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.
Javier Baez (2B/3B/SS) – DraftKings: $4,600, FanDuel: $2,600 – Chicago Cubs
If the first thing you noticed was the price difference between the sites, and you play your DFS on FanDuel, I will give you a minute to insert Baez in to your lineup without even having to read the rest. Welcome back… Javier Baez has been great this season against left-handed pitching and he has two hits on three at bats against pitcher Steven Matz, including one home run. Baez has a fairly high price tag on DraftKings, but is still not even in the top seven at any position’s price point. As I am writing this segment, it looks like Baez will be batting leadoff tonight for the Cubs, which just adds to his potential. He is an amazing play and is in for a big night against the visiting New York Mets.
Jason Kipnis (2B) – DraftKings: $4,900, FanDuel: $3,500 – Cleveland Indians
Jason Kipnis has been rounding back in to form after a mediocre start to the season. Kipnis has a combined five hits, including a home run and two walks in the first three games back since the All Star break. In his last 19 at bats against pitcher Edinson Volquez, Kipnis is batting .368, with home run. He has also been statistically better against right-handed pitching this season and has an OPS of .900 against righties this season. I have Kipnis with multi-hit upside, a run and an RBI to round it out.
Nelson Cruz (OF) – DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel: $3,000 – Seattle Mariners
If you are scared of the matchup against pitcher Chris Sale, all you need to know is that Nelson Cruz loves to feast on left-handed pitching. Cruz has a batting average of .305 against left-handed pitching this season and that includes 12 home runs in just 105 at bats. If that doesn’t already make you want to pay for Cruz tonight, know that he has batted .438 with two home runs in 16 at bats against Sale. He is far too cheap on FanDuel and is in line for another great game!
Stephen Piscotty (OF) – DraftKings: $5,200, FanDuel: $3,600 – St. Louis Cardinals
It would have been very easy to name any player in the Tampa Bay Rays at Colorado Rockies game, but I figured I would save the Coors plays for another time. Stephen Piscotty has been a lefty killer this season as he has a .337 batting average against left-handed pitching. Add a 1.058 OPS and better home batting splits makes Piscotty an excellent playtonight against pitcher Christian Friedrich, who owns a 7.20 ERA in his last three starts.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Stack
I am starting my stack section off with a bang tonight. As there is a game being played at Coors field tonight, most players not playing in that game are seeing a slight decrease in price. If you are going against some chalk plays tonight at Coors, this game has great potential on both sides of the ball. The Baltimore Orioles side is pretty standard as I am in love withMatt Wieters (C), Mark Trumbo (OF), and Chris Davis (1B). All three have done well against pitcher Ivan Nova in the past, and I expect all three to have big games tonight. On the Yankees side of the ball I am leaning on Brett Gardner (OF), who has recorded six hits, including a home run, in 16 at bats against pitcher Kevin Gausman. Another Yankees bat I will be using tonight is Alex Rodriguez (1B/3B). He hasn’t shown much of anything this year but this matchup is one I like as he has five hits, including one home run, in 11 at bats against Gausman. Rodriguez is also extremely cheap, so if you are paying up tonight, he is a great value play.
Detroit Tigers Stack
In all honesty, I am having a hard time narrowing down my Detroit Tigers players for this list. I could and will name five batters in which I think all will have big nights as the Tigers host pitcher Ricky Nolasco. The first player I would start with is Nick Castellanos (3B). While he is a right-handed batter, he still has positive splits against right-handed pitching. This lines up well with tonight as he has two home runs and eight RBIs in just 14 at bats against Nolasco. The next players I will be targeting are Miguel Cabrera (1B), who fits perfectly with positive home splits and positive right-handed pitching splits and Ian Kinsler (2B) who has been incredible since returning from the All Star break with three multi hit games and two home runs. This is where it gets fun! If Mike Aviles (2B/3B/OF) is in the lineup tonight, I would have no problem inserting him in any lineup as he is almost the minimum price tonight across the industry and has absolutely dominated this matchup against Nolasco. Aviles has eight hits in 14 at bats, including one home run, against Nolasco. Victor Martinez (C/1B) also has a positive matchup in this home game against Nolasco, in which he has seven hits in 14 at bats. The last player I would throw in to the mix is Jose Iglesias (SS), who has four hits in seven at bats since the All Star break. Iglesias has four hits in seven at bats against Nolasco in his career. The Detroit Tigers have plenty of optionstonight, so it will be up to you to see how you want to play them in your lineups!
Thanks for reading and good luck this evening! If you have any questions tweet me!