Setting your lineups for DraftKings or Fanduel for Tuesday, May 17? SI’s fantasy expert recommends starting David Ortiz, Nolan Arenado and Madison Bumgarner.
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Starting pitcher: Madison Bumgarner ($12,500) @ San Diego and Kyle Hendricks ($8,400) @ Milwaukee
Four of the best pitchers in the game take the mound on Tuesday, with Bumgarner joined by Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer and Noah Syndergaard. There’s really no wrong answer, assuming you’re picking one of those four to lead your rotation. Bumgarner is the choice here because he has an irresistible matchup with the Padres, and is $1,200 cheaper than Kershaw. The Dodgers lefty would be our next choice, and he’d be the obvious selection if all factors were equal. The matchups and prices, however, give Bumgarner a slight edge.
All the attention paid to the Cubs rotation goes, understandably so, to Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester. Whatever they don’t get seems to be absorbed by John Lackey’s rage. That allows Hendricks to quietly go about his business, and his business has been focused on turning into a reliable second-tier starter. Hendricks has a 3.03 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 1.01 WHIP and 31 strikeouts against seven non-intentional walks in 35 2/3 innings this year. Hendricks hinted he had this ability as a rookie two years ago, took major strides toward reaching his potential last year, and is now a bankable arm for the best team in baseball.
Catcher: Miguel Montero ($3,300) @ Milwaukee, Chase Anderson
Montero is still looking for his first hit since returning from the DL over the weekend, and Anderson is as good a matchup as any to get it. The Milwaukee starter has allowed 24 earned runs and 45 hits in 35 1/3 innings this season, a disastrous mix to bring into a showdown with the Cubs. Montero will be at the bottom of the order, but that isn’t necessarily a bad spot with the Cubs second in the majors in runs scored, trailing only the Red Sox.
First base: David Ortiz ($4,900) @ Kansas City, Yordano Ventura
The 40-year-old Ortiz leads the majors in slugging and OPS. It seems that age slows down everyone else, but not Ortiz. He’s at the center of one of Tuesday’s best stacks, with the Red Sox visiting Ventura and the Royals. Rain washed this game out on Monday, but that’s not expected to be an issue any longer. If you do go with one of Tuesday’s aces, you won’t be able to fit many big bats into your lineup. Make Ortiz a priority.
Second base: Derek Dietrich ($3,100) @ Philadelphia, Vince Velasquez
Dietrich is already becoming a familiar name in this space. The matchup with Velasquez isn’t great, but we need to save some money, and Dietrich hits righties well. He’ll be leading off, and the Marlins are on the road. Even if you don’t like the matchup, there’s more positive than negative.
Third base: Nolan Arenado ($3,900) @ St. Louis, Jaime Garcia
Sometimes matchups just don’t matter, like when the major league leader in home runs is priced at $3,900. Garcia is having an excellent season, and his excellent changeup has always helped him find success without the platoon advantage. Still, the players who can win in tough matchups are the ones who become great. Arenado is one of those players.
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts ($4,200) @ Kansas City, Yordano Ventura
Bogaerts completes a mini-Boston stack with Ortiz against the struggling Ventura, whose FIP sits at an ugly 5.43. Bogearts has been on fire at the plate, owning a 10-game hitting streak that has pushed his slash line to .338/.390/.503. He has gone 19-for-47 with three homers and four doubles during the streak, and his price on Tuesday is relatively reasonable, with Manny Machado, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager all more expensive.
Outfield: Odubel Herrera ($3,500) vs. Miami, Wei-yin Chen; Trayce Thompson ($3,100) vs. Los Angeles Angels, Jered Weaver; Carlos Gonzalez ($3,100) @ St. Louis, Jaime Garcia
Herrera got three more hits on Monday, and is now slashing .343/.453/.471 in what is shaping up to be a breakout campaign for the 24-year-old. He will be staring down a lefty in Chen, but that shouldn’t bother him. Herrera is hitting .289/.438/.342 against lefties this season. Thompson hit a pair of homers in the Dodgers loss on Monday, and has left the yard four times in his last 14 trips to the plate. He only starts a few times per week, but that’s a status Dave Roberts may want to look at a bit more closely. Thompson is now slashing .292/.338/.611 with six homers in 77 plate appearances. If he starts Tuesday, he’s an excellent value option. Finally, look who’s way down the pricing ladder. As is the case with Arenado, don’t worry too much about Gonzalez’s matchup with Garcia. It may be a challenge, but $3,100 for a guy with a great track record who’s hitting .295/.340/.466 is too good to pass up.