Starting pitcher: Greinke is the best pitcher on the board, but Estrada is closer than you think, averaging just 0.7 fewer DK ppg … Eduardo Rodriguez ($8,900) has a 2.77 ERA, averages more than a K per inning, and threw six shutout innings last time he faced the Orioles … If you want one of the cheap guys to pair with Greinke, Twins’ lefty Adalberto Mejia ($6,600) misses bats and will face a decimated, Trout-less Angels’ lineup … Also, Anaheim’s Alex Meyer ($6,900) has a high K rate, accompanied by bad control, and has averaged 19.4 DK points over his last three starts.
Catcher: Russell Martin ($3,900) vs. Sabathia looks like the play, even if Gary Sanchez is only $400 more … Martin Maldonado ($2,800) and Chris Iannetta ($2,900) are your deep HR options. Maldonado batted fifth on Wednesday.
First base: Of course you should roster Paul Goldschmidt ($5,500) if you can … Justin Smoak ($4,600) has four of his 12 homers in just 39 plate appearances vs. LHP. I prefer him to Hanley Ramirez ($4,400) and Albert Pujols ($4,200) by just a little … Saving money brings you to Anaheim’s Jefry Marte ($3,400) vs. Mejia.
Second base: Devon Travis ($4,200) will be a fine play if he leads off as he did Wednesday. If he bats eighth, not so much … Starlin Castro’s price ($3,600) looks right if you’re not rostering Estrada … As noted above, Drury ($3,000) is a budget-friendly option vs. Locke.
Third base: Donaldson ($4,700) looks grrrrrrreat vs. Sabathia. He hit his first post-DL homer on Tuesday … I prefer Donaldson to Sano at the same salary … How cheap is too cheap for the slumping Manny Machado ($3,900)? … Eduardo Escobar ($2,700) will probably hit sixth for the Twins vs. Meyer. He’s not terrible.
Shortstop: As much as I like Xander Bogaerts ($4,800), Chris Owings in the leadoff spot for $400 less looks pretty good … Andrelton Simmons ($3,900) led off for the Angels on Wednesday … Troy Tulowitzki ($3,800) is a bit expensive as a HR flier vs. Sabathia … Let’s hope that Jorge Polanco ($3,200) bats second vs. Meyer … Escobar fits here, too … The value of Miami’s J.T. Riddle ($2,700) vs. Greinke will depend on where he bats in the order. His last four games were first, eighth, eighth, second.
Outfield: Betts over Judge in the $5K-plus range … Joey Bats ($4,900) is hot, with six double-digit DK games in his last 10 … Owings fits here, too … Robbie Grossman ($3,900) doesn’t usually provide big points, but his price is friendly vs. Meyer … Max Kepler ($2,600) is averaging 10.5 DK points over his last 10 games … Arizona’s Gregor Blanco ($3,600) is in play if he leads off vs. Locke … Ditto for the slumping Kevin Pillar ($3,500) if he leads off vs. Sabathia … EY Jr. is mentioned above.