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.
Joey Votto (1B) – DraftKings: $4,900, FanDuel: $3,800 – Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is simply blasting the ball lately. He has a batting average of .449 and a 1.246 OPS since the All Star break. Votto has nine hits and one home run in 24 at bats against pitcher Michael Wacha. Votto also has a batting average of .302 against right-handed pitching this season. He is my top play of the night!
Evan Longoria (3B) – DraftKings: $3,800, FanDuel: $3,500 – Tampa Bay Rays
I could have easily chosen Josh Donaldson for this spot, but I like Evan Longoria’s price point. Longoria is much cheaper than Donaldson and is hitting .298 with two home runs in 47 at bats against pitcher R.A. Dickey. Did I mention that this game is at the friendly hitting park at Rogers Center in Toronto.
Giancarlo Stanton (OF) – DraftKings: $3,800, FanDuel: $3,500 – Miami Marlins
At first glance, a matchup with top pitcher Johnny Cueto may not be the best spot to roster Giancarlo Stanton. When ya dive deeper, Stanton has a batting average of .385 and two home runs in 13 at bats against Cueto. His price is extremely cheap for his potential, especially with a game at Coors Field tonight.
Texas Rangers Stack
While none of the Texas Rangers bats have any at bats against pitcher Tyler Anderson, this game is being played at Coors Field against a left-handed pitcher. There are a couple names I LOVE to play from the Rangers when they are facing a left-handed pitcher, but even more so on the road in Colorado! The two top names that come to mind are Elvis Andrus (SS) and Ian Desmond (OF). Andrus has a batting average of .421 over his past seven games, and also has a batting average of .345 against left-handed pitching this season. Desmond has a batting average of .382 and is slugging .600 against lefties this season. If the matchup with Tyler Anderson is slightly worrisome, look at his season splits. While he does have great totals, and only a 3.32 ERA at Coors Field this season, it has mainly come because he shuts down left-handed batters. Right-handed batters have a batting average of .300 against Anderson this season and I expect lots of Andrus and Desmond tonight. If you are looking to make this a big stack, I would start by adding Adrian Beltre (3B)who has a batting average of .323 against left-handed pitching, and even topping it off with Ryan Rua (1B/OF) if you feel inclined!
Baltimore Orioles Mini-Stack
Two names jumped out at me when I was looking over this matchup: Jonathan Schoop (2B) and Mark Trumbo (OF). Schoop has three hits and a home run in four at bats against Kendall Graveman and Trumbo has three hits including a home run in five at bats against Graveman.
Detroit Tigers Team-Stack
When I see multiple players with great batting averages and multiple home runs against an opposing pitcher, I smile.Tonight, the Tigers fit the bill against pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. Miguel Cabrera (1B), Victor Martinez (C/1B), Ian Kinsler (2B), Jose Iglesias (SS), and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C) all have exceeded norms in this matchup. Cabrera has four hits and two home runs in 10 at bats against Iwakamura. Martinez has six hits and two home runs in 15 at bats. Kinsler has 12 hits and three home runs in 32 at bats. Iglesias has a .462 batting average in 13 at bats. Saltalamacchia has five hits in 10 at bats against Iwakamura. There is plenty to work with here as many Tigers have great head-to-head matchups tonight and I would even be inclined to start pitcher Mike Fulmer.
Good luck tonight, and send me some questions if you’d like! Also feel free to tweet me pictures of your lineups if they won you some money!