Jim shares his top Draft Kings plays for July 25th along with his thoughts for the day.
We have a full slate of games on tap today kicking off with 3 games at 4:05.
Be sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast for potential cancellations and make sure to check your lineups before game time for late scratches.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when it comes to Saturday I like to get a late start. Sleep in, lounge around in the morning, watch some TV, and eat breakfast sometime around brunch. That means I don’t even start thinking about baseball until sometime in the mid-afternoon. This is why I’m skipping those early games today and putting all my focus on the 10 night games. It’s probably for the best, there are some ugly pitching matchups this afternoon so if you do play the early games, hitters from Detroit, Boston, Baltimore, Toronto and Seattle could have a field day. Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner are the only two trusted names (at least in my book), but they are also the most expensive. Cole Hamels hasn’t been himself lately so I’m not sure I would trust him at Chicago despite the Cubs leading the league in strikeouts.
If you want guaranteed pitching you’ll need to sacrifice some bats and if you want big bats you’ll have to roll the dice on pitching. Granted you could just play in an all day contest, but I would rather enjoy the day, set my lineup later and then enjoy a few (dozen) adult beverages into the wee hours of the night/morning. Just remember: don’t drink and tweet – nothing good comes from that. One last note: David Ortiz ($4,100) is facing Alfredo Simon today and Simon has a .314 BAA against versus lefties and 10 of his 11 homers were to left-handed hitters. Find a way to get Big Papi in your lineup.
1. SP – Chris Sale (13,400) @Cleveland: Sale is the highest priced player on DraftKings today, but he is worth the money. In 9 of his last 11 starts he has reached double digits in strikeouts; that’s 20+ points right there if he accomplished that again today. Sticking with his last 11 starts: in that span he has walked more than one batter in a game just twice, allowed more than 6 hits twice and allowed more than 2 earned runs twice. As for his opponent today: for the month of July the Indians are in the bottom third of the league for batting average and tied for last in home runs so the runs should be kept to a minimum. While Cleveland is one of the better teams at hitting lefties, they are the 4th worst team when it comes to strikeouts against lefties (bad news since they’ll be facing a pitcher who is second in the league for K’s). Sale has faced the Indians once this season, pitching 8 innings and allowing 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 7. That comes out to about 27 points and I expect that at a minimum. There are times to be cheap with pitching; this is not one of those times.
2. SP – Zach Lee ($5,800) @New York: He was called up last Saturday but was sent back down the next day without throwing a pitch. He’ll make his long-awaited debut against the Mets today. Lee has been fairly dominant in AAA so far this season.
Those numbers are in the PCL so he should enjoy his debut at Citi-Field today. As for the Mets: for the month of July they are 25th in OBP, 24th in BA, 27th in slugging, 23rd in strikeouts and 28th in runs scored. Should make for a decent debut for the rookie, and the potential is there for Lee to put up close to 20 points on DraftKings. Considering a good number of pitchers priced above him will probably do the same, I’ll take the cheap guy and sink some money into my hitting today.
3. OF – Gerardo Parra ($4,100) @Arizona: It’s the perfect storm for the hot hitting Parra. He is hitting .317 for the season, .320 versus right-handed pitchers, .329 on the road and .419 in the month of July. Parra is one home run shy of tying his home run production for the first three months and is one of the few bright spots for the Milwaukee offense. Opposing pitcher Rubby De La Rosa has a .310 BAA versus left-handed hitters and 16 of his 22 home runs have come against lefties. He has been batted around this season, but July is his worst month yet with an ERA and WHIP of 6.32 and 1.85. I don’t know if Parra will hit a dinger today, but he should hit the snot out of the ball and get to Parra early and often.
4. OF – Alex Rios ($3,900) vs Houston: If you read my waiver wire report you would know that Rios is showing signs of life. What I did not mention is the fact that over the last 14 days Rios was the 5th best hitter in fantasy – batting .410 with 10 runs scored along with a home run and 2 stolen bases. While his season numbers are mediocre, Rios is batting 50 points higher against righties and is a .300 hitter at home. I expect the hits to continue today against right-handed Scott Feldman. Feldman has been very hittable this year and he picked up right where he left off before his DL trip in his first game back last Saturday. I’m not banking on a home run or stolen base today, but I’m not ruling either of them out. I do expect at least 2 hits, a run or two and at least 1 RBI at a minimum.
5. OF – Jose Altuve ($4,600) @Kansas City: Feel free to find a cheaper option to place at second and put your money elsewhere, but I’ll take Altuve almost any time he goes up against a lefty. Altuve is a .339 hitter against lefties and has almost as many doubles against lefties as he does righties in over half the at bats. He also has a better success rate against lefties when it comes to stolen bases; while Salvador Perez has thrown out his fair share of base runners, he has the seventh highest stolen base total allowed in the league. Danny Duffy has been pitching a little better lately, but Houston did tag him for 4 runs at the end of June so he can be gotten to. If you need a little more convincing, over the past 2 weeks Altuve has been one of the most productive second basemen hitting .342 with 2 home runs, 3 steals, 7 RBIs and 8 runs scored; tack on 4 doubles and 3 multi-hit games in the past week and it adds up to a nice point total for today.
6. 1B – Albert Pujols ($4,100) vs Texas: How can anyone not like Pujols this year. He has 29 home runs for the season, 24 of which have come against right-handers. His batting average is 60 points higher against righties and almost 50 points higher at home. He has 3 home runs in the past 7 days and looks to make it 4 today against a man he is very familiar with from their days in the national league. Phat Albert is 12 for 27 lifetime against Gallardo (.444) with 4 home runs and 11 RBIs. Yovani Gallardo has started to regress lately with 3 or more walks issues in each of his last 4 games and he has failed to make it through 6 innings his last 3 times out. Gallardo has also been rather hittable lately and his ERA is slowly inching up to reflect that 1.27 WHIP. I anticipate a big game here.
7. SS – Jung Ho Kang ($3,300) @Pittsburgh: Kang has been hot over the past week going 12 for 262 (.462) with a 1.112 OPS. He’s also hitting better at home (.326) and has more power against lefties. Gio Gonzalez has been better lately but still owns a 5.36 road ERA and struggles against righties. Gio is stingy when it comes to home run (only 5 this season), but he has been very hittable which is why I picked Kang. I don’t expect a home run (though it would be nice), but I do expect 2-3 hits and maybe a run or two. For $3,300, that’s a bargain in my opinion – and there is potential for fireworks which makes Kang a nice play.
That leaves you $10,800 for a catcher, third baseman and a third outfielder so unlike most weeks, I’m not leaving you with no money to play with. I’ll try to post my lineup later this afternoon but forgive me if real life intervenes.
Now that’s refreshing!
For my complete lineup, follow me on twitter @TheJimFinch
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