It was a successful first day for me in baseball, and I hope the FTA crew followed suit. Today I will have an MLB writeup, but will take on the epic task of creating six cash game lineups (three MLB, three NBA). I may avoid the GPPs today due to the madness of six lineups, but I’ll be on chat helping you all across both sports (namely MLB). Be sure to check out our amazing new spreadsheet, and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Robbie Ray, ARI ($9500)
Ray’s upside tonight lies with how much stock you put into the new humidor in Arizona. Everyone is projecting the park to play more neutral this year, but I have my doubts. Even so, Ray is worthy of a cash play based on his immense K upside (almost 33% of batters last year). His xFIP tells us that some regression is possible, but the Rockies’ IRT of 3.7 runs is usable. I wouldn’t pay over 10k for Ray, but he’s worthy of a play in cash tonight due to the lack of aces going.
Other options – Dallas Kuechel
Mid-tier options – Masahiro Tanaka, David Price, Alex Wood
David Price, BOS ($8500)
There are more question marks on David Price than most other pitchers in the majors, but for all intents and purposes he’s healthy right now, and is one of the better pitchers in the league when at full strength. He’s returning to Tampa where he was wildly successful in his career, and gets a park upgrade from Boston. Tampa had the second highest K% against LHP last year and their lineup projects to be way worse this season. If you trust Price to work deep into the game, he’s probably the best cash play on the slate.
Other options – Johnny Cueto, Blake Snell, Mike Foltynewicz, Nick Pivetta, Jhoulys Chacin
Paul Goldschmidt, ARI ($4500)
Goldy against a lefty is always in play and the lack of 10k+ pitchers makes it not difficult to fit him if that’s the spend you want. Goldy has a .408 wOBA and a .254 ISO against LHP over the past two years, and Tyler Anderson has allowed a .199 ISO to RHB in that span. Again, I really think the humidor thing is overrated, and Goldy will once again be a boon for fantasy production.
Other options – Freddie Freeman, Cody Bellinger, Gary Sanchez
Carlos Santana, PHI ($3200)
The Phillies lefties are in a great spot against Mike Foltynewicz. Over the past three years, he has allowed a .365 wOBA and 1.66 HR/9 to LHB and Santana has a .371 wOBA and .252 ISO against RHP in that span. I wish the temperature was a little warmer, but it’s still one of the better hitting environments on the slate. The utility spot is also useful if you want two first basemen.
Other options – Justin Smoak, Ryan Braun, Hanley Ramirez, Marwin Gonzalez, Ian Desmond
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4400)
Altuve is crazy against LHP, but he’s gotten to a point where you can deploy him against anyone, especially a subpar pitcher like Doug Fister. You’re not getting any discount on Altuve, but he has more event upside than almost any player in the game outside of players like Mike Trout or Carlos Gonzalez. Fister’s low K rate is dangerous for the warm temps of Texas, and the Astros ranked first in wOBA last season with largely the same personnel.
Other options – None (which discourages me from playing Altuve in cash)
Ben Zobrist, CHC ($2200)
As long as Zobrist is in the lineup and hitting fifth or sixth for the Cubs, I don’t mind just punting the 2B position with him. He doesn’t have GPP-winning upside, but he’s a perfectly fine cash punt with a .330 wOBA and .143 ISO against LHP the last three years. Caleb Smith is another Marlins pitcher that wouldn’t be on half the other major league rosters, and he posted a 21/11 K/BB ratio in the Spring which will get him into trouble against a potent lineup like the Cubs’.
Other options – Ian Kinsler, Ozzie Albies, D.J. LeMahieu, Cesar Hernandez, Devon Travis
Kris Bryant, CHC ($4400)
Bryant is another big-name hitter that’s fully priced, but is certainly cash viable on a slate like this. He has smoked LHP over the past two years for a .398 wOBA and .261 ISO, and Caleb Smith and the Marlins bullpen look like they’re in for a long day. Make sure to get some exposure in cash games, and make Bryant a cornerstone of any Cubs stacks.
Other options – Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson, Alex Bregman
Zack Cozart, LAA ($3000)
I’d prefer to spend up at bit at third base in cash today (at least for Alex Bregman), but if Cozart leads off again he’s someone you can look to use. Cozart had a big game yesterday in his Angels’ debut, and he has a .186 ISO against LHP over the last two years. Sean Manaea has flashed upside in his young career, but he’s also struggled with control and hard contact allowed to RHB.
Other options – Jake Lamb, Adrian Beltre, Matt Chapman, Evan Longoria
Carlos Correa, HOU ($4100)
Shortstop is another fairly thin position, so you’re going to at least want to consider spending up for Correa. He has been a solid reverse-split hitter in his career, with a .371 wOBA and .227 ISO against RHP over the last two years. The Astros also have the highest IRT on the slate at 5.5 runs, and Doug Fister and the Texas bullpen look like they’re going to struggle today.
Other options – Corey Seager, Didi Gregorius
Marcus Semien, OAK ($2900)
If you’re not spending up for Correa, you should dip down to Semien. He has above-average power (a .198 ISO) against LHP, and Tyler Skaggs allowed a 37% hard hit rate to RHB over the past two years (albeit abbreviated ones). Semien should continue to lead off which all but guaranteed four plate appearances with the upside for five, and the Angels bullpen showed some concern yesterday.
Other options – Addison Russell, Trevor Story, J.P. Crawford
Mike Trout, LAA ($4800)
No, Stanton will not be my top outfielder every night, but he should be very popular after going ballistic in his Yankees debut last night. You have to take DFS on a day-to-day basis (hence the name), and I think Trout is the better option tonight if only picking one. He will have the platoon edge against Sean Manaea, and Trout has an elite .424 wOBA and .284 ISO against LHP.
Other options – Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, JD Martinez, George Springer, Mookie Betts, AJ Pollock, Justin Upton, Ian Happ, Rhys Hoskins
Brett Gardner, NYY ($2800)
Gardner is too cheap as the leadoff hitter for the Yankees. If he gets on base, the likelihood of him scoring is strong with Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez right behind him (plus he has SB upside). Aaron Sanchez is a good pitcher, but he saw his K rate dip to 14% last season, and Gardner will have the platoon edge with a shot at five plate appearances.
Other options – Khris Davis, Josh Reddick, Lorenzo Cain, Aaron Hicks, Nick Williams, Curtis Granderson, Ender Inciarte, Joc Pederson, Randal Grichuk, Chad Pinder, Derek Fisher