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Daily Diamonds - Monday

It's an exciting time at, as Daily Fantasy Sports arrives. VI will provide daily games for pro baseball, including salary cap games, pick 'em games, bracket style games and live drafts. You can also try you hand at the Rapid Fire and Rapid Fire MAX contests. I have been a huge fan of these games, particularly the salary cap style games and Rapid Fire. Once you play a few games, you'll be hooked. Check back on this space each day for advice to help you cash big.

The weather is looking pretty grim in the eastern half of the nation, with weather issues in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Pittsburgh. Generally, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid Daily Fantasy options in games with a 30 percent or more chance of precipitation. Even though there is a limited slate of games, it might be best to stick to Fantasy options in retractable roof venues or those in California with little to no precipitation chances. In addition, most Daily Fantasy providers will not include the single day game.


Monday, August 11, 2014 - TV schedule

1:05 p.m. - N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia (MLB Network)
8:15 p.m. - L.A. Dodgers at Atlanta (ESPN)


-- Each day we'll provide a look at MLB cities with outdoor venues which have a 30 percent or more chance of precipitation. It's rather risky to insert guys into your Daily Fantasy lineup in games with a good chance of delay or postponement.

7:05 p.m. - N.Y. Yankees at Baltimore (40 percent chance of scattered t-storms - arriving 6th inning or later)
7:05 p.m. - Detroit at Pittsburgh (50 percent chance of scattered t-storms)
7:10 p.m. - L.A. Dodgers at Atlanta (50 percent chance of scattered t-storms)
8:05 p.m. - Milwaukee at Chicago Cubs (40 percent chance of scattered t-storms)

BIG-TICKET ITEM (Salaries $10,000 and Above)

Felix Hernandez, SP, Seattle ($21600 vs TOR): Really? You're muttering, 'King Felix is a must-start Fantasy option? Wow, Captain Obvious!' Well, sometimes it isn't so cut and dried. You have to make wise decisions on when to spend more than 20 percent of your allotted Daily Fantasy budget on one guy. More often than not, Hernandez has been a good start. In this particular instance, he will be facing a Toronto offense which was pushed to the limit in a 19-inning game Sunday, then which flew from Ontario to the Pacific Northwest all in 24 hours. The Blue Jays should be fatigued, and that likely means Hernandez's MLB record streak of seven or more innings and two or fewer runs allowed continues.

Jesse Hahn, SP, San Diego ($14750 vs CHC): Sticking with the pleasant weather theme, not many places have nicer temperatures and plenty of sun than San Diego. But more importantly, the Padres are moderate chalk against the visiting Rockies, and Hahn has a more than fair chance of a win. The Fathers have won seven of their past eight home games, and they're 5-0 in their past five as a favorite. Plus, they have won seven of Hahn's past nine outings.

MID-LEVEL VALUES (Salaries between $7,500 and $9,999)

If you spend big up top, you’re going to need some fillers to bring down your average per player salary. Check out these steals from the bargain bin:

J.P. Arencibia, C, Texas ($8550 vs TB): Arencibia's Daily Fantasy salary has crept up recently due to his power numbers, but he is still a solid play Monday night. He is facing favorable weather conditions, and he has the most power potential of all catching prospects on the big board Monday night. Since his recall July 18, Arencibia is hitting just .227 (17-for-75), but he also has four doubles, seven home runs and 22 RBI in the past 21 games.

Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs ($8800 vs MIL): If you're going to venture to a game at one of the risky weather sites, Castro is a good play. The Cubs shortstop had a hit Sunday to extend his hitting streak to nine games. And in his career against Milwaukee Brewers SP Yovani Gallardo, Castro is 14-for-37 (.378) with three doubles, an RBI and an .859 OPS.

Stephen Vogt, C-OF, Oakland ($7500 at KC): Vogt entered a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins in an 0-for-21 tailspin, but he quickly re-discovered his hitting shoes. He went 5-for-14 with two homers, five RBI and four runs scored against Minnesota. He is a nice mid-level Daily Fantasy when he is hot, and his positional versatility is always a plus.

THE BARGAIN BIN (Salaries less than $7,500)

Yangervis Solarte, 2B-3B, San Diego ($7100 vs COL): Solarte has been solid since coming over from the New York Yankees in a deadline deal for Chase Headley. He is 20-for-67 (.299) with two homers, nine RBI and 13 runs scored in 17 games with San Diego. He doesn't have a ton of power, but he has positional flexibility and he comes on the cheap.

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