A strange day for this Independence Day with the DFS contests split up at unusual times and games. And not every team is playing on this holiday? How does that happen? Well I guess Independence Day falling on a Thursday gives MLB some leeway as teams travel to get ready for the upcoming weekend series that start tomorrow.
Jason Castro, Twins at Athletics ($2,600 FD, $3,800 DK): One of the keys to the Twins’ fine season is how well their catchers have hit. At times this season, the Twins have seen three really good hitting catchers on their roster in Castro, Mitch Garver and Willians Astudillo. The first two names in this threesome have hit so well that the third player has spent much of the year in the minors even though he has performed well when asked to.
Back to today’s match-up, Garver played last night so Castro is likely to see his name on the scoresheet today. On the season, Castro has 10 HRs in 111 ABS vs righties and has an OPS of .934. In other words, he is an elite hitter against righties. Castro faces rookie Athletics right-hander Tanner Anderson who is really struggling right now.
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DFS First Base
Justin Smoak, Red Sox at Blue Jays ($2,700 FD, $3,900 DK): Both players chosen so far are extremely affordable to let us pay up for arms and big bats in smash spots. Smoak gets spot-starter Hector Velazquez of the Red Sox and gets to take his cuts against him from his strong side of the plate. For the season, Smoak’s OPS is .904 vs righties and only .572 vs lefties. With Velasquez not expected to go too long in the game and with the dearth of lefties in Boston’s bullpens, he will likely swing the bat as a lefty all game.
DFS Second Base
Gleyber Torres, Yankees at Rays ($3,600 FD, $4,900 DK): The Rays have a great pitching staff and their starter today (Chirinos) has been effective all season. So why do I like Torres today? First of all, he is an extremely talented player on the best hitting team in the majors. Secondly, his road splits are incredible, with a .999 OPS as compared to .782 at home.
Thirdly, someone standing up for him vocally might give him an extra spark. Yankee manager Aaron Boone backed his star player and blasted the A.L. for leaving Torres off the All-Star roster here. A particularly strong quote from Boone: “I think it’s a joke he’s not on that team. Gleyber Torres, not an All-Star? You can kick rocks on that one. That’s ridiculous.” Torres is red-hot, with hits in 12 of his last 13 games and multiple hits in three of his past five games.
Jorge Polanco, Twins at Athletics ($3,700 FD, $4,500 DK): For DFS roster construction, having multiple Twins is probably a good idea. As mentioned before about Jason Castro, Tanner Anderson is struggling. So use Polanco, who has hit in six straight games and 15 out of 16. For the season, Polanco has a terrific OPS of .974 against righties.
DFS Third Base
D.J. LeMahieu, Yankees at Rays ($4,300 FD, $5,400 DK): Here is one of my “big bats to pay up for” written about previously. With as much talent as the Bronx Bombers have, this scrappy player is likely their MVP to-date. He just has hit the ball so consistently well all season long. LeMathieu is particularly hot right now, with multiple hit games in seven of his last eight. If the Yankees do damage in St. Petersburg late this afternoon and evening (which I think they will), LeMahieu will likely be a huge part of the fireworks.
Let’s go with one more Twins bat in Max Kepler ($3,700 FD, $4,600 DK). This German-born lefty hits righties very well and will likely bat leadoff. His OPS against right-handers is .915.
An old DFS saying of mine, well just for the past season, is to use Joey Gallo ($4,200 FD, $5,700 DK) at home against mediocre or young right-handed pitchers. The scheduled days off for pitchers for both teams is out of whack due to the tragic passing away of Tyler Skaggs. Griffin Canning starts for the Angels in a hot Globe Life Park where the ball will carry very well.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ($3,700 FD, $5,500 DK): You may say to yourself, that is expensive for him! Well, this guy is red-hot and faces the uncertain pitching situation of the Red Sox. Since June 20th, Gurriel Jr. has hit 7 HRs, which may have something to do with batting third in the order behind Valdimir Guerrero Jr. Lourdes has Expected Slugging and Hard Hit rates that both rank in the 87th percentile or better on the season. To make a long story short, these power numbers are not a fluke, folks.
Max Kepler/Jorge Polanco/Jason Castro Hits on the Day
Feeling safe? Go for double your $ and the trio combine for five or more hits. Risky? Put a 5X next to your money if they combine for seven or more hits. As you can tell in my writing, I like the Twins bats alot today!
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DFS meteorologist concentrating on MLB and the NFL, I graduated from UMass-Lowell with a degree in meteorology in 1996. I worked at AccuWeather as a meteorologist for almost a decade. I combined my two loves, weather and sports, and like to think I help 1000s of DFS'ers out each day. Huge Boston sports fan, lover of nature and animals and a proud father of 4 boys (2 biological).