Happy Wednesday! Today is a bit unusual for start times on the main slate since most games call for day baseball. Additionally, it’s baseball in April, and can call for showers this time of year. So keep an eye on the weather since we’ve already experienced postponements. Also, there are only seven games lined up for Wednesday. Typically, we should diversify our stacks on a smaller slate and not go too heavy with five-person stacks. Spread it around, and good luck!
Implied Run Totals (IRT)
Even with so many talented arms on the slate, it’s a bit challenging to lock down the few you want. I am trying to keep the list as tight as possible for these reasons. Keep an eye on the lineups as they get posted; we could see some unique playing time for unknown players.
This small slate isn’t usually loaded with so many ace-level arms, but here we are. For the DraftKings players, I’d highly recommend rostering an SP1 from this tier. All three pitchers looked decent last time on the mound and weren’t severely limited with a pitch count (Scherzer 80, Nola 76, Fried 84).
The pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola will be a fun one to watch. Even more fun, both sides have 4.25 IRT, but the slight edge leans to Scherzer as Philly has struck out as a much great chip (25.1% K-rate). It’ll be a toss-up between the two for most DFS players, and most will lean away from Nola. So, that’ll make Nola your play if you’re building a chalkier stack.
Max Fried gets the most favorable matchup between the trio. Nothing is too scary outside of the upper half of Washington’s lineup. Washington has a 25% K-rate and only a 6% walk rate. Additionally, last start Fried showcased a few more ticks on his fastball, which could lead to even more strikeouts. He’s a solid play since he could produce as many points as Scherzer and Nola but at a slightly discounted price.
Clayton Kershaw would be in this tier, but there is too much fear of his pitches being limited.
This tier gets two pitchers with vastly different matchups. Wainwright draws the Royals, known to whiff a ton in recent years. However, 2022 has been a different story since Kansas City has struck out the second-least in the MLB. Is this just a tiny sample size? Either way, he looked very sharp in his season debut and fully stretched out. Waino should be a superb FanDuel option due to his ability to pick up the quality start.
Nathan Eovaldi racked up the Ks in only 76 pitches for his 2022 debut. And the best part was the walks were still nowhere to be seen. However, he did allow two HRs over the five hits allowed. The good news is this game will be played in spacious Comerica Park, and HRs don’t carry quite so quickly as they do in his first start in the Bronx.
Both should be solid and safe plays with a discounted salary from the green tier aces.
The field likes to grab an ace, and they want to build a heavy stack but then realize a cheap SP2 is needed. That’s precisely where the red tier comes into play. There is nothing wrong with Kyle Hendricks or Eduardo Rodríguez because they aren’t strikeout machines. Although, Hendricks has the much easier matchup while both strike out about the same.
These are more the type of pitchers that will volumize their way into good strikeout numbers throughout an entire season. Both could go deep enough into the game to be relevant for FanDuel’s quality start bonus, but on DraftKings, you should be avoiding them.
Cleveland Guardians (vs. Nick Lodolo)
- One of the more surprising offenses has been Cleveland, led by Myles Straw and Steven Kwan. The two have been getting on base at high marks and setting the tone for J-Ram and the rest to put big numbers on the board. Additionally, they’ll be getting Nick Lodolo’s first career start. Will Lodolo be pumped up? Will he be erratic? We can’t say for sure yet, but with so many ranges of outcomes, let’s hope Cleveland continues their hitting ways. Core stack targets: Steven Kwan, José Ramírez, and Franmil Reyes.
Cincinnati Reds (vs. Triston McKenzie)
- Cleveland gets the park factor boost from the game being held in the #1 park for HRs (Great American Ball Park). Additionally, the match-up against McKenzie right into their hands. McKenzie is a flyball pitcher that can get wild and is known to allow his share of HRs. This club is no stranger to how their park plays and will likely be HR hunting. Core stack targets: Jonathan India, Tyler Naquin, Tommy Pham, and Joey Votto.
Minnesota Twins (vs. Clayton Kershaw)
- Simply put, we don’t know what type of Kershaw will show up. He toyed with retirement and even possibly leaving the Dodgers altogether. Stacking against one of our top generational pitchers can be difficult, but it’s early, and we could see a bit of rust from the veteran arm. He might not even go too deep or be as sharp as usual, given the short ramp-up. Furthermore, the Twins have a very right-handed heavy lineup with tons of power. Core stack targets: Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Jorge Polanco.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are players under $3500 on DK and under $3300 on FD—just a step below my cash players. Use these players to smash into your lineup when you need to save some salary.
Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)