My FanDuel cash lineups JUST made it into the money despite making the fatal choice of picking Cole over Sale (DK wasn’t so lucky). Tonight we begin a new week (and finally no Coors Field to decipher). That’s not to say tonight isn’t tough, as we’re immediately presented with the “to Verlander or not to Verlander?” question. I will be in chat helping all our subs build the best lineups (although I’ll be a little late), and follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Justin Verlander, HOU ($11,700)
Verlander is priced way above the rest, but deservedly so as he outpaces the competition by a wide margin. I really think you have to pay for him even though he’ll cost you some nice hitters (no Coors helps this). Remember, the quality start factor comes into play on FanDuel, and Verlander has amazingly reached this in 15 of his 16 starts while allowing one run or less in 11 of them. The Blue Jays are a decent offense against RHP, but they rank 20th in K rate against them. I’m OK fading Verlander in GPP, but I really think passing by in cash is a fool’s errand.
Other options – Mike Clevinger, Blake Snell
Jameson Taillon, PIT ($7800)
Taillon is a tricky one to predict tonight. On one hand, the Mets offense is below average in almost every category that matters, but on the other hand they have some solid left-handed bats and Taillon is a wide-splits pitcher (.175 ISO allowed to LHB since the beginning of last year as opposed to .154 vs RHB). I love the thought of stacking expensive Yankees/Indians/Braves with him in GPP, but this is too risky a play for cash.
Other options – Cole Hamels, Mike Foltynewicz, Gio Gonzalez, Kenta Maeda, Jonathan Loaisiga, Shelby Miller, Seth Lugo
Freddie Freeman, ATL ($4700)
Freeman is my top overall hitter on this slate, but he’s unreachable in cash games if you use Verlander. He’s an elite GPP target as he’s got a .404 wOBA and .275 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year, and he’s facing Tyler Mahle who has been unbelievably bad against lefties. Mahle has allowed a .406 wOBA and 1.99 HR/9 to LHB since the beginning of last year and is backed by a lousy bullpen. The Braves are once against rocking a solid IRT of five runs.
Other options – Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rizzo
Greg Bird, NYY ($2400)
Greg Bird seems like a must on this slate, especially if you’re going with Verlander. With Gary Sanchez likely to hit the DL, Bird should get a lineup boost (maybe as high as fifth), and Bird is far too underpriced for the .244 ISO he has against RHP since the beginning of last year. Vince Velasquez is a good pitcher but he’s been killed by lefties (.370 wOBA and .235 ISO allowed to them since the beginning of last season).
Other options – Yuli Gurriel, Justin Bour, Eric Hosmer, Dominic Smith
Catcher values – Evan Gattis, Yasmani Grandal, Tucker Barnhart, Mike Zunino
Ozzie Albies, ATL ($4300)
Albies is once again hitting the ball like he did at the beginning of last year, and he’s got nine hits over his last three contests. Like his teammate Freeman, he’s overpriced for cash games, but a Braves stack is looking really tasty against Tyler Mahle and company.
Other options – Jose Altuve, Scooter Gennett
Dee Gordon, SEA ($2900)
The Mariners look to be the best source of value for cash, as they have an IRT of 5.1 runs against Andrew Cashner, and all seem rather underpriced. We can’t totally attack Cashner’s power vulnerability with Gordon, but he’s a leadoff hitter on the road for the team with the highest IRT right now. Gordon has also stolen 79 bases since the beginning of last year, which enhances his cash floor a great deal.
Other options – Asdrubal Cabrera, Daniel DeScalso, Jonathan Schoop, Jose Pirela
Jose Ramirez, CLE ($5100)
Ramirez is beating on the ball to the extent we’re seeing from Mike Trout, and he’s currently on pace for 49 homers and 26 steals. Since the start of last season, he’s got an amazing .417 wOBA and .300 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last season. There’s a very good chance he’s on GPP-winning lineups.
Other options – Alex Bregman, Matt Carpenter
Kyle Seager, SEA ($2900)
Here’s where we can tap into the Mariners’ upside against Cashner. Seager has a .194 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year, and Cashner is finally “cashing in” on the bad luck we all saw coming based on the FB/GB rates and declining K rates over the last couple of years. Seattle hitters are also getting a major park boost in their favor.
Other options – Jake Lamb, Adrian Beltre, Justin Turner, Christian Villanueva
Manny Machado, BAL ($4200)
I feel like Machado is going to go underowned in GPPs as a result of high ownership on Verlander combined with the fact that there are “more obvious” top plays for cheaper (Didi, Segura). Machado has a .245 ISO against RHP since the beginning of 2015, and he’s facing Felix Hernandez whose BB and K rates are both going in the wrong direction. He’s also allowed a 38% hard hit rate since the beginning of last year.
Other options – Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, Didi Gregorius, Jean Segura
Elvis Andrus, TEX ($3200)
Andrus has been a pretty big dud since returning from the DL, but Texas now has an IRT of five runs against Joey Lucchesi. Andrus added some power to his speed upside since the beginning of last year, posting a .182 ISO against LHP. This is about the extent you’re going to have to go salary-wise if you’re using Verlander, and Andrus is a fine choice.
Other options – Chris Taylor, Jose Peraza, Dansby Swanson, Scott Kingery
Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($4200)
Stanton doesn’t have an optimal matchup as Vince Velasquez is much better against righties, but Stanton has a 38.5% hard hit rate over his last ten games with four homers (and he went 5-5 yesterday). Stanton is always a better target against lefties, but he still has a .360 wOBA and .266 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last season, and he’s viable as your “one big spend” if you can fit him.
Other options – Aaron Judge, George Springer, Rhys Hoskins, Nelson Cruz, Michael Brantley, Shin Soo Choo, David Peralta, Ender Inciarte
Wil Myers, SD ($2700)
Myers is easily a lock for cash at this price tag, even against a quality pitcher like Cole Hamels. The Padres are getting almost as big a park boost as they can going from San Diego to Texas, and Myers has a .213 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year. As I said, Hamels has bounced back nicely this year after his disaster a season ago, but he’s still allowed 1.75 HR/9 this season. Myers should be leading off, which should almost guarantee five PAs.
Other options – Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Mitch Haniger, Denard Span, Starling Marte, Austin Meadows, Corey Dickerson, Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, Colby Rasmus, Michael Conforto, Joc Pederson, Hunter Renfroe