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.
Ian Desmond (OF) – DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel: $3,500 – Texas Rangers
Ian Desmond is my hands-down play of the night. When I was doing my research there were some players that caught my eye, but tonight, Desmond has a great pitching matchup, has incredibly positive splits, and is not even in the top 20 for pricing as on OF today on either site! Desmond has six hits including two home runs and seven RBIs in just 12 at bats against pitcher Dallas Keuchel. His left-handed pitching splits this season have been off the pages as he almost has a .400 batting average and a 1.047 OPS.
Marcell Ozuna (OF) – DraftKings: $5,400, FanDuel: $3,700 – Miami Marlins
These are the matchups I dream about. Marcell Ozuna and the Marlins travel to Coors Field tonight to take on left-handed pitcher Jorge De La Rosa. I realize that you may have already penciled him in tonight because of his game at Coors Field, but there is much more than just the ballpark. Ozuna has four hits, including THREE home runs, in just eight at bats against De La Rosa. Ozuna has also dominated left-handed pitching this season as he currently has a .352 batting average and a 1.106 Ops against lefties this season.
Mike Trout (OF) – DraftKings: $5,200, FanDuel: $4,200 – Los Angeles Angels
Speaking of great matchups. At first glance you may question why I’m so high on Mike Trout against future Hall of Fame pitcher Felix Hernandez, but once you see their head-to-head totals, you will be with me! Trout has a batting average of .400, including five home runs and 15 RBIs in 65 at bats against Hernandez. He didn’t start last night because of a head cold, but he did pinch hit, and I fully expect him back starting tonight!
Evan Longoria (3B) – DraftKings: $3,300, FanDuel: $3,700 – Tampa Bay Rays
Evan Longoria is seriously cheap tonight on DraftKings. Whenever you have someone who is cheaper on DraftKings than their pricing on FanDuel, you need to take notice. Longoria has also been very good against pitcher Ervin Santana. In 10 at bats against Santana, Longoria has four hits and a home run. If you aren’t sold on Longoria as your 3B for tonight, I would suggest taking a look at Todd Frazier. He is similarly price to Longoria and has done great against pitcher Yovanni Gallardo in the last five seasons.
Dustin Pedroia (2B) – DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel: $3,400 – Boston Red Sox
Because of my love of the OF position tonight, I will include a fifth player for my segment! Dustin Pedroia is locked and loaded for me tonight against pitcher Scott Kazmir. Pedroia has five hits in 10 at bats, including a home run against Kazmir. While not all of his stats are what I look for in a matchup like this, Kazmir has been awful in the first inning of late, so I’m expecting Pedroia to start the game with points early on, which is always a bonus on the road!
Washington Nationals Mini-Stack
It seems like the DFS and fantasy world has finally taken notice of catcher Wilson Ramos. Tonight I urge to mini-stack Ramos with Daniel Murphy (2B) as they face pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Ramos has four hits and two home runs in just 11 at bats against Samardzija and Murphy has six hits and a home run in 12 at bats against Samardzija. Both are swinging the hot bat right now as Ramos has five hits in his last two games and Murphy has seven hits in his last three games.