The Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins play a day game on Friday afternoon, while the rest of the league plays at night. It’s an outstanding night for pitching with Clayton Kershaw, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Archer, Michael Wacha, Garrett Richards, and Noah Syndergaard all on the mound. Some interesting second-tier starters are also on the list with Anibal Sanchez, Julio Teheran, Mike Fiers, and Trevor Bauer. It should be a great night on the diamond, but hopefully we can make it a great night for daily fantasy players.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 3:
Detroit – Drew Hutchison has gone one of two ways this season. He has either pitched really well or really bad. Hutch has allowed four runs or more in seven of his 16 starts and has allowed two or fewer runs in eight starts. That makes it really hard to determine how he will pitch on a start-to-start basis. Two of his last three starts have been pretty good. The Blue Jays bullpen isn’t great either and the Tigers are starting to get desperate, so their offense could show up in this one. As much as the Tigers have struggled, they are still tied for third in wOBA.
Boston – After blasting Matt Boyd around the ballpark on Thursday, the Red Sox draw another pitcher with spotty command in Dan Straily. Straily’s biggest problem is that he lives in the middle of the plate too often, leading to high BABIPs. Straily hasn’t been able to stay in the bigs, with a 4.54/4.71/4.61 pitcher slash in 243.2 innings of work. Home runs have been a big problem and his fly ball tendencies don’t jive with pitching at Fenway Park.
Los Angeles Angels – Even though Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez is only priced at $5,200, this shouldn’t be an expensive stack because of how the Angels have performed offensively this season. Gonzalez is on the regression train and the wheels are starting to rock on the tracks. His 2.59 ERA comes with a 4.72 FIP and a 5.02 xFIP because he has more walks than strikeouts. His LOB% is going to regress from its current rate at 82.6 percent. The Angels aren’t a great offense, but Gonzalez isn’t a great pitcher either.
Here are the top value hitters for July 3:
Josh Hamilton ($3,500) – Why not give Hambone a shot tonight after what he went through with the Angels? This will be his third game back off the DL and he’s already collected three hits in eight tips to the dish. Given how things ended in Anaheim, he would love nothing more than to batter ace Garrett Richards. At this price, he’s certainly worth a look in hopes that he can catch up to a mistake and do some damage.
Xander Bogaerts ($3,700) – Xander Bogaerts is getting hot at the right time for a Red Sox offense that needs it. He’s had a fine season overall with a .297/.331/.410 slash, but he’s batting .318 over his last 10 games. He racked up four hits in yesterday’s blowout win over the Blue Jays. While that’s not predictive, Bogaerts has gotten better each month this season in average and slugging percentage. He’s still a young, developing hitter and it takes time to get familiar with Major League pitching.
David Murphy ($3,000) – Might as well stick with this low-risk platoon play while it’s there. Murph is having a great season in a platoon role for the Indians and has flashed some surprising power at times. The one nice thing about Murph in this one is that he uses the whole field. Most Indians will pull the ball into the shift. Murphy goes with the pitch more often than not. Murph has slashed .329/.364/.487 against righties on the year.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 3:
Ubaldo Jimenez ($7,500) – Ubaldo Jimenez is having a career resurgence this season and the results have been very impressive. He takes on a terrible White Sox lineup on Friday night, as the Orioles take on John Danks. Jimenez has the best K/BB ratio of his career this season and his advanced metrics suggest that his 3.09/3.12/3.18 pitcher slash is legit. There’s nothing out of the ordinary in his stat line, except for a slightly inflated LOB%, but the Orioles are a solid defensive team and he has increased his strikeouts this season.
Julio Teheran ($8,000) – As I discussed on The Bettor’s Box last week, Teheran is a guy I believe is due for some positive regression throughout the rest of the season. Teheran has a 4.94 ERA, but a 4.19 xFIP. He’s had some control and command issues this season, which have been exacerbated by a low strand rate. The swing-and-miss stuff is still there. It’s just a matter of throwing more strikes. The Phillies are not a particularly exciting offensive bunch, so Teheran should be in line for a good start in this one.
Trevor Bauer ($7,600) – Control problems have plagued Bauer once again this season, but they may not be a big issue against a Pirates lineup that likes to swing and be aggressive. Bauer has good stuff, especially to right-handed hitters, and the Pirates rank 23rd in BB%. PNC Park suppresses home runs, which have also been an occasional problem for Bauer. He’s easy to run on, which could be an issue, but he also maintains a low batting average against, so runs could be at a premium in that game as a whole.