Welcome to our MLB Daily Fantasy Breakdown! Today, we have a nice slate of Saturday baseball.
There should be another high interesting night, but unfortunately tonight we don’t get a free space like we did last night with Kike Hernandez. There are some nice pitching options, but in my opinion, they dry out quickly. Coors should be good again tonight. I do want to mention the Padres pitching situation quickly here: last night, Andrew Cashner was pulled after 6 pitchers, and Luis Perdomo pitched 6 strong innings [for a bad pitcher at Coors]. He is their long reliever, so the team could be forced to keep Johnson out there longer than usual even if he is struggling [which all indications are that he will]. To me, this makes the Rockies bats the center of what I am going to want to focus on tonight. If I had to have just two, it would be Arenado and Gonzalez. I will be leaving the Rockies off the list tonight because of their matchup.
Today, we will break everything down position by position. If you like what you see, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter @researchandwin and let us know we helped you or yell at us for leading you down the wrong path.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to the picks:
JAKE ARRIETA – At the top, it comes down to either Arrieta or Fernandez. While I undoubtedly think that Fernandez has more upside in this matchup, I am bothered with the fact that he is away from home and in an environment where the weather is now beginning to favor hitting even more than usual. Arrieta has been pretty steady thus far, and is akin to Kershaw in terms of being trustworthy for cash game play. He doesn’t have the upside of Kershaw, but the matchup against the Braves is good. I always say they are pesky, as they always seem to mess up a good thing, even with Kershaw last time out. Still, Arrieta is who I will be building my cash teams around Saturday.
CHRIS ARCHER – Chris Archer is easily the top tournament play in my mind today. The Astros are a team that are either hit or miss. If Archer is on and he can hold them off the score sheet, it is easily conceivable that he could end up with his highest strikeout total on the day. He will likely be much less owned due to Arrieta, Fernandez and Coors being on the slate, but he is easily one of my favorites today.
TANNER ROARK – Roark represents probably the lowest I would go on the day. I don’t think you can feel great about rostering Roark after seeing what the Phillies did to Strasburgh and company yesterday. I wouldn’t suggest using Roark in your cash games, but I think he is a reasonable tournament play tonight, with his upside being around 50 if he is able to get the win. That could be tough with Aaron Nola on the mound.
JONATHAN LUCROY – Logan Verrett started some games early this year with limited success. I am not expecting him to see a ton of innings, but I believe Lucroy could see a few at bats against him. I like the upside for the Brewers today, and Lucroy is one of the better catching options each and every time he plays.
BOBBY WILSON – Bobby Wilson is one of my favorite catchers, as he is usually minimum price, somehow manages to get on base and plays for a team that can score runs top to bottom. However, every time he sees a good matchup, it seems as if he sits, so be prepared for Bryan Holoday to start tonight. If by some stroke of luck Wilson does start, he is worth a look.
JOEY VOTTO– Votto seems to be rounding into shape after a pretty wretched stretch earlier in the year. Kendall Graveman is still a pitcher you want to pick on, and I will take both of the Reds lefties in this one. Votto could go slightly lower owned than normal because of what the rest of the slate looks like, but he is still one of my favorites tonight.
JUSTIN SMOAK – Smoak is an interesting option, as he hits righties well, and he gets a very bad righty in Mike Wright. He is only a tournament option due to his true boom or bust nature, but ultimately that is what you are looking for. There are enough games that he could definitely go overlooked, and is cheap enough to allow you to get a top pitcher in with ease.
BRIAN DOZIER – Dozier is in play especially when he is going against a lefty. Eduardo Rodriguez has been rough to start the year, and this should be yet another high scoring game to use on the slate. That is what we are looking for – high scoring games, and players within those games that are in good situations.
NEIL WALKER – If he is in the lineup, Walker makes a fantastic play. Wily Peralta is going to do Wily Peralta things, and that puts the Mets front and center as excellent plays on tonight’s slate. There is a good chance he will sit out again, but if he doesn’t, Walker makes a tremendous play.
KYLE SEAGER – Seager went deep last night, and against Colby Lewis, he could again tonight. Lewis has not been the gas can we are used to, but I still don’t think he is actually a pitcher I want to avoid. Seager should have a good outing, and makes for a nice tournament play.
KELLY JOHNSON/CHRIS COGHLAN – For me, especially in cash games, I will be looking toward one of these guys for salary relief. I am likely to go Johnson as he is minimum priced, in a hitters park and against one of the worst pitchers this side of Alfredo Simon. If he is able to cross the ten point mark, he has paid off well. If he knocks one out of the park, you are likely to be sitting in a good spot.
ASDRUBAL CABRERA– I know it seems unfair to just list Mets, but honestly, Wily Peralta is that bad that you may be able to get away with playing most of this roster and having success. He should have good lineup position, and is a safe bet to not leave you with a zero tonight.
TIM ANDERSON – So full disclosure, I am always a fan of grabbing a prospect when they get called to the big leagues because they are usually cheap and most don’t know who they are. Anderson has been one of the top, if not the top, prospect in the White Sox organization. I am hoping he adds a spark to the team. Chris Young is an easy target, as we saw this weekend when Cleveland completely decimated him.
ROBBIE GROSSMAN – Grossman continues to put together good fantasy outings for his price, and nothing should change tonight against Eduardo Rodriguez. He gets a prime lineup spot, and has at least a few guys behind him who can bring him in. He makes a nice cash game play tonight.
MARCELL OZUNA– The Marlins started their trip to Arizona in grand fashion, and get another good matchup tonight against Patrick Corbin. Ozuna has been one of the best in the league against lefties, and he should continue to be again tonight.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY – Piscotty is another guy who has hit lefties really well this year, and gets Francisco Liriano tonight. The price is up there, and he hasn’t been turning out amazing fantasy performances lately, but still, he needs to be considered in tournaments tonight.
YOENIS CESPEDES – Cespedes is probably my favorite cash game play tonight, because of his price, matchup and upside. He should easily be 4k tonight, but instead, he is sitting around 3.5k. I’m fine with that, and I’ll take the extra $500 to use elsewhere. He is an easy plug and play for me, and will see a high tournament ownership as well.
JACKIE BRADLEY JR – Bradley is raking again and his price is very low. He gets another very strong matchup against Kyle Gibson, and will be one of my favorite plays on the night. There are a lot of good options, and I’m hoping Bradley is overlooked.