrew Erickson of MLB.com. "Once I started doing that, I saw the swings I was getting. ... After I showed that I could throw my curveball for strikes, that was another pitch they had to look for."

Averaging 23.3 fantasy points over his last four starts, Walker is pitching against a lineup he had off balance earlier this year. Facing the Texas Rangers again, expect another great night after he tallied 25.6 points against them the last time around.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,600)

Pedro Alvarez has shown vast improvement over the last week since getting off to a slow start to the season. He's still hitting below the .250 mark but has 18 homers and 58 RBI. So when he runs into the ball, he hits it a long way.

Over his last five starts, Alvarez has four multi-hit games with three homers, three runs and five RBI. Oh yeah, and that equates to 14.2 fantasy points per game over that stretch. Now that he's returning home against the erratic Jeremy Hellickson, look for Alvarez to mash again Monday night.

 

Second Baseman: Jace Peterson, Atlanta Braves ($3,300)

During his time with the Atlanta Braves, Jace Peterson has proved he can truly do it all. While he had a slump earlier this season that dropped his average below .245, Peterson is a clutch player coming off a great weekend.

In the series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the second baseman had a double, triple, single, two runs and a walk. That was good for eight fantasy points per game over the last three starts. Going up against a right-handed pitcher in rookie Colin Rea, expect good things from Peterson Monday night.

 

Shortstop: Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants ($3,700)

Brandon Crawford might not be the flashiest player on your fantasy team. Hell, he's not even a huge power hitter to target. But when you need consistent fantasy points out of a shortstop, the Giants middle infielder is your man.

Since taking a day off on Aug. 5 in Atlanta, Crawford has been on a tear. After going hitless in three of the previous six games before the off day, he has a hit in 10 straight contests. Even with a tough matchup against Michael Wacha Monday evening, expect Crawford to come away with solid points.

 

Outfielder: Justin Upton, San Diego Padres ($4,600)

Something tells me Justin Upton is going to continue his recent hot streak this week. Upton had reason to be frustrated Sunday when his eight-game hitting streak came to an end, but he can quickly start another one Monday against his former team.

During the offseason, the Atlanta Braves traded away Upton to the Padres for prospects. Now, he gets a chance at revenge in San Diego against rookie pitcher Williams Perez. Averaging 11.6 fantasy points per game over his last nine starts, Upton is a great value for a No. 1 outfielder or high-end No. 2.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Top DraftKings Bargains, Strategy for August 14

It's (almost) the freakin' weekend, baby, I'm about to have me some fun. Yeah, I just quoted R. Kelly. And I will not apologize because DraftKings daily fantasy has me feeling some kind of way before the weekend even starts.

OK, now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at the best options for a balanced lineup. Before setting your roster for Friday, take a look at these bargain-bin picks for August 14 on DraftKings.

 

Pitcher: Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics ($6,300)

Want to afford top-of-the-line pitchers like Max Scherzer or David Price? Well you're going to need a No. 2 starter that is affordable with numbers to back him up. That describes Chris Bassitt to a tee.

The Oakland Athletics churn out young pitchers with a wealth of talent, and Bassitt is the latest in that trend. With an average of 29.8 fantasy points in two August starts, Bassitt is primed for another key start. Oh, and one of those games was against the Baltimore Orioles—his Friday foe. Look for Bassitt to shine again.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,400)

Pedro Alvarez has been great in spurts this season. Those spurts haven't lasted long, but he is slowly heating up again in August. Over the last four games, Alvarez has seven hits, four extra-base hits, two homers, (*takes breath*) three runs and three RBI.

That, my friends, is good for an average of over 12 fantasy points during that stretch.

Sure, there are other first basemen for over $4,400 like Paul Goldschmidt or Chris Davis that are putting up solid production. But with Alvarez batting .444 with three extra-base hits against New York Mets righty Bartolo Colon, he's a perfect addition to any balanced lineup.

 

Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds ($3,500)

Speaking of players who are scorching hot recently, Brandon Phillips fits in that category. Alvarez has played well recently, but Dat Dude has just been absurd since July 30. Since that date, Phillips has a .411 average with five stolen bases, which is pretty good.

He also proved that he still has pop in his bat with a double and three RBI on Thursday. I'm not exactly sure why his price is so low, but Phillips boasts a higher average against left-handed pitchers this season. Going up against Alex Wood, who has struggled since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, Phillips is a solid option.

 

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians ($3,500)

For those who have read some of my recent articles, you are already aware of my thoughts on Francisco Lindor. Anyone who hasn't read those aforementioned nuggets of wisdom, you're forgiven. Luckily, you still have a chance to jump on the Lindor train while he's still trucking along.

During his current eight-game hitting streak, Lindor is averaging over 10 fantasy points per game. He's not tearing the cover off the ball like Carlos Correa or Troy Tulowitzki, but he's consistent at the plate—and over $1,000 less than both players against Trevor May and the Minnesota Twins.

 

Outfielder: Ben Zobrist, Kansas City Royals ($4,000)

Change has clearly been a good thing for Ben Zobrist. The utility man is making the most of entering a postseason push with the Kansas City Royals. How, exactly? Oh, you know, by hitting .314/.405/.600 during August.

Zobrist reached base in every at-bat Thursday night with two singles and two walks. He's also facing Los Angeles Angels hurler Jered Weaver, a pitcher he's comfortable against during his time with Oakland. Weaver is scuffling and Zobrist has a .320 OBP with four extra-base hits against him. At $4,000, Zobrist is an affordable outfielder for owners.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: Top DraftKings Bargains, Strategy for August 14

It's (almost) the freakin' weekend, baby, I'm about to have me some fun. Yeah, I just quoted R. Kelly. And I will not apologize because DraftKings daily fantasy has me feeling some kind of way before the weekend even starts.

OK, now that that's out of the way, let's take a look at the best options for a balanced lineup. Before setting your roster for Friday, take a look at these bargain-bin picks for August 14 on DraftKings.

 

Pitcher: Chris Bassitt, Oakland Athletics ($6,300)

Want to afford top-of-the-line pitchers like Max Scherzer or David Price? Well you're going to need a No. 2 starter that is affordable with numbers to back him up. That describes Chris Bassitt to a tee.

The Oakland Athletics churn out young pitchers with a wealth of talent, and Bassitt is the latest in that trend. With an average of 29.8 fantasy points in two August starts, Bassitt is primed for another key start. Oh, and one of those games was against the Baltimore Orioles—his Friday foe. Look for Bassitt to shine again.

 

First Baseman: Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates ($3,400)

Pedro Alvarez has been great in spurts this season. Those spurts haven't lasted long, but he is slowly heating up again in August. Over the last four games, Alvarez has seven hits, four extra-base hits, two homers, (*takes breath*) three runs and three RBI.

That, my friends, is good for an average of over 12 fantasy points during that stretch.

Sure, there are other first basemen for over $4,400 like Paul Goldschmidt or Chris Davis that are putting up solid production. But with Alvarez batting .444 with three extra-base hits against New York Mets righty Bartolo Colon, he's a perfect addition to any balanced lineup.

 

Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Reds ($3,500)

Speaking of players who are scorching hot recently, Brandon Phillips fits in that category. Alvarez has played well recently, but Dat Dude has just been absurd since July 30. Since that date, Phillips has a .411 average with five stolen bases, which is pretty good.

He also proved that he still has pop in his bat with a double and three RBI on Thursday. I'm not exactly sure why his price is so low, but Phillips boasts a higher average against left-handed pitchers this season. Going up against Alex Wood, who has struggled since joining the Los Angeles Dodgers, Phillips is a solid option.

 

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians ($3,500)

For those who have read some of my recent articles, you are already aware of my thoughts on Francisco Lindor. Anyone who hasn't read those aforementioned nuggets of wisdom, you're forgiven. Luckily, you still have a chance to jump on the Lindor train while he's still trucking along.

During his current eight-game hitting streak, Lindor is averaging over 10 fantasy points per game. He's not tearing the cover off the ball like Carlos Correa or Troy Tulowitzki, but he's consistent at the plate—and over $1,000 less than both players against Trevor May and the Minnesota Twins.

 

Outfielder: Ben Zobrist, Kansas City Royals ($4,000)

Change has clearly been a good thing for Ben Zobrist. The utility man is making the most of entering a postseason push with the Kansas City Royals. How, exactly? Oh, you know, by hitting .314/.405/.600 during August.

Zobrist reached base in every at-bat Thursday night with two singles and two walks. He's also facing Los Angeles Angels hurler Jered Weaver, a pitcher he's comfortable against during his time with Oakland. Weaver is scuffling and Zobrist has a .320 OBP with four extra-base hits against him. At $4,000, Zobrist is an affordable outfielder for owners.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Studs and Duds for August 13

The 2015 MLB season continues to roll along with less than two months before October. Most daily fantasy owners have likely gotten into a groove at this point, but the names at the top of lists are constantly changing.

Some players have risen to the task in August, while others have fallen off under the pressure of a playoff push. Ahead of Thursday's slate of games, here's a look at some studs and duds for August 13.

 

Studs

Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs ($10,800)

That massive investment by the Chicago Cubs in the offseason is finally starting to pay off. As October approaches, Lester is starting to turn it on with two runs or less allowed in his last four starts. Three of those happened to come at Wrigley Field, which is where the Cubs will play on Thursday.

Not to mention, Lester is facing off against the lowly Milwaukee Brewers. With an average of two runs scored over the last five games, it seems pretty obvious that Lester should put up similar results. At $1,400 less than Sonny Gray, Lester is an affordable ace for owners to target.

 

Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers ($4,500)

Prince Fielder's comeback season just keeps on going with another hot stretch recently. Over his last 10 games, Fielder is averaging over 10 fantasy points with five extra-base hits, including two homers.

Oh, let's also note that he has a perfect matchup on Thursday.

Ervin Santana has struggled in his last three starts, allowing 19 runs over that stretch with his last outing ending after 2.1 innings. Fielder holds a .444 on-base percentage against Santana with three home runs and a double. If you aren't convinced by now, maybe this isn't for you. Fielder is a lock.

 

Michael Cuddyer, New York Mets ($3,400)

In order to afford the Jon Lesters and Prince Fielders of the world, you'll need a value pick. Look no further than Michael Cuddyer. The New York Mets outfielder is back to the torrid pace he was on before hitting the disabled list last month.

Cuddyer's three hits, two runs, RBI and stolen base over the last two games prove he doesn't have any lingering effects. He's also facing Eddie Butler, who has been horrid at the MLB level this season. The stars are aligned for Cuddyer to go off, so don't miss this opportunity before his price goes up again.

 

Duds

Mat Latos, Los Angeles Dodgers ($7,200)

Most of the pitchers at the top of DraftKings' price sheet on Thursday are worthy of their salary. However, when looking for a pitcher to pair them up with, Mat Latos is not a formidable option. Even at $7,200, Latos is coming at too high of a price for his recent performance.

In his last two starts, Latos hasn't fooled anyone with just one strikeout—combined. While Latos would likely love to shut down his former team, the Cincinnati Reds are simply too patient at 22nd in the MLB in strikeouts (822). Wielding bats like Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, the Reds stars will get the better of their former teammate.

 

Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics ($4,100)

Josh Reddick is struggling. Like, getting the bat remotely close to the ball has been a tall task recently. Over his last 10 games, Reddick has barely averaged three fantasy points and has just one game where he reached double digits.

Reddick doesn't have a difficult matchup with Mark Buehrle on the mound, but the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher has a habit of making batters uncomfortable. His fast approach to the plate combined with Reddick's recent struggles are a bad omen for DraftKings owners.


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Bargain Buys, Sleepers for August 9

Sunday Funday is about to commence. In order to make sure the fun continues after fantasy baseball ends, DraftKings owners will need to build a balanced lineup.

While it's always easy to find the top players to target at the top of the price sheet, finding the hidden gems is tough. That's why we're here, y'all. Before locking up your MLB lineups on Sunday, here's a look at the top bargains and sleepers for August 9.

 

Pitcher: Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($6,700)

Don't let the last two starts for Andrew Cashner fool you; the Padres pitcher is still a steal on Sunday. Cashner is not only facing a struggling Phillies team, but he is also toeing the rubber in the friendly confines of Petco Park.

Sure, the mullet-laden hurler has been less than sensational in his last two starts. But both of those came on the road. Carrying a 19.1 fantasy-points-per-game average at Petco, Cashner will be right at home—literally—against the Phillies and will make DraftKings owners very happy.

 

First Baseman: Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,400)

Logan Forsythe has cooled down a bit since his great series against the Chicago White Sox, but he's still worth a roster spot to build a balanced lineup. With one swing of the bat, this first baseman is capable of changing the game for the Rays and DraftKings owners.

Forsythe has five hits in his last five games, with two doubles and a homer for a total of five runs and five RBI. Going up against an inconsistent pitcher in Bartolo Colon—who has allowed six or more earned runs in two starts since the All-Star break—look for Forsythe to put up solid numbers.

 

Second Baseman: Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles ($3,400)

If you don't already know who Jonathan Schoop is, you gone learn today.

The Orioles second baseman has been on fire recently, holding a seven-game hitting streak with multiple hits in four of those performances. He's also been outstanding this season against right-handed pitching, with a 1.021 OPS in 72 at-bats.

On Sunday, he'll face off with a struggling righty in Jered Weaver, who has allowed four or more earned runs in his last four starts. Expect great numbers again from Schoop on Sunday, with double-digit points not out of the question.

 

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians ($3,300)

The rookie just keeps on hitting. Since being called up, Francisco Lindor has lived up to the hype with both his glove and his bat. Even when he's not raising his batting average or getting on base, Lindor is helping score runs with his plate appearances.

Lindor still went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI on Saturday. He's averaged over 10 fantasy points in his last four games. He has better power numbers against righties, with four of his five homers coming against right-handed hurlers. Lindor truly can do it all and should be rostered in every lineup on Sunday at this price.

 

Outfielder: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies ($3,700)

On Tuesday, Carlos Gonzalez carried a $5,400 price tag. Less than one week later, his price has dropped nearly $2,000. The reason? He's facing off with Max Scherzer, one of the hottest names in MLB.

While Scherzer was unstoppable prior to the All-Star break, he's been human since. Scherzer was shelled by the Pirates after allowing three homers and gave up three earned runs recently to the Diamondbacks.

Gonzalez has not only hit a homer off Scherzer in the past, but he has two in his last three games. Oh, and he's hit 22 of his 23 home runs this season off right-handed pitching. Yeah, CarGo is certainly worth a roster spot against Scherzer at this price tag.

 


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Daily Fantasy Baseball 2015: MLB DraftKings Bargain Buys, Sleepers for August 9

Sunday Funday is about to commence. In order to make sure the fun continues after fantasy baseball ends, DraftKings owners will need to build a balanced lineup.

While it's always easy to find the top players to target at the top of the price sheet, finding the hidden gems is tough. That's why we're here, y'all. Before locking up your MLB lineups on Sunday, here's a look at the top bargains and sleepers for August 9.

 

Pitcher: Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres ($6,700)

Don't let the last two starts for Andrew Cashner fool you; the Padres pitcher is still a steal on Sunday. Cashner is not only facing a struggling Phillies team, but he is also toeing the rubber in the friendly confines of Petco Park.

Sure, the mullet-laden hurler has been less than sensational in his last two starts. But both of those came on the road. Carrying a 19.1 fantasy-points-per-game average at Petco, Cashner will be right at home—literally—against the Phillies and will make DraftKings owners very happy.

 

First Baseman: Logan Forsythe, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,400)

Logan Forsythe has cooled down a bit since his great series against the Chicago White Sox, but he's still worth a roster spot to build a balanced lineup. With one swing of the bat, this first baseman is capable of changing the game for the Rays and DraftKings owners.

Forsythe has five hits in his last five games, with two doubles and a homer for a total of five runs and five RBI. Going up against an inconsistent pitcher in Bartolo Colon—who has allowed six or more earned runs in two starts since the All-Star break—look for Forsythe to put up solid numbers.

 

Second Baseman: Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles ($3,400)

If you don't already know who Jonathan Schoop is, you gone learn today.

The Orioles second baseman has been on fire recently, holding a seven-game hitting streak with multiple hits in four of those performances. He's also been outstanding this season against right-handed pitching, with a 1.021 OPS in 72 at-bats.

On Sunday, he'll face off with a struggling righty in Jered Weaver, who has allowed four or more earned runs in his last four starts. Expect great numbers again from Schoop on Sunday, with double-digit points not out of the question.

 

Shortstop: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians ($3,300)

The rookie just keeps on hitting. Since being called up, Francisco Lindor has lived up to the hype with both his glove and his bat. Even when he's not raising his batting average or getting on base, Lindor is helping score runs with his plate appearances.

Lindor still went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI on Saturday. He's averaged over 10 fantasy points in his last four games. He has better power numbers against righties, with four of his five homers coming against right-handed hurlers. Lindor truly can do it all and should be rostered in every lineup on Sunday at this price.

 

Outfielder: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies ($3,700)

On Tuesday, Carlos Gonzalez carried a $5,400 price tag. Less than one week later, his price has dropped nearly $2,000. The reason? He's facing off with Max Scherzer, one of the hottest names in MLB.

While Scherzer was unstoppable prior to the All-Star break, he's been human since. Scherzer was shelled by the Pirates after allowing three homers and gave up three earned runs recently to the Diamondbacks.

Gonzalez has not only hit a homer off Scherzer in the past, but he has two in his last three games. Oh, and he's hit 22 of his 23 home runs this season off right-handed pitching. Yeah, CarGo is certainly worth a roster spot against Scherzer at this price tag.

 


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Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter for more MLB DraftKings advice.

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