Daily Fantasy Strategy — July 10 — For Draftstreet

I need to show some respect to Landon, who handles these daily posts a few times a week. I have two slots, and I believe he has four. I have no idea how he comes up with something interesting and useful to write in the space so many times a week. Yesterday, I talked about air density, for crying out loud.

But here we are, a second day in a row, and I could use a rebound. I got shelled yesterday but, as always, this is a process over results game in the short term, and you trust that if you make the right plays over the long run, you’ll be paid out as such. It doesn’t mean going back to check if and where you erred isn’t valuable, though.

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So, like I said, I got touched up yesterday, when I recommended C.J. Wilson and Roenis Elias, who provided a combined -4.25 points at a cost of $29.4K. That’s terrible, and while my Padres stack helped some, I definitely didn’t do readers any favors (obviously, this is rare, and normally my picks are a can’t miss proposition…)

Anyway, I recommended Wilson because the Jays have been and are terrible against lefties. Thursday, they bled him with singles and he had uncharacteristically poor command – that’s unfortunate but not exactly predictable in a single outing. Elias had a nice park setup against a mediocre Twins offense against lefties and got pasted. “Oops,” is I guess the appropriate response, and maybe I should venture away from pitchers I start out by saying “I’m not a huge believer in” for.

Anyway, onward and upward. Thursday’s the usual thin slate with pretty staggered start times, so choose your format carefully.

The Daily Five
Kyle Hendricks – $11,855
The Reds are without Joey Votto and could be without Brandon Phillips, too, limiting what was already just a league-average offense against righties. Great American Ballpark isn’t a great place to pitch but Thursday’s air density is high and Vegas isn’t calling for an offensive explosion. With Hendricks, you’re getting a mid-level strikeout guy who doesn’t walk batters and has done a pretty good job keeping the ball in the park over the past two years. Is that enough to go on? It may have to be given the dearth of quality value plays.

Drew Smyly – $11,462
Smyly has had a pair of bad outings in a row and the concern here is obvious – he threw 76 innings last season and just 117 the year before, and he’s already at 81 in mid-July. Is he wearing down? That’s certainly possible, but his velocity was actually the highest it had been in five starts in his last turn out. Meanwhile, the Royals are a below-average offense against left-handed pitchers, one that’s put up just a .111 isolated slugging this season. I think it’s worth the risk at the price.

Angels stack – The days highest over-under by a long shot comes courtesy of Arlington, 90-degree temperatures and Colby Lewis, who is due for regression from his 5.51 ERA but only to somewhere in the mid-fours. I can’t see it happening at home against a red-hot lineup.
Mike Trout ($9.193) or Albert Pujols ($9,152) – you can probably only afford one anchor, and it’s unlikely you can pair Kole Calhoun ($8,097) with one, either
Josh Hamilton – $6,325
Chris Iannetta – $5,398
C.J. Cron – $5,824 – I like the high-FB approach for this spot

This post, covering one of the leading sites for daily fantasy, is sponsored and made possible by the generous support of Draftstreet. FanGraphs maintains complete editorial control of the postings, and brings you these posts in a continued desire to provide the best analytical information on the latest in baseball.

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Blake Murphy is a freelance sportswriter based out of Toronto. Formerly of the Score, he's the managing editor at Raptors Republic and frequently pops up at Sportsnet, Vice, and around here. Follow him on Twitter @BlakeMurphyODC.

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Flip side of the TEX/LAA game. What do you think about spotting Hector Santiago? Am I playing with fire?