Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 5th.
Today we have 15 games on the MLB schedule starting at 7:05 p.m. Be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as always as there might be issues in the Baltimore/Cleveland, San Diego/ Cincinnati/ Pittsburgh/Atlanta and Miami/Colorado games.
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches!
I am currently at an industry conference in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and just partook in a guilty pleasure that I rarely do by smoking a Monte Cristo Cuban cigar with my boss.
In honor of my indiscretion, I have decided to throw a couple of my favorite Cubanos into my DFS lineup today. They may also have some favorable match-ups – and really that’s what you all care about, right? Let’s get on with today’s picks.
1. Jake Odorizzi, SP, Tampa Bay Rays ($8,600)
Odorizzi sounds like the name of some cheap car air-freshener, but in reality, it is the name of a pretty darned good pitcher out in Tampa. Young Jake has become one of the best starters in the game, ranking 7th in the AL in WAR for pitchers, 6th in ERA, and 6th in K/9. Today he gets to face off against a Seattle team that is 25th in MLB against RHP with a .669 OPS. His price is not prohibitively high and Odorizzi might be the best pitcher on the board today.
2. Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics ($7,500)
I have to admit that I am a little bit apprehensive about starting Kazmir today given that he left his last start with shoulder soreness and missed a turn in the rotation. That having been said, he is having a very nice season and has been striking out plenty of batters, ranking 10th in the AL in K/9. The Red Sox were supposed to have a potent offense, but they have really struggled against lefties this year to the tune of .225/.299/.364. Kazmir has traditionally had trouble with the always pesky Dustin Pedroia, but otherwise should be able to expertly navigate through the Sox lineup. He is a good play at this price.
3. Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox ($5,500)
While Abreu is quite expensive today, I am looking for him to regain his 2014 form when he was perhaps the best hitter in the majors against LHP with a .353/.437/.662 line. It is true that he hasn’t hit lefties nearly as well this year (.690 OPS), but he gets to face off against Tigers’ rookie Kyle Ryan who is a junkballer that throws a lot of strikes. I think Abreu will eventually get his stats against lefties back to 2014 levels and I think it starts today.
4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston Red Sox ($4,200)
I don’t usually like to start a player if I am also starting the pitcher that he matches up against. But as I said above, Pedroia has owned Kazmir in his career in a very large sample size. In 50 plate appearances, Pedroia has hit .475/.580/.800 against Kazmir and he will probably lead off the game and get 4-5 more plate appearances. While I like Kazmir for a good outing, I still think Dustin will bang out a couple of hits and is worth playing at his relatively low price.
5. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Detroit Tigers ($4,200)
As always, be sure to check the Tigers’ starting line-up before locking in this pick because Cespedes left yesterday’s game feeling under the weather. If he is healthy, however, be sure to get him in your lineup as he loves facing White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana. In 10 career plate appearances, Cespedes has 4 HRs, 5 extra-base hits and a .667/.700/2.111 line against Quintana. Until this utter domination slows down, I will always play Cespedes against Quintana.
6. Jose Bautista, OF, Toronto Blue Jays ($5,200)
Another BvP all-star today is Toronto’s Jose Bautista who has a .412/.545/1.049 career line in 20 plate appearances against Roberto Hernandez including 6 extra-base hits. I usually reserve playing Bautista against left-handed pitching given his always high price on DraftKings but I couldn’t resist the temptation against a pitcher who he has owned in his career.
7. Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins ($4,700)
Yelich is probably the most overpriced player on the board today. He has not found his stride at all this season as is evidenced by his sub-.600 OPS. In reality, it is somewhat inexplicable that DraftKings has priced him this highly. That having been said, Colorado’s Eddie Butler allows lefties to hit an astronomical .333/.439/.529 against him and Yelich might be the Marlins’ best left-handed hitter with pop. I was really hoping to spend $1,500 less and get Yelich in my line-up and I had sticker shock when I saw the price and set my line-up, but I put him in there anyway.
Others in my line-up at this point are relatively cheap – Caleb Joseph ($3,000) at catcher, Alex Guerrero (another Cubano) at $3,100 at 3B and Ian Desmond at a pretty cheap $3,900 for SS.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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