It’s a new week, there are new series, and we have more opportunities to craft the ultimate lineup.
Last Lineup’s Best Picks:
Jerad Eickhoff, Philadelphia Phillies (29.95 Fantasy Points vs 17.1 FPPG)
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (19 Fantasy Points vs 6.2 FPPG)
Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs (18 Fantasy Points vs 7.4 FPPG)
Robinson Cano, New York Mets (12 Fantasy Points vs 7.0 FPPG)
Danny Fletcher, Los Angeles Angels (7 Fantasy Points vs 5.7 FPPG)
Tonight’s Starting Lineup:
P – Zack Wheeler, New York Mets (DK Salary $9,300, 17.0 FPPG)
After a relatively slow start to the season, Wheeler has really picked things up for New York. The veteran pitcher has found his groove and allowed only 5 earned runs with 24 strikeouts over 20 innings, good enough for 26 FPPG over his last 3 starts. Wheeler especially turned it on during his latest outing against Philadelphia, striking out 11 and allowing no runs over 7 innings to rack up 38.8 Fantasy Points. Tonight, the Mets host the Reds, who rank 25th in runs per game and dead last in hits per game. Wheeler should have himself a field day against the terrible Cincinnati offense.
P – John Means, Baltimore Orioles (DK Salary $7,000, 11.6 FPPG)
On such an abysmal Orioles team, I bet you’ve never heard of John Means. But with a 1.74 ERA, does his popularity really matter? Means has been solid all year and has been exceptional in the starter role. In both games that he has pitched 5+ innings, Means has averaged 17 FPPG with 9 strikeouts and only 2 total earned runs. The opposing White Sox have a relatively decent offense, but in his last game against Chicago, Means had his best outing of the season with 22.3 Fantasy Points. As Means stays in the Baltimore rotation, his success should continue tonight at Guaranteed Rate Field.
C – Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants (DK Salary $3,500, 5.3 FPPG)
Posey is well removed from his NL MVP form, but he is still showing promising performances at the plate. Over his last 5 games, the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger catcher has averaged 10.8 FPPG with a 5-game hit streak. During that span, Posey has hit 7-for-19 (.368) with 1 homerun, 3 doubles, and 6 RBIs. With the Giants hosting the Dodgers and their struggling pitcher Kenta Maeda, Posey should continue to make positive strides at the plate tonight.
1B – Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers (DK Salary $5,700, 15.2 FPPG)
$5,700 DK is a ton to pay for any player, but when you look at Bellinger’s MVP-worthy stats, you see that he immediately warrants the price tag. Almost through April, Bellinger is slashing a ridiculous .427/.500/.913 with 14 homeruns, 36 RBIs, and a 1.413 OPS. Over his last 7 games, the young phenom is averaging an insane 16.7 FPPG and is showing absolutely no sign of slowing down. Especially in the hitter-friendly Oracle Park, expect Bellinger to go bananas all series.
2B – Jose Rondon, Chicago White Sox (DK Salary $3,800, 5.7 FPPG)
Rondon has only played 12 games so far this season, but in those outings, he has performed very well. Twice so far, the middle infielder has scored 17 Fantasy Points, including 2 games ago against the Tigers. While I am high on opposing pitcher John Means, Rondon has the advantage with batting righty against the left-hander. I believe that Rondon will be one of the few White Sox hitters who can actually succeed tonight against Baltimore, especially when Means gives up the ball late to the horrible Orioles bullpen.
3B – Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox (DK Salary $4,000, 6.3 FPPG)
We took a chance on Devers last week, and ever since then he has been performing great. Over his last 4 games, Devers has averaged 8.5 FPPG on 6-for-15 (.400) hitting with 1 double and 4 RBIs. Although he is still in search of his first homerun of the season, the young third baseman has brought his average all the way up to a very solid .287. Now that Boston’s series against the red-hot Rays is over, expect Devers to continue his success against the sub-.500 Athletics.
SS – Jorge Polanco, Minnesota Twins (DK Salary $4,300, 9.5 FPPG)
Polanco has been a major contributor so far for a surprisingly hot Twins team, slashing a very impressive .337/.390/.632 with 5 homeruns, 10 RBIs, and a 1.022 OPS. He had an especially strong stretch last week, twice scoring 14+ FPPG with an insane 33 Fantasy Point performance on 4/23 against the Astros (4-for-5 with 1 homerun, 1 double, and 4 RBIs.) His switch-hitting ability gives him great versatility at the plate, which should allow him to perform well at all times, even against former Cy Young pitcher Justin Verlander.
OF – Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants (DK Salary $3,800, 6.9 FPPG)
Belt is a player who possesses a great amount of power from the left side, already with 5 homeruns and 11 RBIs in April. After a bit of a cold spell in the middle of the month, the first baseman heated up last week and averaged 8.8 FPPG over his last 5 games. Just like teammate Buster Posey, Belt gets to go up against struggling Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, which should allow him to continue thriving at home.
OF – Max Kepler, Minnesota Twins (DK Salary $4,200, 9.8 FPPG)
Much like Jorge Polanco, Kepler has been very strong this season for Minnesota. Hitting .274 with 7 homeruns and 16 RBIs, Kepler has been going absolutely insane over the last few days. In his last 3 games, the young outfielder has averaged an astronomical 23.3 FPPG with 6-for-12 (.500) hitting, 4 homeruns, 1 double, and 6 RBIs. With the left-handed advantage against Verlander, Kepler’s success should continue tonight in Minnesota.
OF – Victor Robles, Washington Nationals (DK Salary $4,400, 8.9 FPPG)
As a Mets fan, I don’t enjoy taking rival players, especially those who are on the Nationals or the Phillies. However, much like I’ve stated in the past, I refuse to pass up on great picks due to grudges, and Robles has performed too well to avoid. Over his last 5 games, Robles has averaged a very strong 13.4 FPPG and refuses to slow down, scoring 19 Fantasy Points in his last outing against the Padres. His fantasy dominance comes from his versatility, as the young outfielder can hit for power, for average, and can consistently steal on the base paths. With the red-hot Cardinals coming to DC, Robles should be locked in at the plate and tee off against Michael Wacha and his 4.64 ERA.
Purveyor of truth. Breaker of chains. Foolish fan of the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.