Written by: Phillip Beneteau – Staff Writing Intern (@FantasyPhilled)
Welcome to another segment of Leading Off with Phillip Beneteau. In this daily segment I highlight leadoff hitters to target as well as players who were moved up in the batting order which will spike their value for the day. As most DFS MLB players know, hitting leadoff and near the top of the order is huge for DFS potential, especially if it is a player who is just being moved up because of injury or simply in a great match up.
This is definitely one of my favorite slates in a long time, I will be doing plenty of GPP lineups tonight and hopefully some of these names will help us take some big money down on this 14 game slate!
| Players to Target
Odubel Herrera (OF) – $4,600 DraftKings, $3,700 FanDuel – Philadelphia Phillies
I believe that Herrera is very underrated on tonight’s slate. As we have a 14 game night, there are plenty of options in the outfield, and I can see Herrera being under 10% owned across the industry simply because he is a Phillies players. Herrera has quietly been the offensive catalyst for Philadelphia this season and has amazing right-handed pitching splits where his batting average is .326 for the season. He is leading off tonight and faces pitcher Mike Foltynewicz, that he has three hits in four at bats against. He hit a home run last night and has five multi hit games in his last eight.
David Freese (1B/3B) – $4,000 DraftKings, $2,800 FanDuel – Pittsburgh Pirates
I must admit, I don’t usually write up players unless they tick several splits boxes for me. Tonight Freese is an exception. While he has worst away and right-handed pitching splits, his match up is just too good to ignore. In Freese’s last 13 at bats against pitcher Mike Leake, he has batted .538 with a home run and four RBIs. If you are a little skeptical of his price on DraftKings, I can understand you fading him, but his price on FanDuel is an absolute steal.
Billy Butler (1B) – $2,900 DraftKings, $2,700 FanDuel – Oakland Athletics
There are two warnings I will put out with this pick, he is not always in the starting lineup, so check that prior to locking your lineups, and this game has a very high chance of rain. If this game in fact does play out, and Butler is starting, he is an incredible GPP play tonight as I can see his ownership being extremely low. The important stat I want you to realize today is that Butler is a different batter against lefties. His average is .333 against left-handed pitching this season while it is just .187 against right-handed pitching. He also has nine hits in 18 at bats against left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone.
Carlos Gonzalez (OF) – $2,800 DraftKings, $2,400 FanDuel – Colorado Rockies
I can already see your eyes rolling at this play. But if you stay with me on this one, you may have just found yourself one of the best value plays on the board. Yes, they are not playing at Coors Field tonight, and yes the Rockies are facing one of the top aces in the league tonight in Madison Bumgarner, but one note of importance here is that Gonzalez matches up great. He has amazing left-handed pitching splits, and is batting .342 against Bumgarner in 38 at bats, with three home runs. All I’m saying is that he is way too cheap for his potential tonight, and if you do start him, fingers crossed that he goes yard!
Miguel Cabrera (1B) – $3,900 DraftKings, $3,300 FanDuel – Detroit Tigers
By all means I know that Cabrera is a different player away from friendly Comerica Park this season as he is batting almost .100 less on the road. He does though make up for that fact by owning right-handed pitching and one pitcher in particular. In his last 17 at bats against pitcher Carlos Carrasco, Cabrera is batting .471 with one home run and three RBIs. He has at least one hit in seven of his last eight games, including two home runs during that span. Cabrera’s price is no doubt effected by the game being played on the road, but it’s a great time to get him at a discount. If you are going in on Cabrera tonight, I would suggest you load him up with Jose Iglesias (SS) who has also owned this match up against Carrasco.
| Stacks to Target
If you have been following me since I started this segment, you may have already seen this match up being exploited for big returns. Two huge names tonight that absolutely own this match up against David Price are Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre. Both Andrus and Beltre crush lefties, and they also have had amazing results against Price in the past. Andrus is batting .421 in 19 at bats with four RBIs and Beltre has batted .364 in 22 at bats with two home runs. Both of these players are very underpriced across the industry but both have amazing splits and are playing in one of the batter friendly parkstonight at Fenway. If you are going with this stack, you can throw in either (or both) Ryan Rua (1B) or Rougned Odor (2B) who have been great against lefties this season.
Game Stack: Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros
This may be one that leaves you scratching your head as you check and see that the SEA@HOU game has one of the lowest runs totals of the night at just 7.5 runs. While this is all true, I am going hard on the over bet here as there are many great bats with amazing match ups tonight. For starters, Nelson Cruz (OF) absolutely torches left-handed pitching. He has a 1.102 OPS against lefties this season and has rocked pitcher Dallas Keuchel with seven hits in 14 at bats including two home runs. Jose Altuve (2B) is batting .316 in 19 at bats including a home run against Taijuan Walker. Colby Rasmus (OF) is my second Astro tonight as he has five hits in 10 at bats against Walker with a home run. If you’re feeling frisky and loading this game up, even with the low Vegas totals, George Springer (OF) is the player I’d be looking at. Springer is three for nine against Walker with a home run and if the wheels fall off on Walker tonight, the Astros top players will feast.