Matt Harvey has a pretty solid matchup against a Chicago Cubs lineup that has struck out a major league leading 321 times this season. The Dark Knight doesn't come cheap; Harvey's DraftKings salary is a hefty $10,400. Still, it's tempting to go with the New York Mets ace to anchor your fantasy team on Wednesday night, but I've got a better idea.
Take a good look at the Pittsburgh Pirates' Francisco Liriano.
The 31-year-old left-hander is just 1-2 on the season, but he's been a hard-luck loser or missed out on a decision because of a failing bullpen. His ERA is just 2.79, and his WHIP is a sparkling 0.93. If you're looking for strikeouts, Liriano has them as well.
He's averaged 7.3 K's in his six starts. He's also facing a Philadelphia Phillies lineup that is dead last in the majors in runs scored at 96 and 27th in batting average at .227. Liriano's DK salary is just $8,900, and the Phillies are a little less dangerous with the bats than the Cubs. He offers far more bang for your virtual buck.
Here's a list of the guys who should join Liriano in the lineup for optimal success.
|Ideal DraftKings Lineup for Wednesday, May 13|
|1B||Anthony Rizzo||New York Mets||$4,900|
|SS||Jean Segura||Chicago White Sox||$3,900|
|OF||C. Granderson||Chicago Cubs||$3,800|
|OF||Gerardo Parra||Chicago White Sox||$3,600|
|Salaries per DraftKings|
Miguel Gonzalez ($5,700) vs. Toronto Blue Jays
There are some attractive bats to draft on Wednesday, so we'll look at a budget pickup for the other starting pitcher to save some cash. The Baltimore Orioles' Miguel Gonzalez has the potential to pay big dividends.
He's had a solid season going 3-2 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, but it's Gonzalez's success against the current members of the Toronto Blue Jays that makes him a good pickup.
He's faced 13 current Blue Jays in what has totaled 91 at-bats. Collectively, those 13 Blue Jays are hitting just .198 against Gonzalez. Edwin Encarnacion is hitting just .136 against Gonzalez (although all three of his hits have been home runs) and Jose Bautista is at just .250.
In the midst of a good season, Gonzalez should be able to continue his success against Toronto on Wednesday night.
Brandon Phillips ($4,300) over Robinson Cano
DraftKings players have a heck of a choice to make at second base on Wednesday night. Do you go with the Cincinnati Reds' red-hot Brandon Phillips or the Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano? Both players carry the exact same salary, so virtual money isn't a factor. However, recent production should be.
Not only is Phillips 11 for his last 26 at the plate, he's also 6-for-9 against Atlanta Braves starter Eric Stults in his career. The Braves lefty hasn't cracked Phillips' code yet. To top it off, Phillips is hitting .387 against left-handed pitching this season.
Cano has a strong case, but it's not enough to sway me. He's had great success in a much larger sample size against San Diego Padres pitcher James Shields.
The two have faced each other 84 times dating back to their days in the AL East together, when Shields was with the Tampa Bay Rays and Cano was a member of the New York Yankees.
Cano has a .405 average against Shields, but the decision to draft Phillips comes down to who is hitting the ball better currently. That's undoubtedly Phillips. Cano has just one home run, and he's hitting .271 coming into the game.
Chris Davis ($4,500) vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays' Aaron Sanchez probably hopes the Orioles' Chris Davis misses the team bus to the stadium. He's only faced Baltimore's slugger six times, but he's never retired him. The deuces have been especially wild as Davis has drawn two walks, hit two home runs and singled twice.
Davis has been a consistent power threat for the O's through the early portion of the season. He has eight home runs and has driven in 21. Davis can fill either the first or third base spot for you. To make room for the guy we'll discuss next, put Davis at the hot corner.
Anthony Rizzo ($4,900) vs. New York Mets
Because of his insane .455 on-base percentage, Rizzo is an excellent option on most nights. That's even the case against a stud like Harvey. Rizzo has reached base by hit or walk in all but four of the 33 games he's appeared.
Against the Mets on Tuesday night, Rizzo was on base four times with a hit and four bases on balls. If he keeps up this pace and the Cubs make the postseason, he could be the first North Sider to finish in the top three in MVP voting since Derrek Lee in 2005.
When a player is consistently on base as much as Rizzo, he's a virtual lock for at least a decent fantasy output in almost every game.
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