We’ll highlight the top picks and best bargains to assemble a cash-inducing lineup. On top of that, the “additional notes” section will feature several tournament selections while adding context to the rest of this slate.
Please note, these player picks were organized early in the day. For MLB contests, always check lineups and weather closer to game time. Rain, wind, or unexpected managerial decisions could open up additional sources of value. Be sure to keep an eye on the MLB Headlines and Injuries desk.
Tonight’s single-game slate begins at 8:05 ET.
Tommy Pham - OF - Tampa Bay
Pham makes sense as an MVP/Captain on this slate, as he’ll own the platoon advantage over Oakland LHP Sean Manaea. The Tampa outfielder has been terrific against left-handed pitching this season, holding an impressive 160 wRC+ and .407 wOBA mark in that regard. Putting things into context, Pham ranks near the top ten in each of those categories this season along the same lines as other notorious lefty-mashers like Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Eugenio Suarez.
Matt Olson - 1B - Oakland
Tampa RHP Charlie Morton had a career season with a 3.05 ERA followed by a rewarding 11.10 K/9 rate as well. If we zoom in on his numbers, we’ll notice that he has been more generous to left-handed bats this season, holding a .293 wOBA split compared to a .247 wOBA against right-handed hitters. Sure, a .293 wOBA mark isn’t generous at all, but it represents a fraction of vulnerability, which is something we need to consider on this single game slate. Olson is one of the few legitimate left-handed bats for Oakland, and this is an opportunity for him to deliver in a huge spot.
Avisail Garcia - OF - Tampa Bay
Garcia is basically the cheap version of his teammate, Pham, who was listed above. “Avi” holds respectable career numbers against left-handed pitching (118 wRC+, .344 wOBA), and his season-long splits hover around that mark. Garcia has a comfortable blend of contact and power while hitting .282 with 20 homers and 72 RBIs this season. Put it all together, and I believe he’s an easy bargain lift through all formats.
Jurickson Profar - 2B - Oakland
Profar is less obvious as a bargain choice, but he could make some noise in this winner-take-all contest. First off, he’s a switch-hitter who won’t be compromised by handedness out of the bullpen. Profar is dirt-cheap on most DFS sites as well, making him a serious candidate to round out any lineup once you’ve stacked the high-priority hitters. He’s another Oakland bat who could take advantage of Morton’s slight susceptibility to lefties.
Marcus Semien (SS - OAK) and Matt Chapman (3B - OAK) are both expensive while stepping into a tough matchup against Morton - and that aforementioned split to righty bats. I’m not forcing either into my lineup unless the opportunity presents itself. When choosing between the two, Semien is the choice as an all-around player with several paths to upside.
Khris Davis (OF - OAK) and Ramon Laureano (OF - OAK) are strictly tournaments plays who could hold lower-than-expected ownership rates. Davis has struggled over the past month, and DFS enthusiasts will likely hold that against him. However, if anyone can break a slump with one swing of the bat, it’s him … Laureano has less of a boom-or-bust spirit about him, as he put together a fine season while hitting .288 with 24 homers. He’s an acceptable cash game filler if you need someone in his salary range, but I’m mostly looking to this duo in GPPs.
Yandy Diaz (3B - TB) and Travis d’Arnaud (C - TB) are enticing tournaments picks with bargain salaries. We’ll need to double-check the lineup card with respect to Diaz, who could hold a premium spot in the order while facing LHP Manaea. If that’s the case, he makes for a strong lift as well as a synergy play with Pham and Garcia … We noticed this yesterday with Yasmani Grandal, as people don’t like to use catchers at FLEX positions. Like Grandal, d’Arnaud is a backstop who is more than capable of contributing on offense, especially while holding the platoon advantage over Manaea. d’Arnaud has 11 hits over his last 10 starts, so he’s swinging a confident bat as well.