Eight early, with one really early, and seven late on the MLB docket today. This look at the daily fantasy tips and suggestions for July 4 will feature players from both portions of the day. The only game excluded will be the game between the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals with a very early 11:05 a.m. ET start time. Let’s dive right in on a day that could see a lot of fireworks, both as a promotion and an offensive showcase of the league’s best hitters.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 4:
Cleveland – With only two clear-cut aces, but some solid second-tier SP in the early games, we look at the bottom of the list and find Jeff Locke. The Indians are second in BB% against southpaws this season, which is not a good matchup for Locke, who has the ninth-highest BB% and 14th-worst K%-BB% among 96 qualified pitchers. The Indians have a 107 wRC+ against lefties, which is the fourth-best mark in the league. We’ve successfully killed the narrative that the Indians can’t hit lefties and they have now scored five or more runs in five straight games for the first time since late September of 2013.
St. Louis – The Cardinals are just looking to break out against somebody and Odrisamer Despaigne is a good candidate. The pitch-to-contact right-hander has not fallen victim to the Padres’ awful defense very often this season, but a contact-oriented bunch like the Cardinals may be just the team to take advantage. Despaigne has a 4.94/4.69/4.22 pitcher slash and has had some command issues this season. Despaigne has a 5.66 ERA with a .301/.344/.489 slash against away from Petco Park this season.
Chicago Cubs – Jarred Cosart was sent to the bullpen for underperforming and now he returns to the rotation to take on a difficult Chicago Cubs lineup. Cosart has a 4.57 FIP on the season. His home/road splits, albeit in small sample sizes, are ugly. Cosart had a 2.35 ERA with a .191/.284/.274 slash against at home. His 6.10 ERA and .272/.337/.557 slash against on the road are ugly. That’s going to be a concern for the Marlins in this start and it should work in the Cubs’ favor.
Here are the top value hitters for July 4:
Danny Valencia ($2,800) – Yep, we’re doing this again. Valencia homered the last time we used him against a southpaw and he continues to murder them this season. For your daily update on Valencia against lefties, know that he is now batting .377/.421/.528 on the season. David Price is a tough customer, but it’s laborious to work through this lineup and then pitchers tend to lose focus against guys like Valencia.
Ryan Raburn ($2,600) – It’s Ryan Raburn’s turn in the Murburn platoon for the Indians. Raburn is hitting .313/.402/.563 against left-handers this season and will be batting in a premier spot in the order. The Indians offense has gotten things together lately and Raburn has been a big part of the team’s 107 wRC+ against southpaws on the season. Cheap platoon options are great values in daily fantasy formats and this is the case here.
Joc Pederson ($3,600) – Young Joc takes on Matt Harvey, who has had some command problems this season. Pederson has prolific power, with 20 bombs on the season so far. He’s a guy that exemplifies the idea that batting average is a bad way to judge a hitter’s performance. Pederson has a .240/.378.517 slash on the season. Given Harvey’s command troubles, it wouldn’t take much for Pederson to connect and hit a ball a long way.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 4:
Kendall Graveman ($6,000) – Kendall Graveman won’t light up the scoresheet, but he’s got 15-point upside with the way that he has been throwing the ball lately. Since his recall, Graveman has passed the 20-point mark at DraftKings four times, so there’s some cheap value here with high upside. The Mariners offense isn’t very good and Graveman is overshadowed by taking on King Felix in this one.
Clay Buchholz ($8,500) – Buchholz certainly draws a good lineup, but he could be a very strong streaming candidate in this one. Buchholz has shown excellent command this season, which is important against a free-swinging, but powerful, Astros lineup. Buchholz has only allowed five home runs this season and has done an excellent job of commanding his fastball. It’s a risky play, but there’s a lot of upside here as well.
Alex Wood ($9,200) – The Phillies are still terrible. We were on Julio Teheran yesterday and he pitched well in a 2-1 win. Alex Wood has potential to have the same type of start. The strikeout numbers are down a little bit this season, but the peripherals are still solid and he has been very consistent throughout the season.