Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chris' Cash Crusaders - DraftKings MLB

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With the NFL season underway, many people are forgetting about the final two weeks of the long, grueling MLB campaign. With new players entering the fray for football and possibly trying their hand at baseball, there is money to be made in cash games. I've yet to put my DFS thoughts down on paper, but now seems like as good a time as any. Without further ado, let's take a look at some of the top plays at each position.


Basic cash-game strategy says to always pay up for pitching, and my rankings are no different. Even with a good matchup, cheap pitchers are cheap for a reason. They usually don't go deep into games or strike out a ton of batters. The ones that have 20-point potential are generally boom/bust players best reserved for tournaments. In cash, reliable pitching is always king and provides a much higher floor than high-priced hitting.

David Price ($12,500) at ATL

While Jake Arrieta is the best pitcher taking the mound tonight, his price is up to $14,000 and the Pirates are no slouch. The slumping Braves, on the other hand, are one of MLB's worst-hitting teams, particularly against left-handed pitching. Price has exceeded 21 fantasy points in each of his last five starts and has a chance to push for 30 on Wednesday night.

Jaime Garcia ($9,100) at MIL

Wednesday is apparently the night of the left-handed pitcher. Garcia's price dropped $800 after a tough start against the Reds, but Cincinnati hits lefties well and was playing at Great American Ballpark, a noted bandbox. Miller Park isn't exactly a pitcher's haven itself, but the Brewers don't hit lefties well and Garcia racked up 26.2 fantasy points in a start there just over a month ago.

Luis Severino ($8,400) at TB

Severino is another pitcher whose price has dropped after a tough outing, but anybody facing the Blue Jays in Yankee Stadium gets a pass in my book. In his short New York career, Severino has pitched better on the road, which is the case for most of the Yankees' staff as a whole, and he faces a weak-hitting Rays team at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. Going against Chris Archer isn't ideal for picking up a win, but Severino had four straight 20-point starts before his last outing and should hit that plateau again, even if he's stuck with a loss or no-decision.

Others to consider: Bartolo Colon ($8,100) vs. MIA, Gio Gonzalez ($8,000) at PHI, Alex Wood ($6,600) vs. COL, Erik Johnson ($4,400) vs. OAK


When it comes to hitters in cash games, I focus on per-dollar value over potential upside. If you want to roster hitters that can post 30-point nights, that's what tournaments as for, and frankly how tournaments are won. That being said, sometimes a big-time hitter finds his way into the top 10 price-point plays, which is a great sign he'll have a game that meets value.

1B/OF Clint Robinson ($2,500) at PHI

It may be strange to see a cheap, non-everyday player at the top of this list, but it only takes approximately one extra-base hit or an RBI single for a player this cheap to hit value. The first-base position is extremely top-heavy, so finding cheap production isn't easy. Robinson gets to face off against overmatched Phillies youngster Alec Asher and has hit righties as well as most $4,000 players do this season. Just make sure he's in the lineup.

OF David Peralta ($3,300) vs. SD
OF Ender Inciarte ($3,400) vs. SD

Diamondbacks left-handers are in a great spot tonight, facing off against Andrew Cashner at Chase Field. Hitters in a game with an over/under of 9 runs that bat at the top of a productive lineup against a pitcher that struggles against batters from their side of the plate shouldn't be this cheap. Both hit right-handers well and excel at home, and should be staples in any cash lineup.

OF Jason Heyward ($3,500) at MIL

Heyward has been priced around $4,000 over the past few weeks and was $4,300 yesterday. So why the drop? Facing Wily Peralta at Miller Park doesn't exactly instill fear in a hitter, especially one as hot as Heyward, who has 66 fantasy points in his past five games. He's another great left-handed outfield value Wednesday night, as there's no real reason he shouldn't cost at least $500 more.

1B Brandon Belt ($4,300) vs. CIN

You can't play Belt if you roster the four bats mentioned above, but he's a great play if you have some money left to pay up a little bit. He has 65 fantasy points in his last five games and faces Michael Lorenzen, who has been crushed by left-handed hitters this season. Belt had been batting fifth in the order until getting dropped to sixth last night, and is a much better play if he gets back into the five-hole Wednesday.

1B Chris Davis ($5,100) vs. BOS

See, I told you I'm not allergic to big bats. They just need to be scorching hot and in a good situation. Davis is both, despite facing left-hander Henry Owens. He's hit southpaws well this season (.382 wOBA) and rakes at Camden Yards (.408 wOBA), while Owens has struggled in a small sample against lefties and was stronger against right-handers in the minors, too. Few will be on him, making him a great contrarian play in tournaments, but he's usable in cash for me as well.

2B/3B Anthony Rendon ($4,000) at PHI

The Nationals have a few top plays tonight, thanks to a great matchup against Asher. Rendon has been hot of late and finally looks to be putting his injury-plagued season behind him as he finishes strong. He's not unbelievably cheap, but is a nice alternative at the keystone compared to Jose Altuve's $5,400 price tag, which is likely only worth it in tournaments or turbo games.

3B Juan Uribe ($3,100) vs. MIA

Uribe should find his way into the top five spots in the Mets' lineup tonight against left-hander Adam Conley, and he's been an excellent option against lefties all season, not just since joining the Mets. New York's winning streak was snapped last night with Jacob DeGrom on the mound, and you can bet they don't want to drop two in a row and lose a series to Miami. Uribe is a great cheap play tonight and while David Wright is a better play on the same team at the same positions, he's $1,300 more.

OF Bryce Harper ($5,900) at PHI

I hadn't played Harper in a cash game in weeks before Tuesday's matchup with David Buchanan, but I decided he was worth the money. All Harper did was crush two home runs and score 37 fantasy points. He's on the radar again tonight and if you can build a lineup you like around him, Price and Garcia, you'll be in good shape. The excess of outfield value near the top of this list, however, makes him less of a priority than he was Tuesday.

C Travis d'Arnaud ($5,000) vs. MIA

With the exception of Kyle Schwarber, catchers usually don't make my top 10. d'Arnaud has been crushing the ball lately, however, and his season OPS is up to .929 with a .566 wOBA against left-handers. It's tough to spend this kind of money at catcher when you can throw it at a hitter like Harper, but the lower-range plays at the position don't compare to the ones in the outfield and d'Arnaud is not hitting like a catcher. Like with Belt, though, just make sure d'Arnaud is batting in the top five spots in the order for the potential for that extra at-bat.

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