At the start of the new week, I decided I was going to change my strategy in building my Star Fantasy Leagues daily fantasy baseball lineup. Rather than trying to focus much of my budget on offense and using value plays for pitching, I decided to go after high-strikeout pitchers, no matter the cost. And it worked. That team was good enough for second in the 83-person freeroll. I’ll take it. So I’m mirroring that strategy again and have selected pitchers who should rack up the Ks. While waiting for the trade deadline to arrive, build your own team at SFL and use the promo code “SJN” for a 40% deposit bonus.
(1B) Adam Dunn $5,223 – Dunn is always a gamble, but it’s best to use him when he’s on a hot streak. He’s hitting .304 over his last seven games with six walks. That’s about as good as Dunn will get, so now is the time to take advantage.
(2B) Dan Uggla $5,837 – Speaking of streaky hitters, Uggla comes from the same mold as Dunn. He has a double in each of his last two games and has scored in each. He faces Tyler Chatwood tonight, against whom he is 2-for-6 with a double. There seems to be a theme here. We’ll see if that holds true tonight.
(3B) Chris Johnson $6,017 – It still amazes me that the National League’s leading hitter is this affordable. Johnson is hitting .341 on the year and has an eight-game hitting streak, with multiple hits in his last five games. He also has a double in his only career at bat against Chatwood.
(SS) Hanley Ramirez $11,118 – Hanley is my one offensive player I’ve spent big on. I don’t care for the lower cost options here and Ramirez is the best shortstop in the game now. He has an 11-game hitting streak and is 7-for-21 against Hiroki Kuroda. He should do well tonight.
(OF) Andrew McCutchen $8,117 – McCutchen is enjoying his series with the Cardinals. In the first three games, all won by his Pirates, he went 5-for-14 with a home run and five runs scored. His matchup tonight against Adam Wainwright actually works in his favor. Over 21 career at bats, McCutchen is a .429 hitter against the St. Louis ace.
(OF) Josh Hamilton $5,786 – As disappointing a year as it’s been for Hamilton, he’s come around over his last two games. In those, he was 4-for-9 with six RBI. Maybe it’s playing in Texas that brings it back out.
(OF) Leonys Martin $4,628 – Hitting from atop the Rangers’ lineup yesterday, Martin managed seven at-bats in the high-scoring affair. He had two hits, including his walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. For a team searching for offense, maybe Martin can be the one to spur it.
(U) Freddie Freeman $7,787 – It will be hard to duplicate his performance last night, but it’s worth keeping in mind. Freeman had two home runs, four RBI, and three runs. That was his third straight game with a hit. He, too, has had success against Chatwood in the past, with three hits in six at bats.
(SP) Clayton Kershaw $20,894 – It’s safe to say this is as much as a pitcher will cost but you have to like Kershaw against a bad Yankees lineup. He has averaged more than seven innings and nine strikeouts in his last three starts. He’s a near lock to go seven innings and the strikeouts will come. I’m counting the points already.
(SP) Jenrry Mejia $10,387 – This is a bit of a risky play because this will only be Mejia’s second start of the year. Still, he was great in his first one on Friday, holding the Nationals scoreless over seven innings and picking up seven strikeouts. Against the Marlins, who were hitless for most of the game yesterday, he should fare pretty well again.
(RP) Mark Melancon $1,819 – The Pirates are going for a huge four-game sweep in St. Louis today and Melancon will no doubt be called on if this game is close. I like him here.
(P) Chad Gaudin $7,991 – Gaudin was not particularly good in his last time out against the Reds, not even able to get out of the fourth inning. Before that, though, he had been very good. And he’ll face the Phillies tonight, against whom he has been very good. In nine career appearances, he has a 2.03 ERA and has held Philly hitters to a .217 batting average.