Today’s slate will cover the eight-game “early-only” slate on FanDuel, which DOES in fact include the SD/ATL game at 5:10 EST (I would have bet money last night that it wouldn’t). It was a borderline loss on FD last night but a borderline win on DK eased the sting. It’s a Scherzer day, so value is the name of the game, and a lot of my “top plays” will be considered GPP-only as a result. Good luck, I’ll see our subs in chat, and follow me on twitter @jac3600!
Max Scherzer, WAS ($12,000)
Scherzer is priced the same as Kluber yesterday, but unlike Kluber (who stunk anyway), I’m not comfortable with the mid-tier values like we had with Morton and Stripling last night. Scherzer is getting a park and league downgrade pitching in the AL tonight, but strikeouts fuel all DFS success. He’s rocking an unreal 38.8% K rate this season with well over a 40% mark against RHB, and the Blue Jays have the eighth highest K rate against RHP. The price tag always makes this challenging, but Scherzer is my top priority this afternoon.
Other options – Carlos Carrasco
Sean Newcomb, ATL ($8900)
Newcomb is not priced like a total value, but he’s still the “not Scherzer” play I like the most in GPPs. The Padres have a 25% K rate against LHP and Newcomb is a -185 favorite with only a 3.6 IRTA. Walks are still a problem, but Newcomb’s 2.92 ERA is largely backed by a 3.38 FIP, and his 24.3% K rate is beautiful.
Other options – Kyle Freeland, Junior Guerra, Sean Manaea, Fernando Romero
Freddie Freeman, ATL ($5000)
It’s quite possible Freddie Freeman is the top overall hitter on this slate. Jordan Lyles has been better this year than in past, but he’s still allowing 1.66 HR/9 and is getting a park downgrade going to Atlanta. A homer seems to be a nightly occurrence for Freeman at this point as he has six of them over his last nine game, and he’s brutalized RHP for a .414 wOBA and .276 ISO since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Joey Votto, Edwin Encarnacion
Eric Thames, MIL ($3300)
Thames led off against a righty in his return from the DL the other day but wasn’t even in the lineup yesterday. We need him there again to unlock his full value, but he’s a lock for me if he’s there. Thames has punished righty pitching in his career, and Phillies’ righty Zack Eflin has served up a .377 wOBA and 1.78 HR/9 to LHB since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Carlos Santana, Justin Bour, Ian Desmond
Catcher values (which could be necessary) – J.T. Realmuto, Chris Iannetta, Tom Murphy, Tucker Barnhart
D.J. LeMahieu, COL ($3500)
The Rockies came through yesterday against Yohander Mendez, and they’re the top offense again this afternoon even with a better opposing pitcher in Mike Minor. Colorado has an IRT of 5.1 runs and it’s going to be in the mid-90s again in Texas (Coors Field Southwest). LeMahieu lacks the power upside of some of his teammates, but he leads off and has a super steady floor.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Scooter Gennett
Jonathan Schoop, BAL ($2800)
Schoop has dropped in the order which is a bit of a pain, but there’s always the chance he rises back up, and he’s an OK option even if he stays in the six-hole. We’re talking about a guy who had a .390 wOBA and .299 ISO against LHP in his breakout campaign a year ago, and he’s facing Wei-Yin Chen who has allowed 1.55 HR/9 to RHB over the past four seasons (and now has diminished velocity).
Other options – Daniel Murphy, Ian Kinsler, Cesar Hernandez, Jonathan Villar, Jose Pirela
Nolan Arenado, COL ($4500)
Arenado was amazing with 47.1 FD points, and he’s easily the top play again facing a Mike Minor. Arenado has a .293 ISO against LHP over the last three years and Minor is allowing 1.65 HR/9 this year to go along with his 4.73 FIP. He’s backed by a lousy bullpen, and Colorado has nine innings of upside once again.
Other options – Jose Ramirez, Travis Shaw
Anthony Rendon, WAS ($3400)
Since Arenado is probably priced out today for me (Scherzer is the #1 priority), Rendon seems like an excellent pivot (even though his price tag can get a bit iffy with a 12k pitcher too). The Nats are facing Marco Estrada who uses a changeup as his main pitch, which therefore aids him against lefties but really hurts him against same-handed hitting. Estrada has allowed a .374 wOBA and .238 ISO to RHB since the beginning of last year, and Rendon has a .191 ISO against RHP in that span.
Other options – Adrian Beltre, Danny Valencia, Colin Moran, Chad Pinder
Trea Turner, WAS ($3800)
Same idea here. Turner has a .360 wOBA and .197 ISO against same-handed pitching in his career, and he adds blazing speed to the equation (which also gets a bit of a boost against a changeup pitcher as well). The Nats are a solid stack with a 4.9 IRT, and they’ll get a full nine innings on the road with a DH added to the mix. Turner will hit first or second.
Other options – Manny Machado, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story
Marcus Semien, OAK ($2800)
Semien is probably a necessary play on this slate given the fact that you will need several sub-3k players to fit in Scherzer. Semien has had a down year, but we’re still talking about someone who has a .207 ISO against LHP over the past two years. John Lamb has improved his K rate in the minors this year, but he’s still allowing 1.27 HR/9 with a 4.48 FIP in AAA. The A’s are a fine stack with a 4.7 IRT.
Other options – Dansby Swanson, Scott Kingery
Mike Trout, LAA ($5500)
Trout reached four more times yesterday, and we’re really running out of positive things to say about him. He’s priced fully but he has a 43% hard hit rate over his last ten and has a .422 wOBA and .259 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last season. Trout is already up to 36 combined homers and steals. It’s mid-June.
Other options – Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon, Michael Brantley, Rhys Hoskins, Khris Davis, Christian Yelich, Adam Eaton, Justin Upton, Scott Schebler, Starling Marte
Derek Dietrich, MIA ($2700)
We haven’t really talked about the Marlins yet because…well, they’re the Marlins. However, they are adding a DH and getting a massive park upgrade going Baltimore, and their IRT of 4.3 runs is quite good for the lack of overall talent on their team. Dietrich should continue to lead off, and he has a 35% hard hit rate over his last 15 games. Alex Cobb has a 7.23 ERA, a 14.2% K rate, and has allowed 1.77 HR/9 with the O’s this year. A Marlins stack is sneaky, and Dietrich is a great cash value.
Other options – Ryan Braun, Austin Meadows, Corey Dickerson, Adam Jones, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard, Mark Trumbo, Ender Inciarte, Preston Tucker, Odubel Herrera, Aaron Altherr, Joey Gallo, Hunter Renfroe, Mark Canha, Delino DeShields