Happy Friday! Today, we have a 14-game slate that kicks off at 7:05 pm EST, with weather impacting a few games. Due to the vast array of pitching, you can get very creative with your stacks and safe with pitching. Or, you can go nuts on the pitching and pay up for bats. We are in the dog days of August, so pay closer attention near-lock time for interesting lineup maneuvers or last-minute pitching changes. Enjoy!
Implied Run Totals
The big slate should provide plenty of value at both pitching and hitting. Boston is fascinating because the 6.84 IRT is well above the rest. Depending on how you view the field, they could be either super chalk or very-under rostered. I would only use them in large field GPPs and hope people decided to go elsewhere.
First, I am entirely avoiding Jack Flaherty for today’s slate. There are far too many good SPs to worry about grabbing someone coming back from the IL. The same can be said for Anthony DeSclafani and Dane Dunning. While they are all capable of producing a big game, there is no need to take on the additional risk of them only pitching four innings.
Zack Wheeler is really tough to call on the slate. He has only gone less than five innings in one outing this season and has been a beacon of consistency. However, he draws an unfavorable matchup against the white-hot Reds in a ballpark that allows its share of HRs. Additionally, there looks like a high chance of a delay due to weather. Even though he seems tempting, I don’t love the salary and probably only use him in GPP lineups.
The SP I am all over in GPPs would be Blake Snell. Sure, he could toss another clunker and kill your lineup. However, replicating his seven-inning gem against the same Diamondbacks team is well within reason if he finds his command. Also, his suppressed salary makes him an even better target. Large field GPPs are where I would use Snell the most.
Robbie Ray and Julio Urias are in the same boat today. Both have tremendous upside as they wield electric stuff with excellent fastball command. Ray will likely toss more innings, which could lead to a few more DFS points. This is why I would put him again of Urias for FanDuel, but given the proximity in salaries, either one works. I like either one for cash lineups as well.
Charlie Morton is the dull pitcher on the slate. But he is also consistent and on a much better team than his opponent. Add those aspects to his ability to go deep into games and keep the base paths clean, and you’ve got one of the best cash game options for SP. Due to all the terrific pitching on the slate, Morton’s salary is too low on DraftKings and just right on FanDuel. I like making someone like Morton my SP1 in GPPs and then getting much crazier at the SP2 because he offers such a high floor.
Jesus Luzardo gets the best spot on the slate. He squares off against the putrid Chicago Cubs offense that can’t hit LHP to save its life. Given his low salary and high strikeout upside, Luzardo will be a very chalky pitcher today. If you’re making him, you’re SP2, best to stack a lineup that won’t get rostered very much.
Shane McClanahan is a strikeout machine and clicking on all cylinders. For some unexplainable reason, McClanahan is priced beneath SPs like Cole Irvin and Zack Greinke, especially on DraftKings! Strikeouts are king and a significant driver for points. Much like Luzardo, there is plenty of strikeout upside with a low salary to make him a chalkier SP2. Let’s hope the Rays don’t limit his innings.
There is so much suspect pitching on the slate; grabbing a few stacks with different outcomes should be helpful. Also, I narrowed down the matchup timeframes to 14 days since we recently had so much movement. Here are my top three stacks for GPPS.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Getting the Rays outside of Tropicana is always lovely. Additionally, they are so cheap today on DraftKings. Nelson Cruz for $4600? Yes, please! Now, they are one of the heavy platoon teams, so it’s best to keep an eye on the lineup as it’s closer to lock time because you could get a random hitter early in the lineup. They face off against Michael Pineda, who’s been very tough on right-handed bats. So, try to stick to the left-handed bats. Core stack targets: Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, Ji-Man Choi, and Wander Franco.
Toronto Blue Jays
- For starters, the Blue Jays IRT seems way too low. Maybe it’s because Chris Flexen is a decent pitcher at suppressing loud contact, but this is a Toronto lineup that doesn’t strike out and mashes balls in play. With so many SPs coming at a decent value price, you should be able to stack plenty of Blue Jays to make things work. Flexen struggles to strike out right-handed bats and allows the most damage by them as well. Core stack targets: George Springer, Marcus Semien, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
- The matchup is against Tyler Mahle, who can be a very erratic pitcher if his fastball isn’t there. The slider is elite, but when he misses spots, HRs come quickly. In fact, Mahle has given up 18 HRs on the season. However, the main reason to stack Philly is that the salaries are so affordable. Outside of Harper and Realmuto, you’re easily fitting players and keeping plenty of salaries left for high-end pitching. Not having Rhys Hoskins hurts the stack, but maybe it also holds some roster% off of it as well. Most of the damage done to Mahle is from right-handed batters, as they are slugging 300 points better than lefties. Core stack targets: Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, and Jean Segura.
Here are some of the best value hitters not mentioned above. Also, the value hitters are players under $3300 on DK and under $3100 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)