Ten games are on tap for the final Thursday before the All-Star Break. It’s actually a little bit surprising to see so many teams off on Thursday with four days off beginning on Monday, but it is what it is. Three of the games are day games and with just seven games under the lights later, today is a good day to mix in some players for the early games. I don’t see any good stacking options in the matinee matchups, but there are some players worth taking an extended look at. With that, let’s get into the daily fantasy baseball tips and suggestions for July 9.
New to daily fantasy sports? Need to reload? DraftKings or FanDuel are the industry leaders in ease of use and safe, free transactions. Use these tips and the tips from the twice-a-week MLB betting podcast, The Bettor’s Box, to improve your abilities and fill out the winning lineup.
The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 9:
Atlanta – As I mentioned in my preview of today’s Atlanta at Colorado game, I don’t have high hopes for Kyle Kendrick. He’s been destroyed at Coors Field and lefties have had all sorts of success against him. The Braves offense has been a lot better than expected with Freddie Freeman out and it’s rare that you get an affordable stacking option at Coors Field. The Braves fit the bill on Thursday night.
Houston – I like Cody Anderson, but he’ll have a thin margin for error against the Astros. Swing-and-miss stuff is not his forte, and the Astros post a lot of high exit velocity ratings on pitches that they can get to. Anderson only has 10 strikeouts in his 84 batters faced this season. The Astros are one of those teams capable of looking dormant for a few days and then hanging a double-digit number, so the potential is always there with this offense.
Detroit – Even though I’ve changed my tune on Kyle Gibson, I can’t say the same about Mike Pelfrey. Pelfrey was on borrowed time with his statistics earlier this season and regression has hit hard. Pelfrey now sports a 3.94 ERA with a 4.09 FIP and a 4.49 xFIP on the season. Pelfrey had a 2.28 ERA after he threw eight shutout innings on June 7. In five starts since, Pelfrey has thrown 24.1 innings with 41 hits, 23 ER, 13 BB, 11 K, and an 8.51 ERA. Opposing batters are hitting .387/.450/.538. Miggy or not, the Tigers should get some pitches to hit.
Here are the top value hitters for July 9:
Ben Zobrist ($3,700) – I think there’s a small amount of value on an Oakland stack, just because of the command troubles that Masahiro Tanaka has had this season, but it’s largely a guessing game as to who might go deep. My pick would be Zobrist, who has an elite eye at the plate and has been swinging a really good bat since he came back from injury. Since May 26, Zobrist has a .350 wOBA with a 127 wRC+. Sixteen of his 31 hits against righties have gone for extra bases this season. A low .234 BABIP has held back his overall numbers, but the power and the plate discipline have been there.
Kelly Johnson ($3,600) – Happy to go with this platoon option once again, especially at a cheap price at Coors Field. The Coors Field bump has added $600-700 in salary to Kelly Johnson, but you expect that. Lefties have decimated Kyle Kendrick this season and Johnson is up to .275/.320/.472 against righties on the season. As you know, platoon specialists have big value in DFS and Johnson is certainly one of those this season.
Randal Grichuk ($3,300) – Randal Grichuk began the season with a .954 OPS in his minor league career against lefties. Some would argue that Jeff Locke should be in Triple-A. Grichuk has actually had a little bit more success this season against righties at the Major League level, but he’s been a cheap, valuable bat in daily fantasy formats since his call up. At this price, against a below average starter, he’s definitely worth a look.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 9:
Jose Fernandez ($9,800) – Might as well jump on this train while it lasts because the days of Jose Fernandez costing less than $10,000 aren’t going to be around long. He’s making his second start back off of Tommy John surgery, so the command may be a bit of a question, but the Reds offense isn’t very good against righties. Fernandez’s velocity was there and he’ll get better with each and every start. Pitching in a park that will contain the mistakes he does throw is a big help as well.
Carlos Martinez ($9,400) – I like the strides that Martinez has made this season. He’s really refined his changeup and the presence of that third pitch is huge for a starter. It’s part of the reason, along with his small frame, why a lot of people expected to see Martinez in the bullpen. The Pirates play a lot of low scoring games and PNC Park is a suppressive run environment. Martinez is a good streaming candidate, even if the Pirates blasted him last start.
Zack Greinke ($11,200) – The Phillies are bordering on adequate against right-handed pitching. That’s good, because they’re bordering on incredibly useless against righties. The Phillies put balls in play, which is something, but they have the lowest walk rate against righties and a .285 wOBA. Their 79 wRC+ is the worst in the league by two percent over the Miami Marlins. Greinke may throw a no-hitter on Thursday night against a team ready for the All-Star Break.