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.
Josh Donaldson (3B) – DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel: $4,300 – Toronto Blue Jays
The first thing you need to know here is that Josh Donaldson comes in as the 6th most expensive 3B on DraftKingstonight. That is much lower than his usual pricing, and is slightly confusing because he has an extremely favourable matchup against pitcher Drew Smyly. Donaldson has positive home splits and positive left-handed pitching splits. Mix those in with his eight hits and three home runs in 17 at bats against Smyly, and you get my top play of the night! If you do end up with Donaldson in your lineups, I would suggest a mini-stack with Michael Saunders (OF), who has also done fantastic against Smyly; three hits and two home runs in eight at bats.
David Ortiz (1B) – DraftKings: $5,100, FanDuel: $4,400 – Boston Red Sox
I can already tell it will be a funny night in the DFS world with the pricing today. There are so many great options in good spots that it becomes a massive pivot and zig zag game for ownership percentages. In this case at 1B, I’m going with David Ortiz. While he hasn’t been swinging the hottest bat since the All Star break, Ortiz will find his grove tonight at home against pitcher Luis Severino. Ortiz has some of the best home splits in the game and if you look at what Ortiz has done in his previous at bats against Severino, you are going to rush to your lineups! Ortiz has three hits, ALL three going for home runs in just five at bats against Severino. It’s up to you, but those sort of numbers make me feel warm and tingly inside.
Marcell Ozuna (OF) – DraftKings: $4,500, FanDuel: $3,300 – Miami Marlins
While there is a small sample size, pitcher Matt Moore has not done well at Marlins Park. In his two starts he has a combined ERA of 7.36, with two home runs allowed. Tonight, Marcell Ozuna and the Marlins welcome him back as Ozuna plans to take advantage of a matchup he has dominated. Ozuna has five hits and a home run in just six at bats against Moore. He also has very a batting average of .340 against left-handed pitching this season incase that was not already enough positive things! If you do choose Ozuna, I would consider a mini-stack with Ichiro Suzuki (OF) who has a batting average of .458 in 24 at bats against Moore.
Matt Kemp (OF) – DraftKings: $4,800, FanDuel: $3,500 – Atlanta Braves
Matt Kemp is enjoying a nice three game hitting streak which includes back-to-back multiple hit games. What is the main factor for me tonight is his matchup against pitcher Wily Peralta. Peralta has an ERA of 6.68 this season in the MLB and even a 6.31 ERA in his 10 starts in AAA. Those are what we call ungood! Kemp has seven hits, including a home run and five RBIs in 14 at bats against Peralta as I expect some of the same tonight. Kemp has the tools for a massive DFS night!
Detroit Tigers Stack
I was extremely hesitant to write them up tonight, and was actually in the midst of writing up a Kansas City Royals stack, until I told myself that I couldn’t give up that easily on those pesky Tigers! While there isn’t much of any head to head data for this matchup against left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc, you may have already noticed where I was going with this one! Tigers mash left-handed pitching. I have ben touting it almost every time I can, and I have a feeling that they get back on the scoreboard after leaving a big doughnut on the board last night! One of the only players who does not have left-handed friendly splits is Miguel Cabrera (1B). But I believe there are plenty other better matchups at that position. The trio I love tonight are Victor Martinez (C/1B), Ian Kinsler (2B), and Nick Castellanos (3B). If you are feeling frisky,Cameron Maybin (OF) or Justin Upton (OF) are solid plays and come in at a discount on the OF roster spot!
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!