With just over a week until the All-Star break, Major League Baseball continues a great summer of fantasy baseball with a four-game main slate on DraftKings Saturday night. The action starts with a pair of divisional games as the Yankees continue their stop at Fenway Park to face the Red Sox and the Padres host the Giants in the NL West. The two other contests are late starts from the West Coast where the Blue Jays and Cubs continue their series against the Mariners and Dodgers, respectively.
Even with a limited player pool, the eight teams in action offer several different ways to consider building your roster. Make sure to keep up with all the latest lineups and player news by installing the DK Live app and following DK Live on Twitter (@dklive). I’m also available on Twitter (@ZT_Sports).
Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($9,700) – The top two SP available go head to head as Ray faces his former team from Toronto and Alek Manoah ($9,100). Ray started a little slowly in his first season in Seattle, but the reigning AL Cy Young winner has settled into a great groove over his past five starts. While he has only gone 2-0, he has averaged 28.34 DKFP by stacking up 40 strikeouts in 33 2⁄3 innings and allowing just three runs over that span. He has been sharp at home all year with a 2.33 ERA and 2.66 FIP, holding opposing hitters to a .175 batting average and picking up 68 strikeouts in 58 home innings. Ray is the top arm to build around even in a less-than-ideal matchup against the strong Toronto lineup.
Other Option – Clayton Kershaw ($8,500)
Carlos Rodón, San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres ($8,400) – Rodón is another of last offseason’s biggest free-agent acquisitions who has fit in well with his new squad. In his 16 starts with the Giants, Rodón has gone 7-5 with a 2.87 ERA and 2.24 FIP and 112 strikeouts in 91 innings. He lost to the Padres earlier this season but did have a quality start, allowing just two runs in six innings while striking out six. He had a nice string of four straight strong starts snapped in his most recent outing against the Diamondbacks, who knocked him around a bit in Arizona. His high strikeout rate gives him both a high floor and a high ceiling, and I think he’ll be able to bounce back against the Padres, who have scored the second-fewest runs in the Majors over the past 15 days.
Other Options – Yu Darvish ($7,900), Jordan Montgomery ($6,500)
Christian Váqzuez, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees ($4,300) – Most of the hottest stud hitters on this slate are OF plays, but Vázquez is a strong option to consider at the sometimes-tricky catcher spot. He has picked up his season batting average to an impressive .296 with a .335 wOBA and four homers. He has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 starts, going 20-for-50 (.400) with five doubles, a home run and a .445 wOBA. He gets a good matchup against lefty Jordan Montgomery ($6,500), who he is 6-for-18 (.333) against in his career with a pair of home runs. He also has great splits against lefties, hitting .321 with a .380 wOBA against southpaws this year.
Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox ($4,200) – Torres is another solid midrange play and comes into this contest on a nice roll with multiple hits and double-digit DKFP in four straight games. He has gone 9-for-18 (.500) over those four games with three doubles and a stolen base. Over his past 24 games, he’s hitting a robust .322 with a .401 wOBA and three home runs. At such an affordable rate in such a productive lineup, Torres is a solid option in a good matchup highlighted below in stacks.
Other Options – Freddie Freeman ($5,200), Xander Bogaerts ($4,300)
Santiago Espinal, Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners ($3,700) – Even though I like Ray, Espinal is still a great play under $4K against a lefty. He’s been a regular in my picks all season against southpaws, against whom he has a .371 average and .436 wOBA on the year. Espinal actually hit leadoff against the last lefty the Blue Jays faced and had 13 DKFP on Thursday. He followed that up with another double-digit DKFP performance on Friday thanks to his fifth stolen base of the season. He produced exactly 100 DKFP over his past 13 games while going 17-for-50 (.340) with two stolen bases, three doubles and a home run.
J.P. Crawford, Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays ($3,600) – Crawford has hit safely in six straight games, going 9-for-26 (.346) with a double, triple and five RBI. With Ty France ($4,400) back from injury and Julio Rodríguez ($5,400) in the leadoff spot, Crawford seems set to hit third in the lineup putting him in a premium run-production spot. While he has dominated righties, Manoah has let lefties hit .263 with a .314 wOBA, so if you’re going to play Mariners, look to lefties like Crawford, who seems to be heating up coming into this contest.
Other Options – Ha-Seong Kim ($2,900), Brandon Crawford ($2,400)
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox ($5,900) – Judge was DH on Friday after getting Thursday off, so there could still be an issue with whatever “lower-body soreness” he’s dealing with. That being said, the slugger has been so good this season, he’s still a top play in the good matchup highlighted below in stacks. Judge is hitting .282 on the year with 30 homers and a .408 wOBA. He has homered five times over his 15 most recent contests, but even though his torrid pace from earlier this season has slowed a bit, he’s still an option that always brings a very high ceiling with his elite power potential.
Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs ($5,600) – Betts didn’t get much going Friday, going 0-for-5, but he is still 6-for-23 (.261) with three home runs since returning from a rib injury six games ago. He is up to 20 homers on the season and is hitting .272 with a .384 wOBA. Betts and the Dodgers should be in a good spot against Marcus Stroman ($8,000) who is coming off the injured list and has allowed 31 runs and eight home runs in his nine starts with the Cubs this year. Betts always brings a high ceiling with his dual-threat potential.
Other Options – Julio Rodríguez ($5,400), Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100)
Gavin Lux, Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs ($3,700) – It’s easy to forget given the Dodgers’ embarrassment of offensive riches that Lux was a top prospect as well. The 24-year-old is up to .296 on the season now with a solid .345 wOBA. He has hit safely in 11 of his past 13 games, going 15-for-43 (.349) with two doubles, two triples and a home run. Since he usually hits ninth, he does bring a little sneaky correlation with Betts in the leadoff spot, so he makes sense under $4K either in the OF or at 2B, where he’s also eligible.
Rob Refsnyder, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees ($3,400) – Refsnyder picked up four hits on Friday night and totaled 18 DKFP from the leadoff spot against lefty Nestor Cortes. He could definitely be back in that spot Saturday with another lefty on the mound in Montgomery. The former Yankees prospect has looked solid in his limited work with the Red Sox, hitting .339 in his 20 games with two home runs and a .399 wOBA. He has hit lefties well throughout his career and is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with three doubles, a home run and a .493 wOBA vs. LHP so far this season.
Other Options – Mike Yastrzemski ($3,500), LaMonte Wade ($2,600)
TEAMS TO STACK
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox – The Yankees lead the Majors in just about every meaningful offensive category and are averaging 5.2 runs per game while smashing 143 home runs, 12 more than any other team in the Majors. They’re in a hitter-friendly ballpark and taking on a rookie starter for the second night in a row when they face Kutter Crawford ($5,500). Crawford did look good as a bulk reliever in his last outing against the Rays, but the Yankees lineup is on a whole other level. Crawford has pitched in 11 games (two starts) and has a 5.04 ERA and 4.18 FIP, surrendering four home runs in 25 innings. Lefties have three of those four home runs but righties have slightly better splits across the board with a .330 wOBA against the 26-year-old. Anthony Rizzo ($4,900) and Joey Gallo ($2,600) are the only lefties in the Yankees’ regular lineup while switch-hitting Aaron Hicks ($2,600) will join them on that side for this matchup. Aaron Judge (highlighted above), DJ LeMahieu ($4,400), Giancarlo Stanton ($5,100), Gleyber Torres (highlighted above) and Josh Donaldson ($3,900) all have huge upside and should be able to get going again on Saturday night. Even if Crawford has a ceiling game, the Boston bullpen is overstretched and has struggled, so there should still be innings for New York to put up runs.
San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres – The Giants pounded Yu Darvish ($7,900) for nine runs on eight hits over just 1 2⁄3 innings earlier in the season, and they’ll hope to get to the Padres’ ace again in this rematch. Darvish gave up just one home run in that outing but has surrendered nine in his 15 games this season, including three in his most recent start against the Dodgers. Overall, he has a 3.53 ERA and 3.37 FIP but his strikeout rate has dropped significantly from 10.77 K/9 last season to only 8.11 K/9 so far this year. Mike Yastrzemski ($3,500) is one of several Giants hitters with good career numbers against him, going 5-for-12 (.417) with three homers against Darvish, and Brandon Belt ($3,600) has gone 5-for-16 (.313) in their previous meetings with a pair of home runs as well. LaMonte Wade Jr. ($2,600) is an affordable option who is expected to hit leadoff while Joc Pederson ($4,400) and Brandon Crawford ($2,400) will also be on the opposite-hand side of the splits. Overall, the Giants are surprisingly affordable and can be a nice stack to blend with the pricey Yankees options or to use if you target big bats in other spots.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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