Daily fantasy baseball: Start Trout and Bryant for Fanduel, DraftKings
Every weekday during the MLB season, we’ll provide you with our ultimate DFS cash game lineup. Please note that the column is written in the morning, and you should check all lineups to make sure the players we’ve recommended are starting that day. Get all of Michael Beller’s columns as soon as they’re published. Download the new Sports Illustrated app (iOS or Android) and personalize your experience by following your favorite teams and SI writers.
Starting pitcher: Chris Archer ($10,100) @ Seattle and Juan Nicasio ($6,000) @ Cincinnati
Archer worried the jumpier subset of his owners over his first four starts, but he’s looked much stronger as of late. In his last three starts, Archer has allowed two runs in 18 2/3 innings. He has fanned 20 batters while surrendering 11 hits and six walks in that span, picking up two wins and a no-decision. Archer shut down two of the better offenses in the league, as well, keeping both the Orioles and Blue Jays at bay (the other was the Angels). You’re still getting a bit of a discount at $10,100, and that’s what puts him over the top on a day packed with aces.
Nicasio and the Pirates got rained out Tuesday, but everything that made him a good play then remains true on Wednesday. The results over his first five weeks in Pittsburgh have been mostly good, pitching to a 3.16 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. His best outing of the year came against Cincinnati when he held the Reds scoreless and fanned eight batters in seven innings. Identifiable upside for $6,000 isn’t something you find regularly.
Catcher: J.T. Realmuto ($3,200) vs. Milwaukee, Chase Anderson
I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record when we get to the catcher portion of the column, but so long as Realmuto is in the low $3,000s, he’s going to find his way into this lineup frequently. You simply do not find a player at a position where you typically want to save money who achieves that coal while also hitting .302 with a .434 slugging percentage in 109 plate appearances.
First base: Anthony Rizzo ($5,500) vs. San Diego, Colin Rea
Rizzo kicks off our parade of Cubs, who have a doubleheader with the Padres today. Note that it’s the first game, which starts at 1:05 ET, that is being used for DFS purposes. Rizzo is on an absolute tear, going 20-for-49 with four homers, eight doubles, 14 walks and 17 RBI in his last 16 games. Rea doesn’t stand a chance against the mighty Cubs lineup, which will provide Wednesday’s most popular stack.
Second base: Rougned Odor ($4,700) vs. Chicago White Sox, Mat Latos
All Odor has done in his last five games is go 12-for-26 with three homers, two doubles and five RBI. Go back another five games, and he’s 19-for-49 with four bombs, three doubles and seven RBI. He has eight multi-hit games in that span, and has raised his slash line to .309/.338/.551. The other shoe is set to drop on Latos, and the Rangers provide him with one of the toughest matchups he has had this year.
Third base: Kris Bryant ($4,900) vs. San Diego, Colin Rea
Bryant’s not quite as hot as his teammate Rizzo, but he’s doing his part to give the Cubs the best offense in baseball. He’s 22-for-62 (.355) in his last 15 games, reaching base via a hit in all but one of them. In that same stretch, Bryant has three homers, seven doubles, eight walks and 15 RBI. The Cubs stack may not come cheap on Wednesday, but it will turn a profit.
Shortstop: Addison Russell ($3,700) vs. San Diego, Colin Rea
Through the first month of the season, Russell had dramatically cut his strikeout rate and increased his walk rate, while also seeing a moderate increase in line drives. It was clear results weren’t too far around the corner, and they have finally arrived. Russell has nine hits, including three doubles and a triple, in his last five games, driving in seven runs in that stretch. He has also walked three times, meaning he has been on base in 12 of his last 24 plate appearances.
Outfield: Mike Trout ($4,600) vs. St. Louis, Jaime Garcia; Jason Heyward ($3,900) vs. San Diego, Colin Rea; Ben Revere ($3,400) vs. Detroit, Jordan Zimmermann
It’s shaping up to be an ugly year for the Angels, but don’t blame Trout, who’s unfortunately associated with this team. He’s 12-for-32 with two homers and 10 RBI in his last 12 games, doing everything he can to keep a sinking ship afloat. The tough matchup with Garcia could result in lower ownership than you’d expect for a player of his caliber. Heyward may be off to a slow start with the Cubs, but he still has 15 walks and 16 runs in 126 plate appearances. Thanks to his plate discipline and the players around him, he has remained productive from a fantasy standpoint, and is a worthy member of a Cubs stack Wednesday. Finally, Revere doesn’t strike out and Zimmermann doesn’t strike out many batters. That’s a good mix, especially for a leadoff man with speed.