Neil previews today’s game action and shares his top Draft Kings plays for June 12th.
Today we have 15 games on the MLB schedule starting at 4:05 p.m. Be sure to check the weather forecasts before game times as always as there might be issues in the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh and Cleveland/Detroit games.
Make sure to check your lineups before game times for late scratches!
Today is the opposite of yesterday with respect to pitching. As Jim so eloquently pointed out yesterday, all of the highest priced pitchers on the board were having their fair of struggles and it was a great day to load up on hitters. Today, some of the best pitchers in the game toe the rubber: Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Danny Salazar and others, so it might be best to stock up on pitching.
I am taking one of the elite hurlers today and also taking a chance on another pitcher who is not as highly pedigreed. There are some hitter match-ups that I like, so I am foregoing the more expensive pitching options. Here’s to hoping that my 2nd pitcher can come through with a nice game. Let’s see how it goes.
1. Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle Mariners ($11,300)
The Astros have certainly improved this year, but they remain the easiest team in the major leagues to strike out. To date, they have whiffed 561 times, the most in the majors. Today, they face off against the venerable King Felix, who knows a thing or two about strikeouts, ranking 4th in the AL this year in the category and 9th in the league in K/9. Felix may let up a run or two, but I think he’ll strike out double-digit hitters and could score close to 30 points this game.
2. Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates ($6,000)
I know what you are all thinking. With all those aces on the board, how can I possibly recommend a pitcher with an ERA over 5.00? First off, Locke faces the Phillies who remain last in MLB with 194 runs and a team OPS of .645. Moreover, Locke has absolutely dominated the Phills in his career with a 4-0 record, a 1.35 ERA and a 0.788 WHIP. Last, while Locke has been abysmal on the road this year (ERA of 8.37) he has actually pitched reasonably well at home with a 3.52 ERA and a 3.53 FIP. For $6,000, he allows me to put some bats in my lineup.
3. Albert Pujols, 1B, Los Angeles Angels ($4,400)
Pujols gets to face off against Jesse Chavez today who he has hit particularly well in his career. In 18 career plate appearances, Prince Albert has a .438/.500/.625 line versus Chavez. He also gets to play at home where he sports a .287/.320/.522 line on the season. Pujols is not overly pricy today but is a nice play.
4. JJ Hardy, SS, Baltimore Orioles ($3,100)
Hardy is very cheap and is facing a pitcher that he has owned in his career in Michael Pineda. In 11 career plate appearances against Pineda, Hardy has hit 3 home runs and sports a .545/.545/1.364 line. Who knows if JJ can continue his mastery of Pineda, but at this price, I am more than willing to find out.
5. Nelson Cruz, OF, Seattle Mariners ($4,700)
Make sure you check the lineups right up until game time since Cruz has missed the last couple of days with a minor ailment. If Cruz does indeed play against the Astros and Brett Oberholtzer, you can expect some fireworks. Cruz is hitting a positively Donaldsonian .472/.558/1.083 versus left-handed pitching this year and has homered every 7 ABs against southpaws. Just like Josh Donaldson, if Cruz is playing against a lefty, he is in my lineup until further notice.
6. Joey Butler, OF, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,800)
John Danks against right-handed batters is like throwing kerosene on a fire. He has given up a collective .323/.373/.586 line to right-handed hitters this year. Joey Butler has been a revelation for the Rays this season, especially against left-handed pitching, who he has hit at a .341/.341/.591 pace. This is a nice match-up for Butler and you can expect great production at a reasonable cost.
7. Logan Forsythe, 2B, Tampa Bay Rays ($3,200)
As I pointed out above, John Danks really struggles against right-handed hitting. Forsythe’s batting average has not been phenomenal against lefties, but he sports an impressive .543 slugging percentage against off-handed pitching including 5 of his homers this year. This nice cheap price allows me to get some other expensive bats in my line-up (including Giancarlo Stanton against human pinata Kyle Kendrick). I love young Logan at this cost.
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @nschnurbach
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