It’s been a few days since I’ve written an article, and this slate is a doozy with a full 15 games, tons of top starting pitching, and a slew of offenses with IRTs over five (no Coors, thankfully). I’m just going to dive right in, and I’ll see all our loyal FTA subs in chat today to really break down the slate which I’m sure will change as the day goes on. Follow me on twitter @jac3600.
Stephen Strasburg, WAS ($11,500)
Strasburg is priced all the way up, but he could be worth it even on a slate that offers other viable options at even cheaper tags. Strasburg will be facing the White Sox in an NL park (which means they lose the DH), and Chicago currently has the fourth highest K rate against RHP while ranking 21st in wOBA and 24th in OPS against them. Stras has been absolutely dominant this season with a 31.3% K rate, 14.6% swinging strike rate, and only a 26.6% HHR allowed. He’s a -264 favorite with a 3.3 IRTA, and is really worth every penny. I won’t call him a lock, though, with alternative (albeit possibly more risky) routes to go.
Other options – Blake Snell, Chris Paddack, Shane Bieber
Noah Syndergaard, NYM ($9000)
Thor has been one of the most polarizing plays in DFS this season. His inconsistent play have driven us all batty, but I’m going to harp on positive regression all year until it actually comes. Noah has a 3.63 xFIP and a .278 xwOBA which means things HAVE to get better even though his K rates are below his career marks. The Giants are a good spot to get right as they rank 28th in OPS, 27th in runs scored, and 25th in wOBA against RHP, and their 3.2 IRT rivals all the top pitchers on the slate. Syndergaard carries more risk than Strasburg but the same upside, and is $2500 cheaper.
Other options – Madison Bumgarner, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jerad Eickhoff, Chase Anderson, Drew Smyly
Gary Sanchez, NYY ($4300)
It’s weird that a catcher is competing for the top overall play in general, but Sanchez and the Yankees rank second in ISO against LHP. Sanchez leads the charge with an absolutely ridiculous .372 wOBA and .305 ISO against lefties, and he’s also got a 34.5% HHR over his last 15 games. Clayton Richard has a 6.60 SIERA and only a 14.4% K rate, and pitching to contact against this team is not a recipe for success.
Other options – Anthony Rizzo, Freddie Freeman, Luke Voit, Max Muncy, Trey Mancini
Matt Adams, WAS ($3000)
This guy seems like a timeless DFS option, but I admit I wish he was still in the $2500 range we were getting him a few days ago. Adams is still viable as long as he’s in the top five of the batting order, as he’s facing off against Reynaldo Lopez who has given up a 51% FB rate and a 39% HHR this season. Lopez particularly struggles against lefties, as evidenced by his 5.19 SIERA against them.
Other options – Michael Chavis, Matt Olson, Ji-Man Choi, Joey Votto
Catcher values – Yasmani Grandal, Willson Contreras, Pedro Severino, Travis d’Arnaud
Mike Moustakas, MIL ($3900)
Moose is getting a touch too pricey for my taste in cash, but he’s an elite GPP option with his .278 ISO against RHP since the beginning of last year. The Brewers are one of many teams tonight with an IRT north of five runs, and Pablo Lopez has allowed a 34.1% HHR this year despite an elevated GB rate and a SIERA of 4.00. He’s also backed by an incredibly thin Marlins bullpen that ranks 23rd in FIP.
Other options – DJ LeMahieu
Rougned Odor, TEX ($2600)
Odor is always a boom-or-bust play for cash, but I think we see something closer to the “boom” this evening. The Rangers have an IRT of 5.5 runs and it’s going to be over 90 degrees in Texas. Odor should see a bit of a lineup boost with Joey Gallo on the shelf, and he gets the enviable task of facing Dylan Bundy (highest HR rate allowed to LHB since 2016) and the Baltimore bullpen (last in FIP and ISO allowed). Odor has a .217 ISO against RHP since 2017.
Other options – Ozzie Albies, Brian Dozier, Hanser Alberto, Daniel DeScalso
Kris Bryant, CHC ($4200)
Let’s talk about the Cubs, who have a slate-high IRT of 6.3 runs against the Rockies. They’re not playing in Coors, but it’s warm in Wrigley and the wind is going to be blowing straight out tonight. This could spell disaster for Jeff Hoffman who is a reverse-splits pitcher that has allowed a .399 wOBA and .214 ISO to RHB since the beginning of last year. This season, Bryant has really stepped it up against same-handed hitting, posting a .380 wOBA, .242 ISO, and a 40% HHR against RHP.
Other options – Anthony Rendon, Nolan Arenado, Rafael Devers, Renato Nunez, Eugenio Suarez
Josh Donaldson, ATL ($3200)
PNC Park is not one of the best hitting environments on the slate, but it hasn’t stopped Vegas from tabbing the Braves with a 5.3 IRT tonight. They’ll face Steven Brault who has a 5.35 SIERA and 1.60 WHIP, and Donaldson has a .240 ISO against LHP since the beginning of 2017 (and those are actually declining numbers). He’s a good way to save money and not sacrifice upside.
Other options – Justin Turner, Jose Ramirez, Marwin Gonzalez, Daniel Robertson
Javier Baez, CHC ($4000)
If I spend up for a big Cub bat I’d prefer Rizzo or Bryant, but Baez is still the top ranked SS on the slate and is a key component to Cubs stacks. Baez is very capable against same-handed pitching (.341 wOBA, .239 ISO since 2018), and he also adds the speed element (23 SBs since the beginning of last year). I love him in GPPs, but I don’t see the need to spend in cash here.
Other options – Trea Turner, Gleyber Torres, Xander Bogaerts, Trevor Story, Francisco Lindor
Jonathan Villar, BAL ($3400)
Villar remains too cheap on FD, and you could argue he has as good a floor/ceiling combo as any of the guys above tonight. The Orioles’ 5.2 IRT is rivaling what they had in Coors Field last week, and it has everything to do with the fact that Drew Smyly has been an utter disaster this season (6.77 FIP, 6.28 BB/9, 2.33 HR/9 allowed). Villar has blazing speed and a .180 ISO against LHP since 2017, and he gets to hit in Coors Field South (Arlington). He’s a pretty easy cash choice for me.
Other options – Corey Seager, Elvis Andrus, Manny Machado, Willy Adames
Cody Bellinger/Joc Pederson, LAD ($4600/$3800)
The Dodgers are a team we have yet to touch on in this article as well, and they are tied with Boston (who we also haven’t discussed) for the second highest IRT on the slate at 5.7 runs. Despite the humidor in Arizona, the Dodgers are getting a massive park boost tonight and are facing Taylor Clarke who has a 14.9% K rate at the major league level with a ZiPS projected 5.20 FIP. Here are the numbers you want to target this year:
Bellinger – .524 wOBA, .370 ISO, 53.4% HHR against RHP, 41.3% HHR last 15 overall.
Pederson – .404 wOBA, .447 ISO, 46.9% HHR against RHP.
If you can get to Bellinger, I’d do it, but Joc at $3800 seems just too cheap given the massive upside he carries tonight.
Other options – Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, Andrew Benintendi, Christan Yelich, Mike Trout, Shin Soo Choo, Nomar Mazara, Juan Soto, Ronald Acuna, Tommy Pham, Michael Brantley
Kyle Schwarber, CHC ($3500)
The days of Schwarb being too cheap are over, but he still rates as a top value play at this price tag. Schwarber is entrenched as the leadoff hitter for the Cubs and he has a 35.9% HHR over his last 15 days to go along with a .196 ISO against RHP this year. Jeff Hoffman sucks against both sides of the plate, and the Rox bullpen is 20th in FIP as well.
Other options – Avisail Garcia, Kevin Kiermaier, Danny Santana, Shohei Ohtani, Adam Eaton, Yasiel Puig, Derek Fisher, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, Jordan Luplow, Curtis GrandersonFantasy Baseball