There’s no doubt that many of today’s Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship contestants will be selecting the $9,800 Roy Halladay as their pitcher and trying to get by with a patchwork offense. And why not? Halladay’s 17.1 FanDuel PPG score is the best in the league in the first half of the season, and he’s coming off back-to-back complete game victories. Next stop after today’s start? Likely on the mound for the first and second innings of the All-Star game. However, we dig deeper than the cream of the crop to find several cost-effective starters in our Stream Team feature. You’ll see an asterisk (*) next to my pick of the day, but I have quality options listed for every budget below.
*Ace: Ryan Vogelsong, SF vs. NYM ($5,900). Why go anywhere else? Vogelsong has allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once this season, back on May 3. His control has gotten the better of him in his last couple starts, but the All-Star should get right back to form at home, where he has an incredible 1.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 44.2 innings this season. Try finding another pitching split that impressive this season — I dare you.
Middle Man: R.A. Dickey, NYM at SF ($5,700). Vogelsong’s opponent R.A. Dickey has been pitching mighty well lately; that and Dickey’s low price are the reasons Vogelsong finds himself in the Ace section, normally reserved for high-priced pitchers. The Met has 18 Ks in 20 innings over his last three starts while allowing five earned runs. The last two of those starts came against the Tigers and Yankees, so give props where they’re due.
Wild Card: Rodrigo Lopez, CHC at PIT ($4,100). Lopez finds himself on the discount rack thanks to making nine relief appearances and only three starts so far this year. His last game was a gem, a seven-inning, two-hit shutout that featured no walks and three strikeouts. He’ll try and topple the surprisingly spry Pirates today.
Roto Stream Team: 1. R.A. Dickey (at SF), 2. Freddy Garcia (vs. TB), 3. Mike Leake (at MIL), 4. Rodrigo Lopez (at PIT), 5. Jordan Lyles (at FLA).
Ace: Ryan Dempster, CHC at PIT ($7,300). Dempster has been spot on lately, holding the Reds, Brewers, Yankees, Royals and Giants to a total of seven earned runs in his last five starts while striking out 31 batters in 32.1 innings. He didn’t get his ERA under 6.00 until June 8. After his last start, it’s already under 5.00. Ignore his poor career numbers against the Pirates and start him with confidence.
*Middle Man: Rubby de la Rosa, LAD vs. SD ($5,500). After the Padres scored five runs in three straight games, it looked like they actually weren’t a team filled with Triple-A hitters. Then they went out and got dominated by Barry Zito on Thursday night. De la Rosa has been solid in his last two games, and he has 36 Ks in 39.2 innings this year, which elevates his FanDuel stock. Dempster’s a solid buy, but I’ll take any decent arm at a decent price against the Padres.
Wild Card: Charlie Furbush, DET at KC ($2,000). Furbush’s first start was both good and bad; while he allowed three earned runs and couldn’t make it through the fifth inning, he did strike out five batters while only walking one. He should be able to improve on that performance against the Royals, the AL’s worst team at 36-52. With the Tigers likely to score a lot of runs off Royals starter Luke Hochevar, Furbush is set up nicely for a win.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Rubby de la Rosa (vs. SD), 2. Chris Capuano (at SF), 3. Brandon McCarthy (at TEX), 4. Mark Buehrle (vs. MIN), 5. Joel Pineiro (vs. SEA).
*Ace: Tim Stauffer, SD at LAD ($6,900). I own him in several traditional fantasy leagues, and I suggest him in virtually every start for FanDuel competitions. Repeatedly, Stauffer lives up to my high praise. He only managed one strikeout in his last appearance but still managed to secure his third win in three starts. Wait a minute — wins in three consecutive starts for a Padres pitcher? He’s thrown six straight quality starts, allowing no more than two runs in a game along the way while posting 34 Ks in 42 innings. Ted Lilly, Los Angeles’s Sunday probable, has been very un-Lilly-like in his last few starts; if that continues, Stauffer should coast to a fourth straight win.
Middle Man: Matt Harrison, TEX vs. OAK ($4,800). Harrison posted a nice rebound effort in his last game, surrendering two runs and no walks through six innings while striking out five guys. Trevor Cahill may have conquered whatever struggles he had with his performance lately, but if he’s not at the top of his game, the Texas heat will do him in.
Wild Card: Ramon Ortiz, CHC at PIT ($2,900). That’s right, we’re going with affordable Cubs all weekend long! Ortiz struck out seven Nationals batters in six innings in his first major-league start of the season, though with seven hits and three walks, it wasn’t necessarily a pretty outing. Still, the bargain basement price tag makes him a valuable commodity if he keep his Ks up.
Roto Stream Team: 1. Matt Harrison (vs. OAK), 2. Randy Wolf (vs. CIN), 3. Ramon Ortiz (at PIT), 4. Mike Pelfrey (at SF), 5. Brett Cecil (at CLE).