It’s the first day of summer, and my lineups have been heating up along with the weather (five straight wins on DraftKings and nine out of ten!). FanDuel has been kind lately too, even though I needed a VERY timely Charlie Blackmon homer to crack the money last night. Wins are wins, right? Tonight we are building around Max Scherzer, and there’s no two ways around it. There are seven total games on the main slate, and two of them have weather issues (particularly Chicago). We’ll be monitoring that in chat, along with helping our FTA+ family continue to win! Follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Max Scherzer, WAS ($12,200)
I don’t like to throw the word “lock” around in baseball DFS too much, but Max is a lock tonight. He almost laps the field as far as production goes, and honestly he has the capability of DOUBLING the next highest pitcher’s score tonight. He is a -300 favorite with a minuscule 2.6 IRTA, and the Orioles will be losing the DH. Baltimore is 27th in wRC+ against RHP with the second highest K rate against, AND they’re getting a negative park shift. Do not overthink this one just because his price tag is high.
Other options – None
Madison Bumgarner, SF ($8600)
“Full strength Bumgarner” is too cheap at this price tag (think 2k more), but he has yet to indicate that he’s reached that full strength plateau (or even come close). That said, he’s still a a great GPP pivot with an elite matchup against the Padres (27th in wRC+ against LHP with the third highest K rate against). San Diego has a 3.4 IRTA and the pitching environment is terrific. I suspect some people will think they’re getting a major discount for the same upside as Scherzer and use MadBum in cash. I implore you not to make this mistake. It’s not close.
Other options – Tyler Skaggs, Tyson Ross, Carlos Martinez, Zack Godley, Kyle Hendricks
Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4000)
The Cubs are the top offense on this slate with a huge park upgrade in Cincinnati, and they’re facing Matt Harvey who is arguably the worst pitcher on the slate. The only knock on using them is that you might have to deal with weather in Cincinnati (although it doesn’t look as bad as in Chicago). Harvey has allowed a .410 wOBA and .271 ISO to LHB since the beginning of last year, and Rizzo has a 37% hard hit rate over his last ten. If you can fit one big bat alongside Scherzer (and the weather cooperates), I’d make it Rizzo.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Brandon Belt, Eric Thames
Matt Olson, OAK ($3000)
It’s really a shame that it looks like the A’s will be a washout in Chicago, because they’re a prime offense to target. Lucas Giolito has been an absolute mess as a major league pitcher, and he’s allowed a .367 wOBA and .217 ISO to LHB since the beginning of last year while walking more batters than he’s struck out (yikes). Olson has a .388 wOBA and .332 ISO against RHP in that span, so let’s hope the weather improves.
Other options – Jose Abreu, Justin Smoak, Josh Bell
Catcher values – Willson Contreras, Tucker Barnhart, Jonathan Lucroy
Javier Baez, CHC ($3900)
Baez has a .266 ISO with a combined 27 homers and steals so far in his breakout season. If he’s got a premier lineup spot, he’s a great cash play even with Scherzer. If he’s in the 6-8 range, consider him one of the top GPP options in a Cubs stack.
Other options – Daniel Murphy, Scooter Gennett
Yoan Moncada, CHW ($3200)
This is unfortunately the same weather game that I mentioned with Matt Olson, but should it hold off, Moncada is a solid value at $3200. He’s been far better from the left side so far in his career, and he’s facing Chris Bassitt who is getting a massive park downgrade and has far outpitched his peripherals (2.45 ERA, 4.47 xFIP).
Other options – Jed Lowrie, Jedd Gyorko, Joe Panik, Jonathan Villar
Kris Bryant, CHC ($4100)
Matt Harvey has been better against RHB (.330 wOBA, .160 ISO allowed since the beginning of last year), but he’s still walking too many batters and allowing a ton of hard contact. In that span Bryant has a .262 ISO against same handed hitters and is a cornerstone for Cubs stacks in GPP. He’s not a cash priority for me given the depth at the position, however.
Other options – Anthony Rendon, Travis Shaw
Jake Lamb, ARI ($3400)
I wish Lamb was a little bit cheaper, but he’s still a fine value on a slate where you can’t get past this price tag too much. Since the beginning of last year, Lamb has beaten up on RHP for a .237 ISO, and Chad Kuhl has allowed a .362 wOBA and .220 ISO to LHB in that time frame. Lamb is getting a park downgrade but he should hit third on the road which could get him an extra plate appearance.
Other options – Matt Davidson, Yolmer Sanchez, Luis Valbuena
Trea Turner, WAS ($3900)
Trea Turner isn’t really cash playable anymore at this price tag since he’s been dropped to sixth in the order with Juan Soto moving up to second. However, he’s still an amazing power/speed guy who is a reverse split hitter facing a reverse-split pitcher. Kevin Gausman has K upside but he’s allowed 1.49 HR/9 to same-handed hitters since the beginning of 2016.
Other options – Manny Machado
Marcus Semien, OAK ($3400)
Fingers crossed for Mother Nature, as Semien would be a great cash play at his price tag. Semien is not nearly as good against righties as he is against lefties, but Lucas Giolito’s failures have shown no discrimination. Semien should hit first or second which would almost guarantee five plate appearances, and the White Sox lineup is bad too.
Other options – Andrelton Simmons, Ketel Marte, Addison Russell
Mike Trout, LAA ($5500)
Trout does not remotely fit the cash build tonight, but I just want to put this out there – in his last eight games, Trout has been on base 23 times in 30 plate appearances. That’s insane. Put him in any GPP that doesn’t have Max.
Other options – Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Adam Eaton, Tommy Pham, Marcell Ozuna, Khris Davis, Teoscar Hernandez, David Peralta, Kyle Schwarber, Scott Schebler
Dustin Fowler, OAK ($2100)
Oh pleeeeeeeeaaaaaase rain go away! Fowler is the key to fitting in Scherzer with some semblance of an offense. He’d lead off on the road against Lucas Giolito who not only struggles against lefties, but he can’t control the running game either. Five plate appearance would be almost a certainty for Fowler, and his floor would be way too high for an almost minimum price tag. He’s a lock if the weather holds.
Other options – Starling Marte, Austin Meadows, Corey Dickerson, Albert Almora, Jason Heyward, Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, Ryan Braun, Daniel Palka, Jon Jay, Jarrod Dyson, Harrison Bader