We have seven games on the evening slate on FanDuel starting at 7:05 PM EST. Roster construction is a little tricky tonight as you have some high quality, high priced batters available, as well as the best pitcher in the game on the mound. We’re here to help you narrow down your selections to put together a winning lineup. Good luck!
Max Scherzer – WAS at ATL – $12,500 - Scherzer has reached a new level this season, pitching better than he did when he won the Cy Young Award in 2013. He’s always been an elite strikeout pitcher, and now he has cut his walks down to a miniscule 3.3%. RotoGrinders provides extensive MLB player statistics if you want to see just how good Scherzer has been. The salary is high, but it is very dangerous not to play him in cash games tonight against Atlanta. The Braves are struggling without Freddie Freeman in the lineup, having scored just 16 in their past nine games. Scherzer will give you innings, strikeouts, and a high probability of a win, which gives you a solid floor and unlimited upside.
Scott Kazmir – OAK vs SEA - $9,000 – If you don’t want to pay the price for Scherzer, Scott Kazmir is the next best option tonight. Kazmir has been a very steady pitcher this year with only one start in which he allowed over three runs. In the month of June he had a 28:8 K:BB ratio in 32 innings with a 2.53 ERA. He is a solid favorite on the MLB odds board at home against the Mariners.
Russell Martin – TOR vs BOS - $3,400 – The Blue Jays have scored the most runs in the majors by a huge margin, and at home against a left-handed pitcher, virtually their entire lineup is in play. Martin is one of the more affordable Toronto batters, and he is the top catcher on the board tonight. He has a .433 wOBA against lefties this season to go with excellent plate discipline.
Salvador Perez – KC vs MIN - $2,400 - The Twins’ Kyle Gibson is a pitcher who survives by inducing ground balls with a very low strikeout rate. The Royals are the toughest team in the league to strike out, meaning there are going to be a lot of balls in play against Gibson tonight. His .272 BABIP is due to rise and his 3.30 ERA should end up closer to his 4.17 SIERA. Salvador Perez has a great contact rate for a catcher and is a reverse splits hitter who has been better against right-handed pitching over the past two seasons.
Paul Goldschmidt – ARI vs COL - $5,400 - It’s going to be tough to fit in a high priced bat like Goldschmidt along with Scherzer tonight, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention Goldy at home against a below average lefty. Along with Josh Donaldson, who we’ll talk about at third base, Goldschmidt at home against left-handed pitchers is always a top play. He has a .475 wOBA this season against LHP, after posting a .470 mark in 2014. Colorado’s Chris Rusin has allowed a .376 wOBA to right-handed batters over his career with a low 14.2% strikeout rate. This matchup could get ugly for the Rockies.
Ben Paulsen – COL at ARI - $2,600 – The other first baseman in this game doesn’t inspire the same confidence as Goldschmidt, but at this price, Paulsen needs to be considered tonight against Jeremy Hellickson. Hellickson is not pitching well against left-handed batters this season, with a 15.6% strikeout rate and 10.6% walk rate. While he’s probably not as bad as his 5.08 ERA indicates, he has always struggled with home runs throughout his career. Paulsen comes in with a .376 wOBA against right-handed pitching.
Ben Zobrist – OAK vs SEA - $3,300 – Zobrist hit the ball well in June with a .381 wOBA and 18 walks against just 10 strikeouts. He faces Seattle’s Roenis Elias, whose strikeout rate drops dramatically against right-handed batters. Zobrist’s plate discipline makes him an attractive cash game target.
DJ LeMahieu – COL at ARI - $2,800 – LeMahieu is another way to get exposure to the Rockies offense against Jeremy Hellickson without breaking the bank. Colorado’s top hitters, Blackmon, Arenado and Tulowitzki, are difficult to fit under the salary cap, but LeMahieu typically slots in between Blackmon and Tulo, giving him lots of run scoring opportunities.
Josh Donaldson – TOR vs BOS - $3,900 - Donaldson at home against a left-handed pitcher is always an elite play. Given his price, he is the hitter I am most likely to force into my lineups tonight. He is crushing lefties again this season with a .452 wOBA and an OPS of 1.141. In home games, those numbers go up to a .475 wOBA and 1.162 OPS. Boston’s Wade Miley has been inconsistent all season and comes in with a 4.31 SIERA and a below average strikeout rate.
Danny Valencia – TOR vs BOS - $2,700 – If you can’t afford Donaldson tonight, there’s no need to leave the Rogers Centre. You can jump down to teammate Danny Valencia, who is yet another lefty crusher in this loaded lineup. He has a career batting average of .332 against LHP and comes in with a .391 wOBA this season.
Xander Bogaerts – BOS at TOR – $2,700 - While Toronto is the team I most want exposure to in this game, don’t forget about the Red Sox. They face rookie left-hander Matt Boyd, who is making his second career start. Boyd struck out seven batters in his first start, but also allowed nine hits, including three home runs. He has limited experience above AA, so he is likely to have some struggles with major league hitters. Bogaerts hit the ball well in the month of June, and for the season he has a .355 OBP against left-handed pitching.
Alcides Escobar – KC vs MIN - $2,500 - I like Escobar tonight for the same reasons as teammate Salvador Perez at catcher, but even more so since Escobar hits leadoff for the Royals. Escobar rarely strikes out and has great speed, which will cause trouble for Gibson, who counts on hitters beating themselves for his success.
Hanley Ramirez – BOS at TOR - $3,700 – You can consider both Hanley Ramirez and teammate Mookie Betts against Matt Boyd tonight, as the Red Sox’ right-handed bats should be able to cause some trouble for the rookie pitcher. Hanley has hit lefties well his entire career, and comes in with a .380 wOBA this season.
Mitch Moreland/Shin-Soo Choo – TEX at BAL - $3,400/$2,700 - The highest offensive outputs tonight should come in Toronto and Arizona, but don’t overlook the Orioles and Rangers playing at Camden Yards. Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman is a highly touted prospect, but has yet to establish himself in the major leagues. He has allowed a 40% fly ball rate to left-handed batters in his career with an average strikeout rate. Moreland and Choo have loved hitting in Baltimore this week; Moreland had back-to-back two-HR games, while Choo has homers in three straight games.
Travis Snider/Chris Parmelee – BAL vs TEX - $2,800/$2,400 –Texas starter Yovani Gallardo is having an excellent season, making it hard to play against him, but a deeper look at the numbers shows a lot of good fortune against left-handed batters. He has a low 14% strikeout rate and a BABIP of .237 against lefties. The Orioles can line up a lot of quality left-handed bats in the middle of their lineup, and it will be tough for Gallardo to make it through unscathed. The Orioles’ batting order will determine which of these outfielders to use.