While doing my daily research for my DraftKings lineup, I came across a handful or so of batter-pitcher matchups I absolutely needed to exploit.
No matter what the cost, I was dead set on getting these particular players into my lineup and I’d worry about filling the rest of my squad later. So I did it. I splurged on a few guys I really wanted.
Then came the hard part. It took some creativity, some number crunching and deeper stat digging, but I came up with a lineup I’m confident in. It’s a lineup that should win some money in a DraftKings 50/50 contest.
This lineup is for an all day contest on DraftKings.
DraftKings uses the following parameters: You get a $50,000 cap to spend on 10 players – 2 pitchers, 1 catcher, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 1 shortstop, 1 third baseman and 3 outfielders.
Single = +3 points
Double = +5 points
Triple = +8 points
Home Run = +10 points
Run Batted In = +2 points
Run = +2 points
Base on Balls = +2 points
Hit By Pitch = +2 points
Stolen Base = +5 points
Caught Stealing = -2 points
Inning Pitched = +2.25 points
Strike Out = +2 points
Win = +4 points
Earned Run Allowed = -2 points
Hit Against = -0.6 points
Base on Balls Against = -0.6 points
Hit Batsman = -0.6 points
Complete Game = +2.5 points
Complete Game Shut Out = +2.5 points
No Hitter = +5 points
*NOTE: Hitting statistics for Pitchers will not be counted, and Pitching statistics for Hitters will not be counted.
Here are the best lineup picks for April 18:
Jordan Zimmerman, Nationals, $8,700, vs, Phillies
Zimmerman (1-1, 8.64 ERA) is coming off a brutal start – 7 ER in 2 1/3 innings vs. the Red Sox. The Phillies, though, are no Red Sox. They are much, much worse. And that makes Zimmerman a very attractive option.
Jacob deGrom, Mets, $8,400, vs. Marlins
de Grom (1-1, 1.46 ERA) had his way with Miami last season – 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 4 starts. The Florida native also had a 1.70 home ERA in 2014 and opened this season with 6 1/3 shutout innings. Not too shabby.
Travis d’Arnaud, Mets, $3,600, vs. Marlins
Kendrys Morales, Royals, $4,100, vs. A’s
Morales is rather inexpensive for the production he’s been giving. I needed to find some bargains today and Kendrys totally falls into that category. He’s batting .351 with 5 multiple-hit games, including one Friday. Kind of wanted Freddie Freeman of the Braves, but he was barely out of my price range. I could have made it work with a swap of the lineup here or there, but I didn’t want to tinker too much. I think Morales will be just fine. But Freeman kills the floating knuckleballs of the Blue Jays’ R.A. Dickey.
Brian Dozier, Twins, $4,100, vs. Indians
Indians starter Danny Salazar has mostly had success vs. the Twins, but he makes Dozier look like Pete Rose. Dozier is 7 for 11 with a homer against Salazar, so that’s a matchup you need to take advantage. Dozier was one of my targets and he’s definitely a sleeper pick for the day.
Jed Lowrie, Astros, $3,700, vs. Angels
Lowrie hasn’t been great vs. C.J. Wilson of the Angels (4 for 15), but he always finds his way into my fantasy lineup. I haven’t been overpaying for shortstops and it’s working, so Lowrie gets the call again. That average of 10 fantasy points per game are a steal at that price compared to other shortstops.
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, $4,300, vs. Reds
Carpenter was a must-have for Saturday despite that somewhat lofty $4,300 price tag. That’s because he’s an unbelievable 15 for 25 (.600) vs. Reds starter Homer Bailey. The law of averages say Homer should get the better of Carpenter soon, but, I’ll believe it when I see it. Bailey is coming off the DL to make his first start of the season.
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, $5,000, vs. Brewers
McCutchen was another guy I had on my wish list for Saturday. His track record vs. Milwaukee starter Kyle Lohse (15 for 44 with 3 HRs and 11 RBIs) is reason enough. But also, Lohse looks horrible right now and McCutchen has been slumping too long, but appears to be coming out of it.
A.J. Pollock, Diamondbacks, $3,900, at Giants
I needed inexpensive, productive outfielders and Pollock certainly fits that description. He homered Thursday then had his second consecutive multiple-hit game Friday. He’s heating up and will be an inexpensive source of fantasy points.
Matt Holliday, Cardinals, $4,200, vs. Reds
Like his teammate above, Carpenter, Holliday has enjoyed facing Bailey – 13 for 42 (.310) with two homers. He should be able to get you a few points and comes at a decent price. Holliday hit .310 with 10 RBIs vs. the Reds staff in 2014.
Total Lineup Salary: $50,000 of the allotted $50,000
Each day, we’ll give you the rundown of who to pick for a winning lineup, so stay with us the entire season.
Interested in playing daily fantasy baseball?
Click here to sign up for DraftKings.
Click here to sign up for FanDuel.