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It’s only a five-game slate, so we’re really toeing the line on whether the slate is cash worthy or GPP-only, but as of right now I’ll move forward with a cash sense of building since there is a clear-cut SP. Outside of him you can try to get creative with GPP stacks and one-offs, but building around Gerrit Cole is unavoidable. As I said yesterday, I won’t be in FTA+ today or tomorrow due to “day job requirements”, but KJ and Thor will take good care of you. Subscribers can also tweet me @jac3600.
Gerrit Cole, HOU ($11,800)
Cole is $3200 more than the next expensive starting pitcher which is tough to swallow, but he’s an absolute must in cash formats given the nature of the slate. Cole has not been as dominant lately as he was in the early going of the season, but he’s still rocking a 2.55 FIP and an amazing 38.2% K rate. Texas is ranked 26th in wRC+ against RHP with the third highest K rate, and I honestly think their IRT of 3.8 runs is too high. Fade all you want in tournaments, but eat the chalk here in GPP.
Other options – None
Jalen Beeks, BOS ($6000)
Beeks is the most fun cheap GPP play on the slate. Ownership should be tame even on a short slate given the fact that Beeks is making his MLB debut, but he’s a nice Vegas play at a -170 favorite with a 4.1 IRT. Detroit is righty heavy, but they still strike out more than the league average against LHP. Beeks is rocking a 35.4% K rate at AAA this year, which is more than enough upside to deploy in GPPs.
Other options – Cole Hamels, Frankie Montas, Mike Leake
Matt Olson, OAK ($3700)
Olson’s price is getting a little hefty for someone who is striking out 27.2% of the time, but he’s also got a 43.4% hard hit rate over the last 15 games and is facing off against Jason Hammel who has been a launching pad recently. Hammel is striking out less than six batters per nine innings this year which really neutralizes Olson’s downside, and the A’s have an IRT of 4.9 runs.
Other options – Mitch Moreland, Miguel Cabrera
Justin Smoak, TOR ($3400)
Baltimore pitcher David Hess is one of the better attack points tonight, as he’s only posted a 12% K rate this season to go along with a 5.50 xFIP and is backed by a pretty lousy bullpen outside of Darren O’Day. Smoak is much better from the left side, posting a .244 ISO against RHP over the past three years. Toronto has a 5.2 IRT which is challenging for the highest on the slate.
Other options – CJ Cron, Brad Miller, Yuli Gurriel, Kendrys Morales
Catcher values – Evan Gattis, James McCann, Russell Martin
Jose Altuve, HOU ($4300)
Gerrit Cole is such a cash priority that Altuve is going to be a tough spend. However, Altuve has been a beast against LHP over the last three years, posting a .393 wOBA and a .174 ISO and Cole Hamels (despite his rebound year) is still allowing 1.88 HR/9 this season. Throw in a 35% hard hit rate over the last ten games and Altuve rates well in all formats.
Other options – Jed Lowrie
Jonathan Schoop, BAL ($3000)
Baltimore has been messing around with their lineups a bit lately so you have to first verify that Schoop is in a good spot. If he is, he’s a solid value at only 3k on FanDuel. Schoop had a .393 wOBA and .297 ISO against LHP last season and Jaime Garcia’s loss of his GB ability this year has resulted in him allowing 1.71 HR/9. Schoop has as much upside as anyone on the slate and is easily attainable alongside Gerrit Cole.
Other options – Eduardo Nunez, Rougned Odor, Devon Travis
Alex Bregman, HOU ($4200)
Bregman doesn’t seem like a reasonable spend in cash at pretty much the same price as Altuve, but he’s a key part of Houston stacks which have the potential to be slightly underowned against Hamels who is one of the stronger pitchers on the slate (which isn’t saying a whole lot). Bregman has a tidy little .200 ISO against LHP since the beginning of last year, and has speed upside as well.
Other options – Jeimer Candelario, Mike Moustakas
Yangervis Solarte, TOR ($3400)
Solarte has been hitting second for the Blue Jays and gets the matchup I’ve harped on against David Hess. Solarte has been quite solid over the last three years in the power department, posting a .179 ISO, and David Hess has allowed 1.93 HR/9 to date this season. It could be an offensive explosion for the Blue Jays, and they’re affordable enough to build alongside Cole.
Other options – Matt Chapman, Rafael Devers, Danny Valencia
Manny Machado, BAL ($4500)
Like most of the top plays on this slate, Machado is a bit priced out for cash play, but Machado is arguably the best hitter on the slate and is having an MVP-caliber year. He has a 168 wRC+, a .417 wOBA, and a .297 ISO with a heightened walk rate and a lowered K rate, and I mentioned Jaime Garcia’s struggles with keeping the ball on the ground.
Other options – Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Jean Segura
Marcus Semien, OAK ($3400)
With it being really tough to roster the guys above, Semien seems to be the default option even though he’s priced pretty fairly as well. Semien only has a .152 ISO against same-handed pitching over the last two seasons, but Jason Hammel has fallen off a cliff and can be attacked from all angles with A’s hitters.
Other options – Alcides Escobar, Aledmys Diaz (gross)
J.D. Martinez, BOS ($4800)
You’ll have to fill out your outfield with value alongside Gerrit Cole, but J.D. will be in every one of my GPP lineups. He’s killing it in his first year in Boston with a 171 wRC+ and a .335 ISO, and he’s murdered LHP over the last three years for a .412 wOBA and .295 ISO. Boston has an IRT of 5.4 runs which is currently the highest on the slate.
Other options – George Springer, Nick Castellanos, Khris Davis, Nomar Mazara, Shin Soo Choo, Teoscar Hernandez, Nelson Cruz
Curtis Granderson, TOR ($2500)
Grandyman is a lock at $2500 as long as he continues to lead off. Despite declining skills, Grandy has a .228 ISO against RHP over the last three years and gets the premier matchup against David Hess. I get the worry that Grandy hasn’t had a hit since 5/29, but his savings is a necessity on this slate if you want any semblance of a “big bat” alongside Gerrit Cole.
Other options – Joey Gallo, Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander, Kevin Pillar, Dustin Fowler, Mitch Haniger, Josh Reddick, Jake Marisnick, Jacoby Jones Fantasy Baseball
Jamie Calandro (DFS alias jac3600) is the President of Operations and was an FSWA finalist in 2018 for basketball writer of the year. He has been playing fantasy MLB, NFL, and NBA since 2001. He has won various titles and is a 10-time NFBC and 14-time NFFC champion. He is a seasoned daily fantasy sports player, logging in 7 days a week on multiple sites and winning multiple large-field GPPs while being a prolific cash game grinder. Jamie is FantasyPros' 2016 MLB Daily Fantasy Accuracy Cup champion and earned a top five finish in 2017 as well. Look for him in chat on FTA, and follow him on twitter @jac3600.