As part of ESPN Fantasy's efforts to provide daily fantasy gamers intel on whom to target in DFS, our baseball experts are here to show you which players they are building their teams around and which sleepers they are taking fliers on. Today's panel features picks from ESPN's Tristan H. Cockcroft, Derek Carty, Kyle Soppe, Leo Howell and Joe Kaiser.
Goldy is one of the big bats of the day at Coors Field, facing veteran southpaw Jorge De La Rosa, and on the season the first baseman has an OPS of 1.069 against lefties. It's hard to pass that up in the thin air of Denver, especially when you consider that Goldschmidt has posted an OPS of 1.050 vs. LHP over his three previous seasons.
Leo Howell -- A.J. Pollock, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks:
The easy answer is to pick Arizona bats as building blocks, but that doesn't mean it's not worth mentioning just how solid of an option Pollock is, especially on DraftKings. You have to scroll down a couple of times on the outfield list to find Pollock on DK, and his matchup against a weak lefty at Coors Field can't be beat. If he doesn't play (the team will likely take it easy on him as he eases his way back into action with an elbow injury), that probably means Rickie Weeks, Brandon Drury or Yasmany Tomas wind up with a better batting order position -- and you should absolutely start them, instead.
This is where I am a big fan of DFS over annual fantasy baseball: No emotional component is involved. Ask any yearlong owner of Price about getting excited about this start and a likely response is: "Who cares? I've been out of playoff contention for a month now." That owner probably doesn't care that Price has a 2.87 ERA since the beginning of July (1.35 ERA over his past three starts), because he was doomed by the 5.57 ERA prior to that point. What's the knock on Price? It's that he challenges the strike zone too much, sometimes resulting in high levels of hard contact. That's not as much of a concern against an Athletics offense that ranks 28th in Hard% against southpaws this season.
In what might ultimately be his final start of 2016, Urias has everything aligned in his favor. He has cured some of his pitch-efficiency issues of the past, throwing 97 and 94 pitches in his past two starts, squeezing six quality innings out of each. Additionally, he has great strikeout upside and faces a Padres team that has whiffed 27.3 percent of the time against left-handers since the All-Star break. It's an attractive enough matchup -- and there's a Coors game to boot, catching my eye on the hitting side -- that I'll spare some salary cap on the mound and take Urias.
False alarm, guys! Sorry you all got your hopes up. Science has not, in fact, developed the technology to bring cartoon characters to real life. DraftKings jumped the gun, because today Joel De La Cruz will be pitching and not Bugs Bunny, as they clearly anticipated when pricing Herrera at the bare minimum $2,000 at home in Citizens Bank Park. This price is almost loonier than the $220 Kike Hernandez day on FanDuel. Herrera is a must play on DraftKings, and he's still in a good enough spot where he's one of the best values on FanDuel at $2,400.
Joe Kaiser -- Odubel Herrera, OF, Philadelphia Phillies:
Herrera is priced below $2,500 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, despite getting a base hit in eight of his past 10 games. All 13 of his home runs and 15 of his 19 stolen bases have come against right-handers this season, and that's encouraging as he faces the struggling De La Cruz on Friday. The 27-year-old Braves pitcher has given up at least seven hits in three of his last four starts.
While you'll save plenty of money on Herrera, you'll still want to save even more to spend up on what will surely be a wild Coors game today. That's where Reyes comes in. He's one of the least expensive pitchers on both DraftKings and FanDuel, but his talent level far exceeds the price. He's one of the better pitching prospects in baseball and a good pitcher right now. His strikeout rate is through the roof, and today he gets a weak Reds team in a park that is favorable for strikeouts. There's home run downside, but you can tolerate it given all of the options he opens up.
I considered using him as a building block, but when I realized that he was priced as a fringe top-20 first baseman, I realized I could piece together a strong lineup and simply add him to it. The platoon advantage is real and it's spectacular, as Moreland is slugging nearly 100 points higher against righties than lefties over the last four seasons. That'll do against a pitcher who is allowing left-handed hitters to own a higher batting average than righties in terms of slugging percentage this season. Moreland possesses a home slugging percentage that compares with the league's home run leader, Mark Trumbo.
Tristan H. Cockcroft -- Alex Reyes, SP, St. Louis Cardinals:
He's really not that much less talented -- raw talent, I mean -- than Urias, and he's much, much cheaper. Again, it's a Coors day, and a good Coors day at that, so I'm going to want some cheap, high-ceiling pitching to pair with my Rockies and Diamondbacks hitters. Reyes stands out against a Reds offense that has run cold during the past week.
It's just not going to be possible to pay up for Coors Field hitters and the pitchers we feel safe with on Friday, so you'll have to take a chance at your SP position. Bundy was lights out once he stretched out into a capable starter in late July, posting five straight games with a game score of 60 or higher. Since then, he has stumbled a bit, but with his worst starts coming at Yankee Stadium and against the high-powered Red Sox, I'll forgive him and give him another chance tonight.