To select the top cash plays we need to take into consideration the floor, recent production, Vegas lines, park factor, weather, ownership level, price points, and matchup data. Sometimes a position will have one obvious play while other times it may have multiple choices that are worthy of consideration. The number of players in our pool will strictly be slate dependent because we want the best choices possible without the fluff.
This slate has some pretty poor pitching options and none of them really stand out to the extent where I can comfortably say, “player X” is a stone cold lock. However, Lance McCullers gives us a relatively high floor and a fantastic ceiling and is still reasonably priced. He’s coming off his worst outing of the entire season but previously had scored 36 or more Fanduel points in nine of ten games prior to his meltdown.
Salvador Perez has a nice matchup with Jordan Zimmermann and the terrible Tigers bullpen. He normally bats 5th and has a .349 wOBA and .242 ISO against righties this season.
Evan Gattis is a nice value play at $2,700 on Fanduel against the lefty, Ariel Miranda. Gattis normally bats 4th or 5th when he’s in the lineup and platoons against lefties frequently.
- First Base
Logan Morrison has been one of the best hitters in baseball this season against right-handed pitchers. He bats cleanup and has hit a homerun in both games in the second half of the season.
Mark Reynolds bats cleanup for a team projected for 6.6 runs at the opening Vegas line. He has really slowed down after the tremendous start to the season but he still offers immense upside in the best hitters park in all of baseball.
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- Second Base
Dj LeMahieu is 12 for his last 34 and hits out of the two hole for the Rockies. He has a much better career average at home and although he doesn’t have the highest ceiling he has a very good floor.
Jose Altuve has a .526 wOBA and .267 ISO against lefties over the past month (33 at-bats). He also has a ridiculous 3.0% strikeout rate over that time frame which means you’re going likely going to see him put the ball in play four to five times, minus the walks, throughout the game.
Starlin Castro is back for the Yankees and incredibly under-priced. He will be batting 4th or 5th for the Yanks and offers immense upside at his depressed pricing.
- Third Base
Manny Machado went into the break with the best three game stretch he’s had all season. He went 8-for-14 with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He also was riding a six-game hitting streak prior to break. He has hit safely in both of the games after the All-Star break which brings his hitting streak to eight games. He’s still too cheap and has a great matchup at home against the righty, Andrew Cashner.
Tj Rivera is only $2,800 and although he has a tougher matchup against Adam Wainwright he is a solid play. His price is too low for his current form and spot in the batting order (5th).
- Short Stop
Elvis Andrus is having a fine season batting in the two hole for the Rangers. He has 20 stolen bases and is batting .295 with 11 home runs. He has an excellent matchup against Chris Tillman, who has had a really tough time on the mound. Tillman has allowed 11 home runs in his last seven starts.
Carlos Correa has a .675 wOBA and .407 ISO against lefties over the past month (31 at-bats). He rarely has struck out against them and has a 6.5% strikeout rate over our sample size. He is not only one of the top short stop options but he’s one of the best overall hitting options on the entire slate.
Andrew McCutchen has a very small sample size (15 at-bats) over the past month against lefties. However, in those 15 at-bats, he has a .582 wOBA and .700 ISO with a 44.4% fly ball rate. Yes, please!
George Springer had a ferocious final three weeks in the first half of the season. He went 28-for-62 with 8 doubles, 6 home runs and 15 RBI over his last 15 games. He leads off for the best offense in baseball and the opposing pitcher really hasn’t mattered that much for this lineup.
Magneuris Sierra was someone I was pumping up all day in Slack to anybody who would listen and he didn’t disappoint. He likely will be platooning against righties and the Cardinals will be facing the right-handed pitcher, Zack Wheeler. Magneuris could be moved up in the batting order after his strong showing on Sunday. He also has a hit in every single MLB game he’s played in (nine games).
There are many different ways to create a winning lineup and there are several different routes you can take with the top options I have listed out. Don’t try to get cute with your construction, save that for GPP formats. It can be uncomfortable to pay up for players but they are priced that way for their production. Don’t save it hoping to create some beautiful balanced mid-range priced roster. Grab those elite players in great spots and hope variance doesn’t bite you.
You can find me on Twitter @DFSnDONUTS. I wish you the best of luck and hope you drop me a line and tell me about your successful night.